Tag Archives: Bible Teaching

Tony Evans on Spiritual Victory

By Joy Allmond

What do you do when you are living in a season of spiritual defeat? Do you pray? Do you retreat? Do you ask people for advice? Maybe you get angry, or perhaps the other areas of your life suffer.

Tony Evans, well known pastor and author in the Dallas, Tex. area, wants people to understand that there is only one way to defeat our enemy soundly—through engaging Scripture.

“I don’t believe people consistently make the connection with what is happening in history, or in their personal lives, with what is happening in the spiritual realm,” Evans explained.

“To the degree that people can understand the spiritual connection is the degree they can invoke the spiritual realm to change things in this physical, visible realm in which we live.”

Dr. Evans believes we lose sight of the impact of the spiritual realm because we tend to be focused on the tangible—the physical world in which we exist.

Most of the time, anyway.

“We see and feel the physical world, so we are more conscious of it. But, when pain in life comes, we desperately want the spiritual realm to change things in our physical world. So, I want people to understand how that realm works, and how to implement God’s plan for addressing things from that perspective,” he said.

And the way to do that, he says, is simply through the Scriptures. Knowing them is one thing; using them is another.

“We should know them, but Scriptures are not merely to be known. They are to be utilized against the devil, not just a ‘safe’ place, like Bible study with other Christians,” Evans explained.

The Bible is full of Scriptures for combatting the enemy and his tactics, but Evans specifically points to Ephesians 6:10-18.

It is in this passage that God gives six guidelines for spiritual victory—six pieces of spiritual armor with which we need to fit ourselves: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of readiness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit.

Dr. Evans urges all believers to get to know those six pieces of armor, and understand how they relate to spiritual victory.

July 19-21, he will be teaching an auditorium of people at The Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove how to use Scripture as a weapon of defense against the devil’s attacks, and as a resource to have peace in the middle of a spiritual battle. 

“I’m going to make it very practical, as opposed to theoretical. Those in the seminar will learn how you handle God’s Word in a way that will allow them to accomplish what God wants to see in their lives—victory.”

Tony Evans’ seminar titled Victory in Spiritual Welfare takes place on July 19-21, 2012 at The Cove in Asheville, NC.  To register click here or call 1-800-950-2092.  

Great Opportunity for Ministry Teams


You and your ministry team are personally invited to one of our most exciting opportunities at The Cove this year.

August 9-10, Michael Catt, senior pastor at Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia, will be leading a Church Staff Retreat titled You Can’t Have a Vision If Your Head
Is in a Box.  As you may know, Michael is the co-founder of Sherwood Pictures and has produced influential Christian movies such as Courageous, Fireproof, and Facing the Giants.

This two-day retreat includes plenary sessions and Q&A with Michael as well as time to meet together with your team for planning, interaction, and reflection.  Join him as he shares insights on how to discover and unleash God-given, Spirit-inspired creativity that can transform your ministry and impact your community for Christ.

On behalf of the entire team at The Cove, we hope you will give us the opportunity to serve you here.  May God richly bless you.


Franklin Graham
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

To register or for more information on this Church Staff Retreat, click here or call 1-800-950-2092.

Five Father’s Day Gifts

Father’s Day is just around the corner…

It doesn’t matter if your Dad is 35 or 75, there are certain gifts that have timeless appeal and will always be remembered.

Here are five priceless Father’s Day gift ideas, where you can’t go wrong…


1. A hand-written card
2. Another tie.  Seriously. One day these can be made in to a tie quilt!
3. A golf club.  Can a man ever have enough golf clubs??
4. Breakfast in bed
5. A gift certificate to The Cove

Call The Cove today at 1-800-950-2092 to give a gift with eternal impact.

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.  James 1:17

Will Graham Teaching on Leviticus

Will Graham, grandson of The Cove’s founders, Billy and Ruth Graham, will be teaching on Leviticus later this month.

Over the last 24 years at The Cove, The Book of Leviticus has yet to be taught, until now. Listen as Will explains why he chose to teach on this Old Testament Book.

To register for Will’s seminar titled, “When the Shadows Speak” on June 29-July 1 click here or call 1-800-950-2092 and reserve your spot today.

Being Jesus’ Disciple Today…

What does it mean to be Jesus’ disciple today?  Dr. John Munro, native of Scotland and Senior Pastor of Calvary Church in Charlotte, invites you to join him for a time of instruction and renewal at The Cove in Asheville, NC, where you can explore what the Great Commission means to YOU today.

Join Dr. John Munro for his seminar titled Being and Making Disciples at the Cove on August 3-5, 2012. For more information or to register call 1-800-950-2092 or visit our website by clicking here.

Jesus Through The Centuries

By Stuart McAllister

Walking along the road with his followers one day, Jesus asked the question, “Who do people say I am?” The disciples offered a summary of the prevailing and popular views. There seemed to be a range of perspectives and a diversity of opinions amongst the people. Jesus then asked those closest to him, those he was mentoring, the ones who were captivated by him and committed to him: “Who do you say that I am?” Peter famously replied, “You are the Christ.” To any normal Jewish hearer, this meant Jesus was being recognized as the Messiah, the Hope of Israel, the promise of redemption.

From the birth of Christ to the present time, controversy has surrounded the name of Jesus. Was he a Jewish rebel, struggling against the status quo? Was he a religious zealot
eager to throw off the shackles of Rome? Was he a mysterious prophet come to impart sacred wisdom to the masses? Was he a good man whose moral example is simply a model for humanity? Was he a legend created by those with a penchant for myth? Was he a symbol constructed for a power-hungry religious empire?

From the earliest rejections of Jesus’s claims about his identity to historical debates ever
since, we now arrive in the era of vitriolic atheism and the culture of suspicion. It never ceases to amaze me how one question asked 2000 years ago can elicit such diverse, conflicting, and passionate discussion. Yet the question is one of such value that a degree of diligence and vigor is rightly demanded. Modern and postmodern claims that the Christian faith is something intellectually untenable have been ably addressed by writers such as Alister McGrath, N. T. Wright, Ben Witherington, Jr., Darrell Bock, and many more. Jaroslav Pelikan’s Jesus Through the Centuries and Philip Yancey’s The
Jesus I Never Knew
are good popular writings on the continuing quest to
rediscover Jesus.

Moreover, long before our quests or attacks on the historical Jesus, ancient writings pointedly answered the question of Christ’s identity. Writing to the young church in the city of Colossae, the apostle Paul wrote these startling words about Jesus: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:15-17). Against the backdrop of Roman Imperial rule and power, these words would have been immensely subversive, a direct challenge to the reigning worldview. Indeed, the central conflict for the Christian became: Who is Lord—Caesar or Jesus? The outcome of this decision was costly, but as history demonstrates, it led to the gospel’s eventual penetration of the heart of Roman power.

Who is Jesus? This question remains as pertinent today as it was to those who were first asked. Is he a mere legend, as some would claim? Volumes of good New Testament studies
have been written that easily refute this claim. Or was he then, as C. S. Lewis asked, a lunatic (one who merely thought he was God), a liar (one who made horrendously false and misleading claims), or indeed, the Son of God?

In Matthew 11:28, Jesus invites those who are weary to come to him. Many centuries earlier, the prophet Jeremiah spoke of the wisdom and insight available to any and all true
seekers: “You shall seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart,” proclaims the divine heart. Perhaps if we meet these conditions, we may find ourselves in for a surprise. Who do you say that he is?

Join Stuart at The Cove in Asheville, NC on August 1-3, 2012 for his seminar titled Conversations That CountClick here to register or call 1-800-950-2092.

A native of Scotland, Stuart McAllister is North American Regional Director and Vice President of Training at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a renowned speaker, writer, and an associate fellow at Oxford University. Stuart speaks all over the globe with the same passion for the Gospel that he found when he first became a believer. Stuart is a frequent contributor to A Slice of Infinity, RZIM’s daily reading on issues of apologetics and philosophy, Just Thinking, the ministry’s tri-annual journal, as well as Engage, a magazine published quarterly by RZIM Educational Trust. Visit his website here to learn more.

Insight Into an ‘Intense’ Week at The Cove

Mark Yarbrough, Vice President for Communications, Associate Academic Dean, and Assistant Professor of Bible Exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary, will be leading an Intensive Bible Training seminar (IBT) at the Cove on June 18-22.  As some of you may have questions on what this seminar may include, we thought we would share a very helpful response from Mark to a potential participant.  (Don’t forget to see what Howard Hendricks has to say about Mark at the bottom of this post!)       

Letter from Tammy to Mark Yarbrough: 
Hi Mark.  I am considering attending your training intensive at The Cove (It may be full by now but I haven’t checked.) and a question.  I have been a student and teacher of the Word for many years and am looking for something to refresh and encourage me and take me deeper.  I live in Kansas City Mo, so travel to The Cove is a financial investment as well as a spiritual one, and I wanted to make sure this was the right intensive for me.  It it for more of a “Beginner” Bible student, or deeper study for those more familiar with the Word?  Thank you for your time. — Tammy

Response from Mark Yarbrough to Tammy:
Greetings from Dallas. Thank you so very much for taking the time to write.  

I’m glad you are considering the intensive training at the Cove. I hope my comments below give clarity to your questions and assist you in the decision making process. I’ll join you in prayer in that regard. I’ll trust with you that the Lord will make clear what you should do.

In describing what you are looking for…you have used words that are near and dear to my heart: “refresh”,  “encourage”, and “deeper.” That is precisely what we are after.

In many ways, the refreshment comes through the Word, the physical environment at the Cove, and the incredible staff that is present to assist your every need. I minister/speak at many places…and the ministry philosophy at the Cove is second to none. The staff is absolutely incredible, and the very design of the week is intent on pulling us out of our normal hustle and bustle…and focusing our attention to the living Word. The physical environment and beautiful surroundings even direct our attention to the Lord. It is amazing how the Lord can speak when we slow down to listen! I know that is true in my life. Fellowship is also a key ingredient to refreshment. The entire team is available to help–including a resident “pastor” for someone who desires to talk to and pray with someone else. Also, the intensive week-long sessions are generally, and purposefully, smaller in number (as opposed to larger seminars that may have several hundred). The “intensive seminars” are designed so that someone feels the individual attention so that they do indeed get “refreshed.” That also happens as we interact with one another. Fellowship is a blessing! 

In regard to “encouragement” and “deeper”– our sessions are “intense,” but not to the point of overwhelming. I firmly believe that the material covered, and the way it is presented, is applicable for all: for those who are earlier in their walk…but also for those who are grounded in the Word and who want to be challenged to step beyond their current position. Last year, we ran this same general session and we had in attendance those who were early in their understanding of the Word and those, such as yourself, who were competent Bible teachers. We cover some challenging areas: biblical studies and methodology (hermeneutics), evaluation of biblical genres (narrative, poetry, parables, preformed material, etc.), the process of correlation (developing principle statements and themes), and the validity of application. I really believe that there is something for everyone in the study, and that the student knows the depth to which the study needs to move them. I’m a classroom handout nut (!), and I enjoy passing along recommendations for books, studies, etc. We have lots of Q and A. I enjoy a lively, interactive classroom setting that keeps us moving…and moves us to be students of the Word. So, I think you will be challenged to go deeper! If that is what you are looking for, I believe this is it.

I hope that gives a little insight into the week. If you feel you desire more information, I’d be happy to share some more insight.

I also know my friends at the Cove would be thrilled to answer any questions you may have over the schedule for the week.

I hope to see you in June!

Blessings in Christ,
Mark Yarbrough

Endorsement from Howard Hendricks:
“We are living in a time when a working knowledge of the Bible is vital for our spiritual health.  Personally, I miss deeply my visit to The Cove and the opportunity to teach the Word of God, but fortunately, God has provided one of my young associates, a capable Dallas Seminary professor, Mark Yarbrough, a man of considerable giftedness biblically and technologically.  I recommend him to you for your enjoyment and serious biblical study.”

Howard G. Hendricks
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Christian Education and Leadership Dallas Theological Seminary

Click here to register for Mark’s Intensive Bible Training on June 18-22 at The Cove in Asheville, NC.  You may also call 1-800-950-2092.

Kendra’s Bible Study…Joshua 9:7-15

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where women can come together and share their journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity.  We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Kendra suggests you use the following process when studying Scripture.  We have included an example of this process from John 1:1.

Step 1:  Pray
Step 2: Read God’s Word (look at the passage)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  
Step 3: What Does God’s Word Say? (list the facts)
1 In the beginning the Word was with God and was God.
Step 4: What Does God’s Word Mean? (learn the lessons)
1 God‘s Word is not just ancient philosophy, it is eternal Truth.
Step 5: What Does God’s Word Mean to Me? (listen to his voice)
1 How do I view the Bible?

Kendra Graham NOTES from Joshua 9:7-15 

What does it Say? FACTS:

7: Israel said to the Hivites: Perhaps you are living within our land how shall we make a covenant with you?

8: a. BUT they said to Joshua, “We are your servants.”

     b. Joshua said to them: “Who are you and where do you come from?”

9-10: They said, “Your servants have come from a far country because of the fame of your God; we heard the report of all He did in Egypt, and to the kings beyond the Jordan.

11: So our elders and inhabitants spoke: Take provisions  for the journey and go and meet them and say, we are your servants, make a covenant with us.”

12: This our bread was warm when we took it for provisions on the day we left to come to you, but now is dry and crumbled

13: These wineskins were new behold they are torn, our clothes, our sandals worn out because of the very long journey

14: SO the men of Israel took some of their provisions and did not ask for the counsel of the LORD. 

15: And Joshua made peace with w/ them, a covenant, to let them live, and the leaders swore an oath to them. 

What does it mean? Lessons:

7. The Israelites, I think had a feeling, had questions in their gut, who these guys really were…..  they pressed them for an answer…. who are you… really?  Israel knew that God said not to make a covenant with anyone within the land, they knew the rules, but their eyes were seeing something very believable, their ears were hearing something very believable.  Discernment is something given by God and must be sought out from God. Our senses and emotions will betray us.

8. a. BUT they said to Joshua…. notice they did not answer the question…. where is Gibbs from NCIS on this one? Or “The Closer” right?  Flattery and compliments from the enemy.  Notice the enemy answers Joshua, not the leaders who asked the question, looking for who the softy is perhaps?  I wouldn’t think it would be Joshua.  They are trying to divide the leader from his counsel.  The enemy loves to divide and conquer, be alert.  Often times the enemy will tell you exactly what you want to hear.

b. Joshua presses for an answer to the leaders’ question, who are you?  Stand your ground.  Be firm.  Don’t be deceived.  Seek discernment from the One who gives wisdom upon request.

9-10:  There is STILL no answer to the question.  A far country is not WHAT country.  Notice now they brought up Egypt and the kings beyond the Jordan, but cleverly left out the most recent victories, so again as to “verify” their story.  They were sure to comment on how “far” the fame of the LORD had reached.  People are clever… the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9  Be careful of the flattery of others.

11:  The Gibeonites had no wish to fight Israel, they were just wanting a promise that they would not be destroyed, and they would be more than happy to be their servants, their slaves.  Be careful what you promise and to whom. Your word is your bond.  Your word reflects on the God you serve.  Be careful. Be careful. Be careful.

12-13. Be careful, what things appear to be, are not always what they are in reality.  Only God can give insight, so ask Him who gives wisdom liberally!  When someone is pushing me to believe something…. especially when they want me to believe it NOW and ACT NOW, and SIGN NOW, be wary.

14:  They believed their eyes, ears and touch.  Things are not always what they seem.  Times when we don’t think we need to seek counsel of the LORD are probably the very times we most need to seek the counsel of the LORD.

15:  Be careful of the promises I make.  Covenants should not be taken lightly.  My word is my bond, so be careful what situations and  people I bond myself to.

What does it mean to me?

7: Am I quick to believe all I see and hear, or am I seeking God on all things, even when the answer seems obvious to me, right in front of my eyes?

8: a. Am I quick to believe flattery and words that tickle my ears and ego?  Am I alert to the tactics of the enemy?  When has the enemy used the tactic “divide and conquer” in my life?  Was it successful?  Did I learn from that?  Was I bamboozled or wise?

8: b. Am I in prayer for discernment?  Am I quick to believe what I hear so I won’t have to press in any longer?  I hate confrontation, but am I willing to hold strong and face up or am I quick to crumble and just believe what I hear because it is easier?

9-10:  When have I been moved by the flattery of someone else to do something I normally would not do?  Have I used flattery to get my way?  Is that right?

11: Do I flippantly make promises with people or am I careful and prayerfully consider the covenants I make?  Is my word my bond, or an avenue to get what I want?

12-13: Am I quick to believe what I see?  Do I rely on my own senses to make decisions or do I prayerfully consider all things?

14: In whom do I trust? Myself? Circumstances?  Or am I constantly seeking God’s counsel?  Am I quickly making decisions, or patiently seeking and waiting for God’s answers? 

15: Have I impatiently made promises to do things, and be places that I never consulted God about?  Everything seemed right on the surface, but after I was committed I knew it wasn’t right?  Am I impulsive in my decisions?


Take everything to God in prayer.  Wait for God to clearly reveal His wisdom on the matter then have the guts to follow through with His leading.

Homework for next week: Joshua 9: 16-21

Share with us your lesson(s) and applications and what they mean to you. 
Do you know someone that might be blessed by joining our study?  Please share this blog link with them.

GUEST POST: God’s Example…

By Neil Anderson

In the vast ocean of eternity there was a tidal wave of time that began with the incarnation of Christ and ended with His crucifixion. God stepped out of eternity into time in order that we might step out of time into eternity. His example set the bar so high that human achievement is beyond our grasp. The incarnation was the sternest possible rebuke to our pride. We cannot fully comprehend the example of Christ who “emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:7). He went from the highest state of being to the lowest state of human existence, becoming a helpless infant born in a manger to humble parents with no social status. For you and I to become a slug doesn’t come close to approximating the descent. “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

Our Lord’s time came to an abrupt end at the crucifixion, which was the sternest possible rebuke to our selfish nature. “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 Jn. 3:16). Can you imagine what life on earth would be like if we all believed the Apostle Paul and lived according to Philippians 2: 3-5:    

“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”  

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.

Neil Anderson’s seminar titled The Core of Christianity takes place on July 13-15 at The Cove in Asheville, NC.  To register click here or call 1-800-950-2092.

Neil Anderson is the founder and president emeritus of Freedom in Christ Ministries, a best-selling author, and former pastor and aerospace engineer. He was formerly chairman of the Practical Theology Department at Talbot School of Theology at Biola University in the USA. He holds five degrees from Talbot, Pepperdine University and Arizona State University. For more information on Freedom in Christ Ministries, visit http://www.ficm.org/