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Destination: Ecclesiastes 1-12
Ecclesiastes 1-12
Skip Heitzig

Ecclesiastes 1 (NKJV™)
1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2 "Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher; "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity."
3 What profit has a man from all his labor In which he toils under the sun?
4 One generation passes away, and another generation comes; But the earth abides forever.
5 The sun also rises, and the sun goes down, And hastens to the place where it arose.
6 The wind goes toward the south, And turns around to the north; The wind whirls about continually, And comes again on its circuit.
7 All the rivers run into the sea, Yet the sea is not full; To the place from which the rivers come, There they return again.
8 All things are full of labor; Man cannot express it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, Nor the ear filled with hearing.
9 That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there anything of which it may be said, "See, this is new"? It has already been in ancient times before us.
11 There is no remembrance of former things, Nor will there be any remembrance of things that are to come By those who will come after.
12 I, the Preacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
13 And I set my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven; this burdensome task God has given to the sons of man, by which they may be exercised.
14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind.
15 What is crooked cannot be made straight, And what is lacking cannot be numbered.
16 I communed with my heart, saying, "Look, I have attained greatness, and have gained more wisdom than all who were before me in Jerusalem. My heart has understood great wisdom and knowledge."
17 And I set my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is grasping for the wind.
18 For in much wisdom is much grief, And he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.
Ecclesiastes 2 (NKJV™)
1 I said in my heart, "Come now, I will test you with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure"; but surely, this also was vanity.
2 I said of laughter--"Madness!"; and of mirth, "What does it accomplish?"
3 I searched in my heart how to gratify my flesh with wine, while guiding my heart with wisdom, and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the sons of men to do under heaven all the days of their lives.
4 I made my works great, I built myself houses, and planted myself vineyards.
5 I made myself gardens and orchards, and I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them.
6 I made myself water pools from which to water the growing trees of the grove.
7 I acquired male and female servants, and had servants born in my house. Yes, I had greater possessions of herds and flocks than all who were in Jerusalem before me.
8 I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the special treasures of kings and of the provinces. I acquired male and female singers, the delights of the sons of men, and musical instruments of all kinds.
9 So I became great and excelled more than all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me.
10 Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, For my heart rejoiced in all my labor; And this was my reward from all my labor.
11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done And on the labor in which I had toiled; And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun.
12 Then I turned myself to consider wisdom and madness and folly; For what can the man do who succeeds the king?--Only what he has already done.
13 Then I saw that wisdom excels folly As light excels darkness.
14 The wise man's eyes are in his head, But the fool walks in darkness. Yet I myself perceived That the same event happens to them all.
15 So I said in my heart, "As it happens to the fool, It also happens to me, And why was I then more wise?" Then I said in my heart, "This also is vanity."
16 For there is no more remembrance of the wise than of the fool forever, Since all that now is will be forgotten in the days to come. And how does a wise man die? As the fool!
17 Therefore I hated life because the work that was done under the sun was distressing to me, for all is vanity and grasping for the wind.
18 Then I hated all my labor in which I had toiled under the sun, because I must leave it to the man who will come after me.
19 And who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will rule over all my labor in which I toiled and in which I have shown myself wise under the sun. This also is vanity.
20 Therefore I turned my heart and despaired of all the labor in which I had toiled under the sun.
21 For there is a man whose labor is with wisdom, knowledge, and skill; yet he must leave his heritage to a man who has not labored for it. This also is vanity and a great evil.
22 For what has man for all his labor, and for the striving of his heart with which he has toiled under the sun?
23 For all his days are sorrowful, and his work burdensome; even in the night his heart takes no rest. This also is vanity.
24 Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God.
25 For who can eat, or who can have enjoyment, more than I?
26 For God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to a man who is good in His sight; but to the sinner He gives the work of gathering and collecting, that he may give to him who is good before God. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.
Ecclesiastes 3 (NKJV™)
1 To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:
2 A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted;
3 A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away;
7 A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;
8 A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace.
9 What profit has the worker from that in which he labors?
10 I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied.
11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.
12 I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives,
13 and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor--it is the gift of God.
14 I know that whatever God does, It shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, And nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him.
15 That which is has already been, And what is to be has already been; And God requires an account of what is past.
16 Moreover I saw under the sun: In the place of judgment, Wickedness was there; And in the place of righteousness, Iniquity was there.
17 I said in my heart, "God shall judge the righteous and the wicked, For there is a time there for every purpose and for every work."
18 I said in my heart, "Concerning the condition of the sons of men, God tests them, that they may see that they themselves are like animals."
19 For what happens to the sons of men also happens to animals; one thing befalls them: as one dies, so dies the other. Surely, they all have one breath; man has no advantage over animals, for all is vanity.
20 All go to one place: all are from the dust, and all return to dust.
21 Who knows the spirit of the sons of men, which goes upward, and the spirit of the animal, which goes down to the earth?
22 So I perceived that nothing is better than that a man should rejoice in his own works, for that is his heritage. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?
Ecclesiastes 4 (NKJV™)
1 Then I returned and considered all the oppression that is done under the sun: And look! The tears of the oppressed, But they have no comforter--On the side of their oppressors there is power, But they have no comforter.
2 Therefore I praised the dead who were already dead, More than the living who are still alive.
3 Yet, better than both is he who has never existed, Who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.
4 Again, I saw that for all toil and every skillful work a man is envied by his neighbor. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.
5 The fool folds his hands And consumes his own flesh.
6 Better a handful with quietness Than both hands full, together with toil and grasping for the wind.
7 Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun:
8 There is one alone, without companion: He has neither son nor brother. Yet there is no end to all his labors, Nor is his eye satisfied with riches. But he never asks, "For whom do I toil and deprive myself of good?" This also is vanity and a grave misfortune.
9 Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor.
10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up.
11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
13 Better a poor and wise youth Than an old and foolish king who will be admonished no more.
14 For he comes out of prison to be king, Although he was born poor in his kingdom.
15 I saw all the living who walk under the sun; They were with the second youth who stands in his place.
16 There was no end of all the people over whom he was made king; Yet those who come afterward will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and grasping for the wind.
Ecclesiastes 5 (NKJV™)
1 Walk prudently when you go to the house of God; and draw near to hear rather than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do evil.
2 Do not be rash with your mouth, And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few.
3 For a dream comes through much activity, And a fool's voice is known by his many words.
4 When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; For He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed--
5 Better not to vow than to vow and not pay.
6 Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, nor say before the messenger of God that it was an error. Why should God be angry at your excuse and destroy the work of your hands?
7 For in the multitude of dreams and many words there is also vanity. But fear God.
8 If you see the oppression of the poor, and the violent perversion of justice and righteousness in a province, do not marvel at the matter; for high official watches over high official, and higher officials are over them.
9 Moreover the profit of the land is for all; even the king is served from the field.
10 He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; Nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity.
11 When goods increase, They increase who eat them; So what profit have the owners Except to see them with their eyes?
12 The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, Whether he eats little or much; But the abundance of the rich will not permit him to sleep.
13 There is a severe evil which I have seen under the sun: Riches kept for their owner to his hurt.
14 But those riches perish through misfortune; When he begets a son, there is nothing in his hand.
15 As he came from his mother's womb, naked shall he return, To go as he came; And he shall take nothing from his labor Which he may carry away in his hand.
16 And this also is a severe evil--Just exactly as he came, so shall he go. And what profit has he who has labored for the wind?
17 All his days he also eats in darkness, And he has much sorrow and sickness and anger.
18 Here is what I have seen: It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage.
19 As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor--this is the gift of God.
20 For he will not dwell unduly on the days of his life, because God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart.
Ecclesiastes 6 (NKJV™)
1 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men:
2 A man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honor, so that he lacks nothing for himself of all he desires; yet God does not give him power to eat of it, but a foreigner consumes it. This is vanity, and it is an evil affliction.
3 If a man begets a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with goodness, or indeed he has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better than he--
4 for it comes in vanity and departs in darkness, and its name is covered with darkness.
5 Though it has not seen the sun or known anything, this has more rest than that man,
6 even if he lives a thousand years twice--but has not seen goodness. Do not all go to one place?
7 All the labor of man is for his mouth, And yet the soul is not satisfied.
8 For what more has the wise man than the fool? What does the poor man have, Who knows how to walk before the living?
9 Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of desire. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.
10 Whatever one is, he has been named already, For it is known that he is man; And he cannot contend with Him who is mightier than he.
11 Since there are many things that increase vanity, How is man the better?
12 For who knows what is good for man in life, all the days of his vain life which he passes like a shadow? Who can tell a man what will happen after him under the sun?
Ecclesiastes 7 (NKJV™)
1 A good name is better than precious ointment, And the day of death than the day of one's birth;
2 Better to go to the house of mourning Than to go to the house of feasting, For that is the end of all men; And the living will take it to heart.
3 Sorrow is better than laughter, For by a sad countenance the heart is made better.
4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, But the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
5 It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise Than for a man to hear the song of fools.
6 For like the crackling of thorns under a pot, So is the laughter of the fool. This also is vanity.
7 Surely oppression destroys a wise man's reason, And a bribe debases the heart.
8 The end of a thing is better than its beginning; The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
9 Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, For anger rests in the bosom of fools.
10 Do not say, "Why were the former days better than these?" For you do not inquire wisely concerning this.
11 Wisdom is good with an inheritance, And profitable to those who see the sun.
12 For wisdom is a defense as money is a defense, But the excellence of knowledge is that wisdom gives life to those who have it.
13 Consider the work of God; For who can make straight what He has made crooked?
14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, But in the day of adversity consider: Surely God has appointed the one as well as the other, So that man can find out nothing that will come after him.
15 I have seen everything in my days of vanity: There is a just man who perishes in his righteousness, And there is a wicked man who prolongs life in his wickedness.
16 Do not be overly righteous, Nor be overly wise: Why should you destroy yourself?
17 Do not be overly wicked, Nor be foolish: Why should you die before your time?
18 It is good that you grasp this, And also not remove your hand from the other; For he who fears God will escape them all.
19 Wisdom strengthens the wise More than ten rulers of the city.
20 For there is not a just man on earth who does good And does not sin.
21 Also do not take to heart everything people say, Lest you hear your servant cursing you.
22 For many times, also, your own heart has known That even you have cursed others.
23 All this I have proved by wisdom. I said, "I will be wise"; But it was far from me.
24 As for that which is far off and exceedingly deep, Who can find it out?
25 I applied my heart to know, To search and seek out wisdom and the reason of things, To know the wickedness of folly, Even of foolishness and madness.
26 And I find more bitter than death The woman whose heart is snares and nets, Whose hands are fetters. He who pleases God shall escape from her, But the sinner shall be trapped by her.
27 "Here is what I have found," says the Preacher, "Adding one thing to the other to find out the reason,
28 Which my soul still seeks but I cannot find: One man among a thousand I have found, But a woman among all these I have not found.
29 Truly, this only I have found: That God made man upright, But they have sought out many schemes."
Ecclesiastes 8 (NKJV™)
1 Who is like a wise man? And who knows the interpretation of a thing? A man's wisdom makes his face shine, And the sternness of his face is changed.
2 I say, "Keep the king's commandment for the sake of your oath to God.
3 "Do not be hasty to go from his presence. Do not take your stand for an evil thing, for he does whatever pleases him."
4 Where the word of a king is, there is power; And who may say to him, "What are you doing?"
5 He who keeps his command will experience nothing harmful; And a wise man's heart discerns both time and judgment,
6 Because for every matter there is a time and judgment, Though the misery of man increases greatly.
7 For he does not know what will happen; So who can tell him when it will occur?
8 No one has power over the spirit to retain the spirit, And no one has power in the day of death. There is no release from that war, And wickedness will not deliver those who are given to it.
9 All this I have seen, and applied my heart to every work that is done under the sun: There is a time in which one man rules over another to his own hurt.
10 Then I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of holiness, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done. This also is vanity.
11 Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.
12 Though a sinner does evil a hundred times, and his days are prolonged, yet I surely know that it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him.
13 But it will not be well with the wicked; nor will he prolong his days, which are as a shadow, because he does not fear before God.
14 There is a vanity which occurs on earth, that there are just men to whom it happens according to the work of the wicked; again, there are wicked men to whom it happens according to the work of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity.
15 So I commended enjoyment, because a man has nothing better under the sun than to eat, drink, and be merry; for this will remain with him in his labor all the days of his life which God gives him under the sun.
16 When I applied my heart to know wisdom and to see the business that is done on earth, even though one sees no sleep day or night,
17 then I saw all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. For though a man labors to discover it, yet he will not find it; moreover, though a wise man attempts to know it, he will not be able to find it.
Ecclesiastes 9 (NKJV™)
1 For I considered all this in my heart, so that I could declare it all: that the righteous and the wise and their works are in the hand of God. People know neither love nor hatred by anything they see before them.
2 All things come alike to all: One event happens to the righteous and the wicked; To the good, the clean, and the unclean; To him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As is the good, so is the sinner; He who takes an oath as he who fears an oath.
3 This is an evil in all that is done under the sun: that one thing happens to all. Truly the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil; madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.
4 But for him who is joined to all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
5 For the living know that they will die; But the dead know nothing, And they have no more reward, For the memory of them is forgotten.
6 Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished; Nevermore will they have a share In anything done under the sun.
7 Go, eat your bread with joy, And drink your wine with a merry heart; For God has already accepted your works.
8 Let your garments always be white, And let your head lack no oil.
9 Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun.
10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.
11 I returned and saw under the sun that--The race is not to the swift, Nor the battle to the strong, Nor bread to the wise, Nor riches to men of understanding, Nor favor to men of skill; But time and chance happen to them all.
12 For man also does not know his time: Like fish taken in a cruel net, Like birds caught in a snare, So the sons of men are snared in an evil time, When it falls suddenly upon them.
13 This wisdom I have also seen under the sun, and it seemed great to me:
14 There was a little city with few men in it; and a great king came against it, besieged it, and built great snares around it.
15 Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that same poor man.
16 Then I said: "Wisdom is better than strength. Nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, And his words are not heard.
17 Words of the wise, spoken quietly, should be heard Rather than the shout of a ruler of fools.
18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war; But one sinner destroys much good."
Ecclesiastes 10 (NKJV™)
1 Dead flies putrefy the perfumer's ointment, And cause it to give off a foul odor; So does a little folly to one respected for wisdom and honor.
2 A wise man's heart is at his right hand, But a fool's heart at his left.
3 Even when a fool walks along the way, He lacks wisdom, And he shows everyone that he is a fool.
4 If the spirit of the ruler rises against you, Do not leave your post; For conciliation pacifies great offenses.
5 There is an evil I have seen under the sun, As an error proceeding from the ruler:
6 Folly is set in great dignity, While the rich sit in a lowly place.
7 I have seen servants on horses, While princes walk on the ground like servants.
8 He who digs a pit will fall into it, And whoever breaks through a wall will be bitten by a serpent.
9 He who quarries stones may be hurt by them, And he who splits wood may be endangered by it.
10 If the ax is dull, And one does not sharpen the edge, Then he must use more strength; But wisdom brings success.
11 A serpent may bite when it is not charmed; The babbler is no different.
12 The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious, But the lips of a fool shall swallow him up;
13 The words of his mouth begin with foolishness, And the end of his talk is raving madness.
14 A fool also multiplies words. No man knows what is to be; Who can tell him what will be after him?
15 The labor of fools wearies them, For they do not even know how to go to the city!
16 Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child, And your princes feast in the morning!
17 Blessed are you, O land, when your king is the son of nobles, And your princes feast at the proper time--For strength and not for drunkenness!
18 Because of laziness the building decays, And through idleness of hands the house leaks.
19 A feast is made for laughter, And wine makes merry; But money answers everything.
20 Do not curse the king, even in your thought; Do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom; For a bird of the air may carry your voice, And a bird in flight may tell the matter.
Ecclesiastes 11 (NKJV™)
1 Cast your bread upon the waters, For you will find it after many days.
2 Give a serving to seven, and also to eight, For you do not know what evil will be on the earth.
3 If the clouds are full of rain, They empty themselves upon the earth; And if a tree falls to the south or the north, In the place where the tree falls, there it shall lie.
4 He who observes the wind will not sow, And he who regards the clouds will not reap.
5 As you do not know what is the way of the wind, Or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, So you do not know the works of God who makes everything.
6 In the morning sow your seed, And in the evening do not withhold your hand; For you do not know which will prosper, Either this or that, Or whether both alike will be good.
7 Truly the light is sweet, And it is pleasant for the eyes to behold the sun;
8 But if a man lives many years And rejoices in them all, Yet let him remember the days of darkness, For they will be many. All that is coming is vanity.
9 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, And let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth; Walk in the ways of your heart, And in the sight of your eyes; But know that for all these God will bring you into judgment.
10 Therefore remove sorrow from your heart, And put away evil from your flesh, For childhood and youth are vanity.
Ecclesiastes 12 (NKJV™)
1 Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the difficult days come, And the years draw near when you say, "I have no pleasure in them":
2 While the sun and the light, The moon and the stars, Are not darkened, And the clouds do not return after the rain;
3 In the day when the keepers of the house tremble, And the strong men bow down; When the grinders cease because they are few, And those that look through the windows grow dim;
4 When the doors are shut in the streets, And the sound of grinding is low; When one rises up at the sound of a bird, And all the daughters of music are brought low;
5 Also they are afraid of height, And of terrors in the way; When the almond tree blossoms, The grasshopper is a burden, And desire fails. For man goes to his eternal home, And the mourners go about the streets.
6 Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed, Or the golden bowl is broken, Or the pitcher shattered at the fountain, Or the wheel broken at the well.
7 Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it.
8 "Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher, "All is vanity."
9 And moreover, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yes, he pondered and sought out and set in order many proverbs.
10 The Preacher sought to find acceptable words; and what was written was upright--words of truth.
11 The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd.
12 And further, my son, be admonished by these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh.
13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man's all.
14 For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.

New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Bible from 30,000 Feet, The

Join us as we continue The Bible From 30,000 Feet, taking our thirtieth flight high above the book of Ecclesiastes. This book reveals some startling truths about how King Solomon felt about finding meaning and fulfillment in life through the things of this world, and ultimately his conclusion that "all is vanity" in a life lived without God. The key chapters to review are 1-3, 5, 8, and 12.

Have you ever wanted to learn how The Bible fits together? The Bible from 30,000 Feet is an overview study through the entire Bible, hitting the highlights of its people, places, events and themes in about a year. This series will give you a coherent understanding of the holy word of God.



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Detailed Notes

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DESTINATION: Ecclesiastes 1-12

The book of Ecclesiastes records an intense search by Solomon to find
meaning and fulfillment in life. The main theme in Ecclesiastes is
"vanity." Solomon realized that all the things this world has to offer are
empty, that life's pursuits lead only to frustration, and that life apart
from God is meaningless.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS:

961 - 922 B.C.
Solomon reigns over the Unified Kingdom of Israel

The dating of this book is a subject of controversy. Some believe that Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes in the early years of his life, before he was swept away into carnality by his foreign wives. Still others speculate that he wrote Ecclesiastes in the twilight of his life, as a testimony of the futility of a life lived without God.

TRIP PLANNER:

What is the meaning of life? At some point in life, everyone asks this question. The book of Ecclesiastes is a search to answer that question. Does fulfillment come through wealth, power, relationships, and wisdom? After tasting all that this world has to offer, Solomon concludes that life without God is meaningless. Ecclesiastes can be divided into three parts.
  1. Declaration of vanity: 1:1-11
  2. Demonstration of vanity: 1:12-6:12 Included here are the pursuit of knowledge, amusements,
    possessions, madness and folly, labor, philosophy, and riches. All are vanity, otherwise stated as "meaningless."
  3. Deliverance from vanity: 7:1-12:14 Without God's help, humans cannot discover what is good for them to do; and without God's revelation man does not know
    what is in the future. Conclusion: All man's efforts to find happiness apart from God are without result.

PLACES OF INTEREST:

Israel - Israel is mentioned one time in Ecclesiastes. In Prov. 1:12 the author describes himself as the King of Israel over Jerusalem. During this time in the history of the kings, the Kingdom of Israel had not yet been divided. Israel was the name given to Jacob as a promise by God that He would make of his descendents a mighty nation – the Nation of Israel.

Jerusalem - Jerusalem is mentioned six times in this short book. Jerusalem was the city of the king of Israel and the center of all religious activity. It is likely that the book of Ecclesiastes was written from Jerusalem.

PEOPLE OF INTEREST:

Solomon - Author of the book of Ecclesiastes. His title is given in 1:1, "Son of David, King in Jerusalem." Enthroned at a very young age, he was cast into leadership at a volatile time in Israel's history. I Kings 3:4-9 records that God came to Solomon at night in a dream and said, "Ask for whatever you want me to give to you." So Solomon asked God for wisdom and a discerning heart. God answered that prayer, for Solomon was known for his extraordinary wisdom. Ecclesiastes is a glimpse into the pursuit and folly of all wisdom.

FUN FACTS:

Search for Satisfaction - As Solomon drifted away from God he sought fulfillment in many things. Solomon sought after wisdom (1:12-18), pleasure (2:1-3), accomplishments (2:4-6), and possessions (2:7-17). The result of this search brought Solomon grief (1:18), vanity (2:1), and a hatred for life (2:17).

Vanity - The word literally means "breath" or "vapor." Solomon uses this word to describe wealth, power, pleasures, and fame as passing away, much as warm breath fades away in the cool, crisp air. This same word is used by Job (Job 7:7) to describe human life, and by Jeremiah (Jer. 18:15) to denounce idolatry, but nobody uses it more than Solomon in Ecclesiastes. He says that all of life is vanity without God. Ecclesiastes - The Hebrew title qoheleth is a rare term found only in Ecclesiastes. The Greek word is Ecclesiastes, which comes from two words ek "out of" and klesis "a calling," and it literally means one who speaks to an assembly or, as Solomon calls himself, "the preacher."

Example of Solomon's wisdom - Solomon's wisdom is most often recalled by a famous incident in which two women came before him with a baby, each claiming to be the mother. Solomon ordered the child be cut in half, and by observing each woman's reaction determined the true mother.

The Byrds - Ecclesiastes 3 was the inspiration to a song entitled "Turn, Turn, Turn," written in 1965 by The Byrds, a 60's rock group!

Transcript

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Heavenly Father, as we approach Your word even though we are flying over it, and not going to every single verse, every phrase, but we are considering how it all fits together and what is the grand theme of this book, the big idea, the big message for our lives.

You have written this and allowed it to be written by Solomon for our purpose, Paul told us that. Paul said all of these things were written before hand for our admonition. We pray that You would allow us to have hearts that are not only open, but willing to hear, and willing to practice, and apply what we hear. You said, "How much has been given much shall be required". So thank You that we have the freedom in this country to gather, and to learn, and then to practice. We just pray that You would help us tonight Lord to understand this Book, and to enjoy the learning of it. In Jesus name, Amen!

It was Mark Twain who once said, "life would be whole lot better if we could be born at age 80, and then gradually approach age 18." Now just imagine that, imagine being born with all the wisdom and experience of the age, and then moving to whim and vigor of youth, after you have all of that wisdom behind you? Life doesn't work that way, we know. What happens is the opposite, we come into this life, we look around, we experience things, we ask questions, we probe the meaning of life, and then over a period of time we derive wisdom from learning, and wisdom from experiences, and then we are already in older age by that time. That's real life, that's how it happens. We can also learn however from others mistakes, their journey, and we have a journey that Solomon writes about that we can learn from.

One of the big questions that people have, in fact, I think everybody has, it is the big question, and that is, why am I here? What is the purpose and meaning of life, everybody asks that question, everybody wonders. Every thinking person want to know why am I here? Philosophers, Theologians, Professors, Students, even Bible writers like Solomon asked that question, what is the purpose of life?

To anyone who may be here who wonders if the Bible is current and relevant needs to read the Book of a Ecclesiastics, because the guy not only ask that question, but he deals very honestly with what he uncovers, surprisingly so. It's a very open vulnerable book. Now this Book of Ecclesiastes in the English Cannon, and when I use the term Cannon, I don't mean weapon. I mean list of books. In the English Cannon, the Book of Ecclesiastes is the fourth of the five poetic books of the Old Testament, by now you are familiar with those.

Job, Psalms, Proverbs, fourth is Ecclesiastes, and number five is the Song of Solomon, that's all Hebrew Poetry. So it's the fourth of five poetic books. In the Hebrew cannon, it's one of the books called the Megilloth, we would spell it, Megiloth with a 'th,' with means the five scrolls. These are five little book that comprise a section in the Hebrew cannon, the Megilloth, the five scrolls, and they are: Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Ruth, Esther and Lamentations, and those five scrolls are read throughout the year for special festivals, special feasts.

And this one, this little book is read in the fall every year in Synagogues in Israel at the feast of Tabernacles. I want to give you an outline of the book, because the outline of the book is sort of critical to understanding a very meandering book, it would seem like. Number one is Solomon's Search that comprises Chapters 1-4. Solomon's Search, he is very open and honest about the questions in life, and he is searching, and he explains where he looks to find the answers, that's Solomon search.

then Solomon's Sayings, comprise Chapter 5-10, and then Solomon's Solution is Chapters 11 and 12. So his search, his sayings and his solution. In his sayings, there is sort of along the lines of a search, but he gives pearls of wisdom, many of which we are going to look briefly at, and sum up tonight, because it's echoed in the Book of Proverbs.

Proverbs 1:1
The words of preacher the son of David, King in Jerusalem. Now when you hear the word preacher, you're probably apt to think of somebody standing behind the pulpit, giving a sermon, that's not the idea of the word. In fact, I don't think it's a good translation, the words of the preacher. The Hebrew is Cohelet, and it means one who gathers or one of who convenes. It's really not a preacher per se, it's a whole different idea of somebody who collects, or gathers, or assembles people.

The Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word Cohelet would be ecclesiastic or a cleric. The New Testament word for Church, Ecclesia, has that idea. That means a gathering of people. So perhaps a better word is the collector, because what Solomon does here is, he collects various philosophies from his own personal experience, and from interviewing other people, and observing other people, he collects different ideologies about life. What is the purpose and meaning of life? So may be a better translation of preacher would be searcher.

In fact, I would love to say right next to Ecclesiastes on page one of your Bible, write, the search, that's the theme of the book, The Search, or The Grand Search. He is searching for the purpose of life, the words of preacher, the searcher, the son of David, the King in Jerusalem.

We were in Jerusalem couple weeks back, or this last week, and couple of the guys that weren't on the tour, and didn't have the opportunity to hear the explanation for about an hour I walked them down toward the Kidron Valley and pointed to where the ancient wall stood in David's time, it's still there in part. And the palace remains of Solomon, while he was King in Jerusalem, still can be seen today. This was the king in Jerusalem, because after Solomon was reborn and then the Kingdom splits. So this really is written by King Solomon. Verse 2, and that first word and second word that is repeated, is one of the great themes of this book.

Ecclesiastes 1:2
"Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity." Your translation may say emptiness or meaninglessness.

You could even translate it, soap bubbles, but you will never find a translation that says that, you know what I am talking about. When we were in Israel, we went to a one little park, and I noticed this kid with soap bubbles, and I thought of this. It appears for a second, but there is really nothing there, it's just a little envelope of soap, and pup, it's gone, it's empty it's vanity. Soap bubbles, soap bubbles, says Solomon, everything is just a bunch of soap bubbles. What profit has as man from all his labor in which he toils under the sun? Now this sums up, these two versus, Solomon's thinking, at least doing this period of his life. 37 times in this book you are going to read the word vanity or emptiness, 37 times.

Verse two, five times that word is mentioned in one verse alone. So this is his thinking at this point in life as he is looking around before he comes up with a solution. It's as if Solomon is saying, everything I had ever tasted in life, leaves me no satisfaction, I am empty, it's tasteless. Another key here, in the ancient world and in the Hebrew language, you will sometimes hear words written or you read them written, and then repeat it, vanity, vanity, or verily, verily, and that just is there for emphasis. It's like saying, let me tell you about how empty it is, it's empty, empty. Let me tell you how true it is, it's verily, verily, just all there for emphasis. It's as if he is saying, I am going to describe emptiness to the max. I am going to describe vanity turned up to ten, everything I have tried is empty, vain, senseless.

This really is the view of the pessimist, you certainly don't want this guy counseling you for your marriage. Well, give me some advice. Oh, why bother, it's all meaningless, it's all emptiness. You wouldn't hire this guy to pep up your company. He is a pessimist. I heard about two guys. they were both pessimists. they met one evening for dinner. and instead of shaking hands, they just shook heads. That's how they lived their lives. Now look at Verse 3 a little more carefully, and we are going to focus a little more upfront in this book, and then sum up large parts of it, and end on the solution. But I want you to look in Verse 3, because, even though this is the view of a pessimist, Solomon strikes a chord of truth. There is something true in what he says in Verse 3.

Ecclesiastes 1:3
"What profit has a man from all his labor in which he toils under the sun?"

Nothing does satisfy in this life, after you have experienced whatever it is you are in to, after you have sucked life dry of all of its pleasure, in the end you are not satisfied, it leaves you empty. So he looks around, what satisfies, what can fill me? Answer, zilch, nada, nothing, everything is vanity. There is another key phrase, and again, you need to see this upfront, because it's mentioned 29 times in this book. Look at the phrase, under the sun, and you'll see this used a lot in this book. Solomon is looking at life under the sun, that is on the horizontal plane on earth in the material realm only. I gave this book a fresh read, this week I went over it, and over it, and over it. And I thought this, if there was ever a book that anticipated the New Covenant, the New Testament, it's this book.

Here is the guy looking at life through various experiences, various lenses, looking for meaning, but it's all under the sun. it's all on the horizontal, not the vertical plain, not the spiritual plain. We get to the New Testament, Book of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and its life under the Son, the Son of God, God the Son, life takes on a whole new meaning, a whole purpose, when it's life under the Son, not just life under the sun. Solomon looks around at life under the sun, and it's all empty.

Look at the next verse, Verse 4, this begins Solomon search. One generation passes away. Now let me just tell you where he is going in the next few verses. For us to see what a happy life is to be like, Solomon first describes what a happy life is not. He goes by the negative, and I don't know if you will be able to hear it, but when I read it I can hear cynicism in his voice, I can hear that cynicism all the way through the book, this fatalistic out look.

As he describes the predictability of life, the tedium of life, all of the cycles, get up in the morning, go to bed at night and just on and on. Yeah, I can hear it. One generation passes away, another generation comes, but the earth abides forever. Today on planet earth, about 365,000 were born in the last 24 hour period. Today on earth, in the last 24 hour period, about 147,000 people died. Tomorrow in the next 24 hour period, about 365,000 people will be born, and another 147,000 people will die, in the next day, in the next day, happen days before, and days before, and fewer and fewer as there weren't as many people on the earth, but Solomon notices this predictable tedious cycle of birth and death. What's the point he asks? Verse 5.

Ecclesiastes 1:5-6
"The sun also rises, the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it arose, the wind goes toward the south, turns around to the North, the wind whirls about continually, and comes again on its circuit.

Solomon does recognize that life is not haphazard that there are consistent predictable cycles in the biosphere under the sun, where he is looking. All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full, to the place from the which the rivers come, there they return again. What's he describing? Solomon is describing the hydrological cycle. See, the ocean puts moisture in the air that vaporizes the wind and takes the moist air that is produced by the large body of water, the ocean, and pushes that moist air inland, and clouds form, and it rains over the land, the land then collects the water in little rivulets, and the rivers dump the water back into the ocean, and the cycle starts all over again. And Solomon goes, what's the point, all things are full of labor the verse says.

Ecclesiastes 1:8-9
"All things are full of labor; man cannot express it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. That which has been is that will be, and which is done, is that will be done. And there is nothing new under the sun."

I will say this about Solomon, I certainly don't want to contradict him too much, after all God said he is like the wisest dude on earth, right at the time God gave him wisdom. Solomon is absolutely correct in his observations, but I take issue with the conclusions of those observations. The observations are correct, and yet there is something missing in his thinking. In fact, it doesn't really get answered fully until the New Testament. Listen to this verse, and see if it doesn't fit what Solomon is struggling with perfectly. This comes to us by Paul the apostle in Roman Chapter 8 Verse 20. Paul writes:

Roman 8:20
"For all creation has been subjected to futility, emptiness." All of creation says Paul, has been made empty, not willingly, not because we wanted it, but because of Him, capital H in verse God, who subjected it in hope.

Let me re-translate that to you. This is what he is saying, "God put a hole in your soul," if you ever wonder why is it that people ask these question, why is it that we are looking for satisfaction and purpose and meaning? God put a hole in your soul. He created you empty, He created you empty, why? Because -- and we are going to discuss it later on in a study coming up, because God put eternity in your hearts, Solomon will tell us in Chapter 3. You see, we are creatures made by God for eternity. and nothing on the horizontal level can satisfy us. Material stuff, stuff on the horizontal never fills us. Only stuff that is eternal fills us, satisfies us, it's the way God made us.

Solomon is recognizing observations of what he sees, but the conclusions are inadequate. Verse 12:

Ecclesiastes 1:12
"I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem." Now there was a period of time about 40 years where Solomon was king, and there was piece and prosperity in the land, which means you got a king who has got a lot of time on his hands. He is not fighting wars, he is not struggling to rebuild the kingdom, everything is rebuilt, his father left him a solid kingdom, he stabilize it even more, he has got a lot of time on his hands, and he goes on the search. And I set on my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven: this burdensome task God has given to the sons of man, by which they may be exercised."

Now, there is a shift, Solomon takes off his scientific observer hat at the cycles of life, and puts on his philosopher hat. Right now I am going to philosophize about the purpose of meaning of life apart from the material universe. I think of Solomon, when I read a little clip by Socrates, he was talking about philosophy, and he said, Tongue-in-cheek. He said, by all means get married, because if you find a good wife you will be very happy, and if you don't, you will become a philosopher. The reason I think of Solomon is because of the number of wives and concubines he had and with all of his wealth and all those relationships, he becomes quite a philosopher, and at this point in his life, a very unhappy one.

Ecclesiastes 1:14-16

"I have seen all the works that are done under the sun, and indeed, all is soap bubble, and grasping for the wind." "What is crooked cannot be made straight, what as lacking cannot be numbered, I commune with my heart." So he is thinking internally now, saying, "look, I have attained greatness and have gained more wisdom than all who were before me in Jerusalem. My heart had understood great wisdom and knowledge."

Notice something back in Verse 13, he uses the phrase, "I set my heart," in Verse 2 of the next chapter, I said in my heart, in Verse 16, which we just read, "I communed with my heart." Look at Verse 17, "and I set my heart to know wisdom to know madness, and finally I perceived that this also is grasping for the wind." Notice what his gaze is. At this point his gaze is not upward, it's all inward, which helps us understand his depression.

Somebody wants to put it this way, look around and be distressed, look within and be depressed, look to Jesus and be at rest. His gaze is all on the horizontal, and then from the horizontal to the internal. It's all inward, he doesn't have the right perspective. You cannot take a natural man alienated from God without the life of Christ, educate that person -- I don't care how you educate him, and then expect that person to unravel the mysteries of life. It will be an inadequate conclusion, because it's more than just observation, it's more then just information, there has to be a spiritual revelation, which he has gotten in part, God has given him wisdom, and he will get by the end of this book a more adequate explanation of life.

Next Chapter 2, he tries pleasure off of the science kick, off of the philosophical bent, he is going to try pleasure. Keep in mind he has time on his hands, he has money in his pocket, and he has friends at his side, that's because when you have a lot of money, and a lot of time, you will have a lot of friends. Lot of people will want to be your friend.

Ecclesiastes 2:1
I said in my heart, come now, I will test you with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure, but surely, this also was emptiness. I said of laughter madness, and of mirth, what does it accomplish? I searched in my heart to know how to gratify my flesh with wine, while guiding my heart with wisdom, how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the sons of man to do under heaven, all the days of their lives? So he got into fine wines, and don't picture this guy as an alcoholic with a brown bag and a bottle of Boone's Farm. This is the King of Israel. He is sophisticated man, he is elite, he has got the champagne, it's all about the -- he had it all, and he wanted to see, may be it's in, in the tasting of various wines, I'll become a connoisseur of the stuff. Parties were held at his house in Jerusalem.

Look at Verse 17, listen to this Hugh Hefner party animal with unlimited resources.

Ecclesiastes 2:17
"Therefore I hated life, I wished people who are wondering about happiness, wondering about satisfaction, and about to embark on a journey, like happinesses in relationships, happinesses in alcohol or drugs, or sex or whatever it is. I wish they would read this book firs,t and take it from a guy who has been there, done that, bought the T-shirt, wrote the book. Therefore, I hated life he says. Because the work that was done under the sun was distressing to me, for all is vanity and grasping for the wind." Do you see what's happening? After this period of personal experimentation in Solomon's life, however many years it was, the hole that Paul says God put in us, the hole gets larger.

That feeling of emptiness is more accentuated, temporarily it was taken away during the buzz of the alcohol, or the buzz of the new relationship, but after a while the hole gets larger, more noticeable. I hated life, Verse 18.

Ecclesiastes 2:18
"Then I hated all my labor in which I had toiled under the sun, because I am must leave it to the man who will come after me." And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will rule over all my labor in which I toiled, and in which I have shown myself wise under the sun, this also is vanity." Therefore I turn my heart and despaired of all the labor in which I had toiled under the sun. So he tastes all of these different areas in life, and his conclusion is this: After tasting it and drinking from the goblet of science and philosophy and observable reaction and parting, etcetera, etcetera, life is flat, tasteless, and insipid under the sun, on the horizontal level, under the s-u-n, tasteless, I hated life.

Takes us to Chapter 3, again this is all Solomon's search. To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven, if you grew up in the `60s, you are thinking, ha, they stole this right out of that Byrds song. Solomon took this from the Byrds. If you remember that group Roger McGowan did a song based on this, it's called "Turn! Turn! Turn!" to everything – what? sing it?

Is this a Bible study? with the Lord have me sing this? To everything, forget it. Okay, so instead of going through this, since it's familiar territory, know this, Solomon, in next several verses lists 28 various activities, and he couples them together, and they are opposites, live, die, gather, scatter etc. 28 life activities, and it's to summarize all of the activities of life. It's to say this is the stuff that life is made out of, and though it's become a song, and though we put this on greeting cards, really, the purpose of this section is to convey a sense of boredom, anxiety, fatalism, in all of these activities of life.

But go down to Verse 14.
I know that whatever God does -- notice now he puts God as one of the important subject matters in consideration points in this thinking. I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever, nothing can be added to it, nothing taken from it. God does it that men should fear before Him. That which is has already been, and what is to be has already been, and God requires an account of what is past. Verse 17.

Ecclesiastes 3:17
"I said in my heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work." Now we are starting to get just a little glimmer of light as this horizontal thinker looks at life under the sun, adds God to the equation. And as Solomon brings God into his thinking more and more, and you can follow that journey throughout this whole book, as he brings God into the equation, his outlook changes, because your outlook is changed by your up look.

He brings God into it, and it goes from bewilderment, to beauty, order, purpose, God's sovereign nature, God's control. Though he doesn't understand all of life even at the end of this journey, as God has brought into the equation, things start to make much more sense.

That's how life is. You place God into your outlook, God into your philosophy; you have a cogent, coherent theology that is true and right, and life does start to make sense. You start to see life on earth and life beyond this earth in a whole different way. The confusion goes away. You see, without God life is confusing. Without God, life doesn't make sense. Without God as a special creator who has a plan for His creation, life is a random set of events. It's a bunch of dots that don't connect. Nothing makes sense. So all you are left with, if that's your outlook is, I don't know dude, why we are here, but just make the best of it, do your best. That's the best the world can come up with. Enjoy it now, do your best.

But you bring God into the equation, and things change. Jesus called the process, abundant life. I have come that they may have life, and they might have it more abundantly or to the max. Life, life, just like there is vanity, vanity, you can have life, life, a quality of life. Yes, medical science can add years to your life, but only Jesus Christ can add life to your years, and Solomon though his Old Testament is considering God in his thinking.

Chapter 4, Solomon views a variety of things, and he calls them all vanity, oppression is vanity, working and getting money is vanity, even political success he says is vanity. Interesting, during this selection here to hear that, and read Chapter 4 on your own. Now he was the King, he had the ultimate political position. He was the Monarch over the land. Empty, useless, but there is a gem that's tucked away in Chapter 4, I don't want to just pass it by quickly, but let me just take you through his thought process. Solomon would say, "Because oppression is empty and because competition with other people is empty, both oppression and competitiveness lead to loneliness," and that's Solomon would say, is where friendship comes in. One of the most important things Solomon says in life, is to have a unique group of friends around you to hold you up when life gets tough, a partnership, relationship. Look at Verse 9.

Ecclesiastes 4:9
"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor." Now, by the way that's not just a Solomonic principle, that's a long standing Biblical principle, even before Solomon wrote this as an author of another book of the Bible. Remember what God said in Genesis 2, "it is not good that man should be alone". In fact, since we are speaking about repetition in the original Hebrew, you know what it says, "not good, not good for emphasis, that man should be alone" God built us not only with a hole in our soul, but got built people, not to be Marlboro man, not to be independent, and I am cool enough without you, we need each other.

He build us to be interdependent in relationship, as sticky and as hard that is. So two are better than one, for they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will help lift up his companion, but woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Fellowship is a basic human need. Again, if two lie down together they will keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? The one maybe overpowered by another, two can withstand him, and a threefold chord is not quickly broken. Notice the mathematical progression, one, two, three. One isn't good, two is a lot better than one, but he would say, three is even better than two. Not just a friend, have more than one friend, and have a network. A threefold chord is not quickly broken.

Now I think you are going to understand the analogy very easily, it's a great analogy by the way. If your life is represented by a thread, and you take another life that's represented by a second thread, and you weave those together, you have doubled your strength. You can hang more on it. you can hold more together with it. You add a third chord, and you will not just triple, you will more than triple the strength by binding all three together as one chord. A chord of three strands is not easily broken. So when life lays heavy things on you, and you feel weighed down by trials, you need friends. You need people to help you. You need interdependence, not independence at that point, and yes, you trust in God, but according to Solomon, one of God's blessing is to provide you with a network of people during those times.

Now I have taken liberties with this text at most every weeding I have done for the past 20 some years, and I love to see this as also working in a great level in a Christian relationship. As two come to the altar to be wed, as two walked down the isle, and they stand here many times, and they are about to weave their lives together, I encourage them to make that rope not a chord with two strands, but a chord with three strands, that the life of Christ Himself would be wound and bound together with their lives. That the husband and wife would seek the Lord, love the Lord, keep Him first and derive strength from that relationship of a married couple, given the strength and the power of God as He takes their lives and holds them together with that third chord, which is Christ. It's a beautiful example of friendship.

So that's Solomon's search, Chapters 1 through 4. Now Chapters 5 through 10 are Solomon's Sayings, also based on that keyword, vanity or emptiness, and life under the sun, but it's more of his proverbial statements that are mentioned in this book. Various circumstances in life, Chapters 5 to 10. So, in Chapter 5 the vanity of false worship, in the rest of Chapter 5 and on to Chapter 6, the vanity of wealth or hoarding wealth for one son, no nobody would know that better than Solomon.

Look at Ecclesiastes 5:10.
"He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver, nor he who loves abundance with increase: this is also is soap bubbles. Vanity, now understand something about wealth, it is not evil. In fact, did you notice the phraseology used by Solomon here? Notice what he says, "He who loves silver". You might not even have silver, but you can be someone who doesn't have it, but who loves it, and would do anything to get it, and turns over in his bed at night, wondering how can I get my silver?

You see Paul said, "It's the love of money that's the root of all kinds of evil". It's just not money itself. Abraham was rich, Joseph became very wealthy, and there are others in the Bible who had wealth, it's the hoarding of it, and the loving of it, and being dominated by it, that becomes idolatry. And one of the reasons we want to bring crown financial into our Church life is to help people understand, I am steward, how can I be responsible with it, how can I get out of the bondage of loving it or being controlled and dominated by it?

So the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. It's really your response to it. It's interesting, sometime back, I was in a cab in Las Vegas, and I was talking to the cab driver, and we were talking about people who come to his town for gambling purposes, and he said, here's the statistic. 2% of the people in this town who gamble, of all the people who gamble, only 2% get anything back. 98% of all the people who put money in the slot machines that are on the table, 98% lose. So I just want you to think about that. The whole economy of Las Vegas is built on losers. That's how they survive, they are banking on a bunch of losers coming, and losing their money. 98% will lose their money, 2% will get something back. That's how they can do $2 breakfast, that's how they can have tax free city, a bunch of losers, who will do anything to get money, but they get taken.

Okay, and I have said on that. But I will say this; money for many unbelievers is exactly like Jesus for believers. They trust in money, they look to money, when they are going through a trial, their security is from money, they're refuge, they want to be rescued from it. If I can only have enough cushion, that's what they look to, they treat money like Christians should treat and worship Jesus. That's why Jesus said, "You can't serve both, God and Mammon". You can't do it, and Solomon lived that and spoke freely about it. In Chapter 6, I want to take you to a particular Verse because Solomon brings not only God into this equation, he brings the soul of man, and remember, here is Solomon looking at the horizontal, right? Life under the S-U-N.

Now, he brings the soul into the equation, and watch what he says. Verse 7.

Ecclesiastes 6:7
"All the labor of man is for his mouth, and yet the soul is not satisfied". See, the horizontal, the material world, satisfies the flesh, it doesn't satisfy the real me, the me inside, the who I am deep down in the core. It doesn't really satisfy me, it's all for the mouth, it's all for the flesh, I indulge the physical appetites, like an animal would. So what is the solution? Here is the solution. Soul care, care for your soul. The only part of you that is eternal is your soul. How healthy is your soul? You say, what do you mean, how healthy is my soul? I am saved. But, what's the condition of your -- the health of your soul? You see, you need the right diet for you soul. You might say, you need soul food, which is the word of God, worship, breathing in the breath of heaven, which is prayer. You need that to survive for your soul sake, you need to eat right. Your soul needs exercise, discipleship, fellowship, witnessing obedience to the commands of scripture, all of those will exercise your soul, and make it stronger, and have your soul dominate the flesh. Your soul gets stronger than your flesh. If you feed your flesh, your soul will never will be satisfied, only your flesh will temporarily, and then you will crave more. But if you feed your soul, exercise your soul, care for your soul, then it will become stronger and be uppermost in your life.

Chapter 7 gives us some strange advice. I am going to sum it up and then get into it. If you are invited to a wedding and a funeral at the same time, go to the funeral, not the wedding. Weired advice, isn't it? Look at Verse 2.

Ecclesiastes 7:2-4
"Better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men, and the living will take it to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter. I know you are thinking this guy is way out there. One full awful too many. For by a sad countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.

Again I'll paraphrase it. A stroll through a cemetery may do you more good than a two week vacation on a cruise ship. Why is that? Is this guy gone loony? Is he a macabre? Is he weird? No, he realizes that when you go through a cemetery, or you go to a funeral, or to a place where everybody is wailing, you get a perspective check. You understand something very crucial about life, it's temporary. It's not forever, it's not just two weeks. Life will one day end for all people, so death reminds us what's important. And so he says, sorrow is better than laughter' and in Verse 4, the heart of the wise is in the house of mourning.

As Americans, we in the west will do anything to eradicate our lives of any kind of suffering, any kind of pain, any kind of anything that makes us uncomfortable, and we think, life owes that to us. If you think that way, moreover, if you live that way, you are a very shallow person. A shallow person has lived a trouble free life. There is depth that comes, that only sorrow and sorrowful times can bring. There's roots that go down so deep and change a person so utterly that Solomon says, "really this is a perspective check".

The Arabs in the old days had a proverb, and it suits where they live, "All sunshine makes desert, you get a rainfall, gray day, storm clouds, they bring in abundance of green things." I have always enjoyed a poem. It said:

I walked a mile with Pleasure,
She chattered all the way;
But left me none the wiser,
For all she had to say.
I walked a mile with Sorrow
And ne'er a word said she;
But, oh, the things I learned from her, as Sorrow walked with me!

We hate pain, we hate trials, we hate sorrow, but the question, and I have said it many times, and I will repeat it, yes, one more time. In a trial, don't ask how can I get out this, ask what can I get out of this? Better to go to mourning places, than always at party and pleasure.

Chapter 8 describes the vanity of what Solomon sees. how unfair life seems to him when wicked people prosper and Godly people get the shaft, so to speak, when there is injustice.

Chapter 9 and 10 continues the theme of rain and sunshine falling on the Godly and the ungodly alike. Basically Solomon says, "I have noticed something, life is not fair." Certainly not always fair, and there is an unpredictability of life. You could be here one moment, and gone the next. There is no advance warning.

Now Solomon is an interesting character. Up to this point in history, he is the wealthiest guy that ever lived. He was the Bill Gates of the 10th Century B.C. He had it all. He was wise, he was very rich, he had a larger annual income, than any king during that era. But he came to a point in his life, and I don't know when it was, but it's reflected in this book, maybe it was mid-life crisis, I don't know. Where he started looking differently at life and reexamining questions and reexamining his faith, and he saw the world filled with contradictions, filled with enigmas, everything lost its shine, everything lost its purpose. He was a whatever individual.

You know what I mean by whatever individual? How are you doing man? Whatever. You meet people like that? I mean, there is no spark to them, there is no zest for life, and sometimes it happens, and it's happening more and more to the very young, as they are exposed to so many things and experiences, and life loses its luster very quickly. So whatever time that was, this is his search. Now Solomon up to this point, in his search and his sayings, uses only observable data. Do you understand that? It is just by what he can see and touch and experience and feel, only observable data found in the material of the universe. And it shows us, listen carefully, here is the problem mankind has with his own reason, even though God has given us a mind to think.

We are limited, if we only gather information from observable data in the material world. Here is why? The finite can never grasp the infinite. Does that make sense? If something is infinite, has no boundaries, no borders, that which has borders and boundaries in his finite can never totally grasp that. It's like telling a kid, put the Pacific Ocean in that cup. Can't be done, too vast, too small to contain it. So it's only by observable data in the material universe. So it takes us, and we will quickly move and close Chapters 11 and 12, Solomon's Solution, as he goes from birth to youth, to old age and death.

Ecclesiastes 11:5
"As you do not know what is the way of the wind, or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, so you do not know the works of God who made everything."

Ecclesiastes 11:9
"Rejoice, O young man, in your youth; and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth, and walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes: but know that for all these, God will bring you into judgment. Now I want you to just quickly look once again at the first part of Verse 9. Young folks, you need to hear this, and I believe you need to hear this from older folks. Notice what it says, Rejoice, O young man, in your youth; and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth.

I am rather tired of hearing older folks say to young folks, you need to get serious. I know I am going to get in trouble by saying this. But I have heard that a lot, you need to get serious. and I know what the kids are thinking? What, and end up like you? Always serious. I think from time to time adults and kids need to hear adult say this, you are young, enjoy your youth; you have got vigor, you have got energy. There is nothing wrong with enjoying all of that energy that God has given you. Do have a great time with it. I love seeing kids, I say kids, anybody younger than me is a kid. I love seeing people have fun, I love it, especially when it's wholesome Godly fun, and it's interactive, and it blesses other people.

Enjoy your youth, don't grow up too quick. But you balance that out with this. Know this, whatever choice you do make, you are going to be accountable for it in the end, so make smart choices, have a great time, have a lot of fun, don't take yourself too seriously. Yeah, be serious about life, and life choices certainly, but I think far too many people take themselves more seriously. Lighten up, relax a little bit. Verse 9 is the balance, enjoy life, but don't forget what's ahead, God will bring you into judgment.

Ecclesiastes 12:1
"Remember also thy Creator in the days of thy youth, before the evil days come, what days would those be? Any clue? Yeah, what comes after the days of your youth? Old age, that's the difficult days.

You have heard the old saying, "Old Age Ain't For Sissies". It takes you a lifetime to prepare for old age. And as I read through this, Solomon's observations, my own, your own, life can get very difficult when we get older. Before the difficult days come, and the years draw near, when you say, I have no pleasure in them." So when you are young, have fun, but begin now to setup a pattern of right choices, spiritual choices. Now watch this, very vivid description of old age. I have never ever in literature found a more picturesque description of age, than the next few verses.

Ecclesiastes 12:2
While the sun and the light -- Verse 2, the moon, and the stars are not darken, and the clouds do not return after the rain; describes the fading mental powers that comes with old age. It is one of the marks of older people, their memory can sometimes -- I have to say that, sometimes fade.

Ecclesiastes 12:3
"And the days when the keepers of the house tremble, those would be your arms and your hands that would defend from anybody trying to attack. The keepers of the house tremble, he starts shaking, your body shakes as you get older. And the strong men bow down, that's your legs, that's like the supporting pillars give way, you hobble. When the grinder cease, because they are few, what is that? It's your teeth. Dentistry wasn't what it is today, and you just lost teeth back in those days. You got two teeth to chew your food, and a meal could take quite some time. And those who look through the window grow dim. What's that? Your eyesight, fades away, glasses are so thick you can burn ants with them.

I notice this as soon as I got into my 40s, I used to do this, then I was like that. And then pretty soon it's like this. The elasticity is lost in the eyes, and you can't focus, so I have always – well, I grew up wearing glasses, then I got contacts, and now as I get older, I have a contact that focuses in for the distance, and then one that focuses for the close, and I have to keep changing them every few years, because this happens. When the doors are shut in the streets, the ancient homes had courtyards, and that gate that led out into the street is what he is speaking about here, but this metaphorically, probably speaks of the face falling inward because you lose your grinders.

Right, make sense? And the sound of grinding is low. Some scholars believe this refers to the digestive system. Enough said, I am not going to describe how that works. Notice what's next. When one rises up at the sound of a bird, you wake up a lot at night, and usually I have heard older people talk, my mom and dad they are like, how many times did you wake up last night? And start numbering how many times as they get older. And the daughters of music are brought low. What's that? Your hearing, it's not as sensitive as it is used to be. Those bones and membrane aren't sensitive as they used to be in your ear. Everyone, sounds like they are mumbling, speak up.

Also they are afraid of height and terror in the way, fear of falling. When the almond tree blossoms. What's that? That's your hair turning white. Almond tree has white flowers in the spring, white blossoms. So, you get older. Of course, again, this was before the days of hair color, but I have got the almond tree happening here on the sides. The grasshopper is a burden, and desire fails, for men goes to his eternal home, and the mourners go about the streets. You know age is funny, and I know we have noticed this. When you are young, you think eternity is spread out before you, will never die, you will never get old, we have all thought that somehow.

But then as you get a little bit older, the years go faster, they clip by, and so you tell the kid, don't worry we'll do this next year. What? You might as well say, in the eternity that will happen. Now we say, I will do it next year. Good, and you put that off of two years; put it off a while, because it will happen so quickly.

Verse 13 and we will close, Verse 13 and 14. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. So here is the summary statement made by the searcher, made by the man who observed under the sun. Here is the summary statement, here is the basics. Here is the conclusion of the whole matter. Fear God and keep His Commandments, for this is man's all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.

These three things I want you to walk away with, and they are all right here. Here is the summary statement of life from a guy who lived it all.

Number one, fear God. Remember what that means, fear God, when we went through proverbs? Reverential awe that produces loving submission to a Holy God, fear God.

Number two, obey God, keep His Commandments. Don't just get enthusiastic; enthusiasm is a lot easier than obedience. You get worked up and worship and enthusiastic about Jesus, obedience, though harder than enthusiasm should follow a fear of the Lord, obey Him. Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My Commandments".

Number three, prepare to give an account.

Ecclesiastes 12:14
"God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or bad. Now six times in this course called the Ecclesiastes, Solomon mentions, "One day we are all going to stand before God and give an account for our lives".

Think of this, think of this. If you are a believer tonight, if you are a believer this earth is the closest you will ever get to hell. Now that's good news. If you are a believer tonight, no matter how you have suffered, no matter trials, how many losses you have had, as bad as it is that has ever been, you will never ever see hell. You have been saved from that. This is the closest you will ever get to it.

If you are an unbeliever tonight, and you don't turn to Christ, this earth is the closest you will ever get to heaven. How sad is that? That's like ultra-sad, that's like way sad. Yet I hear unbelievers die, I always hear, when they die, I hear their relatives say, yeah, well, they are in heaven, up in the great golf course in the sky right now. No, they are not. This earth was as good as it got for them, if they don't know Christ. So here's the sum of it all. Give your life to Jesus Christ, fear God, keep His Commandment, for this is man's all.

I will give you three summary statements, life is an opportunity, life without God is empty, death without God is a calamity.

Let's pray, Heavenly Father, I thank You for the struggles and the journal that came from the struggles of Solomon. Thank You that we could learn from it tonight. I pray that these would be abiding lessons that would form our worldview that we wouldn't just look at life under the S-U-N, but under the SON. As You rule and reign in our lives, things makes sense. I pray if anybody here doesn't know You, they'll make their commitment tonight. In Jesus name, Amen!

Additional Messages in this Series

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7/11/2007
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Destination: Genesis 1-11
Genesis 1-11
Skip Heitzig
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We begin The Bible from 30,000 Feet with a tour of Genesis Chapters 1-11. On this flight we'll travel all the way back to the very beginning - The Creation. We'll meet the first man and woman and their deceiver - the Serpent. We'll fly over God's new creation and meet a man named Noah, who God saved from His judgment - the Flood. We'll also take a look at "beginnings," the first time things are mentioned in the Bible a special significance should be given to them. The word Genesis itself is a Greek word that means "origin," the book describes the origins of creation.
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7/18/2007
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Destination: Genesis 12-50
Genesis 12-50
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This week's flight is going to take us over the second section of Genesis, which is biographical in nature and focuses on the lives of four key people. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. We'll travel through the time era known as the Age of the Patriarchs. If you look at your window, we'll be passing over Canaan and Egypt, Canaan is modern day Israel.
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7/25/2007
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Destination: Exodus 1-18
Exodus 1-18
Skip Heitzig
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In our third tour, we'll be visiting the book of Exodus chapters 1-18. We'll get an overview of the central historical event contained in the book, the redemption of God's people from the bondage of Egypt. The setting for our journey is the nation of Egypt and Israel's wanderings through the wilderness. For this flight the key chapters to review in advance are: Exodus: 1, 2, 3, 5, 11, 12 and 14.
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8/1/2007
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Destination: Exodus 19-40
Exodus 19-40
Skip Heitzig
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In our fourth tour, we'll again visit the book of Exodus, visiting chapters 19-40. The setting for this week's journey is the Sinai Peninsula where God reveals the Ten Commandments to the nation of Israel and gives specific instructions on how He is to be worshiped. For this flight the key chapters to review in advance are: Exodus: 20, 25, 26, 27, 29 and 32.
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8/8/2007
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Destination: Leviticus 1-17
Leviticus 1-17
Skip Heitzig
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In our fifth flight from 30,000 Feet, we fly over the first seventeen chapters of the book of Leviticus. This is a book on worship and describes the worship life of the nation of Israel. In this first tour of Leviticus, we'll see how the first part of the book focuses on the way to God through sacrifice and lays down the law - literally - on how man was designed to live and how man can be atoned for his sins. The key chapters to review in advance are: Leviticus: 1-5, 10, 16, 17.
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8/15/2007
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Destination: Leviticus 18-27
Leviticus 18-27
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This week's study will take us through Leviticus chapters 18-27. The theme of Leviticus could be summed up in one word - holiness. The second section of Leviticus focuses on our walk with God through sanctification. Sanctification is the process by which we become holy or set apart for God's purposes. The key chapters to review in advance are: Leviticus 18-20, 22, 23, and 25.
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8/22/2007
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Destination: Numbers 1-14
Numbers 1-14
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Our seventh flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet will take us through Numbers chapters 1-14. Numbers is the fourth of the Pentateuch. In the Hebrew it is called ba-midbar, "in the wilderness." In the Septuagint version it is called Arithmoi or "numbers," and this name is now the usual title of the book. It is so called because it contains a record of the numbering of the people in the wilderness of Sinai (1-4), and of their numbering afterwards on the plain of Moab (26). The key chapters to review in advance are: Numbers 3, 6, 9, 11, 13 & 14.
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8/29/2007
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Destination: Numbers 15-36
Numbers 15-36
Skip Heitzig
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In our eighth flight over the Bible from 30,000 feet Pastor Skip will give us a tour of Numbers chapters 15-36. We'll see that the second section of Numbers covers the failure of one generation to enter the Promised Land and the reorganization of a new generation that enters into the Promised Land. Key chapters for this flight are: 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, and 27.
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9/5/2007
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Destination: Deuteronomy 1-34
Deuteronomy 1-34
Skip Heitzig
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In our ninth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, Pastor Skip Heitzig will take us on a tour through the entire book of Deuteronomy. The Hebrews called it "Elleh Haddevarim," "These are the Words," or "Devarim," (words). Deuteronomy can be organized around three messages given by Moses while the Israelites were on the plains east of the Jordan River. It occurs after the 40 years of wandering and the Israelites are now ready to enter the Promised Land. The key word of this book is covenant and speaks of the special relationship that God has established with His people. Key chapters for this flight are: 6, 7, 31, 32, 33 and 34.
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9/12/2007
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Destination: Joshua 1-12
Joshua 1-12
Skip Heitzig
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Pastor Skip Heitzig will be our tour guide during our tenth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. This week's journey will take us through Joshua 1-12. We'll get to know Joshua, son of Nun, who shared in all the events of the Exodus, and held the place of commander of the host of the Israelites. The book of Joshua describes Israel's conquest of Canaan and the first section describe how Joshua conquered the land. Key chapters for this flight are: Joshua 1, 2, 4, 6, 7 and 10.
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9/26/2007
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Destination: Joshua 13-24
Joshua 13-24
Skip Heitzig
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In our eleventh flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, Pastor Skip Heitzig will give us a tour of the Promised Land. We will see how Joshua divides the land "as an inheritance to Israel," and we'll see different tribes and where they settle, both in and out of the Promised Land. Key chapters for this flight are: Joshua 13 and 20-24.
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10/3/2007
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Destination: Judges 1-10
Judges 1-10
Skip Heitzig
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In our twelfth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, Pastor Skip Heitzig will once again be our tour guide as we take our first look at the book of Judges. We'll see on this tour how the nation of Israel is caught in the cycle of sin and how each cycle results in ever worsening conditions for them. We'll meet some of the characters that God divinely appointed to the office of Judge. The key chapters to review for this flight are Judges 1–3 and 6–8.
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10/10/2007
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Destination: Judges 11-21
Judges 11-21
Skip Heitzig
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Flight thirteen over the Bible from 30,000 Feet will take us over Judges chapters 11-21. Pastor Skip Heitzig will guide us as we complete this overview of Judges. We will see that the second part of Judges shows the fragile nature of these Judges and a people who, "did what was right in their own eyes," that kept them in their sin cycle.
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10/24/2007
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Destination: Ruth 1-4
Ruth 1-4
Skip Heitzig
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In our fourteenth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, Pastor Skip Heitzig will give us a tour of the little romantic book of Ruth. We'll see how the book of Ruth shows the godly courage and love of two very different women from very different backgrounds. We'll meet some amazing characters on this flight who become key people in the genealogy of Jesus Christ.
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11/7/2007
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Destination: 1 Samuel 1-15
1 Samuel 1-15
Skip Heitzig
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The fifteenth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet will take us on journey through 1 Samuel chapters 1-15. Join our tour guide, Pastor Skip Heitzig for this exciting tour on which we'll meet a man who would be become King. This man's good looks, physical size and success in war made him an obvious choice from a human perspective, but the book of 1 Samuel highlights his tragic flaw - he disobeyed God's commands. From the ashes of Saul's tragedy God raises up another man who would become King, a man after His own heart, King David. The key chapters to review are 1-3, 8-10 and 15.
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11/14/2007
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Destination: 1 Samuel 16-31
1 Samuel 16-31
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for flight sixteen over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. This week our tour guide, Pastor Skip Heitzig, will complete our tour of the book of 1 Samuel, covering chapters 16-31. On this flight we'll meet the man who God calls, "a man after my own heart (Acts 13:22)," David son of Jesse. We'll see David as a young shepherd boy who defeats Goliath and rises to national prominence overnight. His instant popularity arouses the jealousy of King Saul and forces David into hiding.
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11/21/2007
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Destination: 2 Samuel 1-10
2 Samuel 1-10
Skip Heitzig
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Flight Seventeen over the Bible from 30,000 Feet will take us over 2 Samuel chapters 1-10. Our tour guide, Pastor Skip Heitzig, will show us David's triumphs as King over Israel, after the death of Saul. Join us as we see how David's faith in God leads him to be victorious politically and militarily as one by one he defeats his enemies. We will also see how David's obedience leads to a new promise from God. The key chapters to review for this flight are 1-3, 5, 7 and 9.
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12/5/2007
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Destination: 2 Samuel 11-24
2 Samuel 11-24
Skip Heitzig
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In our eighteenth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, our tour guide, Pastor Skip Heitzig will take us to our next destination, 2 Samuel 11-24. On this flight we'll see David's transgressions and the troubles that resulted from them. By presenting both the strengths and weaknesses of David, we see a complete picture of a very real person who was described as being "a man after God's own heart." The key chapters to review are 2 Samuel 11, 12, 15, 18, 19, 23, and 24.
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1/9/2008
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Destination: 1 Kings 1-22
1 Kings 1-22
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for flight nineteen over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, as we soar over 1 Kings 1-22. On this flight we will see the transition that Israel undertakes as it moves from the rule of King David to the rule of his son King Solomon after his death. After Solomon turns from the Lord, we will see how Israel is divided and moved in and out of the power of many kings such as Ahab, Jehoshaphat, and Ahaziah. These chapters will reveal a story of true loyalty and disobedience to God. The key chapters to review are 1 Kings 1-3, 6, 8, 11, 12, 18, and 19.
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1/16/2008
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Destination: 2 Kings 1-25
2 Kings 1-25
Skip Heitzig
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Flight twenty over the Bible from 30,000 Feet will take us over the entire book of 2 Kings. Our tour guide, Pastor Skip Heitzig, will continue to lead us through the history of the divided nation of Israel, and how in spite of the many kings who took control of the land, we will still see a nation without true leadership. As we soar over this book, we will see first how Israel comes into captivity by Assyria, and then the triumph of Babylon over Judah. The key chapters to review are 2 Kings 1-4, and 18-21.
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1/23/2008
completed
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Destination: 1 Chronicles 1-29
1 Chronicles 1-29
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for flight twenty-one over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, as we soar over the book of 1 Chronicles. On this flight we look back once again at God's promise that He would establish His reign on earth through King David. Chapters 1-9 of 1 Chronicles will look in-depth at the the royal line of David and then we will see again the reign of David in chapters 10-29. Join us as we fly at an altitude of 30,000 feet and see how God fulfilled His promises to David and how that presents a witness of His faithfulness to us as well. The key chapters to review are 1 Chronicles 17-18, 21-22, 25, and 28-29
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1/30/2008
completed
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Destination: 2 Chronicles 1-36
2 Chronicles 1-36
Skip Heitzig
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Get ready for our twenty-second departure for the Bible from 30,000 Feet. On this flight, Pastor Skip Heitzig will take us soaring over the entire book of 2 Chronicles to see the beginning of the reign of King Solomon all the way to the spiritual roller coaster after Solomon's death and the separation of the kingdoms. From the building of the temple (2 Chronicles 1-9), to the decline of the temple (2 Chronicles 10-36:16), to the destruction of the temple (2 Chronicles 36:17-23), we see a parallel to 1 and 2 Kings from a spiritual viewpoint. The key chapters to review are 2 Chronicles 17-20, and 29-32.
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2/6/2008
completed
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Destination: Ezra 1-10
Ezra 1-10
Skip Heitzig
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Flight twenty-three over the Bible from 30,000 Feet will take us over the entire book of Ezra. Our tour guide, Pastor Skip Heitzig, will point out two very important sections of this book; the restoration of the temple (chapters 1-6), and the reformation of the people (chapters 7-10). This book will continue the narrative of 2 Chronicles by showing God's faithfulness to keep His promises by returning His people to their homeland. The key chapters to review are Ezra 1-10.
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2/13/2008
completed
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Destination: Nehemiah 1-13
Nehemiah 1-13
Skip Heitzig
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Get ready for our twenty-fourth departure for the Bible from 30,000 Feet. We will fly at cruising altitude over the entire book of Nehemiah with our pilot, Pastor Skip Heitzig. In this book, Nehemiah, the king's cupbearer, is given permission to lead third and final return to Jerusalem to repair and rebuild the city's walls. This book will show us a political construction (chapters 1-7), and a spiritual instruction (chapters 8-13). Join us as we see how Nehemiah gathers his spiritual strength from God during a time of great opposition.
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2/27/2008
completed
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Destination: Esther 1-10
Esther 1-10
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for flight twenty-five over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, as we soar over the book of Esther. The flight will be divided into two highly important sections: the threat to the Jews (chapters 1-4), in which we will see Haman's attempt to completely eradicate the Jewish people from Persia, and the triumph of the Jews (chapters 5-10), where we will see a young girl's godly strength and fight to save her people. This flight will show us a whole new set of villains, heroes, and ultimately the ever abounding faithfulness of God towards those who follow Him. The key chapters to review are Esther 1-10.
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3/5/2008
completed
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Destination: Job 1-42
Job 1-42
Skip Heitzig
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Our twenty-sixth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet takes us over the entire book of Job, the first book in the section of poetical books. This is a powerful story of a man who has everything taken from him; his health, wealth, and even his beloved family. Yet as we see God allowing Satan to test Job, God's faithfulness to those he loves is clear and Job's steadfast faith prevails. Join us this week as we see Job's dilemma (ch.1-2), the debate with his four friends (ch. 3-37), and his final deliverance (ch. 38-42). The key chapters to review are Job1-4, 8,11-12, and 29.
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3/12/2008
completed
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Destination: Psalms 1-72
Psalms 1-72
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for flight twenty-seven over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, as we soar over Psalms 1-72. On this flight, Pastor Skip will take us through the first seventy-two chapters of Psalms, which is divided into five books of songs, prayers, and poetry. Join us as we look at the deepest thoughts and emotions on the love and power of God. The key chapters to review are Psalms 1, 14, 23, 40, and 63.
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3/19/2008
completed
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Destination: Psalms 73-150
Psalms 73-150
Skip Heitzig
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Get ready for our twenty-eighth departure of the Bible from 30,000 Feet. We will fly at cruising altitude over the last three books in Psalms as we read through chapters 73-150. We will see beautiful writings of gladness and grief, pleading and prayers, and reverence and worship. Join us as we look at the deepest thoughts and emotions on the love and power of God. The key chapters to review are Psalms 119, and 146-150.
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3/26/2008
completed
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Destination: Proverbs 1-31
Proverbs 1-31
Skip Heitzig
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Flight twenty-nine over the Bible from 30,000 Feet will take us over the entire book of Proverbs. Known for the wisdom it contains, Proverbs reveals to us how to deal with every day situations; be it love and lust, life and death, friends and enemies, and what our God loves and hates. On this flight, Pastor Skip will point out some of the most noted chapters and verses of one of the most read books of the Old Testament. The key chapters to review are Proverbs 1-2, 5, 14, 22, and 31.
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4/30/2008
completed
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Destination: Song of Solomon 1-8
Song_of_Solomon 1-8
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for flight thirty-one over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, as we soar over Song of Solomon. This poetic book gives us a glimpse into the true love that Solomon has for a shepherdess, and the love and fulfillment they share in a marriage relationship. At an altitude of 30,000 feet we will be able to see the strong tie into the fulfillment and joy seen in the love of God for His people. The key chapters to review are Song of Solomon 1-8.
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5/7/2008
completed
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Destination: Isaiah 1-39
Isaiah 1-39
Skip Heitzig
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Our thirty-second flight over the Bible from 30,000 feet will take us soaring over the entire book of Isaiah. Thought to be the greatest of all the Prophets of the Old Testament, Isaiah's ministry lasted around fifty years, and his prophecies are quoted in the New Testament more often than any other Prophet. This book shows us a mix of both prophecies of condemnation (chapters 1-39), as well as prophecies of comfort (chapters 40-66). The key chapters to review are Isaiah 1-2, 6, 40, 52-53, and 55.
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5/14/2008
completed
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Destination: Isaiah 40-66
Isaiah 40-66
Skip Heitzig
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In our thirty-third flight over the Bible from 30,000 feet, Pastor Skip will take us on a flight high above the Bible to look at the second half of Isaiah. As we look through chapters 40-66, we will see the continued work of Isaiah, and how God used his gift of prophecy, both comforting and condemning, to generate change in the individuals he encountered. The key chapters to review are Isaiah 40, 52-53, and 55.
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5/21/2008
completed
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Destination: Jeremiah 1-52
Jeremiah 1-52
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for flight thirty-four over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, as we soar over the entire book of Jeremiah. On this flight, Pastor Skip will take us at an altitude of 30,000 feet to see the three writings of the book of Jeremiah. From the warning of judgment, to the promise of restoration, and finally the protective hand of God over those He loves, we will catch a glimpse of a man who openly allowed God to speak through him in unusual and sometimes bizarre ways to open the eyes of the people of Israel. The key chapters to review are Jeremiah 13, 18-20, 25, 31, and 52.
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6/11/2008
completed
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Destination: Lamentations 1-5
Lamentations 1-5
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for flight thirty-five over the Bible From 30,000 Feet. On this departure, we will look once again at Jeremiah in the book of Lamentations. We will learn why Jeremiah is referred to as "the weeping prophet," as we see him lament over the destruction of Jerusalem. This poetic book begins by revealing a man who is distressed for a nation under the consequences of its own sin, and ends with a prayer for the restoration of the nation from captivity. The key chapters to review are Lamentations 1-5.
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6/18/2008
completed
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Destination: Ezekiel 1-48
Ezekiel 1-48
Skip Heitzig
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In our thirty-sixth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, Pastor Skip will take us on a flight high above the Bible to look at the book of Ezekiel. We will witness prophecies we've seen in past books being fulfilled as we see Jerusalem at the time of the Second Babylonian Deportation. As Ezekiel the Priest is deported alongside his people, we see God continue to offer promises of restoration through him, bringing the people a sense of hope in spite of their current tribulations. The key chapters to review are Ezekiel 1-3, 7, 33-34, and 38-39.
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6/25/2008
completed
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Destination: Daniel 1-6
Daniel 1-6
Skip Heitzig
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Flight thirty-seven over the Bible from 30,000 Feet will take us on a tour of Daniel 1-6. In these chapters, we will see the first of the deportations of the Israelites to Babylon, and witness both the prophetic history of the book, as well as the four prophetic visions of Daniel. Ultimately, the powerful stories in Daniel reveal a man of God; unwilling to compromise and full of faith. The key chapters to review are Daniel 1-2.
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7/2/2008
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Destination: Daniel 7-12
Daniel 7-12
Skip Heitzig
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Our thirty-eighth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet will take us through the second part of Daniel. As we look at chapters 7-12, we will see the four prophetic visions of Daniel, and observe how his faith in God's fulfillment of prophecies led him to fervent prayer for the people of Israel. The key chapters to review are Daniel 9-12.
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7/9/2008
completed
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Destination: Hosea 1-14
Hosea 1-14
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out and place your heart in the upright position for our thirty-ninth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. On this flight, Pastor Skip will take us on a tour over the entire book of Hosea, a man called to prophesy to the Northern Kingdom of Israel during the reign of King Jeroboam. As Hosea addresses the sins of the nation, we will see how God used the graphic parallel between his adulterous wife and the unfaithfulness of Israel. The key chapters to review are Hosea 1-4, 6, 9, and 11.
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7/16/2008
completed
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Destination: Joel; Amos; Obadiah
Joel 1-3; Amos 1-9; Obadiah
Skip Heitzig
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Get ready for flight forty over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. On this flight, our tour guide, Pastor Skip Heitzig, will take us soaring over Joel, Amos, and Obadiah. In these three books, we take a look at the strong warnings that God gives His people against greed, injustice, false worship, and self-righteousness. We'll see God's use of these ordinary men to give extraordinary messages; we'll witness His patience, and at the end, we'll see how He stands ready to forgive and restore all who turn away from their sin. The key chapters to review are Joel 1-3, Amos 1, 3 and 7, and Obadiah 1.
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7/23/2008
completed
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Destination: Jonah 1-4
Jonah 1-4
Skip Heitzig
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Our forty-first flight over the Bible from 30,000 feet will take us to the well known book of Jonah. In this book, we will see what God can do in the life of a prophet, even one who is blatantly disobedient. Despite Jonah's defiance, God strongly redirects his path and brings him to repentance through a very unique situation. By the end of the book, we will see Jonah right back where he started and bringing God glory by doing exactly what He had originally asked of him. The key chapters to review are Jonah 1-4.
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8/6/2008
completed
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Destination: Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk
Micah; Nahum; Habakkuk
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out and place your heart in the upright position for our forty-second flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. On this flight, Pastor Skip will take us on a tour over the books of Micah, Nahum, and Habakkuk, three prophets used by God to criticize, comfort, and encourage the people of Judah. Through these prophets, God's people confess their sins and are confident in the salvation of God's mighty acts. The key chapters to review are Micah 1-7, Nahum 1-3, and Habakkuk 1-3.
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8/13/2008
completed
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Destination: Zephaniah & Haggai
Zephaniah; Haggai
Skip Heitzig
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Prepare yourself for our forty-third flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. This flight will take us soaring over the entirety of both Zephaniah and Haggai. The two books cover five chapters which speak of the coming Day of the Lord, His wrath upon Judah and her neighbors, and an encouragement after their return from exile to rejoice and rebuild the Temple. The key chapters to review are Zephaniah 1-3 and Haggai 1-2.
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8/20/2008
completed
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Destination: Zechariah and Malachi
Zechariah; Malachi
Skip Heitzig
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We are about to take our forty-forth flight over the Bible from 30,000 feet, journeying over the final two books of the Old Testament. In ending the Minor Prophets, we'll first look at the expanded message of rebuilding the temple as Zechariah encourages the people to look to the future reign of the Messiah. We will then speed forward 100 years after the temple was rebuilt to the book of Malachi, where God's chosen people had once again slid back into their sinful practices. After 400 years of prophetic silence, Malachi brings a message of exhortation to the people who had resettled in Jerusalem. The key chapters to review are Zechariah 9-14 and Malachi 1-4.
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9/3/2008
completed
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Destination: Matthew, Mark, and Luke
Matthew, Mark; Luke
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for our opening tour of the New Testament and flight forty-five of the Bible from 30,000 Feet! This flight will take us on a sky-high tour over the books of Matthew, Mark and Luke. These three synoptic gospels give us our first glimpses of Jesus' life and death here on earth. We'll see the service, sermons, sacrifices, and sovereignty of our King as we witness the fulfillment of many of the Old Testament prophecies we have previously studied. The key chapters to review are Matthew 1-5 and 17, Mark, and Luke.
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9/10/2008
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Destination: John
John
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for our forty-sixth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. On this flight, Pastor Skip will take us on a tour through the book of John, written by the Apostle John from Ephesus between A.D. 80-90. The spiritual depth of this book and its presentation of the incarnation through the God-man Jesus Christ sets it apart from the other gospels.
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9/17/2008
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Destination: Acts
Acts
Skip Heitzig
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On our forty-seventh flight over the Bible from 30,000 feet Pastor Skip will give a tour of the entire book of Acts. Acts is the history of how Christianity was founded and organized and solved its problems. The gospel writer Luke tells the story of how the community of believers began by faith in the risen Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit, the promised Counselor and Guide, who enabled them to witness, to love, and to serve.
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9/24/2008
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Destination: Romans
Romans
Skip Heitzig
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We are about to take our forty-eighth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. Join us as we soar over the entire book of Romans, Paul's letter to the church in Rome. This letter primarily focuses on the basic gospel message along with God's plan of salvation and righteousness for all humankind, Jew and Gentile alike. In our broad overview, we'll take a look at Paul's strong emphasis of Christian doctrine and his concern for Israel. The key chapters to review are 1, 3, 4, and 9-11.
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10/8/2008
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Destination: 1 Corinthians
1 Corinthians
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for our forty-ninth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet! As we look at 1 Corinthians, we'll see Paul's letters to the church at Corinth. His letters to the influential church confront their "religious" and arrogant mindsets and defend his ability to be an apostle of Christ. Through God's grace and use of Paul, he is later able to rejoice over the turnaround and acceptance of his God-given authority. The key chapters to review are 1 Corinthians 2-3 & 12-13.
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10/15/2008
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Destination: 2 Corinthians
2 Corinthians
Skip Heitzig
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Our fiftieth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet takes us on a flight over the second of Paul's letters to the church at Corinth. Between 1 & 2 Corinthians, the congregation was influenced by false teachers who spread opposition to Paul. Through God's grace and use of Paul, he is later able to rejoice over the repentance of the people to God and acceptance of his God-given authority. The key chapters to review are 2 Corinthians 4 & 12.
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10/22/2008
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Destination: Galatians
Galatians
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for our fifty-first flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. On this flight, Pastor Skip will take us on a tour through the book of Galatians, a clear letter to the church in Galatia about the importance of remembering grace through faith and not the law. Paul's forceful letter addresses issues of legalism in the church and the false gospel of works. The key chapters to review are Galatians 1-6.
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11/5/2008
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Destination: Ephesians
Ephesians
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Who are we in Christ? Grab your travel planner for flight fifty-two as we look at the book of Ephesians, Paul's letter to the church in Ephesus. In this book, Paul explains how we are the bride of Christ, a temple, and a soldier for the gospel. The unity that Paul emphasizes is described as a body working together for a common goal. The key chapters to review are Ephesians 1-6.
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11/19/2008
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Destination: Philippians
Philippians
Skip Heitzig
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In our fifty-third flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, Pastor Skip will take us through the book of Philippians, another of Paul's letters to the church. Referred to as "the epistle of joy," the message contained in these pages is one of long suffering and joy in the midst of Paul's time in prison. Despite his trials, we will see Paul rejoice over the church in Philippi and encourage them in unity, humility, and prayer. The key chapters to review are Philippians 1-4.
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1/7/2009
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Destination: Colossians
Colossians
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for our fifty-fourth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet! On this flight, we will take a look at the young church in Colosse, and how they became the target of a heretical attack. The main theme in the book of Colossians is the complete adequacy of Christ as contrasted with the emptiness of mere human philosophy. The key chapters to review are Colossians 1-4.
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1/14/2009
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Destination: 1 and 2 Thessalonians
1 Thessalonians 1-5;2 Thessalonians 1-3:18
Skip Heitzig
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In our fifty-fifth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, Pastor Skip will take us on a tour over the books of 1 & 2 Thessalonians. Both books are written as an encouragement to the church in Thessalonica, exhorting them in the word, warning them against pagan immorality, and urging them to remain steadfast in the truth of the Lord. The key chapters to review are 1 Thessalonians 1-5 and 2 Thessalonians 1-3.
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1/21/2009
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Destination: 1 and 2 Timothy
1 Timothy 1-6;2 Timothy 1-4:22
Skip Heitzig
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Join us on a tour over the books of 1 & 2 Timothy as we take our fifty-sixth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. These loving letters to Timothy, a young pastor in Ephesus, reveal Paul's true love for his brother in Christ and desire to encourage him in the Word and warn against false teachings. In these letters, Paul exhorts Timothy to stand strong and "preach the word" (2 Timothy 4:2). The key chapters to review are 1 Timothy 1-6 and 2 Timothy 1-4.
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1/28/2009
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Destination: Titus and Philemon
Titus 1-3:15;Philemon 1:1-25
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for flight fifty-seven of the Bible from 30,000 Feet. On this flight, our tour guide Pastor Skip will take us through the books of Titus and Philemon. While the letter to Titus focuses on the importance of sound doctrine and the elements of the church order, Philemon takes a more personal approach and speaks on the application of the great principles of Christian brotherhood to social life. The key chapters to review are Titus 1-3 and Philemon 1.
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2/4/2009
completed
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Destination: Hebrews
Hebrews
Skip Heitzig
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In our fifty-eighth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, Pastor Skip will take us on a tour over the book of Hebrews. Although the author of the book is not fully known, this well written letter reveals a man with a great desire to encourage Jewish believers to continue in the grace of Jesus Christ, instead of trying to escape persecution by bowing to the rites and rituals of Judaism. The key chapters to review are Hebrews 1-2, 6, 11, and 13.
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2/11/2009
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Destination: James
James
Skip Heitzig
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Our fifty-ninth flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet will take us over the distinctive book of James. Although grace through faith in the cross was vital for Jewish believer to understand, James addresses the issue of faith without a consistent lifestyle. This epistle adamantly declares that, "Just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead, also." (James 2:26) The key chapters to review are James 1-5.
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2/18/2009
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Destination: 1 and 2 Peter
1 Peter 1-5; 2 Peter 1-3
Skip Heitzig
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Get your travel planner out for flight sixty over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. Our tour guide, Pastor Skip Heitzig, will take us on a tour of the books of 1 & 2 Peter. Peter's first letter to the church exhorts Christians to remain steadfast in their faith when under persecution, and his second letter tackles the issue of false teachers and a need for discernment against the spreading apostasy. Both books contain a level of warmth in Peter's expressions, making them a great source of encouragement. The key chapters to review are 1 Peter 1-5 and 2 Peter 1-3.
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2/25/2009
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Destination: 1 John
1 John
Skip Heitzig
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In our sixty-first flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet, our tour guide Pastor Skip will take us through the book of 1 John. John writes to define and defend the nature of the person of Christ against heretical teachings affecting the early church. As John addresses the heretical teachings of the time, he also addresses the preeminence of God's love for us, and our duty to love others in return. The key chapters to review are 1 John 1-5.
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3/25/2009
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Destination: 2, 3 John and Jude
2 John, 3 John; Jude
Skip Heitzig
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Flight sixty-two over the Bible from 30,000 Feet will give a sky high view over three small but concise books, 2 & 3 John and Jude. While all three books have a different primary focus, all are written with the purpose to encourage the church to keep a strong biblical foundation. This study will take us through the importance of biblical discernment, the need to be in fellowship with other believers, as well as the vital need to keep strong in the faith. The key chapters to review are 2 & 3 John, and Jude.
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4/1/2009
completed
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Destination: Revelation 1-11
Revelation 1-11
Skip Heitzig
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With only two more flights to go, we welcome you to get your travel planner ready for the first half of the book of Revelation and flight sixty-three over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. Considered to be one of the most powerful books in Scripture, Revelation is a direct vision from God, to John, which he was asked to record for future generations. Revelation 1:19, "Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later." As the final warning to the world of the tribulation to come, it also serves as a source of hope for the Church. The key chapters to review are 1-4, 7, and 11.
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4/8/2009
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Destination: Revelation 12-22
Revelation 12-22
Skip Heitzig
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Flight sixty-four brings us to the end of the scriptures and the second and final part of the book of Revelation. Chapters 12-22 lead us into some of the most thrilling text in the entire Bible, giving us a glimpse into the seven bowl judgments, the Beast, and the future tribulation, but also bringing us great hope for God's Church. The key chapters to review are Revelation 12-14, 18, and 20-22.
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4/15/2009
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Bible from 30k Final Q&A
Skip Heitzig
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We have landed our flight over the Bible from 30,000 Feet. As we touch down and head to pick up the final baggage from our 65 flight series, our last sky-high view of the scriptures will includes this final Q&A Celebration. Pastor Skip and others answer questions from the last year, as well as on the spot questions from the audience.
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There are 64 additional messages in this series.