The Gate Bible Study -  Week One “Heaven”

 

Today’s focus question:

 What is Heaven Like?

Who’s going to be there?

What will it look like?

What will we wear?

Will we work in heaven?

 

The Apostle Paul once said:

 No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined

 what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Cor. 2:9

 

The following is a list of thought provoking books about heaven:

Ľ 90 Minutes in Heaven’ by Don Piper

Ľ Heaven is for Real’ by Todd Burpo

Ľ Proof of Heaven’ by Eben Alexander M. D.

Ľ The Five People You Meet in Heaven’ by Mitch Albom

Ľ Heaven’ by Randy Alcorn

Ľ The Chronicles of Narnia’ by C. S. Lewis

Ľ The Shack’ by Wm. Paul Young

 

John 3:16

     3:16  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that

 whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

 

Colossians 3:1-4

     3:1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things

above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  2Set your minds

         on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is

         now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, appears,

then you also will appear with him in glory.

Who do you know will be there? Why?

Who would you be surprised to find there? Why?

Who do you hope will be there? Why?

Rev 21:10-25

    21:10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high,

and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven

from God. 11 It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like

that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12 It had a

great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates.

On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel.

 13 There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the

south and three on the west. 14 The wall of the city had twelve

foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the

Lamb.  15 The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to

measure the city, its gates and its walls.  16 The city was laid out like a

square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and

found it to be 12,000 stadia (1,400 miles) in length, and as wide and high

as it is long. 17 The angel measured the wall using human measurement,

and it was 144 cubits thick. (200 feet) 18 The wall was made of jasper, and

the city of pure gold, as pure as glass.  19 The foundations of the city walls

were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation

was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20 the

 fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the

ninth  topaz, the tenth turquoise,  the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth

amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a

single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as

transparent glass. 22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. 

 

What are some of the things you noticed when reading this?
2.

Revelation 21:1-5,

   21:1 “Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and

         the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  2 I saw

the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from

God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I

heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place

is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his

people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will

wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning

or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” 

Jesus once said:

In my father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there To Prepare a Place for You. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to be with me that you also will be where I am.” John 14:2-3

If Jesus were to custom make heaven just for you, what would it look like?

Would there be oceans, cities, rain forests, and deserts?

How about dogs, cats, elephants, and giraffes?

Would your heaven include golf, fishing, baseball and shopping malls?

 

Į List some of the people in the Bible who went to heaven.

 

People often ask difficult questions about heaven. Recently a woman asked if she’d see her still-born child in heaven. And if she did would he be a baby or a grown man? Then she asked how old she was going to be in heaven?

 

How would you answer those questions?

This week take a few minutes and ask yourself,

Who you’d like to see the most when you get to heaven?

And who you’d miss the most if they weren’t there?                            

3.

The Gate Bible Study -  Week Two “The Trinity”

 

Today’s Focus Question:

What does God look like?

Ľ The Creation of Adam’ by Michelangelo

Ľ ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ C. S. Lewis

Ľ ‘The Shack’ by William Paul Young

Ľ ‘The Gate’ by Dann Stouten

The Father

The Son

The Holy Spirit

 

Į Do you think God reveals himself in different ways at different times?

 

Genesis 1:26-27

26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

 

Genesis 3:8,

8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.                                                 

 

Exodus 3:2

2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up.                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

 

 

Exodus 13:21

21 By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.

I Kings 19:11-13

The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

Ezekiel 1:27-28 .. 8:1-2

1:26 Above the expanse over their heads was what looked like a throne of sapphire, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. 27 I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. 28Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.

John 14:9b

Jesus said: “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. 

Revelation 5:6

 6 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.

 

 

 

2.

Revelation 1:12-16

12 I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.

 

One word descriptions of God,

God is Light. 1 John 1:5        

God is Love. 1 John 4:8-16

God is Truth.  Psalm 117:2

God is Power.  Jeremiah 32:17-27

God is Invisible.  1 Timothy 1:17    

God is A Spirit.  John 4:24

God is Eternal.  Psalm 90:2

God is Incomprehensible.  Romans 11:33                                    

 

Biblical References that describe God’s Feminine Characteristics:

God is like a mother eagle. Deuteronomy 32: 11-12

God gives birth to his people.  Deuteronomy 32:18

God is a loving mother.  Hosea 11:3-4

God is protective like a mother bear.  Hosea 13:8 

God is in labor.  Isaiah 42:14

God is a nursing mother.  Isaiah 49:15

God is a comforting mother.  Isaiah 66:13

God is the queen of heaven.  Jeremiah 44:25

God is a mother.  Psalm 131:2

God is a mother hen.     Luke 13:34

 

 

3.

The Gate Bible Study - Week Three “Free Will”

 

Today’s Focus Question: 

Do you think that life is A Choice or A Chance?

 

Romans 8:28 

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God Foreknew he also Predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also Called; those he called, he also Justified; those he justified, he also Glorified.

 

II Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand

slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish,

but everyone to come to repentance.

 

I Timothy 2:3-4

" I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and

thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in

 authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and

holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all

people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. "

 

Į  If it’s God’s desire that everyone comes to repentance then won’t he ultimately get what he wants?

Revelation 2214-15

12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.                                                                           

16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” 17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.

 

Joshua 24:11-15

Joshua 24:11 "Then you crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho. The citizens of Jericho fought against you, as did also the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites and Jebusites, but I Gave Them Into Your Hands. 12 I sent the hornet ahead of you, which drove them out before you--also the two Amorite kings. You did not do it with your own sword and bow. 13 So I Gave You A Land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant.  14 "Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then Choose For Yourselves This Day Whom You Will Serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." 

In The Gate Ahbee says,

“I’m so glad you decided to come back.”

 

“Did I have a choice?” Sky asked.

 

“Of course, you always have a choice. I simply tried to help you make the   right choice,” Ahbee answered.

 

“I’ll bet you’re the one who put my name on that mailbox, aren’t you?”  Sky responded.

 

        “Yes,” Ahbee answered, “I knew your name before you did, and I also

         knew you couldn’t resist looking inside.   
                                                               2.

 

Į If God knew already what he would do did he ever really have a choice?

Į Do you believe that God still has specific things he wants you to do before he calls you home? What might they be?

 

Acts 7:23-30

23 “When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his own people, the Israelites. 24 He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defense and avenged him by killing the Egyptian. 25 Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not. 26 The next day Moses came upon two Israelites who were fighting. He tried to reconcile them by saying, ‘Men, you are brothers; why do you want to hurt each other?’

27 “But the man who was mistreating the other pushed Moses aside and said, ‘Who made you ruler and judge over us?28 Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’ 29 When Moses heard this, he fled to Midian, where he settled as a foreigner and had two sons.

30 “After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush in the desert near Mount Sinai.

Ľ Could Moses have said No to God? Can we?

 

In The Gate it says:

“When we stop doing what God made us to do, we get swallowed up by   the business of life and our goals, dreams, and aspirations evaporate.”

Š      Have you been swallowed up by the business of life?

Š      What goals and dreams do you have for your life?

Š      What’s keeping you from accomplishing them?

 

 

What does the Bible tell us about God’s Will?

Š      God’s Will often involves Sacrifice.

Š      God Will might not be Our Will.

Š      God’s never Forces his Will on anyone.

Š      God has a Purpose and Plan but he allows us to make our own choices.

 

3.

The Gate Bible Study - Week Four: “Relationships”

 

Today’s focus question:  

 How do our Relationships impact our lives?

 

Genesis 2:18

         It’s not good for the man to be alone.

 

Who do you think has made the Biggest Impression on your life?

 

Exodus 20:12

Honor your father and your mother that you may live a long life on the land the Lord your God gives you. Exodus 20:12

Š      Were your parents there for you?

Š      Are you there for your children?

 

In The Gate, one of the characters we meet is named Roz. We’re told that he was one of those people that you could lean on in life when times got tough.

Š      Who do you lean on when times are tough?

Š      Who leans on you?

 

In The Gate, Roz tells Sky that “God’s not done with him yet.”

Š      Make a list of the things you might try to do if you knew that God would be with you every step of the way.

 

In The Gate, the Holy Spirit tells Sky that “we all want eternal life, but too often we choose to waste the life we have.”

Š      Do you know someone who’s wasting their life?

Š      How are you wasting time in your life?

Š      Whose life are you investing in?

 

John 13:34

        "A New Command ..I Give TO You, Love One Another.

 

Luke 10:27

         To love the lord our God with all our hearts, souls, and minds, and love

 our neighbors like we love ourselves.                                               

Drawing the Relationship Circles

 

 

1. The Center Circle

o  How is your Relationship with God right now?

 

2. The Circle of Love

o  How’s your Relationship with them right now?

 

3. The Circle of trust

o  How’s your Relationship with the people in the third circle?

 

4. The Circle of Influence  

o  Evaluate your Relationships in this circle?

 

5. The Occasional Circle

o  Again look at your Relationship with people in this circle

 

Circle evaluation test - How often do you:

Ľ Talk with them?

Ľ Listen to them?

Ľ Pray with and for them?

Ľ Vacation with them?

Ľ Write to them to let them know what’s going on in your life?

 

 

 

2.

In The Gate one of the characters says:  

         “People who hurt people, were once hurt by people themselves.”

Š      Do you agree with that statement?

Š      Is there someone in your family who has treated others badly?

Š      What might help the hurting people you know get over their pain?

 

Pain will either make you bitter or better.

Š      Describe a painful time in your life?

Š      What has the pain done to you?

Š      What has your pain done to the people around you?

 

Hebrews 12:1

         “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

 

Š      Make a list of all the witnesses who’ve influenced your life.

Š      Ask yourself, when you were a learner, who let you tag along?

Š      Now that you’re a teacher, who do you allow to tag along?

 

Matthew 25:40

         I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these my

          brothers you’ve done it unto me.”

 

Š      Who do you know that might fit that description?

Š      What have you done for them?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.

The Gate Bible Study -  Week Five “Angels”

 

Today’s Focus Question:

What do Angels look like?

 

Sometimes people ask me, “Do people become angels when they die?”

Į How would you answer that question?

 

Hebrews 12:22-23

22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 

 

The Hierarchy to the Angels

1.  Archangel

 

1st Thessalonians 4:16

16For the Lord himself, will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

 

Jude 1:9

But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

Other Archangel References, (Daniel 8:15-17, 9:21-23, Lk. 1:8-20, 1:26-38)

 

The Seven Archangels of Jewish Tradition

Michael

Gabriel

Raphael

Uriel

Raguel

Saraqael

Remiel

Lucifer  -  The Fallen Archangel

Isaiah 14:12-15

12 How you have fallen from heaven,
   morning star, (O Lucifer) son of the dawn!
You have been cast down to the earth,
    you who once laid low the nations!
13 You said in your heart,
    “I will ascend to the heavens;
I will raise my throne
    above the stars of God;
I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,
    on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon.
14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
    I will make myself like the Most High.”
15 But you are brought down to the realm of the dead,
    to the depths of the pit.

 

Elsewhere in Scripture Satan is also called:

The Adversary

The Accuser

The Dragon

The Serpent

The Father of Lies

The Lord of the Flies

The Prince of this World

 Revelation 12:7-9

Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.                                                                                             

2.

 

Jude 1:6

 And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. 

 

Matthew 25:41

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.

 

The Gate Bible Study -  Week Six “The Hierarchy to the Angels”

 

Today’s Focus Question:

What do Angels look like? (continued)

 

The Hierarchy to the Angels

1.  Seraphim

Numbers 21:6-8

Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.”

 

Deuteronomy 8:15

15 He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock.

 

Isaiah 6:1-7

6 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;

the whole earth is full of his glory.”

2. Cherubim

Genesis 3:24

24 After he drove the man (Adam)out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

 

 

Ezekiel 1:5-10

 5  In appearance their form was that of a man, 6 but each of them had four faces and four wings. 7 Their legs were straight; their feet were like those of a calf and gleamed like burnished bronze. 8 Under their wings on their four sides they had the hands of a man. All four of them had faces and wings, 9 and their wings touched one another. Each one went straight ahead; they did not turn as they moved. 10 Their faces looked like this: Each of the four had the face of a man, and on the right side each had the face of a lion, and on the left the face of an ox; each also had the face of an eagle.

 

Exodus 25:17-20

17 “Make an atonement cover (A Mercy Seat) of pure gold—two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. 18 And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover. 19 Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends. 20 The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the cover. 

 

Where do Angels come from?
Psalm 148:1-5

Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights above.Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his heavenly hosts.Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars.

Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies.5Let them praise the name of the Lord, for at his command they were created.

Genesis 1:1

1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

 

 

2.

Job 38:4

4Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?

 

Revelation 4:6-8

In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back.The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty

who was, and is, and is to come.”

 

How many Angels are there?

II Kings 6:17

15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. "Oh, my lord, what shall we do?" the servant asked.16"Don't be afraid," the prophet answered. "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them. 17 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

Matthew 26:53

53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?                                            

Daniel 7:10

Thousands upon thousands (of Angels) attended him;
 ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him

3.

Revelation 5:11

11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders.

 

What is God’s role and purpose for the Angels?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.

The Gate Bible Study Evaluation Form

 

1.   Did you think the material was handled in a way that honored Scripture?

 

 

2.   Was the subject matter of the material interesting you?

 

 

3.   What class was your favorite? Why?

      (Heaven, The Trinity, Free Will, Relationships, Angels, Hierarchy to the Angels)

 

 

4.   What was your least favorite Class? Why?

 

 

5.   Did you learn anything new because of this class? What was it?

 

 

6.   Were you able to apply any of the information you learned to your life?

 

 

7.   Did you find the hand-outs helpful?

 

 

8.   Are you more inclined to read The Gate because of this class?

 

 

9.   Would you recommend this class and The Gate to a friend?

 

 

10.   Is there anything that you would change about this class?