Testimony and Reflections Season 5

Jacob and his wife Cayla had just bought a new house and it was moving day. There was so much to look forward to on a bright and beautiful summer morning… and then tragedy struck. Jacob recalls the accident, the need for faith to endure through trial and the powerful hand of God through it all.

Key verse: “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

The Work of the Angels

The Bible mentions angels at work from Genesis to Revelation. What are they doing? Turns out they’re doing a lot. Jay joins Tim to summarize the important role that the angels fulfill to bring about God’s will.

Theme Verse – Psalm 103:20

“Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.”

Re-cap from “Equal unto the Angels”

  • Why study angels? (Luke 20:35-36)
  • They represent and reveal God – “God manifestation”. They bear his name (Exodus 23:20-21)
  • We are made in the image of God/Elohim/angels (Genesis 1:26 cp. Heb. 2:7)

What they are called

  • Angels, ministers, eyes, watchers (2Ch. 16:9; Da. 4:17)
  • Destroyers (1Co. 10:10), flaming fire (Heb. 1:7)… burning bush (Ex. 4)

How they do it

  • Visibly – Abraham, Jacob, Exodus, Canaan, Daniel, birth and resurrection of Christ, book of Revelation
  • Invisibly – through most of history, even our day (Hebrews 13:2; Dan. 5)

What they are doing

  • Ministering to the heirs of salvation (Heb. 1:14)
    • Guardian angels (Matt. 18:10; Gen. 28:12; 48:15-16; Psa. 34:7)
    • Rejoice when men and women repent from their sins (Luke 15:10)
  • Obediently carry out the will of God (Psalm 103:20)
    • Strength is a notable characteristic: Elohim, inexhaustible energy, read thoughts, blind or destroy armies, reveal certain future events, help the faithful (ESV Psalm 103:20)
    • They are limited in knowledge (Mark 13:32, 1 Peter 1:11)
    • Evil angels are not morally evil, but bring about the judgments of God – ex. wilderness wanderings, Assyrian army (2 Kings 19:35; Psa. 78:49 “destroying angel”; Ex. 12:23)
  • Directing the affairs of the nations
    • Through their work, God exercises His dominion over the kingdoms of the earth (Psalm 103:19, Da. 4:17->Dan. 10)
    • Jesus Christ now has the authority to command all these beings (Mat. 28:18; 2 Thess. 1:7-8)

Lessons for Us Today

  • Today, the immortal heavenly angels follow the commands of Jesus Christ, working faithfully behind the scenes, invisibly preparing the earth for his return. They are involved in setting up and taking down governments, just as they were in the book of Daniel.
  • They also minister in more personal ways, working invisibly, but powerfully, to help the heirs of salvation.
  • We believe that great salvation is coming soon.

The Problem with Pride

A big part of what God’s word warns us about is pride. There is a problem with pride especially if it goes unnoticed in our lives. Join Steve and Tim as they highlight some of the key passages in the Bible about this particular sin and how to overcome it.

Key Verse: “For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.”
Isaiah 57:15


  • Words and terms – arrogance, presumptuous, haughty, lifted up, puffed up, conceited, boasting
  • Opposite – humility, modesty, abase, make low, lowliness, contrite, broken heart

God’s assessment of pride

  • He hates it (Prov. 6:16-17) therefore so should we (Prov. 8:13)
  • Judgment because of pride (Prov. 16:18; Mal. 4:1; Isa. 2:12,17)
  • Key aspect of the flesh (Mark 7:20-22; 1 John 2:16; 2 Tim. 3:1-2)

The problem with pride

  • Pride is prevalent when God is not (Psa. 10:4).
  • Blocks our relationship with God by making us forgetful (Hos. 13:4-6)
  • Considers self more than God or others (Ezek. 16:49; Psa. 10:2)
  • Creates contention (Prov. 13:10)
  • Opposite of faith (Hab. 2:4)

Recognizing pride in ourselves and our lives

  • Individually – The love of praise (John 12:43), self-righteousness (Luke 18:9,14), lofty self-sufficiency (James 4:16)
  • Collectively – Nationalism, patriotism, racism, human rights, sports

The antidotes – the frame of mind needed, humility

  • God is big, we are small (Gen. 18:27; Psa. 8:4; Ecc. 5:2)
  • The servant mind set (Luke 17:10), being thankful
  • Being Kingdom seekers, not of this world (1 Chr. 29:11-14ff)

God is the one who exalts

  • If we try to do it ourselves God will oppose us (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5-6)
  • The greatest example in Jesus (Phil. 2:5-9)

Final conclusion

In Remembrance (Part 2) – The Cup

During the last supper, Jesus gathered with his disciples and shared bread and wine with them in a very significant way. He declared that the bread represented his body and the cup of wine his blood. This meal was not just a one time event but something Jesus commanded his disciples to do often. Nick and Tim continue the study by looking closely at the symbology of the cup and the importance of the new covenant.

Study aids

Bread & Wine Parallel Records Handout

Bread & Wine Summary Handout

Key verse

“In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.””
1 Corinthians 11:25

Cup of Wine

Cup symbolizes ones portion or lot in life (Psalm 16:5; Psalm 11:6)

The word “wine” is never used… cup or fruit of the vine.

New Covenant

Christ said, this cup is the new covenant in my blood.

The book of the law was the book of the covenant (Ex 24)

But there was a problem, with the old covenant it could not save.  Gal 3:11,21

The new covenant was then established in Faith and could offer salvation. Heb 8:7-13

This cup of wine therefore spoke of this new covenant that could save and provide forgiveness of sins.

How was it possible?

Christ said, new covenant “in my blood”

Blood in scripture represents life Lev. 17:11-14. Could not eat blood under the law.

Christ lived a perfect life of obedience 1 Peter 2:21-24 cp. 1 Peter 1:19 “precious blood of Jesus Christ.”

Thereby we have forgiveness of sins 1 John 1:7 for it cleanses or purifies the conscience.

However not available to all

Must be in Christ Gal. 3:14

How? By baptism Gal. 3:27

Share in fellowship

1 Cor. 10:16

Fellowship with God Eph. 2:13

In Remembrance (Part 1) – The Bread

During the last supper, Jesus gathered with his disciples and shared bread and wine with them in a very significant way. He declared that the bread represented his body and the cup of wine his blood. This meal was not just a one time event but something Jesus commanded his disciples to do often. We welcome Nick to this episode to discuss his in-depth studies on the symbolism involved and what it means for our lives.

Study aids

Bread & Wine Parallel Records Handout

Bread & Wine Summary Handout

Key verse

“And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.””
Luke 22:19

How did it begin?

Night before Jesus died, upper room Matt 26:26-30 (also recorded in Mark 14, and Luke 22)

Why the bread and wine?

Luke 22:19, 1 Cor 11:24,25 “Do this in remembrance of me” and 1 Cor. 11:26 “to proclaim the Lord’s death.”

Jesus was known for this (Luke 24:35)

The believers continued in this Acts 2:42, when and how often? Acts 20:7

What does it mean?

Bread in scripture is a symbol of food, and is seen as the fundamentals for life. As such it became a symbol of man’s labour to produce food.  Gen 3:19; John 6:26-27         

Christ took this bread, he broke it and said this my body which is given for you, this do in remembrance of me. He wanted the disciples to remember how he lived his life in giving himself for others.

Christ just demonstrated this literally as he washed their feet (still stuck in their minds John 13:15-17)

Symbol of body

Christ said “this is my body”

Represents a body of believers 1 Cor 10:16-17;  1 Cor 12 (beautiful analogy of a group of believers working together as one body) ends with v27

Taking of the bread we therefore examine ourselves (1 Cor. 11:28), how we are helping the body of Christ (1 Cor. 11:29)


Conclusion of self examination (1 Cor. 11:28) – we are all sinners

Thereby have fellowship as realizing the need to work together 1 Cor 10:16-17

Hell (Part 2) – The Unquenchable Fire

A discussion on hell would not be complete without talking about fire. Why are hell and fire connected? Josh and Tim continue the discussion from last week by talking about the word for hellfire Gehenna and why Jesus warned about this unquenchable fire.

Key Verse: “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28 ESV)

Part 1 – Not Abandoned to Hades

  1. Introduction
    1. Popular ideas of hell fire
    2. Overview of the words for “hell” – Sheol, Hades and Gehenna
  2. Definition and Location
    1. Gehenna = Valley of Hinnom
    2. Bible Dictionary entries
  3. History in Old Testament
    1. Valley SW of Jerusalem (Josh. 15:8)
    2. Place where idolaters made their children pass through the fire (Ahaz 2 Chr. 28:3; Manasseh 2 Chron. 33:6). Defiled by King Josiah (2 Kings 23:10).
    3. Becomes symbolic of place of judgment (Jer. 7:31-32; Isa. 30:30,33)
  4. New Testament
    1. Mark 9:47 – Place of final judgement.
      1. Jesus quoting from Isa. 66:24, 15-16.
      2. Is this literal? Cutting off the hands/feet, worms living forever.
    2. Jude 7 – The unquenchable fire means nobody can put it out until it has completely destroyed (cp. Jer. 17:27; Mal. 4:1)
    3. Matt. 18:8 – The everlasting fire means the effects will be forever (cp. 2 Thess. 1:9; Mal. 4:1)
    4. Matt. 10:28 – Complete destruction
    5. Rev. 20:14 – The lake of fire
  5. Final conclusion

Hell (Part 1) – Not Abandoned to Hades

In this episode Josh and Tim tackle the subject of hell. There are a lot of misconceptions about hell that a simple study like this will dispel. While it might not seem like a very positive subject, in the end, there is a message of hope that is very powerful.

Key Verse: “Therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope. For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption.” Act 2:26-27 

Study Help: Every passage with Hell as Sheol or Hades

  1. Introduction
    1. Confusion over the word “hell”
    2. Reminder of past episodes that serve as a basis for this study
      1. We Shall Not All Sleep
      2. The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus
      3. The Creation of ManFirst Natural, Then Spiritual
    3. Overview of the words for “hell” – Sheol, Hades and Gehenna
    4. To translate or transliterate?
  2. The OT Sheol
    1. A place for all the dead
      1. Gen. 37:35 – 1st occurrence. Jacob’s expectation to be there.
      2. Psa. 89:47-48 (NET) – Everybody dies, the power of Sheol
      3. 1 Sam. 2:6 – Hannah’s hope in the resurrection
    2. Descriptions of Sheol
      1. Psa. 6:5 (Isa. 38:18) – No praise of God
      2. Job 17:13-16 – place of darkness, corruption, worms and dust
      3. Ecc. 9:10 – No work or thought
      4. Isa. 14 / Ezek. 32 – Not to be taken literally
  3. Transition to the NT
    1. Acts 2:27,31 / Psa. 16:10 – The connection with Jesus
    2. Rev. 1:18 (cp. Zech. 9:11) – How Jesus overcame and has the keys to overcome the power of the grave
  4. Final conclusion

The Five Snares of Covetousness

In this episode we delve into some of the practical sides of recognizing sin in our lives and being able to deal with it. Covetousness is a great example of this. A sin that we might not know about unless God had told us not to covet. It’s so important that it will exclude us from the kingdom of God. Frank joins Tim for interesting insights from his life on at least five areas to watch out for when it comes to covetousness.

Key verse: “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you. So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”” Hebrews 13:5-6

  1. Introduction
    1. The 10th commandment – Thou shalt not covet (Ex. 20:17). All other commandments seem to be external, but the 10th is obviously a commandment about how we think.
    2. The battle against sin in the mind (Rom. 7:7,22-23)
  2. The importance of recognizing and dealing with the sin of covetousness
    1. Exclusion from the kingdom of God (Eph. 5:3-5; 1 Cor. 6:9-10)
    2. The root of all evil (1 Tim. 6:9-11)
  3. Defining Covetousness
    1. English meaning
    2. Hebrew meaning
    3. Greek meaning
  4. Five Snares of Covetousness
    1. The snare of the credit card (Rom. 13:7-8)
      1. Buying things we want but do not really need, on a credit account, because we do not have sufficient money to pay for it.
      2. When we only pay the minimum balance instead of the whole balance on a credit account.
    2. The lure of advertising and buying on impulse
      1. Some stores are set up to encourage buying on impulse.
      2. This includes buying more of a product than we really need.
      3. Sometimes the store price is below their cost.
      4. One needs to make a list and stick to it.
    3. The deception of get rich quick schemes (lotteries, stock market)
      1. Huge payouts sound good and we can justify it to ourselves
      2. Actually winning would create more difficulties
      3. Investing wisely is good but must be careful not to get caught up in it all
    4. The enticement of entertainment and social media
      1. Most entertainment is the idolization of man. Everybody wants to be like the star.
      2. Social media is filled with people trying to be influencers
    5. The pitfalls of keeping up with the Jones
      1. We spend a lot of money just to keep up.
      2. Sometimes it is purely a matter of pride.
      3. Sometimes expectations are too high and we need to lower them. We don’t really need the latest and greatest.
      4. We live in a very wasteful society.
  5. The positives
    1. The flesh can never be satisfied (Ecc. 5:10). We always live to our means.
    2. Putting trust in God (Heb. 13:5-6)
    3. Godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Tim. 6:6)
  6. Final conclusion

Enemies Reconciled to God

In this episode Jesse is back with us to discuss how we (maybe unknown to ourselves) are enemies of God in need of reconciliation. This is the wonderful salvation in Jesus that we might have peace with God.

Key verse: “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” Romans 5:10

  1. Introduction
  2. Enemies with God
    1. Romans 5:8-10
      1. What does it mean to be an enemy?
      2. What causes the hostility – our sins.
    2. James 4:4 – being a friend of the world causes enmity with God
    3. Where is the separation?
      1. Col. 1:21 – This takes place in our minds (cp. Gen. 6:5 vs. Isa. 26:3)
      2. Romans 8:5-7 the carnal mind is enmity with God
  3. Reconciliation with God brings peace
    1. Col. 1:20
    2. Eph. 2:13-17
    3. Rom. 5:1, 10-11
    4. Defining true peace with God
  4. Final conclusion

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God is Just and the Justifier

The latest episode is up! Join us as we discuss the conundrum of how a just God can save sinners. Why did Jesus have to die on a cross? The answer is in Romans 3:9-28.

Key Verse: “It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:26

  1. Introduction
    • The conundrum of how a just God can save sinners
    • Why did Jesus have to die?
    • A core teaching on this in Romans 3:9-28
  2. Chapter 3:9-24
    • The terrible sinfulness of all men (v.9-20, 23). Our knowledge of sin brings a recognition of guilt (v. 19).
    • The righteousness of God (v. 21-22) and the meaning of justification.
    • “By his grace” (v. 24). This is his gift. It is a balance of grace & truth.
  3. Chapter 3:25
    • The meaning of propitiation
    • Faith in his blood – How does Jesus fit in? A man of spotless character who condemned sin.
  4. Chapter 3:26-28
    • God is just and the justifier of all who believe
    • Justified by faith
  5. Final conclusion

Previous episodes that provide background to this subject:

Quote by Robert Roberts:

“God’s method for the return of sinful man to favour required and appointed the putting to death of man’s condemned and evil nature in a representative man of spotless character, whom He should provide, to declare and uphold the righteousness of God, as the first condition of restoration, that He might be just while justifying the unjust, who should believingly approach through him in humility, confession and reformation” Robert Roberts, Diary of a Voyage, pg. 68