Blessings all–
 
Our final lesson (10) in the book of Habakkuk is this Wednesday, June 9th (7pm). Following this lesson we will take our usual summer break before picking a new subject or book in God’s word to study this fall. We also certainly foresee sticking with the online platform for future Bible studies.
 
Now that you are fully aware and knowledgable of the vision God gave Habakkuk and you understand the two “cups” that are offered to humankind concerning the end, Habakkuk chapter 3 offers a song and prayer for us to consider. The prophet is elated that God has thoroughly answered his complaints and questions and more importantly, God has settled the believing inquirer’s spirit.
 
To prepare for lesson 10, read and make written answers to the following:
 
 
Reading 1: Habakkuk 3:1-9
  • Verse 1 mentions Shigionoth, which suggests this may be a passionate songwith rapid rhythm changes or a dirge — Can you see or sense this while reading?
  • Why would the prophet be singing? How often and for what reasons do you yourself sing?
  • What images jump out at you or what feelings do you have while reading these verses?
  • Be sure to look up unfamiliar words or terms (i.e. Teman, tents of Cushan, etc)          
Reading 2: Habakkuk 3:10-15
  • Does the prophet rightly summarize the vision he received? Which verses in particular retell the vision?
  • Does verse 13 reiterate Sunday’s message concerning two cups offered by God?
  • Who in prophecy or Revelation is the “leader of the house of the wicked?”
  • Verse 14 says this leader’s head will be pierced. Compare this with Genesis 3:13-15.Do you see any connection in these scriptures?
Reading 3: Habakkuk 3:16-19
  • Describe the prophet’s final feelings? As a Christian thinking about it all, have you ever had similar feelings?
  • Reading these verses, do you feel Habakkuk is committed to (Hbk 2:4b) “just living by faith?”
  • As a church, our theme for the year is — “I pray your strength in the Lord.” What perfect response does the prophet give us to this sentiment in verse 19?
  • Do you feel you have grown and/or been enlightened by this study? Explain you answer.
Greetings all–
 
Tonight Wednesday, June 2nd, is the first of our final two (2) lessons in the study of Habakkuk. We pray you have been growing spiritually from the prophet’s writing and the in depth teaching of it. Our church theme for the year has been, “I pray your strength in the Lord,” and some of you have not only been using it verbally, but you have it as a salutation on your email and texting. Here we are approximately midway through the year and in next week’s final lesson, the prophet gives us the ONLY appropriate response to our themed sentiment — Habakkuk 3:19a reveals the response, “My God is my strength!” 
 
We pick up the study text in Habakkuk 2:15-20, asking also that you read the following scriptures and write your answers to the following questions:
 
 
Reading 1: Habakkuk 2:15-20
  • Write your thoughts on terms like:      a. drunkeness or drunk with wine      b. expose one’s nakedness      c. uncircumcision          
  • What is in the Lord’s right hand? [verse 16]
  • What does God say about idols? [verses 18-19]
  • Why do you think verse 20 is often used as a Doxology in church worship? 
Reading 2: Revelation 12:7-12; 13:11-18 and 14:6-13
  • What “woe” is pronounced to the earth and sea?
  • What attribute is given to an image in the chap 13 reading?
  • What is the prophecy for those who worship the beast and have his mark?
 
 
Greetings to all who know the righteous shall live by faith–
 
This Wednesday, May 26th, in our 7th lesson in the study of Habakkuk, we dig deeper into The Vision God told Habakkuk was for an ‘appointed time’ and ‘speaks of the END.’ While the righteous have been instructed to LIVE BY FAITH, no matter what, the vision does guide us in the prophecy for those who are not counted among the righteous
 
By now we know that a great apostasy [turning away from God] has to take place and a strong delusion will also hinder the non-righteous from believing the truth and coming to know the saving power of Jesus Christ. As we prepare for this week’s lesson, we want to clearly understand the manifestations that take place “on the ground” [so to speak] and are recognizable in our lifetime. 
 
We pick up the study text in Habakkuk 2:4-14, asking also that you read the following scriptures and write your answers to the following questions:
 
 
Reading 1: Habakkuk 2:4-14
  • Name three (3) attributes of the non-righteous as described in verses 4 & 5?
  • Who does the vision describe as mounting an uprising? What are some of it’s facets? [verses 6-13]
  • What do you make of verse 14 in the midst of all the described “woes?” 
Reading 2: 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12
  • What is oddly happening to a church whose faith is growing and love for each other is increasing?
  • According to Paul, your answer to the prior question is called what? [verses 5-6]
  • In this text, what clearly happens when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven?
Reading 3: 2 Timothy 4:1-4
  • What does Paul say in this short text that is disturbing to you?
  • While this letter is written to Timothy, who do you believe is the “They,” Paul speaks of?
Peace and grace saints of God–
this Wednesday, May 19th is our 6th lesson in the study of Habakkuk. As we look at God’s response to the prophet’s second set of inquiries, we also want to dig deeper into understanding the way of God in the environment of apostasy. A sermon theme for this study may be called: A Deluge of Delusion.
 
Our goal up to now was threefold: 1) declare and show scriptural proof that God does not change; 2) show via scripture that in every case where God’s wrathful judgment is experienced on the earth, apostasy was the root cause, (we didn’t show you this but, the devil and his angels were thrown out of heaven for the same crime [Isaiah 14:12-15 & Rev 12:7-12]); 3) show via scripture that another great apostasy must take place prior to the end of days and coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ. 
 
Looking at God’s answer in Habakkuk 2:2-5, God proclaims that the [true believer or] just one shall live by his/her faith. Moreover, those who practice apostasy are actually given a strong delusion which causes them to fall away from God all the more. This is profound revelation for us as we share the gospel and evangelize our communities and the world. But, like all of God’s word and actions, we need to fully understand this strange phenomena if we are to be fully effectual in our individual and combined ministry. To prepare for Wednesday’s lesson, read the following scriptures and write your answers to the following questions:
 
 
Reading 1: Habakkuk 2:2-5
  • Why do you supposed God instructed the prophet to write this time?
  • In verse 3, what specifically does God declare about The Vision? Are these only for Habakkuk‘s day?
  • Why is verse 4 so important for Christians? [hint: Romans 1:16-17 and Matthew 4:1-4 
Reading 2: Exodus 7:1-5
  • What is strange about God’s word to Moses concerning Pharaoh?
  • What precipitates God’s people being released from bondage in Egypt?
  • Do you now see a pattern in God’s judgement and the liberation of the righteous (even going back to Noah)?
Reading 3: 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
  • Who does the scriptures say sends a strong delusion to unbelievers?
  • Can you see any connection between this scripture and the text of the prophet Habakkuk?
Blessings all–
this Wednesday, May 12th is our 5th lesson in the study of Habakkuk. We want to introduce a word or term that is essential for Christians to know and understand (to the degree it is possible). In last week’s online notes, I began writing a statement that I purposely did not finish. The statement read, “The primary reason [or instigator] for God’s [intervening in human affairs with] wrath is…” 
 
The bracketed words are aded for clarity as we fill in the blank and complete the statement. The word or term we will investigate thoroughly is apostasy and apostate. We will give a brief definition of the term and a few scriptures where God’s wrath is on full display. Your job and homework in preparing for Wednesday is to determine if there is a connection, a clear pattern, and a prophecy concerning the Church age and the Second Coming of Christ. For preparation, read the following text and scriptures; also, write your own answers to the questions:
 
Wikipedia definition of Apostasy–
Apostasy (/əˈpɒstəsi/Greekἀποστασία apostasía, “a defection or revolt“) is the formal disaffiliation from, abandonment of, or renunciation of a religion by a person. It can also be defined within the broader context of embracing an opinion that is contrary to one’s previous religious beliefs. One who undertakes apostasy is known as an apostate. Undertaking apostasy is called apostatizing (or apostasizing – also spelled apostacizing). The term apostasy is used by sociologists to mean the renunciation and criticism of, or opposition to, a person’s former religion, in a technical sense, with no pejorative connotation. Occasionally, the term is also used metaphorically to refer to the renunciation of a non-religious belief or cause, such as a political party, social movement, or sports team.
 
Apostasy is generally not a self-definition: few former believers call themselves apostates due to the term’s negative connotation. Many religious groups and some states punish apostates; this may be the official policy of a particular religious group or it may simply be the voluntary action of its members. Such punishments may include shunningexcommunicationverbal abuse, physical violence, or even execution.
 
 
Reading 1: Why God sent the flood in Noah’s day – Genesis 6:5-8
  • According to God, what was the disposition of mankind? Is this apostasy?
  • What is the punishment God sends? 
Reading 2: Why God removed the Northern Kingdom, Israel  – 2 Kings 17:7-20
  • What is the disposition of those in the Northern Kingdom? Is this apostasy?
  • What is the punishment God sends?
Reading 3: What is paradoxical for the prophet about God raising up Chaldeans
                 Habakkuk 1:12 thru 2:1
  • What is the prophet’s confusion about the Holy God? (verses 12-13)
  • Does the prophet accuse God of rewarding the wicked? (verses 14-17)
 
 
Extra Credit— The New Testament speaks of a coming Day of judgment and wrath of God (2 Thessalonians 1:3-12). In chapter 2 of the same book, mention is made of an apostasy that must occur prior to the Day (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 and 2 Peter 2:1-3). Do you believe (as some do) that the apostasy already happened during the time Protestants rejected and split from the Roman Catholic church or do you believe their is yet another apostasy of the church that is to come (maybe in our time)?
 
Again, for your pleasure, here are some Wikipedia notes on the “Great Apostasy:”
 

The Great Apostasy is a concept within Christianity, identifiable at least from the time of the Reformation, to describe a perception that the early apostolic Church has fallen away from the original faith founded by Jesus and promulgated through his twelve ApostlesProtestants used the term to describe the perceived fallen state of traditional Christianity, especially the Roman Catholic Church, because they claim it changed the doctrines of the early church and allowed traditional Greco-Roman culture (i.e.Greco-Roman mysteries, deities of solar monism such as Mithras and Sol Invictuspagan festivals and Mithraic sun worship and idol worship) into the church on its own perception of authority. Because it made these changes using claims of tradition and not from scripture, the Church – in the opinion of those adhering to this concept – has fallen into apostasy. A major thread of this perception is the suggestion that, to attract and convert people to Christianity, the church in Rome incorporated pagan beliefs and practices within the Christian religion, mostly Graeco-Roman rituals, mysteries, and festivals. For example, Easter has been described as a pagan substitute for the Jewish Passover, although neither Jesus nor his Apostles enjoined the keeping of this or any other festival.

The term is derived from the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, in which the Apostle Paul informs the Christians of Thessalonica that a great apostasy must occur before the return of Christ, when “the man of sin is revealed, the son of destruction” (chapter 2:1–12). The Catholic ChurchAnglican ChurchEastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches have interpreted this chapter as referring to a future falling-away, during the reign of the Antichrist at the end of time.

Peace and grace all–
this Wednesday, May 5th is our 4th lesson in the study of Habakkuk
For preparation, read the following scriptures and write your own answers to the questions:
 
 
Reading 1: Psalm 24:1-2 and 1 Corinthians 10:23-26
  • What is the context of the two scriptures? Are they different or the same?
  • What do the Old and New Testament Bible teach us about God’s sovereignty?
  • Do you feel someone can do whatever they wish with what they rightly own?  
Reading 2: Zephaniah 1:1-7a
  • Why do you suppose you were asked to read this text?
  • In verses 4 & 5, to whom is God’s anger directed?
Reading 3: Habakkuk 1:5-11
  • Do you feel God is speaking directly to our day in verse 5? Explain your answer?
  • Write down three (3) things that God reveals about the Chaldeans (Babylonians)?
 
 
Extra Credit— Reread the scripture about Abraham and his father Terah (Genesis 11:24-32).
What do you find absolutely amazing about this text and what we are studying?
(Note: a prize may be given to you for the correct answer here)
 
Peace and grace all–
this Wednesday, April 28th is the third lesson in the study of Habakkuk. Please read the following a couple time to make certain you can understand. Sometimes, to help our understanding, we retell what was said out loud to ourselves and/or others:
 
 
Reading 1: Jeremiah 29:1-19
  • What specifically is the prophet Jeremiah telling the Babylonian exiles to do?
  • To whom is he telling them not to listen?
  • What promise from God does Jeremiah give the exiles if they do as he says?  
Reading 2: Habakkuk 1:1-4
  • Name three (3) of the prophet Habakkuk‘s complaints to God?
  • Do you feel the prophet’s complaint is a prayer?
  • What reason does the prophet give for why justice never prevails? 
 
 
See you on Wednesday as I pray you have changed from your prison garments!
Blessings all–
this Wednesday, April 24th is the second lesson in the study of Habakkuk. In preparing, I want you to read for yourself what is happening in the Southern Kingdom of Judah during Habakkuk‘s time. Read the following and write down your answers. For each king (beginning with Manasseh), write what you see as:
  1. The major crime against God committed?
  2. The gist of the message or punishment God sends given the king’s actions?
  3. Do you feel the punishment fits the crime?

Answer the questions above for each of these persons:

  • King Manasseh – 2 Kings 21:1-18
  • King Amon – 2 Kings 21:19-26
  • King Josiah – 2 Kings chapters 22 & 23
  • King Jehoahaz – 2 Kings 23:30-34
  • King Jehoiakim (aka Eliakim) – 2 Kings 23:34 thru 24:6
  • King Jehoiachin – 2 Kings 24:6-17 [imprisoned in Babylon]
  • King Zedekiah (aka Mattaniah) – 2 Kings 24:17 thru 25:7 [gouged out his eyes, taken to Babylon]

This may seem like a lot, but it reads quickly and is meant to put you in the mindset of the prophet before he speaks to God.

 
Finally, for your pleasure, attached is one more graphic chronological timeline of the Prophets and the Kings.
 
Peace and grace all,
 
our Spring Bible Study via ZOOM and Facebook begins tomorrow evening, Wednesday, April 17th (7pm). We are excited to see where the Spirit of the Lord leads us as we tackle the prophetic writing of Habakkuk. The study guide is a pdf sent last week and attached again for convenience. Please prepare by reading pages 6 thru 8 covering the topics:
  • The role of a Prophet
  • The prophet Habakkuk
  • The History

Again, remember that the study guide is meant to be printed landscape and double-sided; therefore, one has to zig-zag down the screen to follow correctly on a computer, phone or tablet, or simply follow the page numbers in the document. Also, see the attached picture. In Lesson 1, we will discuss the role of a prophet and the history of Israel while making certain you understand the layout of the Old Testament, the chronology of the history and know to whom each prophet was speaking. While you don’t necessarily have to remember all this information, you should easily be able to have a reference and be able to tie simple things together to enhance your understanding of Old Testament scripture.

 
Focus your attention on answering the following questions:
  1. What makes Habakkuk a prophet?
  2. What time period did he prophecy?
  3. What is the status of the Israelite nation when Habakkuk speaks?