June 17



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I Corinthians 15-16

We are in the Church Stream finishing the book of I Corinthians today. We are using the New American Standard Bible this week.

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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

15 – The theme, in case anyone missed it, is: THE RESURRECTION.  Christ Jesus raised from the dead and we who are His and with Him shall raise from the dead too.  Paul belabors that Jesus rose, appeared to hundreds, plus the 12, and more times to the chosen ones in Jesus’ inner circle. I mean really folks (reading between the lines) do you think all these people were hallucinating in unison? ‘can’t happen!  Jesus ROSE from the dead.  Believe it for real / forever.
Paul explains the order of the Resurrection, the logic of it and the importance of it. Instead of reciting, or rather repeating again what Paul said, it’s important to realize what he was encountering as he was traveling through Greece, and Asia Minor:   – – – Paul would periodically have a person in the congregation interject while he/Paul was teaching and preaching.  They would blurt out, “yeah, but He died. They killed Him. Was He a crook? and He let them kill him?…was this because He felt guilty?” The pattern of this century was that when a self proclaimed Messiah came on the scene, He either took over and then He would reign, or he was killed. and between 50 BC and 50 AD scores of “Messiahs” came forth and they were all executed along with their followers. Jesus appeared to be one of them.  The shame associated with following a false Messiah often never left someone who was duped by their false messiah. Jesus’ and the events of his last week looked too similar to the false messiahs and so some were puzzled as to how seriously to take Jesus Christ of Nazareth, born in Bethlehem, to a virgin, ad infinitum. So Paul takes this entire ch. 15 to explain to full orb’ of the Resurrection of Jesus; it’s veracity and the comprehensive logic behind it.  We remember Paul asserting that he was not ashamed of the gospel in Rom. 1:16.  Well he wasn’t – and he wanted all others to feel the same way.
-The description and Paul making a clear distinction between our bodies here and our bodies in the Resurrection is poignant and necessary. REmember that Corinth is in Greece. The Greeks were obsessed with strength, and bodies, and training and health – the muscle statues all over the empire attest to this.  And along with this, the Greek/Roman perplexity of aging was a mental embarrassment or conundrum of the heart to most all the pagan world.  Why did it have to be that we aged, and weakened and died and were then just … gone?  The Gospel solved this situation!!.
And how quickly will this change be to our new bodies? as fast as one can bat their eye.
16 – The collection of names and concepts listed here is a description of Paul’s warm heart for those he is discipling as well as those he is talking about.  He is gathering an offering for Jerusalem Believers.  The instruction and tips that he gives of how to treat each person is wonderful.  He says to thank such and such, honor so and so, care for so and so.  His word for how to treat Timothy was because Timothy was a great teacher yet was insecure regarding his family; a Greek parent and a Jewish parent and Timothy was getting “looked at sideways” in some places and Paul wanted that to stop.  The particulars are a little bit amusing/ /perhaps entertaining in that they give personal insight to the settings and persons back then.  Many of us know what it’s like to leave a note for a baby sitter. It says things like, “be sure and make certain that Joey drinks all his milk.  Remember that Jill is afraid of heights so when you do the walk, take the lower path.  Timmy prefers to be read to first thing in the morning as well as at bedtime so be sure to do this. He will miss it if you forget.  Etc.  Paul  just outright cares about all these people and … He gets it from Jesus.  We should too.

We have seen all this week that “completion invites visitation”

The Tabernacle was finished at the end of Exodus and God showed up gloriously and the whole nation was is awe – in a way that stuck with them permanently
When the Temple is completed in I Kings, the ark is brought in and there is a regal ceremony, prayer and dedication and sacrifices and God appeared to Solomon!! oh my word!
In the Psalms this week, especially 76 and 77, we see a completion of a mind going full circle from complaining to enjoying the triumph of God as God’s victories and great deeds are recalled. Gratitude brings on the visitation for that is the main thing God wants in our heart.
Jeremiah tells of a punishment that is going to be walked through, Jerusalem will fall a remnant will be preserved, just complete the Babylon time and in Jer. 23, he tells us that the Savior will visit…
Joel 3 tells that the nations will be judged. Once this is completed there will be a visitation [on the Day of the Lord ] that will be blessings that flow like streams down mountsides and it will be more than just sweet water
Luke1 tells of the completion of all the years and preparation coming up to the arrival of the greatest visitation of all time.  It will happen in Luke 2 but by the end of Luke 1 all items and preparation have been completed after 4,000 years since exiting Eden. Angels are visiting – more than once and once all this is completed, the Main Visitation of all time happens [next week!]
I Cor. 15 explains the completion of the explanation of the Gospel.  Christ Arose, haleluia.  Paul wanted them to understand this.  And he wanted to visit them again soon.

June 16


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Luke 1

We are in the Christ Stream today starting the book of Luke the physician and historian. We are reading from the New American Standard Bible this week.

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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

Thank you Lord for preparing the way for the Savior.  Thank you for preparing a Savior for us. Thank you for preparing us to be saved. Your ways are perfect.  Blessed be the Name of the Lord. Amen.

Luke 1 – Luke’s opener tells of his motivation for writing Luke.  [He later wrote Acts.] Luke is a paragon historian that ranks with the best the world has ever seen.  He researched Jesus and got straight stories from those who were there.  Whereas John says in places, “I saw this….I witnessed this…” we do not see this wording in Luke.  There is no record that Luke ever met our Savior.  My husband, who has three degrees in Bible says he has encountered some n’ere-do-wells who falsely comfort themselves saying,”I only want to read about Jesus; the eyewitness accounts of those who were there.”  Thus they won’t read the Old Testament/Psalms/Prophets. And they won’t even read Paul’s letters.  Well, friends. Moses, Joshua, Paul met with God/The ‘yet-to-be-named’ Jesus personally (Paul met Him on the road to Damascus), whereas Luke never met Jesus —> it isn’t recorded anywhere in literature.  Pardon the side note here. One other reminder: Matthew wrote his account to Jews in Israel – the first copy was in Aramaic. Mark wrote to Jews who were throughout the world -the original was in Hebrew. John wrote to The World (for God so loved the…what did he so love?…The World.)  And Luke wrote to the Greeks; including the Romans in the Greek world who spoke Greek -and therefore it was written in Greek.  Luke was a doctor. So we find him noticeable mentioning Jesus’ body; His hands, His mouth where the other gospels don’t. Luke also talks of the power involved in Jesus’ ministry. The power of the spirit, the power of God, the “power that was present for Him to heal.” The Greeks were very impressed with the concept of power, so Luke presents it clearly.  Though we are spending the next 16 weeks in Luke, perhaps that is enough introductory notes – – –

-The chapter today is the preparation for the arrival of the Savior that happens in ch. 2.

Much goes into the drama of John the Baptist arrival and his family.  Father Zechariah/mother Elizabeth were righteous souls who had no child. It’s a very interesting biblical motif that the birth of several vital characters occurs via a barren woman. This is seen in Genesis with the Patriarchs’ wives;. [An amazing ethical theme in action, btw.], Samuel’s mother Hannah also walks out the same story.  Here an angel visits and announces about John the Baptist in a powerful monologue. Zechariah questions the angel and is therefore struck mute during the pregnancy. God isn’t being mean here – He doesn’t appreciate being doubted while making such an historical announcement.  All the same, Elizabeth then becomes pregnant and it is such a blessing for this godly household.
Six months later Thee Angel Gabriel [!!] visits Mary, a virgin teen girl, who is chosen to deliver the Savior. It too is overwhelming. Mary’s question of “how will this be” gets a blessed response. She was just confirming because she’d never been with a man, wasn’t with a man, wasn’t engaged and, uh, how, uh…???”  It’s a valid question that warranted a clear answer. Whereas Zechariah’s question revealed that he was having trouble even believing the angel – and there was punishment for unbelief.  Please make special note of Lu. 1:37; “For nothing is impossible with God.”  Make a poster (or 10) of this verse and put them around your house.  Much of our faith pivots on whether we believe this verse or not!
Mary then goes to Elizabeth and here they are, two mothers pregnant: one with the Savior and the other with the one who will announce the Savior – the joy and faith displayed is marvelous. Mary’s song of worship is what has been labeled “The Magnificat” by ancient Believers. She is truly blessed for being chosen to deliver the Savior.  And this isn’t some “way out there” assignment given to Mary.  We are called to deliver the Savior too. And there is eternal blessing for us who fulfill this assignment with reverence, obedience, resolve, and faithful focus; just like Mary.
Shortly following, John [the Baptist] is born and named, and the countryside was talking –  especially after Zechariah resumed talking!  They all sensed God was up to something.  Zechariah then sings and prophesies and worships thankfully.  Over the next 30 years John would grow; strong in spirit and remain in the desert until his call to preach commenced.  Does anyone wonder what is coming next? It couldn’t be more exciting.

June 15


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Joel 3

We are in the Exile Stream reading from the New American Standard Bible this week.

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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

Lord you are coming in clouds of glory. We have read about clouds of locusts and judgment. But we know your real love is us and restoration and being together again as blessings flow like streams down mountainsides just as blessings flow from your house. Lord we are with you and await this day.

Joel’s finale~ –   Two swarmings and followed by calls to repentance have led us to a Pentecost foretelling and then comes chapter 3.  As this phase of history reaches its culmination, God will restore the fortunes of Judah and Israel.  The theme being “The Day of the LORD”.  The nations will be gathered in the Valley of Jehoshaphat / later called the Valley of Decision.  You remember the battle being recalled here from II Chronicles 20 when a huge multitude gathered against Jerusalem and commenced to march upon them when they turned on each other – until all were dead.  Judah’s army simply walked through thousands upon thousands of dead enemy soldiers and gathered valuables for three days.  Well, the multitudes are going to gather for judgment on the Day of the Lord as told in Joel 3.  Vast wealth will be returned to Jerusalem and Judah. Slaves will be returned.  It will be a great time of arighting things that have been wrong for a long time.  There is Apocalyptic overtones to Joel 3 that speak of signs that will symbolize End Times, the Lord’s Return, the day of reckoning …
The blessing and bounty and peace on the land of Israel is impressive as described here: wine and milk and fresh water flow in abundance.  The enemies of God’s land and people are laid waste – never to rise against Israel again for the LORD dwells in Zion; the high point of Jerusalem city.  Glorious things are coming for God’s people.