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In this episode, Bible Study Company will discuss if we have the same authority as the Apostles. Are spiritual gifts still available for believers today, and can we operate in the power of the Holy Spirit? Join us for a valuable discussion on the spiritual gifts of the believer.
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You will be confronted with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit by someone. Watch two former Charismatics wrestle with the "preset doctrines" of Charismatic and Pentecostal theology. But what does the Bible say? That is all we care about.
You could be taught to speak in tongues as evidence of the Holy Spirit for you to be saved. Did you catch that? Taught how to speak in tongues. Wasn't that gift a supernatural sign gift? Are there private prayer languages that some people have and others do not? And if so, what was the answer to your prayer if you do not know what you are praying? "Well, Ric, what about 1 Cor 14:2 says that people speak mysteries? There is another interpretation.
BTW, please do not dismiss us as anti-Holy Spirit because we disagree with what you were taught. Many of the promises of charismatic theology of hearing from God and using our gifts and hope for revival have all happened outside of the Charismatic theology. Join us.
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Ric Joyner of Bible Study Company discusses topics on whether speaking in tongues is scriptural and should be in our life? Is it prayer if we have no idea what we are praying? What is the answer to this prayer? Can the enemy deceive millions of people? Can the enemy deceive Adam and Eve who were sinless? Yes. Listen as Ric explains an overview of Pentecostal and Charismatic influence on God's people and how it can set you on the wrong path biblically. 00:00 Introduction 01:36 Starting down the road of performance based Christianity 02:25 How I learned to speak in tongues 04:05 Getting both sides of the story to avoid deception 05:50 How to learn to speak in tongues 12:20 Apostles today? 13:15 Is the Bible our foundation? 15:10 Owning charismatic experience 21:26 AntiChrist and Signs and Wonders
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May the peace of the Lord rest with you all. Erv Puckett's funeral notice is posted here. You may watch it online. If you have not heard Erv's wonderful testimony, it is here. https://youtu.be/LkqL4FZLP8E
The Lord stepped into Erv's life, and Erv stepped into our lives as well, and we want to celebrate his going home to be with the Lord. We want him with us, and that is our sadness. We celebrate what he has meant to us all at the funeral. Come join us! Please share.
Click the picture to watch the funeral on Saturday the 10th 11:00 am, of December. Or here is the link https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4Cz4kjxtia_suKjtUdtxh8_SuhVej6IASee full post & comments
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Do we see the Trinity in the Old Testament? Let's find out with Dr. Baruch Korman of loveisrael.org
This is a video short and podcast:
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Some of you may know or not that I am going to seminary for my Masters's in Biblical Theology at Calvary University (calvary.edu) with Mary's blessing. I think I am 3/4 of the way through. It is hard work. That is why Bible Study Company posts and podcasts are lower. "Why, Ric, are you going to seminary?". "And shouldn't we just study the Bible any way we want?" Calvary University asked me to do a YouTube interview about why I am going to Calvary. It was an honor, and I hope you enjoyed the video. This video should answer, Who, What, When, How? Let me know your thoughts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_qJpgLQYxA
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By Biblestudycompany.com Ric Joyner
We will state upfront that Christmas is not a biblical holiday. But it is not unbiblical to celebrate the birth of Christ. We should also not equalize Christmas with the advent of our Savior. The Old Testament prophesized over the birth of the Savior to come. The current secular traditions of Santa, with almost God-like qualities and manipulating kids to "further fantasize" a jolly old man who can give all children on earth toys and an "elf on the shelf" that watches how they behave, is unbiblical. Still, some feel it is acceptable to create a myth around Santa Claus while children are young. We disagree. It is always best to be honest with children about Santa. Giving presents at this time of the year is not wrong because the Magi gave Christ's family gifts in worship to the young boy Messiah, who helped the family with the expenses of fleeing to Egypt. Consumerism and greed are wrong and sinful, but only the Holy Spirit can lead you to that truth, and He knows your heart.
Frustration mounts as we approach this time of year in the Christmas season. Screams of "Christmas is pagan" escalate into a crescendo with arguments against Christmas on social media and by some bible teachers. Could this be a veiled attack on the Gospel in the name of "we don't want to be idolators"?
Let's take a look. Please reread these scriptures prayerfully as we begin our biblical study.
Matthew Chapters 1-2 highlights
"30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation, 31 Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 A LIGHT OF REVELATION TO THE GENTILES, And the glory of Your people Israel."
Luke Chapters 1 and 2. Pay attention to what the angels say a couple of times: "Good news," translated as the same word… Gospel. The birth of Christ was good news for Jews because their long-awaited Messiah was finally here, and the prophecy was fulfilled. We write this paper 2,000 years later for Gentiles, grateful that the apostles preached the Gospel to us: Good news: Christ came as a child to break the back of sin and death and allowed us Gentiles an eternal "home" and become children of God! Gentiles are not part of the nation of Israel, but we are part of God's family! (Eph Chap 1-4) We celebrate the birth of Christ because of the Gospel!
Read John 1 for a view from heaven of why Christ came.
"9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the intention of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us. We saw His glory as the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John testified about Him and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.'" 16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. 17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him."
If it is, then are you a pagan for celebrating the Day of Christ's birth? The historical false proof that Christmas is pagan is thrown at you with overwhelming emotional authoritarianism. Is emotionalism based on biblical truth? How about historical facts? We know the origin of Christmas (birth of Christ) is biblical. The story of our Savior starts with His birth because the prophets mentioned He was coming. We suspect the anti-Christmas vehemence is agenda-driven. We ask this question because born-again believing Christians are not worshipping pagan deities by participating in the birth of Christ called Christmas today. I spoke to a Torah-keeping brother who said, "Yes, Christmas is pagan." I asked how that could be, and he shared, "When you put a present under the tree, you are 'bowing' down to the tree." I was stunned. The logic he displayed defied logic. Yeah, no. Worshipping a pagan deity requires one to engage the diety knowingly.
In our research, there were pagan celebrations that started around the time of 274 AD, but they appear to be in response to Christians in Rome celebrating the birth of Christ! We then ask what came first, the "chicken or the egg?" "However, it has also been argued that, on the contrary, Emperor Aurelian, who in 274 instituted the holiday of the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, did so partly as an attempt to give a pagan significance to a date already important for Christians in Rome.
Is the nearness of a pagan holiday make Christmas pagan? When I sift through the concerns of 'Christmas is pagan,' people, did you know there was a pagan holiday at this time? We will deal with this later, but does that make celebrating the birth of Christ pagan today? Let's ask another question: Is Hanukkah pagan? The answer is no. Yet, Hanukkah is square in the middle of this pagan holiday called Saturnalia. The true church pushed hard against these wicked holidays, and to assume born-again believers were participating in pagan festivals doesn't make much sense since Christians had to live outside of society for several hundred years because of severe persecution.
Calling Christmas pagan because of the nearness of the same period of a pagan holiday would be the same as calling Easter (the resurrection of Christ) and Passover pagan. The proximity does not work because a pagan spring festival may happen simultaneously.
We can confidently say that born-again believers would not have observed a pagan holiday and dishonored our Lord Jesus Christ, who rescued us from sin and death. Born-again believers do not participate in pagan rituals today, and Christmas is about the birth of Christ.
Conclusion. We will focus on the birth of Christ currently and not conflate the past to today.
"Certainly today, the mix of consumerism (AKA Santa Claus) can take people's eyes off Christ, but our job is to bring them back to the salvation message of the Gospel. Will you join us?" BSC.
Note: In our extensive research, we stumbled upon a Wikipedia article. We usually would bypass Wikipedia as higher education frowns on the use of Wikipedia; however, this article has stood the test of time (2001) and is updated continually, even in 2021. Once you dive into the article, you will see the extent and expanse of the research on Christmas.
"Got you, Biblestudycompany…see, Christmas is pagan". Well, no, and not so fast. This Wikipedia article on Christmas is excellent and thorough for a balanced perspective.
Here are some highlights:
"Christmas" is a shortened form of "Christ's mass." The word was recorded as Crīstesmæsse in 1038 and Cristes-messe in 1131. Crīst (genitive Crīstes) is from Greek Khrīstos (Χριστός), a translation of Hebrew Māšîaḥ (מָשִׁיחַ), "Messiah," meaning "anointed"; and mæsse is from Latin missa, the celebration of the Eucharist.”
"December 25 was the winter solstice date in the Roman calendar. A late fourth-century sermon by Saint Augustine explains why this was a fitting day to celebrate Christ's nativity: "Hence it is that He was born on the Day which is the shortest in our earthly reckoning and from which subsequent days begin to increase in length. He, therefore, who bent low and lifted us chose the shortest Day, yet the one whence Light begins to increase." 
We conclude by the historical facts that the Roman Catholic Church did not exist at the beginning of Christian recognition of the birth of Christ.
"The Roman Emperor Constantine established himself as the head of the church around 313 A.D., which made this new "Christianity" the Roman Empire's official religion. The first actual Pope in Rome was probably Leo I (440-461 A.D.), although some claim that Gregory I was the first (Pope) (590-604 A.D.). This ungodly system eventually ushered in the darkest period known to man, called the "Dark Ages" (500-1500 A.D.). Through popes, bishops, and priests, Satan ruled Europe, and Biblical Christianity became illegal."
"And therefore, we should not celebrate the birth of Christ." We would say, "Tell that to the angels engaging the shepherds because heaven celebrated the birth of God's Son!" Luke 2:2-14
"And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were frightened. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 "This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased."
Note: the words Good News are translated from Greek
Original word: εὐαγγελίζω
Definition (short): preach
Description (complete): to announce good news
Yep, evangelize during Christmas. There are hurting hearts at this time of the year, and many blindly celebrate a holiday not connected to Christ's birth. Let us help people relate it to Christ, our Savior.
If not Christmas, what should we celebrate instead? We should celebrate Hanukkah to return to our Jewish roots. Hanukkah was not part of the Gospel, and the birth of Christ IS part of the Gospel.
We encourage everyone everywhere to ask God whether one should participate in the celebration of the birth of Christ. We say YES! We can confidently push back on anti-Christmas and anti-birth of Christ people with correct historical and biblical facts.
During this time of the year, people are open to the Gospel for nearly one month. Do we let this opportunity slide through our fingers? In Matthew 28, our commission is to go and make disciples. To make a disciple, we must present the Gospel first. Will we waste our time arguing over the birth of Christ, whether it is pagan or not? To this, we say that people saying Christmas or the celebration of the birth of Christ is pagan are avoiding the Gospel! Why? Who in the spiritual realm attacks the Gospel and wants it destroyed? Satan. Think about this tidbit. Imagine a worldwide focus on Christmas, even in Buddhist countries. Why not present the Gospel at this time of the year? As Paul said, his focus was on getting people reconciled to God. (2Cor 5:18-21)
"15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel." The Accuser is bound and determined to use people, even with good intentions, to stop the message of the Gospel of Salvation. We use the word accusation intentionally because people who celebrate traditional Christmas are called pagans. A severe charge but, fortunately, untrue.
God is a God of prophecy. He wants us to know what is coming. He answered His word and has "healing in His wings" to "reconcile us to God." There are no other holy books that contain prophetic words fulfilled!
Every Christmas season is a literal miracle that this holiday (holy Day) is focused worldwide on Jesus Christ, our Savior. Even the Wikipedia article acknowledges this undeniable fact.
Therefore, let us turn aside from the poor handling of scripture and agenda-driven history "facts" and focus on the birth of Christ and sharing the Good news of His coming to rescue us from our sin, thus giving us eternal life without works and fear in the blood of Christ!
What can you and your family do to share the love of Christ with a hurting world this Christmas season? Here is one video that touches our hearts when we watch it.
Feel free to share the resources.
Melton, James. "The Plain Truth about the Roman Catholic Church." biblebelievers.com. Bible Baptist Publications, 1998. https://biblebelievers.com/jmelton/Catholic.html.
Wikipedia Contributors. "Christmas." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, October 31, 2001. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas.
———. "Christmas." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, October 31, 2001. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas
William Federer: There is a Santa Claus - History of Saint Nicholas & Christmas Holiday Traditions
by Amazon.com Learn more: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0965355748/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_QVM4MJF835RK35KMWAHR
Christmas has nothing to do with paganism: Red pen logic
Was December 25 the date of Christ's birth? The Greek Orthodox church thinks so.
Mike Winger on Christmas:
5. For the extensive history of Christmas with the discussion of the dates for the birth of Christ, God Became Incarnate James Quiggle by Amazon.com
Learn more: https://www.amazon.com/dp/149918669X/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_AR6NEZ6XB0TPZ5N1VB90
6. The star of Bethlehem is an excellent movie on the astronomical view of the star. https://youtu.be/55VRdLnkvDw
Playlist of videos that will go step by step
Article On how to study the Bible from BSC step by step
Article by Dr. Baruch on how to study the Bible
Article on how numbers play a role in Bible Study
Blog article and podcast on how we learned to study the Bible with Dr. BaruchSee full post & comments
This prayer is a guide and biblically based. All a person needs to do is cry out to God in their own words. If you are not sure how to pray, please use this as a guide.
To have a relationship with God versus religion, pray this prayer sincerely and in your own words.
Dear Heavenly Father, (Matt. 6:9) I want a relationship with You...not a religion. I come to You and open my heart. (John 3:16) I will be honest and sincere with You. (John 4) I am running my life and need Your help. (Matt. 6:10) I am made in Your image (Gen 1:26, 27), and I won't be happy until I am in a relationship with you. (Gen. 3) Most of my behavior does not please You. (Romans 3:23) I know I am a sinner, so please forgive my sins because of Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who came to die for my sins. (John 3:16) His death on the cross is the punishment I should receive, but You were gracious to die in my place through Christ. By faith, I place all of my past, present, and future sins on Christ. I believe Jesus Christ is my Savior, and salvation is a gift! I know I cannot earn my way to heaven by being good through good works. (Eph. 2:8) You did this so I can be in a relationship with You on earth and for all eternity. (Romans 10:9-13) And I will forgive those who have sinned or hurt me because you have forgiven me. Take away any bitterness or resentment I carry toward You or other people. (Matt. 6:13-14) Please show and teach me how to live a praiseworthy life on earth to You starting today. (Matt. 6:33, Acts 9 and 10) I ask you to be in my heart, as Paul said in Ephesians 3:17. I know that You love me, Father, and I want to love You and that you have a purpose and plan for my life. I accept You as my Lord and Savior. Lord, because You gave me breath in my lungs and Savior, because you paid my sin debt. Please teach me to pray. (Matt. 6:9) Thank You, Jesus, for saving me to Yourself (Ex. 19:1-8) and making me a new person! (2 Cor. 5:17) In the name of Jesus, I pray, Amen!See full post & comments
We join Erin and Peter Janus as they explain how God's Presence came into their lives after asking Christ to prove if He is the One True God. What happened next is extraordinary! Their conversion and ensuing trials, lead them to walk away from their life of "all paths" and run to a faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior. Erin and Pete realized that God's presence was so real that they could be making an ETERNAL mistake by staying with their all paths faith. Will you? We each have a choice. A journey awaits you!
We have included resources below if you want to pursue more of a relationship with God and the truth.
Please share with others and if you have taken the challenge please share with us. To watch Erin and Pete's baptism here is the link.
Internet Explorer Users:
If you are ready to make a decision or explore further, here are some suggested prayers.
"Dear God, please show me whether Christ is the Son of God and I am open to searching for the truth, wherever that leads."
Dear Heavenly Father, (Matt. 6:9)
I want a relationship with You...not a religion. I come to You and open my heart. (John 3:16) I will be honest and sincere with You. (John 4)
I am running my life and need Your help. (Matt. 6:10)
I was made in Your image and I won't be happy until I am in a relationship with you. (Gen. 3)
Most of my behavior does not please You. (Romans 3:23, Exodus 20)
I know I am a sinner, so please forgive my sins because Jesus Christ, Your Son, came to die for me. (John 3:16) I believe Jesus Christ is my savior and salvation is a free gift! It cannot be earned through good works. (Eph. 2:8) You did this so that I can be in relationship with You on earth and for all eternity. (Romans 10:9-13)
And, I will forgive those who have sinned or hurt me too, since you have forgiven me. Take away any bitterness or resentment I carry. (Matt. 6:13-14)
Please show me and teach me how to live a praiseworthy life on earth to You. (Matt. 6:33, Acts 9 and 10)
I know You love me Father, and I want to love You as well and that you have a purpose and plan for my life.
Please teach me to pray. (Matt. 6:9)
Thank you, God for saving me to Yourself (Ex. 19:1-8) and making me a new person! (2 Cor. 5:17)
In Jesus name I pray, Amen!
Please let us know if you prayed this prayer.
Learn to grow at www.biblestudycompany.com
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Internet Explorer Folks:
Growing up in church doesn’t guarantee a relationship with Christ. Here is a story of Erin and Pete Janus who grew up in Christian homes but found religion versus a relationship. Religion can be dry and not satisfying. So they sought after a more "universal" path which took them on a search that led them to many gods and religious experiences. Occult practices, positive thinking projection and the study of other eastern thought showed them that it led not to "enlightenment" but darkness. A simple question to God, that if He was real and that if Christ was the Son of God, brought a new and fresh revelation of who Christ really is. The awareness of God’s presence brought excitement, and their realization that "all paths actually led away from the True God and His Son Jesus Christ". Listen to Podcast 1 to see the build up to the revelation, how Erin challenged God and how He responded to her sincere prayer and the startling changes that they both experienced. Praying Christian parents can have hope for their adult children.
In the Gospel of John 14:1-11 Christ said: "I am the Way the Truth and the Life and no one comes to the Father but through me..."
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You may think this post will be about Saul of Tarsus who met Christ on the road as he was hunting down the followers of Christ. The Christians were fleeing Jerusalem for Damascus Syria from the “face of death” and the confiscation of their belongings because they loved Christ.
I posted the previous blog about worshipping in the face of fear. What do you do with fear and anxiety as a Christian? The kind of anxiety that causes your chest to squeeze and you lay awake staring at the ceiling thinking of all the possible scenarios that the media is telling you.
We went to bed Saturday night (10th) with the news telling us that we were a bullseye for unprecedented destruction. My friends who were staying to ride out Irma were now fleeing due to mandatory evacuations! The potential catastrophic scenarios were played out over and over on T.V. We chose to worship. We did not pray an agenda that the hurricane would go away. We prayed that we would know what to do afterward to rebuild our lives and how we could help others while we may need help. Should we stay or go from Florida, our home? We prayed for our friends. We prayed for those who had suffered already and those about to be hit. We were terrified. That word carries no feelings. The best way to describe terrified is a racing heartbeat, and our appetites fled like those running from the hurricane! Our joints ached from holding in the stress. We had to take long breaths and let them out slowly as we answered texts and Facebook posts from well-wishers. Sometimes we shook, and our hearts felt like rubber and that they would stop at any moment. And we worshipped by reading psalms back to the Lord.
Rewind a week to September 2. As Mary and I left Florida for Madison WI to spend time with our family, and friends until the end of September, we got word of Irma forming in the eastern Atlantic. It was winding up fast and headed toward the Caribbean. Lord, what should we do? Do we turn back around and make the house more “bullet” proof than what we had already prepared? Or should we let our family back in St. Petersburg finish up? We decided on the latter.
I sensed from the Lord that “you are not to worry about this hurricane.” Did I just really think that? Had I just said this to myself to feel better? So, I shared with Mary, and she had the same sense and an unusual calm about Irma. But the media was telling us we SHOULD WORRY. This storm was of monstrous proportions and ferocity. So was Saul of Tarsus. He had a small army chasing innocent people. Can I catch a glimpse of their fears with Irma? They had no control over Saul, and we had no control over Irma.
Fast forward “all Irma news week” to last Sunday (11th) morning at church. The night before I was beside myself with fear while watching the news coverage. I suffer from worry and anxiety caused by “what ifs” and “I should not have or should have done something different,” and “I wouldn’t be in this mess if I would have_____________”(fill in the blank).
Did I hear you correctly Lord, not to worry? I doubted myself. Why was He strangely silent all week because I pleaded with Him to give further confirmation that I heard correctly or not so what could be the reason He isn’t answering me? Now I worried that I sinned somehow and was letting the Lord down by not believing correctly? You can see my head was spinning. Storm, monster, fear, the news is predicting catastrophe, etc. I am writing honestly.
We went to a church in Madison WI. The worship team began singing uplifting worship songs. I was pulling my emotions along and trying to leave my fear aside, which wasn’t working well. I then saw the worship leader decide to change songs. The song she chose was going through the storms of life with the Lord! I was stunned by this song selection. I was appreciative of the lyrics and the quality of the worship team. As I sang, I had tears. Then a sense of love and care from God came pouring over me like cold fresh water. I thanked Him for being so supportive to our family and worshipped again for our safety. Our physical possessions a concern but our Florida family was safe.
After the worship concluded I asked to share that we were from Florida visiting and were in a state fear due to hurricane Irma. We brought Florida and H. Irma to this little church in Madison WI. The face of destruction was staring us down. The early Christians were running too from destruction. I held back tears as I tried to share. Someone came over to pray for us. The pastor shared a message about the name of God being a mighty Creator and that He is in control.
I had wanted to hear from the Lord, and it finally came through the worship and message of the pastor. But then I remember the disciples in the storm-tossed boat and Peter asked to leave the boat and go out to the Lord who was walking on water in the midst of the storm. And the thought came to me: “If you are going to step out of the boat in faith - don’t look at the storm, but instead keep your eyes focused on the Creator who controls the storm….”. The “storm” in this case was watching the media. So, the lesson was clear. I had heard from the Lord about not worrying about this storm a week earlier. I did take a step of faith but chose to focus on the storm. But through my mistake of not keeping my eye on Him, He taught me a great deal about my worry and fear that plagues my life. I have a new brick in my foundation and a deep heart healing over fear. But in a relationship with God, aren’t the purpose of trials and circumstances to change us? Don’t they show us what is “in” us so we can work with Him to receive healing? And secondly, He was loving and caring to help heal my fears by giving me a great life lesson.
Back to the story. The rest of Sunday I had not watched any news of the storm and had a growing peace. It was more like joy. A quiet knowing joy that all would be well as I had originally heard a week earlier, but this time my mind focused on Him, and my fears were abating. As the storm unfolded towards midnight, what the news was reporting and what was happening on the ground were remarkably different, so different that I will not use the news media for information on storms. I will use radar and graphing models to watch the track.
My brother texted me that he was going outside as the eyewall had just passed near St. Petersburg and I looked on the radar, and it was true! Another friend texted and said that light wind and rain was happening. The news was not reporting this! Before the eyewall was passing, they had moderate rain, which is nothing unusual for a summer storm in Florida but which included 60 miles an hour winds which caused lots of damage. But not the damage that was T.V. predicted. Why Tampa/St. Pete was spared I will never know?
The two lessons are: We worship regardless of the outcome, and the second lesson is if you are going to step out of the boat in faith - keep an eye on Jesus our Creator - not the storm.
And this blog post is about the Damascus Road experience that was a major event in Paul’s life and the life of Christians. Paul met Christ on the road to Damascus. And we met Christ through the good people of Damascus Road Church in Madison WI.See full post & comments
Today is Saturday, a day before a monster hurricane explodes on Florida. It’s a storm the size of Texas that wants to devour our little state. You may be asking questions like, “What if my home gets destroyed? Where will we live? What if my friends and family don’t evacuate? What if they don’t survive? Why is this happening to me?”
We’re scared because we live in the storm’s path, but how do we handle the crippling anxiety?
When the storm was predicted to travel east, some of my dear friends decided to stay in Florida. Now they’re trapped in low areas, because the storm decided to move west – we can never predict the movement of monsters.
I’m a worrier to begin with, but my heart aches over the fear and terror. We’re all safe in Wisconsin, but I worry for my friends. God is helping me as my Father in Heaven to work through this anxiety. He is in control. I looked into the worried eyes of my son-in-law, who also lives in Florida, and saw the question form in his mind, “What will happen?” I have no answers, and that’s the definition of not being in control – that’s the root of our fears. Do you think this is how people live in war torn areas? Where do we turn? What do we do?
We should worship.
People are yelling on social media, “FLORIDA AND TEXAS DESERVE THIS! THEY VOTED FOR TRUMP!” or "THIS IS A JUDGEMENT FROM GOD". What they don’t know is that 50% of people didn’t vote for Trump – even in churches. Both concepts makes me so sad. The kind of sadness where tears well up. Who can crawl into the mind of God, and who would project devastation on people for not agreeing with their political views? What has happened to our country?
I love Christ, and I love people. Let’s walk through this together. Whoever you are, I will be by your side just like Christ would. Like Acts 2, we are in a situation where we need to share our resources to overcome this trial. And Hurricane Irma is certainly a trial.
Let’s get back to worship. Worship in Hebrew means to bow down to someone or some THING. When studying Exodus, Mary and I learned how the Children of Israel (us) reacted to God and situations by complaining. The Israelites panicked when an army of angry Egyptians was at their doorstep, and instead of looking to God they COMPLAINED to Moses and God.
Mary and I realized that this is what people do too – we complain about trivial things. So we decided to put ourselves in God’s hands, and even though it looks bleak or that we may die, we will worship. It’s OKAY to be fearful of a giant hurricane. Being worried about our homes and the people close to us is okay too. These aren’t trivial things in our lives.
As we know from Scripture, God made a way for the Israelites through the Red Sea and we will go through Hurricane Irma. He was showing the Hebrews that even going through tough times and impossible situations we can trust Him. He has proven this to us time and time again.
So, as I write this with fear in my heart of what could happen to my friends and my home, I get on the floor and bow my face to the One who will see us through. I worship Him because He is in control.
Does it relieve my fear? If I’m being honest, not really. But I do have peace in my heart that comes during times of fear and panic.
I don’t have a formula for how to be a Christian, because it doesn’t exist. Why? Because we should be in a relationship with God, not a religion. I love God, and I will show Him through worship in the face of fear, and praise Him in the face of panic and stress.
So I ask you to get on your knees with me and honor our God, whether He turns the storm or not. He is worthy of our lives, and worthy of our praise because He paid the price for us on the cross to redeem us from our sins.
My definition of worship is this: “praising and loving God in the midst of fear and stress before we know the outcomes.” I will grab a psalm and read it back to Him because sometimes I can’t find the words. I am scared of you…who read this…because I may sound like a crazy person. Yes, crazy because I love Jesus Christ and trust in Him for all the situations, even though scared half to death and HE WILL TAKE US THROUGH.
Worship God with me in this rare opportunity to praise Him before we know the outcome. Let’s love our brothers and sisters whatever comes our way.See full post & comments
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Overview: Dependence on God versus people, things or even churches is an interesting concept, but could anything other than dependence on God be idolatry? WOW! That’s a scary thought. Let’s take a look at how the Bible fits into churches and how we, the pew sitters, fit into a relationship with God!
This podcast sets the stage for our future Bible Study of Exodus.
Your hosts, Ric and Mary Joyner of Bible Study Company take you on a journey of discovery. Can we depend solely on God? What does that mean? What about people and churches? Churches can wound people. People wound people. Is that something God wants for His people? We are studying Scripture to find out what pleases God and act on that. We aren’t looking for formulas. Performance and formula-driven people fill churches and companies. Is God looking for performers? We are all broken pottery. By spending time with the Lord, we get filled to the brim and then we “leak” out to the world around us. Ric tends toward formulas and performance for approval and Mary is grounded in the knowledge that she is loved because she is part of her organic family. You are part of God’s organic family! He is looking for a relationship with us. Grab your favorite cup of “joe,” or your favorite beverage. We can travel together because God is not a formula! He is a deep relationship. Let us know what you think!
Thank you and please provide feedback!
Ric and Mary JoynerSee full post & comments
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WELCOME FELLOW PEWSITTERS to our first podcast! Grab some coffee or your favorite beverage and of course, your bestie. We will discuss how and why Bible Study Company got started. We are not a company per se'. We are a "company of believers" studying scripture to live a praiseworthy life to God.
Now you don't have to be a theologian to study God's word. We just needed some tools. And by watching videos of Dr. Baruch Korman of Loveisrael.org, we were able to start studying scripture.
Approaching the Bible with the eye toward living a praiseworthy life to God changed our marriage and our relationship with Christ. Scripture started invading our life! Afterall, His will is done in heaven right, so why not in my life, our life, and your life? The podcast is our journey of what we went through to create biblestudycompany.com. We tried to capture our bumbling and stumbling in the pcast. I think you will find it honest, genuine and fun. Please join us.
The future podcasts will be studying Exodus, and we will have people interviews. On deck for the interviews are Dr. Baruch Korman, Loveisrael.org and Erin and Pete Janus, and their story on a journey to faith.
Oh...and don't forget to heat up your coffee as the podcast progresses! You will need the boost!
And will you comment for us?
Bible Study Company Beginnings
(to download the podcast for listening offline, right click this link and save the file)
Ric and Mary Joyner
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Introducing Bible Study Company QUICK STUDY. Grab some coffee or your favorite beverage or best friend. We are excited to have you join us. We are pew sitters on a path to find out what pleases God, our Creator. We are studying scripture through a lens to find out how to live a praiseworthy life to Christ. Dr. Baruch Korman of Loveisrael.org has shared his study tips with us, and we plan on sharing them with you. They are changing our bible study and our life! We could never imagine the discoveries that have opened our minds to God's agenda and purposes! WOW!
We starting to ask God questions about His word. So what do bricks, pavement and feet have to do with our relationship with God? Plenty. And where do mountains fit into our relationship? Mountains mean God's government. Can we hear from God? Yes! Read Proverbs 1 and gain some confidence. "But I am not trained in Scripture?" Then you are in the right place. What place do God’s commandments have in our lives? We aren't going to answer all the questions in 10 minutes. How do they relate to the Beatitudes in Matthew 5? We are pew sitters, like you, who want to find out what pleases God.
Come join us! Please tell us what you think. We need the feedback.. Do you like these "shorts?"
Ric and Mary Joyner
Pew Sitters!See full post & comments
Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think. This is what community is all about. The input regarding Community v.s. Company was close to being equal. Many people loved the phrase; bible study community. A good amount of folks also liked Bible Study Company which was what we originally started with. When we began BSC in 2015 our mission was to study scripture to live a praiseworthy life to God by being a “company” of believers studying scripture. In the end, our mission is also community. Remember to check out our groups and post your favorite meaningful comments in the community area. BTW we appreciate those who share with others about BSC.
After my email to everyone, I grabbed www.biblestudycommunity.com and now we have both: Bible Study Company and Community web addresses!
We noticed that we don’t have to do a thing to our web site. Here is a snap shot.See full post & comments
Thank you for participating in Bible Study Company! We are thinking of a name change since we are early on in our growth. Mary and I came from a corporate background. We thought, at the beginning of our planning stages for BSC, that it would be a “play on words” to call our project Bible Study Company, in hopes, that BSC would be a "company" of believers studying scripture to live a praiseworthy life to God. We are now seeking invitations to churches and mission organizations to present BSC, and we fear that the word “company” may be a hindrance. In the video, I share an anecdote of a dear friend who was expounding the features of BSC with a pastor and why the pastor should use it and tell his congregation. My friend mentioned that "it was an online community...". My mind went straight to that comment. Community gets to the heart of what we are trying to do. So why not be “Bible Study Community”? My immediate thought was to see if www.biblestudycommunity.com/.org was available and it was. Thus I secured it. We are at a perfect window of time to change the name if our advisors and current users agree.
Our survey question to you is this: Do you believe "Bible Study Company" could be a hindrance to doors opening in churches and mission organizations versus Bible Study Community? Or does it matter? Do you believe “community” vs. “company” better reflects our mission?
Here is the video: https://www.screencast.com/t/bkZLWAdTd1ES
We would love your feedback, and on any improvements, you think might be helpful to your study and recommending us to your congregation and friends. In case you hadn't noticed yet, we have vastly improved our search capabilities and created a new feature allowing you to share notes with friends outside of BSC! We will be posting a “road map” of wish list features for our users to vote on in the future.
Your feedback is appreciated, please take your valuable time and let us know your thoughts. We can only grow if you are behind us.
In His service,
Ric and Mary JoynerSee full post & comments
Lexicons are powerful tools in studying scripture. Why? For example, seeing the root word in Greek and Hebrew and following the word throughout the Bible gives us a more comprehensive understanding of how the Bible uses the word. Look for patterns and themes in the use words. Our lexicon employs the excellent Strong's Concordance, which is a Bible Study “must have.” Have you tried doing a bible study and trace one word throughout Scripture with a hardcover Strong's Concordance? It is tedious and time-consuming. Biblestudycompany.com just made it easier! Pewsitters Arise!
Here is the link and please subscribe to our youtube channel. https://youtu.be/Vm0RbHCqTp0See full post & comments