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Guest Speaker Dr. Steven Collins

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Drawing from 1 Peter 3:15 and 2 Peter 1:16, Dr. Collins explains our calling as believers to offer factual evidence in favor of our faith and reminds us that the Bible is a book of history, as well as a record of spiritual truth. He also shares unpublished, unprecedented archaeological discoveries including the gateway of Sodom along the southern wall of the lower city.

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4/18/2012
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Guest Speaker Dr. Steven Collins
Dr. Steven Collins
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Drawing from 1 Peter 3:15 and 2 Peter 1:16, Dr. Collins explains our calling as believers to offer factual evidence in favor of our faith and reminds us that the Bible is a book of history, as well as a record of spiritual truth. He also shares unpublished, unprecedented archaeological discoveries including the gateway of Sodom along the southern wall of the lower city.
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Guest Speakers

Guest Speakers

Calvary Albuquerque is regularly host to special guest speakers. This series includes messages from many great Bible teachers including; Pancho Juarez, KP Yohannan, Mike Finizio, Don McClure, Bill Welch and others. These messages can be purchased as CDs from our online store, or by calling 1-800-922-1888.

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Greetings to our friends at Calvary Chapel Albuquerque and here we are at Biblical Sodom.  And we're standing on the Western edge of the city looking back, this way you could see the upper city in the distance about a kilometer from here.

Tell el-Hammam spreads over a hundred acre site that dates from the Chalcolithic period through the Middle Bronze Age with another occupation during Iron Age II, about 700 years later.  Walled City during the Middle of Bronze Age was massive encompassing 80 acres.  It is 600 meters x 800 meters.  The foundation of the wall is 4 meters thick, and would have been as much as 15 meters high with an outer sloping rampart 100 feet thick, constructed of tens of millions of mud bricks.  The size of the walled enclosure means that was one of the most influential cities in the entire region during the Bronze Age.   

The city was destroyed during the Middle Bronze Age and was not reoccupied until well into the Iron Age.  The site consists of an upper city, a lower city, the megalithic field and the later Roman period Bath-house. The upper area has a large Iron Age gate complex. The height of the Iron Age walls would have been almost 9 meters and encloses 15 acres of land.  The Iron Age city foundations cut into the earlier Bronze Age mud brick ramparts.  Excavation has revealed the mud brick walls of the Bronze Age Palace located on the pinnacle of the upper Tell overlooking the entire Jordan Valley.  From this point many other tells that were vassal sites can be seen.  Every single rock was carried up by human hands for construction of the city.

The lower areas are revealing many different types of structures from many different time periods.  Excavation of part of the lower Tell is uncovering a massive early Bronze Age City wall 6 meters thick.  Several courses of the original mud brick are still attached to the top of the stone foundation.  This wall would have been almost 50 meters high and encompassed and area of 80 acres several small gates have been discovered in the wall.  On the inside of the massive wall the foundations are in partial mud brick walls where dwellings have been preserved through the millennia.  Hundreds of thousands of pottery sherds have been discovered as the team excavates through the rubble of the destroyed civilization.  Building foundations are discovered to have been built right on top of previously existing walls demonstrating that the Bronze Age City was continuously occupied for more than 2,000 years.

In the middle of a lower area a large Bronze Age temple complex has been discovered. Unfortunately much of the archaeological remains have been plowed up by local farmers who used the area for growing bananas.  Foundations for walls, supporting pillars and altars are all that remain of the many structures in this area.  Near the temple complex is a series of buildings that are probably in the Iron Age Celtic Center.  It's built over Bronze Age administrative structures.  Just below a warm spring that still gives water is a massive Roman and Byzantine reservoir with an associated Roman Bath.  The structure is almost completely buried and measures 40 meters by 40 meters.  This water reservoir could have been part of the City of Livius the capital of the Province of Perea during the time of Tiberius in the First Century C. E.

Water flowed into the city and surrounding agricultural fields by a system of reservoirs aqueducts and naturally flowing springs from surrounding hills.  Up in the hills to the east of the
Tell, massive stone blocks and strange weather sandstone create an eerie landscape that was once a sacred place to honor the dead.  The massive stone structures are called dolmens erected during the Bronze Age. No one is certain what their exact function was but excavation has revealed that they were not tombs but monuments for memorializing the dead.  Undisturbed dolmens have only contained small amounts of pottery and other remains. Over 500 dolmens have been cataloged in the hills surrounding Tell el-Hummam.  There were probably over 1,500 original monuments in the area. The pottery excavated is painstakingly catalogued and analyzed.

Each period of history is typified by certain pottery types.  This is how the age of civilization is determined - by the pottery found in the context during excavation.  Thousands of pottery shards are discovered during an excavation each season and each one has to be read cataloged and photographed.  Tell el-Hammam along with many nearby sites has revealed a previously unknown city state civilization that was obviously a great regional power during the Bronze Age. (Phone ringing) I'd rather answer this -- Hi Gary.

(Indiana Jones theme)

Pastor Skip Heitzig:   Man that was close but I guess that really keeps you on the ball, doesn't it? Well, listen I want to introduce you to somebody that I consider the real Indiana Jones.  He's the archeologist par excellence.  He's a good friend of mine; he's a professor at Trinity Southwest University.  In fact, he's in charge of it, he's a lead archeologist over in Jordan in the dig of Sodom and he is speaking here tonight.  So please give a warm welcome to Dr. Steven Collins, the real Indiana Jones.

Dr. Steven Collins:    Thank you.  I am going to kill him.  Well, it's really good to be here tonight.  I know that we've spoke on this subject time and time again over the last seven years of our excavations in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan just about 14 peak miles northeast of the Dead Sea. And we'll get a chance to look at that in just a minute briefly so you'll know where we are. But what I want to share with you tonight is really new stuff. What we're going to see tonight hasn't seen the light of day since Sodom was destroyed almost 4,000 years ago and wasn't uncovered until the end of February.  So very, very recently, this is all new stuff. Almost everything we're going to see tonight was moving it's unpublished and in many ways it is unprecedented. So we're going to have a good time tonight.  I want to start tonight by taking a little bit different track than I have normally.

Let's start with 1 Peter if you've got your Bible tonight.  If you want to look at that we're going to go through a couple of Scripture passages together.  In 1 Peter 3:15, the apostle gives us an indicator as to how we are to handle unbelievers. He says, "Always be prepared to give an answer to every one who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." As a Christian hopefully you've got the 'walk' and not just the 'talk'. And when people see it, they ask questions as to, "Why are you like that?" I hope that's a good thing. When people ask us about the hope that we hold within ourselves, we are commanded here by Peter to be ready to give answers, offer evidence. Let's look at this passage. The word in this particular translation is 'to give the reason for the hope that's within you'.

Now that word 'reason' is the Greek word 'apologia' and what it means is to offer factual evidence.  It is actually a Greco-Roman legal term.  It refers to evidence offered in a court of law in favor of a claim.

So what Peter is asking us to do is when someone asks you about the hope that's within you, always are you ready, be at the instant to offer evidence.  You could even say offer proof that your faith is believable, that it isn't simply founded on faith but that it's founded on bedrock of fact.  Now, let me look, it's like in 2 Peter.  2 Peter 1:16, - When someone wants to know why we believe what we believe, what kinds of things are we supposed to tell them? Here it is, we did not follow cleverly devised stories, cleverly invented tales when we told you about Jesus Christ.  I'm cutting out a few words here because I want to get the essence of it. We didn't follow myths and fables when we talked to you about Jesus Christ but we were or eyewitness, very important word, we were eye witnesses.  We didn't make this stuff up this is what really happened. Now if you read the introductions to most of the Gospels, particularly Luke and the book of Acts, which he also wrote, it states very specifically that Luke did an investigation, did some pretty good snooping around with the eyewitnesses of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. And he specifically, Luke specifically wrote what the facts were.  And he tells Theofilus his buddy, "I'm writing all of these things so that you might know the exact truth about what has occurred, about what you've heard."

Now, I want to play off of this tonight.  We do not follow cleverly invented stories when we talk about the Bible, when we talk about our faith.  When we talk about the stories of Scripture, we are not talking about cleverly invented myths that somebody made up in order to prove some kind of spiritual or religious point.  The Bible is, some people will disagree with me on this but I guess you have a right to be wrong, it's America.  The Bible is first and foremost a book of history.  You'll say, "Oh no, it's theological book.  It's a book about spiritual truth."  Well it does have a pretty good bunch of that in it, that's for sure.  But the Bible, why I say the Bible is first and foremost a book of history, is simply that if the history in the Bible isn't true to begin with then how in the world could you possibly trust the spiritual perspective?  If you can't trust the Bible in what you can see and can touch and can measure, how do you think we might be able to trust it in what we cannot see?

The great thing about the Bible to me is that God has never asked us to believe most of what's in that book by faith. It is presented not as if the resurrection of Jesus, let's just go to the big 'numero uno' miracle, right? The big one, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead is not presented as a matter of faith. Now, we're called upon to have faith in Him but the event is presented as a simple straightforward perfectly physical matter of fact matter of history.

Now, we're going to talk about some archaeology tonight, what else would we talk about?  We don't follow cleverly devised tales when we talk about things in the Old Testament, when it comes to talking about Sodom and Gomorrah.  Somebody didn't make that up just to tell some kind of moralistic tale.  This is real history and we're going to demonstrate that tonight hopefully in a powerful way.

I want to start by this so, because the Bible is a historical document, it gives us factual information about real people, real places, real things and real events. In the light of that any attempt to support Biblical faith with unfounded claims, stands hoaxes, wild speculations is an insult to Biblical truth because it is grounded in historical fact. Now why do I even bring that up? Because I speak across America a lot and invariably after some of these presentations that I do, I have quite a few people come up to me and say, "Oh, did you see this on the Internet?  Have you heard; have you seen this video? Have you heard about this discovery?  And it really hurts me to have to say, "Well in fact that's a hoax".  There's so much out there, especially in the world of the internet, there's so much out there.

Folks just because it shows up on the internet, it does not mean it's true. Let me give you just a real quickie little catalogue, just briefly. Recent discoveries, supposedly supporting the Bible, here they are - pounce on your toes to bless your heart. Just go ahead and take your shoes off, the Spirit comes. Mt. Sinai in Arabia, completely unfounded, Egyptian chariot wheels found in the Red Sea it's a hoax. Ark of the Covenant found in a cave underneath Gordon's Calvary, heard that one?  It's a scam. This just came up in the last couple of weeks, a blood channel from the Temple mount to the Kidron Valley, do you know where the blood of the sacrifices of the temple ran out?  It's just a wild speculation; it has absolutely no basis in fact.  By the way, the reason I know about this is because my good friend, Wayne, Ritmeyer and I were asked to investigate it. Wood from Noah's Ark found on Mount Ararat, by the way, this particular - the most recent version of this was perpetrated by local Turkish – I don't know what you call them, tribal members in the area who scammed the bunch of archaeologists from Korea and China and actually they went through a huge expense to come look at this thing up in Mt. Ararat.

These people actually hobbed this wood from the Black Sea that looked really old and they built this Ark looking thing up there, let it go through a full season of snow and in scandal, these people, it's been all over the Internet, and it is a complete hoax. Giants found in excavations around the world that's been really making the rounds lately. It's a complete uttered absolute hoax.  Sodom and sulfur balls found near the Dead Sea below Masada, that one gets a lot of play.  It's a complete scam. Now, I'll just say, watch out for these things because we don't need untruth.  We don't need fabrications to support the historical authenticity of the Bible. We just don't need it.  The Bible can stand up quite well on its own thank you with real scientific investigation.

There are a lot of legitimate factual and scientific avenues that demonstrate the historical accuracy of Scripture.  Of course we're going to talk about Sodom tonight.  I'm going to bring you into the excavation.  But what I want to show you tonight is the point by point blow of the of the Scriptures regarding Sodom in the book of Genesis and specific archaeological discoveries within the last seven years, some of them within the last couple of months that verifies exactly what Scripture says.

What we're going to see is that these archaeological facts can prove almost everything said about Sodom in the book of Genesis. And one of the reasons why this is so important is simply because Sodom in the book of Genesis number one in the critical academic world is the most doubted book in the Bible.

If you're going to pick on a book that's full of myths and legends that's the one you pick on mostly. In the book of Genesis most scholars believe that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua are all fictitious for most scholars believe.  So the book of Genesis really gets a bum rap here most of the time in the in the scholarly world.  And the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is worse still, it's in the most doubted book in the most doubted part of the Bible stories – Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  And that particular story is the most doubted story in the patriarchal narratives. So if archaeology could demonstrate for us that not only did Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities of the plain exist but they were in exactly the right place according to the Bible.  They were exactly in the right time according to the Bible, they have all the earmarks of all the right stuff according to the Bible and they were destroyed in a manner exactly as the Bible says they were destroyed, if all of that could somehow line up, I think that would be pretty powerful. If we can prove the most doubted part of the Bible is true, archaeologically what does that say about the rest of it?

So what we're doing here tonight picking on the worst-case scenario for archaeology. Can we really prove that this thing exists and that the events happened as the Bible says they happened?  The answer to that question is 'yes'.  Now let's just quickly look at the geography of Sodom and Gomorrah.  I'm not going to go over this tonight; we've gone over this before many times, study the book of Genesis Chapter 13: 1-12, that will give you all the nuts and bolts were Sodom is located.  But just in case you forgot - by the way there were scholars in the past who forgot to take the Bible seriously as a geographical document.  But here's what I say about that, if in the past archaeologists and Bible scholars had taken the Sodom tales seriously, which they didn't. They would have discovered the civilization in the land of the Kikkar, or the plain a long time ago. But they didn't take the Bible seriously and no, they didn't locate city.

But we did and we did – we took the Bible seriously and we found it. Now here is where it's located, this is the north end of the Dead Sea. This is the Kikkar, the disk; this is what the Bible says as the land where Sodom and Gomorrah is located.  It is called the plain of the Jordan.  That phrase is the Kikkar, the disk of the Jordan. It is that alluvial plain north of the Dead Sea.  Now this is where it is, the Bible says that when Lot lifted up his eyes from Bethel and Hai from there, he looked over and he saw that the plain of the Jordan was well watered.  The Kikkar, the Jordan was a great agricultural area and he looked toward Sodom and he traveled eastward from Bethel and Hai and pitched his tent as far sought.  So there it is, exactly where the Bible says it should be located.

Some people have located in the Dead Sea region, say toward the southern half or even the south end of the Dead Sea but there is a severe problem with that.  There's zero evidence for that, the Bible says it's not there, it is north of the Dead Sea.  There are no cities and towns dating to the time of Abraham and Lot around the Dead Sea, in the Dead Sea valley proper.  So this southern idea of Sodom strikes out in almost every category.  Now that's the right place, the right place is northeast of the Dead Sea.  The right time, let's just look at that briefly; the right time is the Middle Bronze Age.  Abraham and Lot belong to that period of time we call the Middle Bronze Age that goes from 2000 B.C. down to about 1600 B.C. that's the time frame of the Middle Bronze Age and that's where the Bible puts Sodom and Gomorrah and its destruction.

Now, I'm not going to belabor that point but all that great historical scholars, Albright, today Kenneth Kitchen who wrote a masterful book that you should own on the reliability of the Old Testament.  They all put Abraham in the Middle Bronze Age.  This is the proper place for him.  Genesis 10 mentions Sodom and Gomorrah and Admah and Zeboim, the cities of the plain.  And Genesis 10 is the chapter in the Bible that gives us the table of nations but it also gives us the foundation of urban development.  This is the time when great walled cities were being built throughout the Middle East, what we call the Fertile Crescent in Egypt and the Levine (ph) Mesopotamia.  And so, Genesis 10 gives us a picture of this period of history, where the very first cities are being built.  It mentions Babylon, Nineveh, Akad, other great cities of Mesopotamia but it also mentioned Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboim, the cities of the plain.

And so, not only do we have to have a site that dates to the time of Abraham and Lot but we have to have a city that goes back much further than that in time, back to the earliest development of cities or fortified cities and that is the Early Bronze Age.  So let's go back and look at that.  There's the Early Bronze Age, there's the Middle Bronze Age.  Abraham and Lot belonged to the Middle Bronze Age. Genesis 10 - that belongs to the Early Bronze Age, to the time of the earliest building of the earliest cities.  Now, let's look at some stuff.  We're in the right place, Tell el-Hammam, our site in Jordan is at the right timeframe. But tonight I want to focus on the discoveries.  What are we finding? What is there? And I will tell you that this season, particularly at the end of the season; say the last part of February was the most exciting couple of weeks that we've seen in seven years of excavation.  Things started happening so fast and things were coming out in such a dramatic way that it was absolutely unbelievable and I'm so excited to be able to share some of this with you tonight. Now, we're just going to go through certain passages in the book of Genesis and see what the Bible has to say specifically about the city Sodom. What did it look like? What's it like?

There are some very good indicators about this city.  In the 19th chapter of Genesis first verse, we see that Lot was sitting in the gateway of Sodom.  It is a city, it is a large city. Now, the city of Sodom, this is Dr. Leen Ritmeyer's recent reconstruction drawling of the city of Sodom during the Middle Bronze Age and you can see that there is an upper city to the right, to the left a larger encircling lower city and there are also many more little villages around it that we haven't included in this drawling yet.  Now, just to look at it here's the north end of the Dead Sea. Everybody is familiar with Jericho, there's Jericho across the river.  Also we have a site just to the north of us that is probably the seat of another, what we call city stage and then of course the area of Tell el-Hammam, Sodom is in this region now.  Sodom probably controlled the entire Kikkar both sides of the river.  It was that big and that powerful and during the time of Abraham, of course Jericho was not even mentioned in the Bible, not until the book of Joshua, even though we know it existed it was sort of just a satellite because frankly Tell el-Hammam was about 10 or 12 times larger than Jericho.  So Jericho is king of a peanut out there on the Kikkar and really doesn't even come into play in the Abraham story.  But this is where we'll locate it.

Now I've done a little bit of a doctrine of this photo to show you what we know.  Now this little reconstruction of the southern city wall of the lower city of Sodom is actually 100% of what we're looking at here is confirmed in the archaeological excavations.  This is based on the foundations, so what we're seeing here in the drawling is a little simple reconstruction based on the found stone foundations that are exposed through excavation or through tracing along the surface.  You can see that there are a number of defensive towers and you can see toward the right-hand side the gateway of Sodom which by the way we have no idea that it was there until February 15th. So I want you to get a sense of how recent this is.  I'm still shaking that dust out of my clothes from this.

Now we're going to look at gate in gory detail tonight but I just want you to get a sense of it.  By the way, from the right-hand side, from the right-hand gate tower to the far tower on the left-hand side of the photograph is about 600 meters, that's really large. You might say, 'Well, you know, it's not as big as my neighborhood'.  It is not as big by modern standards but by ancient standards this city is in the top 1% of size for all cities in Israel and Jordan during the ancient times.  So we're looking at a city that is either the largest Bronze Age city in the southern Levine east of Jordan, or it's possibly the second largest city, we're kind of having a little battle with Hazor, which one was bigger in which periods. But they were both very large on the upper end of the scale.

Here's Leen Ritmeyer's drawing again.  Now you can see that there are two, actually three excellent water sources very close to the site, on the north and on the south.  It's surrounded by – they are not perennial rivers today because they are damned up.  But in antiquity, they were perennially flowing streams.  They ran all year round, probably even in the dry season in the summer and fall.  And they had lots of water, not only that just a few kilometers to the west lays the great Jordan River.  Plus there are about seven or eight springs on the site that constantly gush water. Some of them fresh cool water, some of them hot, iron-y, sulfur-y water, so they you know, get a good bath if they needed it.

Now, Genesis 19:1-2, remember we said, there was a gateway, first, before I get to the gateway, now, this is tied to the gateway but it mentions a square.  Remember Lot sat on the gateway of Sodom, in the city of Sodom, but then there was a city square when the messengers of Yahweh, the angels came, they insisted that they stay in the square area.  Well that means there's a plaza.

Now, in an ancient world there are gates and then there is usually a plaza on the inside of the gate and a plaza on the outside of the gate.  So there's a city square on the outside and there's a city square on the inside of the gate.  This is where commercial business is conducted.  This is where Lot sat, by the way why was Lot sitting in the gate?  He was sitting in the gate probably as a judge.  Now remember he was a nomad.  He and Abraham lived in tents, they ran flocks and herds. What's he doing buying a house and living in Sodom?  Well, some of these ancient, what we might call Hebrew warlords as they were, because they had standing armies, they would often be wealthy enough as Lot certainly was, to purchase land inside of a major city with which they were associated at certain times of the year when they were there with their flocks and herds.

 

And so Lot obviously bought some real estate and maybe because he was a nomad himself he was sort of placed on the city Council to adjudicate problems with local Bedouin with local nomadic and semi-nomadic people. So maybe that's why Lot sat on the gate. They probably said and to him, "Lot, you understand these people.  You deal with them for us."  And maybe got a discount on his house, who knows, for performing a service but there was a plaza in Sodom.  Well, guess what? As a result of the last two seasons excavations we have on earth the main inner and outer plazas at Sodom and here they are.  Now, you can actually see both of them here.  You can see the main city wall running diagonally right through the middle of the picture.  If you'll look at some of the folks standing in the photo you will see the size of the walls and the thickness of the walls.  You will see some of them with bricks, you will also see a square-ish tower right out there to the left and if I get my little curser to wake up, do you see it right here.  See this tower.  Here's the old Early Bronze city wall, here's the Middle Bronze city wall from the time of Abraham and what's interesting about that, is that, there is a plaza on the outside. Here's the plaza area, here are some bricks from the plaza area and right inside is a retaining wall.  If you'll look at this wall right here, there's a retaining wall that divides the public area for the residential area to the right and against the city wall you can see that there is a place right here.  See how nice and flat that is.  That's a walking surface.  That's part of the plaza.  So, here we are in the archaeology, in the dirt,  uncovering it from the Middle Bronze Age, from the time of Abraham, inside the gate and not only that there's a gate plaza.

So, here we're looking at a piece of architecture, an architectural feature actually mentioned in the Bible. Now, Genesis 19:1, Lot sat in the gateway.  This is not Lot, this is Abdurahman, and he has grown up on the excavation of Tell el-Hammam.  He was about maybe 8 or 9 years old – 10 when he started.  Now, he's a quite strapping young man. He's also in charge of our tools on the site and you can see how he has been very all the – picks or the large tools, nice and neatly arranged for everybody to come in for the local Jordanian workers to come and pick up and use for the day.  But what's interesting about this is he is just about sitting in the gateway of Sodom. It's right under that stool and we actually haven't excavated it yet in this picture.

Of course before you excavate, you've got to eat. This is Magluba – now, most of it is gone, and it was much prettier than this.  My art photographer couldn't even get a good photograph of it this season before.  The team just devoured it and then this is my very, very good friend who owns the mosque where we store our tools.  This is Abu Akhmed, he's our site guard, and he takes care of things.  In fact one day I got a little call from Abu Akhmed and his English is almost non-existent and my Arabic is worse.  So we're talking on the phone and he says something about Chinese tourists, Chinese tourists and I said, "What about Chinese tourists?" So I couldn't understand what he was saying, so I said, "I'll call you back." So I called my associate Hussein Aljarah from the excavation and I said, "Please call Abu Ahmed is really upset, please call him and then call me back and let me know what in the world is going on". So he calls.

The minute Hussein calls me back, he said, "Abu Akhmed has a whole bus load of Chinese tourists cornered and he's throwing rocks at them." And that's not the first time. But he's very, very touchy about letting anybody up on the site. He kind of over does it a bit but Abu Akhmed he has a case.  By the way, the first time I saw him, the very first time I walked up, the very first day of the excavation in 2005, I was walking up and Abu Akhmed was over here working on his garden.  He ran sheep and banana fields and all kinds of stuff, quite wealthy by the standards of the area.  And he's working over there in his garden and I'm walking up and he looks up at me and he says, "If you find the gold and you don't give it to me I will shoot you".  And you have to take that just itty bitty bit seriously in that part of the Jordan Valley because we do call it the wild West and everybody is armed to the teeth and the even though guns are legal in Jordan except for shotguns for shooting doves but everybody is loaded down there.

So they're all packing, in fact I have to tell this little story.  This was just from - just a few weeks ago.  In fact it may have been this day when we were sitting there eating.  Abu Akhmed was talking to me.  He was so happy that day and so he was just talking about everything and there was a big black Hummer sitting right by the mosque. And he says, "That car belongs to my daughter."  I said, "Oh, nice".  By the way, in that culture and this happened to me, in fact it happened with Abu Akhmed. Last winter, two or three winters – We came out on a really cold day, wearing a really nice big overcoat all the way to the ground, right, nice stripes on the sleeves and I said, "Wow, Abu Akhmed looking good. I like that jacket." Guess who owns it now.  Yeah, I got it. So you have to be really careful because that's – very much that Bedouin culture, you say you like it, you get it. So on purpose this day, I said, "Wow! I really like that car".   It didn't work - rats.

Well anyway, the dominant clan in that part of the valley doesn't like government a lot. They don't like buying things like license plates for their cars or drivers licenses, or they don't like paperwork.  So they don't, they don't carry a driver's license, they don't have plates on their vehicles.  So he was telling me, "Oh my daughter, she was riding up in her big black hummer, she was riding up to Hammam and she got stopped right out there in the highway by policemen." By the way, two of his sons are policemen.  And the policeman he said – he asked her for her driver's license and she had a 9mm Glock laying on the passenger's seat.  She picked it up, just palmed it like this.  And showed it to him, this is my license. "Thank you Ma'am, go right on your way".  That's the way it works and the police know it in that part of the world. So we have a very interesting time, believe me. I was going to say, we could just tell stories, we got time. So the first time I saw Abu Akhmed, he said, "If you don't give me some of the gold you find, I will shoot you".  Now, what's interesting about that is that, everybody in that area, everybody thinks we're digging for gold.

There's an Arabic tradition that when the Ottoman Turks left the area, when the British came in, that was before World War II, the end of the British mandate.   When all that came down, it was said that the Ottomans buried their gold hoards all over Jordan. And so all the locals in Jordan are completely convinced that that's what archeology is all about.  We're all there looking for gold. We must have maps; we must have secret information and everything.  I will go to my little bank, I have an account there for the dig at the Housing Bank of Trade and Finance right there in Shunan or excavation.  And the first time I walked in and sat down with the bank manager and as soon as Hussein mentioned, I'm an archeologist, he turns to me and he says, "Have you found the gold?"

A couple of years ago we went up and talked to the military commanders who had their base right up behind our site.  And we went to two commanders at the two different parts of the base and each time, "Oh by the way, have you found the gold?" So it's just a universal story that we cannot get away from it.  But no, we're not digging for gold; the real gold is the history that we excavate.  Now, look at these yellowy mud bricks. By the way, these mud bricks are the top of what's left of the old Early Bronze Age, shall we say the old Genesis 10 city wall.  It was basically torn down to this level and built over by much larger fortification as we'll see but this is the beginning of the excavation of this particular area.   Now what we found against that wall, what I'm pointing to is a very clear line of demarcation between those yellowish mud bricks that I'm kneeling on in this photograph.  And the brownish mud bricks in front of me and you can see the seam between those two laid mud brick types. What is in front of me is a Middle Bronze age addition using the foundation of the top of the old Early Bronze age city wall.  I mean, why waste it, it's there, you use it.  And so, that's what that is.  But I want you to notice the width of that wall it is 3.10 meters, 10 feet thick.

There is the tower, do you see its foundation on the outer lower side has been extended. The stone foundation actually is fatter, why because that's the heavy downside or down slope side. But you can see that tower now, you really can't tell the size of it until you actually jump in the picture. You see the chamber and that chamber in the center there is surrounded by 10 foot thick walls.  That tower is 37 feet by 46 feet on a side. It stood probably as much as 45 feet high. It's a huge, huge tower. It is, we didn't know it at the time, but by the time we got to the end of the season we knew, this is the left monumental gate tower of the main city gate at Sodom.  This is it, you're looking at it.

Now, as you look down upon it, you can see the folks working on the same tower, you can see clearly the city wall foundation of the Middle Bronze Age and you can see the scope and the scale of what's happening here. Here's another look at it.  Now what's interesting is the folks working on the right hand side of the picture, they don't know it yet, when this photo was taken they didn't know, they hoped but they didn't know, they were actually excavating the passage way of the main city gate.  We have been looking for that thing for seven seasons. The first day I visited Tell el-Hammam a little over 10 years ago and we got there, remember based on following the Bible to the location, when I walked up on that site, the first thing that went on my wish list, the number one thing on my archaeological wish list was I've got to have the gateway of Sodom. I want to find the gate that Lot sat in, that's what I want.

Now, there are lots of things on that list.  But that was number one and that thing had been eluding us for seven seasons.  We couldn't find it.  We have big sections cut out by bulldozers, by the militaries some 20 or 30 years ago, 40 years ago.  We thought maybe it was in those places because it just eluded us we couldn't find it What's interesting is that it turns out to be located exactly where we had started our first trench on the lower tell, where we've been working for four seasons, we've been wheelbarrowing over it, walking over it, eating our lunches on it and it was there all along.  So there it is, now - Dr. Leen Ritmeyer was certainly a very important part of this.  He was called in because he is the world's leading expert on ancient architecture, ancient Bronze and Iron Age architecture.  He has done the architectural reconstruction drawings for over 70 major excavations in Israel alone.  He is the expert and so when Leen talks I listen, we just listen.  When Leen gets going it is like a freight train.  In four or five days he will have it all figured out and he will have drawings begun.  Here he is bringing our team over and he is now lecturing.  He's been there three days and in three days he has said, now if you'll measure from there to there, you will find the other side of the wall.  Dig – Oh there it is, we found it. He says okay, if you'll measure you should find the other tower – measured it, found it.

And he just goes, "Symmetry, it's all about symmetry".  I hadn't thought of that.  So here's Leen after three days lecturing some members of our team on what this all does, how it works, what it looks like.  It's fantastic, I stood back, I'm standing here, listening to the world's leading authority on ancient architecture describe our new gate, the gate I've been looking for since the beginning.  And all of a sudden I realized what's happening, and I mean just tears just squirted out of my eyes inside of my sun glasses. I couldn't help it, it was just - it was one of those moments that – here it is Monumental City Gate, check.  If Ritmeyer says it, I check it, I'd take it to the bank.  Here we are conferring, that's Jordan's top archaeologist right there on the right.  When Leen works, it comes in a flurry.  Here's Leen and I, I love this picture, Leen and I standing in the gateway of Sodom.

By the way before we ever excavated this gate, Carol Cobbs the supervisor over the area asked Leen, "Leen, if we find the main city gate, how wide should it be?" Two meters, do you know what that gate width is? Two meters, now, this is the end of our little gate time. Can you see, I'm standing on the left, in the tower, do you see me? And Leen is standing in the gate, in the main city gate. Now, I'm going to punch a button and I'm going to give you a shadow version of what the gate complex looked like.  And we're still going to be standing there. This will just give you aa sense of the scope of it.  That's what the gate complex looks like.  Now, this is my little doodling, Leen will do the official one at some point in time.  But I just wanted to do this to give you a sense, you see Leen standing right in the main entryway, which would have been an arched mud brick gateway. So, this is the size based on the foot, this is precisely the size.  By the way, I drew this right on the stones from the photographs.  So this is exactly the proper scale.  So that's what it looks like. Folks I'm so excited to say, "Welcome to the gateway of Sodom", there it is.

Well since Lot lived in the house, we're going to this really quickly but I'm going to take you through, now, I'm not saying that this is Lot's house. But there are some things about Lot's house that are very specific and here they are. They entered Lot's house, he prepared a meal - that got a kitchen.  Men from every part of the city surrounded the house - that means it's got to be surrounded by alleyways, it's freestanding, right? And then Lot closed the door.  Remember they were trying to get in the house, and Lot, they closed the door, it's got doors, it's got rooms, it's got a courtyard for cooking.  They didn't cook inside, they had outside cooking.  This may not be the house of Sodom probably isn't, but it looks like it. Here it is, right here there that's the outside wall, there some rooms, and there is the house.   Now, we haven't excavated all of it yet but it has so far an alleyway or a street going all around it. It seems to be a freestanding complex.

Now look at this, here's the kitchen.  It doesn't look much like a kitchen to me.  Well, you've got a stone harf over here, a stone cutting slab over here on the right.  You've got several little installations.  Here is the excavator, my assistant director Gary Byers supervising this area and here you see the cutting stone.  Here you see the harfs in the middle of the room.  Here you see one of the grinding stones in the kitchen. Of course there are other grinding stones around, a little bit of the excavation.  Here's a large pot sitting in the kitchen.  Here's one of the small bowls with many, many vessels in the kitchen.  And my favorite little kitchen implement, this is the handy-dandy roulette wheel you can roulette beautiful designs right across a flat breads, right across your tortillas and the there you go.

Now, let's get to the nitty-gritty, we'll close with this - The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Here it is, Yahweh rained down a conflagration and lightning, brimstone, no.  Goprit means in this context lightning on Sodom and Gomorrah from Yahweh out of the heavens.  He overthrew the cities, the entire Kikkar including all those living in the cities and also all the vegetation in the land.  What does it look like, bone scattered, human bones everywhere bodies literally blown apart, skeletons ripped and torn, joins hyper-flexed, this guy was chard off at mid-femur, absolutely stunning stuff, and again, bones scattered everywhere.  What do you find in the destruction of Sodom? Oh they played games, here's a gaming board of wheel from a wagon, a bead, a pair of - jewelry and implements of bronze, all found in the destruction.  Of coarse seals come from tombs in the area we did probes, do you see the color of that there, the entire outer plaza area where we did these probes is completely covered huge area completely covered with a half meter of Cuban 20 inches of dark ash from the destruction of the city.  That ash is lying right on the plaza; here I am just playing in the ash just giving you an idea about the piles of ash, the destruction of Sodom. I'll close with this, ash of Sodom, here it is. I can't open it because it's got to be analyzed, but you're welcome to see it afterwards.

Let's go to God in prayer.  Lord, we thank you for who you are.  We thank you for the joy of confirming the reality of your Scriptures that what you tell us is true, the Old Testament and New Testament that ultimately and finally shines light on the identification of Jesus Christ the Son of God who gave his life on the cross for the sins of the world and rose from the dead that we might have life in his name we pray, Amen.

Additional Messages in this Series

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Date Title   Watch Listen Notes Share Save Buy
7/30/2000
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None of These Things Move Me
Acts 20:17-24
Don McClure
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1/24/2001
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Making Failure a Friend
Luke 5:4-8
Chip Lusko
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4/17/2002
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Where Is The World Going?
2 Peter 3:2-12
Chip Lusko
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7/10/2002
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The Message In The Mirror
2 Corinthians
Chip Lusko
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5/14/2003
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Currency of the Kingdom: Winning When You Die
Matthew 6:19-21
Chip Lusko
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1/28/2004
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Underestimating God
Ephesians
Chip Lusko
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2/25/2004
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1 Kings 12 - 14
1 Kings 12-14
Dave Row
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2/29/2004
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Special Guest: John Miller
Psalms 23
John Miller
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3/3/2004
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1 Kings 15
1 Kings 15
Bill Holdridge
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4/28/2004
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For Our Good and His Glory
Romans 8:28
Dave Row
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5/19/2004
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God Wants Your Attention!
Revelation 16:1-11
Terry Gray
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7/14/2004
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Dealing with Doubt
Matthew 11:1-11
Dave Row
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7/25/2004
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God's Perfecting Work
Matthew 5:48
Mike Finizio
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7/28/2004
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When the Found Become Lost
Matthew 6:19-24
Neil Ortiz
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11/3/2004
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Guest Speaker K.P. Yohannan
K.P. Yohannan
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12/22/2004
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The Shepherd of Bethlehem
Bill Welsh
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12/29/2004
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Risking it All
Matthew 10:34-39
Matt Ellison
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1/23/2005
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Guest Speaker Don McClure
Don McClure
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1/26/2005
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Guest Speaker Greg Opean
2 Kings 4:8-17
Greg Opean
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2/9/2005
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Special Worship Service
Dave Row
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3/2/2005
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Guest Speaker Greg Laurie
Greg Laurie
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3/9/2005
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Guest Speaker Gayle Erwin
Gayle Erwin
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4/6/2005
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Talking to God
Matthew 6:5-13
Dave Row
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4/17/2005
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The Nourishing to the Inner man
Ephesians 3
Pancho Juarez
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6/8/2005
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Maturity: Life at the Big Table
Ephesians 4:11-15
Dave Row
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6/15/2005
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Our Body Language
Romans 12:1-12
Alan Brooks
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8/24/2005
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How Jesus prays for us
John 17
Bill Holdridge
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Ever wonder why or how Jesus prays for us and that if we know He does, how should we really be acting and thinking? Our guest speaker Pastor Bill brings out the vital points of prayer teaching how Jesus prays for us. The Apostles and Disciples hear the beautiful words of their master as Jesus speaks to His Father about us. As we hear and read the prayers of Jesus we must never forget that Jesus is full of thoughts of us and He will be praying for those who love him. So, do you want to know what Jesus prays for you?
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8/28/2005
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The Pearl of Great Price
Matthew 13:45-46
Malcolm Wild
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8/31/2005
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Acts 18:1-11
Acts 18:1-11
Tom Stipe
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Paul was a man who went to the people; he did not wait for the people to come to him. Are you waiting for those to hear you preach or teach or are you willing to go out and bring the gospel to men? Senior Pastor Tom Stipe of Crossroads Church in Denver brings us a vital message from the book of ACTS concerning our approach in preaching the gospel and uses Paul as the example of how a single man brought the gospel to folks in his sphere of influence. Pastor Tom challenges us to not be afraid or have fear when we do preach the gospel. Are you willing to step out and be confronted by the public, friends or loved ones? God did through Jesus, so why not you?
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10/5/2005
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Before...
Isaiah 6:1-8
Matthew Ellison
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10/9/2005
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Garment of Perfection
Colossians 3:12-17
Al Pittman
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12/21/2005
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The Jesus Painter
Mike Lewis
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12/28/2005
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Guest Speaker: Paul Scozzafava
Matthew 7:15-23
Paul Scozzafava
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Do you believe every thing you see and hear? Do you know how to discern what is true and what is false? Would you recognize a false prophet? Senior Pastor Paul Scozzafava, from Calvary Santa Fe, gives us three import things to understand in our daily walk of our Christian life that will help us discern what is good and right and who it is that is not. Be sure of who you are and who you belong to, for God, through Jesus, will have it no other way. So, do you know?
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12/31/2005
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New Year's Eve 2005
Chip Lusko
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1/1/2006
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Guest Speaker Greg Opean
Ezra 3:1-7
Greg Opean
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Who among us has not failed? Who among us can truthfully say I can make it on my own? The Israelites failed and walked in disobedience, but God used and allowed circumstances to bring His people back to a place of worship. Pastor Greg Opean presents a stimulating message of returning to the God of our lives as we read in the Book of Ezra how the people met and rebuilt the alter of God to renew their worship with God.
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1/4/2006
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Beloved, How Shall We Live?
2 Peter 3:1-13
Dave Row
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How shall we live if we are so loved? How should we act if we are given so much? And how is it that we still cling to things that will be burned up? Peter advises believers on how to live in the face of scoffers and mockers. He urges the believer to live in a way that is unmovable in perilous times. Pastor Dave Row delivers a stimulating message from 2 Peter on how we are to live knowing that the Lord is coming. If we know this then, Beloved How Shall We Live? The answer is holy, wholly, and ready at any moment for the coming of our Lord!
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1/18/2006
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All in the Family
1 Corinthians 11:17-34
Dave Row
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Do you drink from the communion cup to merely quench your physical thirst or do you drink it in communion with the body of Christ and with the Lord as your focus? Paul writes to the Corinthian church stressing the importance of putting aside selfishness and coming together for the right reasons. Pastor Dave Row brings thought provoking insights into the real communion of the body of Christ and why we join to celebrate the remembrance of Jesus. So, do you simply enjoy the meal on the table or do you enjoy the One who put the food on the table?
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2/12/2006
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Divine Breathings
Colossians 4:1-9
Ray Bentley
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Have you ever said something concerning God and knew that it was not from you? Or have you ever done something for someone that was good and you knew it was way out of your character? Well you're not alone. Paul did many things concerning the work of God and knew that God gave him the Divine Breathings of the Holy Spirit to do them. Guest speaker Pastor Ray Bentley provides thought provoking words that will stir you to evaluate your prayer life and your walk in Christ before others.
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3/1/2006
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Love Never Fails
1 Corinthians 13
Dave Row
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Is it true that All you need is love? The rock group The Beatles seemed to think so, Paul the Apostle thought so, and you should also think so. Love is what God is all about, for love is the very nature of God. Pastor Dave Row speaks to us about love, what it is, and what it is not. Pastor Dave shares from the book of I Corinthians, Chapter 13, breaking down the elements of love. If there is one thing you can count on concerning love, it is that Love Never Fails. Pastor Row presents three aspects of love that we should know, including The Significance of Love, The Substance of Love, and The Superiority of Love.
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3/5/2006
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Guest Speaker Don McClure
Psalms 46
Don McClure
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God tells us to be still and to know that He is God. Do you rest in Him when the storms come, or do you run to the confines of your mind to figure things out? David knew God and the peace and rest that can be found in Him. Pastor Don McClure reminds us of a different world where we should dwell as we grow in our understanding of the things God would have us to do in times of trouble. Psalm 46:10 tells us to be still and know that He is God. Are you too busy to know God on a deep level or do you dwell in the throne room of your Lord and receive His strength for your refuge? God has a plan for you and it can only be for good. Step into His world and know Him.
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3/8/2006
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The Beauty of Brokenness
Psalms 51
Chip Lusko
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Has God broken you? Have you remained humble? What does it take to live in a place of brokenness so you will be readily used by God? In Psalm 51, David speaks about how God will use a contrite and broken heart. Pastor Chip Lusko brings insight into this Psalm as we hear how brokenness forms a beauty that God delights in. Are you willing to be broken or will you remain aloof and hope God will use you? Think about it.
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3/12/2006
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The Heart of the One God Uses
Nehemiah 1:1-4
Robert Furrow
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Have you longed to be used by God? What does it take to be used of God? Nehemiah prepared his heart with prayer and fasting, David prepared his heart during a long night with the sheep. Both Nehemiah and David knew the God of their fathers. Pastor Robert Furrow provides clarity from the book of Nehemiah with insights on "Having a Usable Heart Before God." If you desire to be used by God you will need to have a Usable Heart Before God.
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3/15/2006
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The Beatitudes
Matthew 5:1-12
Calvary Pastors
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Do we have blessings from God? If so, do we know what they are? In the book of Matthew we find a list of blessings that Jesus proclaims can be ours. Pastors Nelson Walker, Dale Coffing, Neil Ortiz, and Alan Brooks joined together to bring us insight into the Beatitudes. We should be encouraged to personalize these blessings for digestion into our soul.
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3/19/2006
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Be Filled With the Spirit
Ephesians 5:18-21
John Miller
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What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit? How do you know if you are filled with the Holy Spirit? The book of Ephesians helps us understand what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Pastor John Miller conveys four key points on how to be filled with the Holy Spirit and the consequence of this filling of the Spirit.
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3/22/2006
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Eyewitnesses
1 John 1:1-4
Dave Row
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News media resources count on names such as "Eyewitness News" or "Action News" because these names say something about their mission. Have you been faithful to repeat what you have seen or heard about Jesus Christ? The Book of 1 John gives us keen insight into the heart of John as Pastor Dave Rowe elaborates on the writings of John from the perspective of joy. Pastor Dave challenges us to seek this joy by telling others about Jesus. So, as you share about Jesus, notice that your joy becomes complete.
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3/26/2006
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The Perfect Diet
John 4:31-38
Dave Row
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What foods do you enjoy and how much do you enjoy them? Jesus had food that the disciples thought they understood, but clearly they where thinking on an earthly plain. Senior Pastor Dave Row takes us to a place that will challenge our hearts and minds as we learn just what The Perfect Diet is for us. Pastor Dave gives us several things to consider as we look at the perspective of the Apostles versus the perspective of Jesus. So, are you eating junk or do you have a heavenly diet?
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3/29/2006
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Light vs. Darkness
1 John 1:5-2:2
Dave Row
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Can light and darkness join as one? Can God take away our darkness and bring us into the glorious light? The Apostle John writes in 1 John that God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all. This statement is the very truth that gives us hope for our God is holy and full of light. Many may offer light, but only One is the true light and that One is the Son of God, Jesus Christ. So, what is your light?
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4/2/2006
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Does God Speak Today?
Psalms 19
Scott Richards
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Does God really speak to us? If so, how does this happen? If it does happened, how do I know what He's saying? These are good questions and a young King David learned the answers to these questions in God's outdoor classroom. God speaks to us in a still small voice and gives us His word to confirm His love for us. You can know that God does speak to us today by becoming His child and reading His word. In these ways we can see how God leads us from glory to glory. So, how about you? Are you tuning in on the right frequency or are you still dialing through the world of stations?
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4/5/2006
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Behavior vs. Bravado
1 John 2:3-11
Dave Row
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Some questions are hard to ask sometimes, especially if those questions are directed at us. Questions like "Do we really love God?", "How do we know we love God?", and "What does it look like to love God?" can really be tough. Many good men strive to do what is right, but unless we know God and we follow His commandments we do not know the truth. John writes words aimed at helping us understand the free will choice we have to make daily to love God. So, if you really want to understand what it means to have a deep love for God or to know where you stand, just listen to what John has to say to us through the Holy Spirit.
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4/9/2006
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Samson - a life of Compromise
Judges 13-16
Brian Michaels
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What does it take to keep a promise or vow? Do we really understand the commitment of keeping our words? In the book of Judges Samson clearly demonstrates that he neither understood nor took seriously the instructions of his parents concerning the keeping of the Nazirite vow. We will see that compromise leads to more compromise and ultimately to our demise. But God is gracious and if we repent and turn from our evil ways God will, as He did with Samson, grant us grace. So, when you sign that paper, say those words, or make that promise…, be sure you understand what it's all about.
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4/12/2006
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Permanent Love vs. Passing Lust
1 John 2:12-17
Dave Row
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As a believer, are you ready to choose between the passing pleasures of sin or staying the course even if you are called to suffer? The way you live your life is a testimony to the internal nature of your convictions. Any way that leads away from the Lord leads to destruction. This world and its destructive lusts will come to an end, but one who is continually doing the will of God has a front row seat to eternity. Where is your seat located, in the aisle of destruction or on the front row or eternity?
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4/14/2006
completed
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Good Friday Service 2006
Calvary Pastors
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What does Good Friday mean to you? Is it just another Friday? Is it just a day off from school or work? For the Christian, Good Friday is the day we pause in remembrance that Jesus, the sacrificial Lamb of God, was slain for the sins of humanity. It is the time when we remember that Jesus was rejected by man and selected for sacrifice, and that He suffered unimaginable pain and torture as He was scourged and crucified. It is the day we remember that the One who was without sin became sin for each one of us. Let this Good Friday be like no other Friday in your year as you remember the price He paid for you.
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4/16/2006
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Easter Sunrise Service 2006
Ryan Dobson
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Jesus Christ is risen! It's not about a fancy holiday outfit, candy, or anything other than the fact that He is risen. Are you passionate about your walk with Him? Are you committed to do the things He calls you to? Considering the love He has for each one of us, the sacrifice He made for each one of us, and the depth of knowledge He has about each one of us, can we offer anything less than a passionate commitment to everything He has for us? Do you really want anything less than His best in for life? Join us for a very special Easter message by guest teacher Ryan Dobson, entitled The Power of Passion.
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4/19/2006
completed
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Will the real believer please stand up?
1 John 2:18-29
Dave Row
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Are you willing to stand up for the cross of Christ, or are you content to hear only what you want to believe? How do you know who the real believers are, and if you do recognize them are you willing to follow? John writes in 1 John 2:18-29 about how to recognize the real Christian and how to spot the false one. The marks of a true believer are clear to all as John speaks of the telltale attributes of the Holy Spirit in the believer's life. So, are you among the true believes or are you sitting in with those who really oppose the Gospel of Christ?
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4/23/2006
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The Power of a Resurrected Life
Philippians 3:10
Dave Row
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What power do you know of that can raise a person from the dead and then give a promise to do the same for you? We all were dead in our sins, but through the resurrection of Christ we now have the re-birth needed to live. Paul writes to the Philippians about the Power of a Resurrected Life as part of the knowledge we need to live a life before those who do not know Jesus. Paul showed us, as Christ did, that to live is to die and to die is to live only through a resurrected life. There is power we can know only if we know the One who bore our sins and gave us eternal life. If you want to know that power, the Apostle Paul has some words for you.
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4/26/2006
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The Children of God pt. 1 - Godly Living
1 John 3:1-9
Dave Row
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How would you describe the state of your family life? Is it close, comforting, and encouraging? Or is it not quite what you had always hoped for? As Christians, we are part of God's family, the family of all families. We are bathed in His love and have access to all of the benefits of being His children. But if we abandon His invitation to join this family we automatically become members of the family of sin and there simply are no benefits associated with this family. So think about which family portrait you would like to be part of – God's Family Portrait or Sin's Family Portrait.
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4/30/2006
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The Doctrine of Recompense
Jeremiah 38
Pancho Juarez
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Do you ever ask yourself when all of your hard work will finally pay off? If you are a Christian, you are on a deferred payment plan. You might be rewarded here on earth, but the real benefits are gained in heaven. Who and what are you working for today? If it's self and earthly gain, you're missing out on the best that the Lord has for you.
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5/3/2006
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The Children of God pt. 2 - Godly Loving
1 John 3:10-24
Dave Row
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Christians are commanded to love, but who are we commanded to love? How do we express that love? Why should we love? As we delve deeper into what it means to be a child of God, we will learn about four different types of love, how this love is to be applied, and the reasons for loving one another. So perform a quick self-test on your heart and prepare to be challenged and encouraged as you learn more about applying godly love in your life.
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5/7/2006
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Will You Go Away
John 6:60-69
David Rosales
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We all face challenges, difficulties, and heartbreak in this life, but not all of us turn to the same place for comfort and direction. When faced with crisis, where do you turn? Do you become disappointed with the Lord and fall away, or do you run to Him and seek His shelter? Join Pastor David Rosales as he provides Biblical insight on how we should answer the age old question Will You Go Away?
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5/10/2006
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True or False, You Must Decide
1 John 4:1-6
Dave Row
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How concerned are you with what is true and what is not? Are you willing to jump on the latest craze, trend, or system of beliefs? Have you stopped to consider the source? We all serve somebody and their particular ideas and events. The driving force behind all that we think and do should be Jesus Himself through His Holy Spirit. Join Pastor Dave Row as he gives us Biblical reasons and methods for testing every spirit and avoiding the voice of the enemy.
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5/14/2006
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Genuine Faith: Nature and Nurture
2 Timothy 1:5
Dave Row
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Where does genuine faith come from? Is it inherited or does it come from being loved and nurtured? Or could it be a combination of these two factors? What does genuine faith look like? Is there a process or method involved in attaining it? Join Pastor Dave Row as he teaches about the true source of genuine faith and the role we should take in helping others along their journey in developing their faith.
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5/17/2006
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Communion Service
Calvary Pastors
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As we celebrate the work of our Lord and Savior during this Communion service, think back about 2,000 years ago to the very first Lord's Supper. We celebrate today in much the same manner as they did so very long ago. Join us as we delve deeper into this celebration that all believers are commanded to partake of on a regular basis. Come with us as we look Communion from three different perspectives; the past, the present, and the future.
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5/21/2006
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Breakthrough in a Breakdown
2 Kings 4:1-7
Al Pittman
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We have all gone through times when we wondered if we could make it even one more hour. We have all been on the verge of a breakdown, but where did you seek refuge? Did you withdraw and suffer alone? Did you turn to a friend or loved one for help? Join Pastor Al Pittman as he sheds light on how we can experience a breakthrough in the midst of a breakdown by relying on our faith in the Lord, being broken before Him, and having intimate times prayer and fellowship with Him. Through His presence in the life of every believer, He has already given us all that we need to successfully transition from breakdown to breakthrough.
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5/24/2006
completed
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The Love of God
1 John 4:7-14
Dave Row
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When others describe you, what do they say? Are you described as a great business person, a scholar, or an athlete? While these descriptions are not bad, they are lacking the key ingredient that marks us as believers. This key ingredient is love. Join Pastor Dave Row as he delves deeper into The Love of God, what it means to the believer, and how it can forever change a lost and hurting world.
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5/28/2006
completed
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The Divine Code
2 Timothy 3:16-17
Dave Row
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All of us have read books and some of those books stirred our hearts but did you know that the Bible can stir your heart to know and understand the deep truths of God? In II Timothy we read that all scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, correction, reproof and instruction in righteousness. Why? So that we may know how to dispel false doctrine and equip others to stand in the faith they have been given. What do you think about the word of God and do you believe that all scripture is given by the inspiration of God? Timothy writes to us by the Holy Spirit that we can know and be assured that the word of God is the Word of God…, and that's a fact you can believe and know, so get into the word and live.
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5/31/2006
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The Love of God - Part 2
1 John 4:15-21
Dave Row
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What are you afraid of and why? Did you know that God says to fear not? Did you know that your past and future is in God by Jesus Christ and you have not need to fear? Perfect love casts out fear as the Apostle John writes in First John Chapter 4, if a man fears he is not made perfect in love. All of God's love is for us and in us, so if you really want to know God's love you must abide in Him and He will abide in you. Yes, God is for you and loves you completely, but, will you let Him?
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6/4/2006
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Love on Display
Romans 5:6-11
Dave Row
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Do you know of anyone who would die for you? Do you know anyone that would trade their life of liberty for your life of sin and death? There is one who did all that for you, Jesus Christ is that one. The book of Romans, chapter 5 discusses the love of God and how God chooses to demonstrate it. God looked down from this Holy thrown and saw you and loved you and wanted you and sent His Son to die, all so He could have you for His own…, but you must choose that…, will you? Think about it.
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6/7/2006
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Divine Appointments with Disappointment: Lessons from the Life of Joseph
Neil Ortiz
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How do you view the inevitable disappointments that you encounter in your life? Do they weigh you down and affect your walk with the Lord? Do they cause you to question how or even if He cares for you? In tonight's lesson we will look at disappointment very carefully. We will examine its nature, learn how we can trust God in the face of it, and look at some of the ways He uses it to further His work through us. Join Pastor Neil Ortiz as he sheds new light on a topic that affects us all.
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6/11/2006
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Sodom: The Discovery of a Lost City
Dr. Steven Collins
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Why would anyone be interested in finding where a city such as Sodom was once located? Is it a matter of simple curiosity, or is there a deeper, more important reason to pursue such an endeavor? Join Dr. Steven Collins as he shares valuable information about what he and his associates have found and why it is important to all believers.
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6/18/2006
completed
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Refreshment
2 Chronicles 30-31
Bill Goodrich
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Nothing tastes better on a hot day than a tall, cold glass of water. It refreshes the body like nothing else can. When life starts to get you down or a little hot under the collar, where do you go for refreshment? Join Pastor Bill Goodrich as he shares insight and information on how we need to pray to bring about a spiritual revival that will refresh our souls more completely than that cool water can refresh our bodies.
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6/21/2006
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A Potent Faith
1 John 5:1-8
Dave Row
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We all have all experienced times when things just seems to go wrong. It may be a conflict with someone close to us, an illness, or any one of a number of issues or events that seem bent on bringing us down. How do you respond in these times? As believers, we do not need to live a defeated life. Though we may face persecution, physical pain, or sorrow, there is joy that overpowers it all because God has put His Spirit within us. Join Pastor Dave Row as he continues in this teaching series through the book of 1 John and learn more about possessing a potent faith that is available to all believers.
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6/28/2006
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Who are We?
1 Corinthians 12
Alan Brooks
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How would you define your role in the church? Are you involved with the youth? Do you greet people as they come through the doors? Do you pray for others in the body? What ever your role, realize that you are an integral part of the ministry. It takes an entire body of believers acting upon what God has called them to do to make a church. Join Pastor Alan Brooks as he sheds more light on who we, as members of the body of Christ, really are in Him.
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7/2/2006
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Guest Speaker Raul Ries
Raul Ries
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Every day of our life is full of opportunity. Some of these opportunities are acted upon, while some are missed. More importantly, some of these opportunities have the possibility of changing the eternal destination of someone close to you. As you begin each day, remember the responsibility you have to seize every opportunity God gives you to make a real difference in someone's life. If you fail to do so, the consequences just might be eternal for a friend or loved one. Join Pastor Raul Ries as he encourages us rise up out of our complacency and make a real impact on the lives of those around us.
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7/5/2006
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The Ministry of Reconciliation
2 Corinthians 5:14-21
Chip Lusko
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There are times when life seems full of disappointment, strife, hurt, and severed or damaged relationships. Each person has a choice to make when faced with these types of disappointments, to follow a path of vengeance or to opt for the path of reconciliation. As believers who choose the path of reconciliation, realize that we are not alone as we travel this path. We have the hand of God helping and directing us along the way. Join Pastor Chip Lusko as he delves deeper into this topic of reconciliation and what it truly means to be an ambassador for the King.
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7/9/2006
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A new song for a new season
Psalm 40
Bill Welsh
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Ever wonder how much God thinks about you? Do you know the thoughts God has about you and what God wants for you? King David wrote many Psalms and in these Psalms, David expressed the times of His life so we may know the heart of a man that God calls, "a man after God's own heart". As we wait for the Lord and cry out to Him and trust Him, God will bring you up and out of anything you may be facing, so, take heart and be of good cheer for your God is on the move!!!!..., think about it.
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7/12/2006
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Witnesses of the Truth
1 John 5:6-13
Dave Row
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Have you overcome the world? Do you know how to overcome the world? Is your family strong enough to overcome the world? The Apostle John writes in First John Chapter 5 concerning how we can know that we have overcome the world. But what is it to really do just that? John says, it is our faith in God and in His Son Jesus Christ that overcomes the world. The question here is; do you know who God is and His Son or do you just know of Him? Your family will get you through this life but only Jesus can bring you beyond this world to His Father and all of it by His love, do you want this love or will you turn and trust in your worldly family? Think about it.
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7/16/2006
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A Bridge Of Hope
Mark 9:36-37
K.P. Yohannan
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How do you see you're self in the eyes of God, as little children or as one needing to become one? We all have a need to be loved and taken care of and Jesus is able to do that, Jesus told a story that is repeated in three of the four gospels about taking a child in His arms. This story is asking you to be that child and to see others as little children who are seeking a father, the Father. So, are you being taught by the Holy Spirit as a little child or are you too old for that…, think about it.
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7/19/2006
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Praying 101
1 John 5:13-15
Dave Row
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Do you believe that God hears you or do you just believe God does not want to hear from you? If God hears you do you really believe God will grant what you ask of Him? The Apostle John in 1 John 5, writes to us concerning having confidence that if we ask anything in His name (Jesus) He will hear us. Is that really true? John knows it to be and so can you. God wants you to know that He is available to you anytime and for any reason…, you just have to come and ask. So, as you think about this ask God to show you and you will see that God is able to do all things for you according to His will, but it all start with meeting, asking and believing in Him.
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7/26/2006
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Sin, Death and Idols
1 John 5:16-21
Dave Row
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Sin affects us all and without the knowledge of God's word we would not know sin and be lost. John writes in chapter 5 concerning sin and how we are to understand sin and its nature. Sin all started with pride in Lucifer and in the disobeying of Eve and Adam but all sin can be dealt with by one simple act…, repentance. Are you in a state of sin or are you in the loving peace and care of Christ? God calls us to be set free from sin and live free. So will you accept God's gift or grace or will you hold onto what you think is right?
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8/2/2006
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Rewind, Remember, Resolve
1 John 5:18-21
Dave Row
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Abiding in Christ will keep you from the wicked one for God wants us to understand Him and know that we are born of God. Are you born of God? Can you really say, I am His and He is mine? This is the confidence we have in Christ, that Jesus died and rose again by the will of God and in this we who believe are born of God. John writes to us in 1 John 5 concerning who we are in Christ and how we can and do know that we belong to God. So, have you learned that your faith overcomes the world or are you still looking to the things of the world and its wisdom to help you overcome? Know this, God is yours, you only need to ask and receive Christ, will you?
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8/16/2006
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Characteristics of a Christian Community
2 John
Dave Row
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8/23/2006
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Character in Conflict - When Motives Collide
3 John
Dave Row
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How often do you spread the news of someone you know who is walking in Christ that is having a great impact on others to the strengthening of the faith of many? In Third John the elder Apostle gives us two great examples of men who have kept the faith in unselfishness, impacting many to Christ. But John also exposes a man who thinks of himself first instead of bringing Christ to light. These people are selfish, prideful and without wisdom, from these put yourself at distance. Do you spread the faith in humility putting the light on Christ or are you keeping the praise for yourself putting light on you?
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9/6/2006
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What Does Natural Selection Really Explain?
Dr. Paul Nelson
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10/18/2006
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Faith and Your Feelings
Matthew 28:1-8
Scott Richards
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10/29/2006
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Are We Living in the Last Days?
Joel C. Rosenberg
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11/8/2006
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Humility, God's Cure for an Unhealthy Heart
James 4:6-10
Dave Row
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11/12/2006
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All Things Working Together For Good
Romans 8:28
John Miller
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11/26/2006
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Guest Speaker Franklin Graham
Franklin Graham
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12/13/2006
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The Shepherd of Bethlehem
Bill Welsh
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1/3/2007
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The Christian's Commission
Acts 1:8
Nick Crespo
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1/7/2007
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The Solomon Complex
1 Kings;1 Samuel 12:24-25
Levi Lusko
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1/10/2007
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The Tongue: A Megaphone of the Heart
James 3:1-13
Dave Row
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2/11/2007
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God's Heart of Compassion: Touching the Epicenter with the Love of Jesus
Joel C. Rosenberg
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3/21/2007
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Jesus: Dead or Alive
Dr. Steven Collins
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3/25/2007
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A Closer Walk with Jesus
Hebrews 11:6
Dave Row
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4/18/2007
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Paul's Recipe For Joy
Philippians 2
Alan Brooks
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4/22/2007
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Understanding the Times
Romans 13:11-14
John Miller
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5/23/2007
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When God Throws a Party
Leviticus 25
Chip Lusko
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5/30/2007
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Joseph: From Dreamer to Leader
Genesis 37 - 50
Dave Row
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6/3/2007
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Living for Eternity
Matthew 9:35-40
K.P. Yohannan
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K.P. Yohannan shares his passion on Living for Eternity.
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6/6/2007
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But That is Not The Way I Planned It!
Matthew 16:21-23
Nelson Walker
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6/24/2007
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He Who Wins Souls Is Wise
Proverbs 11:30
Raul Ries
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9/2/2007
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CASH will guide us to Eternity
Philippians 1:19-26
Pancho Juarez
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10/17/2007
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Eternally Tattooed
2 Corinthians 3:3
Levi Lusko
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10/21/2007
completed
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The Great Race
Hebrews 12:1-2
Al Pittman
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11/28/2007
completed
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Update on the Discovery of Sodom
Dr. Steven Collins
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12/2/2007
completed
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A Down to Earth Look at Love
Isaiah 64
Dr. Bob Botsford
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1/2/2008
completed
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Far Out Faith
Hebrews 10:38; Hebrews 11:8-12
Nick Crespo
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2/20/2008
completed
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Painting Jesus
Eric Timm
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How do you paint Jesus? This is the question that was posed to us this Wednesday night as we were joined by painter and speaker Eric Timm. Eric's profound and thought provoking presentation not only produced beautiful works of art, but also an idea that we are the ones who paint Jesus in our daily lives. Danielle Timm, Eric's wife, shared a poem to accompany the paintings about painting Jesus by our words and actions, and posing the question, "How do you paint Jesus to others?" This outstanding performance and eye opening message revealed to us the many ways in which our Father can be painted to the world. Whether it is on a canvas or through the Christ-like love that we show to those around us, how will we paint Jesus?
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4/2/2008
completed
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Lessons From A Tent
Terry Gray
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Terry taught a very spiritual rich message about what the LORD has taught him during him time as a pastor in El Paso, Texas. Particularly he explains some of the very important lessons he's learn while their church was in a tent for four years. He used these verses during his message: Philippians 4:11-13; 1 Timothy 6:6; Deuteronomy 6:10-12; 1 Peter 2:11; 1 Peter 5:5-6; Psalm 138:8
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4/6/2008
completed
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Winning the Battle Within
Matthew 5:27-30; Exodus 17:9-16
Robert Furrow
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4/9/2008
completed
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Your Response Is Crucial
Jonah 1-4
Kevin Miller
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4/13/2008
completed
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It's Not the Economy, Stupid!
Matthew 6:19-34
Bob Shank
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4/20/2008
completed
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Lord, Open Our Eyes, That We May See
2 Kings 6:8-17
Joel C. Rosenberg
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5/28/2008
completed
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Living a Relevant Life
Matthew 5:13-16
Dr. David Jeremiah
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7/6/2008
completed
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Heart Fix
John 14:1-6
Pedro Garcia
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7/30/2008
completed
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Entering God's Land of Promise
Joshua 1-24
Dave Row
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8/3/2008
completed
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Sex and the Scriptures: The Right Way to Date
Song_of_Solomon 1:9-2:7
Levi Lusko
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I. Respect II. Cultivate III. Restraint
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8/3/2008
completed
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The O2 Experience - Session One: Life and Death
Levi Lusko
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8/3/2008
completed
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The O2 Experience - Session Two: Sex and Romance
Levi Lusko
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8/27/2008
completed
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What would you do if the Bible were true?
2 Timothy 3:16-17
Chip Lusko
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8/31/2008
completed
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Going For The Gold
1 Corinthians 3; 1 Thessalonians 1
Dr. Ross Rhoads
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9/28/2008
completed
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The Case for the Real Jesus
1 Corinthians 15:17; John 10:30
Lee Strobel
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Who is Jesus? Lee Strobel tackles this question in his message, "The Case for the Real Jesus," looking at the biblical and historical evidence of who Jesus really was and His divine purpose on earth. In a time where the identity and message of Jesus is under constant attack, this message focuses on rediscovering the truth of our Savior.
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10/5/2008
completed
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The Second Coming of Christ
Revelation 19:10
Tim LaHaye
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11/2/2008
completed
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Guest Speaker Greg Laurie
Greg Laurie
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11/12/2008
completed
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Will the Church Survive?
Matthew 16:18
Chip Lusko
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11/16/2008
completed
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Guest Speaker Ray Bentley
Ray Bentley
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11/30/2008
completed
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Guest Speaker Franklin Graham
Franklin Graham
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12/3/2008
completed
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When God Comes to Church
John 2:13-15
Nate Heitzig
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12/7/2008
completed
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The Touch of Jesus
Luke 5:12-15
Chip Lusko
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2/8/2009
completed
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A River Runs Through You
John 7:37-39
Levi Lusko
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3/4/2009
completed
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A Spotless Church
Revelation 19:1-11
Joseph Gros
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3/8/2009
completed
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Why Do We Have to Repent?
2 Peter 3:9
Raul Ries
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Pastor Raul Ries of Calvary Chapel Golden Springs joined us as our guest speaker at all four services on March 7-8. We turned our Bibles to 2 Peter 3:9 to read the scripture and hear from Pastor Raul in a message titled, "Why do we have to repent?"
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3/15/2009
completed
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Guest Speaker Chuck Missler
Chuck Missler
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4/19/2009
completed
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Jesus in Disguise
Luke 24:13-35
Gino Geraci
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I. Jesus: In Disguise (vv. 13-16)


II. Jesus: The Hope In Shattered Dreams (vv. 17-24)


III. Jesus: The Promise In All The Scriptures (vv. 27-35)
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7/19/2009
completed
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Abraham - Three Aspects of Faith
Hebrews 11
Don McClure
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Three aspects of faith; #1 Going out, not knowing where you're going (v8) #2 Staying out in faith (v14) #3 Stepping out in faith
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9/20/2009
completed
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The Unexpected Adventure
Matthew 5:13-16
Lee Strobel
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Have you experienced the Lord's work through you in unexpected ways? The world around us is hurting and hungry. In this message, we'll explore what it means to be salt and light to those around us and learn to be ready for "The Unexpected Adventure."
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11/4/2009
completed
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Forsaken By God
Psalm 22
Nate Heitzig
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Have you ever felt alone, totally abandoned? While we may feel that way from time to time, we have never truly been forsaken, because Jesus endured it on our behalf. Alone on the cross, forsaken by the Father, suffering at the hands of sinners, Jesus sacrificed his life for those who tormented Him. How will you respond to Him?
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11/8/2009
completed
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Guest Speaker - Sean McDowell
Sean McDowell
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How important is a Biblical worldview? Is it really necessary for Christians to consider life in light of the Bible? In this message from Sean McDowell, we'll examine the troublesome trend of evangelical teens exiting the church and the importance of loving the Lord with all your mind.
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11/29/2009
completed
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Guest Speaker: Franklin Graham
Franklin Graham
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What assurance do you have that you'll go to heaven? What is required to receive eternal life? Church membership and religious symbols can offer a false sense of spiritual security, but in this message from guest speaker Franklin Graham we'll hear a clear and concise explanation of God's plan of salvation. We'll hear about Nicodemus and his conversation with Jesus under the cover of night and we'll learn about God's love and forgiveness for all who are willing to come.
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12/16/2009
completed
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An Evening With C.S. Lewis
David Payne
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The year is 1963 and C.S. Lewis, the famous British author, has agreed to give an informal talk to a group of American writers who are visiting England. Despite his failing health, Lewis is in great form. His audience is spellbound as, with a display of oratory and humor that made him one of England’s most famous public speakers, he recounts the significant events and the people that shaped his life. Don't miss David Payne’s fantastic performance that will make you feel as if you've heard from C.S. Lewis himself!
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1/20/2010
completed
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Israel's Dark Hour
Ezekiel 8
Chip Lusko
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False thoughts, false worship, and false gods - in a vision from God, Ezekiel was brought face to face with the flagrant idolatry plaguing ancient Israel. It had crept into the temple of God and the hearts of His people, and their spiritual condition demanded radical action. Join us as we uncover the roots of idolatry and discover that its long shadow reaches into the church and even our own hearts.
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4/11/2010
completed
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The Conditional Clause for the Resurrection
1 Corinthians 15:12-19
Gino Geraci
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In an era of skepticism and doubt, the resurrection comes under continual attack, but it's not an issue exclusive to our culture and time. From the beginnings of the faith, the resurrection has been challenged, although it is one of the best documented events in history. Can the dead come back to life? Let's explore the evidence, and the consequences of this essential doctrine or our faith.
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4/28/2010
completed
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Down on the Farm
Matthew 13:1-23
Dave Row
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Jesus spoke in parables to reveal truth to believers; He revealed heavenly truth through the earthly stories. In this message, we examine Jesus' Parable of the Soils, where Jesus addresses how the good news is rejected or received. Let's look at the telling, the reason, the explanation and the power of the story, and be challenged to have well-watered, weed-free hearts, that are ready to receive the implanted Word.
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5/2/2010
completed
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Time to Engage
Judges 6
Steve Wilburn
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Where can you find a lasting satisfaction? How can you overcome your inadequacies? How can you extend hope to the hopeless? Learn God's plan and purpose for your life, and have an eternal impact on those around you when you walk in obedience to His calling. Let's take a look at the faith and failings of Gideon, and learn to see as God sees.
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5/5/2010
completed
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Guest Speaker - Dr. Steven Collins
Dr. Steven Collins
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Why is biblical geography important? Is the Genesis narrative of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah accurate? Join us for an update from Dr. Stephen Collins about his recent excavations at Tall el-Hammam in Jordan, and why he believes he has located the biblical Sodom.
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5/12/2010
completed
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Providence in the Midst of Pain
Romans 8:28
Brian Nixon
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What do you do with the problem of pain? Why does God allow evil to exist, and why do bad things happen to good people? Let's take a look at the sovereign will and the permissive will of God and gain a greater understanding of God's providence and the promise of His working all things to work together for good in the lives of His children.
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5/16/2010
completed
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Guest Speaker - Dr. Ross Rhoads
Dr. Ross Rhoads
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Difficult circumstances can result in bitterness. In this message from Lamentations 3, Dr. Ross Rhoads brings us a reality check. We'll consider the heart of God in allowing us to suffer consequences, and take into account the goodness revealed in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
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6/9/2010
completed
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Commission and Compliance
Matthew 28:16-20
Nate Heitzig
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The idea of sharing the truth about sin, and even the hope of the gospel, is paralyzing to some. We are all responsible for evangelism, so let's consider our high calling and the cost others may pay if fear hinders us from fulfilling the Great Commission. What are we afraid of?
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6/27/2010
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How to Face Temptation
James 1:13-18
John Miller
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Ever since the Garden of Eden, people have struggled with temptation. Perhaps we are tempted to lie, or gossip, or maybe it's physical lust that draws us away. If God isn't to blame, who or what is? Join us as we examine how to face temptation: its source, its course, and how to stand firm when temptation comes our way.
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6/30/2010
completed
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Crouching Lion, Hidden Sin
Genesis 4:7;1 Peter 5:8
Chip Lusko
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What’s wrong with the world? Newscasts are replete with stories of greed, violence, and deceit. While the world has no valid explanation for the evil lurking behind every corner, God’s Word is clear: the cause of pain and suffering is sin. In this study we will look at what the Bible says about sin–its cause, its consequence and its cure.
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7/25/2010
completed
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God Rocks the Punk
Levi Lusko
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Have you ever thought of running away from God? Though we may not pack our bags and try to physically flee, many of us try to hide ourselves from His presence. Let's take a look at the Jonah and learn how God's prepares the prophet and consider His hand of discipline in our own lives.
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8/18/2010
completed
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In the Valley
Psalm 23
Nate Heitzig
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Through dark times and in life's shadows, the Lord is with His people. As we examine one of the best-known passages in the Old Testament, we'll learn about the tender care of the Lord in every circumstance. Whether we face financial hardships, physical difficulties, or emotional valleys, we are spiritually secure in the hands of the Good Shepherd.
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9/12/2010
completed
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Guest Speaker - Pastor Chuck Smith
Chuck Smith
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When the unrighteous prosper, it can be discouraging. Why does it seem like the bad guy next door never has any problems? When we struggle with self-pity, we may find that we have taken our eyes off the Lord and have set them squarely on our circumstances. Let's reconsider the fate of the ungodly as we regain an eternal perspective of a life apart from God.
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11/3/2010
completed
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Guest Speaker - Gayle Erwin
Gayle Erwin
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Join us as we take a fresh look God the Father. Through the lens of Jesus, we'll focus our attention on the mountain-top revelation to Moses of God's very nature: compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in mercy and faithfulness, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion, and sin.
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11/7/2010
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Guest Speaker K.P. Yohannan
K.P. Yohannan
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What are we as believers to do about the plight of the estimated 160 million child laborers and street children in the world? What does the Lord want us do about these starving and seemingly hopeless kids? KP Yohannan compels us to put our faith into action as we consider our text from Matthew 18.
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11/13/2010
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Are the Jews the Chosen and Why Does it Matter?
Joel C. Rosenberg
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Replacement theology is a frightening trend in the church. The belief that the Lord has written off the Jewish nation and that the church will be the sole recipient of God's promises is bad theology; and bad theology results in bad consequences. Let's look at the Bible and find out whether the Jews are God's chosen people and why it matters.
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11/14/2010
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Were the Jews Given the Promised Land and Why Does it Matter?
Joel C. Rosenberg
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Turmoil in the Middle East including land disputes and threats from radical Islam are continually plastered across news headlines. While we don't expect radical Muslims to accept the Jewish presence in Israel, a growing number of Christians are questioning whether the Jews have a right to the Promised Land. Join us as we explore the Bible to determine whether Israel occupies land that does not belong to them. Does the Bible justify the Jewish presence in Israel?
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11/14/2010
completed
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Why Does the World Hate Israel and the Jewish People and Why Does it Matter?
Joel C. Rosenberg
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There's an intense battle raging. Throughout history, enemies have sought to annihilate the Jews and the threat of radical Islam is growing. In this message from Joel Rosenberg, we'll consider Satan's plot to destroy Israel and consider why the world hates the Jewish people.
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11/14/2010
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Does God Love Israel's Neighbors and Why Does it Matter?
Joel C. Rosenberg
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God has indeed chosen the Jewish people and given them the land of Israel, but how does He view Israel's neighbors? As we dive into God's Word, we'll see He has not given Israel license to oppress their neighbors or to create injustice. Let's listen closely to this important reminder of God's love for the world and His promises for the children of Ishmael.
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11/14/2010
completed
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How Can the Church Bless Israel and Her Neighbors?
Joel C. Rosenberg
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As Joel wraps up the series Critical Issues Facing the Epicenter, we'll explore why Israel and the Jewish people should be important to all believers. With the return of Jesus Christ approaching, we must consider our part in blessing Israel and her neighbors and Joel will encourage us to learn, pray, give, and go. Joel also addresses questions from the congregation about current events, prophecy, and the sound interpretation of God’s Word.
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11/28/2010
completed
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Guest Speaker - Franklin Graham
Luke 19
Franklin Graham
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Are you missing something in life? Are you searching for something, unsure of exactly what it is? As he brings us this message from Luke 19, Franklin Graham challenges us to consider our standing before God: Are your sins forgiven? Listen and learn that though we are all guilty of sin, we can receive forgiveness through faith in Jesus Christ.
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12/26/2010
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When Dreams Die
Hebrews 11:24-29
Chip Lusko
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If you could do anything, what would it be? Let's consider whether our dreams are man-made or God-given as we look at the example of Moses. Faith without works is dead—how can we use our gifts fully for the glory of God?
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12/29/2010
completed
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Happier than a Clam
Philippians 4:10-13
AJ Villegas
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Are you a happy person? That's the issue addressed in this message from Pastor AJ Villegas. We'll examine our overall outlook, and consider the difference in worldly satisfaction and true contentment. We'll learn that a proper perspective of the Lord, rather than comfortable circumstances, are the source of genuine happiness.
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4/3/2011
completed
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Dr. Phil vs. Dr. Paul
Romans 8:1-6
Nate Heitzig
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If you really want to help yourself, then you will stop trying to fix your flesh and you will start submitting to the Spirit.
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4/20/2011
completed
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The Seven Points of Prayer
Matthew 6:9-13
Brian Nixon
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How can we have more effective prayer lives? Let's take a brief look at "The Lord's Prayer" and consider how God Himself has instructed us to pray. We'll gain a greater understanding of how God honors our submission, our commission, and the remission or our sins.
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5/15/2011
completed
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Money Talks
1 Timothy 6:1-19
Bob Shank
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In this message from Bob Shank, we look at God's practical instruction about money, including getting out of debt, contentment, and giving.
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5/22/2011
completed
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Passing on the Faith to the Next Generation
Deuteronomy 6:4-9
Sean McDowell
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What is a parent's highest calling? In this message, Sean McDowell explains the role of every believer in sharing the faith with the next generation.
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8/17/2011
completed
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Archaeology and the Bible: What the Stones are Telling us About the Scriptures
Dr. Joseph Holden
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The Bible helps us make sense of archaeology—His inerrant Word sheds light recent discoveries. As we consider this message from Dr. Holden, we'll discover that validity of the biblical history confirms and clarifies God's Word and further demonstrates God's love for man.
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8/28/2011
completed
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Perceiving the Will of God
Romans 12:1-2
Nate Heitzig
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Does God still speak to man? Is He interested in our personal lives? Can we know the will of God? Pastor Nate Heitzig addresses these issues and more in this message.
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8/31/2011
completed
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Finding God on The Internet
John Blandford
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Every day, millions of people around the world search the internet for God. Learn how Global Media Outreach and online missionaries are using technology to reach the world with the gospel.
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10/16/2011
completed
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The Thin Red Line
Joshua 2
Levi Lusko
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In this study from Joshua 2, Levi Lusko discusses God’s plan of redemption as demonstrated through the life of Rahab. We’ll learn that God’s goes before us, wants to save those around us, and is not afraid of what’s behind us.
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11/6/2011
completed
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When a Battle Isn't a Battle
Joshua 6:1-14
Kevin Miller
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If you want to see God do the impossible, you have to believe He can, then take the steps to make it happen. Those steps may seem scary and crazy at first and people around you may not understand, but God can do things that we can't even dream up. Fight the battle knowing that it’s already won!
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11/13/2011
completed
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Absolute Truth in an Age of Uncertainty - Q & A hosted by Skip Heitzig
Dr. Ron Rhodes
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Dr. Ron Rhodes is president of Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministries. He regularly addresses current issues in the national media, and has been a keynote speaker at conferences across the United States. Dr. Rhodes teaches cult apologetics at Veritas Evangelical Seminary and other seminaries around the country. Jump To: Dr. Ron Rhodes Testimony | Saturday | Sunday 8:00 | Sunday 9:30 | Sunday 11:15
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11/27/2011
completed
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Guest Speaker Franklin Graham
2 Chronicles 33:1-16
Franklin Graham
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Like many of us, Manasseh was raised in a good home where he was taught who God is, and yet he chose to walk away. He rebelled against his father and the Lord, leading Israel into idolatry and immorality. But Manasseh repented from his evil ways, turned back to the Lord, and received God's forgiveness. In this inspiring message, Franklin Graham reminds us that no one is outside of God's reach.
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12/21/2011
completed
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Evening of Worship with Fernando Ortega
Fernando Ortega
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Fernando Ortega is joined by gifted accompanists for the Evening of Worship. The combination of Old Testament Scripture readings and Ortega's soothing lyrics and beautiful melodies help us calm our hearts and minds during the busy holiday season.
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12/28/2011
completed
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Buckle Up
1 Kings 18:41-46
Ray Del Toro
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Are your prayers rooted in God's promises? That's the issue addressed in this study from 1 Kings 18:41-46. As we consider the prayer and faith of the prophet Elijah, we'll glean important principles about bringing our requests to the Father and receiving what God has promised.
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1/11/2012
completed
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Your Mission, Should You Choose To Accept It
James 4:13-17
Neil Ortiz
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What is your mission in life? As we study this passage from James, we gain a clearer understanding of God's plans for each of us - inwardly and outwardly. Let's consider who we are living to please and the rewards of a life lived faithfully.
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1/15/2012
completed
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Jesus Christ, Superstar?
Philippians 2:5-11
Nate Heitzig
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While Jesus is certainly the most extraordinary and influential figure in history, opinions about His identity vary widely. Culture and experience can influence our thoughts about who He is and why He came—but what does the Bible tell us about who He is? What will you do with the real Jesus?
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4/4/2012
completed
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180 Movie and interview with Ray Comfort
Ray Comfort
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Don't miss 33 minutes that will rock your world! View the shocking award-winning documentary 180 and watch an interview with film's producer, Ray Comfort, by Pastor Skip Heitzig.
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5/13/2012
completed
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The Kind of Women (and Men) That God Uses!
Luke 1:26-56
Nate Heitzig
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What does it take to be an effective Christian? Let’s take cues from Mary’s reaction to God’s will for her life, and learn how to be humble, spiritual, available, and worshipful.
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5/20/2012
completed
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Why Redeem the Time?
Ephesians 5:15-17
Raul Ries
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We often have a pretty good grasp of how fleeting time can be. In this day and age of waxing philosophical, moral relativism, and a church that gives in to the pressures of the world, we need a firm grasp of how and why we must redeem the time. As we consider Ephesians 5:15-17, we'll be reminded that time is short—we need to be wise, walk in the light, use our minds, and understand that God has a plan for our lives.
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5/27/2012
completed
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Eternal Life: The Deepest Yearning of the Human Heart
John 17:1-5
Sean McDowell
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There are different ways of knowing. We can know "that," and have an understanding of something; we can know "how," and experience something; and we can know "personally," and have a relationship with someone. In John 17:1-5 we will dissect a portion of Jesus' prayer to His Father, before being handed over to crucifixion. In this passage we learn that Jesus' suffering and death would reveal the glory, or character of His Father, and that through His death and resurrection, we can know God. Knowing God is intimate and personal, and by studying what it is to know God, we'll understand that eternal life comes from being in relationship with the only true God.
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6/3/2012
completed
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I'm Dead, Yo!
Romans 6:1-4
Nick Crespo
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How clean should a Christian be? As we explore Romans 6:1-4, we learn that grace doesn’t free us to sin, grace frees us from sin and its power over us. We also learn what it means to be dead to sin and alive to Christ.
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6/6/2012
completed
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Love God, Love People
Matthew 22
Samy Tanagho
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Learn the facts on Muslim population growth around the globe and grapple with how to effectively reach the Islamic population. Take cues from Matthew 22 and learn how to love non-Christians as neighbors who need to hear the good news.
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9/5/2012
completed
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That God May Be Glorified!
1 Peter 4:7-11
Ray Jaramillo
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Peter wrote to Christians in the Roman Empire who experienced persecution and were about to suffer greater persecution! How were they to respond to these trials and troubles? In our text, we see they were to love and serve one another, and use the gifts that God gave them—and so are we!
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9/12/2012
completed
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The State of the Epicenter: 2012
Joel C. Rosenberg
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Epicenter is a term that describes Jerusalem as the center of the nations based on Ezekiel 5:5. While there is darkness in the epicenter, there is also great hope. Let's consider how we can pray for peace and prepare for war along with the Joshua Fund as they plan to meet people's needs if and when war breaks out in the Middle East. Media from the entire Epicenter Conference can be found at epicenterconference.com
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9/16/2012
completed
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The Future of the Epicenter in Light of Bible Prophecy
Joel C. Rosenberg
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Only God knows what tomorrow holds and through our text, He communicates both warnings and encouragement about the future. Let’s heed His Word and prepare for what is to come—not only great pain and suffering, but also salvation for those who believe. Media from the entire Epicenter Conference can be found at epicenterconference.com
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11/14/2012
completed
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Wholehearted Devotion
Mark 14:3-9
Alistair Begg
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She did what she could—her gift of costly nard in an alabaster flask was broken and poured out to prepare Jesus for his burial. But the disciples condemned her—scolded her for the extravagant gift. Is that how we view those who are extravagantly sold out to Christ? Through this text, we learn from her sacrifice and Jesus' commendation to the heart of what we do be done in extravagant devotion to God.
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11/25/2012
completed
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Guest Speaker Franklin Graham
Franklin Graham
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Franklin Graham is noted for using every occasion to preach the gospel, inviting people to take part in God's plan of salvation—whether on the mission field, on-site at a natural disaster, behind the microphone of a national news program, or in a church sanctuary. From the story of a blind man healed in Mark 10:46-52, Franklin delivers a powerful presentation of the good news. You too can be healed and your sins can be forgiven! Come to Jesus!
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12/2/2012
completed
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The End of the World as We Know It
Revelation 20
Kevin Miller
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Throughout history, the question has been asked: “How long?” How long will sin go unpunished? How long will the rebellious prosper? How long will God allow suffering? The answer is: not much longer. When the time is right, God will once and for all prove His power over Satan and sin. Will you be ready?
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1/2/2013
completed
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Night Call
Psalm 4
Jesse Lusko
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Life has its highs and lows. When we are at our lowest, who can we count on to answer the deep, anguished cry of our heart? Who can we call when things become so painful, we can't even believe it's real? David would tell us that there is One who neither slumbers nor sleeps, One who is ready and able to answer our call.
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3/13/2013
completed
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Sinners in the Hands of an Angry Leader
Numbers 20:1-13
Neil Ortiz
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As a follower of Jesus, how are you representing God? In Numbers 20:1-13, the people contended with Moses and Aaron. They did not trust God and the leadership He appointed. Likewise, Moses and Aaron allowed their anger and frustration to control them. They rebelled against the Lord and misrepresented Him to the people. As we consider this text, we learn that as ambassadors for Christ, we must be gracious and submissive both in our leadership and in our following.
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4/7/2013
completed
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Your Final Exam
2 Corinthians 5:9-11
Mark Hitchcock
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Mark Hitchcock is a well-known proponent of Bible prophecy and a popular author who has written over 20 books on important end-times topics. He is the senior pastor of Faith Bible Church near Edmond, Oklahoma and has served as adjunct faculty member of the Dallas Theological Seminary.
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4/17/2013
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Guest Speaker Dr. Steven Collins
Dr. Steven Collins
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The Bible says that God destroyed Sodom and the cities of the plain with fire from heaven—an event that took out an entire civilization in the blink of an eye. Dr. Steven Collins, Dean of the College of Archaeology and Biblical History at Trinity Southwest University and lead archaeologist at the Tall el-Hammam dig in Jordan, presents the evidence of the city of Sodom and its miraculous destruction. His extraordinary discoveries will strengthen your faith and bolster your trust in God's Word.
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5/8/2013
completed
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Church in the Storm
Matthew 14:22-33
Terry Gray
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Just like the disciples rowing on a stormy sea, the church in America must face exhausting and frustrating circumstances with courage, strength, and perseverance, knowing that Jesus prays for us. Let’s find that perfect blend of truth and love—to tell people about Jesus and not be afraid to take a stand on issues.
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5/12/2013
completed
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A Mother’s Influence
K.P. Yohannan
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As we celebrate Mother's Day with the wives, daughters, sisters, and mothers all around us, K. P. Yohannan paints a portrait of his mother and the influence that she had, both in her family and in India. We catch just a tiny glimpse of a country with 62 million child laborers suffering on the streets and millions of mothers who have never heard of our Jesus to whom they can take their children. K. P.'s mother would say, "Our greatest privilege is to love people."
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6/5/2013
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Worry or Worship?
Isaiah 6:1-8
Dr. Nelson Walker
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In preparation for ministry, the prophet Isaiah was given a vision of the Lord's holiness—a vision which drove him to repentance and service. As we consider this text, we uncover important principles to apply to our own worship of the Lord.
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6/23/2013
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Guest Speaker Josh McDowell
Josh McDowell
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The Jewish scribes had such great reverence for God's Word that it was of the utmost importance to preserve the Scriptures accurately. They took great measures—memorizing 4,000 laws before they could begin to write—to ensure it would be copied, pronounced, and interpreted precisely. Josh McDowell presents to us one of the rarest scrolls in the world, called the Lodz Torah Scroll, showing us that God will always provide the means for His sacred Word to be available to His church.
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7/17/2013
completed
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Special Guest Brad Stine
Brad Stine
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What we believe about God and what He tells us in His Word will affect our lifestyles and our behavior. When we accept Christ into our hearts, we become His representatives, and we must begin to live like what we believe is true. Christian comedian Brad Stine challenges us to push past our comfortable boundaries and take back our culture.
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7/21/2013
completed
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How to be a Hero of Faith
Hebrews 11
Robert Furrow
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In Hebrews 11, we read testimonies of men and women who demonstrated extraordinary faith. When God commanded them to do something, they obeyed. From their examples, we learn that in our weaknesses, we are made strong, faith requires courage to face difficulties, and obeying the Lord is about using the faith we have rather than the amount of faith we possess.
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7/24/2013
completed
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Conquest of the Cross
Romans 3:19-26
Jesse Lusko
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As believers, we can never outgrow the gospel—when we think we have, we are actually moving backwards. Paul's letter to the Romans was a treatise explaining the good news of Jesus Christ, and the recipients were saints! In this refreshing study, we are reminded about the power and love that was displayed on the cross, and how our Lord Jesus Christ has conquered all!
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7/28/2013
completed
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Guest Speaker Will Graham
1 Samuel 1:1-18
Will Graham
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Everyone encounters trials. We can't escape them, but we can choose how we react to them. In 1 Samuel, we read about a woman who realized that God is bigger than any circumstance. As Hannah poured out her soul to the Lord, she was filled with joy that only comes from Him. Through her life, we learn that God will sustain us through any trial and He will use our pain to further His kingdom.
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7/31/2013
completed
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The King's Messenger
Matthew 3:1-8
Nate Heitzig
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John the Baptist was the herald of Jesus, the coming King. As he prepared to present the Messiah to the world, he preached one simple message: "Repent!" Interestingly, John preached this message to the Jews, especially those who were religious. In this study, we learn the meaning of true repentance and how that leads to true sanctification.
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8/25/2013
completed
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Guest Speaker Don McClure
Don McClure
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The Old Testament is packed with Scriptures that point to the coming of Christ. By looking closely at the ark of the covenant, guest speaker Don McClure gives us insight about how the tabernacle points to Jesus, and he encourages us to give up our burdens and surrender every area of our lives to the Lord.
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10/16/2013
completed
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A Portrait of Jesus
Luke 4:16-22
Jarrett Petero
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Out of all the Old Testament prophecies about Jesus, He chose only one from the prophet Isaiah to share with the people in Nazareth—one that revealed His character. As we study this portrait of Jesus in Luke 4, we also learn about the power that dwelt inside Him: the power of the Holy Spirit, which now dwells in us.
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10/27/2013
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Fixing Happiness
Matthew 5:1-12
Nate Heitzig
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Everyone wants to be happy, but not everyone is happy. We know that the world's idea of happiness is broken, because nothing from the world can satisfy us. But God wants us to have lasting joy. As we look at the passage of Scripture known as the Beatitudes, we discover what true happiness is and Who can fix our happiness.
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11/6/2013
completed
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Running with Horses: Cue the Eagle
Jeremiah 12:5
Levi Lusko
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Jeremiah is known as the "weeping prophet." He tried to warn the nation of Israel to repent or God would send judgment. They didn't listen. As we study this passage, it may look like Jeremiah's life was wasted, but God never puts anything to waste, even our trials. Pastor Levi Lusko shares the tough realities of following Jesus, but reminds us that Jesus will always renew our strength.
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12/1/2013
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Guest Speaker Franklin Graham
Franklin Graham
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God sought to deliver Lot and his family from the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah, but Lot's wife looked back, disobeying the Lord. Franklin Graham teaches from a passage in Luke 17 and reminds us that God will judge all sin, but we don't have to receive this judgment. Because of His compassionate love, the Lord made a way for us to be redeemed?through His Son, Jesus.
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12/29/2013
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The End...or Is It?
2 Kings 13:14-21
Kevin Miller
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Obituary, funeral, afterlife?all those words describe your future. The reality is that just like we were all born, we will all die. Like Elisha, with our dying breaths, we should be speaking in faith, leaving a legacy of faith that will outlast our time on earth. The end of your life doesn't have to be the end of the impact your life will have.
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3/30/2014
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The Promise Of Prayer
Matthew 6:5-10
Nate Heitzig
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Out of all the things the disciples could've asked Jesus to teach them, they asked Him how they should pray. In Matthew 6, Jesus shared the model prayer—the Lord's Prayer. In the passage that leads up to and covers the first part of the Lord's Prayer, we learn about the importance, power, and promise of prayer.
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There are 211 additional messages in this series.