Posts

Children’s Bible Program: Special Edition! What is Pentecost? – Part 2

This Study Guide is a continuation of “What is Pentecost?-Part 1”.

This set of study guides are written for the purpose of helping parents teach their children vital Biblical topics in a focused, easy-to-follow format. Each section is not meant to be taught in one lesson, rather the topics are organized so parents can choose specific areas of focus and gear lessons toward the learning styles and ages of their children. Each topic is presented in a straightforward manner with accompanying verses for study. The main study should always come from the Scripture itself, while these lessons can act as a guide for reading passages from the Bible. Each Lesson packet includes memory verses, questions for meaningful discussion, and activities (added at the end of the packet). Also, though some things may be labeled as Level 1, 2, or 3, the activities, questions, and scriptures for memorizing can be used to fit the needs and learning levels for children of all ages. Missed part one? Click here for “What is Pentecost?-Part 1”.

The beginning of the New Testament

is the record of the beginning of a new era in God’s plan. The four gospel books (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) tell the history of Jesus Christ as a human being on this earth. Though these books do not include every little thing Jesus Christ did while He lived as a human being, (John said at the end of his book that he didn’t think there could be enough room in all the books in the whole world to record everything that Jesus did!), God did give us enough details of His life for us to learn to be like Him. So what does Christ have to do with Pentecost. Well, just about everything! After Jesus came and lived a perfect life on earth and died for every single person in the whole world, He was resurrected to eternal life. He was the first one to be given that gift, (He is the First of the Firstfruits) and He did it so we all could have a chance to be resurrected to eternal life too!

Let’s have a look at what happened on the first Pentecost after Jesus Christ was raised from the grave!

Children’s Bible Program: Special Edition! Pentecost 2019

For this year’s Holy Day season we are offering our newest initiative for our Children’s Bible Program. It will be a special set of Study Guides titled “What is Pentecost?” geared toward families with children of all ages. Don’t wait to download this special study guide before the beginning of Pentecost! We hope that this set of special study guides will greatly enhance family preparation for this Holy Day season!

This Study Guide is written for the purpose of helping parents teach their children vital Biblical topics in a focused, easy-to-follow format. Each section is not meant to be taught in one lesson, rather the topics are organized so parents can choose specific areas of focus and gear lessons toward the learning styles and ages of their children. Each topic is presented in a straightforward manner with accompanying verses for study. The main study should always come from the Scripture itself, while these lessons can act as a guide for reading passages from the Bible. Each Lesson packet includes memory verses, questions for meaningful discussion, and activities (added at the end of the packet). Also, though some things may be labeled as Level 1, 2, or 3, the activities, questions, and scriptures for memorizing can be used to fit the needs and learning levels for children of all ages. Enjoy!

God wanted a family,

and from the beginning He made a plan for His children. Do you remember Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? God worked with each of these men, and because they obeyed him, he decided to work out His plan through them to have a family. The children of Jacob (whose name you might remember God changed to “Israel”) would become the example children for the rest of the world. God wants all people to be His children, but He had to start with a few people first to be an example for everyone else. So God was working out His plan for all people on earth through the example of the Children of Israel!

So what does this have to do with Pentecost? Just wait and see!

Children’s Bible Program – Level 3: Lesson 29 “Pentecost and God’s Plan of Salvation”

Photo by rawpixel on Pixabay

Read Together: Before time began, God, who became the Father, and the Word, who became Jesus Christ, planned to have a family. The plan was to create human beings in God’s image and place them on the earth where they could learn to choose God’s way and develop godly character. God recognized that under the influence of Satan the devil, mankind would choose to sin, but He had a plan for that as well. Most of humanity, including those who profess Christianity, do not understand God’s plan, but we can. Through His Holy Days, God has revealed His plan to redeem mankind and offer every human being an opportunity for eternal life. The first step in God’s plan, Passover, has already been fulfilled. The Word was born as a human to pay for the sins of mankind by dying for His creation. Pentecost teaches us that God will begin to work with a small number of people through the power of His Holy Spirit. It pictures a harvest of the few that God is working with now who will one day assist Christ in the millennium. Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead and is now our High Priest awaiting the time when He will return to the earth as King of kings. The firstfruits will be the kings who will rule with Christ in the future.

Read Together: Leviticus 23:15–21; 1 Peter 1:18–21; Revelation 13:8; John 1:29, 36; 1 Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 4:14–15; Revelation 14:3–4; 17:14.

Discuss:

  • God’s plan to have a family is a central theme throughout the Holy Scriptures. Much of the Bible is a history of what God has done, is doing, and will do to bring about His plan.
  • Ask your child explain the meaning of the first three Festivals in God’s plan of salvation.
  • God gives understanding to those who do what He says (Psalm 111:10). Obedience comes before understanding. Use as an example Mr. Armstrong keeping the Holy Days before God revealed their meaning. Explain that we may not understand everything now (1 Corinthians 13:12).

Children’s Bible Program – Level 3: Lesson 28 “Samuel – The Last Judge”

Read Together: Samuel had an uncommonly fascinating beginning.  Hannah was childless. In her sorrow, she prayed to God for a child, vowing that she would dedicate him to God. God heard her prayer and Samuel was born. When Samuel was weaned, his mother took him to live and serve in the tabernacle with Eli the priest. God spoke to Samuel while he was yet a child, and it became clear that God had chosen Samuel to be a prophet. After Eli’s death, Samuel judged throughout the land of Israel. When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as judges to assist him. But his sons were evil, and did not follow in his footsteps. The people revolted against Samuel, and demanded a king. This was disconcerting to Samuel after all his years of faithful service, but God reassured him. The truth was that they had rejected God – not Samuel.  With God’s approval, Samuel anointed two kings of Israel—Saul and David. It was Samuel’s leadership that helped Israel transition from a theocracy that was managed by judges under God to one in which the people were subjects of a king. Samuel, the last judge of Israel, lived in very exciting times, and his story is recorded in the Scriptures, waiting to inspire you.

Richard Gunther (www.lambsongs.con.nz) | FreeBibleImages.org

Read Together: 1 Samuel 1–10;16:1–13; 25:1.

Discuss:

  • What might it have been like for Samuel to grow up serving in the tabernacle from the time he was about four years old? God can use people no matter their age if they are willing to serve. What are some ways you might be able to serve in the congregation?
  • The sons of Eli and Samuel had great opportunities because of their fathers, but they threw them away. Explain to your child that they also have great opportunities as a young person in God’s Church.
  • Even though Israel demanded a king, God chose who would be king. There was no voting. This may be a good opportunity to discuss different forms of human government and how they differ from God’s form of government.
  • Samuel lived in very exciting times. As you read through the entire book of 1 Samuel, have your child identify their favorite scene, character, and miracle in the book.

Review Memorization:

Judges 21:25  “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”

Children’s Bible Program – Level 3: Lesson 27 “Gideon”

Read Together: When we read about Gideon in the book of Judges, we see that, once again, the children of Israel were in trouble. Year after year, the Midianites swarmed across the land of Israel. These nomadic people would set up their camps, allowing their camels and livestock to roam over the land, eating all the crops of the Israelites, leaving nothing. The children of Israel were left with no food for themselves. They hid in caves to escape the Midianites, with no food and no hope. Finally, they cried out to God to deliver them. The story of what happened next is one of the most amazing stories of bravery in the whole book of Judges. God used Gideon and 300 men to save Israel from the Midianite hordes. Read on to learn how!

Sweet Publishing | FreeBibleImages.org

Read Together:  Judges 6-8

Discuss:

  • Did Gideon blame God for Israel’s problems (Judges 6:13)? Explain that people often blame God, but it is usually because of sin that bad things happen. To help illustrate this point, you may want to select an appropriate news story and discuss how the calamity is a result of sin.
  • God does not leave people unaware of their sins and its consequences (Judges 6:8–10). Why did God allow the Midianites to terrorize Israel? Discuss the Church’s role in warning modern day Israel.
  • Why did God have Gideon send all but 300 warriors home?
  • Discuss with your child how Gideon tested God. God was very patient with Gideon by doing as he asked in order to help Gideon to trust Him.
  • The people wanted to make Gideon their king. What was Gideon’s response?

Review Memorization:

Judges 21:25  “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”

Children’s Bible Program – Level 3: Lesson 26 “Deborah the Prophetess – Judge of Israel”

Read Together:  In Judges 4, we read that God chose a woman, Deborah, to judge Israel for a period of time. She was well prepared when God called her to be a prophetess and a judge because she knew God’s laws and was wise in their execution.  God told Deborah to send for Barak and tell him to fight against their oppressors – Jabin, king of Canaan and Sisera, the commander of his army. Barak responded that he would only go if Deborah went with him. Though Deborah knew women did not normally fight in war she agreed to go, but Barak would have to sacrifice the glory of the victory to a woman. God gave them the battle plan which they executed with precision. Barak along with ten thousand troops from Napthali and Zebulun soon had Sisera and his troops on the run. They killed them all, but Sisera escaped from the battle to the tent of Jael, a woman whom he thought was an ally. While Sisera slept, she drove a tent peg through his head, and Jael became the heroine of the battle instead of Barak just as Deborah had said. This marked the end of Jabin’s oppression, and Israel had peace for forty years. Yet after all this, Israel again turned to her evil ways.

John Paul Stanley/ YoMinistry.com | FreeBibleImages.org

Read Together:  Judges 4:1 – 6:1

Discuss:

  • Discuss with your child the role of a prophet(ess) and the role of a judge.  What is the role of women in the Church government structure? (See Ephesians 4:11.)
  • Speculate with your child why God might have called a woman to judge Israel at that time.  Perhaps she was the best qualified. Remember, God is not a respecter of persons (Romans 2:11).
  • Point out to your child that Deborah is not the only prophetess referred to in the scriptures(See Exodus 15:20; 2 Kings 22:14; Isaiah 8:3; Luke 2:36).
  • Ask your child why they feel Barak wanted Deborah to go with him to war. Was Barak’s bravery in question? Remember, Barak is listed in the faith chapter of Hebrews 11
  • Explain to your child that those born into the family of God are neither male nor female (Galatians 3:28).  Everyone will have equal opportunity to serve in the Kingdom of God and and be rewarded based on your works (Matthew 16:27).

Review Memorization:

Judges 21:25  “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”

Children’s Bible Program – Level 3: Lesson 25 “The Time of the Judges”

by Janth English

Read Together: God chose Moses to bring Israel out of Egyptian slavery and to the Promised Land. He then chose Joshua to lead the people into that land and divide their inheritance among the tribes. God chose judges, or leaders, to teach the people His laws and to judge matters that came up according to those laws. Israel was obedient to God for as long as Joshua and the elders that he trained lived. However, after the generation who saw God’s works in the wilderness died, the people began to turn away from God. They wanted to be like the peoples around them, copying their ways and customs. To punish the Israelites for their disobedience, God sent these nations against them. Time after time, Israel suffered under the cruel hand of their enemies. When they cried out to God for relief, he mercifully sent a judge to save them. After a few years of peace, Israel would forget the God who saved them and return to their foreign idols. Again, God would remove His protection and the neighboring nations would invade the land of Israel. For many generations, the people of Israel followed their own rebellious heart, doing what was right in their own eyes.  

Richard Gunther: gunther.net.nz | FreeBibleImages.org

Read Together:  Exodus 3:6-10; Deuteronomy 31:7; 1 Samuel 12:12; Judges 2:6-23, 21:25

Discuss:  

  • Discuss with your child God’s criteria for leadership positions (See Exodus 18:21 and Titus 1:7-8). God’s standards have not changed, and they will not change. Remind your child that they are training now for future leadership positions.
  • Discuss with your child Israel’s desire to be like the people around them.  Do we sometimes fall into the same trap? What was the result for Israel? What would be the result for us if we do the same thing?
  • Point out to your child how God showed mercy to Israel time and again.  Help them to see that God’s mercy is forever.
  • Discuss with your child the consequences of everyone doing what they think is right. What happens when my thoughts and your thoughts are not in agreement? What happens in society when there are no absolute standards?

Review Memorization.

Judges 21:25 “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”


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”

Sweet Publishing | FreeBibleImages.org

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.”