bsf acts lesson 1 day 4

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 1, Day 4: Acts 1:4-11, John 14:1-3, 16-18; 16:12-15

Summary of Acts 1:4-11:

Jesus gives the disciples a command to not leave Jerusalem until they have received the gift from His Father, which is the Holy Spirit.  The disciples asked Jesus if he was going to restore the kingdom of Israel and Jesus says it is not for them to know the Father’s timing; it is for them to be witnesses for him in Judea, Jerusalem, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

Then Jesus was taken up before their eyes into heaven.  Two men in white suddenly appeared next to the disciples and said this same Jesus will come back again in the same way you have seen him ascend.  (Basically, quit gawking and start talking!  You have much work to do!).

Summary of John 14:1-3:

Jesus assures his disciples he is preparing a place in heaven for them to be with him.

John 14:16-18:

Jesus will ask God to give the disciples the Holy Spirit to be with them instead of him physically to live inside of them.

John 16:12-15:

The Holy Spirit will guide them in what to say and do and bring God and Jesus Glory.

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 1, Day 4: Acts 1:4-11, John 14:1-3, 16-18; 16:12-15

8 ) So that the Holy Spirit could come in his place. That way all believers can be with Jesus.

9) “Jesus will come back int eh same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

10) That they would not be alone and forsaken after Jesus left them.

Conclusions to BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 1, Day 4: Acts 1:4-11, John 14:1-3, 16-18; 16:12-15

I would definitely encourage you to look back at the previous Acts study and see the differences. This lesson especially has been vastly modified from when I first did this study the last go-around. Here’s my commentary from back then HERE We had to look up way more Bible verses back in the day.

End Notes to BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 1, Day 4: Acts 1:4-11, John 14:1-3, 16-18; 16:12-15

Acts 1:9-11

Jesus was taken up from them as He blessed them (Luke 24:50). As He slowly disappeared into the sky, surrounded by a cloud they continued to gaze upward.

The cloud of glory (called the Shekinah) that is associated with the presence of God in the Old and New Testaments.

It was important for Jesus to leave His disciples in this manner. He could have simply vanished to heaven and the Father’s presence in a secret sort of way. But by ascending in this manner, Jesus wanted His followers to know that He was gone for good.

John 16:6-7 Jesus says, “You are filled with grief.  But I tell you the truth:  It is for your good that I am going away.  Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you.”

Morgan speculated that the two men were possibly Moses and Elijah. It seems best to say they were angels.

This same Jesus reminds us that the Jesus ascended to heaven and seated at the right hand of God the Father is the same Jesus of the Gospels. He is the same Jesus forever and always.

John verses

This entire focus is being with Jesus again, who is preparing a place out of his great love for us. Heaven is heaven because Jesus is there. The Holy Spirit reveals Jesus to us every day.

bsf acts lesson 1 day 3

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 1, Day 3: Acts 1:4-8

Summary of Acts 1:4-8:

Jesus tells his disciples one day after his resurrection and during the 40 day period of his teaching (before he ascends to heaven) to not leave Jerusalem to preach the Good News but to wait to be baptized by the Holy Spirit.  The disciples ask Jesus if he is going to restore the kingdom of Israel, and Jesus basically says it’s not for you to know the time, but it is for you to be his witnesses to the world.

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 1, Day 3: Acts 1:4-8

6) “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promied, which you hae heard me speak about.” The Spirit will empower them to be his witnesses in Jerusalem and the entire world.

7a) All the difference. You can do nothing without Christ.

b) Personal Question. My answer: God has guided my every step and gotten me to this place in my life right now where I can live the life He has for me.

Conclusions to BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 1, Day 3: Acts 1:4-8

Great emphasis on the fact that we can do nothing without God, and that God does not leave us to our own devices to do His will. He empowers us through the Holy Spirit with every step we take every day no matter our circumstances.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 1, Day 3: Acts 1:4-8

Fun Fact: This is the last time the disciples see Jesus in His physical body, until they went to heaven to be with Him forever.

The disciples had asked when Jesus would restore Israel many times before, but it had a special relevance now. They knew that Jesus had instituted the New Covenant (Luke 22:20). They also knew that the restoration of the kingdom to Israel was part of the New Covenant (as seen in Jeremiah 23:1-8Ezekiel 36:16-30Ezekiel 37:21-28). Jesus tells them it is not for them to know.

Why not reveal God’s plan to the disciples?

  • It was wise for Jesus not to outline His plan over the next 2,000 years. It was good for the disciples to not know that the full restoration of the kingdom to Israel that they hoped would happen soon would not come for some 2,000 years. It might overly discourage them in the work they had to do right then and might make them think less of the aspect of the kingdom of God that was present with them.

The progress of the spread of the gospel message from Jerusalem, to Judea and Samaria, and then to the end of the earth becomes the outline of Acts.

  • Acts 1-7 describes the gospel in Jerusalem.
  • Acts 8-12 speak of the gospel in Judea and Samaria.
  • Acts 13-28 tells of the gospel going to the end of the earth.

Jerusalem was where Jesus was executed at the word of an angry mob.

Judea rejected His ministry.

Samaria was regarded as a wasteland of impure half-breeds.

In the uttermost parts of the earth, the Gentiles were seen by some Jews of that day as nothing better than fuel for the fires of Hell.

Yet God empowers all through the Holy Spirit.

BSF’s Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 1, Day 5: Joshua 5:1-12

Image result for gibeath haaraloth map

Summary of Joshua 5:1-12:

Upon hearing of God’s bringing of His people across the Jordan River by stopping its flow, all the Amorite king and Canaanite kings lost courage to face the Israelites. God ordered the circumcision of His people at Gibeath Haaraloth. These were the sons of the the wandering Israelites who had not been circumcised on the journey. They remained in camp until they were healed.

The Israelites celebrated the Passover, eating the produce of the land (unleavened bread and roasted grain). The manna stopped after this since the Israelites were now able to produce their own food.

BSF’s Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 1, Day 5: Joshua 5:1-12:

11) To circumcise all the Israelites who had not been circumcised previously. God had commanded Abraham that all Israeli males be circumcised as a sign of the covenant made between Abraham and God, which was God’s promise to Abraham to make him into a great nation and receive the gift of the Promised Land. It was also a requirement to be circumcised to take part in the Passover, which is a celebration in remembrance of God sparing the Israelites in his judgment of Egypt, passing over the houses of the children of Israel when He killed the firstborn of man and beast in Egypt.

Deuteronomy tells us also that “God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.”

12a) Passover. The passover signifies the fulfillment of God’s promises to His people.

b) God stopped giving manna. This signified to the Israelis that they now would be able to provide for themselves–something all of us wants.

13) Personal Question. My answer:  God has given me a new job, so my husband and I can start getting out of debt and getting on the right path for our lives. It’s a job that grows me and will serve me (and Him) forever in the future. I will thank Him by following Him, giving Him the credit, and loving Him.

Conclusions to BSF’s Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 1, Day 5: Joshua 5:1-12:

It’s important to remember our blessings each and every day, which can easily get distracted with our daily struggles and problems. God chose circumcision and Passover for His people. Now, you can choose whatever you wish as a remembrance: just make it something concrete, visible, and meaningful to you.

Watch VIDEO of book of Joshua if you haven’t had a chance yet.

End Notes to BSF’s Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 1, Day 5: Joshua 5:1-12:

Related imageSeeing the miracle of the Jordan River parted is only part of the reason the kings cower before the Israelites. The other reason: the Israelites trust in God. Trust is powerful. Think of all the people you trust enough to cross a parted river. Maybe a handful?

Apparently, no one was circumcised in the 40 years of wanderings. It was time to show your outward obedience to God’s commands and get circumcised. Circumcision is a consecration of yourself to God. It’s renouncing yourself and living for God. This had to be done before the conquering began.

Obviously, this was suicidal from a military standpoint.  All the men of fighting age were made completely vulnerable and unable to fight for a period of several days.

If you remember back in Genesis 34:24-25, Simeon and Levi killed all the men in a city after tricking them into having them all circumcised. While the men were unable to fight, they were slaughtered in retaliation, because the prince of that city had raped Dinah, the sister of Simeon and Levi. This could have been the fate of Israel here in Joshua 5.

  • Israel crossed over the Jordan at a militarily undesirable place (right in front of Jericho, the strongest military outpost of the Canaanites),
  • Then the Israelites incapacitated their army for several days.

The Israelites were circumcised because they trusted God.

God, in His infinite compassion, only asked the Israelites to do this AFTER the miracle of the parting of the Jordan River. God gives us strength and courage before he pushes us again. Radical things happen when we trust wholeheartedly in God.

“Rolling away the reproach of Egypt” means the shame of being slaves in Egypt and the underlying sin and rebellion that had caused that punishment. The Israelites needed to stop seeing themselves as helpless slaves and sinners but as conquering warriors of God who were forgiven.

God did not want the Israelites to forget His deliverance of them. God never wants us to forget Jesus’ deliverance of us out of bondage and into freedom.

God didn’t want the Israelites to get lazy; they could provide for themselves. Again, they needed to trust in God’s provision–not in how it was provided.

Gilgal will become a base camp for the Israelites. After battles they will return here. They will remember God’s greatness with the stones and be strengthened and renewed.

Theme of Joshua 5: Trust in God.

Fun Biblical Fact: This is the only time Gibeath Haaraloth is mentioned in the Bible.

BSF’s Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 1, Day 3: Joshua 2:1-24

Image result for house of rahab

Summary of Joshua 2:1-24:

Joshua sends out two men to spy the land especially Jericho. The king of Jericho discovers this and know the men went to the house of Rahab, the prostitute. The king’s men go to Rahab’s house to arrest the men. Rahab protects the men, lying for them, and telling the soldiers the men left her house and to go and chase them.

The soldiers leave. Rahab tells the spies that she has heard of God and what He has done for His people and that everyone in the land is afraid of the Israelites. She begs the men to show mercy to her and her family when the Israelites invade as she has shown mercy to them.

The men agreed and Rahab lowered the men out of her house, using a rope, as her house was part of the city wall. The spies tell her to tie a scarlet cord in the window so all will know to spare that home. She must bring her family inside her home and not leave to be spared and not betray them to the king. Rahab agrees.

The spies hide for three days, giving the soldiers plenty of time to search and not find them. The spies return to Joshua, reporting all that happened with Rahab and how the people are afraid of them.

BSF’s Study Questions Lesson 1, Day 3: Joshua 2:1-24:

6a) Joshua sent two men to spy out Jericho.

b)  Rahab heard about the Lord’s deeds: how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea so the Israelites could escape out of Egypt and about the destruction of Sihon and Og and their two kings. By her actions (saving the men), she herself was saved by God.  That would increase her faith.

7) Personal Question. My answer:  God is faithful. He will guide you and not lead you astray. I trust He puts me where He wants me with jobs and life.

8 )  Part Personal Question. My answer: He spared her and her family when the Israelites invaded, and allowed her and her family to live amongst the Israelites even though they were Gentiles. She was rewarded a unique place in Jewish history as becoming a direct ancestor of Jesus Christ and has been held up in the Bible as an example of faith. God has rewarded me with a rich life. I often feel undeserving and that I’m not doing enough for Him and His kingdom.

Conclusions to BSF’s Study Questions Lesson 1, Day 3: Joshua 2:1-24:

I love this story. It shows how doing a good deed for others often blesses you ten fold. By saving the two men’s lives, Rahab saved her and gained a new home with the Israelites. Plus, she got to be a direct ancestor of Jesus. How cool is that! Great lesson about faith and doing the right thing.

Watch VIDEO of Book of Joshua if you didn’t yesterday.

End Notes to BSF’s Study Questions Lesson 1, Day 3: Joshua 2:1-24:

Forty years before, as the Israelites poised to take the Promised Land, the 12 spies brought back entirely different news (Numbers 13:31-33): they didn’t believe the land could be taken. Fast forward 40 years and with hand-picked reconnaissance team, these two spies come back and confidently say, Yes! The Promised Land is ours for the taking!

Theme of Joshua 2:

God honors true faith from anyone, regardless of race or religious background. Rahab, a prostitute (so someone very low on the totem pole) shows faith in God and is rewarded as Christ’s ancestor.

Image result for banks of jordan river todayRemember, the Israelites are literally standing on the banks of the Jordan River, awaiting Joshua’s command to re-take the Promised Land. He sends out spies to survey the land, not because Joshua lacks faith God will do what He says He will do, but because he’s taking action in faith by being prepared.

We aren’t told who the two spies are, but Jewish tradition – speculation, really – says they were Caleb and the High Priest Eliezer.

Joshua also shows wisdom by sending them secretly. The last spies that went out publicly turned out badly for Israel, when a majority of the spies came back with a discouraging report (Numbers 13).

Why did the spies go to a prostitute’s house? It was the perfect place to hide out.

In the culture of that day, there was a strong tradition of hospitality. If someone was a guest in your house, you had a strong duty to protect and care for them. However, Rahab went much further than the respect of cultural traditions regarding hospitality. She put her own life on the line for these men.

The Bible simply reports Rahab’s lie; it does not praise it or excuse it. Rahab’s lie is not justified, but it does show courage. Remember, she is not being held to our standards as Christians. She was a pagan in a city where morality didn’t exist and had no clue really who God was. Thus, we cannot judge her.

This surprising outburst of faith shows how God had a plan in bringing Rahab and the spies together. It is the same kind of thing we see when God supernaturally brings us to people who are believers or open to the gospel.

Rahab’s declaration that “God is God in heaven above and on the earth below” was proof of her faith. It was not strong faith, but her faith good enough to save her and her family and be remembered by Biblical writers of the day (Hebrews 11:31 and James 2:25).

Note the color of the cord that ultimately saves Rahab: scarlet.  As early as the first century, commentators such as Clement of Rome, Justin Martyr, Ireneaus, and Origen saw this scarlet cord as a symbol of the blood of Jesus.

Outcome of the Spies’ Mission to Jericho

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Banks of Jordan River Today

What was the outcome of the spies’ mission to Jericho? It failed as a reconnaissance mission. The spies brought back no news of how heavily fortified the city was or how to penetrate it. Instead, all they brought back was news it could be defeated. The purpose of the mission was to encourage and fortify the people that Jericho could be taken–and that was exactly what the spies did.

The second outcome of the spies’ mission to Jericho was the salvation of Rahab and her family. God will go to great lengths to save people–to bring them to Him. Here, He saved an ancestor of Jesus.

God will save those in your life as well if you have faith and pray for them. No one is truly lost and nothing is impossible with God.

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 1, Day 5: Romans 1:16-17

Summary of passage:  The gospel saves those who believe, first the Jew and then the Gentile, bringing righteousness through faith.

Questions:

12)  “It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.”  It reveals “a righteousness from God” through faith.

13)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I’m never ashamed.  However, I do live a cushy life in the United States so I’m sure some of you have a very different experience.  The gospel is for everyone.  All you need is faith.

14)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  I’ve always had faith so it’s hard to me to imagine a life without God by my side. I’ve been blessed indeed.  It’s simple:  with Christ you have life.  Without him you have nothing.  For Paul, realizing that faith in Christ gets him to God changed everything.  He put Christ first.  To him, everything else is garbage.  Christ alone.  That simple.

Conclusions:  You could say this is the crux of the Christian faith, boiled down to two verses.  I love how it’s a faith that has always been there and will always be there.  Awesome!

End Notes:  Paul is not ashamed of the gospel because it is the gospel that saves.  It is power from God.  To have that power all one has to do is believe.

Greeks used here is anyone non-Jewish.

Righteousness is God treating the sinner like he’s not a sinner.  It’s a gift given to those who believe in Christ as God’s Son and Savior.  God’s righteousness, which is the state of being in a right relationship with God.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 1, Day 2

Summary of passages:  Various passages for the day.

Questions:

3)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Visit psychics, witchcraft.  From the past we picture rituals such as reading the entrails of animals, cauldrons and potions, the heavens, stars, sun, and moon, and crystal balls.  In fantasy we see “seers” scrying the future, vampires with the gift of sight (Twilight, anyone?), oracle at Delphi, clairvoyants, and of course Nostradamus.  Tarot cards, ESP, dreams, and palm reading.  You name it, it’s been done in the millennia humans have walked this planet.

4)  Prophecy is from God carried along by the Holy Spirit.  Man has nothing to do with prophecy. Because what God says will happen, will happen. What man says will happen, will not.  God is in control, not man.  We can only be certain of prophecy if it’s from God.

5)  Part Personal Question.  My answer:  The foretelling of the future does two things:  1) increases our faith in God  2) reveals God to be true.  When future events come true that were predicted ahead of time, it results in belief and conversion.  God wants believers to be stronger in faith and He wants unbelievers to believe.  When we see prophecy come to pass, our faith is strengthened and we become witnesses to others.

Conclusions:  I am excited that we are not diving right into Revelation, but this day didn’t do it for me.  In modern times, most of us are aware of the quacks out there.  Most of us don’t believe those who claim to predict the future.  Most of us know the future is unknown except by God.  However, the point BSF is making here is good:  God is the only one who does know the future and we can trust in Him when what He says comes to pass.