Mid-Week Wednesday Night:
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. weekly
at the home of Stan and Diane Atherton in Fullerton, CA.
The New Testament Epistle of Hebrews
Saints of God:
Starting November 18, 2020
We will teach through the New Testament Epistle of Hebrews.
Christ is greater than any angel, priest, or old covenant institution; thus each reader, rather than leaving such a great salvation, is summoned to hold on by faith to the true rest found in Christ and to encourage others in the church to persevere.
Christ has accomplished final salvation, has brought the final word of God, and has become the final priest and the one atoning sacrifice to which the OT pointed.
The author of Hebrews neither names himself nor clearly designates his audience. The traditional title “to the Hebrews” reflects the ancient assumption that the original recipients were Jewish Christians.
September 9, 2020 through November 4, 2020
The New Testament Epistle of 2nd Peter
Saints of God:
Starting September 9, 2020 We will start teaching through the New Testament Epistle of 2nd Peter.
2nd Peter Theme
Second Peter teaches that the grace of God in Christ truly transforms and empowers Christians to live righteously, even in the face of opposition. This grace, serves as the foundation for the remainder of the exhortations. The indwelling Holy Spirit produces virtuous “qualities” in followers of Christ, which in turn results in fruitful lives.
Peter writes this brief, final reminder to the churches so that his readers will by God’s grace live a life that is pleasing to God. In doing so, Peter must also combat the false teachers who were apparently exerting pressure on the churches to depart from the true knowledge of Christ. The false teaching is not only a theological challenge but also a moral one, holding forth some form of sexual permissiveness as a legitimate Christian lifestyle.
June 17, 2020 through August 12, 2020
The New Testament Epistle of 1st Peter
Saints of God:
We will start teaching through the New Testament Epistle of 1st Peter.
1st Peter Theme
Those who persevere in faith while suffering persecution should be full of hope, for they will certainly enjoy end-time salvation since they are already enjoying God’s saving promises here and now through the death and resurrection of Christ.
Peter encourages his readers to endure suffering and persecution by giving themselves entirely to God. They are to remain faithful in times of distress, knowing that God will vindicate them and that they will certainly enjoy the salvation that the Lord has promised. The death and resurrection of Christ stand as the paradigm for the lives of believers. Just as Christ suffered and then entered into glory, so too his followers will suffer before being exalted.
January 15, 2020 through June 10, 2020
The New Testament Epistles of 1st, 2nd and 3rd John
Saints of God:
In 1st John the author calls readers back to the three basics of Christian life: true doctrine, obedient living, and fervent devotion. Because “God is light”, Christ’s followers overcome evildoers who seek to subvert them. The one who lives in and among them—God’s Son—is greater than the spirit of “the antichrist” now in the world. To believe in the name of the Son of God is to know the assurance of eternal life.
The focus of 2nd John is living in the love of God in accordance with the truth of Jesus Christ. This love extends not only to God but to other people. It is also discerning; it does not “go on ahead” of biblical revelation, and it does not lend aid to enemies of the gospel message. Instead, Christ’s followers “walk according to his commandments” and through faith “win a full reward”.
The theme of 3rd John is steadfastness in the face of opposition. The recipient of the letter, Gaius, faces a troublemaker named Diotrephes. By “walking in the truth”, Christians can embrace and live out the apostolic message that John conveys in all his letters.
September 2019 through December 2019
The New Testament Epistle of 1st and 2nd Thessalonians
Saints of God:
We are currently teaching through the New Testament book of 1st and 2nd Thessalonians. This seemed a proper follow through as we have just come out of the book of Revelation.
The apostle Paul mentions the second coming of Jesus Christ in every single chapter of this epistle. Join us as we see what God's word has in store for us as we look closely at this epistle that focuses on themes of Holiness, Love and our Future Hope in Christ.
January 2019 through September 2019
Eschatology Study at the home of Stan and Diane Atherton in Fullerton, CA.
Join us as we study the Olivet Discourse.
The Olivet Discourse or Olivet prophecy is a biblical passage found in Matthew Chapter 24.
Then we will study the Synoptic Gospels around the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24 and 25, Mark 13, & Luke 21.
Following this, we will study all of the eschatological positions that are currently in play in interpreting the book of Revelation. Positions will include: HISTORICIST ● PRETERIST ● FUTURIST ● SPIRITUAL
Then we will discuss four positions that are under the FUTURIST umbrella. Namely: PRETRIBULATIONAL ● MIDTRIBULATIONAL ● PREWRATH ● POSTTRIBULATIONAL rapture positions. We will also discuss the PARTIAL PRETERIST view which falls under both the Preterist and Futurist positions.
Then we will discuss the date that the book of Revelation was written.
To understand any New Testament book, it is valuable to establish the time it was written and to sketch pertinent features of its historical and cultural context. In deciding among the various possible approaches to Revelation in particular, such considerations can be altogether determinative.
The Book of Revelation was written during a time of persecution and trial for the recipient churches.
Altogether, there were ten emperors who are believed to have persecuted Christians. Only two of them, however, did so within the lifetime of John—namely Nero, who reigned from A.D. 54 to 68, and Domitian, who reigned from A.D. 81 to 96.
We will discuss why both dates are in play.
Then we will start teaching in the book of Revelation in an Expository fashion that is Exegetical in nature.
Starting in Chapter 1 and finishing in Chapter 22.
Saints of God:
We are taking a break with our Mid-Week Bible Study at the La Capria home.
We will be attending our home churches Wednesday Night bible study through the 2017-2018 season.
Weekly Bible Study
Expository Teaching Style that is Exegetical in Nature
What this means is that we will start at the beginning of a book in the Bible and we will teach through every passage and verse in order, explaining in detail, its meaning, until we get to the end of the book. Then we'll pick another book in the Bible and teach from beginning to end all over again!
This study meets weekly at the La Capria home in Brea, CA
Begins at 7:00pm and ends at 8:30pm.
This is an open invitation Bible Study where all are welcome. Men, Women College and Youth. There is no child care provided, so please make arrangements beforehand.
Call for details.
Saints of God:
We just finished teaching in the :
New Testament book of 1st Thessalonians
The most prominent theme in 1 Thessalonians is the second coming of Jesus. It is mentioned in every chapter of the book. At Jesus’ future coming, the dead in Christ will rise and will be caught up along with the living to meet the Lord in the air. Unbelievers will be subject to his wrath, but Christians will be delivered from this, inheriting salvation instead. Those who are destined to participate as saints (literally, “holy ones”) in the second coming must be holy and blameless, and God, who is faithful, will produce holiness in the lives of those whom he calls.
Thessalonica was the proud capital of the Roman province of Macedonia and had a population of over 100,000. Its natural harbor and placement on the busy east-west Egnatian Way as well as key north-south trade routes meant that it was a flourishing center of trade and philosophy. It was a free city and was governed by local officials called “politarchs”. Religiously, the city was committed to the Greco-Roman pantheon and the imperial cult; Egyptian cults were also prominent. There was a sizable population of Jews in Thessalonica.
Paul, Timothy, and Silas preached in the Thessalonian synagogue over three Sabbaths, and a number of Jews and God-fearing Gentiles believed. First Thessalonians 1:9–10 suggests that Paul subsequently spent some weeks ministering fruitfully to pagan Gentiles. However, rioters instigated by Jewish opponents dragged Jason (Paul’s host) and some other Christians before the politarchs and charged them with sedition against Caesar, forcing the missionaries to leave Thessalonica prematurely. Paul was concerned for the new Christians, and therefore a few months later he sent Timothy back to Thessalonica. Catching up with Paul in Corinth, Timothy updated him on the Thessalonian church.
Timothy reported that generally the church community was doing well. However, not everything at Thessalonica was rosy. Some members of the church had died, and because they were not fully informed about what would happen to deceased Christians at Christ’s return, some apparently thought that those who had died would miss out on the second coming, and they had plunged into hopeless grieving for them.
In addition, Timothy related to Paul a Thessalonian question about the timing of the day of the Lord. A number of scholars believe that the query reflected restless impatience or a false sense of security, but this view is countered by Paul’s repeated assurances in 5:4–5, 9, along with the lack of threat or warning in 5:1–11. Paul reassures the Thessalonians that they are destined not for wrath but for salvation on the day of the Lord. Some think that the Thessalonians were concerned that they would be unprepared for Jesus’ return, but 4:3–8 suggests that they were not concerned enough about holy living. Perhaps the simplest explanation is that these new Christians were questioning their own final salvation in view of the recent unexpected deaths. They may even have wondered whether the deaths were an expression of divine disapproval.
Whatever the specifics, clearly the Thessalonians needed reassurance about those who had died and about their own destiny at the second coming.
The Thessalonians seem to have been vulnerable in other ways too. They had not expected the initial persecution to continue unabated for so long. Moreover, they missed Paul, apparently disappointed that he himself had not yet returned to see them.
Yet another problem in Thessalonica demanded Paul’s attention: some Christians were bringing the church into disrepute by depending on wealthier Christians to provide for them rather than earning their own living. It is possible that this problem was a result of the Thessalonians’ erroneous thinking about the future. However, it may simply be that some church members were selfishly and lazily exploiting the charity of wealthier members to avoid having to work.
When Paul heard Timothy’s generally positive report, he was filled with joyful relief and was eager to encourage the embattled and discouraged Christians and to answer their questions. So he immediately began composing 1 Thessalonians. Paul’s main purpose was to repair the hope of the Thessalonian Christians in the wake of the unexpected deaths of people in their congregation and to reassure them that both the dead and the living were destined to be saved at the second coming. Related to this was his desire to reassure the Thessalonians that they were among those elected by God for salvation.
Paul also wished to underline the missionaries’ authenticity as preachers of the gospel of God in the face of real or potential questions relating to his lengthy absence, the unrelenting persecution, and the unexpected deaths. Paul also sought to encourage the Thessalonians by explaining that persecution is normal for the Christian. In addition, Paul is calling the recently converted, predominantly pagan community to sexual holiness and the idle members of the community to gainful employment.
It also seems that Paul is seeking to undo their heavy dependence on him by urging the church to respect and defer to its own ministers. This can be seen in his forbidding the despising of prophesying, his emphasizing Timothy’s credentials, and his presenting the missionaries as a team (hence the use of the first person plural through much of the letter).
I look forward to our time together in God’s word.
We just finished teaching in the:
New Testament book of 3rd John.
On May 27, 2015 Paul La Capria taught us through 3rd John
The theme of 3rd John is steadfastness in the face of opposition.
Taking a stand for Christ in the face of opposition even within the church!
The recipient of the letter, Gaius, faces a troublemaker named Diotrephes.
By “walking in the truth”, Christians can embrace and live out the apostolic message that John conveys in all his letters.
John praises Gaius’s Support for Itinerant Christian Workers (missionaries).
Whereas 2nd John 10 warned against supporting the wrong people, John affirms Gaius’s work on the behalf of faithful laborers, even though they are “strangers” to him.
But Diotrephes (the trouble maker) was talking against Gaius and John. The problem of “Christians” who reject things taught by Christ and the apostles persists today. They're not interested in furthering the kingdom of God, they must build their own kingdoms. Sinful personal ambition is never satisfied, but seeks to expand. John calls this self-serving behavior into recognition.
John tells the church, "do not imitate evil". Probably encouragement not to give in to Diotrephes or to descend to his level of “dirty politics.” A problem which very much exists in today’s church and one that we need to be reminded of.
We had previously been teaching in the:
New Testament book of 2nd John.
On May 13th 2015 Paul La Capria taught us through 2nd John.
We discovered who the "elect lady" is that this letter is addressed to and had a passionate discussion around the topic of why your eschatological view will force you to either date this letter at an early date or a much later date.
We also pondered John's practical instruction on how to greet and respond to traveling missionaries and we wrestled with John's stern instructions on how to deal with false teachers once they are identified.
As one of the shortest books in the Bible, this one packed a punch!
Prior to that, we had previously been teaching in the:
New Testament book of 1st John.
Starting on September 3, 2014
Paul La Capria taught us through chapters 1, 2 and 3.
On December 10th 2014, Bob Basile graciously agreed to teach us through chapters 4 and 5. Bob finished us out of 1st John on April 29, 2015
Thank you brother Bob for your fresh perspective and biblical insight!
In 1st John the author calls readers back to the three basics of Christian life: true doctrine, obedient living, and fervent devotion. Because “God is light”, Christ’s followers overcome evildoers who seek to subvert them.
The one who lives in and among them—God’s Son—is greater than the spirit of “the antichrist” now in the world. To believe in the name of the Son of God is to know the assurance of eternal life.
Prior to 1st John we had been teaching in the:
New Testament book of Hebrews.
The study of the Epistle to the Hebrews has traditionally been hampered by a number of factors. For example, for most of Christian history, the attribution of Hebrews to Paul has made it more difficult for readers to hear this epistle's distinctive voice.
Among Gentile Christians, it has also been wrongly assumed that Hebrews is of interest only to Jews. And it has sometimes been thought that Hebrews represents a compromise or halfway stage between Judaism and Christianity, in contrast with the pure message of the Gospels and the radical Christianity of Paul.
These and other factors have tended to combine to give Hebrews an undeserved reputation for obscurity.
But if you consider that the author of Hebrews makes a case for God’s people to not live with one foot in one system (the old covenant) and the other foot in the new covenant, but to live whole hardily for Christ in the new (better) covenant, then there is a timely message for all Christians to consider.
As the world pulls at us to compromise our values, Hebrews is a welcome reminder as to why we should all keep our eyes on the prize that is Christ Jesus.
Unveiling the discourse structure of this carefully written letter, we will attempt make coherent sense of the complexities of Hebrews. Hebrews is primarily a pastoral, not a polemical, writing. Hebrews beautifully emphasizes the supremacy of Christ.
We will attempt to show that the essential purpose of the epistle, which maintains the continuity of God's people before and after Christ, is to encourage readers to base their lives on nothing other and nothing less than Jesus.
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