A. Welcome to the Bible teaching ministry of Bro. Graham Watts, Sr. The goal here is biblical instructions to prepare people for residence in the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:24). This Bible teacher believes in spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:28). They are present among believers for:
- Rendering service to Christ, (Luke 19:12-26; Matthew 25:40),
- Perfecting the saints (Ephesians 4:11-13; 2 Timothy 3:15-17), and
- Outreach to other members of Christ's fold, who are not presently constituted as part of the "living" body of Christ (John 10:16; 1 Corinthians 12:27; John 1:48 & Revelation 18:4).
Christ, who is "...the light of the world..." (John 8:12), works through His servants (1 Corinthians 7:20 & 1 Corinthians 1:26), to call His people "...out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9, NKJV | Revelation 18:1-4, NKJV). Thus, this gift of teaching, which the Holy Spirit shared with me, (1 Cor 12:8, TLB) that was nurtured in the Sabbath School environment, provided the impetus for carrying out the gospel's commission (Matthew 28:18-20), so that "...those who had been chosen for eternal life [might become] believers" (Acts 13:48, GNT). The Internet is simply a vehicle for doing what I am commissioned to do—teach the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:2 | Acts 15:35 | Acts 18:11 | 1 Corinthians 14:19).
B. As a "...teaching priest..." (2 Chronicles 15:3, NASB), I appeal to many. My commission and assignment comes from Jesus Christ, not man or institution.
"...Jesus Christ... has freed us from our sins and made us a kingdom of priests to serve His God and Father..." (Revelation 1:5-6 & 5:10, GNT; 1 Peter 2:9, GNT). "The Lord Almighty says to the priests, 'This command is for you: You must honor me by what you do.... It is the duty of priests to teach the true knowledge of God. People should go to them to learn my will, because they are the messengers of the Lord Almighty'" (Malachi 2:1-2 & 7, GNT).
Hence, this priest targets non-church attending members of Generations Y, Z, and Others as well as church attending people who have NOT been "rooted and built up in [Jesus Christ], and established in the faith..." (Colossians 2:7; Colossians 1:4; Revelation 19:10). These audiences, among others, must come to know the Good News (Acts 10:36, NLT | Romans 1:2-5, TLB | John 3:16, TLB), and an important promise of Jesus—"I go to prepare a place for you..., and... I will come again, and receive you..." (John 14:2-3, NKJV). Therefore, all God's messengers must sound the alarm and give these distinctive reminders:
- Jesus is coming again (1 Thessalonians 2:19);
- "...Be reconciled to God" (2 Corinthians 5:20);
- "...Prepare to meet your God..." (Amos 4:12, NKJV)!
To be ready for Jesus Christ and to receive the reward that He brings (Revelation 22:12), each one of you [must do three things]:
- Turn from sin (1 Kings 8:35-36, NKJV | Acts 26:18),
- Return to God (Isaiah 55:7 | Jeremiah 24:7), and
- Be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins (Acts 2:38).
[Fulfill these conditions, and] ...you also shall receive this gift, the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38, TLB | Acts 5:32, TLB | Ephesians 1:13)—a.k.a., the sealing (Revelation 7:3). And if you have received the gift of the Holy Spirit, do not rebel against God "...and grieve His Holy Spirit..." (Isaiah 63:10, TLB), "...whereby [you] are sealed unto the day of redemption" (Ephesians 4:30); instead, go to the next level of spirituality by following these steps:
- Listen to the Spirit (Isaiah 30:21),
- "...Live in the Spirit..." (Galatians 5:25 & Exodus 28:3) by accepting and adhering to His teachings (John 14:16 & 26),
- "...Walk in the Spirit..." (Galatians 5:16; Romans 8:4 & Isaiah 30:21) by NOT "...sowing in the field of [your] old nature..." (Galatians 6:8, CJB),
- "Put on the whole armour of God..." (Ephesians 6:11),
- "...[Take] the shield of faith..." (Ephesians 6:16),
- "...Add to your faith goodness..., knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly affection, and.. love" (2 Peter 1:5-7, KJV, CJB), and
- "...Obey [Jesus]... just as [He obeyed His] Father..." (Ezekiel 36:27, TLB; Ezekiel 11:19-20, TLB; John 15:10, TLB; John 17:4, TLB).
A To Do List, such as the seven items mentioned above, may not be highly motivating to some. If that is your situation, dwell upon theses assurances: God is calling you. He wants to create you anew in Christ Jesus, and set you apart for His sacred purpose. By doing so, you can rejoice and be glad, for by God's grace, nothing can stand in the way of His plan for your life if you walk by faith and not by sight! This is indeed, good news. Furthermore, God's blessing will follow you in death, for He who is faithful, says—"...Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.... They... rest from their labors, and their works follow them" (Revelation 14:13, NKJV).
C. The primary purpose of this Website is to prepare people to meet Christ as Lord and Savior. Soon He will return as the "...King of kings and Lord of lords" (Revelation 19:16, NLT). That means you must obtain and preserve an authentic and focused relationship with Jesus Christ; therefore, you cannot "...act religious, but... reject the power that could make [you] godly..." (2 Timothy 3:5, NLT); for anyone who does that risks hearing Christ say to them: "...You have NEVER been mine. Go away..."(Matthew 7:23, TLB). Hence, this Bible study Website emphasizes three themes:
- Relationship with Christ (Revelation 16:15; NLT, Nahum 2:1, NLT; 1 Peter 5:8),
- Knowing Him practically, in Spirit and truth (John 4:24), and
- Obedience to God's commands as the fruit of faith and love for God (Romans 13:10; 1:5; 6:16; John 14:15, & Hebrews 5:8).
Why are these emphases relevant? The living soul (Genesis 2:7 & Isaiah 42:5) must experience transformation of character (Romans 12:2 & 2 Corinthians 5:17) as it is renewed in the image and glory of God (2 Corinthians 4:16, Ephesians 4:23 & Colossians 3:10) and be made ready for faith-based obedience and service to Christ (John 14:15; Isaiah 43:10, 12; 44:8; Matthew 21:28 & 1 Corinthians 15:58), which are motivated by love (2 Corinthians 5:14, CJB). Thus, there are three important lessons to learn regarding faith-based obedience and service to Christ:
- "...Walk in love..." (Ephesians 5:2, NKJV & 1 John 4:8, NLT),
- "...Walk by faith..." (2 Corinthians 5:7 & Hebrews 11:6), and
- "...Walk humbly with... God" (Micah 6:8, NKJV & Isaiah 57:15).
We are "...declared righteous on the ground of trusting and being faithful [to the Messiah]" (Galatians 3:24, CJB). To all of us is granted opportunity—like Abel (Genesis 4:4 | Matthew 23:35 | Hebrews 11:4), Enoch, (Genesis 5:24), Noah (Genesis 6:9), Abram (Genesis 17:1), Isaac (Genesis 48:15), and Jacob (Genesis 32:28)—to walk by faith with God! Christ is calling you today! He says: "Come to me, all of you who are struggling and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke—rule, governance, submission (1 Kings 12:1-14, NKJV | Psalm 40:8 | Philippians 2:7-8)—upon you and learn from me... and you will find rest for your souls" (Matthew 11:28-29, CJB). "...You are included among those Gentiles who have been called to belong to Jesus Christ" (Romans 1:6, NLT). Don't trifle with God's patience "and fail to learn the lesson [of His unfailing love] and continue your hostility..." (Leviticus 26:23-28, NLT) and "... disobedience..." (Ephesians 2:1-2, NLT) toward Him.
D. What is the plan to accomplish the teaching aims articulated here? The answer to that question appears in the table below.
|Prayerful, Holy Spirit Directed Scripture Reading and Reflection||Identify Themes, Concepts, & Lessons Learned||Integrate Themes, Concepts, & Lessons Learned for Making Meaning||Internalize Meaning of Scriptures as Take Home Messages||Use Take Home Messages for Decision-Making & Behavior Modification|
E. Bible study is a purpose driven activity. It aims to increase your knowledge of God that you can know, believe and trust Him (Isaiah 43:10). As you are taught in the Word, by His Holy Spirit that works within you (John 14:26 | 1 John 2:27), God sanctifies you by transformation of your mind so that your inner values, beliefs, attitudes, and preferences that constitute your character becomes godly and your outer life reflects the inner transformation (Romans 12:2 |1 Thessalonians 4:3 | Deuteronomy 7:6, NLT). It must be this way because "...it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13, NKJV). Anything less than inner transformation is "...sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal" (1 Corinthians 13:1 | Matthew 7:21-23, TLB). This position leaves no doubt because "...the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12, NKJV). God's Word, stored in the mind (Psalm 119:11, NKJV), makes all the difference, for His Words "...are Spirit and life" (John 6:63, CJB). And "...when... the Word of God... [is]... received... as it truly is, God's Word... works in you believers" (1 Thessalonians 2:13, CJB); along with "...the Holy Spirit... cleansing you with the blood of Jesus Christ and making you to please [God]..." (1 Peter 1:2, TLB).
F. If we love God, we will obey His Word, (John 14:15, CJB). We will also "...renounce the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God" (2 Corinthians 4:2, NKJV). In turn, He will make us "...clean through the Word, which [Jesus Christ] have spoken unto [us]" (John 15:3). "Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him" (Romans 6:8, NKJV). What does it mean to die with Christ? "...As many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death" (Romans 6:3, NKJV). What does it mean to live with Christ? "...You are NOT in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, [s/he] is NOT His" (Romans 8:9, NKJV). "And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires" (Galatians 5:24, NKJV). "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, [s/he] is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17, NKJV). This transformation of character and life is at the center of what it means to be born again. Because, in the end, "...there shall by no means enter [the New Jerusalem] anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life" (Revelation 21:27, NKJV). Make certain that your name is in the Lamb's Book of Life! "Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will NEVER stumble" (2 Peter 1:10, NKJV).
G. My joy and rejoicing will peak as I yield my life entirely to God to do His appointed work (Ephesians 2:10, CJB). "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:14). "I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13). I must finish "...the work assigned to me by the Lord Jesus—the work of [teaching] others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God" (Acts 20:24, NLT). Hence, I join the cast of servants and witnesses who have "...received... gifts, [to] minister... to... [others], as good stewards of the manifold grace of God" (1 Peter 4:10). Our work aims to stimulate your thoughts and encourage reflection upon God's great love for you (Ephesians 2:4-5 | John 3:16 | 2 Peter 3:9). God has plans for your life, "...plans for well-being, NOT for bad things; so you can have hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11, CJB). "He gives power to the tired and worn out, and strength to the weak" (Isaiah 40:29, TLB). If you would obey the requirements of God, then "through [Christ you will] receive grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith..." (Romans 1:5, NKJV). Submit to God's way (Psalm 77:13, NKJV | John 14:6, NLT & John 17:6, NLT). "There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death" (Proverbs 16:25, NLT). But for all who submit to God, and join Him in becoming "...the salt of the earth..." (Matthew 5:13), "...the light of the world..." (Matthew 5:14), and NOT using the world as a stage, (Matthew 6:1-18, MSG); He is preparing a wonderful banquet for investors in His Kingdom (Isaiah 25:6-9, NKJV).
H. Graham Watts, Sr. owns this Website. The topics presented here represent his personal commitment to share Christ with interested readers. More importantly, Graham is neither representing himself nor communicating as a professionally trained Seventh-day Adventist minister. Therefore, Graham takes sole responsibility for the content provided here. However, to demonstrate professionalism and accountability to lay people in public ministry, and to respect the authority of the church, where I have membership and actively support, topics focus on issues that are consistent with the purpose of this Website. Nevertheless, well intentioned, ecclesiastical policies and practices (Matthew 26:4 | Acts 7:59) or popular beliefs (Acts 21:1-32, TLB) may sometimes cause conflicts, and should these arise, Acts 5:29 provides guidance.
I. I received help while doing this work. Therefore, it is appropriate to "…give honor and respect to all those to whom it is due" (Romans 13:7, TLB). Special thanks to Sister Betty Worthy for site sponsorship and for the idea to present lean Bible study topics.