Showing posts with label Bible Study. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bible Study. Show all posts

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Bible Study with the Cincotti's - Getting to Know God - 10/17/2021


Today's Bible Study, Authored by Arthur Cincotti. 10/17/2021

Listen to our Bible Study Discussion at:Getting to Know God Podcast

Getting to Know God


Have you ever wanted to get to know someone?

          Perhaps someone you admire.

          Perhaps a celebrity or public figure.

          Perhaps a person you feel a special connection with.

          Perhaps a member of the opposite sex you’d like to build a                    life with.


You may have noticed that there is a process involved.

          We move from a distant curiosity, to introduction, to                                comparing notes, into a life long sea of discovery.


God invites us to know Him in similar fashion. That He would be, to us, interesting and captivating enough to seek Him out, is a starting point.


Jesus said, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” Jn. 17:3


This presumes that God is knowable, which is a question we often take for         granted. He is! Not exhaustively, but He is. Because….


He has revealed Himself!


He begins with general revelation. Ps. 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of          God; and the firmament show His handiwork.”

The curious seeker will attempt to explain this majesty and wonder.

Frustration in this matter will eventually lead one to a force much higher and    greater than themselves. This is transcendence.

If to easily satisfied, they one may stop at any menu of false religious beliefs.

If one is determined to press on past the “comparing notes” stage..

Jer. 29:13 says, “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”

Heb. 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

All the while we are seeking Him, He is wooing us!


We know that God reveals Himself – as in His character – by His Word. Just we would come to know anyone, by listening to them.

          Rom. 10:17, “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

We also know that the ultimate revelation of God to man is when, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory…” Jn. 1:14

As Jesus dwelt, and walked among us He displayed the Father and provided an example for us of how He would have us to be.

When He was taken up, He gave us His Holy Spirit to live in us and through us. II Cor. 5:20, “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us…”


          Our new desire and quest to know God compels us to become more like Him. II Cor. 3:18, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”


          One way that God reveals Himself is by inviting us into His experience so that we may first hand glimpse His character.

          So when Jesus says, “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate your and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”  And then does that as an example, He invites us to do the same.

          When Jesus says, “take up the cross and follow Me.”  Hmmm???


          Paul said, “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death. If by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” Phil. 3:10,11

Also, “and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together .”

Rom. 8:17


Practical application:

          Suppose you are rejected by someone you have tried to love.

          Suppose you are persecuted by those you have tried to help.

          Suppose you are disappointing because your plan didn’t come to pass.

          Suppose nobody listens to your excellent, Godly council.

          Suppose we serve people who turn against us.

Is this not Christ’s experience? As we are invited into His experience, that we may know Him and be changed into His likeness. (character)






Sunday, October 3, 2021

Bible Study with the Cincotti's - Dreams - 10/03/2021

Today's Bible Study, Authored by Arthur Cincotti. 10/03/2021

Listen to our Bible Study Discussion at: Dreams - Bible Study Discussion Podcast



         A few weeks ago we did a study on sleep. Today we are going to focus on a byproduct of sleep; dreams. I turns out that dreams play an important roll in the Biblical narrative, therefore it seems wise to examine dreams, and how God uses them to execute His purpose.


In Hebrew there are two words for dream, which are related

         2492 “chalam” a prim. root; prop. to bind firmly, i.e. (by    impl.) to be (caus, to make) plump; also (through the fig. sense of dumbness) to dream – (cause to) dream (-er), be in      good liking, recover.

         2472 “chalom” from 2492; a dream: - dream (-er)


In Greek mythology Hypnos was the god of sleep. Hypnos and Thanatos, the god of death, were twin brothers, the sons of Nyx, god of the night. Hypnos’s son Morpheus, brought dreams to human beings,


In our English vernacular dreams, or dreaming also has two      dynamics. As a noun and as a verb it means a series of         thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person’s         mind during sleep; or the act of dreaming.

But it also refers to “a cherished aspiration, ambition or ideal”

In this I like to associate it with “hope”.


Scripture, particularly the Old Testament, is replete with accounts of God interacting with men through the medium of dreams.


In the first account, Gen. 20:3, God speaks to Abimelech in “dream by night” warning him that Sarah is Abraham’s wife


In Gen. 31, God speaks to Jacob in a dream.

Perhaps the most well known is Gen. 37, when God speaks to Joseph, and gives him prophetic vision of future events.

Joseph actually walks in the gifting of interpreting dreams for Pharaoh’s butler, baker, and for Pharaoh himself, situating Joseph in a position of great authority. Gen. 40 and 41.


In a similar fashion, God uses Daniel to interpret King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, in Dan. 2 and 4, likewise revealing future event.


In the New Testament, (Acts 10) Cornelius gets a “vision” around the ninth hour, (3pm) Perhaps he was taking a nap???

Peter falls into a trance while praying (vr. 10)


The overarching point is that God intends to speak to us in order to  instruct us toward accomplishing His purpose.

As we saw two weeks ago, in our study on “Miracles, Signs, and Wonders” God will use a supernatural dimension for His glory, often to accomplish a very particular purpose, and definitely for dramatic effect, which builds faith.


Why dreams?

         It may be that while dreaming the mind is pliable while not being distracted by processing information from the five senses.


Pliable is a good place to be in our relationship with God!


In Matthew’s Gospel, Joseph is very distracted by unusually changing circumstances. The Angel speaks to him in dreams.


Joel 2:28 says, “Your old men shall dream dreams,”

         This how I knew I was getting old :)  retold in Acts. 2:17

Ps. 126, however, uses “chalam” which I believe speaks of this notion of hope. Dreaming of a brighter future. The human experience!!


Sunday, September 26, 2021

Bible Study with the Cincotti's - Soli Deo Gloria - 09/26/2021

Today's Bible Study, Authored by Arthur Cincotti. 09/26/2021

Listen to our Bible Study Discussion at: Soli Deo Gloria Bible Study Discussion Podcast

Soli Deo Gloria


In John, ch. 9 Jesus and His disciples encounter a man who was blind from birth. The disciples question Jesus, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind” Jesus answered in His usual fashion, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.”


Jesus healed him!


When the Pharisees got involved, they became indignant because the man was healed on the Sabbath. They interrogated him and his parents, and when the man told them about Jesus, and how he came to be healed they became more indignant, and demanded, vr. 24, “...Give God the glory! We know that this Man is a sinner” 


The introductory conversation, in this passage of Scripture, is very interesting. The disciples may have had this notion because of Exo. 34:7, and Num. 14:18, “...He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.” Jesus immediately side steps that by saying, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.”

Or, also, Neh. 9:2 “Then those of Israelite lineage...stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers.”


Jn. 14:13 Jesus says, “And  whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”


The Pharisees got it right when they said, “Give God the glory”, but they failed to consider that he was, in truth, giving God the glory.


In Jn. 17, Jesus Priestly prayer, He says, vr. 4, “I have glorified You o the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. 5 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” 22 “And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one”


We’ll get back to verse 22

The Westminster Cataclysm, first confession, says, “The chief end of man is           to Glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”


What does it mean “to glorify”?

          The Greek word is “doxazp” 1392: to render (or esteem) glorious;, honor, magnify. Also: praise, extol, exalt, laud, worship, revere, reverence, venerate, honor, adore, thank, and bless. (as in “bless the LORD, Oh my soul”)

I would add; to divert attention to.


Consider the conquering general who leads the victory procession. He will          divert glory to the emperor, unless he happens to be the emperor too.


Even in worldliness it is not considered righteous to glorify ones self.


John Piper said, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” The is certainly consistent with Jn. 15: “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”


Paul says, in I Tim. 1:17, “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”

Rev. 5:13, John records that he heard “every creature which is in heaven and on earth...saying: ‘Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne. And o the Lamb, forever and ever!”’


The fifth “Sola” of the Reformation declares that we are saved, “For the       glory of God alone” In fact, we and the entire universe was created for the glory of God alone.


I think we get confused about that sometimes


He is worthy because He is worthy, not because we ascribe worth to Him,        but we have this language for our sake. If we say His full glory, we        would be undone. Ex. 33:18-23


And yet, we will somehow participate in His glory. Rom. 8:17 & 30

And also II Th.1:11,12


This is a great mystery


Sunday, September 19, 2021

Bible Study with the Cincotti's - Miracles, Signs and Wonders - 09/18/2021

 Today's Bible Study, Authored by Arthur Cincotti. 09/19/2021

Listen to our Bible Study Discussion at: Miracles, Signs, and Wonders Podcast

Miracles, Signs and Wonders


The miraculous takes on different complexions inside various faith systems.

         Islam. When confronting Muslims why the so called prophet             Mohamed did not walk in the miraculous, the response              is, “the Koran is a miracle.”

         Hinduism: has a rich legacy of miracles mostly associated           with thought, revelation, control (of animals and nature)              mind reading  and transference of thoughts.

         The magicians of Egypt: Ex. 7-9 were able to reproduce           some of the miracles that Yahweh performed through Moses.


A clear distinction in the Judeo-Christian faith is that miracles are to point us to the glory of God. When Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead, in Jn. 11:40, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God.”


The Church Era has a distinct legacy of miracles, both past and present. In Roman Catholicism, it is necessary to document at least two miracles performed by or through the intersession of a candidate for canonization. This was formalized in the 13th cen.


In at least one denominational expression of the Christian faith, it is believed that miracles were confined to the Apostolic era. This is a form of dispensationalism.  With all due respect, the doctrine is aimed more at the, so called, “miracle workers” than at miracles.


In response to that, however, today, there are many, well documented miracles, such as healings, raising the dead, speaking in foreign tongues, predicting future events, and telling peoples secret actions, that occur through individuals, and/or by the laying on of hands, as a Scriptural method of transferring power.

We see not Scriptural case for this form of dispensationalism.

Jn. 14:12, Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”


Mat. 18:19, “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”


Mk. 16:17,18, “And these signs will follow those who believe: In my name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”


Jam. 5:17,18, “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.”


Joe. 2:28, “And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh…”


So, why doesn’t this happen in our midst now???


1) Sin...I don’t see a real case for that, even though I would tend to lean to it.

          Acts 10:34, Peter confesses, “God is no respecter of persons.

          God used Samson, Balaam, Jonah; even Saul prophesied

          Mat. 7:21-23, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name…”

          Rev. 19:20, “the false prophet who worked signs...”


2) We already discussed dispensationalism.


3) Unbelief: Jesus praised great faith and belief. Mat. 9:28; Mar. 5:35; Mar,     11:24; Mat. 8:10, “I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel.”


4) We don’t need miracles: Duet. 6:15, “for the LORD your God who lives among      you, is a jealous God.” We have many options in our culture, to get out of          trouble before we need to pray and ask God.


5) Dramatic effect: I believe that God will, for a season, withhold the miraculous,    and allow  us to strive, only to swoop in at the last minute.

          See: Rom. 9:28, “The LORD will make a short work”

          II Cor. 1:8-10, “not trust in ourselves but in God.

          Mat. 25:5,6, the parable of the ten virgins



I swear I didn't look at Arthur's Study before our discussion, but I did see that we are going to be discussing miracles and I wanted to recommend Eric Metaxas' book on the subject. I listened to the audiobook this summer and it was a huge encouragement in my walk.  

Also I have taken the liberties of including a link to all the entries that were labeled miracles - MIracles on, although I suspect that most if not all will just be me recommending Metaxas' book, lol.  

As a reminder, I have attempted to label the posts on the blog by subject matter, to locate topics of interest.  

We appreciate your search for encouragement and truth on the path of Christian Discipleship and thank you for your interest in our blog and podcast! 

M.T. Clark 

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Bible Study with the Cincotti's - Mary - 09/12/2021

Today's Bible Study, Authored by Arthur Cincotti. 09/12/2021

Listen to our Bible Study Discussion at: Mary Bible Study Podcast

Mary the Theotokos


Theotokos is a term not often heard in evangelical circles...but we’ll get back to that.

“Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.”     Lk. 1:38

If only that should be our life verse and daily testimony!!!

Mary is mentioned in all four gospels, and in one verse Acts 1:14.

She is, without debate, the earthly mother of Jesus.

         Some sources claim she was born in Jerusalem, while others                say she was born in Galilee.

         We gather from Luke and Matthew’s accounts that she was betrothed to a carpenter named Joseph, in the region of Galilee, perhaps at the young age of fourteen. This was not an unusual arrangement. In the  Jewish tradition, betrothal was legally equivalent to marriage, without the ceremony and consummation. That could happen as much as a year later. It is universally believed that Joseph was much older than Mary, which also would not have been unusual.

         Somewhere in the betrothal period Mary comes to be with child by the Holy Spirit. Read portions of Deut. 22:13-30


“Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly” Matt. 1:19


Virgin birth narratives are not uncommon in ancient folklore.


Mary is a Biblical character shroud in great mystery!!


Let’s try to unpack some of it.

The Protoevangelium gospel of James (second cen.) gives a supposed birth narrative of Mary claiming that she was born to a pious couple named Joachim and Anne. The account is similar to the birth of Samuel in I Sam. ch. 1. At six months, Mary is brought and dedicated at the temple, and remained there.

Evangelical commentators claim that Luke’s genealogy traces Jesus line through Mary, thus giving Him an actual blood line to David. This argues that Joseph and Mary were cousins, and shared a maternal ancestor. Lk. 3:23.

This interpretation accounts for the problem in Jer. 36:30, who prophesied that not descendant of Jehoiakim or hes son Jechoniah (Jer. 22:24-30) would sit on the throne of David.


Mary is declared a “perpetual virgin” by Roman Catholic doctrine as well as Orthodox. They answer the problem of Mat. 13:55 and Mk. 3:31 by claiming that in Hebrew the word for brothers could be translated cousin and is sometimes translated “brethren.”

Someone pointed out that during birth, the baby Jesus would have broken Mary’s hymen, making her no longer a virgin. Catholic response to that is that Jesus exited her body in a miraculous fashion.

At the council of Ephesus (431 AD) Mary is declared the Theotokos, “God-bearer”. The argument in Catholic theology is that God could not dwell in an unclean vessel, therefore Mary gets tracked onto this pre-passion, status of Holiness.

Another Catholic argument that Mary had no other children is the reason why Jesus asks John to care for her, from the cross. (Jn. 19:27)


The true beauty of Mary


A woman, in Scripture, is often a type of the church.

Is the church not the God-bearer in the post-ascension dispensation, sometimes called, “the church age”.

Does not Christ dwell in us? Col. 1:27, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

And Rom. 8:9-11.

Do we not see how Joseph loved Mary and had compassion on her in Mat. 1:19, “minded to put her away secretly” not defecting to the law of Deut. 22.

Eph. 5:25, “Christ also loved he church and gave Himself for her.”

This is a much more powerful narrative than the perpetual virginity of Mary.

Mary’s assumption into heaven, or Dormition (falling asleep) is believed, by church  tradition, to have occurred between 50 and 63 AD, in Jerusalem.



I swear I didn't read the above study before our Podcast discussion, but considering the subject: I have done two previous blog posts that regard Mary in some respect and thought I would share the link to them: 

Mary on

As a reminder, I have attempted to label the posts on the blog by subject matter, to locate topics of interest.  

We appreciate your search for encouragement and truth on the path of Christian Discipleship and thank you for your interest in our blog and podcast! 

M.T. Clark 

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Bible Study With the Cincotti's - Sleep - 09/04/2021

 Today's Bible Study, Authored by Arthur Cincotti. 09/04/2021

Listen to our Bible Study Discussion at: Sleep - Podcast


 God promises to provide for our basic needs such as food and clothing. Sleep is also a basic need and an interesting component of our life experience, of which the Bible actually has much to say.

 We can only assume that sleep was part of the Garden experience since there was day and night. Food certainly was. Clothing, interestingly was not. Work was. Companionship was. Shelter is uncertain.

           But, in Gen. 2:21 we read, “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place.” This, of course, was for the purpose of God conducting surgery to remove one rib which He used to form “woman.”

           Fast forward to Gen. 15:12. God is about to make a covenant with Abram in ritual fashion by which it was necessary for both parties to pass between the halves of the sacrificed animals. But God causes a “deep sleep” to fall upon Abram, and speaks to him an a vision, making certain promises, and then the presence of God passes between the halves, but Abram does not, indicating that God will uphold both ends of the covenant.

 Sleep is a good thing and a sought after thing.

          The Hebrew word for this “deep sleep” is “tardema”

          Another word is “sakab” used in I Sam. 3:3 when Samuel                   “lies down” actually has a sexual connection, and can be translated,        “rest, lie down, or lien”

(Interesting that we use the same connotation, “to sleep with”)

          In Est. 6:1, the word used is “sena” speaking of when King           Ahasuerus could not sleep, and the word simply means sleep.

Yet another usage is from Ps. 4:8, and the word is “yasan” and can mean         (by implication, figuratively, to die)

 Shakespeare wrote, “In that sleep of death what dreams might come, When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause”

 This design and dynamic of sleep is very interesting. We understand its necessity in that it rests our tired bodies, and re-calibrates our souls.

Jesus slept, in Lk. 8:23 proving His humanity

We also remember how the disciples fell asleep in the garden, “for their eyes were heavy” Mar. 14:40

God uses sleep often to speak to us in special and prophetic ways, as in the

I Sam. passage, or when God spoke to Joseph on five occasions in a dream from Mat. 1:20, 2:12, 2:13, 2:19, 2:22, instructing and warning him how to care for Mary and the Baby.

God does not sleep (fortunately for us) Ps. 121:4 “Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.”

In the NT it sleep is used at times to simulate death, as in I Cor. 15:51, “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep”

And I Th. 4:14, “those who sleep in Jesus.”

And I Cor. 15:6,18 & 20

Many things that happen in the natural are types, or foreshadowing of the spiritual. I Cor. 15:46, “However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.”

Also Col. 2:16 & 17, “So let no none judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.”

And Heb. 8:5, “who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things.”

Heb. 3:18 to 4:11 speaks of a “rest” for God’s people. The word is “sabbatismos” and is defined “(figuratively) the repose of Christianity (as a type of heaven)”

Finally, consider Mat. 11:29, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest for your souls.”

And Ps. 126:1 “When the LORD brought back the captivity of Zion,

                          We were like those who dream

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Bible Study with the Cincotti's - Why Church? - 08/29/2021

Today's Bible Study, Authored by Arthur Cincotti. 08/29/2021

Listen to our Bible Study Discussion at: Why Church? Podcast

Why Church?



Let’s read Heb. 10:19-25, eventually focusing on vrs. 25


Why has God ordained this institution and said:

         “The gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Mat. 16:18

         That Christ shall be its “head” Col. 1:18

         That His glory may abide there in, Eph. 3:21

         That the church might be His bride, Eph. 5:27-32

         That He may call it His house, I Tim. 3:15

         That it may be a place of miracles, Jam. 5:14,15


God has established only two institutions amongst men…

                  marriage ________and _______The church


Notice how both are coming under attack in our culture.


The Hebrews passage starts right out by exalting Jesus, vrs. 19-21


         19, the only way we can enter the Most Holy Place is by the             blood of Jesus. His own blood!

                  In the Old Covenant, the high priest enters the Most           Holy place, with the blood of another, Heb. 9.25

                  The “boldness” on our part is not arrogance, but that it                     is bold to think that we might be invited at all.

         20. “He consecrated for us” the word “consecrated” is

                  “engkainizo” meaning, to renew, inaugurate, dedicate.

         21. He is the “High Priest” forever according to Heb. 6:20

                  The office of priest was installed as a meiator in order          to bring the people before God.




In the following verses, 22, 23, 24, we have “let us” statements

This is what Jesus did, therefore “let us”


Vrs. 22, “draw near” Isn’t that beautiful. Consider Jas. 4:8, “Draw          near   to God and He well draw near to you.” Nearness, in terms of       proximity, is a quality of intimacy.

Vrs. 23, “hold fast the confession of our hope” Rom. 8:24, “hope that is seen   is not hope”

Vrs. 24, “consider one another” may we not be so heavenly minded         that    we are of no earthly good. Jn. 13:35, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”


This is the dynamic of us!


Vrs. 25, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together…”

          In other words, “having church”

This is a rather unique injunction in the Scripture. In other places the meeting is either implied or assumed. See I Cor. 5:4, Phm. 1:2


This coming, or gathering together becomes the hallmark of the early church. In its infancy it is believed that Jewish followers would go to synagogue, and then meet separately as confessing Christians (Acts 3:1). It is not until Acts 11:26 that followers of “the Way” (Acts 9:2) were first called Christians.


An OT comparison to this practice could be what the Scripture calls, “a holy convocation” beginning to show up in Exodus.


The coming together of like minded believers is liken to what happens in the         upper room in Acts 1:12 – 2:4.

Our “like mindedness” or “one accordedness” is:

          Concerning the person and Lordship of Jesus Christ.

          That He rose from the dead, ascended into heaven.

          That salvation is by faith in Him alone...He is the Way!

Everything about the Christian faith is determined to drive us together in intimate fellowship/relationship to encourage one another as we anticipate the return of our Lord and Savior. Our God is relational and we are called to be the same.