FAITH ROOTS SCHOOL OF THE BIBLE

INTERNATIONAL VERSION


THE NEW TESTAMENT


Master Lesson Book

by

Willie George


Copyright 1990 by Willie George Ministries. All rights reserved.

Printed in the U.S.A.


WARNING:

Unauthorized reproduction of this book or its contents is prohibited by

Federal law and is subject to criminal prosecution.


Willie George is sent from God to the children of the world. Armed with a keen ability to communicate with children, Willie George travels extensively throughout North America preaching to kids. His Faith Roots Curriculum, found in over 20,000 churches worldwide, produces amazing results in the classroom.


Willie and his ministry team continue to produce the highly successful Adventures In Dry Gulch. This exciting television program, seen in over 1,000 U.S. cities as well as several foreign countries, brings Bible truth to children through puppets, drama, music, and illustrated sermons. Each year hundreds of thousands of children experience the love of God through the various outreaches of Willie George Ministries.


"Jesus has a dynamic children's ministry," explained Willie, "and it's important for today's children to know Him in a meaningful way."


To find out more about Willie George Ministries, or if you would like information about other products we offer, call or write:


Willie George Ministries

PO Box 770, Tulsa, OK 74101 U.S.A.

(918) 234 5656

FOREWORD


During the past few years, teachers and children's workers in twenty thousand classrooms around the world have found this curriculum to be effective. Our Bible lessons have been translated into many different languages and cultures, but the results are always the same. Faith Roots works because it proclaims the Word of God   not man's opinion. Signs and wonders confirm the teaching, because it's the same Gospel that Jesus preached 2000 years ago.


Our international curriculum is designed to supply you with one year's worth of teaching materials for your classroom. For your convenience, the lesson outline and all supplementary lessons are combined into one notebook. Our supplemental lessons are written in such a way that they can be adapted to any culture, though you may have to make some changes in specific instances. We've done our best to make these lessons the best they can be.


Our material does not teach itself. The Bible lessons are not written in a word for word fashion. You will have to teach them from your heart in your own words. We are working to stimulate your creativity. The raw materials are here, so dig in and put them together for a powerful presentation of God's Word.


I believe that your children will receive a precious revelation of Jesus as you minister these words of life. May the Holy Spirit flow through you in wisdom, creativity, and patience in your labor of love with the Father's lambs.


For the souls of boys and girls,


Willie George

HOW TO USE THIS MATERIAL

READ THIS: In order to get the full benefit of these lessons, it is necessary for you to read the following instructions.


SCRIPTURE TO STUDY: Earlier in the week, read and meditate the specific scripture for each lesson. Let the Word sink down into your spirit so that when you teach the lesson you are ministering the Word from your heart. Do not feel you must read the scripture background to your class   it is for you.


CENTRAL TRUTH: It is better to teach children basic principles than to insist on them learning details. In every segment of the class   stories, Bible lesson, music, memory verse, etc.   keep in mind the central truth. For example, in the first lesson it will be better for the children to learn the principle that Jesus is the living Word of God than it is for them to know the custom of marriage in Bible days.


MEMORY VERSE: There are many ways to present the memory verse, so do not get in a rut. Get the kids excited about the memory verse by being enthusiastic yourself. You will notice that our memory verses are coordinated closely with the central truth. In many cases, we have listed for the memory verse only a portion of the scripture passage. It is better for all the class to know "by Jesus' stripes we were healed," out of I Peter 2:24, than for a few to quote the entire verse, word for word. For the children to memorize the verse, they need to say it about 10 12 times. The following are a few methods of teaching the memory verse to get you started:


(1) Take It Away   In the Take It Away method the verse is printed on a medium (chalkboard, felt board, pieces of paper, etc.) from which words can be removed one at a time. Have the children say the verse several times, and then have them bow their heads and close their eyes. Remove a word and have the children look up and guess which word was taken away. When they guess the correct word, have all the children say the verse again. Continue this process until all the words have been removed.

  1. `Add A Word   Just the opposite of Take It Away. You add the words of the verse one at a time, having the children say as much as is revealed each time. Once the verse is complete, have them say it several times.

(3) Scrambles   All of the words are put on a board of some sort (chalk or felt) or on pieces of paper, but in the wrong order. The children must put them in the correct order and then say the verse. Having a contest between teams, or against time, adds excitement to this method.

(4) Riddles   A picture can be used for each word in the verse or a question, which, when answered reveals a word of the verse.

(5) Songs   Put the verse to song or rhythm.

(6) Puzzles   Write the verse on a large piece of heavy paper, and cut it into several odd shaped pieces. This can be used along with any of the first 3 methods.

(7) Seek And Find   Write each word on a separate piece of paper, and hide them. Have one or two kids find the words, and put them in the proper order. For added excitement, make two sets of words, and have a race between teams, or have a race against time.


PUPPET SKITS: Puppets are one of the most effective ways of teaching the Gospel to children. Not only do they hear the message being presented to them, but they also see it acted out, which increases their learning ability. These skits were designed so only one or two people would be needed to work the puppets. There are never more than two characters up at a time. Those who work the puppets should let their voices adapt to the different characters and moods of the skit. A puppet's actions should also be over dramatized for greater effect. Puppets and puppet stages can be very simple or very elaborate. Use what you have. These skits can also be used as a drama presentation with live actors as an alternative to the puppets for an occasional change of pace. Practice with your puppets and be creative!


OBJECT LESSONS: These object lessons give simple pictures of spiritual laws that will reveal truths to children. Do not just read these lessons to your class. Study them, and know the content. Before you present any of these lessons, practice them at home to make sure you get the desired effects from your materials. Prepare!


STORIES: Storytelling is one of the greatest vehicles available in presenting the Gospel. To get the most from your presentation, know the story. Do not memorize it, but be familiar enough with it to tell it from the heart in your own words. When these stories become real to you, they will be made real to the children. Let your actions and voice tones adapt to the characters and moods of the story. Since all these stories are set in a cowboy atmosphere, dressing up like a cowboy will produce an added effect in your storytelling. Do not be embarrassed to make animal sounds or talk like a child. The children will love it!


OUTLINES: Each Bible lesson has been outlined so you may use it as a reference while you teach. It is not meant to be read to the class as a story. The main points tell the heart of the story. You can add or delete details as you wish.

Familiarize yourself with the Bible story setting. Make sure you understand the basic principles you are teaching. Word the things you teach so that children will be able to understand. Think as a child while you teach. Do not get too complicated. Kids readily receive spiritual truth when it is presented with simplicity.


The lesson outlines make room for your individual personality to shine through in each story.

Express ideas the way you express yourself best. Do not feel confined to the exact wording of each outline.


Do not get bogged down in details. Knowing the name of each disciple is not nearly as important as knowing that faith can make you whole. Teach the details, but concentrate on the principles.


Keep in mind the attention spans of the children you are teaching. The Bible lesson presentation should last from eight to fifteen minutes depending on the age group and length of the lesson. A good rule to follow for attention spans is one minute per year of age. For example, a 10 year old has approximately a 10 minute attention span, a 6 year old a six minute attention span, etc. This is just a general rule, however, as attention spans will vary with things such as room temperature, time of year, how exciting the lesson is, etc.


Grouping is also important. As a rule, children should not be grouped together when there is more than a three year age difference. Some circumstances, however, make that impossible (i.e. lack of teachers, space, etc.) God's grace is sufficient for any situation! This material is ideally suited for first through sixth grades (6 12 years of age).


SPIRITUAL EXERCISES: Each lesson includes a confession you can lead the children in. Saying and singing what we are in Christ and our benefits in Him will help the children develop spiritually. Proverbs 12:14 says, "A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth." Take a few minutes to let the children exercise the inward man.


VISUAL AIDS: Use visuals! Kids remember more of what they see than what they hear. Reinforce the words you speak with things they can see. Flannelgraph characters for these lessons are supplied in Covenant Characters. Each character and scene is numbered for quick reference. You will have to cut them out and color or paint them. They are flocked on the back for use on a flannel board. A piece of flannel is supplied and instructions for making a flannel board can be found on page xvii. You will find a sufficient number of men, women, children, and other things to present every story. Build your own scenes as the story progresses using as many characters as you feel are necessary. Do not limit yourself to flannelgraph characters as the single method of presentation   be versatile. Occasionally, dress like a Bible character. Have kids act out parts. Be imaginative!


APPLYING THE WORD: You can gain valuable insight into the challenges your students face as they answer these questions and apply the lesson to their lives. It may be a new experience for some children to answer a question in class that does not have a right or wrong answer. You can help by setting the example and telling a true situation from your own life. As the children sense it is safe to talk about their feelings and experiences, they will open up more and more. Keep all stories short—a minute or less is good. Do not laugh at a child who is being serious. If a child's story seems out of place, help apply it to the lesson. In the child's mind it applies somehow. Help make that connection. If a child's story seems made up and outlandish, smile and ask "Is that a true story?" He will probably grin back and shrug. Sometimes singing the chorus of a song between the stories will help the momentum. (The spiritual exercise songs would be good to use at this time.)


REVIEW GAMES: You will find playing these games will add incentive for your students to listen closely to every lesson! Making children give an account of what you have taught them will make your class more effective and challenging. Always pick one child to answer each question. Do not allow the children to respond until you select them. To make your contest fair, allow only one answer per person. Do not allow a bright pupil to answer all the questions. If one team cannot answer the question, give the other team a chance. If you run out of questions before the game ends, you can make up more questions, or have the children recite the memory verse. To add more excitement, treat the winners with candy or small prizes. The following games can be used with any of the lessons.


PIN THE WORD ON THE DEVIL

Supplies: Poster (included with this curriculum), swords (included), 3 pins or thumtacks, blindfold. Complete instructions are on the sheet with the "swords."


BALLOON BURST

Supplies: 24 small balloons, tape (or thumbtacks), bulletin board or chalkboard, 2 pins

Make a balloon scoreboard using the chalkboard or bulletin board. Divide it into two sections, one side for each team. Arrange balloons into 4 rows of 3 balloons each. Choose two teams and select a helper from each team. Ask a question, and pick a child to answer it. If the answer is correct, have that team's helper pop a balloon with the pin. The side to pop all its balloons first, wins.


TIC TA C TOE

Supplies: Chalkboard and chalk, or large tablet and marker Draw a tic sac toe board on the chalkboard. Choose an "X" team and an "O" team, and select a helper from each team. Ask a question, and pick a child to answer it. If the answer is correct, have the helper make his team's "X" or "O" mark on the tic sac toe board. Continue until all questions are asked.


CHRISTIAN CONCENTRATION

Supplies: Forty eight 3"x 5" cards, marker, tape, board (bulletin board, cardboard, etc.)

Writing the numbers as large as possible, number 24 of the cards from 1 to 24. Letter the remaining cards, making two sets from A to L. Arrange the Concentration Board as follows: lay the lettered cards face up in 4 rows of 6 cards each, mixing them up so that pairs are not right next to each other. Tape them into position. Place a numbered card over each alphabet card, keeping the numbers in order. Tape these into position.

Choose two teams and select a helper from each team. Ask a question, and pick a child to answer it. If the answer is correct, the child who answered the question gets a chance to try to make a match. He calls out two numbers between 1 and 24. The helper from his team lifts the numbered cards, revealing the lettered cards below. If the two cards match, the numbered card is removed and his team gets a point. (Or, as a variation, he gets a prize such as a piece of candy.) If the lettered cards don't match, cover them again with the top cards. Continue until all matches are made.


HANG THE DEVIL

Supplies: Chalkboard and chalk, or large tablet and marker. Draw two hangman's gallows, one on the left side of the board, and one on the right. Then pick a word from the lesson to use as the mystery word. In the middle of the page, draw a blank for each letter of the mystery word. (For example, "Joseph" has 6 letters, so you would draw 6 blanks.)

Choose two teams. Ask a question, and pick a child to answer it. If the answer is correct, let that child guess a letter that might be in the mystery word. If he guesses correctly, write the letter in the blanks, showing every time it appears. Then draw a noose on his team's gallows. Next ask a question of the other team. Continue as above, drawing the devil's head, body, right arm, left arm, right leg, left leg, right hand, and left hand, on their team's gallows when someone guesses a correct letter. (Remember: children must answer review questions correctly to earn a chance to guess a letter.) Whichever team hangs the devil first wins. If they guess the word before you run out of questions, choose another word and continue playing.


CROSS THE LINE

Supplies: Tape or string to mark finish line

Choose two teams and a runner for each team. Ask a question, and pick a child to answer it. If the answer is correct, the runner for that team gets to take two giant steps (baby steps if space is limited) toward the finish line. The team whose runner crosses the finish line first, wins.


BIBLE BASKETBALL

Supplies: Large piece of posterboard, marker for drawing

Draw the outline of a basketball court on a piece of posterboard, then draw the free-throw area and a basket on each side. Divide the class into two teams. The first player on the first team comes to the front of the room and "takes a shot" at the first question. If he or she gets it right, the team gets two points and the first player on team two gets "the ball" and gets to "take a shot." If the player cannot answer the question, he "misses the shot." No points are awarded, and the "ball" is given to the next player on the other team. He or she gets to "shoot." If he can answer the question, he gets two points, and the "ball" goes to the other team. The game continues until all questions are answered.


POP QUIZ

Supplies: 20 small balloons, tape (or thumbtacks), bulletin board or chalkboard, 2 pins, scoreboard

Write each of the questions on a small piece of paper and insert into a balloon. Now blow up the balloon with the question inside. Make a balloon board by attaching the balloons to the chalkboard or bulletin board. Divide the class into two teams. The first player comes forward, picks a balloon, and pops it. He or she then reads the question. If they can answer it themselves, their team gets 5 points. If they do not know the answer, they can pick someone on their team to answer it, in which case the team gets 3 points. If their team member answers incorrectly, the question goes to team two. If team two answers it correctly, they get 1 point. Then team two sends their first player forward. He or she picks a balloon and pops it, reads the question, etc. Play continues until all questions are read, and the team with the most points is declared a winner.


LOCK AND KEY

Supplies: construction paper, scissors

Cut 20 locks and 20 keys out of construction paper. Write the questions on the locks and the answers on the keys. Put 10 locks and their keys in a set for team one and the other 10 locks and keys in a set for team two. Put these in two stacks at the front of the room. Have someone who can read well stand near each stack, in case someone needs help. Divide the class into two teams, and have them line up relay race style. Players will run to the front of the room and try to match an answer with a question. As soon as he or she makes a correct match, they run back to their team and tag the next person who runs forward to make a second match. The game continues until one team completes all matches and is declared the winner.


If time permits, you can swap the sets of locks and keys, so team one has the set that team two just matched, etc., and play round two!


Variation: Let the first two players make as many matches as they can in one minute. When time is up, both players return to their teams, and the next two players come up. They also have one minute to make as many matches as possible. The first team to match all locks and keys wins.


HOT SHOT

Supplies: A package of rubberbands; a wastebasket, bucket, or other container; scoreboard

Divide the class into two teams. The first player comes forward and answers a question. If the answer is correct, let that child shoot a rubberband at the wastebasket. If the answer is incorrect, ask the question of the other team. Keep score, giving 3 points for every correct answer and 1 point for every rubberband that enters the basket.


BODY BUILDING

Supplies: Chalkboard and chalk, or large tablet and marker

Draw a line dividing the chalkboard into two even sides. Divide the children into two teams. Ask a question of the first child on team one. If the answer is correct, let that child draw a head on his team's side of the chalkboard. If the answer is not correct, ask the question of the first player on team two. If he gets it right, he gets to draw a head on his team's side of the chalkboard. Continue the game, asking questions, and letting the child who answers correctly draw the neck, the body, right arm, left arm, right leg, left leg, right hand, and left hand, on their team's chalkboard. The teacher can add to the fun by saying things like, "Poor guy! He has a head, but he needs a neck in the worst way. Somebody please get this next question!" If time permits, you can add a shirt, pants, shoes, hat, tie, etc. Whichever team completes their drawing first wins.


COLORING PICTURE: A master coloring picture is provided for each lesson, and is coordinated with the lesson for the day. Copies can be made to correspond with the number of children in each class.

















CLASS SCHEDULE: Think about attention spans as you plan your class schedule. Below are two sample schedules:


Activity 2nd Grade Class* 5th Grade Class**

Singing, Offering, 10 minutes 10 minutes

Announcements

Bible Lesson 8 minutes 8 minutes

Spiritual Exercises 5 minutes 5 minutes

Memory Verse 5 minutes 5 minutes

Puppet Skit 5 minutes 5 minutes

Supplementary 8 minutes 8 minutes

Lesson

Application Question 5 minutes 5 minutes

Review Game 6 minutes 7 minutes

Coloring Page 8 minutes 5 minutes

________________________________________________

Total 60 minutes 60 minutes


* Approximate age: (7 8 year olds)

**Approximate age: (10 11 year olds)

THE MASTER TEACHER METHOD FOR SUNDAY SCHOOL


Faith Roots is designed to work most effectively with the Master Teacher Method of instruction. This plan specifies that teachers combine the smaller cubicle type classes to form larger groups with two to three teachers per twenty five pupils.


The benefits of such a program are many and the institution of the plan is relatively simple. Each class is headed by a Master Teacher (who is experienced and capable) and assisted by one or two others. The Master Teacher assigns lesson parts and oversees the class schedule.


Since the Master Teacher is the most capable, he should teach the Bible lesson and allot the supplementary lesson to an assistant. A third teacher could be responsible for singing and opening exercises. If three teachers each prepare two hours for each class, the children will get the benefit of six hours of study. In the small class with one teacher, children do not get the variety of teacher personality and the benefit of as much preparation time.


Few teachers can do everything well, and the Master Teacher Method is excellent in allowing teachers to specialize in puppets, flannelgraph, music, or object lessons.

In the Master Teacher's class, distractions are handled by assistants while the teacher remains undisturbed. Children who need counsel can easily be dealt with by the person not teaching at the moment.


This plan is excellent for introducing new teachers in children's ministry. Newcomers are often overcome in having to learn all teaching skills immediately; but not so in the Master Teacher Method. The new teacher can step into teaching gradually and observe more experienced workers each week.


The Master Teacher is always developing new personnel by teaching them by precept and by example. He can always evaluate the progress of his assistants and knows when they are capable of taking more responsibility.


The problem of a teacher's absence is minor in the Master Teacher Method. Should the Master Teacher be absent, an assistant who is familiar with the operation of the class can cover the situation. Should an assistant be gone, the Master Teacher can bring in a parent to help in discipline and order.


Because your Faith Roots curriculum is full of variety, it makes sense to get the most from the material by having more than one person involved in teaching each class. You may find that the Master Teacher Plan will bring new life into your Sunday School. It originated with the Lord Jesus as He taught the twelve disciples by precept and example. They learned how to minister by watching Jesus, helping, and hearing His instruction. With their help, the Master was able to instruct multitudes.


VISUAL AIDS

After you have cut the figures out and colored or painted them, they can be conveniently stored in an expanding envelope file. Put numbers 1 10 in the first pocket, 11 20 in the second, etc. The figures you need for each lesson will be neatly kept and easy to find.


You can make your own flannelgraph by wrapping a piece of damp flannel around a board. Tack it into position on the back. While it is still wet, color the sky and ground with watercolor markers. This will give you a soft, even tone. If you want more distinct lines, let the flannel dry before using the markers.


For a quick change of scenes, draw another scene on a piece of flannel a little longer than your Flannelgraph board. Attach the new scene along the top of the board, tacking it on the back, so the tacks do not show. Flip it back until ready for a scene change.



  1. Angel Gabriel, angel

  2. Mary (young), Martha

  3. Joseph, Nicodemus, Ananias

  4. Donkey

  5. Manger

  6. Baby Jesus

  7. Flock of sheep

  8. Camel

  9. Shepherds, Servents

  10. Group of Angels

  11. Star, bright light

  12. City

  13. Three Wise Men

  14. King Herod, King Agrippa

  15. Soldier, jailer

  16. Satan

  17. Boy Jesus

  18. Priests, scribes and Pharisees

  19. John the Baptist

  20. Crowd, guest, andry mote, rulers

  21. Jesus (facing left)

  22. Jesus (facing right)

  23. Dove

  24. Waves

  25. Waves

  26. Tree

  27. Pots

  28. Crippled Man, Lazarus

  29. Crippled Man (healed), native men

  30. Well

  31. Woman at well, Sapphira, girl with demon

  32. Boat

  33. Jesus (facing forward)

  34. Peter (facing left)

  35. Peter (facing right)

  36. Net full of fish

  37. Judas, Elymus

  38. Andrew, Phillip

  39. James

  40. John

  41. Disciples, leaders of church

  42. Jairus, Ananias

  43. Jairus’ Daughter

  44. Women with the issue of blood, Mary (older)

  45. Maniac

  46. Maniac Delivered

  47. Pigs

  48. Boy, John Mark

  49. Loaves and Fishes in basket

  50. Blind man

  51. Blind Man healed

  52. Transfigured Jesus

  53. Richman, Felix

  54. Flames

  55. Dog

  56. Children

  57. Rich Young Ruler, Saul, Paul (facing Left)

  58. Saul, Paul (facing right)

  59. Mary, Rhonda

  60. Lazarus, Barnabus

  61. Large Stone

  62. Cup

  63. Bread

  64. Money Bag

  65. High Priest

  66. Soldier, Julius

  67. Captain, Cornelius, soldier

  68. Pilate, Sergius Paulus, Festus

  69. Crucifixion

  70. Stephan, Silas

  71. Ethiopian eunuch

  72. Chariot

  73. Paul in Stocks

  74. Silas in stocks

  75. Snake

























A SPECIAL MESSAGE FOR MARY


Scripture to Study: Matthew 1:18 25; Luke 1:26 38; John 1:1 14

Central Truth: Jesus of Nazareth is the Word of God

Memory Verse: John 1:14, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us..."

Supplementary Lesson: Puppet Skit—"The World's Greatest Mother"

Visual Aids: Angel Gabriel (1), Mary (2), Joseph (3)


To the Teacher:

The important idea to remember here is that Jesus did not begin to exist when Mary conceived. He is the eternal Word of God who took on human form. Mary gave a body to the Second Person of the Godhead. As you teach, be sure to stress the fact that Jesus pre existed with God as the Word.


Outline:

I. God sent His angel Gabriel to a virgin named Mary who live in Nazareth.

A. Mary was a pure and holy young woman who loved God.

B. She was bound by a marriage contract to be the wife of a man named Joseph, a carpenter.

1. Mary did not yet live with Joseph.

2. Her future was settled by the contract. She could marry no one else but Joseph.

C. When the angel Gabriel appeared, Mary was frightened.

D. Gabriel told Mary that she was very pleasing to the Lord and that she was a very special young woman.

1. We are all special to God.

2. God has a place for each one of us in His heart that no one else can fill.

II. Gabriel gave Mary a special message.

A. He told her that she would have a baby—the Son of God.

B. He told Mary that this child would be a king and He would rule over God's people forever.

C. Mary did not understand how she could have a baby because no man had planted a seed in her.

1. All children are born after a man's seed enters a woman.

2. Since Adam's sin, the seed of all men was cursed by sin and death.

D. The angel told Mary that her baby's father would not be a man, but that God, Himself, would plant His Word in her.

E. Mary's baby would be born without the curse of sin or death because He was the Son of God.

III. Just as the angel said, Mary became an expectant mother.

A. The baby inside her was the Word of God.

B. Before Jesus came to earth as a baby, He was called the Word of God.

1. The Word of God is the Person, Jesus.

2. He lived forever with God long before He came to earth.

C. Joseph was hurt that Mary was going to have a baby and thought she had been with another man.

D. Because he was kind and just, Joseph decided to divorce Mary secretly so she would not be shamed or possibly stoned.


E. Once again, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to Joseph and warned him not to divorce Mary.

F. After hearing the angel's explanation, Joseph married Mary because he knew the baby was the Son of God.


Spiritual Exercises:

God's Word came to live in a human body.

Jesus came to show me what God is like.

I will let God's Word live in my heart.

His Word lives in my mind.

His Word has control over my body.

Because Jesus became the Son of Man, I can be a son of God.

Jesus is my Lord.


PUPPET SKIT

THE WORLD'S GREATEST MOTHER


CHARACTERS: Host, Mary

HOST: Today we are honoring a very special mother. In fact, she is the most important mother who ever lived. Give a warm welcome to Mary.

MARY: Thank you. You are a very gracious group.

HOST: Mary, God had a very special place for you, did He not?

MARY: Yes, but every single one of us is special to God. I was blessed to be the mother of God's Son, but these children are just as important to God.

HOST: God does have something very special for all of us. Mary, could you tell us how we can have God's plan in our lives?

MARY: Well, let me think, oh, yes. I believe that we must keep ourselves pure if we are going to have God's best.

HOST: The Bible says that you were a pure young woman — a virgin. What does being pure really mean?

MARY: Being pure is keeping your mouth from saying wicked and hateful words, being obedient, and keeping your thoughts on God.

HOST: Mary, unfortunately, many of us have done things that are wrong. Does that mean that we are not pure?

MARY: Oh, no. Thank God for His mercy and forgiveness. Every single person has sinned and done something that is not pure. Only my Son, Jesus, has lived a perfect life; but, because He is our Sacrifice, our sin can be washed away. Even wicked people can be made pure when they accept God's mercy through Jesus.

HOST: Did you ever have to spank Jesus when He was little?

MARY: Of course not! He never threw a fit or lost His temper. He never fought with the other children. He was a perfect son.

HOST: Did He play like all the other children?

MARY: Oh, yes. He played and enjoyed things children like to do. He was a bit unusual in one area, though.

HOST: What did He do that was strange?

MARY: He spent every minute He could, after He was able to read, in the synagogue reading the Old Testament.

HOST: He had a strong desire to learn about God?

MARY: Oh, yes. He was asking questions I could not answer before He was twelve.

HOST: He must have been special.

MARY: He was very special. He was different from the very start. I will never forget how that big angel, Gabriel, came into my room to tell me about the Son of God.

HOST: Was this the visit you had from Gabriel before Jesus was born?

MARY: Yes, this was before I was even expecting a child. The angel told me I was going to have a baby—God's baby.

HOST: What was your reaction?

MARY: I was surprised, but I did not question it. I knew that God is able to do anything.

HOST: God can do anything?

MARY: Anything!

HOST: Heal a sick body?

MARY: Easily!

HOST: Open a blind eye?

MARY: Certainly!

HOST: Raise the dead?

MARY: Kid's stuff. God is limitless in power. He wanted me to have His Son, so I believed it.

HOST: That is important.

MARY: What?

HOST: It is important to believe God no matter how big the problem is.

MARY: You cannot have God's special plan for your life if you do not believe.

HOST: I believe in the Word of God.

MARY: I am a believer—not a doubter.

HOST: I am a believer—not a doubter. These kids need to say that, too. (Repeat two or three times.)

MARY: So long, believers. I am going back to visit my Son—forever!

FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:

Angels are special messengers sent from God. Sometimes they help people. Sometimes they bring people news. (Teacher: Tell a story of someone who has seen an angel. This can be a story from the Bible or possibly a story of someone you know personally.) Do you know of anyone who has seen an angel? What happened? Tell the class the story.

Note: Children are always fascinated by angelic beings. Hearing these stories will build their faith in the angelic protection God gives His children.


Questions for Review Game:


1. The angel Gabriel gave Mary a special message. What was it?

2. What was special about the baby Mary was to have?

3. How could Mary have a baby when she wasn't married yet?

4. Was Jesus alive even before He was a baby inside Mary?

5. Why would Mary's baby be born without the curse of sin or death?

6. What was Joseph's reaction when Mary told him she was expecting a child?

7. What convinced Joseph to continue with his plans to marry Mary?

8. What kind of child would Jesus have been if Joseph had actually been Jesus' father?

9. What are some other names for Jesus mentioned in the Bible?

10. How do you think you would react if an angel visited you?

THE BIRTH OF JESUS


Scripture to Study: Luke 2:1 21

Central Truth: Jesus was born into the earth as a man and laid aside His godly powers.

Memory Verse: John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Supplementary Lesson: Object Lesson—"The Lamb of God"

Visual Aids: Mary (2), Joseph (3), donkey (4), manger (5), baby Jesus (6), flock of sheep (7), shepherds (9), group of angels (10), star (11), city (12)


To the Teacher:

Emphasize the fact that the Word of God became a man in the fullest sense. He entered the earth in a human body in the same way all men are born. He was not born under the curse of death, because He was not the offspring of man, yet He was a perfect human being with a perfect body. The lambs offered in Old Testament times were required to be spotless and without any defect. How perfectly Jesus fit this pattern. Death had no authority over Him. He was as Adam before the fall. Had He not become our substitute, He could have lived forever because the effects of Adam's sin had no place in Him.


Outline:

I. Just as the angel Gabriel had promised, Mary became an expectant mother.

A. She and Joseph were married and they knew that the baby would be very special.

B. The emperor of the Roman Empire, Caesar Augustus, decreed that all the people under his rule be taxed.

C. Joseph and Mary traveled from Nazareth to the city of David, called Bethlehem.

D. Both Mary and Joseph were descendants of David, the king whose descendants were to rule over Israel forever.

E. When the couple entered Bethlehem, they were forced to stay in a stable because the inn was full.

II. Mary gave birth to the baby.

A. When the child was born, Mary wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, or bandages of cloth, which made the baby look like a mummy.

B. Next, the baby was placed in a manger, or a trough, that animals ate from. What a lowly entrance into the earth for the Creator of all the Universe!

C. The baby was named Jesus, which means "saviour." He was also called Immanuel, which means "God with us."

III. In a nearby field, shepherds were surprised by a group of angels.

A. As they were keeping their sheep, shepherds were startled by the sudden appearance of many angels.

B. The angels were singing and praising God and announcing the birth of Jesus.

1. We should rejoice because Jesus came.

2. Our praise is important to God.

C. The angels told the shepherds where to find the baby.

D. The shepherds found Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus in the stable and worshipped Him.

E. The Word of God laid aside all His godly powers and came to earth in the body of a little baby.

1. He was still God.

2. He had become a human being.


Spiritual Exercises:

Jesus is the Living Word of God. He always was.

God created all things by Him. Jesus is God's gift to me.

He became a man so He could be my sacrifice.

Thank God for His precious gift—Jesus.


OBJECT LESSON

THE LAMB OF GOD

Scripture Reference: Hebrews 9:22, " without shedding of blood is no remission."

Materials Needed: Red food coloring, clear Karo syrup, newspaper, white spray paint, small plastic bag, masking tape, knife, trash can.

To Prepare: Mix red food coloring with small amount (about 1/4 cup) of Karo syrup in a small plastic bag to form a blood like substance. Tie the bag shut. Crush several pages of newspaper into balls and unfold them to give a wrinkled appearance to the paper. Wrap newspaper around bag of syrup. Using tape and newspaper, begin to form a lamb placing the bag of syrup in the abdomen. After you have finished the lamb, hang it in the air with wire and spray it with white paint.

Lesson:

In Old Testament times, men were required by God to offer sacrifices for their sins. When God led Moses and the children of Israel out of Egypt, He told them to offer a lamb as a sacrifice. (Hold the lamb in your arms.) The lamb had to be healthy and could have no spots or blemishes. It had to be one of the best lambs in the flock.


The people were to slay the lamb and its blood had to be brushed over the door posts of their homes. Late at night, the angel of death came throughout the land of Egypt and every house that was without the lamb's blood on its door post was visited by death. The oldest child in each family died.


The children of Israel did not have such tragedy. When the death angel saw the blood of the lamb on the door posts, he could not go inside. So, the lamb's blood saved the children of Israel.


Sin is an awful thing. It keeps men from God. When men do wrong and sin against God, they cut themselves off from God's blessings. From the very beginning, God has always worked to forgive men of sin. He has always looked for ways to bless men—not to hurt them. Sin has a price. It is the price of blood. The only way for a man's sins to be cleansed is for innocent blood to be shed.


When Adam sinned, he sold the whole human race to Satan, the god of this world. Satan wanted to own men so that he could hurt and destroy them. Only the price of blood was enough to pay for redemption for you and me.


God showed people that the sacrifice of a lamb would cover their sins for a year. Every year another sacrifice had to be offered. The sins of the people were not taken away, they were only covered.


Then one day another Lamb came to this earth. Like all the other lambs before Him, He had no spot or blemish. He was perfect, for He had no sin. When John the Baptist saw Jesus coming to the Jordan River, he called Him the Lamb of God. Jesus came to be our sacrifice for sin.


When Jesus hung on the cross, He was as a lamb being offered. (Plunge the knife into the lamb's abdomen and allow the "blood" to drip into the trash can.) He gave up His precious blood so that we could be free from all our sin. His blood does not cover our sins, it washes them away. When we are cleansed of sin by asking Jesus to live in our hearts, it is as though we had never sinned.


The blood of Jesus cleanses hearts so wonderfully that there is no trace of sin left. Thank God for His Lamb. (If you prefer not to use the blood in this object lesson, consider using a stuffed animal lamb or a paper lamb.)

FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:

Jesus wasn't born in a hospital. He wasn't even born in a house. He was born in a stable where animals were kept. Yet He was King of the Universe. Most kings are born in a palace. Being born in a stable would not be good enough for them. It would be too humbling.


Have you ever had to do something that was humbling to you? Was it hard? Tell us the story.


Questions for Review Game:


1. Why was it so important for Mary and Joseph to travel to Bethlehem?

2. What was another name for Bethlehem?

3. Both Mary and Joseph were descendants of a famous king. Who was he?

4. When the couple entered Bethlehem, where were they forced to stay? Why?

5. What does the name "Jesus" mean?

6. After Jesus was born, His mother wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and placed Him in an unusual place for a baby. Where was it that He was placed?

7. Who surprised the shepherds in a nearby field?

8. What was the message the angels had for the shepherds?

9. What did the shepherds do when they found the baby Jesus?

10. The angels and the shepherds rejoiced because God came to earth as a baby. Why is it important for us to praise God?

WISE MEN SEEK HIM


Scripture to Study: Matthew 2:1 11

Central Truth: God's wisdom is available to us by His Word and His Spirit.

Memory Verse: Proverbs 3:6, "Trust in the Lord with all shine heart; and lean not unto shine own understanding."

Supplementary Lesson: Story—"I Am No Fool"

Visual Aids: Mary (2), Joseph (3), baby Jesus (6), camel (8), star (11), wise men (13), King Herod (14)

To the Teacher:

The real truth to get across in this lesson is that true wisdom honors God. If children are taught to honor God in worship, in learning, and in giving, a flow of wisdom will spring forth from their hearts. Although these "Magi" were outside the commonwealth of Israel, they still had some revelation of the plan of God. At different times, Gentiles were anointed as prophets and priests showing that God's plan has always been to include all men.


Outline:

I. There were wise men from the East who came to Israel to worship Jesus.

A. They had seen His star and knew that He had been born.

B. These wise men were called "Magi," and followed the signs of the heavens.

1. They were members of a certain sect that believed in the "Star Gospel."

2. The signs of the zodiac were originally meant to proclaim the Story of Redemption and not to lead men into astrology. (Psalm 19:1)

3. These men were definitely not astrologers.

C. They could possibly have had access to the writings of Daniel since they came from the area in which he had lived.

1. Daniel prophesied exactly when the Messiah would be killed.

2. The Holy Spirit used these men to bless baby Jesus and His family.

II. These wise men went to King Herod.

A. They went to Herod with the news that the King of the Jews had been born somewhere in Israel.

B. Herod was surprised and asked the wise men to find the baby for him.

C. The wise men followed the star to the house of Mary and Joseph in Nazareth. Their arrival in Israel was about two years after Baby Jesus was born. (See Luke 2:39.)

D. When the wise men found Jesus, they fell down and worshipped Him. They gave Him gifts of gold and valuable spices.

E. God warned the wise men in a dream not to go back to Herod, but to return home by another route.

III. We can learn a lesson from the wise men.

A. These men were wise because they sought God.

1. We can seek God through hearing His Word.

2. We should let Him speak to us as we pray.

B. These men were wise because they worshipped Jesus.

1. Worship is not only reverence—it is praise.

2. Praising God releases wisdom to our hearts.

C. These men were wise because they gave to the Lord.

1. If you wish to prosper, you must learn to be a giver.

2. When we are generous with God's work, He will be generous to us with ideas on how to be successful.


Spiritual Exercises:

I am a wise child.

I seek the Lord.

I am guided by the Holy Spirit and by God's Word.

I am wise because I praise God.

I am wise because I give to God.

I am wise because I seek God.


STORY

I AM NO FOOL

One day Gospel Bill was riding a train from Dry Gulch to South Pass. As he sat down in the railroad car, the man across the aisle looked up and spoke to Bill. "Good day, sir," said the man.

"Hello," replied Bill. "It is a good day. Where are you going?"

"My destination is a small town called South Pass," said the man.

"Good," said Gospel Bill. "That is where I'm going. We can visit on the way."

"Indeed we shall," said the man. Gospel Bill wanted to visit with the gentleman so that he could tell him about Jesus. Although the man seemed to be a very polite and scholarly man, Bill knew that he still needed to hear about Jesus. All men, wise or ignorant, need a Saviour.

After visiting for a few minutes, Gospel Bill began to tell the gentleman about the Lord. Bill told him how Jesus came to redeem men from sin. The gentleman was very polite, but he had no time for Bill's message.

"Sir," said the man. "I do not believe in sin, God, or Jesus. All are merely superstitious outgrowths of an uneducated society."

"Are you telling me that you do not even believe in God?" asked Bill.

"Exactly," he said. "God was created in the minds of men out of a need to believe in something."

"Well, what do you believe in?" asked Gospel Bill.

"I believe in science," said the man. "I do not believe in anything I cannot prove or see. I have never seen God. If He is real, why does He not show Himself to us? If I see Him, then I shall believe, but not until then."

“You're a pretty smart fellow to be so ignorant," said Bill. "The Bible says that the fool says in his heart there is no God. I guess you would be classified as a fool."

"You are a simple minded barbarian!" shouted the man. "How dare you insult me. I am a man of letters. I have studied in the world's finest universities and I quite certainly am no fool!"

"Well," replied Bill, "I am a simple enough man to believe the Bible and I trust in God's wisdom before I trust in my own mind. And I have the proof that God is real."

"You have proof? What possible proof could you have?" asked the man.

"I have seen God change the hardest of men into kind, considerate Christians. I have seen many an outlaw receive Christ and turn into a whole new man," said Gospel Bill.

"That is just because of will power," said the man. "Men can change their personalities by themselves."

Suddenly a gun shot rang through the car. "BANG!" Bill looked up to see a masked man at the head of the car. He had two pistols pointed at the passengers and as he began to shout orders, the train came to a stop.

"All right, ladies and gentlemen," said the outlaw, "throw down your guns if you have any and get out your money. My friends and I are robbing this train!"

"Oh, dear! What shall we do?" said the gentleman to Bill.

"I am going to pray and trust God," said Bill.

"A lot of good that will do in this situation," said the gentleman.

"Be quiet back there!" yelled the outlaw to the gentleman. Then the bandit slowly walked down the aisle collecting money, jewels, and valuables from the passengers.

Gospel Bill bowed his head and began to pray. He asked the Lord for wisdom, saying,

"Father, Your Word says if any man lacks wisdom, let him ask of God. Well, I need to know what to do in this situation. Thank You for speaking to me, in Jesus' Name."

As the outlaw came closer to his seat, Bill began to hear the voice of the Lord speaking to his spirit. "Charlie McCullough. Say this name out loud—Charlie McCullough. His hide out is at Brush Creek."

Bill did not understand at all why the Lord told him to say a man's name during the middle of a robbery. But through years of obeying God, even when it did not make sense, Bill had learned that it is best to do what God says.

"Charlie McCullough!" shouted Gospel Bill. "Charlie McCullough!"

"What?" asked the outlaw. "How did you know my name?"

"God not only knows your name," said Gospel Bill, "but He also knows where your hideout is over on Brush Creek."

The outlaw was shocked that he could be recognized even with a disguise. He dropped the hat with all the money still in it and ran to the door of the train. "Come on, boys!" he yelled. "Give the people back their money. We must get out of here! They know who we are and where we hide out!"

The whole gang disappeared and the passengers grabbed up their possessions. The gentleman who had not believed in God turned to Gospel Bill. "You obviously knew this McCullough person before."

"No," said Bill. "I have never met the man in my life. Besides, I would not have been able to recognize him with the mask on even if I had known him."

"Then how could you possibly know his name and where his hide out was?" asked the man.

"The Lord told me, because I trusted in Him when trouble came," explained Bill.


"Coincidence. Just a coincidence," said the man.

"Well," said Bill, "you may call it that, but I know what really happened. God's wisdom saved us a lot of trouble."

FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:


The Holy Spirit used these wise men to bless the baby Jesus and His family. Has the Holy Spirit ever told you to give something to someone to bless them? What did you do? What happened next?


Questions for Review Game:

1. Where did the wise men come from?

2. What were the wise men called?

3. What were the signs of the zodiac originally meant to proclaim?

4. How did the Holy Spirit use these wise men?

5. What did the wise men tell King Herod?

6. What did King Herod want the wise men to do?

7. About how old was baby Jesus when the wise men arrived to worship him?

8. What kind of gifts did the wise men bring?

9. Why did not the wise men return to King Herod?

10. What must you learn to do in order to prosper?

THE ENEMY OF GOD


Scripture to Study: Ezekiel 28:12 19; Matthew 2:12 23

Central Truth: Satan uses men to carry out his plans of destruction.

Memory Verse: 1 John 3:8, "For this purpose was the Son of God manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil."

Supplementary Lesson: Game—"Pin The Word On The Devil"

Visual Aids: Angel (1), Mary (2), Joseph (3), donkey (4), baby Jesus (6), King Herod (14), soldier (15), Satan (16)

To the Teacher:

Explain to the children that our real enemy is the devil and his wicked spirits. Men are mere tools in their hands to do wickedness. By yielding to sin, men actually become tools in the hands of the enemy of God. To live in sin is to be an ally of Satan. Teach your class that we can destroy Satan's work in our own lives by living by the Word of God.


Outline:

I. Satan is the real source of all trouble.

A. He once was an angel of God and tried to lead a rebellion against God.

B. Satan was cast down to the earth before Adam was ever created.

C. Since Satan cannot harm God, he has always sought to harm God's dearest prize—men.

D. When Adam yielded to Satan's temptation in the Garden of Eden, Satan became the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4).

E. Since the fall, Satan has tried to keep God's plan from being accomplished in the earth.

II. God's plan to destroy Satan's power was to send His Word to the earth as a man.

A. Jesus was the Word of God in a human body. He was not the son of Joseph, but the Son of God.

B. God's plan was for Jesus to die for our sins.

C. When Satan saw all the unusual happenings at the birth of Jesus, he wanted to destroy the baby. (Briefly mention the unusual circumstances surrounding the birth of Jesus.)

D. Satan needed a man to co operate with his plans to kill baby Jesus. He could only lead others to do his terrible work.

E. When the wise men told jealous King Herod about the birth of the new King of Israel, Satan found his tool.

III. Evil King Herod tried to destroy the Saviour.

A. If Jesus were killed before He reached the cross, He could not be our Saviour.

1. From the very start, God's plan was for Jesus to die; but it had to be in the right way.

2. Satan did not know that God wanted Jesus to be a sacrifice for our sin.

B. Herod, under the inspiration of the devil, ordered all baby boys two years old and under, in and near Bethlehem, to be killed.

C. The angel Gabriel told Joseph to take Mary and Jesus into Egypt until Herod's death. The gifts of the wise men provided money for the journey.

D. The devil's evil plan was stopped and Herod was justly rewarded for his sin. He died and went to Hell.

E. When Herod died, Joseph took his family back to Nazareth.



Spiritual Exercises:

Satan is defeated. Jesus took away his keys. Now I have authority over sin, poverty, and disease. God's plan for me will be done. All my life I will serve His Son. I will always keep Jesus Number One. This makes life rewarding and fun.

FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:


Has anyone ever tried to be mean to you and ruin your plans, but you prayed, and God made everything turn out right in the end? That's what happened here. The devil tried to kill Jesus, but God warned Joseph in a dream to take his family to Egypt. Then God sent the wise men to pay for the trip. God really took care of everything!


Tell us what happened to your plans and how things turned out in the end.


Questions for Review Game:


1. Who is the real source of all trouble?

2. Why did God cast Satan down to the earth?

3. What caused Satan to become the god of this world?

4. How did God plan to destroy Satan's power?

5. Who was Jesus' father?

6. What did Satan want to do to baby Jesus?

7. What man did Satan get to cooperate with his plans to kill baby Jesus?

8. What would have happened if Jesus had been killed before the cross?

9. What did King Herod order to be done in Bethlehem?

10. How did Joseph and Mary know to flee to Egypt?

THE BOY WHO NEVER SINNED


Scripture to Study: Luke 2:40 52

Central Truth: We can overcome sin.

Memory Verse: Romans 6:14, "For sin shall not have dominion over you."

Supplementary Lesson: Puppet Skit—"Sin Is Not My Boss!"

Visual Aids: Mary (2), Joseph (3), donkey (4), city (12), boy Jesus (17), priests, scribes and Pharisees (18)

To the Teacher:

The reason that Jesus came was to give men the ability to live as He lived—a master over sin, disease, and poverty. Of course, we know that all have sinned, but we can learn to resist sin and overcome it when we fall. For more background in this area, study Romans 6 and 1 John 1 and 2.


Outline:

I. As Jesus grew into a boy, He learned about His Father, God.

A. God becomes our Father when we accept Jesus as Lord. We become the sons of God.

B. Jesus learned about God by reading the Old Testament and filled His heart with scriptures.

C. By learning the scriptures, Jesus learned all about Himself, too. The Old Testament was filled with scriptures about Jesus.

D. When we learn the scriptures, they will teach us who we are. We should find out who we are in Christ.

1. We are the righteousness of God. (2 Cor. 5:21)

2. We are holy and without blame before Him. (Eph. 1:4)

3. We are more than conquerors in all things. (Rom. 8:37)

II. When Jesus was twelve, He went for the first time to Jerusalem.

A. He traveled with His parents to keep the feast of Passover in Jerusalem.

B. Passover was the celebration commemorating Israel's deliverance from the land of Egypt.

C. During the feast, Jesus visited the temple and talked with the priests.

D. At the end of the feast, the group from Nazareth, including Mary and Joseph, returned home.

III. After a day of travel, Mary and Joseph found that Jesus was missing.

A. Thinking that He must have been with other friends or relatives, they had not been concerned.

B. Finally, they went back to Jerusalem and searched for Him for three days.

C. After the third day, they found Him in the Temple, visiting with the scribes and doctors of the law.

D. The rabbis were astonished as His answers and His wisdom.

E. When Jesus' parents demanded an explanation, He told them that He was about His Father's business.

F. Then Jesus returned to Nazareth and obeyed His parents and grew into a fine young man.



Spiritual Exercises:

Sin shall not have dominion over me. I am an overcomer through Christ Jesus. Jesus set me free from the power of sin. If I do sin and confess my sin to Jesus, He is faithful to forgive me and make me clean. Thank You, Jesus, for Your love.


PUPPET SKIT

SIN IS NOT MY BOSS!


CHARACTERS: Host, Joseph

HOST Have you ever wondered what Jesus was like when He was a boy? Well, we are going to find out today because we have the most famous step father ever, right here in our class. Give a warm welcome to Joseph, the carpenter.

JOSEPH: Thank you, thank you.

HOST What an honor! We have heard about you, and we are thrilled to meet you.

JOSEPH: It is a privilege for me to be here. I like kids. I had a whole house full of them.

HOST You did? There were more besides Jesus?

JOSEPH: Oh, yes. Let me see, there were the girls, and Jude, and James.

HOST Wow! That was quite a crew. Tell us about Jesus. What kind of boy was He?

JOSEPH: He was a wonderful son. I could not have asked for a better boy. He never disobeyed me—not even one time.

HOST You never once gave Him a spanking?

JOSEPH: I did not need to. He always did right. Yes, sir, that boy prayed every day and I can still remember how much He loved for me to read to Him from the scriptures.

HOST Jesus had a real love for the Word of God, did He not?

JOSEPH: That is for sure. That was His secret of always doing right—He always thought on God's Word.

HOST When did He begin to act this way?

JOSEPH: When He was really young. Let me see. Before He was twelve, His mother and I sat Him down and told Him how special He was.

HOST What did you tell Him?

JOSEPH: We told Him that He was not my son, but that He was the Son of God. We told Him how the angel came to us before He was even born and said that He would be called Jesus and that He would save His people from their sins.

HOST: Did Jesus do miracles when He was young?

JOSEPH: No. He did not do any miracles until He was thirty and filled with the Holy Spirit.

HOST: Did He have any magical powers?

JOSEPH: Not at all. Jesus did not do magic. All His powers to heal and do miracles came from the Holy Spirit.

HOST: Then He was a lot like any other boy?

JOSEPH: He was just like any other boy except that He never sinned.

HOST: Do you think any other child could ever be like Jesus?

JOSEPH: Well, we can all be like Him because He can live in our hearts; but no other person can live without sinning at least once. Jesus never sinned even once. Sin was not His boss.

HOST: Some people do not try to keep from sinning. They feel like they cannot help but do wrong.

JOSEPH: Oh, wait a minute. That is exactly why Jesus came. He was born to my wife, Mary, grew up, was crucified, and rose again so that we could be masters over sin.

HOST. Can we say "no" to sin?

JOSEPH: Of course. The Bible says in Romans 6:14, "For sin shall not have dominion over you." We are free from it, if we have Jesus living inside us. Sin is not our boss.

HOST: What about sins we have already done?

JOSEPH: Jesus took care of that, too. The Bible says that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.

HOST: If I confess my sin, God will forgive it?

JOSEPH: That is right. He will forgive every single time.

HOST: How can I remember all this?

JOSEPH: Just keep your mind on God's Word. It says, "Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee." Thinking on God's Word keeps you from sin.

HOST: I am going to do it! Before you go, I want to ask you a question.

JOSEPH: Go ahead and ask.

HOST: Who taught you all these scriptures?

JOSEPH: Who do you think? My step son taught me these and a lot more.



FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:


Jesus was the only person who never sinned. All of the rest of us have. Can you think of a time when you did something that you knew was wrong? How did you feel? Did you confess your sin to Jesus?


Did you know that sin does not need to be the boss over us once we make Jesus our Lord? Not only will Jesus forgive you if you ask Him to, but He will help you to resist sin and to not make the same mistake over and over again.


Questions for Review Game:


1. How does God become our Father?

2. How did Jesus learn about His Father God?

3. What book is filled with scriptures about the Messiah?

4. What happens when we learn the scriptures?

5. How old was Jesus when he traveled to Jerusalem for the first time?

6. What was the name of the feast they were observing?

7. What was the Passover celebrating?

8. On the way home, Jesus turned up missing. Where was He found?

9. Why were the rabbis astonished at Jesus' teaching?

10. What did Jesus tell His parents when they demanded an explanation?

JOHN THE BAPTIST

Scripture to Study: Matthew 3:1 17; John 1:29

Central Truth: Jesus redeemed men from sin.

Memory Verse: John 1:29, "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world."

Supplementary Lesson: Story—"The Toy Soldier"

Visual Aids: John the Baptist (19), crowd (20), Jesus (21), dove (23), waves (24, 25)

To the Teacher:

Explain what it means to receive Jesus and the importance of being baptized. Emphasize that Jesus of Nazareth was the only sacrifice for sin, and although Jesus commanded us to be baptized, water baptism is only the outward sign of an inward change.


Outline:

I. God sent John the Baptist to prepare Israel for the coming of Jesus.

A. John had been miraculously born to relatives of Mary shortly before Jesus was born.

B. When John grew up, God sent him into the wilderness near the Jordan River to preach about the kingdom of Heaven.

C. John dressed in camel's hair garments and ate locusts with wild honey.

D. John preached to those who came to him to repent and be baptized.

1. "Repent" means to have a change of heart.

2. The people of Israel had become very wicked.

E. Many of the Jews who heard John were baptized in the Jordan and confessed their sins.

II. God spoke to John about someone else whose ministry would be much greater than his.

A. The Lord had told John that he would see the Holy Spirit descend in the form of a dove upon a man.

B. One day as John was preaching, he saw Jesus coming and called Him the Lamb of God.

C. Since lambs were offered as sacrifices, both John and Jesus knew Jesus would pay for the sins of the whole world.

D. Jesus asked John to baptize Him as a sign that He was right with God.

E. At first, John did not want to, because he knew that Jesus was the Son of God and did not need to confess any sin, for He had none.

F. Jesus insisted, and John reluctantly agreed.

III. When Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit came upon Him.

A. John saw the Holy Spirit descend upon Jesus in the form of a dove.

B. At the same time, Jesus heard His Father's voice speaking from Heaven.

C. Jesus received power to do miracles at this time.

D. We can receive the same Holy Spirit today.

E. We should be baptized as Jesus was, because we who believe on Jesus have been made right with God.


Spiritual Exercises:

Jesus was my Sacrifice. He came to earth as a Lamb. He offered Himself to pay for my sin. He washed me in His blood and I am cleansed from all sin. My heart is as pure as His.


STORY

THE TOY SOLDIER

Gospel Bill was teaching a group of boys about Jesus outside the candy store. They all listened intently as Bill told them how Jesus came to die for our sins. "Jesus came to redeem us," explained Bill. "He did just that when He died on the cross."


"What does 'redeem' mean?" asked one of the boys.


"Redeem means to buy back," said Bill. "God bought us back from the devil. I will explain it to you with something that happened to me when I was a boy." Every eye was on Gospel Bill as he told the following story:


"It all began when I was ten years old," said Bill. "My father gave me an old knife and I learned how to carve. One day I found a piece of wood and started carving. I carved a toy soldier out of it."


"I like toy soldiers," said a boy.


"I painted him and fixed him really nice." said Bill. "He was my favorite toy because I had made him myself."


"Did you play with him a lot?" asked a boy.


"Every day," said Bill. "I played with that toy soldier more than all my other toys combined. Then, I decided to take him to school."


"I know every boy in school wanted that soldier," said a boy.


"Let me tell you what happened," Bill continued. "I put my soldier in a sack. When school opened, I had to put my sack on a shelf. While no one was looking, a boy named Stanley opened the sack and stole my soldier."


"No one stopped him?" asked one of the boys who was listening to Gospel Bill.


"No one knew he had my soldier," said Bill. "He hid it in his coat and took it home."


"Were you sad?" asked another boy.


"I cried because my toy soldier was lost," said Bill. "I looked all over the school grounds until dark trying to find him. I even asked all the kids in school if they had seen it. It was no use."


"Did you make another one?" asked one of the boys.


"No," replied Gospel Bill. "I just could not stand to make another one. One day when I was at school early, I saw Stanley coming down the road with my soldier."


"Did you punch him in the nose?" asked a boy.


"No," said Bill. "I would have gotten in trouble if I did that. Besides, that would

have been wrong. I went to Stanley and asked him for my soldier."


"Did he give him back?" asked the boys.


"He would not give me the soldier," said Bill. "He had carved his initials into my soldier and told me that he had made the toy himself."


"That was a lie!" yelled one of the boys.


"Yes, Stanley lied and stole," said Bill. "He finally agreed to sell me the soldier— the one I made with my own hands. He wanted five dollars for the soldier."


"Five dollars!" said one of the boys. "That is more money than my father makes in a whole week."


"That was more money than my father made, too," said Bill. "But I made up my mind that nothing was too much to pay for my soldier."


"Did you have the money?" asked the boys.


"No," said Gospel Bill. "I did not have any money, but I got a job milking cows for ten cents a day. It took me ten weeks to earn that five dollars, but I did it. So, I went to Stanley's house and asked him for my soldier."


"And you were really happy, were you not?" the boys said.

"I was glad to get my toy soldier back, but he was a mess," said Bill. "He had mud all over him and half his paint was gone. I took him home and washed him off. Then I carefully painted him like new."


"That serves Stanley right!" said one of the boys.


"That is not the end of the story," said Bill. "Two days later, Stanley's father brought him to my house. When he saw how much money Stanley had, he asked how he had gotten it. His father found out the whole truth and made him give me back all my money."


"That is a great story," said one of the boys. They all agreed that it was a lot like the story of Jesus.

"God made us and the devil stole us away," said one boy.


"And the devil treated us really badly. He caused me to serve sin and wickedness," said another.


"But God gave the best that He had, Jesus, to buy us back," said Bill. "Then God got Jesus back just like I got my money back, because after three days and nights in the grave, Jesus rose again."


"I think I understand what redeem means," said one boy.


"Me, too," said all the others. "We will never forget this story as long as we live."


FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:


Have you been baptized in water since you believed in Jesus and accepted Him as your Lord and Saviour? How old were you when you were baptized? Where were you baptized? Do you know what it means to be baptized?


Questions for Review Game:


1. For what purpose was John the Baptist sent?

2. What does "repent" mean?

3. What message did John the Baptist preach?

4. What did the Lord tell John he would see?

5. What did John call Jesus when he saw Him?

6. Why did Jesus come to John?

7. What would Jesus' baptism be a sign of?

8. When Jesus was baptized, what did John see?

9. What did the voice from Heaven say?

10. Why should we be baptized?

JESUS HANDLES TEMPTATION


Scripture to Study: Matthew 4:1 11; Hebrews 4:15

Central Truth: Resist temptation with God's Word.

Memory Verse: James 4:7b, "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

Supplementary Lesson: Object Lesson—"The Sword Of The Spirit"

Visual Aids: Satan (16), Jesus (22), tree (26)

To the Teacher:

God's will for us is to avoid temptation. But when it does come, His will is for us to overcome it. Temptation does not build faith, as faith comes only by hearing the Word of God. God's plan is for us to use our faith in temptation and thereby our faith is strengthened. If temptation built faith, then sinners would be full of faith.


Outline:

I. After being filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus went to be tempted by the devil.

A. He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness where He was alone for 40 days and nights.

B. During this time, He fasted and was in the presence of many wild animals; but they did no harm to Him. (If necessary, use this example to teach your class not to be afraid of animals.)

C. When Jesus was in a weakened condition, He was tempted by the devil.

1. God never tempts men.

2. All temptation is from Satan.

D. This temptation Jesus entered was something special that the Holy Spirit led Him into.

1. Jesus allowed Himself to be tempted even as we are.

2. Because Jesus resisted temptation, He is able to lead us out of it.

E. Temptations do not build faith—only the Word of God builds faith.

II. Jesus was tempted in the same ways that all men are (Hebrews 4:15).

A. Satan tempted Jesus with the lust of the flesh by daring Him to turn stones into bread.

1. After such a long fast, Jesus was very hungry.

2. Eating solid food, at this point, could have killed Jesus. (The stomach cannot digest solid food immediately after a long fast.)

B. The devil tempted Jesus with the lust of the eyes by offering to deliver the kingdoms of the world to Him.

1. Satan is the "god of this world" and had authority to give the earth to Jesus.

2. Satan wanted Jesus to worship Him to receive these kingdoms.

C. Satan tempted Jesus with the pride of life by challenging Him to jump off a tall building.

1. Jesus knew that if angels caught Him in the Temple courts below, it could be used as a sign to the Jews that He was God's Son.

2. This "shortcut" to fame would have cost Jesus His life, for God's protection does not cover such foolishness.

III. Jesus resisted the devil by speaking God's Word.

A. He answered every temptation with a scripture.

B. The spoken Word of God is our weapon against the devil.

C. By learning the Word, we can give ourselves ammunition to use against the devices of the devil.

D. After a while, Satan finally left Jesus. We must be willing to resist the devil until he leaves.


Spiritual Exercises:

God's Word is a sword in my mouth. I will use it to overcome temptation. I submit myself to God and I resist the devil. I resist fear, I resist poverty, I resist sin. I resist sickness and disease. I resist disobedience. I overcome the world by God's Word.


OBJECT LESSON

THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT


Scripture Reference: Hebrews 4:12, "For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword..."

Materials Needed: Four apples, machete or a large knife. (Check local Army Surplus stores for machete.)

To Prepare: Practice cutting apples in half in mid air with a machete. Use a tennis ball for practice. If you do not want to strike them in mid air, use a table with a chopping board for your demonstration.


Lesson:

The Word of God tells us that we are in a war. We are not fighting against men; but we fight against the powers of darkness and their thoughts. Did you know that the devil is responsible for the wicked thoughts that enter men? We must be on guard not to receive his suggestions.

We cannot find the devil with our eyes or hands, no matter how hard we search. He is a spirit and he lives in the spirit world. In order to destroy his work, we will have to use weapons that work in the spirit world. God has a weapon for us that the devil is very frightened of. This weapon can defeat Satan every single time. In Hebrews 4:12 the Bible declares that the Word of God is like a sword. In Ephesians the Bible tells us that to speak the Word of God is to use the Sword of the Spirit. We have a weapon to use! It is a spiritual sword! (Pick up the machete.)

Did you know that when you speak the Word aloud to the devil in times of temptation, a sword goes out from your mouth? You cannot see it or touch it, but it is real. By speaking God's Word, a sword swings from your lips and goes to war against the work of Satan. (Swing machete.)



Now, let us compare these apples to the temptations that come against us. Fear is a temptation from Satan. Fear whispers in our ears, "Someone is in your closet. Someone will get you if you turn out the lights." (Hold apple to your ear while whispering.) "You are going to have an accident. You are going to fail your tests at school." Fear is always trying to make children feel afraid.

Thank God, you have a weapon. The Bible tells us that God has not given us the spirit of fear. It says, "Fear thou not for I am with thee." When you speak these scriptures out loud to fear, the Sword of the Spirit goes to work. It cuts the temptation in pieces. (Cut apple in half.)

There is another common temptation that believers face. Children face it all the time. It is the temptation of disobedience. (Hold up a new apple to your ear.) Disobedience whispers, "You do not have to do what your mom said. She cannot see you now. Do not clean up your room go out and play." Disobedience must be fought with a spiritual weapon.

The Sword of the Spirit is again our answer. "Disobedience," you say, "the Bible says that I should honor my father and mother." The sword flashes from your mouth and begins to chop away at the thought. (Cut the apple in two.)

The temptation of hatred comes to children as well as adults. It whispers to us urging us to be mean to those around us. "Your sister just broke your new toy plane! Call her an ugly name and hit her!" says hatred. (Use apple.)

What will you do? Even when you do not feel like using the sword of the Spirit, you must. Speak the Word of God over yourself saying, "This is Jesus' commandment, that we love one another. So, I let love flow through me, and not hatred." (Cut the apple in half.) Once again, the sword destroys the temptation.

Even when sickness comes, we can use the sword of the Spirit. (Put apple to your ear.) "You are sick" whispers sickness. "You have got a sore throat or chicken pox or leukemia or measles." Thank God for the sword of the Spirit, the spoken Word of God!


"Sickness and disease, the Word of God says that Jesus Himself took my infirmities and bore my sicknesses. By Jesus' stripes I was healed." The more you speak the Word, the more the sword works. It will cut the problem in pieces if you continue to use your sword. (Cut apple.)

Unfortunately, many folks do not use their swords. They allow the thoughts and temptations of Satan to remain. God does not want us to put up with them so He gave us His sword. Let us go to work on the temptations of life. Let us swing the sword of the Spirit by speaking God's Word!

FOR REVIEW


Applying the Word:


Have you ever really wanted to do something that you knew was wrong? Maybe you kept trying not to do it, but you kept thinking about it? You were being tempted by the devil. What happened? Did you do the thing that you knew was wrong? If so, what happened after you did it?


If you didn't do the thing that you knew was wrong, tell the class how you were able to resist the temptation. What did you say and do?


Questions for Review Game:


1. How long was Jesus alone in the wilderness?

2. Does God tempt men?

3. Why did Jesus allow Himself to be tempted?

4. Do temptations build faith? If not, what does?

5. What was the first temptation Jesus faced?

6. What was the second temptation Jesus faced?

7. What was the third temptation Jesus faced?

8. How did Satan have the authority to give the earth to Jesus?

9. How did Jesus resist the devil?

10. What is our ammunition to use against the devil?

JESUS' FIRST MIRACLE


Scripture to Study: John 2:1 11; Acts 10:38

Central Truth: God provides for those who trust Him.

Memory Verse: Mark 9:23, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth."

Supplementary Lesson: Object Lesson—"Water Into Wine"

Visual Aids: Mary (2), servants (9), guests (20), Jesus (22), pots (27)

To the Teacher:

This lesson is an excellent illustration of how man's co operation with God results in miracle provision. Simple faith is all that God expects of His children in providing their needs. Faith does not consider the negative factors in a problem, but looks to God and sees the answer before it happens.


Outline:

I. Jesus went with His mother to a wedding in Cana of Galilee.

A. The wedding feast was a lengthy celebration and some lasted for days.

B. The servants ran out of wine and Mary went to Jesus for help.

C. When Mary brought the servants to Jesus, she told them to do whatever He told them.

D. Jesus did an unusual thing. He told them to fill several large pots full of water.

E. The servants did exactly as they were told.

II. Faith sees the answer before the natural eyes can see.

A. After the water pots were filled, Jesus told the servants to serve the water to the guests.

B. Not questioning Him, the servants took the water to the governor of the feast.

C. By the time the governor drank the cup, the water had turned into wine.

D. The governor of the feast said that this wine was much better than the first.

E. This was the first miracle Jesus ever performed.

1. His miracle power came from the Holy Spirit.

2. The Holy Spirit's power is still available to believers today.

III. God will provide for our needs today if we will use faith.

A. Men will always have shortages.

B. God can give us a full supply in the midst of lack.

C. This miracle of provision did not automatically happen. Men had to obey Jesus to receive a miracle.

1. They acted on God's Word before they saw results.

2. They did not speak unbelief.

D. By praising God before the answer comes, we can release faith that brings God's blessings.


Spiritual Exercises:

I believe God's Word.

He is my provider.

I will always have plenty because God is my source.

I will praise Him always because He supplies my need in good times or in bad.




OBJECT LESSON

WATER INTO WINE


Scripture Reference: Acts 10:38, "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power..."

Materials Needed: Clay pot, red food coloring, heavy duty insulation tape (silver color), pitcher of water.

To Prepare: Tape the small bottle of red food coloring onto the bottom of the clay pot in an upright position.

Lesson:

Shortly after Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist, He went to a wedding in Cana of Galilee. There was a great feast, and the people had been drinking wine (or grape juice). Before the feast was over, the servers ran out of wine. (Turn your clay pot upside down, not allowing children to see the bottle inside.)


Men will always have shortages. Without God's provision, men could not have a guarantee of always having plenty. It is good to know that God has an abundance. He is never out of any good thing.


Mary, the mother of Jesus, knew that He could help, so she brought the servers to Jesus and told them to do whatever He commanded.


Surprisingly, Jesus told the men to fill large containers with water. After they had done this, He instructed them to serve this to the governor of the wedding feast. (During this time as you are talking, casually unscrew the bottle lid with one hand. To avoid drawing attention to the hand in the jar, make wild gesture with the other hand.)


When the servers obeyed Jesus, something wonderful happened. A great change took place. (Pour the pitcher of clear water into the clay pot.) God's miracle power can change things. The water became wine. (Pour the red water in the clay pot back into the pitcher.) The power of God changes things.


The power that Jesus had to do miracles came from the Holy Spirit. He did not have this power all His life. He received power to do miracles when He was filled with the Holy Spirit in the Jordan River. The Spirit came upon Him in the form of a dove.


When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, God's power is in us to change things. We can change ordinary problems into victories for Jesus with the Holy Spirit's power.


FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:


When you or your family urgently needed something, have you ever prayed and asked God to help you, and then seen Him provide for you? Maybe someone brought you some food, or someone gave you some clothing you needed. Tell us what happened.



Questions for Review Game:


1. Where did Jesus perform His first miracle?

2. What was it Jesus told the servants to do when the wine ran out?

3. What happened to the water that the servants filled the pots with?

4. Where did Jesus' miracle power come from?

5. Do you think this power is also available to us today?

6. What was the governor's reaction to the new wine?

7. What does this lesson show us about God's provision?

8. Did this miracle of provision automatically happen?

9. What force do we release when we praise God before the answer comes?

10. Do you think this miracle would have happened even if the servants were speaking unbelief or had not obeyed Jesus?

THE NEW KINGDOM


Scripture to Study: John 3:1 21; Colossians 1:12 14

Central Truth: Believers belong to a new kingdom.

Memory Verse: John 3:3, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God."

Supplementary Lesson: Puppet Skit—"I Am Not The Man I Used To Be"

Visual Aids: Nicodemus (3), Jesus (21)

To the Teacher:

This lesson illustrates the fact that there are two families or kingdoms of men on the earth. Men without Christ belong to the Kingdom of Darkness and those who have received Him belong to the Kingdom of God. Men need a new birth in spirit, not because of their conduct, but because of what they are. The sin nature makes a man a criminal and it must be changed for a man to please God.


Outline:

I. Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, came to Jesus with some questions.

A. He did not understand the real reason Jesus came to the earth.

B. Most Jews thought that the Messiah would begin a new kingdom and overthrow the Romans who had conquered Israel.

C. Jesus told Nicodemus that men had to be born again to enter the Kingdom of God.

1. Nicodemus did not understand what Jesus meant.

2. The New Birth is the re birth of the human spirit.

II. Jesus explained what the Kingdom of God is about.

A. Jesus told Nicodemus that he would have to receive a new spirit from the Spirit of God.

B. The prophet Ezekiel prophesied hundreds of years before, saying that God would take the stony hearts from men and replace them with soft hearts (Ezekiel 36:26).

1. All men are spirits who have souls and live in bodies.

2. Sin hardens the spirit.

C. No man can enter the Kingdom of God until his spirit is recreated. This happens when a person receives Jesus.

D. Before a person is born again, he is in the Kingdom of Darkness and is a slave to sin.

E. The Kingdom of God is made up of all those who confess Jesus as Lord, regardless of their race or religion.

III. Jesus told Nicodemus how the new kingdom came into being.

A. He told the ruler that He would have to pay for the sins of men.

B. Old Testament saints could not enjoy the new birth because Jesus had not completed the work of redeeming men.

1. Old Testament saints had their sins covered, but they were not taken away.

2. Our sins are completely removed.

C. Jesus told Nicodemus how much God loved the world and that salvation is a gift of God.

D. To be born again, we must do two things:

1. We must confess Jesus as Lord (Boss).

2. We must believed that God raised Him from the dead.

E. Because we are born again, we are no longer under bondage to Satan and the laws of his kingdom.


Spiritual Exercises:

Jesus is my Lord. I belong to Him.

I belong to the Kingdom of Light.

God loved me so much that He sent Jesus to die for my sins.

I have everlasting life because of what Jesus did for me.


PUPPET SKIT

I AM NOT THE MAN I USED TO BE

CHARACTERS: Host, Nicodemus


HOST: We are very happy to have an important lawyer with us today. He lived in Israel at the time of Jesus and is the first man to ever hear about being born again. Everyone welcome Nicodemus.

(Nicodemus enters.)

NICODEMUS: Thank you. Thank you very much.

HOST: Well, Nicodemus, you were acquainted with Jesus and heard Him teach.

NICODEMUS: Yes, that is right. I heard Him on many occasions. I was with Him one night when I heard Him say the most famous scripture in the Bible, John 3:16.

HOST: I wonder if any of these kids know that verse?

(If so, allow one child to quote it.)

NICODEMUS: That is right! "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

HOST: You heard Jesus say that?

NICODEMUS: I sure did. I did not know that it would be a scripture then. I really did not understand many of the things Jesus talked about.

HOST What did you think when the Lord talked about being born again?

NICODEMUS: That was one of the things I did not understand at first.

HOST Why did you not understand?

NICODEMUS: Well, you see, we Jews knew that God had promised to send the Messiah, His Son. We thought that He would be a King and have armies and take over the earth.

HOST Jesus is a King and someday He will rule over all the earth.

NICODEMUS: That is right, but His first job was to come and die on the cross for our sin. I did not know this though, until after He rose from the dead.

HOST: So, you heard about the Kingdom of God, but you thought it would be a kingdom with soldiers and armies.

NICODEMUS: At first, that is exactly what I thought. Later, I found out that God's kingdom is in the hearts of men.

HOST: Is everybody in the Kingdom of God?

NICODEMUS: Definitely not! Some people are in the Kingdom of Darkness.

HOST: The Kingdom of Darkness?

NICODEMUS: Yes, that is the kingdom that people are in until they are born into God's kingdom. Satan is the king of darkness.

HOST: Can anyone escape the kingdom of darkness?

NICODEMUS: We can escape the kingdom of darkness by being born again.

HOST: Nicodemus, just exactly what does it mean to be born again? We cannot become little babies again, can we?

NICODEMUS: That is exactly what I said when Jesus told me I had to be born again. Every person is a spirit who lives in a body.

HOST: I have a spirit?

NICODEMUS: You are a spirit and you live in a house—your body.

HOST: My body is a house for my spirit?

NICODEMUS: Right. Now when you are born again, your spirit is made brand new.

HOST: But I still have the same body.

NICODEMUS: Yes, and you still have the same soul.

HOST: So, it is the person way down on the inside of me who is made new?

NICODEMUS: That is right. You were made a new creature when you accepted Jesus. Your spirit was washed with the Blood of Jesus and the life of God entered into it. Now your spirit is as pure as the spirit of Jesus.

HOST: Are you sure?

NICODEMUS: I am positive. God gives only good and perfect gifts. The righteousness He gave to your spirit is perfect. You are perfectly clean in the sight of God.

HOST: But I have sinned since I became a Christian.

NICODEMUS: Did you ask for forgiveness? Did you confess your sin?

HOST: I certainly did.

NICODEMUS: Well, God forgave you.

HOST: Do you mean that I do not have to do anything to make God pleased with me?

NICODEMUS: You have the same trouble many of my friends had. You think that you can only be pure by doing something good.

HOST: I feel right after I have done a good deed.

NICODEMUS: Well, you should do good deeds; but you cannot earn your salvation. It is a gift.

HOST: Do you mean that I am just as saved when I am not always doing good works as when I am?

NICODEMUS: You are saved because you accepted God's only sacrifice for sin, the Lord Jesus.

HOST: I believe I am getting the picture.

NICODEMUS: Good. God's gifts are wonderful and we should learn more about what He has given us.

FOR REVIEW


Applying the Word: Jesus said that when a person accepts Him as Lord, a change happens within them that is so great, it is like being born all over again. Do you remember how you felt when you got born again? Did you change? What changed? (Teacher: Depending on the ages of your children, they may need some help in talking about their feelings. You might ask: Were you happier, not guilty anymore, more peaceful, less worried? Did you have a song in your heart all the time? Etc.)


Questions for Review Game:


1. What are the two kingdoms or families of men on the earth?

2. Why do men need a new birth in their spirits?

3. How did most Jews believe the Messiah would deliver His people?

4. Jesus told Nicodemus how to enter into the Kingdom of God. What did He say?

6. What is the New Birth?

6. Which people make up the Kingdom of God?

7. What happens to our sins when we receive Jesus as Lord?

8. Could Old Testament saints be born again?

9. Can you earn salvation?

10. What are the two things we must do to be born again?

TEARING UP THE ROOF TO SEE JESUS


Scripture to Study: Luke 5:17 25; Acts 10:38

Central Truth: Bold faith receives what Jesus purchased for us.

Memory Verse: Matthew 8:17, "Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses."

Supplementary Lesson: Game—"Pin The Word On The Devil"

Visual Aids: Crowd (9, 20), Pharisees and scribes (18), Jesus (22), crippled man (28), crippled man healed (29)

To the Teacher:

What a contrast there is between the attitudes of people in Jesus' time and those of people today. The Pharisees questioned Jesus' power to forgive sins but had no quarrel against the healing. Today, almost any group accepts the fact that God, through Jesus, forgives sins; but many question the power of healing. Healing is included in the redemptive package Jesus obtained for us. Let us go get it—even if we have to raise the roof!


Outline:

I. Jesus came to heal, forgive, and restore God's blessings to mankind.

A. One day as He taught, the house filled completely with people and there was not room for anyone else to get inside.

B. God's power in Jesus was ready to heal anyone who believed His Word.

C. God wants to heal the sick because He is a good God.

D. Healing comes when we believe God's Word. God's Word is what Jesus would say if He were here today.

II. There were four men who brought a crippled friend to Jesus.

A. They carried the man on a bed because he could not walk. Satan made him that way.

B. When the men saw they could not enter the house because of the crowd they carried their friend to the roof

C. They tore a hole in the roof and let the man down on ropes to the place where Jesus was.

D. Jesus saw the faith of the men and He knew that they expected the man to walk.

III. The crippled man was healed.

A. Jesus forgave the man of his sins. God will forgive us if we ask Him.

B. The Scribes and Pharisees, Jesus' enemies, were angry because Jesus forgave the man of his sin. They did not think Jesus was God's Son.

C. Jesus told the man to pick up his bedroll and go home. The man was healed by the words of Jesus.

D. He arose completely healed and glorified God, receiving what belonged to him.

1. Healing belonged to him because he was under Abraham's covenant.

2. How much more does healing belong to us who live under the New Covenant (Hebrews 8:6).

E. Obeying Jesus' Words will still heal the sick. The Word of God is what He would speak if He were here.


Spiritual Exercises:

Healing belongs to me.

Jesus took my sicknesses and diseases.

With His stripes I am healed.

I believe God's Word is true.

I will not accept what Satan would use to steal my joy.

I am making plans for health and blessings.

Healing belongs to me.



FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:


The men in this story used their faith to help their friend. Have you ever done this? Maybe you brought a friend to church, or maybe you prayed for them for something they needed. Tell us what happened.


Questions for Review Game:


1. Why does God want to heal the sick?

2. Who is it that makes people crippled?

3. Why could the men carrying the crippled man not enter the house?

4. What did the men do when they could not get into the house with their crippled friend?

5. Do you think Jesus approved of them tearing the tiles off the roof?

6. What did the men expect to happen if they could get their friend to Jesus?

7. What happened to the crippled man?

8. What else did Jesus do for the man, besides healing him?

9. Why were the Scribes and Pharisees angry at Jesus?

10. What does this lesson show us about healing?


THE WOMAN AT THE WELL

Scripture to Study: John 4:1 41

Central Truth: The Holy Spirit is like living water.

Memory Verse: John 7:38, "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."

Supplementary Lesson: Story—"Gospel Bill And The Indians"

Visual Aids: Crowd (9, 20), city (12), Jesus (22), well (30), woman at well (31)

To the Teacher:

At the new birth, the Holy Spirit indwells men. There is a well of water, eternal life, that the believer can draw from for refreshment in times of darkness. There is an even greater supply of living water for those who receive the Holy Spirit. We should partake of both—enjoying the blessings of the well and the river.


Outline:

I. Jesus was traveling through the land of Samaria and stopped at the well of Sychar.

A. He knew beforehand that God wanted Him to pass through Samaria.

B. The Jews considered Samaritans to be wicked and evil people and would have nothing to do with them.

C. When a Samaritan woman came to draw from the well, Jesus surprised her by asking for a drink.

D. Knowing He must be a Jew, the woman wanted to know why Jesus would even talk to her.

E. Jesus told the woman about "living water," but she misunderstood Him, thinking that He was talking about ordinary water.

II. The Samaritan woman found out the truth about "living water."

A. Jesus told her that those who drink of living water never thirst again.

B. All men are thirsty for God, for there is a hole in every man's heart that only God can fill.

C. Jesus wanted to give the woman everlasting life. Everlasting life is available to all men today because Jesus died for our sin.

D. When the woman asked Jesus for the living water, He told her to bring her husband. She said that she had no husband.

E. Jesus told the woman, "You have had five husbands, and the man with whom you now live is not your husband at all."

1. This startled the woman because it was the truth.

2. Jesus knew this because the Holy Spirit told Him.

F. The woman at the well ran into the city and brought back a crowd of people to see Jesus. Many of them believed on Jesus.

III. "Living water" belongs to you.

A. God wants all men to drink of this water that fills the spirit of man.

B. "Living water" is the life of God that enters those who receive Jesus.

C. Only Jesus can give "living water" for there is no other Name given whereby men can be saved.

D. By believing with your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead and saying with your mouth, "Jesus is my Lord," you are saved.


E. By being born again, we receive a well of water. By receiving the Holy Spirit, we receive rivers of "living water."


Spiritual Exercises:

Jesus is my Lord.

I believe in my heart that He was raised from the dead.

My spirit is full of God's life.

When I asked Jesus into my heart, I drank "living water."


STORY

GOSPEL BILL AND THE INDIANS

Gospel Bill was excited as he rode toward Dry Gulch. It was almost dark and church would begin in a few minutes. The whole town was being stirred by a great revival meeting. Many of the saloon keepers had been saved as well as a number of drunks and gamblers. Bill rode up to the church and tied his horse to the hitching post. He went inside the church just in time for the singing. Oh, how the people loved to sing and worship God. Bill could always be heard above all the others when it came time to praise God.

Pastor Martin stood up to introduce the guest speaker, Reverend Abe Mulkey. Gospel Bill was always ready to listen to this man preach because there was something unusual about him.

Reverend Mulkey told the people how he had been filled with the Holy Spirit. Gospel Bill did not understand a lot about the Holy Spirit. Even his pastor did not seem to know much about the Holy Spirit. Bill knew a lot about God and Jesus, but he had never heard anyone preach about the Holy Ghost. "Father," Bill prayed silently, "I would sure like to hear Preacher Mulkey tell me about the Holy Ghost."

The preacher began to speak. He told the people, "Every Christian ought to be filled with the Holy Spirit!" Bill listened closely as the man of God read from the Book of Acts. "The Word of God says in Acts 2:4, 'And they were filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.' "

"I sure hope he explains that," whispered a man sitting next to Bill.

"When a man gets saved," roared the preacher, "he gets a brand new heart!" The people agreed with the preacher. "But there is more," continued Reverend Mulkey. "You need the Holy Spirit's power. You can be filled with the Holy Ghost and talk in tongues!"

"Talk in tongues? What is that?" asked the man next to Bill.

"Shhh! Listen and the preacher will explain," said Gospel Bill.

"Speaking in tongues is the sign that a believer is filled with the Holy Ghost," declared the preacher. "The Lord's disciples were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in languages they did not understand."

"I do not believe that!" shouted a man at the front of the church. "That speaking in tongues business is just a bunch of nonsense!" Bill was shocked that anyone would say such a thing.

"I used to say that myself," said the preacher, "but I got filled with the Holy Spirit and He has made a great difference in me."

"How?" said the man who by this time was standing near the pulpit.

"I have a greater boldness to tell people about Jesus!" declared the preacher.

"Well, I am not getting any Holy Ghost or tongues!" yelled the man and he walked angrily out of the church.

Suddenly, Gospel Bill stood to his feet and shouted to the preacher.

"Preacher," he yelled, "I want what you have been talking about. You show me what to do and I will get the Holy Spirit and talk in tongues!"

"Come up here, cowboy," said the preacher. Gospel Bill rushed to the pulpit and stood in front of Reverend Mulkey. The preacher laid his hands on Bill's head, and as they both prayed, Bill heard the strangest words coming from his heart. The words sounded like another language.

"Do you hear those words, cowboy?" asked the preacher.

"Yes, sir," said Bill.

"Then speak them," he instructed. Bill began to talk with the funniest words he had ever said. He did not understand one word that came from his mouth, but he knew in his heart that this was from God.

"Hey," shouted an old man on the back row, "I know what he is saying. That man is saying wonderful things about God—in my language—German!" The people were amazed. Gospel Bill kept on speaking in tongues and his spirit felt as if it would explode. The whole church began to praise God and many of the people began to speak in strange languages.

After the service was over and all the people left, Bill went to see the preacher. "What happened to me?" asked Bill.

"You received the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues," said the preacher.

"But I didn't understand a word I said," said Bill.

"You are not supposed to," said Reverend Mulkey. "The Bible says in I Corinthians 14:14, 'For if I pray in an unknown language, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.' Your mind does not know what you are saying."

"Who am I talking to?" asked Bill.

"You are speaking to God," said the preacher.

"Will it ever happen again?" asked Bill.

"Well, that is up to you," said the preacher. "You can speak in tongues whenever you wish."

"Well then," said Bill. "I am going to do it all the time!"

"It will not hurt you," said Reverend Mulkey as he shook hands with Bill. Bill jumped on his horse and raced toward the ranch. It was a clear night and the moon was full. Bill's heart was full of joy as he spoke in tongues.

Suddenly, Bill's horse came to a stop. KONK! Bill fell from his horse. He had been clubbed by an Indian with a tomahawk and was unconscious.

The next morning Bill awoke to find himself in real trouble. His hands were tied with rawhide bands and he was lying helplessly on the floor of an Indian tent. As he tried to loosen his hands, a tall Indian with a painted face stepped into the tent.

"Do not try to free yourself," said the warrior, "You are my prisoner. Enjoy your day because tonight, when the sun hides itself, you will die!"

"Die?" shouted Bill. "What have I done? I was not on Indian land when you clubbed me last night."

"Tonight Chief Crazy Feathers will offer you as a sacrifice to heal our people," explained the Indian.

"You are going to kill me so the people can be healed?" asked Bill.

"The medicine man says the only way to drive sickness from the Indians is to kill a white man with the sacred spear," explained the Indian. With that, he left Gospel Bill alone in the tent to face death.

"Lord," cried Bill, "I need help!" As Bill prayed, once again the strange words began to rise up from his spirit. He began to speak in tongues as fast as he could.

Bill could hear the excitement outside the tent as the Indians prepared for their sacrificial ceremony. Fear tried to grip Bill's mind, but the more he prayed in tongues, the more calm he became.

Hours passed and Gospel Bill could tell by the fading shadows that sunset was only a few minutes away. Normally he would have been afraid, but he knew deep down inside that God was going to do something special.

Two Indians entered the tent and picked up Gospel Bill. They dragged him out into the center of a large circle of Indians. Many of them were very sick and Bill could see that they expected to be healed by the powers of the medicine man.

The medicine man, dressed in a long buffalo robe, began to dance and sprinkle powder into the fire. He chanted and sang and kept pointing to Gospel Bill.

"Lord," said Bill, "You had better tell me what to do before these Indians try to barbecue me." Bill suddenly knew what to do. He began to talk in tongues as loud as he could. The medicine man stopped his dance and every eye in the circle was fixed on Gospel Bill.

Suddenly, the chief stood out from among the crowd and walked over to Bill. He looked at the cowboy with amazement as Bill continued to speak in tongues. The chief called for the tall Indian who had entered Bill's tent earlier in the day. This one was the only Indian in the village who could speak English, so he told Bill what the chief wanted to say.

The tall Indian looked at Bill and said, "The chief wants to know how you know our language."

"I do not know your language," said Bill.

"I heard you tell the people that one man has already died to heal them. I heard you with my own ears." Then Bill realized that as he was speaking in tongues he had been using the language of these Indians. "Tell us about this man," ordered the Indian.

Bill's hands were cut loose and he began to preach to the Indians about Jesus. They listened closely as the tall Indian explained Gospel Bill's preaching to them.

"For God so loved the world He gave His only, begotten Son," preached Bill, "that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Jesus Christ died on a cross for you.

"Jesus Christ came to suffer all the bad things of life so we could be redeemed from them," preached Bill. "You can get rid of your sin, sickness, and guilt when you believe on Him."

When Bill finished his message, he began to pray for the sick Indians. One by one, the Indians began to regain their strength and all were healed as Bill prayed. The chief was so excited he began to dance and the village was filled with joy.

Gospel Bill spent two more weeks with the Indians teaching them how to receive Jesus and

the Holy Spirit. The chief made him an honorary member of the tribe and even gave Bill an Indian name—Fire Tongue. "When this man talks, his words burn like fire," said the chief.

Gospel Bill knew that being filled with the Holy Spirit had saved his life.

FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:

When you were born again, you received a well of living water, which is the life of God that enters those who receive Jesus. By receiving the Holy Spirit, you receive a river of God's life in your spirit. This river can give you times of refreshment when you are tired and discouraged.


Many people pray or sing in other tongues when they need refreshing.


Have you ever experienced this refreshing? Tell us what happened.


Questions for Review Game:


1. Why was the woman at the well surprised that Jesus would even speak to her?

2. What kind of water did Jesus speak of?

3. What did Jesus say when the Samaritan woman told Him she had no husband?

4. How did Jesus know this?

5. Why did the woman run back into the city?

6. What is "living water"?

7. Who is the only one who can give you "living water"?

8. What are the two things you must do to be saved?

9. How do we receive a well of water?

10. How do we receive rivers of living water?

JESUS CALLS THE TWELVE


Scripture to Study: Luke 5:1 11; Matthew 10:1 10

Central Truth: Jesus is still calling fishers of men.

Memory Verse: Matthew 4:19, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."

Supplementary Lesson: Puppet Skit—"The Man Who Fished For Men"

Visual Aids: Crowd (9,18, 20), waves (24, 25), boat (32), Jesus (33), Peter (34), disciples (37, 41), net full of fish (36), Andrew (38), James (39), John (40)

To the Teacher:

God is still looking for men and women, boys and girls, who will become fishers of men. The time to encourage evangelism is during youth. Christian children should be bold to share their faith with friends. They can begin to realize the importance of winning the lost early in life and will overcome fears of witnessing by being open in talking about the things of God.


Outline:

I. Jesus preached to a large crowd using a man's boat.

A. He was ministering to people on the shores of the Sea of Galilee and multitudes came to hear Him.

1. Jesus preached the Gospel—the Good News.

2. He told the people how to be set free from Satan's bondage.

B. The crowd was so eager to hear, that they closed in around Jesus, forcing Him to preach from a boat.

C. The boat belonged to a man named Simon who was washing his nets after fishing all night. Simon had caught nothing.

D. When the sermon was over, Jesus told Simon to lower his nets for a catch of fish.

1. He wanted to reward the man for allowing his boat to be used in the Gospel ministry.

2. Reluctantly, Simon showed respect to the Lord and threw out his net.

E. The astonished fisherman caught so many fish that his nets broke and his boat began to sink.

F. Simon, Andrew, James, and John followed Jesus to become fishers of men.

II. Jesus called twelve disciples to be His helpers in ministry.

A. The disciples were also called "sent ones" or apostles for Jesus knew that they would preach the Gospel after His work was done.

B. The twelve disciples were Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John (the sons of Zebedee), Philip and Bartholomew (Nathanael), Simon the Zealot, Judas and James (the sons of Alphaeus), Matthew, Thomas, and Judas Iscariot.

C. He gave them authority to heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out devils, and cleanse lepers.

III. All born again believers should be disciples of Jesus.

A. A disciple is one who follows the example and teaching of another.

B. We have the authority to stop the work of Satan in those who believe the Word of God.

1. We should pray for the sick.

2. We should take authority over Satan.

3. We should preach the Gospel.

C. Preaching the Gospel is simply telling another person about the goodness of God and the gift of salvation.

D. The world needs to hear that Jesus will set people free.


Spiritual Exercises:

I will follow Jesus.

I will listen to His Word.

I will heed the Spirit's call and obey what I have heard.

I have a job to do while I am here on earth.

I am telling folks the story that gives to them New Birth.


PUPPET SKIT

THE MAN WHO FISHED FOR MEN

CHARACTERS: Host, Peter


HOST There were twelve very special men who helped Jesus in His ministry. They were called disciples and today we have one of the twelve in our class. Let us have a rousing welcome for Peter.

PETER: Hello, hello. I am very pleased to be here with you. I love children very much.

HOST Peter, we are really glad you could be with us today. We have heard many wonderful stories about you. You were quite a man!

PETER: I was very blessed to have been one of the Lord's disciples.

HOST Just exactly what is a disciple?

PETER: A disciple is a person who follows the teachings of another man. I was a disciple of Jesus because He asked me to follow Him and I learned almost all I know about God from Him.

HOST You did not know anything about God before you met Jesus?

PETER: Oh, yes. I knew some things about God before I met Jesus. I knew that God made all things and I knew that He hated sin. I knew that God could do miracles and wanted people to worship Him.

HOST What did you learn from Jesus?

PETER: Jesus showed me how God could be my Father. Before, I always thought that God was too busy to care about me, but Jesus showed me how much God loves me.

HOST Do you know how many people live on the earth today?

PETER: About 6 billion?

HOST That is right. Do you believe that God knows all 6 billion in this world and cares for them all?

PETER: He certainly does. God knows how many hairs are on each person's head. He wants to bless us all.

HOST. Does God ever put sickness and disease on people? Does He bless us with bad things?

PETER: God does not have any sickness or disease in Heaven. He does not have any bad and He does not want us to have bad things either. We are redeemed from the curse.

HOST How do you know that God does not cause accidents, or make people sick?

PETER: I watched Jesus very closely. In the three years I followed Him, I never saw Him make one person sick. He never once brought any evil on any man.

HOST He never hurt anyone?

PETER: No one! Not a soul! And if Jesus would not do it then, He will not do it now. Jesus has not changed. The Bible says the He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

HOST He still heals?

PETER: Yes!

HOST He still blesses?

PETER: Absolutely!

HOST You really must have learned a lot from Jesus.

PETER: The most important thing that Jesus did was to show me what God was really like.

HOST What is God really like?

PETER: I used to think that He was always mad at me for my sins. I did not think He would ever answer a prayer.

HOST Jesus got His prayers answered every time!

PETER: He taught me how to pray, too. I got results just like He did.

HOST. You did have many miracles in your ministry.

PETER: I did, because I listened to Jesus.

HOST. Well, it is too bad we do not have Jesus here to teach us.

PETER: Wait a minute! You have got something that will teach you to pray and get answers.

HOST I do? What?

PETER: The Word of God! It tells us how to pray to the Father in Jesus' Name and how to receive answers by faith. Everything that Jesus would tell you if He was here is in the Bible. And besides, the Holy Spirit will help you to understand God's Word.

HOST Do you mean to say that I could learn as much from the Holy Spirit and the Bible as I could if Jesus were here?

PETER: That is right! If you do not listen to the Bible, you would not have listened to Jesus.

HOST I am going to listen to the Bible. I am going to do just what it says.

PETER: Praise God! Hallelujah! Glory to God! Thank You, Jesus! (Excited)

HOST What are you so excited about?

PETER: You are going to get answers to your prayers just like Jesus and me. You are a disciple.

HOST I think I will get excited, too. I like being a disciple of Jesus.

FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:

Have you ever sensed the Holy Spirit telling you to tell someone about Jesus? How did you feel? What did you do?


Questions for Review Game:

1. Why did Jesus preach from a boat?

2. What does the word "gospel" mean?

3. How did Jesus reward Simon for the use of his boat?

4. What happened when the disciples lowered their net?

5. What is another name for "apostle"?

6. Can you name the twelve disciples?

7. What did Jesus give the disciples authority to do?

8. What is a simple definition of "preaching the gospel"?

9. Who should pray for the sick, take authority over the devil, and preach the gospel today?

10. Why does the world need to hear the gospel?

HOW FAITH WORKS

Scripture to Study: Mark 4:1 33

Central Truth: Faith works like a seed.

Memory Verse: Mark 11:24, "Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."

Supplementary Lesson: Object Lesson—"The Eyes Of Faith"

Visual Aids: Disciples (34, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41), Jesus (33)


To the Teacher:

The patience exercised by a farmer who plants crops is an excellent illustration of how to believe God. When we pray in faith, a seed is planted. The fruit may not be evident immediately, but when we consider our prayers as already answered, the manifestation will come as surely as a crop comes from seeds.


Outline:

I. Jesus taught the people how faith works.

A. He used special stories called parables to help people understand God's Word.

B. Faith is what we must use to get God's blessings (Hebrews 11:6). Jesus taught us how to use faith, which comes from hearing His Word.

C. He told a story about a farmer who planted seeds. The farmer planted seeds in rocky ground, by the road, in the weeds, and in good ground.

D. Only the seeds planted in the good ground grew up to be strong plants. The other plants died because they were not planted in good ground.

1. Some seeds were eaten by the birds.

2. Some seeds were burned by the sun.

3. Some seeds were choked by weeds.

II. Jesus explained this story to His disciples.

A. He told them that God's Word is like a seed. It will grow if it is planted in good ground.

B. The "good ground" is the heart of one who believes God's Word. We should plant God's Word in our hearts as a seed.

C. Plants do not grow up in a minute. They take time to grow tall and make fruit.

D. We must water our plants for them to grow. Speaking what God says in His Word is the way to water your faith seed. It helps your faith grow.

III. Sometimes, our prayers take time to grow fruit.

A. God wants us to pray and ask Him for things. He loves to give good gifts (James 1:17).

B. The answer to our prayer does not always come immediately. It is like a plant that grows. It will come if we wait.

C. When we pray in faith, a seed is planted in our hearts. It will grow the answer soon enough.

D. Patience is developed in us as we pray and learn not to be anxious before the answer comes.


Spiritual Exercises:

I am a whiz when it comes to prayer.

I know how to get results.

When I pray, I plant a seed of faith.

Even when I cannot see the answer, my faith is hard at work.

It brings my desire to me.

Faith is a seed.

I will get my desire because I plant faith seeds.


OBJECT LESSON

THE EYES OF FAITH

Scripture Reference: 2 Corinthians 4:18, "While we look not at the things which are seen..."

Materials Needed: Surgical clothes, large marbles, surgical instruments, operating table, sheets, and a co operative patient

To Prepare: Before class, select a child for an "eye transplant" and instruct him on how to answer your questions.

Lesson:

Teacher: The Bible tells us that we walk by faith and not by sight. That means that we must learn to look at things the way God sees them. When a problem comes our way, we often look at it and worry instead of seeing the answer. God has an answer for every problem!


We must learn to look at circumstances with the eyes of faith. Faith sees the answer—not the problem. Let me see, I need a helper. (Call on your patient.)


I have some questions for you. (To patient) "Let us suppose that your body breaks out with chicken pox. You have little sores all over your skin. You know that God is a healer, so you pray. When are you healed?"


(Patient's answer has been rehearsed before time.)


Patient: Not until all the sores go away.


Teacher: But the Bible says that you were healed by Jesus' stripes.


Patient: I will believe I am healed when I see it.


Teacher: Let us suppose that you need a new coat. You know that God provides good things for His children, so you pray and ask for one. When does God give you the coat?


Patient: When I can see it and put it on.


Teacher: You have a problem. You do not know how to see with the eyes of faith.


Patient: "How can I see with the eyes of faith if I do not have any?"


Teacher: Jesus, the Great Physician, gives us an eye transplant with His Word. He can show us how to see the answers to problems before they come.


(Now, lay the patient on the table and prepare for a mock surgery. If you wish, at this time explain to the class that this is only a mock surgery and there is no real cutting taking place.)


(Put on your doctor's clothes as you talk.) My patient does not know how to see with the eyes of faith. When we meditate on God's Word, our faith eyes are opened. We see that people of faith in the Bible always saw what they desired before they actually

received it.


Joshua had the children of Israel shout for victory while the walls were still standing. Abraham thanked God for a son before he received Isaac. An angel called Gideon a man of bravery and courage when he was hiding and frightened.


When trouble comes, we must pray and see ourselves with the answer before it comes. That is the way the eyes of faith work! (During this instruction, perform your eye transplant using the marbles as the eyes of faith.)


The eyes of faith see the answer before our natural eyes see it. Let us wake up our patient and demonstrate how to use the eyes of faith.


(To patient) "You have new eyes, eyes of faith. Let us see if you can use them. Suppose that your body is covered with chicken pox and you pray for healing. When are you healed?"


Patient: "By faith I see my healing already done because Jesus took my infirmities and bore my sicknesses. With the eyes of faith I can see my healing before the spots go away."


Teacher: Do you mean that you can see your answer while the sickness is still in your body?


Patient: "Yes, I see it with the eyes of faith."


Teacher: Let us suppose that you ask God for a new coat. When does He give it to you?


Patient: "With the eyes of faith, I see God giving me the coat as soon as I pray in Jesus' Name."


Teacher: So, you are not waiting until you get the coat before you thank God for it?


Patient: "No, I see my coat with the eyes of faith before I see it with my natural eyes. I am going to thank God for it before it comes."


Teacher: Now, do you understand? The eyes of faith see the answer before it comes. You get eyes of faith from the Great Physician, Jesus, when you listen to what His Word says instead of listening to problems.

FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:


Have you ever planted a "faith seed" in your heart? Your faith was hard at work, even when you couldn't see your answer right away. Did your prayer get answered? Tell us what happened.


Questions for Review Game:


1. What is the name for the special stories Jesus told?

2. What do we use to get God's blessings?

3. In what four types of ground was the seed planted in our story?

4. What happened to the seed that was planted in rocky ground?

5. What happened to the seed that was planted by the road?

6. What happened to the seed that was planted in the weeds?

7. What did Jesus say God's Word is like?

8. What is the "good ground" Jesus was speaking of?

9. What does it mean to "water" your faith seed?

10. What is developed in our lives when we pray and learn not to be anxious before the answer comes?

A LITTLE GIRL LIVES AGAIN


Scripture to Study: Mark 5:21 24; 36 43

Central Truth: Jesus gives good things. Satan brings bad things.

Memory Verse: John 10:10, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."

Supplementary Lesson: Story—"He Is Just Sleeping"

Visual Aids: Crowd (9,18, 20), Jairus (42), Jairus' daughter (43),Jesus (33)

To the Teacher:

No doubt there were many people in Israel whose children died prematurely, but Jesus did not raise them all. He was able to do this mighty work because Jairus believed. Faith opens the door for the miraculous power of God to move. The point to emphasize in this lesson is the fact that Jairus never acted in fear or worry.


Outline:

I. A man whose little daughter was sick came to Jesus.

A. The man, Jairus, was a leader of a synagogue.

B. Jairus asked Jesus to come and heal his daughter for she was almost dead.

C. Jesus went with Jairus because He never turns down a request of faith.

II. Before Jesus got to the house, the little girl died.

A. The devil is the author of death. God does not want little children to be sick or die.

B. Jesus told Jairus to believe and not be afraid, so the man did not speak one word of unbelief.

C. They continued on to Jairus' house just as if nothing had happened.

D. When they arrived at the house, it was full of friends and neighbors who were mourning and crying.

III. Jesus took authority over the works of Satan.

A. Jesus said in faith, "The little girl is not dead, she is only sleeping."

1. When He said this, the people laughed at Him.

2. Faith always sounds foolish to unbelievers.

B. Jesus took Peter, James, John, and the girl's parents into the room and shut the door.

C. Jesus took the little girl's hand and told her to get up. The little girl came to life and got up.

1. Words of faith spoken with authority get results.

2. We can speak God's Word boldly against the enemy who would steal from us.

D. The people were amazed when the little girl came out of the room alive and well.

E. To prove that the miracle was real, Jesus asked that the little girl be fed so everyone would know she was not a ghost.


Spiritual Exercises:

I am a faith child. I believe God.

The enemy cannot steal from me.

Satan has no authority in my life.

He cannot steal my health or finances. He cannot destroy my happiness.

He cannot kill my body. I belong to God.

I will live the abundant life that Jesus gives.


STORY

HE IS JUST SLEEPING

One morning as Gospel Bill was brushing his horse in the stable, he heard a voice from down the street calling his name.

"Gospel Bill!" cried the voice. "Has anyone seen Gospel Bill?" Quickly, Bill stepped out of the barn to see who had called for him.

"Here I am," said Bill as he saw Mr. Yates, the owner of the T Fork Ranch. "Do you want me?" asked Bill.

"Yeah, come quick," said Mr. Yates motioning to Bill with his hand. "My boy got bit by a rattlesnake and the doctor is out of town. You have got to come and pray!"

"Let me saddle Old Blue and I will be right out," said Bill rushing back into the barn. Bill quickly saddled his horse, and after he checked his saddle bag for his Bible, he climbed onto Old Blue and rode out of town.

It was twelve long miles to the T Fork Ranch and the road was not smooth at all. Over hills and through gulleys, Bill raced with the ranch owner. Bill knew how serious a snakebite could be—especially if the poison had not been extracted immediately after the bite.

"How did it happen?" yelled Bill to Mr. Yates as they raced down the road.

"Oh, the little fellow was out playing by some old fence posts and stuck his hand under a board. He got bit right on the hand by a big old snake," explained the father. "The little fellow passed out and must have been laying on the ground for a long time before we found him."

Just as the man finished the story, Bill looked ahead to see a ranch helper from the T Fork Ranch. He was not running his horse, but walking it.

"Here I am," said Bill to the cowboy. "Let us go see that boy!"

"It will not do much good now," said the cowboy. "That boy died about thirty minutes ago. I am sorry, Mr. Yates. We did all we could."

"Now, Mr. Yates," said Gospel Bill, "you came to get me because you know I know how to pray. Just because things look bad does not mean I cannot still pray for that boy." Mr. Yates did not say anything.

"I know you have prayed for lots of things," said the cowboy to Bill, "but this boy is dead. I saw him go."

Bill turned to Mr. Yates, acting as though he did not hear a word the cowboy said. "Do not be afraid, Mr. Yates. All things are possible to the man who believes."

"We are going to pray for my boy!" shouted the father. Bill and Mr. Yates left the doubting cowboy in a cloud of dust as they raced toward the T Ford Ranch.

When Bill and the father rode up to the house, they could hear the crying of the cooks and maids. All the cowboys were gathered around the porch with saddened faces. Bill jumped off his horse and pulled his Bible from the saddle bag.

"I do not know why you are so sad," said Bill. "The little fellow is just sleeping." The cowboys began to laugh at Bill and made fun of him as he walked into the house to see the little boy.

"Crazy Bill," laughed one cowboy. "He has read the Bible so much that he has gone crazy.

"Yeah," said another, "he thinks he can do anything that Jesus did." They all began to laugh and joke about Gospel Bill.

When Bill entered the room where the little boy lay on the bed, he asked everyone to leave the house except the boy's father and mother. Bill began to read to them from the Bible.

"Now this scripture here says that the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. That is talking about the devil. But the same scripture says that Jesus came to give us life and life more abundantly," said Bill.

The father and mother watched closely as Bill walked over to the bed and grabbed the little boy's hand. "You have got no right, Mr. Devil, to steal this little boy's life!" said Bill with authority. "Little fellow, wake up! You get out of bed in Jesus' Name!"

Suddenly, the boy's eyes began to blink. He opened them wide and began to breathe once more. As Bill pulled him up, the boy looked at his mother and said, "I am hungry. I want some beans and corn bread." His mother was so joyful she could not move.

"Well, you heard him," said Bill. "Make the little fellow some food." Then Bill turned to the little boy as he walked out of the room. "Now do not play around wood piles again," said Bill.

When Bill walked past the cowboys toward his horse, one of them began to make fun of him.

"Well, that did not last long, did it?" he said. "You came out here and got Mr. Yates hoping his boy would come back to life and let him down!"

Before Bill could answer the cowboy, a young voice called to him from a bedroom window.

"Thanks for praying for me," said the little boy. When the unbelieving cowboy heard the boy's voice, he fainted. Bill tipped his hat to the others and climbed up on Old Blue for the ride home.

The entire ranch gave glory to God for what was done and folks learned not to make fun of Gospel Bill's prayers.



FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:


Jairus' daughter was very sick, and he was afraid she would die. He asked Jesus for help. Jesus told him to believe and not be afraid. Jairus didn't say any words of doubt and unbelief, and Jesus was able to do a miracle for his family.


Is there something you are afraid of or worried about today? What is it?


Let's agree together to ask Jesus to help each of us, and that we will remember to believe, not be afraid, and not say any words of doubt. This way Jesus can use His miracle power for us and our families.


Questions for Review Game:


1. Why did Jairus come to Jesus?

2. Why do you suppose Jesus went with Jairus?

3. What happened to the girl before they got to her?

4. Who is author of sickness and death?

5. Whom did they find upon arriving at the house, and what were they doing?

6. What did Jesus say in faith that caused the people to laugh?

7. Why do you think Jesus took Peter, James, John, and the girl's parents into the room and closed the door?

8. What happened when Jesus took the little girl's hand and told her to get up?

9. What can we speak boldly when the enemy comes to steal from us?

10. What did Jesus have the girl do to prove that she was really raised from the dead?

THE TOUCH OF FAITH

Scripture to Study: Mark 5:25 34; Acts 10:38

Central Truth: Acting on God's Word brings healing.

Memory Verse: Mark 5:34, "Thy faith hath made thee whole."

Supplementary Lesson: Puppet Skit—"Faith Can Make You Well"

Visual Aids: Crowd (9,18, 20), Jesus (22), Woman with the issue of blood (44)

To the Teacher:

What an excellent example of persistent, unyielding faith getting results. The lady must have known something about the tangible healing power of Jesus and believed she would receive by touching the promises of God. The blue tassle on the hem of a Jew's garment represented the sky and the boundless abilities of God. By speaking her faith, the woman put herself into a position to receive healing when she acted on what she believed.


Outline:

I. There was a woman who had been sick for twelve years.

A. She had been to many doctors and had spent all her money, but she was still sick.

1. The devil is the author of sickness.

2. He likes to try to make people's lives miserable.

B. Sometimes men reach their limit and can do no more—God has no limits.

II. The sick woman heard about Jesus.

A. She heard how Jesus could heal sick people.

B. Faith rose up in her heart, because she knew God wanted her to be well. She knew that God was a good God.

C. Faith comes by hearing God's Word.

1. We should say God's Word to ourselves.

2. We should go to church and hear it preached.

3. We should tell others so they can receive faith, too.

III. The sick woman found Jesus in a large crowd.

A. The woman was not supposed to be near other people because of her sickness.

1. The law of Moses declared her unclean, and she was not to be touched.

2. She had been forced to live alone.

B. Nevertheless, the woman pushed through the crowd to get to Jesus.

1. She said, "If I can just touch the hem of His robe, I will be healed."

2. The blue tassle on the hem of Jesus' garment was symbolic of the promises of God.

C. When she touched Jesus' clothes, her sickness was immediately healed.

1. God's healing power went into her body.

2. The woman fell down before Jesus and told Him all that had happened.

D. Jesus told her, "Your faith has made you whole." Faith in what God has said causes sickness to flee.

E. God wants us to speak His Word.

1. God cannot work on our behalf unless we agree with His Word.

2. When we say God's Word, it become real to us.


Spiritual Exercises:

I believe that Jesus took my sicknesses and diseases. His healing power belongs to me. I receive it into my body by faith. I believe God's promises and I accept His Word. Himself took my infirmities and bore my sicknessess.


PUPPET SKIT

FAITH CAN MAKE YOU WELL

CHARACTERS: Host, Woman (the woman with the issue of blood in Mark 5)


HOST: There are many wonderful stories in the New Testament about healing and miracles. The people that Jesus healed used their faith to get their healings. One of the most dramatic cases of faith and healing in the Bible is found in the fifth chapter of Mark.

(Woman enters and interrupts.)

WOMAN: The fifth chapter of Mark? Did I hear you say the fifth chapter of Mark"?

HOST: Yes, I was going to tell a story from the fifth chapter of Mark's Gospel.

WOMAN: That is where my story is!

HOST: Your story is in the fifth chapter of Mark?

WOMAN: It certainly is. I am the woman who had an issue of blood.

HOST: Wow! I was going to tell your story today. What a surprise! You are actually here in our class!

WOMAN: Let me tell you my own story.

HOST: That would be great! Start at the very beginning. How did you get the sickness?

WOMAN: The devil put it on me. I was minding my own business, when one day I began to feel weak and noticed I was bleeding. For twelve years I bled very slowly and suffered with that awful plague.

HOST: You were sick for twelve years?

WOMAN: Yes, I went to every doctor in the city looking for help. I tried every cure, but nothing worked. The doctors really wanted to help, but they could do nothing.

HOST: You probably spent a lot of money on doctor bills.

WOMAN: Yes, I spent all the money I had! Before my sickness, I had a great deal of money. But after twelve years, I had spent all that I had.

HOST: Did your disease ever get better?

WOMAN: No, it grew worse. I felt more pain and got weaker and weaker as time went on.

HOST: Then you heard about Jesus.

WOMAN: Yes, I heard many wonderful stories about a man from Nazareth who was healing all kinds of diseases. At first, I thought He must have been a magician or a doctor.

HOST: The healing power of God is not magic. It is real.

WOMAN: I heard that some said Jesus was the Son of God. I believed it, because no man had ever healed so many people and taught so many wonderful things about God.

HOST: What did you decide to do?

WOMAN: I had heard that some kind of healing power went into people when Jesus touched them.

HOST: Did this power even go into those who touched Him accidentally?

WOMAN: Oh, no. You see, this healing power went from Him into those who had faith for healing.

HOST: Oh, I see. So you wanted Jesus to touch you so you could be healed.

WOMAN: No, I decided that instead of asking Jesus to touch me, I would touch Him. I believed in my heart and said with my mouth, "When I touch His clothes, I shall be well."

HOST: Then you found Jesus.

WOMAN: Yes, but it was hard. He was in the middle of a large crowd of people. I had to push and shove my way to Him.

HOST: What happened when you touched Him?

WOMAN: I felt something like electricity shoot through my body. Instantly, I knew I was healed!

HOST: What did the Lord do?

WOMAN: As soon as I touched His robe, He knew it. He knew that God's power had gone out of Him to heal someone. Finally, I told Him what I had done.

HOST: And the Lord was very glad for you, was He not?

WOMAN: He surely was. He did not say a word about my being sneaky. He wanted me to be well.

HOST: Really, nobody sneaks up on God.

WOMAN: That is right. We should boldly ask Him for what we want.

HOST: Some people pray and do not ever get answers.

WOMAN: I expect that is because they did not do what I did.

HOST: What did you do that helped you get healed?

WOMAN: I said, "When I touch His clothes, I shall be whole!" I believed I would be healed when I touched Him so I said it.

HOST: Are you one of these people who believes that our words can bring healing?

WOMAN: I sure am. When I put God's Word into my mouth something good always happens.

HOST: I am glad you interrupted me.

WOMAN: Thank you for letting me tell my story.

FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:

Faith came into this woman's heart, and she knew just what she had to do to get her healing. Have you ever felt faith come into your heart that powerfully? Did you know just what you needed to do to get your answer? Tell us your story.


Questions for Review Game:


1. Who is the author of sickness?

2. How and why did the woman spend all her money?

3. How does faith come?

4. What happened when she heard about Jesus?

5. Why was the woman forced to live alone?

6. What did the woman say about Jesus?

7. What was the blue tassel on the hem of His garment symbolic of?

8. What happened when she touched the hem of His garment?

9. What did Jesus tell her when she fell down to worship Him?

10. What happens when we speak God's Word?

JESUS MAKES YOU DIFFERENT


Scripture to Study: Mark 5:1 20

Central Truth: Jesus and His Word breaks Satan's bonds.

Memory Verse: John 8:32, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

Supplementary Lesson: Object Lesson—"The Prisoner Of Sin"

Visual Aids: Jesus (21), disciples (34, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41), maniac (45), maniac delivered (46), pigs (47)

To the Teacher:

Jesus is in the business of setting men free from all kinds of bondage. Satan's powers are helpless against the truth of God's Word. By filling ourselves with truth, we escape bondage. This maniac did not know that he could be free until he heard the truth. We are free only as we receive truth, and the more we receive, the more free we become.


Outline:

I. There was a man in Gadara who was possessed by the devil.

A. This man was insane and cut himself with stones.

B. He lived among the tombs and when the townspeople chained him up, he broke the chains. The devil made him strong.

C. His hair was long and filthy and he wore no clothes. Satan and sin cause men to be crazy.

D. This man was tormented by the devils who had made him much like a monster.

E. He did not know how to be free from his bondage.

II. One day Jesus came to his country.

A. As soon as the maniac saw Jesus, he ran to Him and called Him the Son of God.

B. The man had never seen Jesus before, but the devils in him knew who Jesus was.

C. Jesus was not in the least bit afraid of this crazy man.

1. We have no reason to be afraid of the devil.

2. The Name of Jesus belongs to us to use against fear and Satan.

D. Jesus told the devils in the man that they must leave. God wants us to be full of Him—not the devil.

E. The devils asked Jesus if they could go into a herd of pigs and He gave them permission.

1. When the devils entered the pigs, they ran off a cliff into the sea and drowned.

2. Jews were not supposed to own pigs anyway.

III. Jesus made the man different.

A. The maniac was full of peace and contentment after the devils left.

B. He clothed himself and never cut himself with stones again. The truth had made him free.

C. The people in the surrounding area were afraid and asked Jesus to leave, but the man stayed behind and told everyone what Jesus had done.

D. Sometime later, Jesus came back to the same place, and because of the man's testimony, many believed on Him (Mark 7:31 8:9).

E. We have been given authority by Jesus to stop the works of Satan.


Spiritual Exercises:

Jesus is the Truth.

His words cannot lie.

He reveals His Word to me by the Holy Spirit.

I know God's Word. God's Word makes me free.


OBJECT LESSON

THE PRISONER OF SIN

Scripture Reference: Romans 6:18, "Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness."

Materials Needed: Blindfold, handcuffs (ropes will do), prisoner's serial number on cardboard hanging from neck, scissors

To Prepare: Blindfold and bind your prisoner and bring him into class.


Lesson:

There is an evil ruler in the world who forces people to do terrible things. This evil king has never been kind, not even once. He beats, abuses, and tortures all who live in his kingdom. The people are not always free to do as they choose—they are bound up.


This evil ruler puts blindfolds on the minds of all his subjects. His kingdom rightfully deserves the title "kingdom of darkness." If his people could see where they were going, they would quit following him.


At one time or another, we all belonged to his terrible kingdom. We were led into trouble and hurt. (Lead your prisoner into a wall.) We were pushed into worry, hate, and fear. (Push your prisoner gently.)


If it had not been for the Lord Jesus who came to set us free, we would forever be in that awful kingdom, serving sin. Sin is the ruler of that kingdom. Even the devil himself is a prisoner to sin. Sin controls the devil and he cannot stop his wickedness.


Thank God, we can be set free from the awful kingdom of darkness. When we hear the gospel and how Jesus died for our sin, we can get a glimpse of the truth. (Pull the blindfold down just enough for the prisoner to barely see.) We can see that we have been tricked and deceived. Then, we have a choice to be set free or to remain the prisoner of sin.


Sadly enough, some folks see just a little light and hear that Jesus died on the cross for them, yet they choose to remain in sin as prisoners. The blindfold remains and the bonds are not broken.


Then there are others who see the truth and decide to ask Jesus into their hearts. When they choose Jesus, the blindfold is removed (take it off) and the bonds of sin are broken. (Remove handcuffs or cut off the ropes. Break the serial number and stomp it.)


Choosing Jesus means that you belong to a whole new kingdom, the kingdom of light. You do not have to follow sin anymore. Do we in this country have to obey the laws of another country? No! In the same way, we live according to the laws of the kingdom of light and we are free from the laws of sin.



Even after you have moved into the kingdom of light, you will have to be on the look out for the blindfold of darkness. Temptation will try to get you to put on the blindfold once again, but you can stop it.


Doing wrong and practicing sin allows the devil to slip the blindfold over our eyes. But when we confess our sins, the blindfold is removed and we can enjoy the light.


Why do people in sin openly make fun of God and laugh about Jesus? It is because they have blindfolds on. Only a spiritually blind man would follow sin and Satan into Hell. Thank God, we can see where we are going because Jesus took our blindfolds off.

FOR REVIEW


Applying the Word:

Two lessons ago we talked about things we were afraid of or worried about. We agreed together to ask Jesus to help us. We promised to remember to believe, not be afraid, and not say any words of doubt.


What has happened since then? Does anyone have a praise report about how Jesus set him free from fear or worry?


Questions for Review Game:


1. What was unusual about the man in Gadara?

2. Where did this man live?

3. Whom did the maniac recognize Jesus to be when he first saw Him?

4. How did the maniac know who Jesus was?

5. Was Jesus afraid of the crazy man?

6. What did Jesus say to the devils in the man?

7. When the devils entered the pigs, what did the pigs do?

8. How was the man after the devils left him?

9. How did the people in that region react to this experience?

10. Who gives us authority to stop the works of Satan today?

WHEN JESUS COULD NOT HELP


Scripture to Study: Luke 4:16 31; Mark 6:1 6

Central Truth: God's power cannot work for us if we do not believe.

Memory Verse: Hebrews 11:6, "But without faith it is impossible to please Him."

Supplementary Lesson: Story—"The Town That Would Not Believe"

Visual Aids: Crowd (9,18, 20), Jesus (22), city (12)

To the Teacher:

What a sad story we see here as Jesus is limited in blessing others because of unbelief. Faith in God is prerequisite to receiving. Because they had been so familiar with Jesus while He was growing up, the people of Nazareth would not receive His ministry and He could not help them. Faith moves God while unbelief ties His hands.


Outline:

I. Jesus went back to His home town, Nazareth, to minister.

A. The people there thought He was the son of Joseph.

B. Only He and His parents really knew that He was the Son of God.

C. Jesus lived almost thirty years among the people of Nazareth and although He was well thought of, they did not see anything special in Him.

D. Jesus did no miracles during His early years, for the power to do miracles came from the Holy Spirit whom He received at John's baptism.

II. When the Sabbath day came, Jesus ministered in the synagogue at Nazareth.

A. The people were amazed at His wisdom and wondered about all the wonderful things He had done elsewhere.

B. In spite of His wisdom and reputation for doing miracles, the people of Nazareth did not believe Jesus.

C. He stood to read from Isaiah 61:1 2, and told the people that He was sent from God to set people free.

D. The people were angry when Jesus said these things and took Him out of the city to be thrown off a cliff onto the rocks below.

E. By the power of God, He turned just as they were about to kill Him and walked through them to safety.

III. The people of Nazareth had another chance to receive Jesus.

A. He taught them the Word of God and they were astonished at His wisdom.

B. The people still did not believe in Him in spite of all the miracles He had done in other places.

C. He laid His hands on a few with minor ailments and they were healed, but there were no mighty works.

D. Jesus could not help the people because of their unbelief.

E. Unbelief stops the flow of God's blessings. To receive His best, we must believe.

Spiritual Exercises:

I am a believer and not a doubter.

I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead.

I receive by faith all that God has for me.

I will not limit God's blessing on me by refusing to believe.

I believe God.


STORY

THE TOWN THAT WOULD NOT BELIEVE


Gospel Bill was eating lunch one day at the Sagebrush Cafe when he overheard two cowboys talking at the next table. Bill could not help but be curious about what the men were saying.

"I have never heard of such an awful thing," said one man. "The whole town will probably be killed." It sounded like trouble to Bill. He wondered what the man was talking about.

"I do not think Doctor Miller will be able to help much," said the other cowboy. "When folks get cholera, there is not much even a good doctor can do. It is awful, a whole town being sick at once."

Finally, Bill turned to the men and asked them, "What town are you talking about?"

"You have not heard?" said the cowboy. "The whole town of Dripping Springs has got the sickness—cholera!"

Bill was stunned. Dripping Springs was where he had grown up. He knew almost everyone in town. He had relatives there. Bill knew he had to do something. As soon as he finished lunch, he went to the general store for supplies. It was about a three day ride to Dripping Springs, and he wanted to have plenty of food for the trip.

In a few hours, Bill was well on his way to his old hometown. It had been a few years since he had been there. As he rode in the hot sun, he began to recall his boyhood days in Dripping Springs.

"People probably will not recognize me," thought Bill. He had changed a great deal since leaving home. "You know," thought Bill, "I do not think I ever prayed for a single person the whole time I lived in Dripping Springs. I did not know too much about God's Word when I lived there. I did not know anything at all about God's healing power."

After three hard days of riding, Bill rode into the half deserted town of Dripping Springs. Every business was closed. Not a person walked the streets. Bill could hear only the faint cries of the sick as they lay in their houses.

Bill rode to his uncle's house and tied Old Blue to a post in the yard. He walked to the door and yelled, "Anybody here? Is there anybody at home? It's me—Bill."

"Bill," whispered a voice from the bedroom. "Is that you? Don't come near me, you will get the sickness." Bill ignored his uncle's words and went into the bedroom. There, in the bed, was Bill's Uncle Lester. His face was pale and his eyes were red. The sickness had caused him to look terrible.

"Get out of here, Bill," asked Uncle Lester. "I do not want you getting sick for no reason. Now go on and leave me. I will be dead in a few hours and..."

"Stop it!" said Bill. "You do not have to die! I came here to help."

"What can you do, son?" asked Uncle Lester. "Even a good doctor cannot help us now."

"I can pray for you to be healed," said Bill. "There is a scripture right here in this Bible and it says that the prayer of faith will save the sick."

"That is real good," said Uncle Lester. "I am real proud you have gone to reading the Good Book, but you cannot do us any good. It is time for us to go. The Good Lord knows what He is doing."

"God is not doing this," said Bill. "God does not put awful sickness on people. He wants you well!"

"Now, son," said Uncle Lester, "I have been around a long time and I have never seen anybody get healed of anything. God does not do those things anymore."

Bill tried desperately to teach the old man how to believe God, but it was useless. Uncle Lester believed that God had sent the plague to Dripping Springs for some strange reason. Bill made his uncle as comfortable as possible and said good bye.

"There has got to be someone in this town who will believe me," said Bill. He rode his horse from house to house looking for people to help. Bill went to every house in Dripping Springs, carrying his Bible, and telling each person about God's healing power.

At the end of seven days, Bill had yet to find a single person who would believe the Bible. Every sick person he found refused to believe that God would heal them.

On his way out of the city, Bill heard the crying of a little girl. He followed the cries to an alley where a little shack leaned against the back of a store. Quickly, Bill ran to the door and found a little girl in her bed. She was sick with the same disease that had killed her whole family and there was no one left to care for her.

Bill made a clean bed for the girl and gave her water to drink. He made a bowl of soup and fed her slowly as she stopped crying. When the little girl was finished, Bill went to his horse for his Bible.

He began to read to the girl about God's healing power and taught her how Jesus healed the sick. "The Bible tells us," explained Bill, "that these signs shall follow them that believe: they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover."

"But our preacher told us that this plague was God's punishment on us because we had a saloon in our town," said the little girl. "He said that we were being punished by God."

"Nonsense," said Bill. "God does not exactly favor saloons, but He would not destroy a whole town for one saloon. Besides, God cannot put sickness on you if He does not have any."

"Do you mean that God would like me to be well?" asked the little girl.

"Why sure," said Bill. "He would have healed anybody and everybody in this whole town. Trouble is, not a single soul would believe it."

"Well, I believe He would heal me," said the girl.

"Hallelujah!" screamed Bill. "I have finally got someone to believe!" Bill laid his hands on the girl's head and prayed. Instantly, the disease left the little girl's body.

A few days later Bill and the little girl arrived safely back in Dry Gulch. A man from Dripping Springs who escaped the plague ran to meet them with great surprise. "I saw that little girl in Dripping Springs last week and she was sick with cholera. How did she get well?"

"I got healed when Gospel Bill prayed for me," said the little girl. Then the man looked angrily at Bill. "I had family and friends in that town. You did not pray for them like you did this girl—why?"

"I sure wanted to," said Bill. "I went to every house and told them about God's healing power. But they would not believe me. I could not pray for folks who do not believe."

FOR REVIEW


Applying the Word:

Have you ever told someone about being born again or being healed, and you knew they didn't believe you? How did you feel? What happened?


Unbelief stops the flow of God's blessings. Remember to always believe God's Word. All His promises are true, but they will not happen for you if you don't believe them!


Questions for Review Game:


1. What was the name of Jesus' hometown?

2. Did the people of Nazareth believe Jesus was the Son of God?

3. Did Jesus do any miracles as a boy?

4. When did Jesus receive the power to do miracles?

5. What were the people of Nazareth amazed at when they heard Him speak?

6. Did the people of Nazareth have stronger faith because of Jesus growing up among them'?

7. How did the people react to Jesus' proclamation that He was sent from God to set people free?

8. How did Jesus escape the angry mob?

9. Did Jesus heal all the people who were sick in Nazareth?

10. What stops the flow of God's blessings in our lives?

FOOD FOR A MULTITUDE


Scripture to Study: John 6:1 13; Mark 6:30 45

Central Truth: God provides for His children in the midst of lack.

Memory Verse: Philippians 4:19, "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."

Supplementary Lesson: Game—"Pin The Word On The Devil"

Visual Aids: Crowd (9,18, 20), Jesus (22), disciples (34, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41), boy (48), loaves and fishes in basket (49)

To the Teacher:

God has promised to supply all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. These people received such miraculous provision because the circumstances demanded it and because they put spiritual things ahead of earthly things. Divine provision can come through many channels but this story is here to show us that God will resort to multiplying food if necessary to feed His people.


Outline:

I. Jesus and His disciples were gathered on a mountain far from the cities and villages.

A. Jesus often went to private places with His disciples to be alone and pray.

1. The power behind Jesus' ministry came from His personal talks with God.

2. Without times of refreshing in God's presence, we can do little good.

B. A great multitude of people saw where Jesus and His disciples went and followed them.

C. Jesus taught the people most of the day, and when evening came, the disciples realized that the people had no food.

D. These people had been so concerned with spiritual food that they forgot earthly food.

E. Jesus told His disciples to feed the people, but in the natural, there was not enough.

II. Andrew found a little boy who wanted to give his lunch to the Lord.

A. The little boy had only five barley loaves and two fishes, but he gave it all to God.

B. Jesus told the disciples to organize the crowd into groups of fifty and a hundred, and to sit on the grass.

C. In obedience, the disciples prepared the people to receive from God.

1. We should prepare to receive from God by giving to His kingdom.

2. Praising God before the answer comes is an excellent way to prepare for a miracle.

III. In the midst of lack, God supplied food for the people.

A. Jesus blessed the food by thanking God for it and began to tear it into pieces.

B. The food multiplied over and over until all the people were filled.

C. There were twelve baskets of fragments left over after five thousand men, not counting women and children, were fed.

D. When we look to the Word of God, He will supply our material needs as well as our spiritual needs.

1. God is not the author of poverty.

2. He wants His children to be provided for. (The author personally believes that the twelve remaining baskets of fragments went to the little boy who received a hundredfold blessing on his gifts.)


Spiritual Exercises:


God supplies all my needs.

He takes good care of me.

I will look to Him in the time of need.

In the midst of famine, God will feed the righteous.

I am righteous because Jesus is my Lord.

I have an abundant supply of all that is good.



FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:

The boy in our story saw how many hungry people there were. He knew he only had a small lunch. Still, he gave what he had to Jesus. When he gave it, Jesus did a miracle, and the boy's small lunch was more than enough to bless all those hungry people.

Have you ever wanted to do something for Jesus, but all you had was something little, or you didn't think it was good enough? Would you like to sing Him a song? Draw Him a picture, or tell Him a story? When you give Him your best, He'll take it, make it bigger, and bless a lot of people with your gift.


What would you like to give to Jesus?


Questions for Review Game:


1. Why did Jesus go regularly to private places?

2. Where did the power behind Jesus' ministry come from?

3. After a day of teaching the multitude, what did the disciples realize?

4. Why did the people forget about earthly food?

5. What did the little boy's lunch have in it?

6. How did Jesus tell His disciples to organize the people to be fed?

7. Was it easy for the disciples to believe they could feed five thousand people with only five barley loaves and two fishes?

8. What did Jesus do before tearing the food into pieces?

9. Was there enough food to go around?

10. What does this story show us about putting God first?

THE MASTER OF STORMS


Scripture to Study: Mark 4:35 41; Psalms 8:5 9

Central Truth: The believer has scriptural authority over destructive storms.

Memory Verse: Psalm 8:6, "Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands."

Supplementary Lesson: Story—"Gospel Bill Tames A Tornado"

Visual Aids: Waves (24, 25), boat (32), Jesus (33), disciples (34, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41)

To the Teacher:

Tornadoes, hurricanes, and violent storms are mislabeled as "acts of God." While He did create the elements and does occasionally direct their courses, God is not behind violent storms. They are manifestations of the Prince of the Power of the Air, the devil. Through Jesus' Name, the believer can exercise authority over such storms if they threaten his life or property.


Outline:

I. When God created Adam, He made him the ruler of the whole earth.

A. Adam had dominion over all the works of God's hands. He was God's under ruler, the god of this world.

B. Even the elements were subject unto him.

C. When Adam sinned, he sold the earth into Satan's hands and he became the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4).

D. Satan is the one who causes violent storms that kill and destroy. He is the Prince of the Power of the Air (Eph. 2:2).

II. Jesus and His disciples crossed the sea to preach.

A. Jesus said, "Let us pass over to the other side." Then He went to the back of the boat and slept.

B. While He slept, a violent storm came upon them and frightened the disciples.

C. The fearful disciples woke Jesus and asked, "Do you not care if we die?"

III. Jesus took authority over the storm.

A. Jesus rebuked the storm and it immediately stopped.

1. It could not have been His Father's storm or He would not have rebuked it.

2. The storm was the devil's futile attempt to destroy Jesus.

B. The disciples could have stopped the storm, too, for Jesus later rebuked them for their fear.

C. We cannot dictate daily weather conditions, but we can, in the Name of Jesus, rebuke storms that threaten our lives or property (Isaiah 32:2).

D. Through Jesus, the authority that God gave Adam has been restored to the believer.


Spiritual Exercises:

I will not be afraid of storms.

My Father God does not send storms to kill His people.

God is my Protector.

His salvation keeps me in peace.

I will be as a hiding place in the storm.

The angels of God shall keep me from evil.


STORY

GOSPEL BILL TAMES A TORNADO


It was a hot afternoon as Gospel Bill was repairing his fence in the north pasture. He rode slowly down the fence line looking for broken wire, not noticing the storm clouds behind him. Bill felt the air grow cool and turned to see the sky growing dark.

"Hey!" yelled Bill at the wind that blew his hat away. "I was not expecting that." Bill jumped off his horse to get his hat. He ran quickly through the sagebrush and snatched up his hat just in time to see a tornado cloud in the distance.

Gospel Bill grabbed the reins to his horse and jumped into the saddle. He was going to get out of the path of the storm. Spurring his horse, he raced across the pasture hoping to get as far as possible from the storm.

No matter how fast he rode, Bill could not seem to get away from the black cloud. It was a dreadful looking cloud, boiling and turning and coming closer to Bill.

Suddenly there came from the black cloud a twisting funnel. It looked like a huge spinning tail and swung down to the ground. Dirt and brush exploded into the air as the tornado touched the ground. It ripped apart everything in its path. Then, in an instant, it changed directions and began to move away from Bill.

Bill rode the other way until he was safely away from the tornado. He stopped his horse on a small hill and turned to watch the storm. He thought how good it was that there were no people or houses in the tornado's path. "There is not even any cattle in this end of the pasture, thank the Lord," said Bill to himself.

Something caught his eye as he looked in the distance.

"Oh no!" shouted Bill. He saw a covered wagon in a gully, right in the path of the tornado! Quick as lightening, Bill and his horse rode toward the wagon. It seemed to be unable to move.

As Bill came closer to the wagon, he could better see what had happened. There was a settler and his family around the wagon. It had a broken wheel and they were all trying to lift the wagon.

"Get out of here," yelled Bill as he rode up to the wagon. He jumped off his horse and threw a boy and a girl into the saddle.

"What are you doing?" asked the settler.

"Do you not see that tornado?" asked Bill.

"Tornado?" asked the man. "I just thought there was a hail storm coming." The man had not been able to see the twister because of the deep gully he had been traveling in. The approaching funnel was just coming into view.

"Oh, my," said the man. He fell on his knees and began to cry out. "Oh, God, please do not kill us. Please do not kill us, oh God!" The whole family fell on the ground and began to cry and pray. They all said the same thing.

"Oh, God," pleaded the man, "please do not kill me. I will serve You forever if You will not kill me."

By this time, Bill knew that it was useless to try to move out of the tornado's path. He ordered the man and his family to lie down in the gully and told them to be quiet.

"Dear God," continued the man, "please do not kill me with Your tornado. Please, God."

"I said be quiet!" yelled Bill. Seeing the tornado was only a couple hundred meters away, Bill ran to the top of hill. He knew there was only one thing left to do.

Bill lifted his hand to the sky and began to praise God. Dust and brush filled the air around him as he stood boldly before the twister. It came closer and closer.

The settler looked out from beneath the wagon and listened to Gospel Bill. "I command you to go back up, cloud, " yelled Bill. "I want you to be still in the Name of Jesus!" The man looked with great anxiety, expecting to see Gospel Bill blown into the sky at any second.

Amazingly, the cloud stood still in its place, continuing to twist and turn, but not moving any closer to Gospel Bill. Bill was shouting scripture after scripture into the air.

"Storm!" yelled Bill, "Isaiah 32:2 says that a man shall be as a hiding place from the wind, and a cover from the tempest. I am that man because I know that you do not come from God."

After a ten minute duel, Gospel Bill and the Word of God won. The tornado lifted itself back into the dark cloud it came from and the wind ceased.

The settler and his family jumped from beneath the wagon and ran to Bill. "I have never seen anything like that before!" said the man. "How did you do that?"

"I did not do it," said Bill. "The Word of God made that storm obey."

"But, I thought storms came from the Almighty," said the man.

"The storms that kill, steal, and destroy are not from God," said Bill. "Have you never read about the time that Jesus stopped a storm?"

"I am going to read my Bible a little more carefully," said the settler. "The Word of God just saved my life."



FOR REVIEW


Applying the Word:


Did you know you could pray for safety in a storm? Have you ever done this before? If so, tell us about the storm, what you prayed, and what happened.


Questions for Review Game:


1. Who did God create to be the ruler of the earth?

2. Who became the god of this world after Adam sinned?

3. Who is the one who causes violent storms that kill and destroy?

4. After Jesus said, "Let us pass over to the other side," what did He do?

5. What was it that frightened His disciples?

6. What happened when Jesus rebuked the storm?

7. Why did the storm have to stop?

8. What should we do if Satan tries to keep us from fulfilling God's plan in our lives?

9. What did Jesus rebuke His disciples for later?

10. Can we dictate daily weather conditions ourselves?

SICK IS FOR GOD'S GLORY?


Scripture to Study: John 9:1 41

Central Truth: God does not get glory from sickness.

Memory Verse: Galatians 3:13, "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law."

Supplementary Lesson: Object Lesson—"Why Jesus Became A Curse"

Visual Aids: Jesus (22), disciples (34, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41), blind man (50), blind man healed (51)

To the Teacher:

There were more than enough blind men in Israel. God did not have to cause this man to be born blind so Jesus could heal him. The works of God were not even begun until Jesus healed him. If God's glory was being revealed in the man through sickness, why did the devil not stir up anger against his blindness? The thought of God making the man sick so Jesus could heal him is absurd. There should be no break between verses 3 and 4 of John 9. Jesus was really saying that the works of God that should be done in the blind man would be done by Him. Up to that point, God had not done anything.


Outline:

I. Jesus' disciples had a question about a blind man they saw.

A. The disciples asked, "Who did sin, this man, or his parents that he was born blind?"

B. Jesus answered them that sin had not caused the man to be born blind.

C. God never punishes sin with sickness or disease.

1. The devil is the author of sickness.

2. For God to give a man sickness, He would have to steal it because He does not have any (James 1:17).

D. Jesus told His disciples that the works of God should be done in the man. He did not say that the blindness was a work of God.

II. Jesus did the work of God in the blind man.

A. Jesus told His disciples that He was the one to do the works of God.

B. Then Jesus spit on the ground and made clay. He rubbed it into the blind man's eyes.

C. "Go wash in the pool of Siloam," said Jesus to the man, who immediately obeyed.

D. When the man washed the mud from his eyes, he could see.

E. This shocked his friends and neighbors who wanted to know how it had happened.

III. The enemies of Jesus did not like what was done.

A. When the man was blind, the devil's crowd was pleased.

B. When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had healed the man, they were furious.

C. They told the man that Jesus was a sinner and kicked him out of the temple.

D. When Jesus found the man, He led the man to believe on Him.

E. The blind man's spiritual eyes were opened, too.


Spiritual Exercises:

Jesus came to redeem me from the curse of the law.

I have been redeemed from poverty.

I have been redeemed from death.

I have been redeemed from sickness.

I have been redeemed from sin. Jesus paid the price to free me from the bondage of Satan.


OBJECT LESSON

WHY JESUS BECAME A CURSE

Scripture Reference: Galatians 3:13, "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law..." (Deuteronomy 28)

Materials Needed: Three large nails, hammer, construction paper, boards for a cross

To Prepare: Make a cross about 4 feet long and 2 feet wide. Label one sheet of construction paper "poverty," the second "sickness," the third "physical death," and the fourth "spiritual death."

Lesson:

The Bible tells us that Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law. Did you know that if Jesus had not redeemed us, we would be under an awful curse? The curse of the law is horrible and was given as a warning to those people who thought about breaking God's law.


In the book of Deuteronomy, in the 28th chapter, there is a long list of bad things that were to happen to the children of Israel if they forgot God. God does not put terrible things on people but the devil does. Satan, according to Jesus in John 10:10, is the one who steals, kills, and destroys. Satan walks throughout the earth looking for folks to bring harm and hurt to. We should never blame God for the devil's business.


In the Old Testament, God could protect the children of Israel from the curses only if they kept the law of Moses to the letter. Disobedience brought three curses. (Hold up corresponding construction paper as you mention each curse.) Poverty was promised to those who disobeyed God's law. God said that poverty was a curse. Death and being separated from God were mentioned next. The last curse was sickness. God calls sickness a curse—not a blessing!


When God made man and gave the earth to him, there was nothing in it but good. There was no poverty, sickness, or death. Because Adam sinned, evil entered into the world. Sickness came through sin and Satan.


When Jesus came to earth, He kept the law of Moses perfectly. He never sinned. He observed every single commandment and law, never once doing wrong or disobeying God's law, yet He was cursed as He hung on the cross. The curse of the law fell on Jesus!


The first thing Jesus suffered was the curse of sickness and disease for your healing. He took stripes on His body so that we could be healed. (Hammer one nail into the right side of the cross, fastening the construction paper labeled "sickness" to the wood.)


Next, Jesus suffered absolute poverty. He lost every earthly possession He had— even the clothes He wore. Poverty is a curse and Jesus suffered it. (Nail the paper labeled "poverty" to the left side of the cross.)


Death is an awful thing. It is a two fold curse because there are two kinds of death. The death we think of most often is physical death. Physical death happens when a person's spirit leaves the body and the body dies. This happened to Jesus. His

body died.



The next kind of death is even worse. Spiritual death is being separated from God. Jesus was separated from God as He hung on the cross. He cried, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Even God turned away from Jesus when He died on the cross. For three days and nights, Jesus was separated from God. He suffered spiritual death so we could be joined with God in life. (Nail the two kinds of death to the foot of the cross.)


Jesus' feet were placed one on top of the other and nailed to the cross with one nail. This is symbolic of the two fold curse of death He suffered for us.


The curse of the law fell upon Jesus, who did not deserve it at all. Why was He made a curse? He never sinned. He suffered in our place. We should be bold to claim the benefits that Jesus bought for us in His suffering. Poverty, sickness, and death are curses and we are redeemed from them in Christ!

FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:


Have you ever known anyone to receive a miracle of healing? Maybe they were blind, or crippled, or about to die, and God healed them. Tell us about them. Were they very thankful to God for their healing?


Questions for Review Game:


1. What was the question the disciples had concerning the blind man?

2. What was the answer Jesus gave the disciples?

3. Does God punish us with sickness or disease?

4. Is there sickness in Heaven?

6. What was it Jesus put on the blind man's eyes?

6. After putting the clay on the man's eyes, what did Jesus tell him to do?

7. What happened after the blind man washed his eyes?

8. What was the reaction of the Pharisees to this healing?

9. What did the Pharisees do to the man who had been healed?

10. We know the blind man's natural eyes were opened. What other eyes were opened as well?

A GLIMPSE OF GLORY


Scripture to Study: Matthew 16:13  17:13

Central Truth: Jesus is glorified because He obeyed unto death.

Memory Verse: Matthew 10:32, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven."

Supplementary Lesson: Puppet Skit—"I Vote For Jesus"

Visual Aids: Jesus (22), Peter (34), disciples (37, 38, 41), James (39), John (40), transfigured Jesus (52)

To the Teacher:

The Transfiguration was a preview of the glory Jesus would receive if He completed redemption. His sufferings were so hideous that He was able to endure them only by considering what lay beyond them. This is the wisdom of Christianity that separates it from all other religions: The love of God was so great that He Himself suffered to elevate man to his rightful position as companion of God. In other religions, the deities suffer nothing and salvation is attained by behavior.


Outline:

I. Jesus wanted His disciples to know who He really was.

A. There was a great deal of confusion about who Jesus was. The Jews thought that He was:

1. John the Baptist raised from the dead.

2. Elijah.

3. Some other prophet who had come back to life.

B. When He asked the disciples whom they believed He was, Peter answered, "You are the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the living God."

C. Jesus told His disciples that men could know this only by the help of the Holy Spirit.

1. Without the Holy Spirit, we could never understand anything about the Bible.

2. The Holy Spirit convicts men of sin and shows them their need of a Saviour.

D. The Lord told His disciples that He would build His church on the rock of divine revelation.

1. The church is made up of all those who have believed on Jesus.

2. When we believe the Word of God, we become anchored to a Rock that will keep us secure from the storms of life.

II. Jesus tried to explain to his disciples about His crucifixion.

A. The disciples knew Jesus was a king, but they thought He would overthrow the Romans and establish an earthly kingdom.

B. One day Jesus will return to this earth and will rule here as a king for a thousand years.

C. Jesus' most important task was to redeem men from sin. This could be done only by His death and resurrection.

D. Peter tried to stop Jesus from talking about the cross.

1. Jesus rebuked the devil who was trying to keep Him from obeying God.

2. The devil was behind the words that Peter spoke.

III. Jesus received a preview of what would happen if He obeyed God.

A. One day the Lord took Peter, James, and John to a high mountain.

B. On top of the mountain, Jesus began to shine with the glory of God.


C. Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared beside Jesus and talked to Him about the crucifixion.

D. The three disciples were amazed at what they had seen, and Jesus told them not to tell it until after He was raised from the dead.

E. The Lord showed Jesus the glory that would be His if He would be obedient to redeem man.

F. Jesus is now glorified and is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.


Spiritual Exercises:

Jesus was obedient.

He obeyed God in every way.

I am like Jesus for He has made me a new creature.

I am obedient.

I shall see the Glory of God.


PUPPET SKIT

I VOTE FOR JESUS

CHARACTERS: Host, Moses


HOST: We are so blessed to have a really famous Bible character in our class. He is known for being the baby in the basket, the man who led God's people out of Egypt, and the prophet who knew God face­ to face. Let us welcome Moses.

(Moses enters.)

MOSES: Glory to God. Glory to God. Well, well, it is good to be on earth again. I used to live here, you know.

HOST: Yes, I know. You used to be the leader of the Israelites. What a career you had!

MOSES: Yes, God allowed me to do many wonderful things for His glory.

HOST: What were some of the miracles you did?

MOSES: I really was only an instrument for God because His power did all the miracles. Let me see, I had a rod that could turn into a snake.

HOST: Wow, that sounds exciting.

MOSES: It was. I will never forget how my rod twisted and turned on the floor of Pharaoh's palace. I used that rod for just about every miracle God had me do.

HOST: Did you not stretch the rod over the waters of the Red Sea to divide them?

MOSES: Yes, I did. I used that rod to hit a rock and water gushed out from it. But, the funniest thing I ever did with that rod was to make frogs.

HOST: Was that when you were in Egypt and Pharaoh would not let God's people go?

MOSES: Yes, God wanted to help Pharaoh make up his mind to let us go so He made millions of frogs.

HOST: Toy frogs? Plastic frogs?

MOSES: No. God made real frogs, millions of them. Pharaoh had frogs in his shoes, his crown, his cereal bowl, his cup, his bed, and even in his cookie jar. It was hilarious. That was a funny miracle.

HOST: I can think of many other miracles you did with God's help.

MOSES: Yes, I saw my share of wonderful miracles.

HOST: You also wrote the first five books of the Bible.


MOSES: That is right. I wrote down what God told me to write. It was easy. He told me exactly what to say.

HOST: God gave you the Ten Commandments?

MOSES: Yes, I got them when I visited God on top of Mount Sinai.

HOST: Millions of people have been blessed by you, Moses. God used you to do miracles, lead His people out of Egypt, write His law, and many other things. What is the most important thing you ever did for God?

MOSES: The most important thing I ever did for the Lord was done after I died.

HOST: Wait a minute, did I hear you correctly? Did you say that the most important thing you ever did for the Lord was after you died?

MOSES: That is right. It happened over a thousand years after I died.

HOST: This sounds interesting. What did you do?

MOSES: Well, one day while Jesus was here on earth, He took Peter and James and John to the top of a mountain. When He was there, God sent me and Elijah, the prophet, to meet Jesus. I stood by Him to let Him know that I was behind all that He was doing.

HOST: That was a very important job.

MOSES: You are right. Many of the Jews did not believe that Jesus was God's Son and thought that Jesus was against my teachings.

HOST: He was not against you, was He?

MOSES: Of course not. He wanted to show people an even better way to live for God than I could.

HOST: You gave people God's laws and showed them what sin is.

MOSES: Yes, but Jesus came to give men new hearts so that they could keep from sinning. My law could only warn people about sin. Jesus showed people how to overcome sin.

HOST: Then it was important for you to help Jesus.

MOSES: It was very important. I knew He had to die on the cross so I told Him that the whole human race, including myself, was counting on Him to redeem us from sin.

HOST: I am sure that Jesus appreciated you giving Him a boost.

MOSES: Jesus was never discouraged, but I was glad I could cast my vote for Him and let Him know that He was doing the right thing.

HOST: I am casting my vote for Jesus, too. I elect Him as my Lord.

MOSES: I wish Jesus could win every election. Some folks will not let Jesus be Lord, so they vote for sin instead.

HOST: We are here to help boys and girls vote for the right choice, Jesus!

MOSES: Amen!



FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:


Has God ever given you a dream of what you will be or something you will do when you grow up? Tell us about it.


Questions for Review Game:


1. What was the Transfiguration a preview of?

2. Who did some of the Jews think Jesus was?

3. When Jesus asked His disciples who they thought He was, what did they say?

4. Who is it that helps us understand spiritual things?

6. Upon what did Jesus say He would build His Church?

6. Who is the Church made up of?

7. What was Jesus' most important task, and what was the only way it could be accomplished?

8. What happened to Jesus on top of the mountain?

9. Who appeared beside Jesus?

10. What were the reactions of Peter, James, and John to this event?

THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS


Scripture to Study: Luke 16:19 31

Central Truth: Selfishness displeases the Lord.

Memory Verse: Matthew 19:19, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."

Supplementary Lesson: Story—"Praying Luke McGee"

Visual Aids: Rich man (53), flames (54), dog (55), Lazarus (28)


To the Teacher:

The rich man went to Hell because he did not trust in the law of God, which was his only possible way to salvation. This is not a parable. It did actually take place for Jesus said,


"There was a certain rich man," as He began the story. Abraham is not a fictional character, but is real, and Jesus knew by revelation exactly what had happened. The man refused to obey the second greatest commandment of the law and thereby alienated his own soul from salvation.


Outline:

I. There was a rich man who had many luxuries.

A. The rich man wore the finest clothes money could buy.

B. Every meal was served in splendor. He always had a feast.

C. The rich man was very selfish and thought only of himself and his personal pleasures.

II. Lazarus, a miserable beggar, was laid at the rich man's gate.

A. Friends laid Lazarus at the rich man's gate hoping that he would receive help.

1. Lazarus had terrible sores on his body.

2. He ate the scraps that fell from the rich man's table.

3. The dogs that wandered around licked the sores on Lazarus' body.

B. The rich man had no compassion on Lazarus and did not use his wealth to glorify God.

1. He never paid any attention to Lazarus even though he could have done something to help him.

2. The rich man broke one of the great commandments—"Love thy neighbor as thyself' (Lev. 19:18).

III. Lazarus and the rich man both died.

A. Lazarus went to Heaven.

1. You do not have to be rich to go to Heaven.

2. God loves you just as you are, and if you trust Him, He will take good care of you.

B. The rich man went to Hell.

1. Even though the rich man could buy anything he wanted here on earth, he could not buy his way into Heaven.

2. God wants us to trust in Him, not in riches and wealth.

3. The rich man went to Hell because he did not honor the laws of God.

C. While Lazarus was enjoying himself in Heaven, the rich man was being tormented in Hell.

1. Heaven is a place of joy and happiness.

2. Hell is a place of torment and pain.

3. No one should have to go to Hell. God intended that men go to Heaven and that the devil and his wicked angels go to Hell.

D. The rich man begged Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his brothers about Hell.

1. Abraham told the man that if his brothers would not believe God's Word, they would not accept the testimony of one raised from the dead.

2. God's Word produces faith.

E. We should always love and help others, even those who do not have nice clothes and are unlovely.

1. Jesus died for you while you were still in sin. Sin is more ugly than the filthiest rags you can find.

2. Jesus said if you could not love your brother whom you have seen, then how could you love God whom you have not seen.

3. Love is very important. Practice loving those around you—you will be more like Jesus!


Spiritual Exercises:

I believe God's Word.

Hell was not made for me.

I choose Jesus as Lord.

He is my door to Heaven.

I will glorify Jesus while I live.

And I will enjoy His presence forever.


STORY

PRAYING LUKE McGEE

"Get off my land or I will blow you to pieces!" yelled Luke McGee. "I put a sign up to warn trespassers about coming on my land. Now get out!"

Gospel Bill had never seen such a hateful man. He had not wanted to come to McGee's ranch, but he wanted to help a poor family that lived nearby.

"Please, Mr. McGee," asked Gospel Bill. "Please let me talk to you for just one minute."

"I do not have time to talk with trespassers!" yelled McGee.

"I will be leaving in just a minute," said Bill, "But I have got to ask you one thing. The family that lives to the south of you is in trouble. Their well went dry, and they desperately need water for their cattle. There is not another drop of water on their place."

"That is no fault of mine," said McGee. "I did not ask them to move there."

"They are good, hard working people," pleaded Bill. "I just came to ask you if they could water their cattle out of your lake until they dig a new well."

"No!" stormed Luke McGee. "I need every drop of that lake water for my own herd."

"But you do not have a single cow in the pasture where the lake is. You have got water in eight or ten places," protested Bill. "And besides, they are willing to pay you for the water or work off the debt."

"The answer is no!" yelled the stubborn rancher. "Now I am warning you—get off my land!" McGee raised his rifle and pointed it at Gospel Bill.

"All right," said Bill. "I am leaving. I sure hate to see you treat folks that way. Trouble is, it will hurt you a whole lot more than it will hurt them." Bill turned his horse and rode away from the ranch.

Soon, Gospel Bill rode up to a small shack and got off his horse. A thin man, his wife, and two small children came from the shack. "What did he say?" asked the man.

"He said no," replied Bill. "I did my best to talk him into it, but he just will not let you water your cows at that lake."

"Well, you did all you could," said the man. "I sure do thank you for talking to McGee for me. He told me last month that if I ever came on his land again, he would shoot me for sure!"

"He is that kind of fellow all right," said Bill. "He is a miserable man."

"Miserable?" asked the thin man. "He has got a huge ranch and he owns the bank. How could he be miserable?"

"The amount of money a man has does not make him happy for long," said Bill. "Old McGee is as miserable as can be because he is full of hate. Hating folks is a miserable way to live."

The next day as Gospel Bill rode toward Dry Gulch, he saw a wagon stuck in the sand. He rode to help and was surprised to see that it was Luke McGee. As he came near, he could hear McGee yelling at his horses and beating them with a whip.

"Need some help?" said Gospel Bill as he rode up to McGee.

"No, thanks," said Luke McGee. "I will get out of this myself."

"It would be a lot easier if you would let me help you," said Bill. "I can throw a rope onto your wagon and give your horses a boost."

"Mister," said the man angrily. "You do not hear well. I told you that I do not want your help!" Upon saying that, McGee fumed and began to beat his horses wildly. The tired animals did their best, but the wagon was too heavy to pull out of the sand.

Bill spurred his horse and started to ride away when he heard McGee cry, "My heart! My heart!" Turning quickly, he saw McGee clutch his chest and fall to the ground. Gospel Bill raced back to the wagon and lifted McGee into the back of it.

Bill was relieved to find that McGee was still breathing, but he was unconscious. Bill grabbed his canteen and poured water over McGee's face, but the man did not awaken.

Bill knew that he must get McGee into town, so he tied a rope to the wagon and pulled with his horse. Soon, the wagon pulled loose and Bill jumped into the seat to drive McGee to the doctor.

On the way into town, Bill prayed, "Dear Father, do not let this man die now. He will go to Hell just as sure as can be. Lord, give me one chance to tell him about You. I ask You in Jesus' Name."

The wagon finally arrived in Dry Gulch and Bill carried Luke McGee into the doctor's office. After a couple of hours, McGee opened his eyes and sat up on the bed.

"Oh, please forgive me," cried Luke as he looked at Gospel Bill. "Please, oh, please forgive me. I treated you shamefully and you saved my life in spite of it. Thank you, Bill." Bill was shocked. Could this really be happening?

"What has happened to you?" asked Bill. "I have never heard you say a kind word to anyone."

"Oh, it is real, it is real!" said McGee. "It is a real place and I almost went there!"

"What are you talking about?" asked Gospel Bill.

"I almost went to Hell forever," said McGee, "but you prayed for me and saved my life."

"You were unconscious," said Gospel Bill. "How could you hear what I said?"

"God let me hear you pray and He showed me that awful place while I was lying in the back of the wagon," cried McGee. "I have been hateful ever since I can remember. It started when I was a kid in church.

"You went to church when you were a child?" asked Bill.

"Oh, yes," said McGee. "My parents took me to church, but I never became a Christian. I did not believe that there was a Hell, and one Sunday when the preacher talked about it, I got mad and ran away."

"Well," said Bill, "now you know better. Hell is real because the Bible says so. Thank God you do not have to go there."

"How can I be sure of that?" asked McGee.

"You can keep out of Hell by trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour," Bill explained.

"That is why Jesus came—to keep men from going to Hell."

"Let us pray, quick!" said McGee. Bill showed Luke McGee from the Word of God exactly how to be saved and the hardened rancher bowed his head and asked Christ into his heart.

A few days passed and Bill was visiting McGee's poor neighbor who was rounding up his cattle to sell. They were both surprised to see Luke McGee riding toward them

followed by a herd of twenty cows.

"Hello," said McGee as he came near. "I thought I would let this fellow have his cows back. It seems they strayed onto my land."

"Those are not my cattle," replied the neighbor. "They are carrying your brand. Besides, my cattle are not that fat."

"Gospel Bill," said McGee, "will you explain to this fellow that I do not want these cows. By the way, the gate is open to the lake. You can water there as long as you like."

Bill was blessed, but his friend was shocked. McGee turned his horse and rode away. "What happened to him?" asked the man. "Is Luke McGee himself?"

"I do not think he is the same man. He had a change of heart," said Bill. "Come on, we had better get this herd to water."

FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:


Jesus said that you would reap what you sowed. Or in other words, what you do to other people will be done to you. Have you ever known someone who was selfish and treated other people badly. Maybe he wouldn't share his toys, or maybe he would hit other kids. Did anything bad ever happen to this selfish person?


Questions for Review Game:


1. How did the rich man live?

2. How did Lazarus, the beggar, live in comparison to the rich man?

3. What commandment did the rich man break each time he passed by Lazarus?

4. Did the rich man help the beggar?

5. When the rich man died, what happened to him?

6. When Lazarus died, what happened to him?

7. What are some of the differences between Heaven and Hell?

8. What did the rich man beg for Abraham to do?

9. Was Hell intended for men?

10. Does being rich or being poor cause you to go to Heaven?

























JESUS AND THE CHILDREN


Scripture to Study: Matthew 19:13 15; Mark 10:13 16

Central Truth: Jesus loves children, and they are important to Him.

Memory Verse: Matthew 19:14, "Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven."

Supplementary Lesson: Puppet Skit—"The Very Important Person"

Visual Aids: Crowd (9,18, 20), Jesus (22), disciples (34, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41), children (56)

To the Teacher:

Children have always been dear to God, and from the description of Heaven in Revelation, God has kids in mind. Allow the love of the Father to flow through you to your children as you minister this precious lesson. The ideas children have about God are formed by the way adults treat them.


Outline:

I. There are parents who brought their children to Jesus.

A. They wanted Him to lay His hands on them and bless them.

1. It was an Old Testament practice for priests to bless the children.

2. Laying on of hands set the children apart for the kingdom of God.

B. The disciples thought such an idea was silly and rebuked the people.

C. When Jesus saw what was done, He stopped the disciples and commanded that the children be brought forth.

D. He took them in His arms and blessed them. Jesus told His disciples that the kingdom of Heaven is full of children.

II. God always has time for children.

A. God is not too busy for children and always hears their prayers.

B. He sends guardian angels to protect children and to keep them safe from harm.

C. In Old Testament times, God used many children in His work.

1. Joseph had dreams by the Holy Spirit.

2. Samuel had a visit from the Lord.

3. David killed a lion, a bear, and a giant with God's help.

D. God's Word says that children can be saved and filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:17 and 39).

III. Children must become the children of God.

A. When children are young, they are not held accountable for their sins or disobedience.

B. As a child grows up and discovers sin, he then must answer for the wrong things he does.

C. By accepting Jesus as Lord, children can become God's children and be saved.

D. Children must learn the scripture and how to obey God as they grow up (Deuteronomy 6:1 9).

Spiritual Exercises:

Jesus loves me. Father God loves me. The angels of God are round about me.

I am precious in the eyes of God. I will ever be mindful of Jesus' love for me.

I will walk with my Heavenly Father and please Him all the days of my life.


PUPPET SKIT

THE VERY IMPORTANT PERSON

CHARACTERS: Host, Boy


HOST Today, we have one of the most important people of the Bible coming to our class. I do not know this person's name, but I have been told that he was very special to Jesus.

(Boy enters.)

BOY: Hello.

HOST Hi, we are waiting for a very important Bible character to visit our class.

BOY: Oh, really?

HOST Yes, have you seen him?

BOY: No, I have not seen any important Bible characters. Do you know his name?

HOST No, I do not know his name but his story is told in Matthew, chapter nineteen. Jesus stopped everything He was doing just to lay hands on this guy.

BOY: Oh, you are probably talking about me.

HOST You? You are not a famous Bible character, are you? What important thing did you do?

BOY: Well, I am not really famous, but I am important! Jesus laid His hands on me and blessed me, even when His disciples tried to send me away. Kids are important to God.

HOST You are right. Now I remember the very story you are talking about. There were many moms and dads who brought their children to Jesus so that He could bless them.

BOY: And the disciples thought it was a big waste of time. They tried to make us leave.

HOST: Then Jesus stopped His disciples and told you to come to Him. He was such a nice man.

BOY: He made me feel so important.

HOST: Kids are very important. Can you tell these kids why they are important?

BOY: Well, first of all, children are people. They are made in the image of God, and He created us all to have fellowship with Him.

HOST: Fellowship is what we have with friends. It is talking and playing and enjoying each other.

BOY: Everybody needs a friend—even God. He wants us kids to be His friends.

HOST: Can children really understand God?

BOY: Of course, they can. It is not hard to know God. In fact, the best time to get to know God is when we are young.

HOST: Did you know that people without God grow hard in their hearts as they get older?

BOY: Yeah, and that is why it is important to know Jesus when you are young. God wants kids to live for Him even before they grow up.

HOST: How can a kid accept Jesus as his Saviour?

BOY: He can do it the same way that grown ups do. First, he must believe in his heart that God raised Jesus from the dead. Next, he must say with his mouth that Jesus is Lord.

HOST: That is really simple.

BOY: God's plan is simple. We can accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour only by asking in faith.

HOST: Kids, you are special to God.

BOY: Yeah, there is a lot in the Bible about kids. David was just a kid when he killed Goliath.

HOST: Joseph was just a kid when he had special dreams from God.

BOY: Josiah became the King of Israel when he was only eight years old.

HOST: Timothy, the helper of the great apostle Paul, started learning scriptures when he was only a child.

BOY: Kids are special to God. He made Heaven with kids in mind.

HOST: Heaven is a kids' place?

BOY: Oh, yes! There is a beautiful river for swimming called the River of Life. Kids can breathe under the water.

HOST: Well, what about school? Do children get a summer vacation?

BOY: There is no school in Heaven. It never gets dark there, either. Kids can play with friends for years, and their parents do not have to worry. Since there is no evil in Heaven, nothing could possibly harm them.

HOST: Kids playing that hard would probably have to eat lots of vegetables to keep strong.

BOY: Well, the only food we eat is manna and fruit that grows on the trees. They are delicious.

HOST: Heaven sounds wonderful.

BOY: It is! God has made it so beautiful that it is impossible to describe.

HOST: I have learned a lesson today.

BOY: What is that?

HOST: Kids are very special to God. Thank you for being in our class.

BOY: You are welcome. It was my pleasure. Good bye.

(He leaves.)

HOST: That boy helped me to see how special children are. Kids are very important people to Jesus. Hey, I forgot to ask his name.



FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:


Have you ever had something really important to tell your mother or father, but they were too busy to listen to you right then? How did you feel? Did you know that there is someone who loves you very much who is never too busy to listen? God is never too busy to listen to you.


Questions for Review Game:


1. What did the parents want Jesus to do to their children?

2. What did the disciples think of this idea?

3. What was Jesus' reaction to their requests?

4. Does Jesus always have time for you?

5. Who does God send to protect children?

6. In Old Testament times, how was Joseph used by God as a child?

7. How was Samuel used by God?

8. How was David used by God?

9. Do children need to be saved?

10. Explain how a child can be saved.

THE RICH YOUNG RULER

Scripture to Study: Luke 18:18 30

Central Truth: Giving to God is rewarding both spiritually and financially.

Memory Verse: Luke 6:38, "Give, and it shall be given unto you."

Supplementary Lesson: Game—"Pin The Word On The Devil"

Visual Aids: Jesus (22), tree (26), disciples (34, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41), rich young ruler (57)

To the Teacher:

Many misinterpret what Jesus taught in this story and surmise that God wants His children to be poor. The fact is that Jesus was endeavoring to bless the young ruler with more than he had, through the law of giving. If we learn to give, financial harvest is certain. Giving with proper motives keeps men from trusting riches and turns them toward God.


Outline:

I. There was a rich young man who came to Jesus with an important question.

A. He wanted to know how to inherit eternal life.

1. Eternal life is the life of God that enters a person at the new birth.

2. Our spirits can never die or be separated from God when we have eternal life.

B. Jesus told the young man to keep the law of Moses, for until He died and rose again, men had to obey the Law to be saved.

C. The young man was disappointed in Jesus' answer, for he had obeyed the Law since childhood and still had emptiness in his heart.

II. Jesus told the young man how to be full of joy.

A. He told him to sell all that he had and give to the poor.

B. The rich young ruler was saddened because he did not want to give his money away.

1. This young man considered earthly wealth to be more important than heavenly wealth.

2. He worshipped money.

C. The young ruler turned away and did not obey the saying of Jesus.

III. Jesus told His disciples the truth about riches.

A. He said that it was easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.

1. The needle's eye refers to the small door in the large gates of the cities through which a camel might pass, if he were unloaded and on his knees.

2. The idea here is that the rich man must lay aside the love of money to enter the kingdom of God.

B. Jesus' disciples were amazed at His answer and asked, "Who then can be saved?"

1. They were obviously men of some means.

2. They misunderstood what Jesus was saying.

C. Jesus was not teaching against men having riches, but against riches having men.

D. By giving, the financial blessing that would have passed to the young ruler would have been overwhelming (Luke 6:38).

  1. God is not opposed to our prosperity, but He does not want us to trust in riches.


Spiritual Exercises:

I know the grace of my Lord Jesus.

He was made poor, so I could be rich.

I trust in God who abundantly supplies all my needs.

FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:


The Bible says "He who trusts in his riches shall fall" (Proverbs 11:28). Have you ever planned to get some money for a present, or for some work you did, or for something you were selling? Before you got it, you had already figured out how you were going to spend your money. But as it turned out, you didn't get as much as you had planned. How did you feel?


Tell us your story.


(Teacher: Between each story, repeat the fact that it's better to trust God than to trust in money.)


Questions for Review Game:


1. What important question did the rich man have for Jesus?

2. What is eternal life?

3. Why was the young man disappointed with Jesus' answer?

4. What did Jesus tell the rich man to do with his money?

5. Why did this make the rich young ruler sad?

6. Did the rich man obey Jesus?

7. What did Jesus say was easier to do than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God?

8. What was the needle's eye?

9. Was Jesus teaching that men could not have riches?

10. Is God against prosperity?

BARTIMAEUS' NEW EYES


Scripture to Study: Mark 10:46 52

Central Truth: Healing belongs to us.

Memory Verse: Matthew 21:22, "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive."

Supplementary Lesson: Object Lesson—"Do Not Sign For Sickness"

Visual Aids: City (12), crowd (9,18, 20), Jesus (22), tree (26), disciples (34, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41), blind man (50), blind man healed (51 )

To the Teacher:

This lesson clearly demonstrates how important an individual's faith is in receiving from God.


"Thy faith hath made thee whole," was the statement from Jesus to Bartimaeus. The power of God is still available today to those who, in faith, demand what Jesus provided for mankind in redemption. Bartimaeus asked to receive his sight, indicating that he knew that healing belonged to him.


Outline:

I. There was a blind beggar who lived in Jericho named Bartimaeus.

A. He had no means of making money.

1. All he could do was sit by the roadside and beg.

2. Bartimaeus was very poor, and many nights he had no place to sleep and nothing to eat.

B. As was the custom of the day, Bartimaeus wore a bright red cloak as a sign to others that he was blind.

C. The devil made Bartimaeus blind, for he is responsible for all sickness.

II. Jesus went on a trip to Jericho.

A. A great crowd followed Him.

B. Jesus was coming to preach in Jericho.

1. Jesus always preached good news.

2. He preached about healing and deliverance.

C. When Bartimaeus heard the noise of the crowd, he asked who was coming and was thrilled to hear it was Jesus.

D. When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus was coming, he began to call out to Him at the top of his lungs.

E. Bartimaeus had faith in Jesus, for he called Him the Son of David.

III. Jesus heard Bartimaeus' cry of faith.

A. Jesus is always ready to help when faith cries. Faith always gets an answer.

B. The people around Bartimaeus told him to be quiet.

1. They told him Jesus was not interested in him.

2. This was a lie from the devil.

C. Jesus called for Bartimaeus. The beggar cast off his blind man's garment and went in faith to Jesus.

D. When Jesus asked Bartimaeus what he wanted, he told the Lord that he wanted his sight.

E. Jesus told Bartimaeus that his faith made him whole.

1. Bartimaeus received his sight.

2. Had he not believed, he would not have been healed.

  1. God's Word is what Jesus would say if He lived on earth today. If we have faith in Jesus, we will have faith in God's Word.


Spiritual Exercises:

Healing belongs to me.

Jesus paid for it with His stripes.

When I ask for healing, I receive what belongs to me.

I know God is willing for me to enjoy what Jesus bought for me.


OBJECT LESSON

DO NOT SIGN FOR SICKNESS!

Scripture Reference: James 4:7, "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

Materials Needed: Parcel package with these words marked on it: "measles," "chicken pox," "cancer," "colds," "flu," and "sickness." A receipt book similar to what a package delivery clerk would use, gloves

To Prepare: Find a helper with a gruff voice. Have him attempt to deliver a package of sickness to you through the door of your class. The helper should not be seen except for his hands, and they should be gloved.

Lesson:

Teacher: The Word of God tells us that Satan is walking about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. He is out delivering packages of trouble to anyone who will take them. Thank God, we do not have to receive what Satan is delivering. We have authority over him in Jesus' Name.


(There should be a knock on the door.)


Voice: Special delivery package for the teacher. I have a fun box just for you. (The devil should attempt to get the teacher to take the package.)


Teacher: I was not expecting any packages.

Voice: Not many people do. This one is a surprise from your dear old Uncle Measles. Just sign here on the dotted line, and it is all yours for free!

Teacher: I will not sign for this. It is marked "sickness." I do not want any of that! Mr. Devil, the Word of God says, "Himself took my infirmities and bare my sicknesses!" (With these words, close the door on the devil, but his package should remain in the room.)


Teacher: I am not going to sign for this package. It is not mine. It does not belong to me. The devil is just like a person who delivers packages. Have you ever received a package? To keep the package, you must first sign for it. The devil wants me to sign for this package of sickness, but I refuse to. The way we sign for Satan's packages is to say the wrong thing with our mouths. If I said, "I am sick. I have the measles," I would be signing for this package. (Pick up the package and throw it out the door.) I am not receiving what the devil is delivering.


(Once again there is a knock at the door. Repeat the same action two times. The teacher will do well in repeating over and over what it means to resist a satanic delivery. At the end of the third refusal, finish the lesson with the following instructions.)

Teacher: The devil is a persistent fellow. He comes with temptation over and over again. So, as often as he comes our way, we must resist him. Remember, when we say the wrong words it is the same as signing for the package. Do not receive measles, mumps, flu, colds, or chicken pox. Do not sign for them!



FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:


Blind Bartimaeus was thrilled when he heard that Jesus was coming. He reached out with faith and received his healing. Is there any sickness in your body today? Would you like to reach out right now and receive your healing by faith, just like Bartimaeus did? Let us take a moment and do that right now!


Questions for Review Game:


1. Who was Bartimaeus?

2. Why did he wear a bright red cloak

3. Who made Bartimaeus blind?

4. What did Bartimaeus do when he heard that Jesus was coming his way?

5. How did Jesus know Bartimaeus had faith to be healed?

6. What did the people around Bartimaeus say when they heard him yelling?

7. What did Bartimaeus tell Jesus he wanted?

8. What did Jesus tell him that made him whole?

9. Why does healing belong to us?

10. How do we know that God wants us to be free from sickness?

























THE KING ENTERS JERUSALEM

Scripture to Study: Matthew 21:1 16

Central Truth: Jesus is worthy of our adoration and worship.

Memory Verse: Romans 10:9, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in shine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."

Supplementary Lesson: Story—"A Gift For Percy"

Visual Aids: Donkey (4), flock of sheep (7), camel (8), crowd (9, 20, 56), Pharisees (18), Jesus (22), disciples (34, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41)

To the Teacher:

The Lord deserves our highest praise. Too often, we underestimate the value of simply offering Him our thanks. Jesus taught that children imitating their parents was considered "perfect praise" and received it without hesitation. It is a good thing when boys and girls imitate the godly characteristics of their elders, even when they do not fully understand what they are doing.


Outline:

I. Jesus entered Jerusalem triumphantly as a king.

A. He sent His disciples to borrow a donkey to ride upon.

1. He knew by the Holy Spirit where the donkey was.

2. The owners did not previously know that Jesus wanted their animal, but they were pleased to loan it.

B. When Jesus entered Jerusalem on the donkey, multitudes of people praised Him as the Messiah.

1. They thought He was going to liberate them from the Romans.

2. They did not understand that He had to die for the sins of all men.

C. The multitudes praised Jesus as the Son of David and this angered the Pharisees (Luke 19:37 40).

1. We were created to praise God.

2. Jesus told the Pharisees that if the people would not praise Him, the rocks would cry out.

II. Jesus went into the Temple and expelled the crooked merchants.

A. He overturned the tables of the money changers and merchants.

1. This fulfilled a prophecy found in Jeremiah 7:11.

2. These men cheated and overcharged the worshippers.

B. Jesus had every right to cleanse the Temple, for it belonged to His Father.

C. The Temple of God was meant to be a house of prayer for all nations (Isaiah 56:7).

1. God no longer lives in the Temple at Jerusalem or any other building.

2. God makes His home in men.

III. Jesus showed the Jews the correct way to use the Temple.

A. He healed the blind and the lame.

1. God's will is healing.

2. As we worship God, His power begins to flow.

B. The children of Jerusalem followed Jesus into the Temple and began to praise Him.

1. They imitated their parents in their praises.

2. Jesus was very pleased.

C. The devil's crowd was more angry at the children praising God than at the healings that occurred.

D. Jesus told the critics that perfect praise comes out of the mouth of the young.

1. Perfect praise is sincere worship.

2. Children should continually offer praise to God.

E. Praising God in other tongues is a wonderful way to express our thanks to God.


Spiritual Exercises:

I will magnify the Lord.

For He is worthy to be praised.

Jesus Christ is Lord.

I will sing His praise all the day long.

Praising my Lord Jesus makes my spirit strong.


STORY

A GIFT FOR PERCY

Gospel Bill tied his horse to the hitching post and walked toward the doors of the church. As he started to open the door, he heard crying coming from within. Not wanting to disturb the person inside, Bill turned away and sat down beside his horse.

The crying became so loud that Bill could hear it easily from where he sat.

"Oh dear God, please forgive me. Please forgive me. I know I am just a sinner. I will never amount to anything, but please forgive me," cried the voice from inside the church.

The crying lasted for over half an hour. Bill had almost decided to leave when the door opened. It was Percy Miller, the blacksmith.

"Hello, Percy," said Gospel Bill.

"Oh hi, Gospel Bill," said Percy sadly. Bill had expected Percy to be full of joy after praying for so long, but the man looked miserable.

"What is the matter?" asked Bill.

"I am all right," said Percy as he walked down the street to his shop. Bill went inside to pray for the next day's service.

In the Sunday morning service, Pastor Martin preached a message about receiving Jesus as Saviour. It was a stirring sermon, and four people walked the aisle to pray and receive Jesus.

As they walked by, Bill noticed Percy in the group. He wanted to be saved.

Percy got on his knees and began to weep as he prayed. "Oh dear God, please forgive me. Please forgive me. I know I am just a sinner, and I will never amount to anything. Please, God forgive me."

When Percy rose from prayer, he looked very sad. Gospel Bill wondered why Percy had come forward to be saved, since Percy had accepted Christ four years earlier when he first moved to Dry Gulch. Something is wrong with Percy, thought Bill.

The next week, Gospel Bill was riding through Dry Gulch and noticed a large crowd in front of Percy's blacksmith shop. I wonder what all the commotion is about, he thought as he rode into the crowd for a closer look.

"Get my horse next," said one man.

"I was here first," argued another.

As the two men argued, Bill asked them, "Why is there such a crowd at Percy's? He is not usually this busy."

"He is giving away free horse shoes until five o'clock," said one man. "Everybody in town is trying to get in on this!"

"Not me," said Gospel Bill. He looked at Percy's face and saw that he still was not happy. Something is not right, Bill thought.

Late that night, Gospel Bill walked out of his office and got on his horse. He could see that the lights were on at the church. "I did not know there was anything happening at church," he said to himself. "I think I will ride down to see what is going on."

As Gospel Bill tied his horse, he could hear that familiar voice crying, "Oh dear God, please forgive me. I know I am just a sinner, and I will never amount to anything. Please, oh please, Lord, forgive me!"

It was Percy crying and begging God for forgiveness. Bill did not want to disturb Percy even though he knew that something was wrong.

The next day, Gospel Bill was sitting in the barber shop getting a haircut when Jed Stevens walked in with a new suit of clothes. "Look at these clothes, will you," said Jed, smiling. "I do not understand it," he added. "I was just walking down the sidewalk in front of the bank when Percy Miller walked out with a sack of money. He took me and Elmer Smith down to the store and bought us these clothes."

"Well, he is very nice," said the barber.

"He sure is," said Jed. "He spent all his saved up money on me and Elmer." Gospel Bill shook his head. He knew that it was good to give, but Percy was not joyful in his giving. “Why does he think he has to do all these things?” he wondered.

As Bill walked toward Percy's shop, he met a group of boys who each had five lollipops.

"Look, Mister," said one boy. "Percy Miller bought us all this candy." Bill walked on. Percy was not in his shop, but Bill knew exactly where to find him.

When Bill reached the church, he could hear Percy crying at the top of his lungs, "Oh dear God, please forgive me. Please, oh Lord, please forgive me. I am nothing but a sinner and—"

"Shut that up!" yelled Bill as he marched in the door. Percy's eyes were big as saucers as he turned to see Gospel Bill coming down the aisle. Gospel Bill walked straight to Percy and stood him up.

"Percy," said Bill. "You listen to me. I have been watching you for weeks, and you are not doing right."

"But, I have been praying and asking God to forgive me and I—" Percy said.

"Stop!" said Bill. "You are trying to earn your salvation."

"I have got to prove to God that I mean business about being saved," cried Percy. "He just will not hear my prayers. That is why I have been doing good deeds. Someday, I know He will hear me."

"Percy," said Bill, "that is nothing but garbage. God loves you so much that He sent Jesus to be your sacrifice. Jesus died for you, Percy. You do not have to earn salvation. It is a free gift."

"But I have not felt anything," said Percy.

"You cannot tell by your feelings whether or not God hears you," said Bill. "The Bible says that if you believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, and if you call Him Lord, you shall be saved!"

"Even if I do not feel like He is hearing me?" asked Percy.

"Is God a liar?" asked Gospel Bill.

"Of course not!" said Percy.

"Then the Bible must be true. If you do what it says, you will be saved," said Gospel Bill.

"So, I am saved?" asked Percy.

"You are saved," said Bill. "Jesus' sacrifice was enough. You do not have to earn your way to Heaven. And by the way, you are not just an old sinner   you are a child of God."

The next week, Bill went to the church to pray. As he came near, he heard that same voice coming from inside. Oh, no, thought Bill, I will just have to have another talk with Percy. Bill opened the door, and to his surprise, Percy was dancing all over the church.

"I am saved! I am saved!" shouted Percy. "I’m a child of God, and I do not have to earn it!"

Bill ran to join Percy and let out a yell. "Yee haw!"



FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:


Have you ever been in a church service where everyone got really excited about praising God? What happened? How did you feel afterward? Was it easier for you to praise and worship God while everyone around you was doing that too?


Questions for Review Game:


1. On what did Jesus ride when He entered the city of Jerusalem?

2. Did anyone see Jesus come into the city that day?

3. What did the people think Jesus was going to do?

4. What group of people were upset that the multitudes called Jesus the Son of David?

5. What did Jesus say would cry out if the people would not praise Him?

6. What did Jesus do to the money changers and merchants?

7. What did Jesus do to the blind and the lame people?

8. Does Jesus like it when children praise Him?

9. Fill in the blank: Jesus said that children gave Him praise.

10. When should children offer praise to God?

JESUS, MASTER OVER DEATH

Scripture to Study: John 11:1 45

Central Truth: Life is mightier than death.

Memory Verse: I Corinthians 15:26, "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death."

Supplementary Lesson: Puppet Skit—"Alive Again"

Visual Aids: Martha (2), crowd (9,18, 20), Jesus (21),Disciples (34, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41) Mary (59), Lazarus (60), large stone (61)

To the Teacher:

This story reveals how the Life of God is mightier than death. God is more powerful than the devil. Teach the children that even though death is a promotion to the believer, we should expect to live out our lives to the seventy years God promises in Psalm 90:10.


Outline:

I. Jesus received word that His friend Lazarus was sick.

A. Jesus was ministering in another town.

1. Lazarus' sisters, Mary and Martha, sent someone to tell Jesus to come and help Lazarus.

2. Jesus should be the first one we go to when we need help.

B. Jesus loved Lazarus very much.

1. He did not want Lazarus to be sick.

2. Jesus does not want you to be sick, either.

C. Physical death came into the world only after Adam sinned. God never intended for men to die.

II. Before Jesus reached Lazarus' house, Lazarus died.

A. Jesus did not become alarmed.

1. Jesus knew that Lazarus would be all right.

2. It is never too late for God to help us.

B. Lazarus had been dead for four days. People had gathered to mourn and weep.

1. Lazarus' body died because of sickness.

2. His spirit had left his body and was in Paradise.

C. Jesus was moved with love when He saw how sad Mary and Martha were.

III. Jesus went with Mary and Martha to Lazarus' tomb.

A. Lazarus was buried in a cave covered by a large stone.

B. Jesus commanded that the stone be rolled away.

1. Martha cried out, "Lord, he has been dead for four days. His body stinks by now."

2. Jesus reminded Martha to believe Him, and she would see God work.

C. Jesus looked towards Heaven and thanked God for hearing His prayer, then He cried out loudly, "Lazarus, come forth!"

IV. Lazarus received life because Jesus was not moved by what He saw.

A. When Jesus cried out, Lazarus came forth still bound up in his grave clothes.

B. Jesus told the people to loose Lazarus and let him go free.

C. Many who saw what had happened believed on Jesus.

D. The life of God is stronger than death.

E. We should not be afraid of death.

1. We have been promised a long life (Eph. 6:1 3, Psalm 91:16).

2. Heaven awaits the child of God who dies.


Spiritual Exercises:

I will honor my father and mother.

My life will be filled with good.

It will be well with me, and I shall live long upon the earth.

Death has no grip on me.

I will glorify God with a long life. I will enjoy His salvation.


PUPPET SKIT

ALIVE AGAIN!

CHARACTERS: Host, Lazarus

HOST: What a special guest we have today! This man was a good friend of Jesus and had two sisters—Mary and Martha. He was attacked with sickness and died, but after four days in the grave something wonderful happened. Jesus raised him from the dead. Give a big welcome to Lazarus.

(Lazarus enters.)

LAZARUS: Glory to God. Hello, my name is Lazarus.

HOST: We are honored to have you, Lazarus. You have quite a testimony. Would you share it with us?

LAZARUS: I would love to. I love to glorify Jesus. He is so good to me.

HOST: Your sisters and you were close friends of Jesus, is that true?

LAZARUS: That is right. We were very close to Jesus when He was ministering here on the earth. I knew He was the Son of God the first time I heard Him preach.

HOST: What kind of sermons did Jesus preach?

LAZARUS: He preached about setting people free from anything that bound them. He set people free from worry, sickness, fear, sin, and even death.

HOST: What happened to you?

LAZARUS: Well, I believe it was shortly before Jesus died on the cross when I became very sick. We sent a message to Jesus to come pray because I knew He could make me well.­

HOST: Jesus had authority over sickness.

LAZARUS: He certainly did, but I kept getting worse until finally, I died.

HOST: Your spirit left your body.

LAZARUS: That is right. I still remember how it was. My spirit came out of my body, and it went down to the middle of the earth.

HOST: The middle of the earth? You were not going to

LAZARUS: Oh, no. I went to a place called Abraham's Bosom or Paradise. It was really nice.

HOST: Then, you must have been near Hell.

LAZARUS: We could see over into Hell, but it was impossible to get to it because of a gigantic pit that separated us. I would not have gone over there even if I could have.

HOST: Hell is an awful place. God did not make it for men, but for the devil and his angels.

LAZARUS: That is true, but I saw men in Hell. They were there because they chose to be.

HOST: Do you mean that some people were foolish enough to choose to go to Hell?


LAZARUS: The only way to stay out is to choose to believe on Jesus as your Saviour. Some people do not want to do that.


HOST: What a shame. No one has to go there because Jesus paid for our sin. It is so unnecessary. Well, you had better finish your story.

LAZARUS: After being in Paradise for four days, something strange happened. I heard the voice of Jesus, and He was calling my name.

HOST: You heard Jesus' voice even though you were dead?

LAZARUS: Oh, yes. Dead people do not cease to be. They just do not live in their bodies anymore. The spirit and soul go away, so the body dies.

HOST: I see. Well, what did Jesus say?

LAZARUS: He said "Lazarus, come forth." I was pulled back to earth and got back into my body. Ha ha ha. (He chuckles.)

HOST: What is so funny?

LAZARUS: I could hardly move because my body was wrapped like a mummy in grave clothes. I hopped out of the grave and got rid of those clothes.

HOST: I am sure your sisters were glad to see you.

LAZARUS: Oh, they were. Boy, am I ever glad that Jesus came. He is the boss over all things—even death.

HOST: Jesus will make all the believers who are already dead to live again. They will all rise from the dead.

LAZARUS: Well, I have got to get back to Heaven.

HOST: Heaven? I thought Jesus raised you from the dead?

LAZARUS: He did, but I still got old and died. The second time I did not go to Paradise.

HOST: What happened?

LAZARUS: When Jesus died on the cross and rose again, He took all the people in Paradise to Heaven. That is where we all live now.

HOST: I am glad you came today, Lazarus.

LAZARUS: So am I. I will return again someday with Jesus when He comes.

HOST: Oh, when is that?

LAZARUS: Only Father God knows for sure, and He is not telling. I know it is soon, though. I can tell there is a big difference in Heaven. Things are being made ready for our great supper. Good bye.

(He leaves.)

HOST: Good bye! Jesus is Lord even over death and one day will cause all God's children to live without dying.

FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:

Jesus loved Lazarus very much and did not want him to be sick. He prayed for His friend. God healed Lazarus and raised him from the dead. Have you ever prayed for a friend who needed to be healed? Tell us about it?

Do you have a friend who needs to be healed right now? Let's pray for him or her.


Questions for Review Game:


1. How did Jesus know that Lazarus was sick?

2. What happened before Jesus reached Lazarus' house?

3. How long had Lazarus been dead before Jesus came?

4. Where had Lazarus' spirit gone?

5. Where was Lazarus' body?

6. What did Jesus say to do with the stone that covered the tomb?

7. After Jesus prayed and thanked God for hearing His prayers, what did He tell Lazarus to do?

8. What did Lazarus do?

9. Which is stronger, the life of God or death?

10. Should we be afraid of death?

THE LAST SUPPER

Scripture to Study: Matthew 26:17 30

Central Truth: God has established a covenant with man.

Memory Verse: Matthew 26:28, "For this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Supplementary Lesson: Story—"Blood Brothers"

Visual Aids: Jesus (33), disciples (34, 38, 39, 4D, 41), Judas (37), cup (62), bread (63), money bag (64)

To the Teacher:

The Last Supper introduces the New Covenant between God and man. The first covenant with Abraham had been broken many times by men and was sealed by the blood of animals. The New Covenant was ratified by the blood of Christ and can never be nullified. It is a better covenant (Hebrews 8:6) and provides all that men could long for.


Outline:

I. Jesus celebrated the feast of Passover with His disciples.

A. Passover was celebrated each year to remind the Jews of their miraculous deliverance from Egypt.

B. The feast was celebrated by eating unleavened bread and by offering a lamb as a sacrifice.

C. God had made a covenant with Abraham and sealed it with the blood of animals.

1. A covenant is a contract or an agreement.

2. God had made this covenant with Israel and promised to protect, bless, and preserve the people.

D. The Israelites, or Jews, had broken this contract on many occasions by worshipping other gods and idols.

II. Jesus told His disciples about a New Covenant between God and man.

A. As they ate the Passover in an upper room, Jesus told His disciples that God wanted them to have a New Covenant or a New Testament. (Testament also means "covenant.")

B. Jesus told them to drink grape juice because it was a symbol of the blood He was to shed for our sins.

C. He told them to eat bread because it was a symbol of the broken body He received in suffering, which became the sacrifice for our health.

1. He took our sicknesses and diseases (Matthew 8:17).

2. His stripes paid for our healing (1 Peter 2:24).

D. All the Passover sacrifices were merely symbols of Jesus' death on the cross.

1. The blood of the Passover lamb saved the Israelites from physical death.

2. The Blood of Jesus saves men from spiritual death.

III. Jesus was betrayed into the hands of wicked men.

A. For a great while, the Jewish rulers had desired to see Jesus killed.

B. Judas Iscariot, Jesus' disciple, offered to show them where He was for thirty pieces of silver.

C. Jesus tried in vain to stop Judas from doing this awful thing by talking about it at the supper.

D. Jesus knew He was going to be made a sacrifice for the sin of the whole world, but He did not try to escape.

E. Through His death, Jesus made a New Covenant between God and man. This covenant offers:

1. Remission of sins

2. New Birth

3. Holy Spirit Baptism

4. Healing and health

5. Prosperity

6. Protection

7. Preservation

8. Longlife

9. Eternal life


Spiritual Exercises:

I have a covenant with God. All that I have belongs to Him. All that I am belongs to Him. All that He has belongs to me. All that He is belongs to me. I will not be destroyed by Satan's plans because I am a covenant child.


STORY

BLOOD BROTHERS

Gospel Bill was in the barber shop waiting for a haircut when Lester Smith, the telegraph operator, came running in.

"Gospel Bill," shouted Lester, "I just got this urgent message from your cousin Pete!" Bill took the paper from Lester's hand and began to read. It said, "Dear Bill, come quick. Indians took wife and kids, burned cabin. Help. Cousin Pete."

"What are you going to do?" asked Lester. "When those Indians are on the war path, nobody is safe. You are not going down there, are you?"

"I have got to help," said Bill. Calmly, Bill walked down to the stable and saddled his horse. Then he rode to the General Store and filled his saddle bags with supplies.

Soon, Bill was on his way to help his cousin Pete. Pete had bought a ranch near an Indian reservation and had been at peace with them for years. Bill was curious as to why the Indians had become angry. Ordinarily, they were friendly and never bothered Cousin Pete.

After a two day ride, Bill reached the place where Pete's cabin had stood. Nothing was left but burned ruins. "Pete!" yelled Bill. "Pete! Where are you?"

"Over here in the rocks!" yelled Bill's cousin as he came out from his hiding place. "Is that you, Bill?"

"Yeah, it is me," said Bill. "Come on out of those rocks so we can talk." Pete came to Bill, hugged him, and began to cry.

"I do not understand why they did it," cried Pete. "We have been at peace for years and then this happened. Why did the Indians do this to me?"

"Settle down," said Bill. "We will find out what happened and we will get your family back."

"Do you think so?" asked Pete.

"I know so," said Bill. "The Bible says we can agree on it in prayer. Jesus said, 'If any two of you shall agree on earth as touching, any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in Heaven.' Pray and agree with me."

So, Bill and Cousin Pete prayed and agreed that Pete's family would be returned and that the Indian trouble would be stopped. After they prayed, Bill and Pete mounted their horses and rode toward the reservation.

It grew very dark outside and traveling was difficult because of the rough terrain. Bill and Pete stopped to make camp for the night, but they made no fire to keep from being seen by the Indians.

After talking for awhile, Bill noticed a glowing light not too far from the camp. He took his gun, and together with Pete, they crept toward the light. As they came close to the glow, they found it was a campfire. Around it were four mean looking cowboys and three Indian women. Bill could tell by the women's actions that they were being held against their wishes.

"It sure is great to have a pretty little Indian woman around," laughed one man.

"Yes," agreed another, "I like the way they cook, too. Bring me some coffee, woman." The Indian women had been kidnapped from the reservation.

"I recognize those men," said cousin Pete. "Last week they came to my ranch and asked if they could water their horses and spend the night in my barn."

"They must have gone onto the reservation from your place," reasoned Gospel Bill. "Then they kidnapped these women. The chief must think you were in on it because their tracks came from your place."

"Those mean men," said Pete. "We are going to get them!"

"Wait," said Bill. "Let us find out what they are up to first. I want to know why they kidnapped those girls." Bill and Pete sat quietly and listened to the four men.

"Well, I suppose we should let the chief know he had better make up his mind," said one man.

"He had better hurry," said another. "If he wants to see his daughters again, he had better tell us where that Indian gold is."

"He will tell us," said one of the outlaws. "He wants his daughters back." Bill and Pete prayed for safety and direction as they made plans to capture the outlaws. Quietly, the two Christians crept closer to the camp and readied their guns.

"Put your hands in the air!" yelled Bill as he stepped toward the camp. The outlaws were caught completely by surprise. One of them went for his gun, but Bill's quick aim stopped him as he shot the gun from the outlaw's hand.

Soon, the whole gang was tied up. The Indian girls were grateful to be free. The next morning, Bill and Pete led the women and their prisoners onto the reservation. Shouts of joy rang through the air as the Indian girls ran into the village to their father.

As Bill explained what had happened to the chief, the old man ordered Pete's wife and son to be freed from a nearby tent. Pete threw his arms around his family and praised God for honoring the scripture he had stood on.

The chief insisted that the outlaws be turned over to his people for punishment, but Gospel Bill knew that the men must be taken to trial. Finally, the chief agreed with Bill and told him to take the outlaws to jail.

Insisting that Bill, Pete, and his family stay another night to celebrate the safe return of his daughters, the chief ordered the whole tribe to a council fire.

Gospel Bill watched the Indians dance around the fire in their colorful costumes and feathered hats. Drums beat wildly and all the people chanted a song of joy for the good that had happened that day.

Suddenly, the dancing stopped and the chief stood. He asked for a special knife and a medicine man brought a large knife to him. Motioning to Gospel Bill, the chief told his people that Bill was their friend. As Bill stood, the chief asked him to become his blood brother. Bill knew better than to refuse the chiefs offer and knew that this would greatly help his cousin Pete.

The chief cut a small wound in his right arm and Bill did the same. Then, they rubbed their blood together and sealed their agreement. "All that I own is yours if you need it," said the chief to Gospel Bill.

"All that I own belongs to you if you need it," said Bill. Then, the chief brought out a small deerskin pouch and gave it to Bill. Bill knew that he must give a gift to the chief, so he asked Pete to bring him the rifle from his pack. The chief was pleased with his rifle and hugged Bill.

The next morning Bill said good bye to his blood brother, and then rode off with Pete and his

family. Once they were out of sight, Bill asked Pete's wife to open the pouch that the chief had given him the night before.

"It is filled with pure gold!" yelled Pete's wife. "It is pure gold!"

"Well," said Bill, "I suppose you ought to be able to build a new place with that."

"Thanks, Bill," said Pete. "It is wonderful how your enemies can become your friends when you become blood brothers."

"That is right," said Bill. "Those Indians will never bother you again. They will help you in any way they can."

"You sound like you know a lot about being a blood brother," said Pete. "Have you ever done this before?"

"Yes," said Bill. "It was the best thing I ever did. I became a blood brother with Jesus Christ when I asked Him into my heart. All that I have belongs to Him."

"But you got the best part of the deal," interrupted Pete, "because all that He has belongs to you!"

FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:

Have you ever received Holy Communion? If you have received Jesus Christ as your Lord, when you drink the grape juice and eat the bread, you are entering into a covenant with Him. That means that all that you have is His, and all that He has is yours. What do you have that you have given to Jesus? What does He have that He has given to you?


Questions for Review Game:


1. The Jews had a special feast each year called Passover. Of what was the Passover feast to remind them?

2. What did the Jews eat for the Passover feast?

3. What is a covenant?

4. What nation did God make a covenant with?

5. Did the Israelites ever break their covenant with God?

6. With whom did Jesus eat the Passover feast?

7. What kind of covenant or testament did Jesus tell His disciples about during their feast?

8. What does the grape juice symbolize?

9. What does the bread symbolize?

10. Name some blessings that the New Covenant offers us.



























THE BETRAYAL AND JUDGEMENT

Scripture to Study: John 18:1 19:16

Central Truth: Jesus willfully laid down His life for us.

Memory Verse: I Peter 2:24, "By whose stripes ye were healed."

Supplementary Lesson: Object Lesson—"By His Stripes"

Visual Aids: Soldier (16), crowd (9, 20), Pharisees (18), Jesus (21), Jesus (22), disciples (34, 38, 39, 40, 41), Judas (37), high priest (65), soldier (66), captain (67), Pilate (68)

To the Teacher:

Jesus was not taken to judgment against His will. His sufferings were the only sacrifice for our sins and diseases. In the same day that He paid for our sins, He took our sicknesses and diseases and carried them away. Forgiveness and healing go hand in hand.


Outline:

I. Jesus was betrayed into the hands of His enemies by one of His own disciples.

A. The Jewish rulers had long sought to destroy Jesus. The devil tried to have Jesus killed on many occasions.

B. Judas, one of the twelve disciples, went to the chief priests and Pharisees and offered to lead them to Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.

C. When Jesus finished praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, He was met by an angry mob led by Judas.

D. Judas kissed Jesus to show the mob who He was.

E. Jesus could easily have escaped, for the power of God knocked the men to the ground (John 18:4 6).

F. Simon Peter boldly drew his sword and cut off one man's ear, but Jesus healed it.

II. Jesus willfully gave Himself to the mob.

A. They led Him to the High Priest who questioned Him.

B. The chief priests hired men to lie about Jesus and falsely accuse Him.

C. Finally, Jesus was taken to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, and the Jews demanded that Pilate execute Him.

D. Pilate did not want to crucify Jesus, but to pacify the Jews, he had Jesus scourged.

1. A scourge, or flagron, was a whip with many leather thongs. At the end of each thong was tied a piece of glass, metal, or bone.

2. The blows Jesus received lacerated His back and marred His appearance (Isaiah 52:14).

E. The soldiers made a crown of thorns and put it on Jesus, along with a purple robe. They struck Him with their hands and plucked out His beard.

III. The Jews were still not satisfied and demanded that Jesus be executed.

A. Pilate realized that the Jews would settle for nothing less than Jesus' crucifixion, so he finally ordered it.

B. The Jews had a custom that one prisoner be released each year at Passover. Instead of asking for Jesus to be released, they demanded that Barabbas, a thief, be set free.

C. Pilate sent Jesus to the cross.

D. This was God's plan to redeem man because there had to be a sacrifice made for sin.

E. Jesus was the sinless, spotless Lamb of God who carried away all our sin and sickness.

F. The stripes Jesus bore bought our healing.


Spiritual Exercises:

Jesus paid for my sin. He bought my healing, too. He gave His life a ransom, For others, for me, and for you. His Blood was shed for my sin. His stripes my healing bought. He let them take His life away, Thus redemption's plan was wrought.


OBJECT LESSON

BY HIS STRIPES

Scripture Reference: I Peter 2:24, " by whose stripes ye were healed."

Materials Needed: Six long, leather bootlaces, poster board, marker, red food coloring, clear Karo syrup, and a small plastic bag.

To Prepare: Make a whip with 12 straps from the leather bootlaces. They can each be folded to form two straps. On poster board, draw a picture of Jesus with His back bared and facing the audience. Mix the syrup and the food coloring in a small plastic bag to form a blood like mixture.

Lesson:

God's Word tells us that Jesus was beaten with a Roman whip called a flagron, or scourge, just before His crucifixion. This awful whip is said to have had twelve leather straps containing pieces of bone, metal, glass, and sharp stones. One blow from this awful whip made twelve ugly stripes on the victim's back. (Hold up your whip during this discussion.)


By law, Jews permitted up to 39 blows with a whip. If Jesus was beaten 39 times with 12 stripes to a blow, a total of 468 stripes were laid on Him.


Exactly how many stripes Jesus bore is unknown, but this is certain—Jesus was beaten until His appearance was marred more than any other man's (Isaiah 52:14).


Why did Jesus suffer through this awful torture? For what purpose was He beaten? The scriptures tell us that there is healing because of His stripes. In taking this awful beating,


Jesus was suffering for the sickness and disease of all men. (As you tell this, begin to spread the blood mixture onto the back of the Lord on your poster board. Keep a sponge ready for possible spills.) "By His stripes ye were healed," is what Peter wrote. Jesus took the stripes to purchase our healing. He suffered such an awful torture so that we could be free from the bondage of sickness.


To cash in on what Jesus purchased for us, we must realize what He did for us. Although healing belongs to all, not all receive it. We have an adversary, an enemy— the devil. He does not want us to realize what the stripes of Jesus mean. He does not want us to know what Jesus bought for us.


Thank God we know what the stripes mean. They were given to Jesus so we could be free from disease. Let us suppose you and your family went to a restaurant in two cars so your father could leave early for an appointment. Let us suppose that he finishes his meal before you, so he leaves and goes to the cash register to pay for the food. You look up and see your dad getting change back from the cashier. He waves to you as he leaves. A few minutes later, you finish your meal, and you begin to walk out the door. On your way out, the cashier grabs your arm and accuses you of not paying for your meal. Would you pay for it twice? Do you think you should pay again? Is the cashier wrong? To get out of trouble, you call your dad and he comes back to the restaurant and tells the cashier that the meal has already been paid for.


Remembering your father, the cashier sees the mistake and you are not required to pay twice.


When Jesus paid for your healing with His stripes, the debt was settled. According to God, healing belongs to you. But the devil wants you to pay again. He wants to charge you with something Jesus already paid for. He comes to attack your body with disease, germs, and sickness. If only you could have Jesus tell him that the sickness has been paid for.


Thank God, you can have Jesus take it up with the devil. In Revelation, Jesus is called the Word of God. When you remind Satan of what Jesus did, by speaking God's Word, it is the same as if Jesus came personally to argue your case. The devil remembers what Jesus paid for, so remind him of it. Quote scriptures telling him what Jesus bought for you. Do not pay twice for healing! Jesus has already paid the bill.


FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:


Have you ever had a friend who betrayed you, or who wasn't there when you needed them? How did you feel? Did you ever forgive them?


Questions for Review Game:


1. Which disciple told the Jewish rulers where they could find Jesus?

2. How much did the chief priests and Pharisees pay Judas?

3. Could Jesus have escaped?

4. When Peter cut off one of the solder's ears, what did Jesus do?

5. Jesus never did anything wrong; but to have a trial, you must be accused of something. How did the Jewish leaders have a trial for Jesus?

6. Did Pilate, the Roman governor, want to kill Jesus?

7. Why did Pilate have his soldiers beat Jesus?

8. What else did the soldiers do to insult Jesus?

9. Which prisoner did the Jews want to be set free instead of Jesus?

10. How did Jesus buy our healing?

THE SIN BEARER

Scripture to Study: Matthew 27:24 50; Luke 23:13 49

Central Truth: Jesus suffered in the place of all men.

Memory Verse: Hebrews 9:22, "Without shedding of blood is no remission."

Supplementary Lesson: Puppet Skit—"The Big Lie"

Visual Aids: Crowd (9,20), Pharisees (18), Jesus (22), disciples (34, 38, 39,40, 41), Mary (44), high priest (65), Pilate (68), crucifixion (69)

To the Teacher:

The Blood of Jesus bought remission of sins for those who believe. Remission of sins means that they are completely removed and not merely covered. Not only did the Lord deal with the sins—He put away the sin nature by becoming sin Himself. The spirit of Jesus was also made a sacrifice, and He went as a lost man would go into the pit to suffer the fullest consequences of sin (See Psalm 88).


Outline:

I. Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor of Judea, ordered Jesus to be crucified.

A. Pilate did not wish to crucify Jesus, for he was afraid of Him. His wife had been warned in a dream the night before that he should have nothing to do with Jesus.

B. The Jews insisted that Jesus be crucified, so Pilate ordered that He be beaten, hoping that they would be satisfied with this.

C. The beating Jesus took is the basis for our healing (Isaiah 53:4 5; Matthew 8:17; 1 Peter 2:24).

D. For fear of being reported to Caesar, Pilate ordered Jesus to be crucified, knowing that He was innocent.

1. The Jews accused Jesus of being disloyal to the Roman Emperor.

2. Pilate washed his hands to signify that he was not responsible for Jesus' death.

II. Jesus was led away to a hill to be crucified.

A. The place was called "Golgotha" and "Calvary." It was a hill overlooking the city.

B. Jesus was nailed to the cross through His wrists and feet.

1. Although the Bible says He was nailed through the hands, the Greek word for hand includes the wrist.

2. The three nails that bound Him to the cross represent the three fold curse of the Law—poverty, sickness, and death.

C. On the cross, Jesus paid for all our sins.

D. The Jews laughed at Him and dared Him to come down from the cross.

III. Jesus was made sin on the cross.

A. Jesus' spirit became filled with the sin nature of men (2 Corinthians 5:21).

B. He became so hideous that God forsook Him and could not look upon Him.

C. He Himself was not guilty of a single error in thought or deed, but He became a curse for us (Galatians 3:13).

D. He could easily have called for twelve legions of angels to save Him, but love kept Him on the cross.

E. After cursing Jesus, one of the thieves who was crucified with Jesus repented and asked for mercy.

F. When Jesus died, His spirit went down into the heart of the earth, carrying the sin nature of all men (Matthew 12:40).


Spiritual Exercises:

Jesus loves me, this I know, For the Bible tells me so. Jesus died and took my sin, That I might be born again. Down to Hell my Saviour went. Three awful days and nights He spent. He died as a sinner and went below. To deliver Death its final blow. Jesus paid the price for me To live in total victory.


PUPPET SKIT

THE BIG LIE

CHARACTERS: Host, Soldier

(take your class back in time 2,000 years to find out what happened at the Resurrection.)

HOST We are going to do a little investigative reporting today. Something very mysterious has happened at the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth. His body was taken from the cross three days ago and placed in a tomb. This morning it mysteriously vanished. We are going to talk to the soldier who was guarding the tomb.

(Soldier approaches.)

SOLDIER: Hup, two, three, four. Hup, two three, four. Hup

HOST Sir, sir.

SOLDIER: Yes, may I help you?

HOST Yes, sir. I would like to ask you some questions.

SOLDIER: Sure, go ahead.

HOST Were you the captain of the guard over the tomb of Jesus?

SOLDIER: Yes, I was in charge of guarding it and had several soldiers in my command.

HOST Why would you want to guard a grave? I mean, what harm could a dead man do?

SOLDIER: Well, you see, this Jesus fellow told His followers that He would be raised from the dead after three days.

HOST Did you guard the tomb so you could watch Him rise from the dead?

SOLDIER: Oh, no. We guarded the grave because we figured that His disciples would try to steal His body.

HOST Why would they want to do that?

SOLDIER: Because they wanted everyone to think that Jesus rose from the dead. And that is just what they did!

HOST: They stole His body?

SOLDIER: They stole it early this morning. We were all asleep.

HOST: You were sleeping on duty?

SOLDIER: That is right. The whole bunch of us were asleep. Those disciples sneaked right by us and got into that grave.

HOST: That sounds kind of odd to me.

SOLDIER: Odd? I am telling you the truth. They stole His body while we slept.

HOST: Was there not a large stone covering the tomb's entrance?

SOLDIER: Yeah. It took twelve of us to put it in place.

HOST: And was not the stone sealed?

SOLDIER: Yeah. So what?

HOST: I do not understand how you were not awakened by the noise. Would it not make a lot of noise for the disciples to steal that body?

SOLDIER: We were really sleeping soundly. Besides, I snore so loud that my soldiers could not hear those guys.

HOST: Did you report this to the Jewish authorities?

SOLDIER: I sure did. They were really shocked that those disciples would do such a thing.

HOST: I have one question. Are not Roman soldiers executed for sleeping on guard duty?

SOLDIER: Well uh, most of the time.

HOST: I do not think you are telling the truth.

SOLDIER: I am, too! I will bet you a hundred shekels I am not lying.

HOST: You do not have a hundred shekels.

SOLDIER: I do, too. The High Priest gave me a hundred shekels this morning! Oops! I was not supposed to say that.

HOST: You have been paid to lie about something!

SOLDIER: Oh well, I might as well admit it. It is the truth. Jesus really did rise again. I saw the whole thing.

HOST: You saw the Lord?

SOLDIER: I saw some fellows in shining clothes push that stone away. There was an earthquake and a great light. I fainted when I first saw those guys.

HOST: Those men were angels.

SOLDIER: Well, I know one thing for sure—those disciples definitely did not steal Jesus' body. He is alive, and He rose from the dead.

HOST: You had better tell the truth. This would be an awful thing to lie about.

SOLDIER: I will get in big trouble for telling this. It is supposed to be a secret.

HOST: The whole world is going to hear about it. You can help tell the story. Now that Jesus has been raised from the dead, all men can be born again.

SOLDIER: I have got a feeling the High Priest is not going to like this, but that does not matter. I am going to tell the truth.

HOST: You are a smart soldier.

FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:


Did you ever do something wrong and someone else got blamed for it? Did they get the punishment you deserved? Or maybe you took the punishment for someone else's wrong doing. That's exactly what Jesus did for us when He died on the cross. He took the punishment we deserved for the wrong things we have done.


Questions for Review Game:


1. Who warned Pilate not to crucify Jesus?

2. What did Pilate do to show that he was not responsible for Jesus' death?

3. What was the name of the hill where Jesus was crucified?

4. Where did they put the nails when they nailed Jesus to the cross?

5. Whose sins did Jesus pay for on the cross?

6. Jesus became a curse for us on the cross. What three curses do the three nails stand for?

7. Who could Jesus have called to help Him?

8. What did Jesus' spirit become filled with as He hung on the cross?

9. Could God look at Jesus when He was full of sin?

10. Where did Jesus' spirit go when He died?

JESUS DESTROYS DEATH

Scripture to Study: John 20:1 20; Hebrews 2:14

Central Truth: Jesus defeated death and the devil.

Memory Verse: Hebrews 2:14, "That through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil."

Supplementary Lesson: Object Lesson—"Satan Is Crippled"

Visual Aids: Friends at tomb (2, 44, 59, 60), Soldier (15), Satan (16), Jesus (22), disciples (34, 38, 39, 40, 41), large stone (61), soldier (66), captain (67)

To the Teacher:

The real story of Jesus' suffering was not seen by men, but took place in the heart of the earth, where the spirit of Jesus was made sin. The devil and all his wicked cohorts tried to hold the Son of God in the agonies of Hell for three days and nights. Jesus went there not with His own sin but with ours, and rightfully so, because He took the place of a man without God. After His suffering satisfied the claims of justice, His spirit was born again, and He rose to defeat the devil. (For additional reading, consult Psalm 88, Colossians 1:18, and Romans 8:29.)


Outline:

I. While Jesus' body was in the grave, His spirit was in the heart of the earth (Matthew 12:40).

A. Jesus became sin while He was on the cross. His heart became wicked with the sin of all men poured into it (2 Corinthians 5:21).

1. He did not sin or do any wrong thing.

2. Jesus was paying for the sin of all men.

B. When Jesus died and His spirit went into Hell, the devil was happy.

1. He thought he had finally destroyed Jesus.

2. Satan had been trying to kill Jesus for a long time.

C. After three days and nights, Jesus' spirit received strength and He defeated Satan (Colossians 2:16).

1. God's plan had worked! Jesus had whipped Satan on his own territory.

2. Because of what Jesus did, we now have power over the devil, also.

II. Jesus' spirit came back to earth, got into His body and rose again!

A. Jesus' body was in a tomb guarded by Roman soldiers.

1. The tomb was like a small room in the side of a hill.

2. There was a large stone covering the door of the tomb.

B. When Jesus' spirit returned to His body, there was a great earthquake.

1. Angels appeared and rolled the stone away from the mouth of the tomb.

2. When the soldiers saw this, they fainted.

III. Jesus' friends came to visit the tomb where Jesus lay.

A. When they arrived, they found the stone rolled away and Jesus' body missing.

B. They thought that Jesus' body had been stolen.

C. The disciples forgot what Jesus had told them earlier. He had said that He would die, but in three days He would rise again.

D. Later, Jesus showed Himself to friends and they knew that He was really alive!

E. Now that Jesus has risen from the dead, all who believe on Him can have a pure heart because He put away our sin!

Spiritual Exercises:

Jesus took my sin. He carried it away. My sins are not covered. They are remitted. They are gone. Because Jesus went to Hell for me, I won't have to go. Jesus is my Lord.


OBJECT LESSON

SATAN IS CRIPPLED

Scripture Reference: Hebrews 2:14, " that through death he might destroy (paralyze) him that had the power of death, that is, the devil."

Materials Needed: Crutches, false teeth, empty key ring

To Prepare: Keep these items hidden from view, but close at hand for the demonstration of the lesson.

Lesson:

When Jesus died on the cross, His spirit left His body and went down into the lower parts of the earth (Matthew 12:40). He had already paid for our sins, poverty, and sickness. His stripes bought our healing. His nakedness and total loss of all earthly possessions bought our prosperity. His shed blood atoned for our sins.


There was still another problem to deal with. Satan was still the owner of the human race, and spiritual death had not yet been paid for. Because of Adam's sin, death had come to the spirits of all men, giving them a nature that desired to do wrong.


Jesus not only wanted to see men's sins forgiven, He wanted to pay the full price of salvation, so that even the spirits of men could be made righteous. So, He became sin, taking on Himself the horrible nature of being without God (2 Corinthians 5:21).


He went as a sinner would have to go, down into the heart of the earth. His spirit carried an awful load of guilt and sin—yours and mine. He, Himself, never once sinned or did wrong, but He took our place.


After three days and nights in Hell, the Holy Spirit brought the life of God into Jesus once again. He was the very first person to ever be born again and it happened right in the middle of Hell! (Romans 8:29)


When Jesus was born again, He went to Satan and wrestled away the keys of death and Hell. (Hold up the empty key ring.) Satan no longer has the keys of death and Hell. He lost them to Jesus.


Because Jesus owns those keys, we are free from death and Hell, if we accept Him. We do not have to go to Hell or suffer with spiritual death. Because of Jesus' sacrifice, we can be made alive unto God.

The Bible says that Jesus destroyed the devil. Actually, that word in this scripture means "paralyzed." Jesus paralyzed the devil. (Hold up the crutches.) Satan does not get around like he used to. Jesus took his strength away. He is a crippled devil.



FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:


Do you know what a bully is? It is someone who picks on little kids. Have you ever known a bully? Tell us about it.


Sometimes when a bully is picking on a little kid, the little kid's big brother comes and beats the bully up. That's just what Jesus did for us. He beat up that bully, the devil.


Questions for Review Game:


1. Who was very happy when Jesus died and His spirit went to Hell?

2. How long was Jesus in Hell?

3. What did Jesus do after three days, when He received strength?

4. Who was guarding Jesus' tomb?

5. What was covering the door to the tomb?

6. Who rolled away the stone from the door of the tomb?

7. What happened when the soldiers saw the angels?

8. What happened when Jesus' spirit came back to earth?

9. What did Jesus' friends think when they found that His body was missing?

10. How did Jesus' friends know that He was really alive?

THE RETURN TO GLORY

Scripture to Study: Acts 1:1 12; John 16:23 24; Hebrews 4:14 16

Central Truth: Jesus is our High Priest.

Memory Verse: Hebrews 4:14, "We have a great high priest that is passed into the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God."

Supplementary Lesson: Story—"The Mediator"

Visual Aids: Group of angels (10), disciples (34, 38, 39, 40, 41), Jesus (33)


To the Teacher:

Jesus now sits at the right hand of God serving as our High Priest. He faithfully mediates between man and God. No man can know God except through Jesus. The benefits of this High Priest's ministry are many, and this lesson explains them.


Outline:

I. After the Resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples many times during a forty day period.

A. Jesus taught them many things about the kingdom of God.

B. He had told them earlier how to pray to the Father in His Name. The time had come to pray in that manner.

C. He told them about the Holy Spirit baptism and promised great power to all who received it.

D. At the end of forty days, Jesus went in a cloud up into Heaven.

II. Jesus has a job in Heaven.

A. He has a throne on the right hand of God.

B. There, He serves as our High Priest. He goes to God on our behalf.

C. When we pray, we should address the Father in the Name of Jesus.

1. Jesus told us to pray in this way (John 16:23 24).

2. When we use Jesus' Name, God hears us in the same way that He would hear Jesus.

D. Because Jesus returned to Heaven, we can be filled with the Holy Spirit.

1. The Holy Spirit enables believers to witness with great power and boldness.

2. Speaking with unknown tongues is an ability the Holy Spirit gives to those who receive Him.

III. Our High Priest helps us when we sin.

A. After becoming a Christian, you may still be guilty of sin.

1. If God forgives the world of its sin, how much more will He forgive His children.

2. Thank God, we do not lose our salvation over a few sins.

B. We should confess our sins, so that our High Priest, Jesus, can obtain our cleansing (1 John 1:9 and 2:1 2).

C. Jesus intercedes for us when we need forgiveness or any other thing.

D. We are seated with Him in the heavenly places.

1. God has made us to be rulers over sin, sickness, poverty, trouble, and fear (Ephesians 2:5 6).

2. We should never be in bondage to Satan's oppression because of what Jesus has done for us.


Spiritual Exercises:

I am a ruler over sickness, poverty, and sin. I sit at the right hand of God, and through my High Priest I can ask the Father for whatever I desire. God hears me when I pray, because I use the Name of Jesus. Jesus is saying good things about me to God even today.


STORY

THE MEDIATOR

Gospel Bill brushed the sweat away from his forehead. The afternoon sun was shining in full strength, and this was the third long day of tracking the notorious outlaw, Bad Billy.

Bad Billy was a wanted man in more states than he could count. He had committed every crime imaginable, and no one had been able to capture him. Gospel Bill knew how dangerous this man was, and was taking extra precautions in tracking him.

"I better find a water hole soon," said Bill. "My horse needs a drink, and a little rest would do us both some good." Bill was just about to continue when he heard a familiar "click." It was the sound of a cocked six gun.

"Do not move!" said the gruff voice. "Drop your guns on the ground and get down off your horse—slowly!" Gospel Bill did as he was told. "Now, turn around," said the gruff voice again.

Bill turned around slowly and found himself staring into the sin hardened face of Bad Billy.

"Looking for me?" asked Bad Billy mockingly. "Well, you found me—or should I say, I found you—ha, ha, ha."

Gospel Bill could sense the evil in Bad Billy's voice. He knew without God's help he was in big trouble.

"You know what I did to the last fellow who attempted to capture me?" continued Billy. "I hung him by his toes and left him for the buzzards to eat. But I have something better planned for you." Bad Billy handed Gospel Bill a shovel and led him over to a dry, barren patch of ground.

Gospel Bill looked down and noticed there were big red ants crawling everywhere.

"Guess what these little devils like to eat!" said Billy. "Fresh meat—and guess who is going to be dinner today?" Bad Billy made Gospel Bill dig a hole, just wide and deep enough for him to fit in, with only his head sticking out of the ground.

"The ants crawl in, the ants crawl out, in your ears and out your mouth—ha, ha, ha." There was not one ounce of mercy to be found anywhere in Bad Billy's character. "Get in the hole!" came the order to Gospel Bill. Gospel Bill dropped into the hole and Bad Billy filled in the dirt.

"Thanks for being such a good sport," said Bad Billy climbing onto his horse. "I hope you do not lose your head over all this—ha, ha, ha."

Bad Billy rode away leaving Gospel Bill and his new "friends" to spend the afternoon together.

"Lord," prayed Gospel Bill. "I have to have Your help. These ants are hungry!"

As Gospel Bill prayed, a bright light shone from Heaven. In a moment of time, Bill found himself out of the hole and standing upright on level ground. Realizing what had happened, Gospel Bill began to thank and praise God. "You truly are the greater One, Lord," said Gospel Bill. "Greater is He Who is in me, than he who is in the world!"

Gospel Bill found his horse and started after Bad Billy again. It was not long until he sighted him. I will stay out of sight until tonight, thought Bill. Then I will surprise him. That evening as Bad Billy bedded down for the night, Gospel Bill crept slowly toward the outlaw. "Bad Billy," whispered Gospel Bill quietly.

Bad Billy's eyes popped open. He found himself staring down the barrel of Gospel Bill's six gun. "It cannot be you," said Bad Billy with amazement. "You should be dead!”

"God delivered me," said Gospel Bill. "Now, loose your gun belt, and put your hands behind your back." Gospel Bill tied Bad Billy's hands and feet together so he could not escape. The next morning the two men began the long ride back to town.

As they rode along, Bad Billy began to question Gospel Bill. "What do you mean, God delivered you?" Gospel Bill shared the story of how God got him out of the ground. "Tell me more about this God of yours," said Bad Billy. Bill shared the Gospel of Jesus and the love of God with Bad Billy who was obviously touched by the message.

"Nobody ever loved me like that," said Bad Billy.

"You can know that love in a personal way," said Gospel Bill, "by inviting Jesus to come and live inside of your heart."

Bad Billy hung his head. "I do not want to live like I have been living any longer. I want Jesus to change me if He can."

"He can and He will," said Gospel Bill. Gospel Bill led Bad Billy to the Lord and over the next couple of days was able to share many truths from God's Word with him.

"I'll probably spend the rest of my life in jail, if I do not get hanged," said Bad Billy. "But I am going to share the good news with as many people as I can.

"Well, let us believe God for His mercy on your behalf," said Gospel Bill. "You are not the same man you used to be."

Gospel Bill brought Bad Billy into the sheriff s office and locked him up. Once the news spread around town that Bad Billy had been captured, everyone in town started talking about hanging him. The trial was set for the next day.

When it came time for the trial, the courtroom was packed full. The judge listened as testimony after testimony was given, condemning Bad Billy for his life of crime.

"Is there anyone who can speak on Bad Billy's behalf?" asked the judge.

"I will," said Gospel Bill stepping forward. A gasp of unbelief went through the crowd.

"Are you not the man who brought this criminal to justice?" asked the judge.

"That's correct, Your Honor," said Bill.

"What, then, could you possibly say on his behalf?" asked the judge.

"Judge," said Gospel Bill. "I know Bad Billy has committed all the crimes that he has been accused of, and he admits to them. But the man who did all of those things is dead. Bad Billy has become a new creature in Christ. He is not the same person who did all of those wicked things. Judge, I know what justice would say, but I'm not asking you for justice. I'm asking you for mercy."

The judge took a thirty minute recess and once again came to the bench.

"I do not know why I am going to do this," said the judge, hesitating a little. "It's only because you, Gospel Bill, stood on his behalf. The defendant will rise."

Bad Billy stood to his feet.

"Bad Billy, I sentence you to five years—of preaching the Gospel in every jail and prison west of the Mississippi River," declared the judge.

Bad Billy could hardly believe his ears. He threw his hat in the air and let out a victory shout.

"Judge, you could sentence me to a hundred years of doing that."

Bad Billy shook Gospel Bill's hand and thanked him for standing up on his behalf.

"My life will never be the same, thanks to you, Gospel Bill."

"Thanks to Jesus," said Gospel Bill.


FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:

Jesus has a job in Heaven. He prays for us when we need forgiveness. Do you need to ask God to forgive you for something you've done wrong? Let's take a few moments right now and do just that.


Questions for Review Game:


1. How long did Jesus stay with His disciples after the resurrection?

2. What did Jesus promise to all who received the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

3. At the end of forty days, where did Jesus go?

4. Where is Jesus' throne now?

5. What is Jesus' job in Heaven?

6. When we pray, how should we address the Father?

7. Do people sin after they become a Christian?

8. Can you lose your salvation over a few sins?

9. Why should we confess our sins?

10. List at least three things that Jesus made us rulers over.

THE GREAT COMMISSION

Scripture to Study: Romans 10:13 17; Mark 16: 14 20; Matthew 28:18 20

Central Truth: We witness because of a joyful overflow.

Memory Verse: Mark 16:16, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature."

Supplementary Lesson: Puppet Skit—"Your Ministry"

Visual Aids: Jesus (33), disciples (34, 38, 39, 40, 41)


To the Teacher:

The time to challenge believers to spread the "Good News" is during childhood. If children grow accustomed to sharing Christ in their youth, it will be much easier for them to witness as adults. This witnessing need not be a wearisome obligation, but a joyous overflow of what Christ has done in our lives.


Outline:

I. After the Resurrection, Jesus told His disciples they had a job to do.

A. The three years they had spent with Him had been training for ministry.

B. Jesus could no longer stay on earth, but returned to Heaven to become our High Priest.

1. He intercedes for us at the right hand of God.

2. He has finished the work of redeeming man.

C. Jesus told the disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.

1. Preach simply means "to tell."

2. Gospel means "good news."

D. He told them to teach people how to live for God.

1. We cannot live for God without instruction.

2. It is important for us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together (Hebrews 10:25).

E. He told them to baptize believers in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

II. Jesus gave the disciples authority to do miraculous works.

A. He told them to use His Name.

1. Jesus does not need His Name, so its power was meant for us.

2. By using His Name in faith, we have authority to destroy the works of Satan.

B. Jesus told the disciples that certain things would follow those who believed:

1. They would cast out devils.

2. They would speak with new tongues.

3. They would have authority over accidental snake bites.

4. Poisoning would not harm them.

5. They would lay hands on the sick, and they would recover.

C. These signs still follow believers today.

III. We must help send the gospel around the world.

A. People cannot believe on Jesus, unless they hear the gospel.

B. Faith is built in men's hearts as they hear the Word of God.

C. By giving to God's work, we can help send missionaries all over the world to those who have never heard the story of Jesus.

D. We can help spread the "good news" of Jesus by sharing testimonies with friends.

E. We should tell people the wonderful things that Jesus can do for them.

1. We need not witness simply because of duty.

2. We should fill ourselves to overflowing with the joy of the Lord, then witnessing will become a natural reaction.


Spiritual Exercises:

I am a believer. I have a story to tell. Jesus forgave my sin and Delivered me from Hell. I will tell my friends the story Of what Jesus did for me. How He took my sin and sickness, Death and poverty.


PUPPET SKIT

YOUR MINISTRY

CHARACTERS: Host, Rufus (an average believer)


HOST Boys and girls, today we are going to visit someone who was present at the time Jesus left the earth and ascended to the Father. He is not very famous. In fact, he is just like you and me. Give a good welcome to Rufus, a disciple of the Lord.

(Rufus enters.)

RUFUS: Thank you. Thank you, very much. Wow, who would have ever thought I would be a guest on a famous talk show?

HOST. Well, Rufus, you were present at a very famous event in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ.

RUFUS: You mean the Ascension? That was quite a sight. Jesus had just finished talking to us when, all of a sudden, He began to be lifted up off the ground.

HOST Did God let a rope down from Heaven to pull Jesus up with?

RUFUS: Oh, no. There was no rope. He just went up, up, up, until finally we could not see Him any longer.

HOST: Was that the end of it then?

RUFUS: No. While we were still looking up, two angels appeared and told us Jesus would return some day just like we saw Him go.

HOST Are we just supposed to sit around and wait for Him to come back?

RUFUS: Absolutely not! Just before Jesus left, He gave us a job to do.

HOST What was that?

RUFUS: It is called the "Great Commission." He said we were supposed to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.

HOST. I thought pastors and missionaries were the only ones who were supposed to do that.

RUFUS: You thought wrong. There were a whole bunch of regular believers standing there with the apostles when Jesus told us to go, and He was speaking to all of us.

HOST But it is impossible for all of us to go to other countries to preach the Gospel.

RUFUS: Jesus did not say all of us had to go to foreign countries. He was saying that each of us needs to preach the Gospel in our world.

HOST Where is "our world?"

RUFUS: Where you live, your neighborhood, your school, where you play. If everyone would preach the Gospel in their world, the whole world would hear the good news.

HOST But I cannot preach.

RUFUS: Sure you can. Preach means "to tell," and everyone can tell what Jesus did and has done for them.

HOST I can preach! Did Jesus say anything else before He left?

RUFUS: Yes. He told us there were several signs that would follow believers as they preached the Word.

HOST What are they?

RUFUS: He said we would exercise authority over the devil, we would speak with new tongues, accidental snake bites would not harm us, poisoning could not hurt us, and we would lay hands on the sick, and they would recover.

HOST Wait a minute! I know you have to be a minister to do those things.

RUFUS: That is not what Jesus said.

HOST It is not?

RUFUS: No. He said these signs would follow them that believe. Are you a believer?

HOST: Of course.

RUFUS: Then these signs will follow you, if you will believe and act on what Jesus said.

HOST You mean every believer should preach the Gospel and see these signs working through their lives, even these boys and girls?

RUFUS: Every believer.

HOST: The "Great Commission" is for all of us to do then, not just a few people.

RUFUS: That is right. Excuse me, but I have to be going now.

HOST: Thank you, Rufus, for telling us about the Lord's Ascension and especially for explaining about the ministry He has given to every believer. I do not know about you boys and girls, but I am beginning my ministry today.







FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:


We can spread the "good news" for Jesus by sharing testimonies with friends. Can you remember something good that God did for you? Tell us about it.


Now let's pray that sometime this week you will have a chance to tell an unsaved friend your testimony.


Questions for Review Game:


1. How did the disciples get trained for the ministry?

2. What did Jesus tell the disciples to do?

3. What does the word "gospel" mean?

4. The disciples were to baptize believers in whose Name?

5. How do we get authority to destroy the works of the devil?

6. Name at least three signs that were to follow those who believe.

7. Do these signs still follow believers today?

8. When does faith come to a person's heart?

9. How can we spread the good news of Jesus?

10. Should we witness to others about Jesus because we feel we have to?

POWER FROM ON HIGH

Scripture to Study: Acts 1:11 15; 2:1 47; Luke 24:49

Central Truth: The Holy Spirit empowers believers for service.

Memory Verse: Acts 1:8, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you."

Supplementary Lesson: Story—"God's Spirit Makes A Difference"

Visual Aids: Crowd (2, 9,18, 20, 59), disciples (38, 39, 40, 41), Peter (35), Mary (44), flames (54)

To the Teacher:

What a great opportunity to share the Baptism in the Holy Spirit with your class. Thoroughly teach the necessity of being filled with the Holy Spirit and be bold to pray for those children who desire to receive.


Outline:

I. Jesus told His disciples before He returned to Heaven, that He would send the Holy Spirit.

A. The Holy Spirit is just like Father God and Jesus.

1. He is kind, gentle, and good.

2. The Holy Spirit is our helper.

B. One hundred and twenty of Jesus' friends went to Jerusalem and began to pray in an upper room.

C. Suddenly, a strong wind from Heaven filled the room, and tongues of fire appeared over the heads of all who were there.

1. The people began to speak strange words. The Holy Spirit caused them to speak a new language.

2. Their minds did not understand the words, but they knew that speaking in tongues made their spirits strong (1 Cor. 14:14).

D. The disciples wandered out among the people as they spoke these words.

II. A large crowd gathered to hear what was being said.

A. Some people said that Jesus' disciples were drunk and were babbling silly words.

B. Some wondered at what was said, because they heard the disciples praising God in foreign languages.

C. Peter stood up and began to preach with a special anointing.

1. He was full of boldness.

2. Just a few days earlier, he had been ashamed of Jesus and afraid of the Jews.

D. Three thousand people were saved after Peter preached about Jesus.

E. The Holy Spirit gave the disciples the abilities to do miracles and preach with boldness.

III. The Holy Spirit is still for us today.

A. He wants to be our helper.

1. He helps us understand the Bible.

2. He guides us.

3. He tells us what Father God and Jesus say.

4. He helps us work for Jesus, pray for the sick, and tell people how to be saved.

B. When a believer receives the Holy Spirit, he talks in tongues.

1. The Holy Spirit gives us utterance or speaks strange words to our spirits.

2. We must speak what we hear Him say on the inside, for He will not make us speak in tongues.

C. Children can receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:17, 39). John the Baptist had the Holy Spirit from his mother's womb! (Luke 1:15)


Spiritual Exercises:

The Holy Spirit is my Comforter. He guides me into all truth. He explains God's Word to me. He shows me what Jesus is like, And He is my Friend. I will pray with His help.


STORY

GOD'S SPIRIT MAKES A DIFFERENCE!

Lisa was standing in the corner of the playground looking for her friends, Tina and Shelley. The playground was filled with so many kids that she could hardly find her friends. "I hope I am not late," she said.

"Hey, Lisa!" shouted Tina. We are over here."

Lisa looked up to see her friends sitting by a tree on the other side of the field. She ran over to see them and to apologize for being late.

"I am sorry I am late," she started to say when Shelley interrupted.

"What took you so long?" she asked.

"I had to go to a special meeting at the church," she said ashamedly.

"You go to church all the time," laughed Tina. "I bet it is boring. I am glad mother does not make me go."

Lisa felt so ashamed. She knew that Jesus loved her, and she wanted to please Him, but it seemed so hard to be a Christian in front of Tina and Shelley. Her friends knew nothing about God at all. They always made fun of her and tease her about having to go to church.

As the girls sat under the tree, Tina began to tell dirty stories and, though Lisa knew it was wrong, she laughed with the others.

"Hey, I have a great idea," said Shelley. "I stole a pack of Mom's cigarettes from her purse, and I brought them with me. We can smoke them."

"Yeah," said Tina. "Let us hide behind the tree and smoke. We can have a blast. What about it, Lisa, are you going to smoke with us?"

"Sure," said Lisa, "I can handle anything you can."

The three girls laughed and hid behind the tree to smoke the cigarettes. The whole time, Lisa felt so terrible inside. She knew it was wrong, but she was so afraid that the other girls would make fun of her that she did not say anything.

Later that night when Lisa was at home, she began to feel miserable. Lisa had invited Jesus into her heart when she was only five years old. She was a Christian, but she was afraid to say anything about God to her friends.

As she thought about the terrible things she had done just to please her friends, she began to cry. Her mother passed by and stopped as she heard the crying.

"Lisa, what is the matter? Why are you crying?" asked Mom. She sat down beside Lisa and put her arm around her shoulders.

"I am terrible," sobbed Lisa. As she burst into tears she said, "I am just a fake."

"What is this all about?" asked Mom.

"I did some things today that were wrong at the playground, Mom," she explained. "I did them only because Tina and Shelly would have laughed at me if I had not.

"What did you do?" asked Mom.

"I laughed at their dirty jokes, and I smoked part of a cigarette," she sobbed. "I am so sorry I did it. I just know God hates me, but I just cannot help it. I am afraid of what my friends will say if I live like God wants me to. What can I do?"

"Sweetheart," said Mom. "It is time you were filled with the Holy Spirit."

"But I am only twelve," protested Lisa.

"I know," said Mom, "but you need His strength to help you stand up to Tina and Shelley. When you receive the Holy Spirit, He will help you to be bold and you will not be afraid to be a witness for Jesus."

Lisa and her mother knelt and began to pray. Lisa asked God to forgive her for the wrong she had done and her mom taught her how to receive the Holy Spirit.

Lisa heard strange sounding words in her spirit and began to speak them with her lips.

"There," said Mom, "you are speaking in a heavenly language. The Holy Spirit inside you giving you those words."

For the next half hour, Lisa prayed in her new language. She felt all the guilt and fear leaves her mind as she worshipped God in this strange, new way. With each minute, she could sense spiritual power filling her heart. She knew that God had done something wonderful inside her, still, she wondered if she could face Tina and Shelley without being afraid.

It was almost a week before Lisa saw her friends again. Each day, she had taken time to pray in her heavenly language and now she wondered if she could face Tina and Shelley without being afraid.

As she walked to the playground, she quickly spotted Tina and Shelley. They were not alone. Chris and Angelo, two of the worst acting boys in the whole school, were sitting with them.

"Come over here," said Tina. "Did you go to church today?" They all laughed.

Lis a walked to the table and stood. "I haven't been to church, but I have been talking with God."

"Well," said Shelley in a smart way, "What did He have to say?"

"He told me to tell you that He loves you very much, and that He sent Jesus to die on the cross for you sins," said Lisa boldly.

"What happened to you?" asked Tina.

"I have Jesus in my heart," said Lisa, "and I am going to start acting like it. I am not going to be laughing at your dirty stories and smiling your cigarettes anymore. But I do like you, and I want you to like me the way I really am."

"So, you think you are better off than us," said Tina. "Ha!"

"No," said Lisa. "But I am better off than you, because I have God's love in me. You can have it, too."

"No, thanks!" said Shelley. The four kids began to laugh at Lisa and made fun of all the things she said. For the first time, Lisa was not afraid of what her friends thought.

As she turned and walked away, she realized how the Holy Spirit had helped her to be bold. For the first time in my life, thought Lisa, I care more about what Jesus thinks than what my friends think. Lisa felt great to be a brave Christian.

Later that night as she was happily telling her mother about what happened at the playground, there was a knock at the door. It was Tina. Lisa could tell her friend had been crying.

"I am sorry I made fun of you today," she cried. "I know that those things you said are right, and I wish I could be like you,"

"You can be like me," explained Lisa. For the next twenty minutes, she told tine how to invite Jesus into her heart. They prayed together, and Lisa could hardly wait to tell her mother.

After Tina left, she ran to tell her mom how Tina had prayed to receive Jesus. "Mom, I am so glad you helped me to receive the Holy Spirit." There was another knock at the door.

"Lisa," said Mom from the front room, "It's Shelley." Lisa ran to the door to talk to her friend. Can you guess what happened?

FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:


When the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, they began to speak in a new language. Have you been filled with the Holy Spirit? When and where? How did you feel? Do you still speak with other tongues today?


Questions for Review Game:


1. Who is the Holy Spirit like?

2. Where were Jesus' friends when they were filled with the Holy Spirit?

3. What appeared over the heads of all who were there?

4. What did they begin to do when they were filled with the Holy Spirit?

5. Speaking in tongues makes part of you strong. What part?

6. When the crowd heard the disciples speak, what did they think?

7. Who began to preach to the crowd with boldness and a special anointing?

8. Name at least three ways that the Holy Spirit wants to help us today.

9. Will God make you speak in tongues?

10. Can children receive the Holy Spirit?

THE NAME THAT HEALS

Scripture to Study: John 14:4; Acts 3:1 26

Central Truth: The Name of Jesus is for us to use.

Memory Verse: John 14:14, "If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it."

Supplementary Lesson: Story—"Charlie's New Eyes"

Visual Aids: Crippled man (28), crippled man healed (29), Peter (34), John (40)


To the Teacher:

We are the ones who need the Name of Jesus. In all His earthly ministry, Jesus never once used His Name in doing any miracle. Jesus' Name is for us to use in this day as we pray to the Father or in taking authority over the works of Satan. It is not a magic wand, but it does carry awesome power when used to obtain the things that rightfully belong to the child of God.


Outline:

I. There was a cripple who begged at the Gate Beautiful in Jerusalem.

A. He had never been able to walk in all his life.

B. His friends carried him to the gate every day so he could beg for food and money.

C. Satan was the one who caused his sickness.

1. God is the author of health.

2. Satan is the author of sickness.

3. All good things come from God, and all evil things come from the devil. This is still true today! (John 10:10)

II. Peter and John went to the Temple for prayer.

A. Peter and John prayed often, because it made their spirits strong.

B. Jesus taught them to pray to Father God in His Name (John 16:23 24).

C. While Peter and John were entering the Temple, the crippled man asked them for some money.

D. Peter and John did not have any money to give the man, but they did have something much better—God's power!

E. Peter said, "Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have, give I thee. In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk!"

F. As Peter took the man by the hand, healing power went through the man's crippled legs. The man walked and leaped and praised God.

III. The people thought that Peter and John healed the man with their own abilities.

A. Many people ran to see the crippled man walk, and there was great excitement.

B. They all looked to Peter and John as if they had magical powers.

C. Peter preached about Jesus and told the multitude that it was Jesus' Name that, healed the cripple.

D. We can use that Name today for healing, salvation, peace, and prosperity. Jesus told us to use His Name against problems.


Spiritual Exercises:

The Name of Jesus is for me. I pray to the Father in His Name. Jesus' Name has power over sickness and disease. Jesus' Name has power over sin and poverty. I will use His Name because it was given to me.


STORY

CHARLIE'S NEW EYES

One afternoon after a hard day of ranch work, Gospel Bill decided to ride into town for a special meeting at his church. All the way into Dry Gulch, he sang and praised God. As Bill neared the city, he sensed that God was going to do something special that evening. Little did he realize what God had planned.

Bill was riding down the main street of Dry Gulch, when he saw a commotion in front of the saloon. The bartender and another man were throwing a beggar into the street.

"Get out, Charlie, and do not come back!" yelled the bartender. "We do not allow beggars in our saloon, blind or seeing."

The beggar got up, and Bill saw it was Charlie, the blind man. Bill got off his horse, ran to the man, and helped him across the street.

"Thank you kindly, Mister," said the man to Bill. "I have not found too many kind folks around here. I am glad you came along."

"Well," said Bill, "we have got lots of fine people in Dry Gulch, but you are looking in the wrong place. That saloon crowd is not known for their kindness."

"Hey, you must be Gospel Bill," said the blind man. "Could you spare me a little money? I have not had anything to eat in two days, and I am hungrier than a bear."

Bill reached into his pocket for money and discovered that his pockets were empty. "Charlie," said Bill, "I am not carrying any money right now, but if you will come with me to my church meeting, I believe I can help you."

"Sounds kind of nice," said Charlie, "but I am not dressed in my church clothes."

"That is okay," said Bill. "You will be just fine like you are." Bill took the old man into the meeting and sat with him in the back of the church.

The preacher taught about the power in the Name of Jesus. The whole crowd listened intently, as he told how Jesus' disciples did mighty works and healed the sick in His Name. The more the man of God said, the greater the desire grew in Bill's heart to pray for the blind man.

After the service was over and folks were going home, Charlie turned to Gospel Bill and began to speak. "I sure did enjoy myself in your church," he said. "That is something about those disciples healing the sick! I sure do wish I could meet a man who could pray like them. I sure do."

"Well," said Bill, "I believe you have got your wish. I know a fellow who knows how to pray in Jesus' Name."

"You do?" said the beggar. "Does he get his prayers answered like those disciples did?"

"He sure does," said Bill. "Do you believe that God would open your eyes if a man of faith prayed for them?"

"I suppose I do," said Charlie. "I suppose that I would get healed if a fellow who knew how to pray would pray for me."

"Well, I will pray," said Bill. He laid his hands on the blind man's eyes and prayed in the Name of Jesus. "Father," said Gospel Bill, "I am asking you in Jesus' Name to open this man's eyes. Eyes, see, in Jesus' Name!"

Immediately, Charlie's eyes were opened and he began to see. He shouted at the top of his lungs, "Yahoo! Yahoo! Yahoo! I can see! I can see!"

Before Bill knew what was happening, Charlie ran down the street and into the saloon. Quickly, Bill ran to the doors of the saloon to see what was happening.

"I can see! I can see!" yelled the man as he stood in the center of the saloon. "Gospel Bill made me to see!"

"What?" asked the bartender. "Are you telling me that you can see?"

"I sure can," said Charlie. "I can see everything in this room." He began pointing at different objects around the room and describing them to the crowd. The whole group could soon tell that the blind man had indeed been healed.

"How did this happen?" asked the bartender.

"Well," said the blind man, "Gospel Bill did it. He made me well."

"Oh, no," said Bill to himself as he heard the man's words. "I did not do anything but pray. It was the Name of Jesus that healed the man."

The bartender came from behind the bar and led a crowd of curious men to find Gospel Bill.

Bill had tried to slip away, but the crowd of men spotted him before he could escape.

"Hey, wait a minute!" yelled the bartender. "Gospel Bill, I did not know you could do miracles and that kind of magic stuff. How did you make Charlie see?"

"He probably has a magic potion," said a man in the crowd. "My old grandma used to do tricks with potions and spells."

"No, that is not it at all," said another man. "He just hypnotized that beggar. I have heard about that stuff before."

"It is all a trick," said still another man. "They have got this all planned out. Charlie probably was not blind in the first place. It is all a trick for money!"

"Stop it all!" shouted Bill. He walked to the middle of the crowd and looked at each man. Then he said, "I do not do magic, and I do not know the first thing about that hypnotism stuff. As for Charlie, you all know how blind he was. You have known him for years."

`"Well, how did you do it?" asked a man. "What kind of power do you have?"

"I am a Christian who believes the Bible," said Bill. "It was not me, it was the Name of Jesus that healed this man."

"Are you saying that Jesus healed this man?" asked the bartender.

"That is right," said Bill. "When I used His Name to pray for Charlie, He healed him. I do not have any magical powers." Then Bill spoke to the men about the love of God and how Jesus redeemed men from sin. After preaching there on the sidewalk, Bill prayed for seven men who decided to believe on Jesus as Saviour. The whole town was stirred over Charlie's healing and recognized that the Name of Jesus is full of power.





FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:


Jesus told us to use His Name against problems. Is there a problem in your life that you'd like to use the Name of Jesus on?


Let's pray about each of these situations.


Questions for Review Game:


1. Who caused the crippled man to be sick?

2. Had the crippled man ever been able to walk?

3. Why did Peter and John go to the Temple?

4. What did the crippled man say to Peter and John?

5. What did Peter say to the crippled man?

6. What happened to the crippled man when Peter took him by the hand?

7. What did the crippled man do after he was healed?

8. How did the people think Peter and John healed the man?

9. What did Peter say to explain?

10. Name at least three things we can pray for in Jesus' Name.

LYING TO GOD DOES NOT PAY

Scripture to Study: Acts 5:1 11

Central Truth: God sees our hearts, and we cannot hide anything from Him.

Memory Verse: Ephesians 4:27, "Neither give place to the devil."

Supplementary Lesson: Object Lesson—"Chop Down The Weeds"

Visual Aids: Crowd (9,18, 20), Sapphira (31), Peter (35), Ananias (42)


To the Teacher:

This tragic story reveals how men bring destruction on themselves by not accepting the mercy of God. God in no way put pressure on Ananais and Sapphira to give away all the proceeds on the sale of their land. Yet, for pride's sake, they agreed to lie to men, thinking that God would not care about the money they gave. Giving should be done with simplicity and in worship unto God. Rewards always follow that kind of giving.


Outline:

I. The people in Jerusalem sold their possessions and gave the money to the Lord's work (Acts 4:34 35).

A. These people learned the joy of giving, and there was a great love in their hearts for each other.

1. They shared all that they had with those who had needs.

2. They gave money to the apostles so the Gospel could be spread.

B. We should never be afraid to give when the Lord prompts us.

1. Giving keeps us from being covetous.

2. By giving, we sow seeds that bring back a greater return.

C. In all our giving, we should have proper motives.

1. We should give our money as if we were giving to the Lord. We shouldn't expect the people we give to to give back to us. The Lord is our source, not people.

2. We should give because we want to obey God.

II. There were some people in the church who lied to God about giving.

A. Ananias and Sapphira sold a piece of land and brought part of the money to the apostles.

B. When Ananias brought the money to Peter, he lied, saying that he gave all that he received for his land.

C. God did not necessarily want Ananias to give all the money away, but He did not want him to lie.

D. The Holy Spirit told Peter what Ananias was really doing. Ananias fell down dead as Peter spoke the truth about what he had done.

E. Peter ordered some men to carry Ananias away to be buried.

1. Ananias opened a door for Satan to destroy his life.

2. Ananias not only lied to men, but to God.

III. Soon afterwards, Sapphira came to church and repeated the lie her husband told.

A. She had not heard what had happened to her husband.

B. When Peter asked her how much they had sold the land for, Sapphira lied and told Peter that they were giving all the money to God.


C. Peter spoke again to Sapphira and told her that she had lied to God and would not live.

D. Sapphira fell down dead and the men carried her out for burial.

E. God did not kill Ananias or Sapphira, but their act of wickedness permitted Satan to take their lives.

F. God wanted to forgive them, but they tried to hide their sin from God (1 John 1:9).


Spiritual Exercises:

I will not hide my sin. I will ask for mercy from the Lord. He forgives me for the sake of the Blood of Jesus. I will not open a door for Satan. Sin has no place in me.


OBJECT LESSON

CHOP DOWN THE WEEDS

Scripture Reference: Matthew 13:22, "He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful."

Materials Needed: Several different kinds of weeds and a paper sack

To Prepare: Put the weeds in the sack and keep them within easy reach as you give your lesson.

Lesson:

The Bible tells us that God's Word is like seed that can be planted in our hearts. We can produce fruit for the Lord, if we receive the Word of God. Did you know that every living thing comes from a seed? Plants, animals, and even human beings—all living things come from seeds.


When seeds are planted in the ground, they grow into plants. There are some plants we love to have in our yards. Would you like an apple tree or an orange tree in your yard? How about a coconut tree? Do you like bananas? What kind of yard would you like? Would you like soft green grass, or would you like to see thorns and thistles? Would you like stickers and weeds all over your yard? Weeds and thistles are the enemies of other plants. Weeds will kill the grass and other flowers in your yard by choking them. Weeds are enemies to watch for.


There are spiritual weeds to watch for, too. They are always trying to find a place in people. (Hold up one weed.) They will choke the life out of the heart of a Christian. These weeds will keep you from bearing fruit for Jesus. I am going to tell you about a few of these weeds so you will know how to spot them. You can chop them down with the Word of God.


The first weed I want you to watch for is the Selfish Weed. (Pull out another weed.) The Selfish Weed is always trying to keep people from giving to others. It loves to receive gifts but never wants to give them. The Selfish Weed makes you think that if you give to others, you'll have to do without the good things of life. The Word of God chops down the Selfish Weed by saying, "Give and it shall be given unto you." We know that the more we give to God, the more He will cause others to give again to us. The Selfish Weed will choke the fruit God wants you to enjoy.


There is another weed to be on the lookout for. (Pull out another weed.) It is called the Worry Weed. The Worry Weed wants us to think continually, worrying about our money, our clothes, our bills, our food, our friends, and anything else it can cause us to fret over.


The Worry Weed puts distressing thoughts in our minds that ask, "Where will you get the money to pay your bills? What will you do if you cannot answer the questions on the test?


What if your friends make fun of the new clothes your Grandma bought for you?" Do not listen to the Worry Weed. Get a spiritual hoe, the Word of God, and chop it down! The Bible tells us to cast all our cares on Him because He cares for us!


The Deceitful Weed is a terrible killer. (Pull yet another weed from your sack.) This lying weed gets into the hearts of men and causes them to trust in their money. God does want us to have plenty, but He does not want us to trust in money. He wants us to trust Him in all our ways.

No matter how much or how little money we have, we should always trust God for our money.


The Deceitful Weed wants us to trust in money. It says that everything will be all right as long as we have money. The Deceitful Weed tries to get us to hoard every penny, never being generous with God's work. It tells us that if we give our money away we will not get any more.


The Word of God tells us that God shall supply all our needs. We know that by giving, the Deceitful Weed is uprooted. When you give and expect the blessing of God on your seeds, the Deceitful Weed is pulled up by the roots.


Let us rid ourselves of weeds. Chop them down with God's Word.







FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:


Ananias and Sapphira tried to hide their sin from God by telling a lie. Have you ever told a lie and been in big trouble because of it? Tell us about it.


Questions for Review Game:


1. What did the believers in Jerusalem do with their possessions?

2. To whom did they give the money?

3. Should we ever be afraid to give when the Lord prompts us?

4. What does giving to others keep us from being?

5. What did Ananias and Sapphira sell?

6. What lie did Ananias tell Peter?

7. Who told Peter what Ananias was doing?

8. According to Peter, Ananias really lied to whom?

9. What happened to Ananias?

10. What did Sapphira tell Peter?

STEPHEN STANDS TRUE

Scripture to Study: Acts 6 and 7

Central Truth: The Holy Spirit equips the believer with supernatural love and boldness.

Memory Verse: Acts 1 :8, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you."

Supplementary Lesson: Puppet Skit—"Persecutor"

Visual Aids: Early church members (2, 9, 48, 51, 56,59, 60),Pharisees (18), disciples (34, 38, 39, 40,41), transfigured Jesus (52), Saul (57), high priest (65), Stephen (70)

To the Teacher:

Only divine love could enable Stephen to be so bold yet so forgiving. Without a doubt, this event was where God began dealing with Saul of Tarsus's conscience. The hatred of the Jews was not nearly enough to drag Stephen into strife. His last prayer was not for himself but for those who killed him. This image was burned deeply into the mind of Saul who had a hard time with his conscience until he received Christ.


Outline:

I. The church at Jerusalem multiplied bountifully.

A. Many of Jesus' fiercest enemies, the priests, were saved in this revival.

B. Because there were so many widows and orphans in the church, seven men were placed over the business of feeding them.

C. These first deacons were men full of faith and of the Holy Ghost. They were Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas.

D. Since these deacons were in charge of feeding the widows and orphans, so the apostles could continually pray and study God's Word.

II. Stephen began to preach to the unbelieving Jews.

A. By the Holy Spirit's power, Stephen did miracles and signs to bless the people.

B. B. Satan stirred up a group of men to argue with Stephen, and they tried to outwit him.

C. C. Stephen was filled with the Holy Spirit, who gave him wisdom that made their arguments silly.

D. The ungodly men paid others to lie about Stephen to the Jewish council.

1. They told the Sanhedrin that Stephen was preaching against the Temple.

2. They said that Stephen preached that Jesus would destroy the Temple.

III. When Stephen was brought to trial, he preached the truth about Jesus.

A. Stephen's boldness came from the Holy Ghost.

1. We can be bold if we receive the Holy Spirit.

2. We should speak with tongues daily to allow that boldness to work in us.

B. Stephen told the same men who brought about the crucifixion of Jesus that He was their Messiah.

C. After Stephen's sermon, the council was so angry that they ordered him to be stoned.

D. Stephen prayed for his murderers because he was filled with love.

E. Before he died, he looked into Heaven and saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

F. A young Benjamite, Saul of Tarsus, watched as Stephen was killed and was glad to see him stoned.


Spiritual Exercises:

Greater is He who is in me than he that is in the world. In all things, I am more than a conqueror. God's love in me is the greatest force in all the universe. I will be bold in love. The Holy Spirit spreads God's love throughout my heart.


PUPPET SKIT

PERSECUTOR

CHARACTERS: Host, Saul of Tarsus

HOST I do not know if we are doing the right thing by having today's guest in our class. He was known for the terrible things he did to Christians in the days after Jesus went back up to Heaven. He was a great persecutor and had believers put in prison, killed, and tortured. I do not know if a welcome is in order or not, but I will introduce him anyway. Here is Saul of Tarsus.

(Saul enters.)

SAUL: Aha! Christians! Boy, are you in trouble. I am going to have you put into jail!

HOST Wait just a minute, Saul. These kids have done you no harm. Why do you want to harm them?

SAUL: Do they believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God?

HOST Yes, we all do.

SAUL: That is the trouble. I hate people who believe that. You are trying to destroy my religion!

HOST Destroy your religion?

SAUL: That is right! Jesus taught that we could not be saved by the Law of Moses. He said that we should believe that He is the way to God. I hate Christians. I believe in what Moses taught!

HOST: So do we.

SAUL: What did you say?

HOST I said that we, too, believe in what Moses taught.

SAUL: If you believe in Moses, how can you believe on Jesus?

HOST Moses taught people that their sins must be covered by the blood of an animal sacrifice.

SAUL: That is right! We sacrifice lambs, bulls, goats, and sometimes doves.

HOST: But the blood of animals cannot wash sin from a guilty heart. It can only cover up the sin, but the sin remains.

SAUL: Well, at least it is covered.

HOST: There is something better. Do you believe the prophet Isaiah?

SAUL: I sure do.

HOST: He said that a man would be wounded for the transgression of God's people. He said that someone would come to carry away the sins of God's people. Jesus Christ did that.

SAUL: You no good fellow! I will have you put in jail for this!

HOST: Calm down, Saul. You are a man who knows the Old Testament. You should know that the Christ was to come as a child, grow up, and be killed. Jesus was our sacrifice.

SAUL: I do not believe a word of it. I use lambs for my sacrifices.

HOST: Jesus is the Lamb of God. He came to take away the sin of the world.

SAUL: Ha! The world cannot be saved. Only Jews can know about the true God.

HOST: When Jesus died as our substitute on the cross, He did it for the whole world.

SAUL: Impossible!

HOST: And He rose from the dead.

SAUL: No. His disciples stole His body. The disciples have been telling that lie ever since. Wait until I get my hands on Simon Peter.

HOST: If the story of Jesus is a lie, then why are you so worried?

SAUL: I am not worried.

HOST: You are afraid that millions of people will believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

SAUL: I am going to stop as many Christians as I can from telling people about Jesus.

HOST: Well, it will not work. The more you fight, the more we will grow.

SAUL: I am not listening to you anymore. You are crazy. Jesus could not possibly be the Son of God.

HOST: We will be praying for you. Let us know when you change your mind.

SAUL: I will never change! I will never believe in Jesus. I am going to the authorities right now. I am going to have you thrown into jail!

(He leaves.)

HOST: Poor Saul. He is so sad. He will have to find out for himself that Jesus really is the Son of God. We should pray for him.


FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:


Have other kids ever made it hard for you to be a Christian? Sometimes they try to get you to do wrong things. Or sometimes they don't listen to you when you tell them about Jesus. Tell us what happened. How did you feel? What did you do?


Questions for Review Game:


1. Many of Jesus' fiercest enemies were saved during the revival. Who were they?

2. What was the title given to the men who took care of feeding the widows and orphans?

3. Why did the apostles not feed the poor themselves?

4. Who helped Stephen do miracles and signs to bless the people?

5. Who gave Stephen the boldness to preach the truth during his trial?

6. What should we do every day to allow boldness to work in us?

7. The council was angry after Stephen's sermon. What did they order to be done to him?

8. Why did Stephen pray for his murderers?

9. Before he died, what did Stephen see?

10. Who watched as Stephen was stoned?


PREACHING THAT GETS RESULTS

Scripture to Study: Acts 8:5 8; 26 40

Central Truth: The preaching of the Gospel produces results.

Memory Verse: John 14:12, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also."

Supplementary Lesson: Game—"Pin The Word On The Devil"

Visual Aids: Angel (1), crowd (9,18, 20), city (12), tree (26), Philip (38), Ethiopian eunuch (71), chariot (72)

To the Teacher:

Philip was only a deacon but he knew how to expect results. Jesus said, "He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also." Philip believed this, and he did the same works that Jesus did in His earthly ministry. The preaching of the Word brings the same results today. The gospel produces the signs, not men. The true Word of God builds expectancy in the hearts of men. We must be bold to proclaim that Jesus sets men free from sin, sickness, poverty, and the curse.


Outline:

I. Philip, one of the deacons in the church at Jerusalem, went to preach at Samaria.

A. Philip preached about Jesus, telling the Samaritans what had been done for them by the Lord.

B. Multitudes of people were saved and filled with the Holy Spirit.

C. Many were healed and others were delivered from evil spirits.

D. There was great joy in Samaria because of the wonderful works of God.

E. God's Word brings great joy to those who believe and receive it.

II. After the revival, an angel told Philip to go to Gaza.

  1. Gaza was many days away. Philip did not know why he was to go, but he simply obeyed the Lord.

  2. A. Philip was in the desert near Gaza, he saw an officer of the Queen of Ethiopia.

C. This Ethiopian ruler had charge of all the treasury in his country and had been to Jerusalem to worship God.

D. The Holy Spirit told Philip to go to the man in his chariot.

E. When Philip heard the man reading from the Old Testament, he seized the opportunity to tell him about Jesus.

III. Philip led the eunuch to Jesus.

A. The eunuch believed Philip's preaching and asked to be baptized in water.

B. When they came up out of the water, the Holy Spirit caught Philip away and transported him 25 miles to Azotus.

C. Philip preached in many cities about Jesus.

D. Philip was later called an evangelist.


Spiritual Exercises:


I will tell the story

Of what Jesus did for me.

I will tell how Jesus

Heals, forgives, and sets the captives free.

The gospel is good news

And it always brings great joy

To each one who believes it

Man, woman, girl, or boy.



FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:


Philip was a missionary. He left his home to tell other people about Jesus. Do you know a missionary? Tell us about him or her.

Let's take a few minutes to pray for these faithful servants of God.


Questions for Review Game:


1. Where did Philip go to preach?

2. What happened there?

3. Who told Philip to go to Gaza?

4. Who did Philip see in the desert near Gaza?

5. Why had the eunuch come to Jerusalem?

6. What did the Holy Spirit tell Philip to do after he saw the eunuch?

7. What was the eunuch reading?

8. What did the Eunuch want to do after he received Jesus as Lord?

9. What happened to Philip after they came up out of the water?

10. What was Philip called?

FIGHTING WITH GOD

Scripture to Study: Acts 9:1 2;12:20 24; Galatians 1:13 14

Central Truth: Opposing the Word of God is useless and unhealthy.

Memory Verse: Proverbs 13:15, "The way of transgressors is hard."

Supplementary Lesson: Story—"Gospel Bill And The Bandit"

Visual Aids: Angel (1), King Herod (14), Pharisees (18), Peter (34), James (39), Saul (58), high priest (65)

To the Teacher:

Sin is a miserable state and becomes much worse when men begin to oppose the work of God. When Satan uses any man, it is always to his own destruction. The devil never rewards those who accomplish his purpose, and only misery awaits those who actively fight against the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.


Outline:

I. The leaders of Israel persecuted the church with intense hatred.

A. The Jews who did not believe on Jesus were deceived to think that Jesus wanted to take away their religion.

B. The animal sacrifices of the Law could not take away sin.

1. Jews' sins were atoned for, or covered.

2. They still remained inside the person's heart, but God looked over them when a sacrifice was made.

C. Jesus came to be the final sacrifice for sin, death, sickness, and poverty.

1. The animal sacrifices were only symbols of the sacrifice of God's Son.

2. Jesus' blood removes sin completely.

D. God did not want to destroy the Jews' religion. He wanted them to have something much better (Hebrews 8:6).

II. Saul of Tarsus became a fierce enemy of the church.

A. Saul was present at the death of Stephen and agreed with the things that were done to him.

B. The High Priest gave Saul permission to throw into jail anyone who believed on Jesus as the Son of God.

1. Saul had believers, both men and women, thrown into jail.

2. He traveled from city to city looking for Christians.

C. Saul's conscience began to bother him from time to time, but he convinced himself that the persecution of Christians was justified.

D. The devil wants to keep believers from spreading the gospel by persecuting them through men.

1. In persecution, the gospel usually spreads more rapidly.

2. We can believe God for safety in times of trouble.

III. King Herod found that it does not pay to fight God's people.

A. King Herod persecuted the church by executing James, the brother of John.

B. On different occasions, Herod tried to capture and execute Peter. The angel of God set Peter free.

C. One day Herod made a wonderful speech, and the people who heard him began to give him glory that belongs to God.

1. They said that Herod spoke like God.

2. Herod received their worship.

D. The angel of the Lord smote Herod, and he was judged for his pride.

1. He was filled with worms and died.

2. His death gave peace to the church.


Spiritual Exercises:


I will not fight against God with my mouth.

I will obey His Word.

I am a friend of God, because I keep His words in my heart and obey them.


STORY

GOSPEL BILL AND THE BANDIT

Sheriff McCoy rushed into the general store panting and puffing. Gospel Bill, who had been buying supplies, turned to see what all the commotion was about.

"Gospel Bill!" yelled the sheriff. "You have got to help me, quick! Rattlesnake Red has just broken out of jail, and he has already robbed a stagecoach, a train, and a bank!"

"Well, Sheriff, where are your deputies?" asked Bill.

"Deputies? What deputies? Not a man in town wants to help me capture that outlaw," said the sheriff sadly. "They are all scared."

Gospel Bill put down the can of beans he was holding and thoughtfully eyed the sheriff.

"I will go," he said. "God has not given me the spirit of fear."

Bill quickly paid for the supplies and followed the sheriff to the livery stable to saddle their horses. Together they rode out of town to find Rattlesnake Red.

After riding for many hours, they finally found the outlaw's trail. Bill and Sheriff McCoy followed the tracks of Red's horse deep into the desert. As Bill looked at the ground, he saw an empty whiskey bottle beside a hoof print. Bill knew for sure he was on the right trail. Rattlesnake Red was known for his wicked life. The bandit had stolen thousands of dollars from trains, banks, and stagecoaches. He shot anyone who dared to try and stop him.

"What makes a man behave like Rattlesnake Red?" asked Sheriff McCoy.

"Well, according to the Bible," replied Gospel Bill, "men do wrong because of sin."

"One thing is for certain, Rattlesnake Red is just worthless. He is as mean as a mad dog. He will always be rotten. There is just no hope for outlaws like him. He will never change." The sheriff shook his head hopelessly as they rode down the hot trail.

"But he can be changed," said Gospel Bill.

"Impossible!" argued the sheriff. "I know outlaws!"

"And I know Jesus!" said Bill. "He can change a man's heart. Even Rattlesnake Red could be born again."

"Well, I will believe Rattlesnake Red can be born again only if I see it with my own eyes," said Sheriff McCoy.

Gospel Bill smiled as they rode on. He knew God could melt even the hard heart of Rattlesnake Red.

The afternoon sun made the horses hot and tired. Suddenly, the sheriffs horse began to stumble. Gospel Bill stopped and got off his horse.

"Your horse will not make it another mile," said Bill.

The sheriff dismounted his tired horse. Bill looked at the horse closely.

"He is just exhausted, and he will die if you go on any further."

"Well, what are we going to do?" asked the sheriff.

"There is only one thing to do," answered Bill. "We will let your horse rest in the shadow of that cliff over there. I will walk on ahead to find Rattlesnake Red, and you can ride my horse back to town for more help."

"But this is the desert, Bill. Why, you will die if you keep on going," replied Sheriff McCoy.

"It will be dark soon," said Bill. "I can walk out of this desert in a few hours. Besides, we will lose Rattlesnake Red's trail if I do not keep on going."

"Well, I will hurry as fast as I can to get you some help," said the sheriff as he rode back toward town.

Gospel Bill walked along the trail that the bandit's horse had made just a few hours before. Soon it was dark. Bill was relieved that the hot sun had gone down, but now it was impossible to follow the tracks. Just as he was about to stop for the night, he spotted the light of a campfire.

"Praise the Lord!" said Bill happily as he walked toward the campfire. "That has just got to be Rattlesnake Red! He is not expecting company, or he would not be making a campfire."

The brave young cowboy moved silently across the sand to the top of a small hill just above the camp. There, next to the fire was Rattlesnake Red, drinking whiskey and counting stolen money.

"Rich! Rich! I'm rich," roared Rattlesnake Red. "I am out of jail, and I have enough money to live like a king! Yahooey!"

Gospel Bill sat quietly and listened to the drunken outlaw as he talked. He was waiting for just the right chance to catch the bandit off guard.

"I have money and whiskey and a good horse," said Rattlesnake Red, thinking no one was listening. "But I am not any happier than I was before I broke out of jail."

Gospel Bill was surprised to hear the outlaw saying such things.

"Rattlesnake Red is really sad," said Bill to himself, "and he is not going to be happy until he gets saved." Bill pulled out his gun and jumped into the open shouting, "Hold it, Red! Throw down your gun and stand up!"

Red jumped up angrily and began to fire his pistol at Bill. Thinking quickly, Bill shot at the outlaw's gun, knocking it from his hand. Rattlesnake Red realized he was beaten so he slowly put his hands up to surrender.

"Okay, you win," said Red.

Very carefully, Bill walked over to the outlaw and tied his hands. The next morning Bill rose early and saddled Red's horse. He mounted the horse and marched the outlaw down the trail that led to town.

Red was angry at Gospel Bill for making him walk and began to yell at him. "You no good cut throat! If I was loose, I would tear you to pieces!"

"You cannot hurt me, and I am not afraid of you," replied Bill. "You are just a miserable outlaw who needs to be born again!"

"Me, miserable?" asked Red. "I was doing just fine until you came sneaking up on me. I have thousands of dollars hid out there in the hills, and I am going to break free and spend it and have a great time!"

"You may have a lot of money, but you are not happy," said Bill. "I heard you say so yourself just last night."

"You heard me talking?" asked Red.

"I sure did," said Bill, "and I can tell you exactly what it takes to be full of joy."

"Well, I am not interested," said Red.

"Okay," said Gospel Bill, "but you do not even know what real living is all about."

"I have done more exciting things than any man living," Red shouted. "I know how to have fun without going to church. Besides, you do not have to go to church."

"Who said anything about church?" asked Bill.

"Well, that is what you are about to say, is it not—that I need to go to church?"

“A man should go to church," said Bill, "but in your condition, it would not do any good."

"What kind of condition am I in?" asked the outlaw.

"You have got a wicked heart," said Bill. "That is why you rob and steal and kill. You are just like your daddy."

"Why, you rascal! My daddy never stole a thing or hurt a soul. He was an honest farmer!" yelled Red.

"I am not talking about your earthly daddy," explained Bill. "I am talking about your spiritual father, the devil."

"People always said I was mean as the devil," said Red.

"That means," said Bill, "when you get hanged for all your crimes, you will go to Hell."

"I do not believe in either Hell or Heaven," argued Red.

"Red, has anybody ever told you that Jesus died on the cross for you and your sins?" asked Gospel Bill.

"Jesus died for church people," said Red.

"Jesus died for sinners," said Bill, "and that means everybody—church people and outlaws, too."

"Well, even if I wanted to be good, I could not. I am too rotten to change. I could never enjoy living right and being nice to people," Red replied.

"You could if you were born again" said Bill. Red did not seem to be listening.

"Can we stop and rest?" asked Red. "I cannot walk anymore."

"All right, we will stop," replied Bill, "but just for a minute."

Bill got off the horse and gave Red a drink from his canteen. They both sat down in the sand to rest when two strange men suddenly appeared. They were bounty hunters.

"Hello," said one bounty hunter as he came closer. The other stood very still and said nothing. Gospel Bill knew in his heart that these men were evil.

"Well, well, well," said the man as he looked toward Rattlesnake Red. "You have caught yourself an outlaw with a $5000 reward on his head."

Very slowly, Gospel Bill reached for his gun.

"This outlaw has got more than forty thousand dollars hid somewhere in these hills and I am going to take him with me to find it!" said the bounty hunter. The greedy men quickly drew their guns, but Bill speedily fired a shot at the feet of the first man. The two men dropped their guns.

"Now get yourselves out of here," said Bill, "and leave your guns right there on the ground." The hunters hurried to their horses and raced away.

"They would have killed me if you had not done that," said Rattlesnake Red. "You could have got yourself shot. Why did you stop them?"

“You are in no condition to die," said Bill. "Besides, I would not be able to forgive myself if I let them kill you so I could have some money."

Rattlesnake Red had never seen anyone so brave and yet so pure hearted as Gospel Bill. He started thinking about the things Bill had told him earlier.

After traveling all day, Gospel Bill and Rattlesnake Red could finally see the lights of Dry Gulch in the distance.

"Not much further now," said Bill.

"I cannot make it," said Red. "I have never walked so much in all my life."

"You can ride the rest of the way," said Bill. "But do not try to escape."

Bill jumped off the horse and helped the weary outlaw into the saddle. They moved slowly toward to town.

"I have been thinking," admitted Red. "I have been thinking about what you said awhile ago. Do you think God would save me if I asked Him?"

"I know He would," said Bill.

"Well, I need salvation as bad as anybody ever did," said Red. "The trouble is, I do not know how to pray. I have never prayed a prayer in my whole life!"

"I will show you," said Bill. He stopped the horse and looked up at the outlaw. "Follow me"...(and boys and girls, you too, can pray this prayer if you would like to be saved.)

"I am ready," said Red.

"Dear Heavenly Father," said Bill as Red repeated, "I am lost without Jesus in my life, but He came to take away my sin. I believe He died for me and rose again from the dead. I confess that Jesus is my Lord. Thank You for saving me and giving me a brand new heart."

"Yahooey!" said Rattlesnake Red. "I am not the same. I can tell. I have a new heart!"

Suddenly, the outlaw spurred the horse and rode away. Gospel Bill was so startled that he did not know what to do as Red galloped away toward Dry Gulch.

Thirty minutes later, Bill walked into town sadly hoping to find the sheriff. He was terribly disappointed in losing the captured bandit after all his trouble. Sheriff McCoy saw Bill and ran quickly to him.

"I was just getting ready to leave town with a group of deputies," said the sheriff, "but I do not have to now."

"You are wrong, Sheriff," said Bill. "I had Rattlesnake Red captured, but I let him get away just a few miles out of town."

"Bill, you do not know? Red turned himself in thirty minutes ago," explained Sheriff McCoy. "He is preaching to all the prisoners, and tomorrow he is going to show me where all his stolen money is hidden."

Bill's face lit up.

"I did not think it could be done, but the Lord has changed Red's heart," said the sheriff.

Bill was so happy he fired his pistol into the air. "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature! Old things are passed away; behold, all things are new!" he shouted.

FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:


Have you ever felt the Holy Spirit ask you to do something, but you did not want to do it? You were fighting with God! What happened?


Questions for Review Game:


1. What did the unbelieving Jews think Jesus wanted to take away from them?

2. What were animal sacrifices a symbol of?

3. Who got special permission from the High Priest to throw believers into prison?

4. How does the devil try to keep believers from spreading the gospel?

6. What does persecution usually do to the spread of the gospel?

6. Which king tried to fight God's people?

7. Who did King Herod have executed?

8. Who escaped from King Herod's prison?

9. What was King Herod judged for?

10. How did King Herod die?

SAUL AND THE GREAT LIGHT

Scripture to Study: Acts 9:1 31

Central Truth: Jesus can completely change the most wicked sinner.

Memory Verse: Ezekiel 36:26, "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you."

Supplementary Lesson: Object Lesson—"A New Heart"

Visual Aids: Ananias (3), bright light (11), tree (26),transfigured Jesus (52), Saul (57)

To the Teacher:

There is not a more dramatic example of what the new birth accomplishes in a man than this. Saul of Tarsus immediately began to be as powerful a force for God as he had been for Satan. The entire nation must have been shocked. The same working of God's power takes place today in every person who receives Jesus. In this lesson, emphasize the power of the new birth.


Outline:

I. On his way to Damascus, Saul of Tarsus met someone unexpectedly.

A. Saul had permission from the High Priest to capture any Jewish believers who might be found in Damascus.

B. With a company of men, Saul traveled to within a few miles of the city when a great light shone about him.

C. Saul heard a voice saying, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?"

1. When people offend the least believer, it is as though they had offended Jesus Himself.

2. Saul was struck with fear and fell to the ground.

D. When Jesus identified Himself to Saul, he quickly repented and called Jesus Lord.

1. The Bible says that we must confess Jesus as Lord to be born again (Romans 10:9).

2. Saul was born again here and was willing to do anything Jesus wanted.

E. The Lord told Saul to go to the city and meet a disciple named Ananias who would pray for him.

F. Saul was blinded because of the great light for three days. He had to be led to Damascus.

II. God used a layman named Ananias to help Saul.

A. Jesus appeared in a vision to Ananias and told him where to find Saul and to pray for him.

1. Ananias was frightened because of Saul's reputation for slaughtering Christians.

2. The Lord convinced Ananias he would not be harmed.

B. Ananias obeyed the Lord's direction and went to the exact house where Saul was waiting and praying.

C. Ananias put his hands on Saul and prayed that he might receive his sight and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

1. Saul spoke with tongues (1 Corinthians 14:18).

2. Scales fell from his eyes, and he was able to see.

III. The church was blessed by Saul's conversion.

A. He went into the synagogues and began to preach about Christ, much to the surprise of all.

B. The Jews who did not believe on Jesus decided to kill him, but Saul escaped from the city by being let down from the wall in a basket.

C. Barnabas took Saul to the apostles and told them the wonderful news of his conversion.

D. Saul preached that Jesus was the Son of God in Jerusalem, and the enemies of the gospel once again sought to kill him.

E. Saul escaped and went to Tarsus, and the churches had peace and continued to multiply.

Spiritual Exercises:

I am a new creature in Christ Jesus.

My sin is washed away.

I have God's nature in me.

I am His child.

He has blessed me with every good thing.


OBJECT LESSON

A NEW HEART

Scripture Reference: 2 Corinthians 5:17, " if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature..." Ezekiel 36:26, " A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you ..."

Materials Needed: Surgical clothes, fist sized rock, table, two sheets, surgical instruments, and a pig's heart. (Check a local butcher shop or use any piece of meat. For surgical clothes check a local hospital for throw away paper surgical clothes.)

To Prepare: Prepare an operating table by covering it with a sheet and taping a small box on the side away from the class. The box should be hidden from view and should contain the rock you will use for a stony heart. Select a helper to enter your class as a hardened sinner. This person could possibly be dressed as a bum and should be able to convince the audience that he has a sinful heart.

Lesson:

Teacher: We have with us today a fellow who is in dire need of a heart transplant. He is without God, and his spirit is cold, hard, and bitter.


(To the bum): Hello, sir. Come right over here. I understand you have heart trouble.


Bum: Oh, yes. My heart is hardened by sin, and I am miserable.


Teacher: So, you understand that I am not talking about your physical heart. I am referring to your inward man.


Bum: Yes, I know. My physical heart is all right, but my spirit is in bad shape. I need a new heart.


Teacher: Let me give you a test. (All of these questions should be answered negatively.) Do you obey your parents? Do you love to go to church? Do you enjoy praising the Lord? Do you love your neighbors?


Lie down on this table, and I will cover you up. You are going to get a new heart. (Cover the patient with a sheet. Put on surgical clothes.)


This man is going to be a totally different person when he wakes up. He will have a brand new heart. Until a man is born again, his heart is hard as a rock. Sin hardens the spirit. (Read Ezekiel 36:26.)


You know that I am not removing the heart that pumps blood, but I am removing the spiritual heart. It can be full of the life of God or it can be full of sin. (Begin to operate on the patient. Pretend to cut, saw, sponge, and finally, pull the rock from your box and bring it from beneath the sheet.)


Wow! This man's heart is hardened by sin. It is just exactly what the Bible describes it as—a stony heart! Thank God for Jesus who came to give us new spirits, new hearts. The born again heart is soft and pliable. It will listen to God! (Bring out the piece of meat.)


This heart is going to make this man a new creature. When a person receives Jesus as his Saviour, his spirit is born again. It is made new again, and becomes soft and sensitive to the Lord's leading. (Place the meat into the box. Remove the sheet and let it cover the box the meat has been hidden in.)


It is time to wake this man up. Sir, wake up. Your surgery is over.


Bum: Wow! I am a new man!


Teacher: How can you tell?


Bum: My insides are different. I do not think I want to be hateful to my parents any longer. I know I would like to learn more about God's Word, and I would like to go to church.


Teacher: Well, that is what happens when you become a new creature. Your heart is just not the same.


Bum: Oh, by the way. What will this cost me? How much do I owe?


Teacher: Do not be concerned about that. Jesus paid the bill with His sacrifice. It does not cost you a thing.


Bum: Praise God. I do not know how it happened, but I know I am not the same old person. (He leaves.)


Teacher: God said we could all become new creatures by accepting Christ. If you have not received your new heart, you can pray today.



FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:


Have you ever known someone who got saved and then changed completely? Maybe they were mean or fearful before they asked Jesus into their hearts, but afterward, they were kind or brave. Tell us about him or her.


Questions for Review Game:


1. What city was Saul of Tarsus going to when he met Jesus?

2. Why was he going there?

3. What did Saul hear a voice say?

4. When was Saul born again?

6. How long was Saul blinded?

6. Did Ananias want to pray for Saul?

7. How did Ananias know where to find Saul?

8. What happened to Saul when Ananias prayed for him?

9. What did Saul do after he was converted?

10. How did Saul escape from the city?

A BIG SURPRISE FOR PETER

Scripture to Study: Acts 10

Central Truth: Salvation belongs to anyone who believes and receives the Gospel.

Memory Verse: Romans 10:13, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

Supplementary Lesson: Puppet Skit—"Here Kitty, Kitty"

Visual Aids: Angel (1), servants (9), Cornelius (67), Peter (34, 35)


To the Teacher:

For the first time, Jewish believers saw the plan of God concerning gentiles, and it took a supernatural revelation for them to accept what God wanted. Jesus had earlier told His disciples to preach the gospel to every creature, but this commission had somehow been misunderstood. The truth is that the church did not break its ties with Judaism overnight but took years to understand the program of God. Thank God that He broke down the barrier that kept all men from the truth.


Outline:

I. There was a Roman centurion who wanted to know more about God.

A. He was a very good man, but he was not born again. He had never heard the gospel.

B. Cornelius gave offerings and prayed, but he did not really understand God's plan of salvation.

C. One day an angel came from God to Cornelius' house and told him where to find a preacher.

1. Angels cannot tell men how to be saved.

2. The job of preaching the gospel has been given to men.

II. Cornelius sent men to find Simon Peter.

A. Three of Cornelius' servants went to Joppa to find Peter, for the angel had told him exactly where Peter was.

B. Peter was a Jew and, like all Jews, he did not believe that gentiles could be saved.

1. A gentile is anyone who is not Jewish.

2. The Jews believed that only those who were descendants of Abraham could be saved.

3. Cornelius was a gentile.

C. Praying on the housetop, Peter had a vision of many animals. He heard a voice from Heaven saying, "Arise, Peter. Kill and eat."

1. This vision was a symbol of what God wanted Peter to do in gospel work.

2. Many of the animals he saw were unlawful for Jews to eat.

3. God was letting him know that what was once considered unclean was now cleansed in the sight of God.

III. Peter went to preach in a gentile household.

A. He went with the men to Cornelius' house and preached to them about Jesus.

B. In the middle of Peter's sermon, the men in Cornelius' house began to speak with other tongues.

1. They had silently believed on Jesus and then received the Holy Ghost.

2. The speaking in tongues caused Peter to realize that gentiles could, indeed, be saved.

C. Salvation is a gift to men that cannot be earned. It belongs to all men, regardless of race, religion, or creed.

D. The ministry of the church was forever changed now that the Jewish believers recognized that gentiles could be saved.


Spiritual Exercises:

I believe in my heart that God raised Jesus from the dead. With my mouth, I confess Jesus as my Lord According to the Word of God, I am saved. Whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved. I called on His Name, and I am saved.


PUPPET SKIT

"HERE KITTY' KITTY"

CHARACTERS: Host, Simon Peter

HOST Our guest today is a very special man indeed. He is one of the greatest preachers who ever lived. He was a successful fisherman before he went to follow Jesus and became a fisher of men. Let us welcome Simon Peter.

(Peter enters.)

PETER: Hello, hello, hello.

HOST. We are glad to see you, Mr. Simon Peter. Exactly how would you like for us to address you?

PETER: Well, some folks call me Simon. Others call me Cephas. Some call me Peter. You can just call me Peter.

HOST Okay, Peter. You were one of the closest followers of Jesus. Can you tell us what He taught you about fishing for men?

PETER: You know that before I became His disciple I was in the fishing business. I had my own boats and nets, and I sold fish in the market.

HOST. Did you do well at fishing?

PETER: Oh, yes, I did really well—especially when I learned how to use my net the right way. We need to learn some things about fishing for men. It takes a good fisherman to catch fish and men.

HOST What kind of bait does it take to catch men?

PETER: God wants us to throw out His Word. When we preach the truth to folks, they get hungry for God.

HOST Well, there is a lot of preaching in the world today.

PETER: Yes, but many folks are preaching the wrong things. If we want to catch men, we will have to preach the right way.

HOST What is the right way to preach?

PETER: We have got to preach exactly what the Bible says. For instance, in Hebrews 13:8, God's Word says that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Some folks are saying that Jesus does not heal anymore. Some even say that Jesus and God make people sick to teach them lessons. In all the time I spent with Jesus, He never once made one person sick or refused to heal someone who asked for healing.

HOST Just exactly how does God teach His people lessons?

PETER: Jesus taught people with God's Word. If you need to learn a lesson or if you get a spanking from God, you will get His Word—not sickness or accidents.

HOST So God does not teach lessons to people by sending trouble?

PETER: God is not the author of trouble. He is the Father of light, and all good and perfect gifts come from Him.

HOST Who brings trouble?

PETER: Why, the devil, of course. He is the one who is out to destroy our faith. He is behind all temptation.

HOST Well then, does God let the devil pick on us so that we can grow spiritually?

PETER: God does not want the devil picking on us anymore than our parents would like to see some bully picking on us. He is a good God. The way to stop the devil is to use God's Word.

HOST So, if the devil is picking on me, that does not mean that God wants him to?

PETER: Right. The devil picks on everybody. You know, I wrote a letter that became part of the Bible. I said in that letter that the devil goes about as a roaring lion, looking for someone that he may eat up.

HOST: The devil is a lion all right.

PETER: I did not say that. I said that he is as a roaring lion. I did not say that he was one. He roars really loud, but he is just a pussycat to those who know how to handle him.

HOST How do we handle him?

PETER: We resist him by being steadfast in our faith. Where do we get faith?

HOST From the Word of God.

PETER: Right. So start using the Word on the devil, and speak scriptures to him.

HOST: Is he afraid of that?

PETER: My friend, Paul, says that the spoken Word of God is like a sword. The pussycat does not like to get his whiskers trimmed with a sword.

HOST: I have it now! I am going to chase that pest of a cat right out of my house!

PETER: Now you have the idea! Here kitty, kitty. Here kitty, kitty.




FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:


Have you ever had to make a tough decision, and then God told you what to do in a dream? What was the decision? What was the dream? What did you do?


Questions for Review Game:


1. Who was Cornelius?

2. Who told Cornelius where to find a preacher?

3. Who did Cornelius send for?

4. What is a Gentile?

5. Did Jews think that the Gentiles could be saved?

6. What vision did Peter see on the housetop?

7. What did the vision mean?

8. What happened to the men in Cornelius' house while Peter was preaching?

9. What did Peter realize when he heard the men speak in tongues?

10. Which races of people can be saved?

PETER'S JAILBREAK

Scripture to Study: Acts 12:1 10

Central Truth: The angels of God watch over the saints.

Memory Verse: Psalm 91:11, "For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways."

Supplementary Lesson: Story—"The Angel In Cowboy Clothes"

Visual Aids: Angel (1), believers (9, 20), King Herod (14), disciples (38, 39, 40, 41), Peter (34, 35), Mary (44), John Mark (48), Rhoda (69), soldier (66), soldier (67)

To the Teacher:

Angels are real and still operate on behalf of believers today. Their place in the program of God has always been prominent, and dozens of angelic appearances are listed in scripture. We should, as the prophet of old stated, open our spiritual eyes to be mindful of the host of God that surrounds us.


Outline:

I. King Herod began to persecute the church.

A. He ordered James, the brother of John, to be killed with sword.

B. The unbelieving Jews applauded Herod's wickedness and this prompted him to take Peter into custody.

1. He had Peter put into jail and chained to two soldiers.

2. He planned to execute Peter the next day.

C. Peter obviously was not worried about execution because he was able to sleep.

D. Jesus had told Peter earlier that he would not die until he was old (John 21:18 19). Peter was resting on the promise of God.

II. The angel of the Lord set Peter free.

A. The angel materialized inside the prison and woke Peter.

1. Peter thought he was having a vision.

2. The chains fell from his hands.

B. The angel led Peter out of the prison to safety, then disappeared.

1. God said in His Word that the angels will protect us.

2. The word "salvation" includes the meaning of protection.

C. Peter went quickly to the house of John Mark and his mother, Mary.

III. The surprised believers were blessed by Peter's deliverance.

A. The church had been praying without ceasing for Peter's release.

B. When Peter knocked at the gate, a girl named Rhoda came to answer and returned with excitement to the praying Christians.

C. Not believing it was Peter, the group finally opened the door to see the truth.

D. Peter told them how the angel had delivered him from certain death.

E. The angels of God do many wonderful things for believers today (Hebrews 1:14).

1. They help prevent accidents.

2. They deliver answers to prayers.

3. They sometimes give special directions for ministry.

4. They help bring loved ones to Jesus.



Spiritual Exercises:

The angels of God are round about me Because I trust the Lord. The army of God is mightier Than any earthly army. I believe in the protection of God. No evil shall befall me.


STORY

THE ANGEL IN COWBOY CLOTHES

It was a clear night, and Gospel Bill had made a campfire under the stars. After feeding his horse, he took his Bible from his saddlebags and began to read in the light of the fire.

As Bill read stories from the Book of Acts about Peter's preaching the Holy Spirit began to speak to his heart. Nearby was a mining camp known all over the territory for its sinfulness.

Bill had heard nothing but bad news come from the camp, as there were always reports of shootings, uproars, and murders. The Holy Spirit spoke to Bill about going into the camp to witness.

Early the next morning as Bill rose to make breakfast, he saw an old man approaching on a mule. As the man came closer, Bill could see that he was hurt and was about to fall from his mule.

Quickly, Bill ran to help the old man to his camp and gave him water. From his appearance, the man seemed to be a miner. "What happened, mister?" asked Bill.

"I got shot in the side last night in a fight up in Lulu," whispered the old man.

"That is the mining camp up in the hills, right?" asked Bill.

"Yes," said the miner. "There is not a more wicked place under God's Heaven. Every night there is a shooting, and I have never seen so much fighting and drinking in all my days."

"Well," said Bill, "you need some rest and good food. I have some friends about a half day's ride from here. I will take you there tomorrow, and then I have got to be on my way."

"Where are you going?" asked the miner.

"I am going to Lulu to preach the gospel," said Bill.

"Preach?" said the man. "Those wicked men will hang you up by your ears. Go to some nice little town that has a church if you want to preach, but stay out of Lulu. It is no place for preaching."

"You are wrong," said Bill. "The place sounds to me like it is ripe for the gospel. I am headed there tomorrow."

The next day, Bill tied two poles to the miner's mule, then tied his blanket on the poles, making a stretcher. He carefully laid the miner on the stretcher and took him to his friend's cabin. After seeing that the old man would be cared for, Bill told the man about Jesus and prayed with him to receive Christ. Then, he set out for Lulu.

All the way to the mining camp, Bill heard the devil's thoughts trying to frighten him away from Lulu. "You will be shot!" said one thought. "They will make fun of you and hang you!" said another. Gospel Bill knew that God's protection was upon him so he refused to allow those fears to stop him from obeying God.

"I am not going into Lulu alone," said Gospel Bill to the devil. "I am going with the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost, and a herd of good angels. I am going to preach the Word, pray for the sick, and help those people get saved. You cannot stop me so you might as well be quiet."

The devil gave up trying to frighten Bill because it was useless.

Late in the evening, Bill rode into Lulu. The miners had come into the camp from their claims and the tent city was full of boisterous men. They had come to drink, gamble, and get into any other trouble that would present itself.

Gospel Bill saw a large tent with a sign outside marked "Saloon." He rode up to the tent and saw another smaller sign requesting a piano player. An idea came to Bill as he looked into the tent. It was filled with men and seemed as good a place as any to begin ministering.

Bill got off his horse and walked up to the bar. He looked at the bartender and said, "Need a piano player?"

"Sure do," said the bartender. "The last one got shot last night for playing a song one of the boys did not like. Want a job?"

"I am not looking for a job," said Bill, "but I would like to play a tune or two just for tonight if you do not mind."

"Not at all," said the bartender. "Help yourself."

Bill made his way through the crowded saloon to the piano. He sat down at the bench and began to play and sing "Amazing Grace." The entire crowd became quiet as Bill finished his song and stood to speak.

"I have heard of bad things about Lulu," said Bill. "I came up here just to tell you fellows how much God loves you. He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for your sins and mine and

He wants you to know that you can be in His family."

Suddenly, a man from across the room stood up and shouted, "This is not a church! We came here to get drunk and gamble, not to hear a sermon!"

"Oh, be quiet," said another miner to the first. "Let him talk. We need to hear some preaching like that. This town cannot keep going like it has. We will all be dead if we keep on fighting."

The first man, not to be outdone, ran toward Bill and shouted. "I am not going to listen to some preacher if I do not want to!" Then the whole saloon broke into an uproar. An angry mob surrounded Bill and carried him into the street.

"Hang him!" shouted a man.

"Yeah!" said another. "This will be a warning to any other preachers who think about coming to Lulu!"

The mob filled the whole street. Things had happened so quickly that Bill had no time to think about what to do. He quietly began to quote scriptures and reminded himself of the Lord's protection. While Bill was speaking God's Word, the men threw a rope around a limb of a tree and tied a noose in the other end.

Bill began to sing and praise the Lord knowing that it was definitely not time to be frightened, although he felt very scared. "He is an idiot!" said a man. "We are getting ready to hang him and he is praising God."

Then another man spoke up and made fun of Bill. "You were talking about Heaven," said the man. "Well, we are going to give you a good send off. You will be there in ten minutes! Ha ha ha!"

Suddenly there were gun shots. Every man stood still and the street became quiet. Bill looked up to see a tall man riding closer on a white horse. He had a shotgun pointed into the crowd and warned them to step back. As quickly as it had come together, the mob disbanded and the men ran from the street.

The tall man got off his horse and walked slowly toward Gospel Bill. As he untied Bill's hands, he looked into his eyes and spoke. "The Boss told me to tell you that you are doing a good job. Keep up the good work. And, you will not have any more trouble with these fellows."

Bill watched the mysterious cowboy ride out of town. Realizing that he had forgotten to thank him, Bill jumped on his horse and rode after the man. For the first few yards he followed the tracks until they strangely disappeared.

Then Bill turned his horse back to Lulu, knowing that his life had been saved by an angel.


FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:

Peter was in a bad situation, and it looked like there was no way out. But God delivered him. Have you ever been in a bad situation with no way out, and God rescued you? Tell us your story.


Questions for Review Game:

1. What was the name of the king who had Peter put in jail?

2. What was supposed to happen to Peter the following day?

3. How do we know that Peter wasn't worried?

4. Why wasn't Peter worried?

5. Who set Peter free?

6. What did Peter first think when he saw the angel?

7. Where did Peter go when he was set free?

8. What were the church people doing while Peter was in prison?

9. What happened when Peter knocked at the gate?

10. List at least three things that angels do for believers today.

PAUL AND BARNABAS

Scripture to Study: Acts 13:1 12;14:8 22; Romans 10:13 17

Central Truth: The spoken Word of God produces faith.

Memory Verse: Romans 10:17, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God."

Supplementary Lesson: Puppet skit—"I Am A New Creation"

Visual Aids: Pharisees (18), crowd (20), crippled man (28), crippled man healed (29), Elymus (37), Leaders of church (41), Paul (57, 58), Barnabas (60), Sergius Paulus (68)

To the Teacher:

Faith causes a man to be pleasing to God, but he cannot get faith until he hears the Word. Our task of getting the Word to those who have not heard is of utmost importance. We should not only speak the Word to others, but to ourselves as well. One of the most effective ways to build faith is to vocally remind yourself of what God did for you in the great act of redemption.

Outline:

I. God sent Paul and Barnabas on a missionary journey.

A. Many of the world's people have never heard about Jesus and cannot believe on Him.

B. The ministers at Antioch laid their hands on Paul and Barnabas and prayed for them.

C. Paul and Barnabas set out to preach the Word of God to the gentiles.

1. Very few gentiles had been saved because the preaching of the gospel had been done mostly among the Jews.

2. Paul had a special calling from God to preach to non Jews.

  1. He and Barnabas sailed to Paphos where they preached to the deputy of that country, Sergius Paulus.

  2. 1. An evil sorcerer named Elymas tried to keep the deputy from hearing the gospel.

2. Paul, being full of the Holy Spirit, rebuked the devil and the sorcerer was made temporarily blind.

E. The ruler believed on Jesus when he saw God's power and heard His Word.

II. Wonderful things followed the ministry of the Word at Lystra.

A. Paul preached the Word and a cripple who heard the message received faith to be healed.

1. Paul preached healing.

2. The man had faith because he heard the spoken Word of God.

B. Paul, knowing in his spirit that the man had faith to be healed, told him to stand up.

1. This man had not walked a day in his life.

2. He leaped and walked.

C. The foolish people of Lystra, who saw the miracle, thought Paul and Barnabas were the pagan idol gods, Mercury and Jupiter.

D. The people of Lystra wanted to worship Paul and Barnabas but they refused to let them.

III. The devil tried to stop Paul's ministry.

A. Jews came from Antioch and Iconium to stir up the people against Paul.

B. The same people who earlier tried to worship Paul stoned him and left him for dead, carrying his body out of the city.

C. The disciples stood around his body and Paul rose up completely well, for the next day he had strength to travel.

D. Paul was raised from the dead. His job was not done and Satan's attempts to destroy him were in vain.

1. Paul had not preached to all the kings Jesus had told him of.

2. He knew how to believe God for healing.

  1. Paul kept preaching the Word.


Spiritual Exercises:

God's Word gives me faith.

I believe it in my heart.

I say it with my mouth.

I will not doubt it.

I will build my faith by listening to and speaking God's Word.


PUPPET SKIT

I AM A NEW CREATION

CHARACTERS: Host, Apostle Paul

HOST Our guest for today has changed his name, because God changed his heart. We have had him in our class before, but you are going to see a completely different fellow. Let us welcome Paul, the Apostle.

(Paul enters.)

PAUL: Thank you. Grace and peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

HOST I think I recognize those words.

PAUL: Yes, I began most of my letters with that saying.

HOST Well, those letters you wrote long ago have become part of our New Testament.

PAUL: Yes, glory to God. The Lord allowed me to see what was being done with my work.

HOST Paul, you have had a wonderful change since we have seen you last. You have even changed your name.

PAUL: I am a new creature. I used to hate Christians and would do anything I could to hurt them. Now I am doing all that I can to help them.

HOST: What exactly is it that can change a man from what you were to what you are now?

PAUL: Well, actually I died when I accepted Jesus as my Lord.

HOST I am sure I misunderstood you. Could you say that again?

PAUL: No, you heard correctly. I said that I died when I accepted Jesus as my Lord.

HOST But, you are still alive. You are here talking to me.

PAUL: The new Paul is here, but the old Paul died when I accepted Jesus. God made me into a brand new creature.

HOST: Yes, but you look much the same as you did when you were here before.

PAUL: The big change took place in my spirit. My spirit is now filled with the life of God, whereas before, it was full of evil and death.

HOST: Is that something special that happened just for you?

PAUL: Oh, no. Any person who confesses Jesus as Lord has the same change. The scripture says that if any man is in Christ, he becomes a new creature.

HOST: Did you have a funeral?

PAUL: A funeral? I do not understand.

HOST: Did you have a funeral for the old man in your heart who died?

PAUL: Oh, no. I had a party. I am so glad that the old Paul, who hated and lied and cheated, is dead. I am glad he is gone forever.

HOST: Well, I know one thing. I like you much better now than I did before.

PAUL: So does Jesus. In fact, the devil and his crowd are the only ones who did not like it.

HOST: Paul, have you made some mistakes since you became a new creature? Have you sinned?

PAUL: Honestly, yes I have. I have done some things that were not right.

HOST: But I thought you were a new creature.

PAUL: Oh, I am. But I still live in this flesh body and I am still in the world where the devil tempts people. I have missed it, but I know how to take care of that.

HOST: Well, what would you say to a kid who has become a Christian who sins afterward?

PAUL: If you are a Christian and you sin, you should immediately ask Father God to forgive you. Confess your sin, admit what you did was wrong, and ask God to forgive you in Jesus' Name.

HOST: I have done that, but sometimes I do not feel as though God forgave me.

PAUL: Do not pay attention to your feelings. The Bible says that He will forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness.

HOST: But I still felt like God did not forgive me.

PAUL: Did you ask Him to?

HOST: Yes. I asked Him many times.

PAUL: Is God a liar?

HOST Of course not.

PAUL: Are you a liar?

HOST: No, I always tell the truth.

PAUL: Well then, if you say that He did not forgive you and His Word says that He did, then someone is not telling the truth.

HOST: I suppose my feelings lied. God did forgive me.

PAUL: That is the spirit!

HOST: Hey, I am excited!

PAUL: What about?

HOST: I can keep my heart pure at all times before God—even when I have made a mistake. God is so good!

PAUL: He sure is. You have got me inspired. I have got to go find someone to tell about Jesus.


FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:


Faith comes to us when we hear God's Word. We should not only speak the Word to others, but to ourselves as well. Have you ever spoken God's Word to yourself in a time of trouble when you needed strong faith? Tell us what you said to yourself. What happened next?


Questions for Review Game:


1. What did the ministers at Antioch do for Paul and Barnabas before they sent them out?

2. What was Paul's special calling from God?

3. What happened to the evil sorcerer who tried to keep the deputy from hearing the gospel?

4. What did the deputy see and hear that helped him believe on Jesus?

6. What happened to the crippled man when Paul told him to stand up?

6. What did the people of Lystra do when they saw the miracle God did through Paul and Barnabas?

7. Who was really behind all of the trouble the Jews stirred up against Paul?

8. What did the people who had earlier tried to worship Paul do to him after the Jews came from Antioch?

9. Who prayed for Paul that he might be raised from the dead?

10. How do we know Paul was completely healed?

PRAISE BRINGS AN EARTHQUAKE


Scripture to Study: Acts 16:6 40

Central Truth: The power of praise has awesome effects.

Memory Verse: Psalm 150:6, "Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord."

Supplementary Lesson: Object Lesson—"The Weapons Of Our Warfare"

Visual Aids: Women (2, 44, 59), crowd (9,18), jailer (15), rulers (20), girl with demon (31), Paul (57, 58), Silas (70), Paul and Silas in stocks (73, 74)

To the Teacher:

Although Paul faced many dangers preaching the Gospel in a heathen world, he had many weapons. Spiritual weapons are far more effective than natural means when dealing with problems. Praise is one of the most powerful weapons we have because God inhabits our praises. The jail could not contain God's glory which was brought into the dungeon by the praises of Paul and Silas.

Outline:

I. Paul and his friends were led by the Lord to preach in Macedonia.

A. The Holy Ghost led them away from Asia, and Paul saw in vision a Macedonian man asking for help.

1. Paul was led by the Holy Spirit.

2. We can be led by the same Spirit.

B. Paul and his helpers went to Macedonia and began to preach the gospel.

C. On the Sabbath day, Paul went to a place where the women gathered to worship the God of Israel.

1. There were many gentiles throughout the world who worshipped the real God.

  1. These women did not know that God sent His Son to redeem them.

  2. A. A wealthy woman named Lydia, and her entire household, accepted Jesus through Paul's preaching and were baptized.

II. The devil tried once again to stop the work of God.

A. Satan did not want the gospel to be preached because he knows that the truth sets men free.

1. He still opposes the gospel today.

2. We should fight him with spiritual weapons.

B. A young girl, who told fortunes and had a demon spirit, followed Paul everywhere saying, "These men are the servants of the most high God, who shows us the way of salvation."

C. Paul told the devil to leave the girl and she could no longer tell fortunes.

1. Her owners had become rich through her powers and were angry now that those powers were gone.

2. No human being can, of his own ability, read minds or predict the future.

D. Prophecy and revelation, given by the Holy Spirit, always point men to Jesus.

1. The devil can deceive people by the operation of familiar spirits.

2. The devil and his powers will not admit that Jesus came in a body.

3. Because Jesus came to earth as a man, He was able to destroy sin by suffering as a man.

E. The girl's masters were angered and stirred up trouble against Paul.

III. Paul and Silas found a new way out of jail.

A. After being beaten and put in stocks, Paul and Silas began at midnight to sing and praise God.

B. The whole jail heard them, so they must have been singing loudly.

C. God sent an earthquake to the jail because of Paul's praise.

1. Every prisoner was loosed.

2. The jailer was ready to kill himself.

D. Paul told the jailer not to harm himself, and, miraculously, none of the prisoners tried to escape.

E. The frightened jailer fell before Paul and asked how to be saved. As Paul told him how, the man received Christ.

F. The jailer took Paul and Silas to his house, where the whole family accepted Jesus.

G. The next day, Paul embarrassed the rulers of the city by telling them he was a Roman citizen.

1. A Roman citizen could not be beaten without a trial and had special privileges.

2. The magistrates apologized to Paul because their lives were in danger.


Spiritual Exercises:

I will praise the Lord in everything. I will not praise Him for the devil's work, but I will praise Him for the way out of trouble. Bless the Lord. I give Him glory. Blessed be the Name of Jesus.


OBJECT LESSON

THE WEAPONS OF OUR WARFARE

Scripture Reference: 2 Corinthians 10:4, "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds."

Materials Needed: A walkie talkie radio, rifle, and a grenade. (Use toys or disarmed real weapons.)

To Prepare: Keep these things hidden from view until used.


Lesson:

We are in a war! Every day we face battles. Our enemy is always at work, trying desperately to overthrow our faith. We must use our weapons to fight the good fight of faith or be destroyed.


It would be useless for us to fight this war with natural weapons. Ordinary guns and tanks are useless against the enemies we fight. Even the powerful hydrogen bomb

is unable to stop the enemies we face.


Our enemies are invisible. They cannot be seen with the natural eye. Oh, yes, our enemy is real, but he cannot be seen or touched. He is in the spirit world. By now, you know that I am talking about the devil and his angels. They are always trying to put lies into our thoughts or attempting to keep us from living by the Word of God.

The devil's bullets are the bad thoughts that come to your mind. To resist them and stop him, we must use the weapons God has given us.


The first thing we need is a way to communicate with headquarters. (Pull out the walkie talkie.) God has given us a way to speak directly to His heart. We as believers receive a supernatural way of communication when we are filled with the Holy Ghost and speak with other tongues. The Bible says that our language is understood by God and that we are speaking mysteries (top military secrets).


We should communicate with our Heavenly Father every day for special instructions. He will keep us informed about the enemy's position. He will direct our movement and will not lead us into an ambush.


Our next weapon could be called a spiritual rifle. (Show the rifle to the class.) We should fire some bullets at the enemy ourselves. When you resist temptation by speaking the Word of God, you are shooting bullets at the enemy. This is one of the best ways to attack him. He has no defense against the bullets you fire from God's Holy Word.


Now you cannot see the devil, but the Holy Spirit can, and He will tell you where to aim. As He causes you to think of scriptures, be bold to speak them against the enemy. (Give an illustration here from your own experience in resisting a temptation with a specific scripture.)


Oh, I almost forgot to tell you something important. When you became a Christian, God gave you this spiritual rifle to use. Anybody knows that a rifle is useless unless it has bullets. We can make bullets from learning scriptures. The more scriptures you put into your heart, the more bullets you will have.


This last weapon is really effective in scattering the devil and his thoughts. (Reveal your grenade.) It is a praise grenade. When you begin to worship and praise the Lord, a praise grenade explodes. It will frighten away evil thoughts, ideas, and any fears that happen to be in the area.


Every time you lift your hands in worship and praise to God, something powerful happens. A spiritual explosion takes place! When Paul and Silas began to praise God, it shook the jail so greatly that the cells were opened. Thank God for praise grenades.


Do not forget your radio, your rifle, your bullets and grenades. Our weapons against evil spirits and evil thoughts cannot be stopped. Let us make war on the enemy!



FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:


Singing praises to God is a wonderful way to help yourself feel happier. Have you ever been sad and started singing, and before long, you felt much better? Did the situation that made you sad change? Tell us your story.


Questions for Review Game:


1. What did Paul see in a vision from God that helped to direct his ministry?

2. Why does Satan not want the gospel to be preached?

3. With what kinds of weapons do we fight the devil?

4. A young girl with an evil spirit followed Paul everywhere. What did she keep saying?  ^

5. What did Paul do to her?

6. Why were her owners angry?

7. Can a human being read minds or predict the future by his own ability?

8. How can we know if a prophecy or a revelation is from the Holy Spirit?

9. What happened when Paul and Silas began to sing and praise God in jail?

10. Who received Christ as a result of Paul's stay in prison?

TROUBLE AT JERUSALEM


Scripture to Study: Acts 21:1 23:11

Central Truth: Satan tries in vain to silence the Word.

Memory Verse: 2 Timothy 3:12, "All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."

Supplementary Lesson: Story—"Never Give Up"

Visual Aids: Crowd (9, 20), soldiers (15, 66, 67), Pharisees (18), Peter (34), disciples, leaders of church (38, 40, 41), Paul (57, 58), high priest (65)

To the Teacher:

Paul was hated supernaturally because of the great threat his message bore to the kingdom of darkness. For centuries, gentiles had been wandering in darkness with little hope of learning about the true God. Paul carried the gospel into a society that had never heard, and had wonderful results. Even today, the foundation which Paul laid clearly remains. Satan could not destroy the Word.

Outline:

I. Paul went into Jerusalem to worship God.

A. He had been warned by the Holy Spirit that there would be much trouble.

1. Paul was not afraid of being captured by the Jews.

2. The Holy Spirit did not try to keep him from going.

B. Paul met with the leaders of the church at Jerusalem and they encouraged each other with stories of God's work.

1. Many thousands of Jews had believed on Jesus.

2. Many thousands of Gentiles, too, had believed.

C. The Jewish Christian leaders asked Paul to go to the Temple to show the Christian Jews he was not against the Law of Moses.

1. The Jewish Christians still observed the Law of Moses and had heard that Paul did not.

2. Paul taught that the gentiles were not under obligation to keep Moses' Law.

D. The Law of Moses had been fulfilled, but the Christian Jews kept trying to live by it anyway.

1. The Law could not give men a new nature.

2. These early day believers did not understand that they were totally free from Moses' Law.

II. In the Temple, Paul's enemies recognized him and caused a tumult.

A. When the unbelieving Jews from Asia Minor saw Paul, they were furious.

1. They lived in the area where much of Paul's ministry had been done.

2. Satan stirred them up to harm Paul.

B. An angry mob ran upon Paul and was ready to kill him, until soldiers heard the uproar and rescued him.

C. Paul preached to the angry crowd about his conversion and how Jesus appeared to him.

1. These angry Jews hated Paul with an intense hatred.

2. They were hardened to the gospel and did not believe, in spite of all the miracles they had seen.

3. The devil was trying to silence the Word.

D. Seeing a miracle will not necessarily cause a man to believe God's Word. The Jews had proof that Jesus rose from the dead but rejected Him anyway.

III. Paul was taken into custody for his own safety.

A. The Romans, who took Paul away from the angry mob, were going to beat him.

1. They thought he must have been guilty of some terrible crime to have caused such an uproar.

2. They were going to beat him, hoping to get hidden information.

B. After Paul warned the soldiers that he was a Roman citizen, they treated him with great care.

C. Paul received an opportunity to preach before the whole council of Israel in his trial.

D. Paul told the Jews that he believed in the resurrection of the dead and wisely got the council into confusion.

1. The Pharisees believed in the resurrection of the dead.

2. The Sadducees denied the resurrection of the dead and argued with the Pharisees.

E. When the Jews could not decide what to do, Paul was kept in the care of the Romans.

F. The Lord appeared to Paul in the night and comforted him.


Spiritual Exercises:

I will not be afraid of evil. I overcome evil with good. God's Word is planted deep in my heart. Nothing can stop me from believing God's Word. I overcome the world with my faith. Greater is He Who is in me than he who is in the world.


STORY

NEVER GIVE UP

Riding back to Dry Gulch with a special shipment of medicine, Gospel Bill noticed a mysterious looking character beside a tree, off in the distance. Coming closer, Bill could see it was an old man on his knees praying.

"Oh, God, send laborers to my town," prayed the old man aloud. "Lord, You said in Your Word that You would give us the heathen for our inheritance. I believe You for them, Lord. My whole town is heathen. Send laborers who will minister the Word of God to them."

"Excuse me, mister," said Gospel Bill respectfully.

The old man was so intense in his praying that Gospel Bill startled him. "I did not hear you ride up," said the old man, getting up off his knees and sticking out his hand for Gospel Bill to shake. "Jake McCoy is my name. What's yours?"

"The name is Gospel Bill, Mr. McCoy," replied Bill.

"Call me Jake," said the old man.

"What are you doing praying way out here in the middle of nowhere, Jake?" asked Bill.

"The town where I live is filled with heathens. Sometimes it is easier to pray for them when you are not around them. Say, with a name like Gospel Bill you must be a preacher."

"Well, not like you are thinking," said Bill. "I am not a pastor or evangelist or anything like that, but I do share the good news with anyone who will listen."

"Praise God!" shouted Jake. "You are the answer to my prayers. My town needs to hear the gospel, and you are just the man to preach it."

"Why do you not preach the gospel there?" asked Bill.

"Oh, they all think I am just a crazy old man, because I pray a lot and do not do the same things they do. But you are young and strong. They will listen to you. Will you come to my town and tell them about Jesus?"

Gospel Bill thought for a moment. The shipment of medicine he was carrying was not urgent and there was a tugging in his heart to go with the old man. "I will go with you," said Bill.

"Hallelujah!" shouted Jake.

Jake led Gospel Bill to his town which was about five miles away. Getting closer to the town, Gospel Bill could understand Jake's concern for the people. You could hear shouting, shooting, and loud saloon music everywhere. Beneath the town's name of "Skull Bones" was a sign that said "Enter at your own risk—you may never leave!"

"Come on into my office," said Jake to Gospel Bill.

"You own the newspaper?" asked Gospel Bill.

"Yes," answered Jake. "They have burned me out a few times, but I get it fixed back up and just keep going. I call my paper 'The Good News.' It has all kinds of articles about the Lord, besides the local news. I know that is what makes them mad. But really, it is not the people. The devil is just trying to stop the Word from going forth."

"What is the best plan for preaching the gospel to these folks?" Bill asked Jake.

"First of all, we need to pray and exercise authority over the devil," said Jake. "Then we will print up a bunch of flyers and put them up all over town."

The two men joined hands together and prayed, believing God's Word would go forth, and exercised authority over the devil to keep him from stopping it. They spent the afternoon putting up flyers for a meeting that night, to be held in the middle of town. All day long they were laughed at and ridiculed, but everybody in Skull Bones knew about the meeting.

At seven o'clock that evening, Gospel Bill and Jake McCoy walked out to the middle of town. Jake had an accordion and began to play and sing. Gospel Bill had his Bible and prayed quietly to the Lord. No one was gathering around.

Suddenly, the saloon doors burst open, and several cowboys stumbled out about half drunk.

"Hey!" yelled one of them, "What is going on out here? Stop playing that religious music!"

Jake stopped playing his accordion, and Gospel Bill spoke up. "Hey, fellows, you are just in time for the meeting. I am going to share the good news of Jesus Christ with you."

"The only thing you are going to share with us," said the cowboy drawing his six-gun, "are any last words you want to say before you die!"

"Gospel Bill," said Jake quietly, "Maybe this was not such a good idea after all."

"We are not going to give up now," said Gospel Bill. "Remember, we prayed."

"I think we ought to see the preacher boy do a little dance," said the cowboy. "Pow! Pow, Pow, Pow, Pow!" His friend fired several shots at Gospel Bill's feet, but Gospel Bill did not move.

By this time, a huge crowd had gathered in the middle of town to watch what was happening.

"I saved one bullet just for you," said the cowboy to Gospel Bill. "Only this time, I am not firing at your feet. You preach about Jesus. This is a good time for you to meet Him face to face."

The cowboy aimed straight for Gospel Bill's heart and pulled back on the hammer of his gun.

Gospel Bill raised both hands and shouted out loud, "Jesus, I thank You that Your Word is true! No evil shall befall me, in the Name of Jesus!"

"Pow!" The cowboy fired his pistol from not more than six feet away. There was no way to miss, but miraculously Gospel Bill stood there unharmed! Everyone was astonished at the miracle, and Gospel Bill seized the moment and took off preaching. No one, not even the drunken cowboys, left. When Gospel Bill gave the invitation to receive Jesus, it seemed as though everyone came forward, and the cowboy who had caused so much trouble was the first in line.

After the meeting was over, old Jake was beaming from ear to ear. "Gospel Bill," he said. "Do you think a fellow my age could pastor a church?"

"I believe he could," said Gospel Bill with a smile.

Early the next morning, Gospel Bill headed back for Dry Gulch and left a town full of new converts to Pastor Jake.


FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:


Have you ever tried to do something that you knew was important, but kept getting stopped for one reason or another? Did you ever finish it? What did you say or do?


Questions for Review Game:


1. What did the Holy Spirit warn Paul would happen in Jerusalem?

2. Was Paul afraid of being captured by the Jews?

3. Why did the Jewish Christian leaders ask Paul to go to the Temple?

4. What happened while Paul was in the Temple?

5. Does seeing a miracle cause a man to believe God's Word?

6. Who rescued Paul from the angry mob?

7. How did Paul keep the soldiers from beating him?

8. To whom did Paul preach to in his trial?

9. What happened when Paul told the Jews that he believed in the resurrection of the dead?

10. Who appeared to Paul in the night and comforted him?

PAUL SPEAKS TO KINGS

Scripture to Study: Acts 24:1 26:32

Central Truth: Earthly things are unimportant compared to spiritual.

Memory Verse: Mark 8:36, "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"

Supplementary Lesson: Puppet Skit—"Almost Persuaded"

Visual Aids: King Agrippa (14), boat (32), Felix (53), soldiers (15, 66, 67), Festus (68), Paul (57)

To the Teacher:

The most tragic words ever spoken are found in this story: "Almost thou persuades" me to be Christian." The glory of this world is dim compared to that eternal realm. Believing on Jesus has a double reward, for believers have promise of abundant life, here and in the hereafter. In this lesson, endeavor to get the class to see the folly of rejecting Christ.


Outline:

I. At the beginning of his ministry, the Lord told Paul that he would preach to kings.

A. Many kings and rulers never heard the gospel because the believers were not allowed into the palaces.

1. Rulers were well guarded and did not allow common people in their homes.

2. Because of their great influence and authority, God wants all rulers to hear about the plan of salvation.

B. Paul was a very brilliant man and had a very thorough understanding of the Old Testament scriptures.

C. After the Jews in Jerusalem tried to kill Paul, he remained in the hands of the Roman rulers in Judea.

D. Paul gave his explanation of why the Jews wanted him executed to Felix the governor.

1. This enabled him to clear himself of false charges.

2. He then preached the gospel to Felix, who trembled at what Paul said.

E. Although the Jews laid many false charges against Paul, they could prove nothing against him worthy of the death penalty.

II. Paul was kept in custody for two years until Porcius Festus came to hear his case.

A. The Jews never relented in trying to obtain Paul's execution.

B. Festus, the Roman Procurator, wanted to allow the Jews to take Paul back to Jerusalem for trial.

C. The Jews plotted to have Paul killed on the trip.

D. Knowing the danger of returning to Jerusalem, Paul appealed Festus' decision to send him to Jerusalem and asked to take his case before Caesar.

1. Because Paul was a Roman citizen, he had a right to be tried in Rome.

2. He knew there would be no justice in Jerusalem.

E. Paul preached to Festus and told him all about Jesus.

III. Paul was allowed to speak before another ruler, King Agrippa.

A. While he waited to be sent to Rome, Paul had an opportunity to tell King Agrippa about Jesus.

B. Agrippa was very familiar with the Jewish religion and understood Paul's message.

1. Agrippa's father had been a great persecutor of the church.

2. His father died with worms after the angel of the Lord struck him for receiving glory due God.

C. Agrippa was moved by the gospel and almost became a Christian.

D. Because of the publicity of Paul's case, the gospel message circulated quickly throughout every level of the Roman Empire.

E. Festus sent Paul by ship to Rome.


Spiritual Exercises:

Jesus is the only way of salvation.

There is no other Name given under Heaven

That men can believe to receive salvation.

I believe in His Name.

His Name brings healing, forgiveness, prosperity, and life.

Jesus Christ is Lord.


PUPPET SKIT

ALMOST PERSUADED

CHARACTERS: Host, Felix the Governor

HOST Welcome to the show today, boys and girls. We have a very special guest with us today. This man was a governor during the great Roman Empire and presided over a very significant trial. Let us give a good welcome to Felix.

(Felix enters.)

FELIX: Thank you very much. Thank you, it is good to be with you today.

HOST: Felix, you reigned as a governor in the Roman Empire during a very important time in history.

FELIX: I do not know how important it was, but I do know it was a time filled with trouble.

HOST Trouble? What kind of trouble?

FELIX: Political trouble. You see, the Jewish nation fell under my jurisdiction, and they were always upset about something.

HOST They did not enjoy being under Roman rule.

FELIX: You can say that again—but there was something that made them madder, still.

HOST What was that?

FELIX: Do you remember the man called Jesus of Nazareth?

HOST I certainly do.

FELIX: Well, they finally killed Him and got Him out of the way, but Jesus' disciples were continuing to go everywhere doing the same things He did.

HOST That is exciting.

FELIX: Not as far as I was concerned. It kept the Jewish religious leaders upset all the time, which made my job very difficult. But there was one man that caused more trouble than all of the rest of them put together. His name was Paul.

HOST Paul was not a trouble maker.

FELIX: He caused a riot in Jerusalem, and the Jews wanted to kill him!

HOST That was the devil influencing those people to try and stop the gospel from going forth.

FELIX: There was something unusual about how upset they were. Anyway, they wanted him put to death. But the accusations they brought against him at the trial were just questions about their own Jewish law. In my opinion, Paul did not need to be in prison or even on trial.

HOST What did you do?

FELIX: I compromised. I told the Jews I would hear more of the case at a later date. I could not let Paul go, but I did not put him in prison with the other prisoners. I had a centurion keep him in a nice place and let all of his friends come to see him.

HOST That seems kind, but it sounds to me like you did not want to be responsible for making a decision.

FELIX: What could I do?

HOST You should have let Paul go free, since he was innocent.

FELIX: I can see you do not understand politics at all.

HOST: Maybe I do not, but I do know the difference between right and wrong. Did you and Paul ever get together and talk?

FELIX: We certainly did. I knew something about this Jesus of Nazareth, but I wanted to find out more, so I called Paul in to talk with my wife and I. I never heard words like his before.

HOST What do you mean?

FELIX: I mean, there was power in the words he spoke. While he talked, I began to tremble and shake. My wife thought I was having a heart attack.

HOST Did you get saved?

FELIX: No. I told Paul to go away and I would call him again when it was convenient for me.

HOST SO, you talked to Paul again?

FELIX: Sure, a number of times. I wished he would have given me some money. That would have helped me make a decision to set him free.

HOST: That is bribery!

FELIX: Oh well, a little bribe here, and a little bribe there does not hurt.

HOST: Your heart is not right with God.

FELIX: That is what Paul kept telling me. I knew what he was saying was true, and he almost persuaded me to be a Christian, but I never could surrender to God.

HOST: That was your biggest mistake.

FELIX: Well, it is one that a number of my colleagues made as well. Festus, the governor who took my place, thought Paul was crazy, and King Agrippa was almost persuaded to accept Jesus. But he could not surrender either.

HOST: We need more rulers who will follow the Lord.

FELIX: You will have to look somewhere else. My friends and I are not going to do it. I have to go now. I am starting to tremble again.

HOST Boys and girls, we need to pray for the leaders of our country.


FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:


Have you ever had to choose between spiritual things and earthly things? What were your two choices? How did you choose? What happened?


Questions for Review Game:


1. At the beginning of Paul's ministry, Jesus told Paul that he would preach to

2. Why had many kings and rulers never heard the gospel preached?

3. Why does God want all rulers to hear about the plan of salvation?

4. What happened to Felix when Paul preached the gospel to him?

5. Why did Paul not want to be tried in Jerusalem?

6. How was Paul able to arrange for his trial to take place in Rome?

7. What happened to King Agrippa when he heard Paul preach?

8. Who was King Agrippa's father?

9. Who sent Paul to Rome?

10. How was Paul to travel to Rome?

SHIPWRECKED!

Scripture to Study: Acts 27:1 28:10

Central Truth: Honoring God and His Word brings angelic protection.

Memory Verse: Psalm 34:7, "The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them."

Supplementary Lesson: Game—"Pin The Word On The Devil"

Visual Aids: Angel (1), Paul (68), native man (29), boat (32),waves (24, 25), Julius (66), snake (75)

To the Teacher:

The angels of God are still at work in the earth today and are busier than ever before. Because of the large number of believers alive today, there is more for angels to do. They give insight into the will of God, bring protection, execute judgment, and deliver answers to prayer. We should be continually aware of the heavenly armies that surround us. Unbelievers limit the angels' abilities to deliver the children of God.


Outline:

I. Paul was sent by boat to Italy.

A. He was put in the custody of a centurion names Julius.

B. Julius planned to set sail during a stormy season and ignored Paul's warning that harm would come to the entire expedition.

C. Just as Paul predicted, the ship was caught in a storm.

1. Cargo was thrown overboard.

2. The ship was badly damaged.

II. One night during the storm, the angel of the Lord comforted Paul.

A. The storm had been sent by Satan to destroy Paul's life.

B. Had the centurion listened to Paul, there would have been no harm.

1. Paul was warned by the Holy Spirit that trouble lay ahead.

2. We should learn to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit inside of us.

C. The angel told Paul that his life, as well as those who stayed with him, would be spared.

1. The angel said that the ship would be lost.

2. Paul told the men that they would be shipwrecked on an island.

D. The angel of God protected Paul because he honored God and His Word.

1. Angels do many things we cannot see.

2. Every believer has angels to minister to him.

III. The company was shipwrecked on the island of Melita.

A. Every man made it to shore safely, but the ship was lost.

B. The natives of the island were very kind to the men and fed them.

C. As Paul gathered sticks for a fire, a snake bit him, and all expected him to die.

1. The natives thought he was being punished for murder by the gods who sent the snake.

2. Paul shook the snake into the fire and no further harm came to him.

D. He was magnified in the eyes of his captors and the natives because of the wonderful things God did through him.

E. He prayed for a native man, who was dying, and the man received healing.

F. Paul was later sent to Rome and preached for many years before his execution at the hands of Caesar.

1. He chose to die a martyr's death and could easily have believed for release (Philippians 1:22 24).

2. Many people in Caesar's household became Christians due to his influence.


Spiritual Exercises:

I am a believer, a child of God.

I am led by His Spirit.

Because I honor the Lord and live by His Word,

I shall walk in protection.

His angels guard me from evil.

I will not be afraid.

FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:

The angel of God protected Paul because he honored God and His Word. Has an angel ever protected you from danger? Tell us what happened.


Questions for Review Game:


1. About what did Paul warn the centurion before they set sail?

2. Who came to comfort Paul one night during the storm?

3. What did the angel say would happen to the people in the ship?

4. What did the angel say would happen to the ship?

5. Angels minister to what kind of people?

6. How did the natives on the island treat the shipwrecked men?

7. What happened to Paul as he gathered sticks for the fire?

8. What did Paul do after the snake bit him?

9. Did Paul ever make it to Rome?

10. How did Paul die?

JESUS HAS NOT CHANGED

Scripture to Study: Hebrews 13:8; John 10:10; John 14:12 24

Central Truth: Jesus is still healing, giving life, and setting men free through His Name.

Memory Verse: Hebrews 13:8, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever."

Supplementary Lesson: Story—"Gospel Bill And The Stallion"

Visual Aids: Ananias (3), Jesus (33), Peter (34), Philip (38), disciples (39, 40, 41), Stephen (70)

To the Teacher:

There are many wonderful healings and works being done in the Name of Jesus throughout the earth today. He intended for His disciples, and all who believe on His Name, to do the same works He did. The gospel ministry did not change when the last apostle died. We have the authority to do the wonderful works of God because Jesus' Name was given to the Church to use in prayer and against the works of darkness.


Outline:

I. When Jesus lived on earth, He gave His disciples the same authority He had.

A. He did miracles by the Holy Spirit's power and not by any inherent powers as the Son of God.

B. He taught the disciples that they could cast out devils, heal the sick, and do other wonderful works.

C. The Church, in the Book of Acts, did the same works that Jesus did.

1. The apostles raised the dead, healed the sick, and did miracles.

2. The lay members also showed the ability to do miracles (Stephen, Philip, and Ananias).

D. Jesus told the disciples in John 14:12, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also."

II. Jesus is always the author of blessing.

A. God does not put sickness on His children to teach them lessons (James 1:17).

B. Jesus taught that the devil is the one who steals, kills, and destroys.

1. There was no sickness or disease in the earth until Satan became the god of this world.

2. Jesus took our diseases by receiving a brutal beating at the hands of the Romans (1 Peter 2:24).

C. God corrects His children with His Word through the spirit (2 Timothy 3:16).

D. God and the devil have not changed jobs in the past 2,000 years.

III. The power of God works through the Name of Jesus today.

A. After the resurrection, God gave Jesus a Name higher than any name on earth or in Heaven.

B. Jesus does not need to use His Name because He has finished His earthly ministry and sits at God's right hand.

C. Jesus told us to use His Name in prayer to the Father.

D. He also told us to use His Name against the powers of darkness.

E. The Name of Jesus works only for those who know Him and have faith in His Name.


Spiritual Exercises:

Jesus Christ is Lord.

I will magnify the Lord.

He is worthy of my praise.

I will use the Name of Jesus when I pray.

I will use His Name against Satan.

I will do all things in His Name.

Every tongue shall confess that Jesus is Lord.

Jesus Christ is Lord.


STORY

GOSPEL BILL AND THE STALLION

Gospel Bill walked slowly down the street to see what his friends were looking at in the livery stable corral. So many of the cowboys were gathered at the fence that it was hard to see what was inside. As Bill came closer, he heard them all talking.

"I have never seen a horse like that one," said Shorty.

"He is as pretty an animal as God ever made," said Slim.

All the cowboys were talking about a beautiful white stallion inside the corral. Gospel Bill edged through the crowd to see the horse. He had never seen such a horse. The stallion had a flowing mane and a long white tail. His legs were strong and his coat was smooth. No wonder the cowboys were amazed at the horse. It was the nicest horse Bill had ever seen.

"He probably costs more than a thousand dollars," said one cowboy.

"He is worth it," said Slim.

"I heard that this horse has never been outrun" said Shorty, who worked on the same ranch as Gospel Bill. "I just know he is faster than a bolt of lightening."

"Well," said Slim, "none of us is going to know how fast that horse is. Nobody around here has enough money to buy him."

"That is for sure," agreed Shorty. "Let us go down to the opera house in time for the first show." All the cowboys left, except Gospel Bill. He kept looking at the big white horse.

"I would sure like to own you," said Bill to the horse. "You are the finest horse I have ever seen. That mare I am riding is getting old and I am going to have to get another horse soon. Gospel Bill really wanted that horse.

"Interested in that horse, cowboy?" asked the livery stable owner as he walked out of his barn to feed the horses.

"I sure am," said Bill.

"Well, I will sell him to you for twelve hundred dollars!" said the man.

"That is a lot of money, a whole lot of money," said Bill.

"Yes," agreed the man, "and that is a whole lot of horse!"

"Well," said Bill, "I would like to have him, but I do not know where I would get twelve hundred dollars."

Bill walked away from the livery and went toward the cafe. As he walked, he heard these words in his heart: "I know where you can get the money." Gospel Bill knew that God was speaking to him.

"Father," said Bill, "I know You are rich because You own everything, but how could I get enough money for that horse?" Gospel Bill only earned $40 a month at the ranch. He knew it would take years to save enough to buy the stallion.

The words came again. "My Word says, 'Whatever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive it and you shall have it."'

"That is Mark 11:24, Father," said Bill. "I know that scripture and I have prayed for a lot of things, but never for something like this horse."

"Nothing is too big for Me. I would like for you to have that horse," the inner voice replied.

"You would?" asked Bill.

"I told you in My Word all you need to know to get that horse. If I was willing to give you My Son, do you not think I would give you a horse?" Bill heard God's voice in his spirit.

Gospel Bill was stirred in his heart. He began to remember scriptures that he had learned about prayer.

"I am going to do it," said Bill to himself. He walked back to the corral and stared at the white horse. Taking a bucket of oats, he went into the pen and began to feed the horse.

"Dear Heavenly Father," said Bill. " Y o u said in Mark 11:24, 'Whatever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive it and you shall have it. Well, I am coming to receive that promise. I have got four things to say. First, I desire this horse! Second, I believe I receive him. Third, I thank You for giving him to me, and fourth, I will tell everybody I see how I got him."

Bill walked away from the corral whistling and thanking God for the beautiful white stallion. The next day as Bill was working on the ranch, he lifted his hands to praise God for the horse.

"Thank You, Lord, for my new horse!"

Shorty, one of the ranch helpers accidentally overheard what Bill said. "Did you get a new horse?" asked Shorty.

"Yes," replied Gospel Bill.

"Well, I have not seen it yet," said Shorty. "What color is it?"

"Snow white," said Gospel Bill.

"Snow white?" asked Shorty. "There is only one snow white horse in this county and he is in old Jake Miller's stable. You are not talking about that stallion, are you?"

"He is the one," said Bill.

"Ha, ha, ha," laughed Shorty as he called all the cowboys to hear what Bill had said. Slim and the rest of the helpers came closer. "This fellow has a new horse," said Shorty, making fun of Bill. "He is the new owner of that white stallion we saw yesterday."

"Well, if he is yours," said Slim, "how come you are not riding him?" The whole gang began to laugh at Bill.

"I prayed for that horse and I will be riding him soon," said Bill.

"God is not going to give you $1200 for a horse," said Shorty. "You will never get a horse like that one."

"Fellows," smiled Bill, "that horse belongs to me. According to God's Word, I believed I received him yesterday."

"Are you telling me that you already have that horse?"' argued Shorty.

Bill replied, "I am telling you that I believe God gave me the horse when I prayed!"

"Does Jake Miller know that horse is yours?" laughed Slim. "You had better go tell Jake the horse is yours before you get hung for horse stealing." The whole group laughed and laughed because Gospel Bill was talking as though the horse belonged to him. Bill went back to his work and the laughing cowboys returned to their jobs.

"Those guys just do not understand how faith works," said Bill to himself. He had not meant for them to hear him thanking God for the horse. He knew they would not understand. Nevertheless, Gospel Bill continued to thank God daily for the white stallion.

One night as Bill was almost asleep, the devil came to tempt him, whispering, "You will never own that white horse. That horse has been sold to a man from Kansas and it is too late for you to get him."

"I recognize your voice," said Bill to the devil. "I am not going to get that horse, I have him already by faith!" The devil continued to tempt Bill with doubt, but Bill reminded the devil of what God's Word said. "Whatever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive it and you shall have it."

"Mr. Devil," said Bill, "I prayed, and the Bible says God heard me, and according to His Word, the horse belongs to me!" Bill lifted his hands and began to praise God for giving him the white stallion. The devil left.

Two months passed and Bill was so busy on the ranch that he had not been able to ride to town to see the white horse. Every day Shorty and Slim made fun of Bill asking him how his white stallion was. Bill just grinned and said, "Fellows, I will be riding him before long, and you can help me saddle him."

One morning Bill rose early and took his Bible out to read. He read Mark 11:24, "Whatever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive it and you shall have it."

"Father," said Bill, "I have been believing Your Word for over two months now. I am not going to quit thanking You for that white stallion, but I sure would like to ride him..."

"Bill," interrupted the ranch owner, Mr. Young, as he hurried into the bunkhouse. "I have something special for you to do."

Bill closed his Bible and jumped up to listen to the boss.

"Take this bag to town and deliver it to the banker in a hurry. It is the cattle money I owe the bank. Whatever you do," said the boss, "do not let anything happen to this bag!"

"I will guard it with my life," said Bill. He hurried to the corral, saddled his horse, and galloped toward town. As Bill rode over a hill, a stranger came into his path waving a gun.

"Give me the money!" said the outlaw pulling a mask over his face.

Without thinking, Bill yelled at the bandit, "You can not have it, devil!"

The startled bandit hesitated just long enough for Bill to draw his pistol and shoot the gun from the man's hand. Bill jumped from his horse, tied the man to his saddle and escorted him into town.

Soon Bill and the outlaw rode up in front of the sheriffs office. A crowd gathered. Hearing the noise, Sheriff McCoy came out of the jail and a look of surprise came across his face.

"Why it is Mean Matt Murdock," said the sheriff. "Where did you get him, Bill?"

"He tried to rob me out on the trail, but I captured him instead," said Bill.

The sheriff took the outlaw to jail and Bill rode to the bank to deposit the money. After his job was done, Bill rode down to the corral to see the white stallion. He was gone!

Bill ran into the livery stable to find Jake Miller.

"Where is my...er...I mean where is the horse?" asked Gospel Bill.

"What horse are you talking about?" asked Jake.

"Where is the white stallion?" asked Bill. "You have not sold him, have you?"

"Oh, no," said Jake. "That horse is over in the corner stall. Nobody around here has enough money for a horse like that. Do you?"

"Yes, he does!"

It was Sheriff McCoy. Bill was startled as the sheriff unfolded an envelope.

"Bill," said Sheriff McCoy, "the firm of Wells Fargo has authorized me to give you $1500 as a

reward for the capture of Mean Matt Murdock."

Bill's heart began to sing. When the sheriff handed him the money, Bill shouted at the top of his lungs, "Yahooey! Praise God!"

Needless to say, Bill spent $1200 on a beautiful white horse. He rode out of the livery stable with a broad smile on his face. The people of Dry Gulch were surprised to see Bill on the white horse so he stopped to tell them how he had believed God to receive the stallion.

After stopping at the church to drop off his $150 tithe money, Gospel Bill raced his white horse back to the ranch in record time.

When Bill rode up on the white horse, Shorty nearly swallowed his false teeth. Slim was so shocked he could not speak. "W...w...what is his name?" Shorty finally asked.

"Boys," said Gospel Bill. "I am going to name this horse 'Laughter."'

Bill laughed at the sober cowboys and said, "The man who believes God's Word always gets the last laugh!"


FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:


Several weeks ago, we studied how Peter and John prayed for a crippled man. They prayed in the Name of Jesus, and the crippled man was healed. Then we prayed for situations in our lives. How many of you have had an answer to those prayers already? Tell us what happened.


Questions for Review Game:


1. To whom did Jesus give the same authority that He had?

2. How did Jesus do miracles when He was here on earth?

3. Were the apostles the only ones who did miracles in the Book of Acts?

4. Does God put sickness on His children to teach them lessons?

5. Who did Jesus say is the one who steals, kills, and destroys?

6. How does God correct His children?

7. After the resurrection, what kind of name did God give to Jesus?

8. Does Jesus need to use His Name today?

9. List two ways Jesus told us that we could use His Name.

10. Who can use the power in the Name of Jesus?


THE GREAT WEDDING


Scripture to Study: I Thessalonians 4:13 18; Revelation 21:1 6; John 14:1 4

Central Truth: Jesus will catch away His bride.

Memory Verse: John 14:3, "And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself."

Supplementary Lesson: Puppet Skit—"Heaven Is For Kids"

Visual Aids: Angels (1), Jesus (33), disciples (34, 38, 39, 40, 41)


To the Teacher:

The Rapture of the Church is the next great event on God's dispensational calendar. By the signs of the times, we are nearing this wonderful moment. Many times, the Rapture is presented in such a negative, fearful way that children are frightened by it. It will be a wonderful, happy occasion for those who take part in it. Emphasize the positive aspects of the catching away of the Church and children will have less trouble overcoming fear and condemnation.


Outline:

I. Before Jesus left the earth, He told His disciples He would return.

A. The angels who stood by Jesus and His disciples as He ascended to Heaven, told them that Jesus would return in the same way that He left (Acts 1:9 11).

1. When Jesus left the earth, believers were the only ones to see Him.

2. He left in the clouds.

B. Jesus taught His disciples that He was going to prepare places for them.

1. He told them that His Father's house had many mansions.

2. He told them that they would come to be with Him.

C. Jesus now sits in Heaven at the right hand of God.

1. He is our High Priest and takes care of our sins when we confess them.

2. He is our lawyer and goes to God with us.

D. He has a wonderful place for us to dwell in.

II. When Jesus comes again, He will catch away His bride, the Church.

A. All born again believers make up the Church. We are born into it when we receive Jesus.

B. When Jesus comes in the clouds, only the righteous will see Him.

C. We will feast with each other and Jesus for seven years while the earth enters a terrible time of trouble.

D. By the prophecies in scripture, the time of this event is drawing very close.

1. No man knows the exact hour.

2. We call this event, "the Rapture."

E. Accepting Jesus as your Lord makes you ready for the Rapture.


Spiritual Exercises:

I am going to a wedding. Jesus is coming for me. He will sound a mighty trumpet To start the grand jubilee. I will rise to meet my Lord. My body will be glorified. I will rise through the clouds For I am a part of His bride.


PUPPET SKIT

HEAVEN IS FOR KIDS

CHARACTERS: Host, the Apostle John


JOHN: We are having a very unusual guest with us today. He has traveled millions of miles to be with us from his home on another planet. He made the trip in the flash of an eye. We are going to visit with the

Apostle John. Give him a grand welcome.

(John enters.)

JOHN: All glory belongs to God. Glory to God. Glory to Jesus, the Lamb of God.

HOST: John, you have been in Heaven now for almost two thousand years. Have you found it to be all that you saw when you wrote the Book of Revelation?

JOHN: Well, I was shocked when I lived here on earth and God gave me a little preview of Heaven. Back then, it was all I could do to stand up and look at the beauty of it.

HOST: Have you gotten used to Heaven yet?

JOHN: Are you kidding? It never gets old or boring. It is new every day. When I was on the earth there was an old saying, "Every day with Jesus is sweeter than the day before." That is the truth.

HOST: What is special in Heaven?

JOHN: Jesus.

HOST: What do people talk about?

JOHN: Jesus.

HOST: What do people do there?

JOHN: We love to worship God and Jesus. I used to praise God quite a lot when I was on earth, but I did not even realize how wonderful it is to praise Him until I got to Heaven. Let us praise God right now!

HOST: Can you describe the beauty of Heaven?

JOHN: Impossible!

HOST: Would you do the best you can?

JOHN: I will try, but words are useless when it comes to telling what God has for His children. It is wonderful! It is fabulous! It is fantastic! It is SUPER OODLE DOODLE LICIOUS!

HOST: Super oodle doodle licious?

JOHN: That is a new word I made up to use when I talk about Heaven. There are trees so tall that you cannot see the tops. The grass is so green and thicker than any carpet. There are not any thorns or thistles.

HOST: It makes me want to take my shoes off.

JOHN: The flowers are so beautiful and the colors are beyond description. The River of Life is clear as crystal and gives life to the whole city.

HOST: There is a city?

JOHN: Oh, yes. The New Jerusalem is the most beautiful city I have ever seen. It has walls made of precious jewels and streets made of pure gold. The gates are carved from huge pearls.

HOST: Since the city has walls, does that mean that there are evil people to be kept out?

JOHN: Oh, no. There is nothing evil in Heaven. Nothing exists there but good. There is no crime, no war, no sickness, no death. God meant for the earth to be that way also, but man sinned and brought the curse.

HOST: What do people eat and wear?

JOHN: The most beautiful clothes you have ever imagined—robes of shining material. And the food—it is wonderful. You have never tasted anything like the fruit from the trees of Heaven.

HOST: Is it better than ? (Name a restaurant or something that kids will identify with.)

JOHN: If the cook could taste this fruit, he would be ashamed of his finest dish. Heaven is more than I expected it to be.

HOST: What about poor people?

JOHN: No one is poor in Heaven. The riches of God are available to all who come. If God loved us enough to give us the desires of our hearts on earth, how much more will He grant those desires in Heaven.

HOST: Who can come?

JOHN: Anyone who trusts Jesus as Lord and asks Him to live in his heart. Oh, please tell as many people as you can about this place. Tell them how to get to Heaven. My life is over and I cannot tell anyone else, but God can use you to invite many people to live with Him forever.

HOST: We will tell them. Will we not, kids?


FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:


Can you imagine what it will be like when Jesus comes to take us to Heaven with Him? We will rise up to be with Him in the clouds. We won't even need wings.

Let's use our imaginations for a moment. What might you be doing when Jesus comes?


Questions for Review Game:


1. How can we be sure that Jesus is coming back to earth?

2. Who else said that Jesus would return?

3. How will Jesus come back to earth?

4. Who will see Jesus when He comes in the clouds?

5. What will happen to the people on earth after Jesus takes the believers to Heaven with Him?

6. What will believers be doing during this time?

7. How do we know that the time is drawing very close?

8. Does anyone know the exact hour?

9. What do we call this event?

10. How do you get ready for the Rapture?

HEAVEN WAS MADE FOR KIDS

Scripture to Study: Revelation 21:1 22:7

Central Truth: God made Heaven with children in mind.

Memory Verse: Revelation 22:7, "Behold, I come quickly."

Supplementary Lesson: Object Lesson—"The Eight Faces Of Sin"

Visual Aids: Satan (16), tree (26), lost people (20, 31, 37, 53), flames (54), Jesus (33)

To the Teacher:

Children should be taught that Heaven is a joyful, wonderful place. It will be a fun place, according to the description of it in Revelation. There will be much to do in addition to the worship of God. It is definitely not a starchy place, but festive and happy. God is the author of joy.

Outline:

I. Believers shall one day live with God in the Heavenly Jerusalem.

A. There is nothing in the city that causes pain, sorrow, or crying.

1. Sickness and death will be non existent.

2. There will be no crime or evil.

B. Children will never need spanking, for there will be no disobedience.

C. There will be nothing to harm children, so parents need never be concerned.

1. Kids could play unsupervised for years.

2. It will be impossible to get hurt.

D. We will meet the characters of the Bible as well as our Christian relatives who have gone there before us.

II. The beauty of this city is beyond description.

A. The walls are made of precious jewels with gates carved from giant pearls.

B. The streets are pure gold and there is a sea as clear as glass.

C. The River of Life flows from the Throne of God throughout the city.

1. What an excellent place for swimming!

2. How could a child drown in the River of Life?

D. Fruit trees line the river and shall feed the saints.

E. The city is a huge pyramid stretching 1,500 miles wide, deep, and up.

F. Jesus and God will light the city with their glory.

1. There will be no darkness or night.

2. We will enjoy the worship of God and Jesus more than anything else.

III. Not all people will enter the city.

A. Hell was made for the devil and his angels. God never intended for a man to go there.

B. When men refuse to accept Jesus, they choose to go to Hell.

1. Jesus is the only way to Heaven.

2. If you do not want to go to Hell, you do not have to.

C. Hell will be like a lake of fire and there will be no end to the torment of those who go there.

D. Satan himself will be put into the lake of fire.


Spiritual Exercises:

I am saved because of Jesus. I confess Jesus as my Lord. I am now a citizen of Heaven. I cannot go to Hell. God made Hell for Satan. I do not have to go. Jesus took my sins away. I am fit for Heaven because of Him.


OBJECT LESSON

THE EIGHT FACES OF SIN

Scripture Reference: Revelation 21:8, "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolators, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."

Materials Needed: Eight sheets of construction paper, marker, black metal pot, lighter fluid, matches, and a water squirt bottle

To Prepare: Draw a face on each of the eight pieces of construction paper. Label each one with one of the sins listed in Revelation 21:8. Squirt a small amount of lighter fluid into the black pot and as you begin your lesson, set it aflame. Be sure to have a squirt bottle nearby. By using a large pot and a small amount of fluid, you will minimize any danger.

Lesson:

The Bible tells us that there will be a terrible place created especially for the devil and his angels. God never intended for men to go to this awful place, but they can choose to go there by not accepting Jesus as Lord. The place is called the Lake of Fire. God loves men enough to warn them of its awfulness. (Light the fire.)


There are eight kinds of people who are especially warned about this place. They are guilty of committing terrible sins. God is willing to forgive any of the sins, but sadly enough, many times these people will not even ask Him to.


The first sin is the sin of being fearful. Being afraid of what others think and refusing Jesus will cause men to go to Hell. Many people will go to the Lake of Fire simply because they are too afraid of what others around them think to accept Jesus. (As you talk, hold up each picture. When you are finished talking about each sin, drop the picture into the flame.)


The next sin is the sin of unbelief. There are people who refuse to believe that Jesus died for them and that He rose again simply because they cannot see it. Jesus taught that if men do not believe the Word of God, they would not believe if someone rose from the dead. God has given much proof to the whole world that Jesus is risen. The best proof men have that Jesus is real is the change that takes place in the heart of those who receive Jesus. It is too bad that stubborn unbelief will cause some to go to Hell.


God warns the abominable person about Hell and its awfulness. An abominable person is one who does unnatural and evil things. Homosexuals and gays are abominable in God's sight. It is a great sin for men to romantically love other men. It is wicked for women to marry women. God does not even want men to act like women or vice versa. There is a place in the Lake of Fire for the abominable person who will not ask God's forgiveness.


Murder is a terrible sin and God will not allow a murderer into Heaven who has not asked forgiveness for his sin. The New Testament warns us that hating our brothers is as bad as murder. We should avoid hatred because it could lead to murder. There is no place in Heaven for hatred and murder.


The next sin is committed by whoremongers. There is a great deal of wickedness in this sin. God does not ever want people reading dirty magazines, looking at evil pictures, or having anything to do with nakedness. Perhaps you have accidently seen these kinds of books in stores or know of others who have them. Stay away from this awful sin.


Sorcerers are people who cast spells with drugs. Drug pushers and dealers are marked for the Lake of Fire. Drugs destroy the human soul and body, not to mention what they do to the spirit. God hates to see what drugs do to the spirit. God hates to see what drugs do to the people He loves. Drug dealers beware! Unless you repent, you will go to the Lake of Fire.

Idolaters are those who worship anything other than God. Some people actually worship idols, but others worship money, cars, houses, boats, and a number of other things. An idol can be anything you allow to keep you from obeying God. The Lake of Fire will be full of idol worshippers.


The last class of people mentioned is liars. Liars will have to be sent to the Lake of Fire. It is the nature of Satan to lie, and God is the author of truth. Those who habitually lie and deceive others will be sent to Hell forever.


Thank God for His mercy. He does not want any man, woman, boy, or girl to go to the Lake of Fire. He has a way for you to stay out of it. By accepting Jesus to be your Lord and Saviour, you have a guarantee from God that you will be saved (Romans 10:9). If you have been guilty of any of the sins we talked about since you have become a Christian, ask God to forgive you. If you do not want to go to the Lake of Fire, you do not have to! God has done everything you need to stay out of it.











FOR REVIEW

Applying the Word:


Heaven is a wonderful place. What do you think will be your favorite part about living there?


Questions for Review Game:


1. What is another name for Heaven?

2. Why will children never need to be spanked there?

3. Who will we meet in the Heavenly Jerusalem?

4. What are the walls made of?

5. What are the streets made of?

6. What is the name of the river that flows from the Throne of God?

7. Will everyone get to enter the city?

8. What will Hell be like?

9. Who was Hell made for?

10. How do men choose to go to Hell?