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Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (9/3/17)

Oneness & Intimacy

September 3, 2017 • Benham Brothers

•God has created us for oneness - three levels: •1) God, 2) Spouse, 3) Others (family, community, church) •It's easier to love God than people - He doesn't stink, say the wrong thing, etc. •Without God - 1+1=2. With God - 1+1+1=1. The Holy Spirit is the bonding agent. •John 17:20-24 - “Father make them one as we are one.” They are Three. •Cookie dough - individual ingredients mixed together make a new substance. •The Holy Spirit is the eggs (bonding), the world is the mixing bowl (battle). •Battle - God puts us in the context of battle so we’ll gel together - Gladiator: “As One!” •Oneness means intimacy - “in-to-me-see” - fully known and fully accepted. •** ACCEPTANCE is the key to oneness. LOVE is the key to acceptance.** •ECC 4:9-10 - Dixie Stampede - when you’re one, you exert less effort but get more result. •** THREE things you need to experience oneness (intimacy): •1) CLOSENESS (Ecc 4:11) - God made us to be close - body heat (Cold Bed!) •The result of Closeness is Comfort. But it often takes time. Two aspects: •a)Two cold people (both hurting). •b) One cold & one warm (one hurting and the other healthy) - the healthy needs to be patient. •Temporary pain always leads to permanent gain. •How do we stay close? Two aspects: •ECC 4:12a - know you need each other (you’re in a battle) - the devil seeks to distract, deceive, divide. •ECC 4:12b - invite a third person into the mix - God! •*** Picture of Intimacy - Song of Solomon - a picture of marriage: •SoS 1:2-4 - Kissing can’t happen unless you are willing to get close! (the girl chased him!!!) •SoS 1:6 - Intimacy reveals our insecurities - vulnerability often makes people want to HIDE! •Acceptance is the answer. Two facets to acceptance: •a) Be accepting - Revelation 3:20 is our example. •b) Be acceptable - if can change it, do it. But if not, accept yourself as God created you. *** Don't accept the things you can change, and accept the things you can't. •note - she was insecure about the thing her husband loved (vs 8-10 & 15 prove it). •2) CONCENTRATION (Sos 4:1-16) - proactively think positive thoughts about others. •When dating we think of what’s Right w/our spouse, but in marriage we think of what’s Wrong. •This is why we have to take thoughts captive. •Positive thinking about a person bonds you to that person. (where your treasure is....) •In marriage, Concentration leads to Captivation - SoS shows us a captivated man. *** When you are captivated, the things you used to criticize become cute. •3) COMPLETENESS (1 Cor 13:4-7) - before oneness you need twoness. •Two complete individuals - spiritually mature - LOVE is the mark of maturity. •The characteristics of love in 1 Cor show up in the fruit of the Spirit Paul lists in Galatians 5:22-23. •KEY - Love releases the power of the Spirit in our relationships - love for God and for others. •Conflict - it is easy to love someone when nothing is wrong. •Two things always manifest when conflict takes place: •1) the issue itself •2) the ability of the person to handle the issue. ** If #1 is good #2 will take care of itself. ** Two types of people: •** those who welcome feedback and are willing to own their problem. •** those who don’t welcome feedback and will not own their problem. •Conflict is resolved and Closeness maintained when: •a) ACCEPT - both parties willingly accept their part •b) LOVE - both parties operate in LOVE.

Why Genesis?

Who wrote the book and why it was written • January 6, 2019 • Benham Brothers

NEW BEGINNINGS - a message of encouragement from God to His kids (the Jews and Jesus) about the new phase of life in which they were about to embark 
 * God to the Israelites:   * The Israelites were about to enter the Promised Land.   * What message would God have for them?   * God downloaded five books into Moses, one of them went back to the beginning - Genesis.   * The Jews needed this book to create a solid foundation for their new life.   * Many scholars believe that the Israelites fled Egypt around 1450-1440 BC.   * They also believe Moses wrote Genesis around 1400 BC.   * KEY - Whatever God forms He fills.   * But there’s an order to how He does it:   * Illumination - Separation - Habitation.   * He did this with all of creation - the earth first and then mankind.   * Gen 1:1-2 - He created the heavens and the earth.   * But the earth was FORMLESS - God needed to FORM it.   * The earth was VOID - He needed to FILL it. * The Six Days of Creation are all about Him forming and filling.   * 1) ILLUMINATION: Gen 1:3 * 2) SEPARATION: Gen 1:4-9 * * light from darkness  * * waters below from waters above  * * land from water  * Illumination and separation prepared the way for habitation.  * 3) HABITATION: * vs 10-31 - Vegetation, Animals, Humans.  
 Day 1 - Heavens and the earth (nothing but water) - He lit it up and split it up! Day 2 - Sky - He separated the waters above and below Day 3 - Land - He separated the water from the dirt - vegetation was a part of this Day 4 - Stars - Gen 1:14-18 - Before habitation he had to create government so people could keep things separate.  Day 5 - Fish  Day 6 - Animals & Man  
 * EXAMPLE - ADAM: God did with Adam what He did with the earth. * vs 2:19-20 - ILLUMINATION - no helper was “found” - he was looking.  * vs 2:21 - SEPARATION - feminine was removed from masculine.  * vs 2:22-25 - HABITATION - and they lived happily ever after.  
 * FLOOD - when God brought the flood He set the earth back to its original form (full of water) - He removed Separation. (Genesis 7:21)  
 * APPLICATION:  Illumination - Separation - Habitation * 1) Walk in the light. Spend time with God in prayer and the Word.  * 2) Stay separate from the world. “Be holy for I am holy.”   * 3) When we walk in the light and remain separate we live in God and He lives in us.

Matthew 16:17-19 (2/4/16)

What Is Church? • February 4, 2016 • Benham Brothers

• The disciples were expecting Christ to establish a new kingdom. • But He let them in on His plan - it was to build a church. • They knew what "ekklesia" meant: • 1) an assembly of Greek citizens that governed a city or district. • 2) the congregation of Israel when gathered for religious activity. • He didn't stop there - He let them in on the entire role of the church: • WHO - anyone who made the same claim as Peter. • WHERE - the "gates" represented power and authority - City Hall. • Gates of Hell represented the places where Satan exercised power and authority. • WHAT - keys represent access to authority. • The church would get access to God's authority. • The church could bind what was free (evil), and free what was bound (good). • CHURCH - "a religious governing body made up of Christians who exercise God's ruling authority on the earth." • This means there will always be a fight.

Mark 16:15-18 (3/15/18)

Kingdom Advancers • March 15, 2018 • Benham Brothers

* Christ’s last words on earth were a commission for believers to be Kingdom Advancers in this world. * vs 16 - it starts with belief. To believe is to “commit.” * vs 17-18 - Just as Moses had signs that accompanied him as well as the apostles in Acts, so will we as believers. * Signs represent to the outside what is true on the inside (like a skin disease). * Signs make the invisible visible. * Here are the signs that will accompany believers to show the POWER that’s inside them: * 1) We WILL cast out demons - this is a matter of AUTHORITY (the “right to use power”). * The power of God in us will overcome the power of Satan in others. * 2) We WILL speak in new tongues - this is a matter of CLARITY. * A believer will talk differently - it will be in a way others can understand. * We can also speak in prayer tongues if we’re open to the Spirit’s leading. * 3) We WILL pick up serpents with our hands - this is a matter of BRAVERY. * We won’t walk in fear - what others fear won’t affect us (there’s no mention of snake bite). * 4) IF we drink poison, it won’t affect us - this is a matter of IMMUNITY. * The things that are meant to harm us won’t because of the power inside us. * ** Persecution - when others want to harm us it won’t. * ** Purity - the stuff of the world won’t affect us on the inside (like a hose that’s on inside a mud hole). * 5) We WILL lay our hands on the sick and they will recover - this is about COMMUNITY. * Believers will be conduits through which God brings healing to others. * We not only have the power to do it but also the desire.