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Children’s Bible Program – Level 3: Lesson 24 “The Wave Sheaf—First of the Firstfruits”

Read Together: Unleavened Bread always occurred during the barley harvest which was the first of the grain harvests in Israel. God told the Israelites to perform the “wave sheaf” offering each year during the Days of Unleavened Bread. The priests went to the fields as the Sabbath during Unleavened Bread was ending. As the sun was setting, they cut a sheaf of barley and saved it for the ceremony the next day. On the first day of the week, after the Sabbath at about 9:00 am, the priests waved the sheaf of barley as an offering before God. The day when the Wave Sheaf was offered is not a holy day, but it is a ceremony packed full of meaning for Christians. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, was crucified on Passover in 31CE, which was a Wednesday. He was resurrected from the dead exactly three days and three nights later, which was at the end of the Sabbath during the Days of Unleavened Bread, the same time that the grain was cut. The next day, as the priests waved the sheaf before God, Christ ascended to His Father in heaven to offer Himself as the true Wave Sheaf offering. Jesus Christ fulfilled the meaning pictured by the wave sheaf; He became the first of God’s spiritual harvest, the “First of the firstfruits”. He is the firstborn of many brethren. Christ has the preeminence in all things. He is proof that we too can be firstfruits and be born into God’s family as His very own children.

Read Together: Leviticus 23:9–14; Matthew 12:40; John 20:1, 9, 15–17; 1 Corinthians 15:20–23; Romans 8:29–30.

Discuss:

  • Discuss what the Bible says about the “wave sheaf” in Lev 23.
  • Help your child to create a time chart of the events during the Days of Unleavened Bread in 31 CE. Start with Jesus and the disciples keeping the Passover the Tuesday evening before the crucifixion and ending with His ascension to the Father on Sunday. Count three days and three nights. Christ was in the grave during this time. The chart will help show that He could not have been crucified on Friday and resurrected on Sunday at sunrise as most professing Christians believe. Note that Christ was not in the tomb when Mary Magdalene got there while it was still dark (the sun had not risen).
  • Explain to your child in words he/she can understand that a Christian’s hope is in the resurrection. Our destiny, his/her destiny, is to be born as a spirit being into God’s family.

Review Memorization.

Romans 5:10  “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”

Children’s Bible Program – Level 3: Lesson 23 “The Days of Unleavened Bread”

Read Together: The Days of Unleavened Bread begin immediately after the Passover, on the fifteenth day of the first month. For seven days, all of Israel was to have no leaven in their homes and to eat unleavened bread. The first and last Days of Unleavened Bread are Holy Days to the Eternal. During the Days of Unleavened Bread, leavening agents picture sin which causes people to be puffed up with pride and vanity. Putting leavening out of our homes reminds us that we are to put sin out of our lives. When Peter told the Jews that they had crucified the Son of God, they asked what they should do. Because every person has sinned, each of us is responsible for the death of Christ. He had to die to pay the penalty for our sins. When we acknowledge this fact, we face the same question of what to do. Peter’s replied that they must “repent”. We repent of sinning, which is the transgression of God’s law. Repentance means to turn from the way of life that leads to death and to follow God’s way leading to eternal life. Eating unleavened bread for seven days pictures feeding on Christ, the true unleavened bread, in whom dwelt no sin. We feed on Christ by studying His word which transforms our minds. As we do, we begin to be more like Christ. As Dr. Roderick C. Meredith often said, we will begin to think like God thinks, want what God wants, and do what God would do. If we feed on Christ, God will give us eternal life, because He is the “bread of life.”

Read Together:  Exodus 23:14–17; Leviticus 23:4, 6–8; Acts 2:36–38; I John 3:4; 1 Corinthians 15:3; John 6:35, 47–51; Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:11–16; John 6:57–58.

Discuss:

  • Talk with your child about sin. Explain that the Ten Commandments are the foundation for all of God’s laws. We are to obey all of the Commandments, even those we may feel are the least important (Matthew 5:19).
  • Talk with your child about repentance. Explain that repentance is more than being sorry. It means that with God’s help, we stop committing the offense.
  • Ask your student what is his/her favorite thing about the Days of Unleavened Bread. Is it getting together with friends on the Holy Days or perhaps a special treat that is only baked at that time? Share what you enjoy about that time.

Review Memorization:

Romans 5:10 “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”

Children’s Bible Program – Level 3: Lesson 22 “The Passover – Justified by His Blood”

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Read Together: God gave ancient Israel instructions concerning Passover observance. On the tenth day in the first month of the year, each family was told to select a special,  Passover lamb. This lamb was to be perfect, without any blemishes at all. Four days later, as the 14th day of the first month was just beginning at sunset, they were required to kill the lamb, cook it, and eat it as part of a special Passover meal, putting some of the blood of the lamb on their doorway. Those who did this would be protected from the death angel, who would kill all the firstborn in the land, except those in houses with the blood of the lamb on their doorway. Every year after that, the Israelites were commanded to eat a Passover meal on this same night and remember how God had spared them from the death of the firstborn in their home. But this Passover lamb also symbolized something more. All humans are under the threat of death because we all have sinned, and death is the penalty for sinning against God. We may not have the death angel passing over us, but we still are subject to death for our sins. Instead of a Passover lamb, however, we have Jesus Christ. Christ was the perfect sacrifice who was willing to become a human being and then die for our sins, protecting us from death, just as the blood of the lamb on the doorway protected the Israelites. Before Christ died, He taught His disciples that they should think of the Passover as a yearly reminder of His sacrifice for them, and to drink a small cup of wine and eat a small piece of unleavened bread instead of cooking a lamb. These new symbols were taught to the church by the disciples. Since that time, the faithful people of God through history have continued to remember Christ’s sacrifice every year at the Passover, just as the Israelites remembered the Passover every year. They were released from their Egyptian taskmasters, while we are released from the grasp of Satan and sin.

Read Together:  Exodus 12:3–8, 43–47; Leviticus 23:4–5; Romans 3:23; 6:23; Hebrews 10:4; John 1:1–3; Luke 1:35; Matthew 1:23; Philippians 2:5–8; John 10:17–18; 3:16; 1:29.

Discuss:

  • Ask your child why they think the lamb selected for Passover had to be without any blemishes. How does this relate to Jesus Christ?
  • People often question why Christ had to die. Discuss this with your child. Be sure to relate that God will not compromise with sin and that there could be no pardon of sins without shedding blood (Hebrews 9:22). Christ had to die to atone for mankind’s sins, giving you, your child, and every human being who has ever lived a chance for salvation and eternal life in God’s family.
  • Discuss with your child how awful sin is and why God hates it. Choose one of the Ten Commandments and talk about how breaking it causes misery, pain, and suffering. How different would the world be if that commandment were kept? Remind your student that it is because of sin that Christ had to die.
  • Explain to your child that the blood of Christ is represented by the wine, and the bread represents His body that was beaten for us.  

Review Memorization:

1 Corinthians 5:7  “Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.”

Children’s Bible Program – Level 3: Lesson 21 “God’s Plan of Salvation”

Read Together: God designed a plan whereby He would have a family with whom He would share eternity. So He planned to create mankind in His image, place them in a beautiful environment, and create circumstances in which they would have to choose to do right or wrong. God knew that giving mankind free moral agency was the only way they could develop the godly character needed to live in peace and harmony forever. He also knew that it could result in sometimes choosing the wrong way, which would cause misery and lead to death. God did not want a family who was in turmoil and misery for all eternity, so before He created mankind He also designed a plan to save them from eternal death and bring them into His family. He gave us His Holy Days to teach us about His plan of salvation. God designed the Holy Days around the harvest seasons in Palestine, which include the spring, early summer, and fall. In the next few lessons, we will discuss the spring Holy Days, Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread, and what they picture in God’s plan of salvation. We have the privilege to understand and be a part of this truly awesome plan.

Read Together: 1 Peter 1:1920; Genesis 2:79, 1517; Deuteronomy 16:16; Leviticus 23:14.

Discuss:

  • Discuss with your child what it means to have free moral agency. Mankind has not been given the right to determine what is right and wrong. We choose whether or not we will do what is right as God defines it.
  • Explain to your child that God made humans physical and not with spirit as He did the angels, so that if they refused to learn to obey Him, they would not have to live in unhappiness for all eternity. They would simply die a physical death like all humans do.  (Romans 6:23; Revelation 21:8).
  • Help your child understand that their ultimate destiny is to be born into the family of God as one of His children(Romans 8:1416; Hebrews 2:68; Psalm 82:6).
  • Ask your child what they would like to do when they become a spirit being in God’s family. Share what you look forward to doing.

Review Memorization:

Romans 5:10  “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”

Children’s Bible Program – Level 3: Lesson 20 “Joshua Becomes the Leader of Israel”

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By Janth English and LivingEd Staff

Read Together: Before his death, one of Moses’ final duties was to appoint Israel’s next leader. God had chosen Joshua, the son of Nun. Joshua had been at Moses’ side from the time the Israelites left Egypt. He was the first general who led Israel into war. He was also with the seventy elders who saw God and ate before Him. Joshua was with Moses on the mountain for forty days when he received the Ten Commandments from God. Joshua and Caleb were the only spies who brought back a good report of the promised land and tried to convince the others to go in and take it. He had been thoroughly trained, having served Moses for forty years, so God chose him to lead the nation after Moses. Joshua must have felt the burden of leading this nation with millions of people, but Moses encouraged him to be strong and courageous. Moses died on Mt. Nebo and was buried by God. After Moses’ death, God spoke to Joshua, letting him know that He was with him. God told Joshua to be strong and courageous. The rest of the story of Joshua – his leadership, exploits, bravery, and commitment —  is for another lesson.

Read Together:  Numbers 27:18–23; Exodus 17:9–10, 13; 24:9–13; 32:15–17; 33:11; Numbers 14:6–10; Deuteronomy 31:7–8; 34:1–12; Joshua 1:1–11

Discuss:

  • Ask your child what is their favorite story about Joshua. Why?
  • Talk about what might be some reasons that God did not reveal to us exactly where He buried Moses.
  • Discuss with your child how Joshua must have felt being personally encouraged by God. Remind your son or daughter that God speaks to us through His word, the Bible.
  • Express to your child that God wants each of us to be strong and courageous in our daily lives as we represent Him to the world. Why do we need to be strong and courageous?
  • Point out to your child that God trained Joshua from a young age to work in His service. Remind  your child that if they are willing to do God’s will, they too can be used mightily by God.

Review Memorization:Deuteronomy 30:15-16  “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess.”

Children’s Bible Program – Level 3: Lesson 19 “Moses Forewarns Israel”

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By Janth English

Read Together: The events at Kadesh marked a crucial point in Moses’ life. First, Moses’ sister Miriam died there. Next came a day that would change Moses’ future. Once again, the people were complaining about their lack of water, forgetting how God had provided for their needs again and again. All they needed to do was to turn to God and ask Him for His help. Moses went to God and asked Him to provide the water they needed. God patiently gave Moses and Aaron instructions, telling them exactly how to provide for the people. He told Moses to speak to the rock and water would flow from it. Moses, however, lost his temper. He was so angry at the Israelites that he hit the rock with his rod. In fact, he hit it twice! God made water start miraculously pouring out of the rock, providing for the needs of the thirsty people. But He was very displeased with Moses. According to God, Moses and Aaron did not show honor and respect to Him. Moses had allowed his anger to guide his actions instead of trusting God’s hand and obeying Him as He had instructed .

God does not play favorites, and this act of disobedience on the part of Moses and Aaron in front of all the people was just as wrong as the disobedience shown by others. Because they disobeyed God, Moses and Aaron were not allowed to enter the Promised Land. However, before he died, Moses reminded the people of Israel to never forget the laws of their God. He encouraged them, saying that if they obeyed, God would bless their families, give rain in its season, increase their crops, increase their livestock, protect them from their enemies, and give them peace. However, if they disobeyed, they would be cursed. The weather would be harsh, the earth would not yield its crops, disease would cling to the people, their enemies would pursue them and overtake them, and they would eventually become slaves again. God gave Israel a clear choice between living the way that brings life and peace, or the way that brings curses and death. He gives us the same choice.

Read Together:  Numbers 20:1–13, 23–29; 27:12–14; Deuteronomy 28:1–37; 30:1–3, 15–20.

Discuss:

  • Discuss with your child Moses’ and Aaron’s punishment for disobeying God. Was this an unfair punishment?
  • Even though God punished Moses and Aaron for their disobedience, God forgave them. We know that Moses will have a high position in the Kingdom. Explain the fact that even though God forgives us, sin still has consequences.
  • Explain to your child that there are only two ways to live, God’s way and man’s way. God’s way is the only way that brings true joy, peace, and happiness. This may be a good opportunity to discuss the difference between the world today (governed by man) and the Kingdom of God (governed by God).
  • Point out to your child that even when we sin, God offers us forgiveness when we repent and turn to Him.

Review Memorization.

Deuteronomy 30:15–16 “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess.”

Children’s Bible Program – Level 3: Lesson 18 “Forty Years in the Wilderness”

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Read Together: Israel did not bring a good report during their wandering in the wilderness. During this time, Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and On stirred up the people in rebellion, saying Moses and Aaron should no longer be the leaders of Israel. God had something to say about that! He caused the earth to open up and swallow these rebellious men, their families, and all their possessions. After the rebellion was put down, the Israelites complained that Moses had killed the people of God. They gathered against Moses and Aaron, but again God saved them and sent a plague that killed 14,700 more people. After a victory over the king of Arad, the people started complaining again, calling the manna worthless. This time God sent fiery serpents through the camp which killed many of the people. After Israel wandered for forty years, the time finally came for them to inherit the Promised Land. God lead Israel to defeat and take the lands of Sihon King of the Amorites, and Og King of Bashan. The Moabites heard of Israel’s conquests and were afraid. Balak, king of Moab, sent for Balaam to curse Israel, but God would not allow it, but allowed Balaam to bless them instead. However, the Israelites started worshipping idols and marrying foreign women. The Lord became angry and sent a plague that killed 24,000 people. Time and again Israel tested God. Israel failed to keep the covenant they had made with God, but their deeds were recorded for our benefit so that we can learn from their mistakes.

Read Together:  Numbers 16:1–32, 41–50; 21:1–6, 21–26, 31–35; 22:1–35; 24:10–13; 25:1–9

Discuss:

  • Remind your child that God promised Israel the land of the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, and the Hivites (Exodus 3:7–8). Their conquests were in partial fulfillment of God’s promise.
  • Ask your child what lessons they think we can learn from Korah’s rebellion. Use this as an opportunity to talk about God’s government and how we are to respect those God has put in leadership positions.
  • Read 1 Corinthians 10:6–11 with your child. Discuss how we can get caught up in the same sins that Israel committed. Help them come up with some examples.

Review Memorization.

Deuteronomy 30:15–16  “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess.”

Printable PDF – L3.18

Children’s Bible Program – Level 3: Lesson 17 “Israel Rebels in the Wilderness”

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By Janth English

Read Together:  As God delivered Israel from Egypt, they witnessed miracle after miracle! The children of Israel walked through the Red Sea on dry land with walls of water on both sides. They watched the Egyptian army get swallowed up by the Red Sea as God allowed the water to crash down on them. But they still complained to God!  When they had no water, they complained. When they had no food, they complained again. It’s understandable that they were hungry and thirsty, but instead of asking God for help, they accused Him of bringing them out into the wilderness to die. Again and again, they said “Let’s go back to Egypt”. When Moses went up to the top of Mt. Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments from God, the Israelites made a golden calf to worship. They bowed down to it and called it their god, even though they had just promised to obey the real God who had brought them out of slavery! When Moses sent the spies to scout the land of Canaan, they came back with a bad report even though the land was full of delicious fruit. All the spies, except Joshua and Caleb, said they should not enter the promised land because they saw the giants who lived there. They had no faith that God would deliver them, so the people refused to go in and inherit the land God had promised.  For this, and for all their constant complaining and faithlessness, God sentenced them to wander in the wilderness for forty years. This was one year for each day the spies were in Canaan, until everyone of that generation had died.

Read Together:  Ex. 15:19-24, 16:2-4; Num. 11:1-10; Ex. 32:1-8; Num. 13:17-33, 14:1-4, 26-35

Discuss:

  • Point out to your child that three days after Israel came through the Red Sea they were complaining about water.  Israel had forgotten God’s power very quickly.  Discuss why this would happen.
  • Have a discussion with your child about faith. The Israelites knew God was real, but they lacked faith.  Israel proved that witnessing miracles does not guarantee faith. Include James 2:18 in the discussion.
  • Talk with your son or daughter about the Israelites’ tendency to complain.  Do we have the same characteristic?  How does God feel about complaining?  What is the antidote for complaining?

Review Memorization:

Deut. 30:15-16  “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess.”

Printable PDF – L3.17

Children’s Bible Program – Level 3: Lesson 16 “God Explains the Statues”

 

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By Janth English

Read Together: Israel was so afraid when they heard God speak the Ten Commandments that they asked for Moses to relay God’s words to them. God agreed. In addition to the Ten Commandments, God gave Moses “statutes.” Statutes are laws that apply to more specific situations. They help us understand how to apply the Ten Commandments in everyday life. God’s laws and statutes were designed to provide Israel a fair and just legal system that would protect people and property. When Jesus came to earth, He supported the laws of God, including the statutes, and taught His disciples about how to keep them in our heart and mind.

Read Together: Deuteronomy 4:1–10; Exodus 22:5, 14, 28; Exodus 23:1–17; Leviticus 23:1–3; Deuteronomy 4:1–10; 22:8.

 

Discuss:

  • Explain to your student that the statutes are finer points to God’s Ten Commandments. For example, the Ten Commandments command us to keep the Sabbath, but the statutes explain there are “annual” Sabbaths as well (Leviticus 23:1–3).
  • Read, with your child, Exodus 22:28. Ask your child if he or she ever hears people “cursing” or making fun of leaders today. How would this statute guide a child to behave toward his or her parent or teacher?
  • Ask your child what the following statute means: “You shall not follow a crowd to do evil” (Exodus 23:2). Can he or she think of a time when they’ve had to resist following others to do something they knew was wrong?
  • With your child, read the statute in Exodus 23:4. Ask him or her, “Why would God want a person to bring back the animal of their enemy? Would that kind act possibly help them to be friends again?”
  • Ask your child what the statute in Deuteronomy 22:5 means. Ask if they can see how that could apply in our world today (when some are confused about gender).
  • Ask your child why God would make the statute in Deuteronomy 22:8. Would it not protect people from accidents?

 

Review Memorization.

Exodus 20:1–17 – The Ten Commandments (long form)

Printable PDF – L3.16

Printable PDF – L3.13-L3.16

Children’s Bible Program – Level 3: Lesson 15 “God Speaks the Ten Commandments”

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By Janth English

Read Together: The children of Israel had been busy preparing to come before God for three days. As God approached the mountain, there were thunder and lightning strikes; the mountain quaked and the ground where they stood shook. There was an awesome display of God’s power as He descended to the mountain! Even Moses, who had been in God’s presence before, was so afraid that he too trembled! The top of the mountain looked to be on fire as God thundered the Ten Commandments from its midst. The display was to show the Israelites how mighty and powerful God is, so that they would remember and obey Him. Sadly, the Israelites were so overwhelmed by the power of God that they pleaded with Moses to ask Him not to speak to them directly anymore, because they feared they would die. God asked the Israelites to keep the Ten Commandments so He could bless them, and they agreed.

Read Together: Exodus 19:12–25; 20:1–26

Discuss:

  • Explain that the Ten Commandments are still in effect today (Matthew 5:17–18).
  • Why is the Sabbath Commandment important?
  • Explain that the Ten Commandments were given by God for our good; they are not a burden (1 John 5:3).
  • Discuss the beneficial effects of the Ten Commandments. What would the world be like if no one told lies, or if no one took what didn’t belong to him or her? How would the world be transformed if everyone put God first and loved Him?
  • Discuss the relationship between obedience to the Ten Commandments and the peace humanity desires. Help your child understand that it is breaking God’s laws that leads to the unhappiness mankind experiences. Use an example like stealing or lying to demonstrate this.

Review Memorization.

Exodus 20:1–17 – The Ten Commandments (long form)

Printable PDF – L3.15