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Ecclessiastes - Lesson 3 March 3, 2018

Posted by Karoline Bethea-Jones, PhD on March 10, 2018 at 10:00 PM Comments comments (0)

God makes everything beautiful at the proper time.


Re-read Ecclesiastes chapter 3, then discuss these questions with your group.

 

1. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 says that there is a proper time for every human activity. But is there also a proper time to know God? Read Ecclesiastes 12:1 and compare it with 2 Corinthians 6:2. When is the proper time to know God?


2. Compare the judgements that judges make in this world with the judgement of God. How is God’s work as a judge similar to their work? How is it different?


3. As the author says in Ecclesiastes 3:19, human life is very similar to animal life. But God gave his commands in Exodus 20:1-17 to people, not to animals. In what other ways does God deal with people in a special manner? And how should this affect the things that people do? Read Ecclesiastes 12:1 and Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.


People’s efforts are often without any real purpose.

Re-read Ecclesiastes chapter 4, then discuss these questions with your group.


1. Read Micah 2:1-4 and Isaiah 1:21-28. What is God’s attitude when people deal cruelly with other people?


2. What does the Bible teach about jealous attitudes? See Exodus 20:17.


3. Compare Ecclesiastes 4:8 with Matthew 6:19-21. What does God consider valuable? How can we prepare now for heaven?


4. For what reasons does Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 encourage friendship? For what reasons does 1 John 4:19-21 encourage friendship? Read Mark 10:43-45 and John 15:13. For what reasons did Jesus show friendship?


Ecclessiastes - Lesson 2 February 17, 2018

Posted by Karoline Bethea-Jones, PhD on February 24, 2018 at 9:20 AM Comments comments (0)

God makes everything beautiful at the proper time. Re-read Ecclesiastes chapter 3, then discuss these questions as a group.

1. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 says that there is a proper time for every human activity. But is there also a proper time to know God? Read Ecclesiastes 12:1 and compare it with 2 Corinthians 6:2. When is the proper time to know God?

2. Compare the judgements that judges make in this world with the judgement of God. How is God’s work as a judge similar to their work? How is it different?

3. As the author says in Ecclesiastes 3:19, human life is very similar to animal life. But God gave his commands in Exodus 20:1-17 to people, not to animals. In what other ways does God deal with people in a special manner? And how should this affect the things that people do? Read Ecclesiastes 12:1 and Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.

People’s efforts are often without any real purpose. Re-read Ecclesiastes chapter 4, let's discuss

1. Read Micah 2:1-4 and Isaiah 1:21-28. What is God’s attitude when people deal cruelly with other people?

2. What does the Bible teach about jealous attitudes? See Exodus 20:17.

3. Compare Ecclesiastes 4:8 with Matthew 6:19-21. What does God consider valuable? How can we prepare now for heaven?

4. For what reasons does Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 encourage friendship? For what reasons does 1 John 4:19-21 encourage friendship? Read Mark 10:43-45 and John 15:13. For what reasons did Jesus show friendship?


Ecclessiastes Lesson 1 - February 3, 2018

Posted by Karoline Bethea-Jones, PhD on February 24, 2018 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (0)

There are powerful forces in this world, but even the greatest people are really very weak. Re-read Ecclesiastes chapter 1, Let's discuss.

1. Why do people become proud? What evidence can you offer to prove that this attitude is foolish?

2. How do things like the sun, wind and rain prove the greatness of God? What is our proper attitude towards God? 

3. Read Psalm 104 and compare it with Ecclesiastes chapter 1. What does that Psalm say about the greatness of God and the weakness of people? What can we learn from the study of nature? 

4. Compare Ecclesiastes 1:16-18 with Proverbs 2:1-11. Explain the difference between human wisdom and the wisdom that comes from God. Read James 1:5. How can we have the right kind of wisdom?

Work, wealth and pleasure cannot satisfy people. Re-read Ecclesiastes chapter 2, then discuss these questions. 

1. Read 1 Kings 7:1-8. Why did Solomon carry out all these great works? And what did he consider that he had achieved at the end? 

2. What can we expect to achieve by our work? Why do these things often fail to satisfy us even for a temporary period? How can people achieve real satisfaction that lasts?  

3. What reasons for the fear of death appear in Ecclesiastes chapter 2? What other reasons are there? Read Hebrews 2:14. What did Jesus do to deal with the fear of death? And who benefits from what he did?  

4. Read Romans 4:1-8. Why does the Bible teach that people cannot save themselves by their own works? How does the Bible say that a person can receive a right relationship with God? How can Solomon’s experience help us to understand these things?  


Church Ministry

Posted by Karoline Bethea-Jones, PhD on September 8, 2013 at 6:15 AM Comments comments (0)

To understand the posture, purpose and result of church ministry, one would have to understand the ministry of Jesus Christ. Jesus, from the beginning of His ministry, established the guidelines for His Church. Jesus began his ministry when he stepped into the waters of the Jordan and received baptism by John, the Baptizer, who came preaching repentance. Repentance was the way to salvation and repentance is still the way to salvation. Repentance was the precursor, and Christ, who knew no sin and had no need of repentance, received baptism in the Jordan River to show us the Way to salvation.


Jesus wanted to do what was proper. He came to earth to show us how to live. He said, "I am the Way, (John 14:6), and He began His ministry by showing us the way to Salvation and the proper way to begin our ministry. There must be a biblically defined mandate in order for all churches to be in harmony with Christ. The church is God's creation, founded by Jesus Christ, who is the head of the church. The ministry of the church is to preach and teach the Gospel, and baptize and bring together God's people. Jesus' commanded His disciples to, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:19-20).


This was the last thing Jesus directed His disciples to do. This is the basis of what the church stands on. No matter your age, your gender, or your circumstances, we are urged to set an example of how we are to conduct ourselves as representation of the church of Christ, "Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity." (Timothy 4:2). Jesus commanded the Apostles to preach the Gospel and to baptize believers, and walk in love faith and purity, and He set the example by His own baptism and His own walk. The Apostles fulfilled this command in the early church by baptizing new believers into the faith and conducting themselves in the manner in which Jesus has described and we must do so as well. The church is the covenant people of God. The mission of the Christian church is to fulfill another great commandment of the Lord, to love the Lord with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with your entire mind. In addition, you should love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:37, 39).


What then is the purpose of Church Ministry? It is primarily for the teaching and preaching of God's Word but it is also to bring every believer into a vital, authentic relationship with God through the Grace of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit (Dr. Roger Pascoe). It is the responsibility of the Pastor, teachers and others, who have been given the gift of the Spirit, to instruct God's people in all the things of God. When you preach and teach the bible in its entirety, you provide the nourishment needed to grow spiritually in the Grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and equip the saints for the work in the ministry. By doing this, we build up the body of Christ so that God's people will become perfect to the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:7-16).


But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.” (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) "So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ."


"Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work."


God, through his scripture, determined what ministry is and should be. We are therefore motivated through church ministry to conduct ourselves in accordance with God's plan for the church. It must start with a foundation, relevant teaching and preaching of God's word. It is the responsibility of the local church to minister to all people. That is a commandment from the Lord. Through church ministry, we engage in fellowship and commemorating the breaking of bread. The early church offers this model. "They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." (Acts 2:42) The church is to be the place where believers can observe the Lord's Supper, remembering Christ's death and shed blood on our behalf (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).


The church is to be a place for promoting prayer and praying together, which is the basis of a balanced ministry (Philippians 4:6-7), and for the proclaiming the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ. The ministry allows us to worship God and minister to others for the proclamation of the gospel and the edification of the saints. Paul said we must equip the saints for the work of the ministry, which helps us to be rooted and grounded in the faith.


God through his scripture determined what ministry is and what it should be going forward. We are motivated through church ministry to conduct ourselves in accordance with God's plan for the church. God does have a plan for the church and that plan includes a foundation, which is relevant teaching and preaching of God's Word. God's people must be instructed in the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27). Ministry should bring people to a saving faith in Christ and then assist them as they grow to become more like Christ. In addition, the result of this is salvation. To bring this about, Christ has given us spiritual gifts to equip us to glorify Him.


The gifts of the Spirit were given “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect [complete, mature] man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ . . . speaking the truth in love, [that we] may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ” (Ephesians 4:12–13, 15). 


The good news is this; we all have access to God's Saving Grace. It is through the blood of Jesus, which He ransomed for us all. We now have access to the Father through Christ, and the result of sound church ministry should be an understanding of the purpose of the cross. We were sinners destined for death and sentenced to eternal hell, but Jesus took our sins upon His shoulder and paid the price for our penalty of death and hell. He conquered hell and death and we are now blameless and holy before God, and free to go before the throne of Grace. "And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him" (Colossians 1:21-22). We are now equipped with power for ministry because the power for ministry is the Holy Spirit who lives inside of all who believe and has been baptized into the faith.


The Word of God remains the standard against which all is measured. Jesus established the guidelines for the local church; because it is the true Way of God. Jesus said He could do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. The church must follow the model that Jesus put in place. Scripture says that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He came to show us the way, and reveal the truth to us so that we might have life in the Father.


Just like Jesus, who was found in the temple at a young age going about His Father's business, the church should also be about our Father's business, ministering to those in need and equipping believers in Christ with the tools that they need to overcome sin. As servants of the Lord, we are ministering to one another, to the church, to the gospel and to the Lord. God has given us each a ministry; women, men, deacons, elders, pastors, we are all called to be ministers. 

Judas is Among Us

Posted by Karoline Bethea-Jones, PhD on July 2, 2013 at 4:55 AM Comments comments (0)

After the piece of bread, then Satan entered into him. Then Jesus said to him, "What you do, do quickly." John 13:27

 

I guess we all have a Judas in our life. Someone who walks with you, talks with you, pretends to be part of you, while all the while plotting to betray you. They are so close to you that it is easy to be deceived. This is the person who smiles in your face while stabbing you in the back.

 

This is the person who is supposed to be on your side but in reality is working against you. These are the people who will work with you for a while but will eventually turn their backs on you and often times leave you hanging. They have no loyalty. They are not faithful.

 

Now, don’t think it strange that you will have a Judas in your life if you are serving God. We already know that Jesus had Judas Iscariot. But there were others:

 

David had Absalom who was his own son, who turned against him.

 

Moses and Aaron had Korah, Dathan and Abiram who rebelled against their God-appointed authority.

 

Joseph had nine brothers who turned on him and sold him into slavery.

 

Samson had Delilah who pretended to love him while she was secretly plotting to turn him over to his enemies.

  

Daniel had the presidents and princes of the Medo-Persian empire who were supposed to be his coworkers but were secretly planning to have him killed.

 


Even God the Father had a Judas — Lucifer, an angel who God had set up to hover over his very throne, decided to rebel and turn his back on his Creator.

 

One of the main traits of a Judas is that this person will only work with you or stay with you as long as he or she is getting something out of it.

Watch out for people who run away from you when the going gets tough — you don’t want those kind of people around you.

 

God will often times trouble your spirit about someone who means you no good. This is part of the role of the Holy Spirit in your life as a believer; to warn you about things that you may not otherwise notice in the physical realm.

 

When you get around someone and your spirit always feels troubled in their presence, you better watch that person. If God starts to trouble your spirit about someone who is working with you, don’t brush it aside .

 

" Very truly, I tell you, whoever receives one whom I send receives me; and whoever receives me receives him who sent me.’ After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, ‘Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me." (John 13:20-21)

 

After Jesus felt troubled in his spirit, he identified Judas as his betrayer. David prophesied about the man who would betray the Messiah in Psalm 41:9 when he said,  “Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.”

 

Judas fulfilled this prophecy in relation to Jesus Christ. He was a friend of Christ and he was one of Christ’s disciples, he ate bread with Christ at the Last Supper, and then he turned on Christ, he lifted up his heel against him. I want you to notice that Judas’ betrayal actually moved Christ closer to fulfilling his purpose for coming to the earth. God used this bad situation for a purpose that was ultimately good.

 

The devil thought he had Jesus cornered when he got one of Jesus’ own disciples to turn against him. But all he was really doing was pushing God’s redemptive plan forward to its ultimate conclusion. God will oftentimes take a bad situation and use it for your good. In fact the Bible says in Romans 8:28 that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

 

So, if God has been troubling your spirit about a Judas in your ministry, your workplace, or your family, don’t worry. Go ahead and take the appropriate actions with the Lord’s leading. Don’t be concerned about how bad the situation looks. Don’t be shocked by a sudden change in someone who you thought you could trust. Make sure that you continue doing what God has called you to do and let the chips fall where they may.

 

You have everything you need

Posted by Karoline Bethea-Jones, PhD on June 29, 2013 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Isn't it wonderful that God has already given you everything you need to overcome any situation that arises in your life?

 

No matter what the problem, you already have the solution.

 

No matter the situation, you can overcome.

 

"No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. -1 Corinthians 10:13"

 

 

 

A Discussion on Eve

Posted by Karoline Bethea-Jones, PhD on September 9, 2012 at 7:30 AM Comments comments (0)

On Saturday, September 8, the SHSIC group began the series, Women of the Bible. The series began with an open letter to the daughters of the Most High King, read in first person by the character of Eve.  The presentation was made by Karoline Bethea-Jones and was created to introduce Eve as a biblical Allegory (having hidden spiritual meaning that transcends the literal sense of a sacred text).

 

The fictional letter was written by Eve in an attempt to teach us the meaning of the Genesis Garden Scene, before and after the fall. It's an attempt to explain what is sometimes difficult to understand and allow the student to open their minds to the possibilities and to step outside the box. The student should be able to understand that G-d had a very precise plan for his creatures and from the very beginning, the plan of salvation was set in place.

 

It is my hope, that all who study with us, will leave with a better understanding of scripture. That they will have a desire within them that causes them to lean toward independent study, allowing the Holy Spirit to teach them, trusting completely in the Creator.

 

Your Father in Heaven wants to have a relationship with you. He wants to talk with you in the cool of the day, just like with Adam and Eve. Don't be afraid to ask the difficult questions. If you are in need of answers, your Father is waiting to answer you.

 

I welcome your comments and your thoughts.

 

Sister Karoline Bethea-Jones

 

Christ Spirit Within Us

Posted by Karoline Bethea-Jones, PhD on August 19, 2012 at 8:40 AM Comments comments (0)

 

Good morning Ladies,

 

I am so thrilled to be called a child of the Most High King. I rejoice in all that He has given me. Knowledge and Wisdom, Joy and Peace; God is truly amazing! I try to bring you the word of God as He places it on my heart.

 

I don't come to you with fancy speeches or try to be something that I am not. I don't preach, I only teach the best I know how, using what God has given me; that is what God has called me to do.

 

I only hope that as I drop seeds of hope into your spirit, it will encourage you to seek God for yourself and develop a lasting relationship with Him.

 

There is no better relationship that you will have in this life or the next, than with your Heavenly Father. He wants to fellowship with you. He wants to be your best friend. And He is waiting patiently for you to come to Him.

 

I pray that you will use this site as a way of learning more about your Heavenly Father, and seek Him. He has promised that all who seek Him, will find Him. I will try to post information, Psalms and Scriptures that will uplift, enlighten and encourage your hearts.

 

Please feel free to add to this site as the Spirit moves you. Let God lead you in all that you do.

 

Sister Karoline Bethea-Jones

 

 

Love Never Fails...

Posted by Karoline Bethea-Jones, PhD on August 18, 2012 at 11:50 PM Comments comments (0)

 

Love is patient

 

True love is unconditional, that is, it does not depend on the attributes or lack thereof of the person loved, therefore, it is willing to give as much time necessary, and as much space as necessary for that person to grow.

 

love is kind and is not jealous

 

Love seeks to give others something of benefit for their welfare, and consequently, rejoices when they do benefit.

 

love does not brag and is not arrogant

 

To lift one's self up in reference to others leaves no room for unconditional, graceful love.

 

Love does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own

 

To act inappropriately, shamefully (morally, especially in the area of sexual purity) is not in accordance with true love. Love never seeks it's own gratificaiton but rather the interests of others.

 

Love is not provoked

 

Selfishness seeks to manipulate others by stimulating certain selfish emotions. Love will not do this to others, nor will it let it happen to itself.

 

Love does not take into account a wrong suffered

 

Forgivenss. Let it go. Bitterness is the acid. You are the container. Get rid of it or it will kill you.

 

Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth

 

Love does not somehow gloss over things that are going to be hurtful. True love originates from the truth.

 

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

If love really is unconditional, it will hold any weight, face any doubt, persist through hopelessness, and last any trial

 

Love never fails...

If it did, would it be love?

 

But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

 

Someday, faith will not be needed, for we will see God. Hope will not be needed, for when everything is fulfilled, there is no need for hope. But love, yes, to it there will be no end. If it did, it wouldn't be love.

 


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