BSF Study Questions John Lesson 19, Day 5: John 14:27-31

Summary of passage: Jesus says he’ll give the disciples peace. He tells them to not be afraid or troubled. He is going away and if the disciples loved him, they would be glad for he is fulfilling the Father’s wishes.

Questions:

12)  The Bible tells us that Satan is a fallen angel, a real being who tempts us and tries to destroy us. We see this in the temptation of Jesus. We are told he rules the world until Jesus comes again, hence a prince. He was hurled to earth and tries to lead us all astray.

13)  Personal Question. My answer: Jesus gives those who believe in him peace. Currently, I’m struggling with what God wants me to do in my life. Either quit my job and be a full-time mom or stay working and do everything else He calls me in this world. I know whatever I decide, it will be in His will and with His guidance. That gives me peace.

Conclusions:  If only we could grasp the peace Jesus offers every moment of our lives.  I know I struggle with peace and it only comes when I stay close to God and don’t stray or push him aside.  Staying in the Word like a bible study helps me to maintain that closeness we all so desperately need.

End Notes:  Jesus saying Peace be with you was and is a common Jewish departure saying and a common greeting as well.  However, Jesus is clarifying this customary saying to say my peace, or Jesus’ peace is the peace of God, an untroubled heart.  Hence, along with the Holy Spirit, Jesus is blessing his disciples with peace.

Jesus repeats 14:1.  With faith, the Holy Spirit, and peace, you will be untroubled.

The disciples were troubled at the news of Jesus’ departure.  Jesus says rejoice instead!  His work through the Holy Spirit will be greater than His work during the years of His earthly ministry.  For the sake of the world and yourselves, rejoice!  We sense that Jesus is joyful in his soon reunion with God.

The Father is greater than Jesus in position but not in being.  Both are equally God.

At this very moment, Jesus is arranging Jesus’ arrest–Satan is coming.  Jesus goes to the cross willingly. Satan has no hold on him since he is sinless.

Now Jesus and his disciples are ending dinner and going to go the Garden at Gethesemane.  They are still in the room because Jesus doesn’t actually leave until John 18:1.  We can imagine Chapters 15-17 is Jesus speaking as the disciples gather round him in the room.  As one probably knows when there is a gathering of a big group of people it takes a bit to get them moving.

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BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 19, Day 5: Revelation 14:14-20

Summary of passage:  John sees Jesus on a white cloud with a golden crown and a sharp sickle.  An angel tells Jesus to reap the harvest of the earth with his sickle and he does.  An angel emerges from the altar in heaven and tells another angel who emerges from the temple to gather grapes with his sickle.  The angel did and threw the grapes into the winepress of God’s wrath where they were trampled and blood flowed.

Questions:

11)  Jesus and he was called to reap the harvest of the earth.

12a)  Unbelievers

b)  The sickles:  To reap and to separate out the harvest (believers) from the grapes (unbelievers)

The winepress:  Judgment.  (Isaiah 63:1-6)

13)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God is serious.  He will punish those who sin and refuse to accept His grace.  He will reap those who follow Him in the harvest.

Conclusions:  Good dissection of passage.

End Notes:  Revelation 15 & 16 has the 7 bowls judgment and some scholars see this scene as the preparation of the faithful before the judgments to come.  Here, Jesus is going to separate good and evil and gather in the faithful like in a harvest and then assemble all for judgment (Joel 3:12-14; Matthew 3:12; 13:30).  This is seen as well in the parable of the wheat and the tares (Matthew 13:24-30; 13:36-43).

Christ in clouds:  Revelation 1:7,13 and in Daniel 7:13 and Matthew 24:30.

Here, Jesus has on his head the crown of victory.  Quite the contrast with the crown of thorns.

The Greek word for “ripe” has the sense of withered.  Thus, the indication is God is waiting for sin to be overripe.  He is in no hurry.

Some translations have verse 18 as “fully ripe”, meaning when the grapes are bursting and ready for harvest.  A winepress was a rock-hewn trough about 8 feet square with a channel leading to ta lower and smaller trough.  Grapes were thrown into the upper vat and trampled with bare feet.  The juice collected in the lower vat.  This is a common Old Testament analogy for the execution of divine wrath (Isaiah 63:3; Lamentations 1:15; Joel 3:13).  When trampled, the grapes burst and their juice squirts out–like the blood described in verse 20.

A horse’s bridle is a few feet high and 1,600 stadia is about 184 miles.  Can you imagine how much blood would have to be shed and how many people would have to die to create a flow of blood that would pour out for 184 miles a few feet high?  This is the carnage in the battle of Armageddon described in Revelation 16:16 and 19:11-19 and a graphic symbol to the world.  Turn to Christ now or face judgment.

However, some scholars say this is just a splattering of blood and not an actual blood flow. You make the call.

184 miles is a huge distance for a battle–almost unseen in Ancient Times.  But not in modern times.

Revelation Chapters 15-19 will reveal the fulfillment of these prophetic declarations of the angels.

Conclusions to Lesson 19:  In Revelation 13 we see the power of the beast.  In Revelation 14 we see who’s really in charge and who will win in the end.

Make sure you are part of the 144,000.  Be holy and pure and do not worship false idols.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 19, Day 5: Numbers 12:4-16

Summary of passage:  God heard Miriam and Aaron grumble against Moses so He called them together for a meeting.  The God descended in a cloud and asked Miriam and Aaron to step forward.  God told them that Moses is more than a prophet, one whom He speaks face-to-face with.  He asks them why they were not afraid to speak against Moses?  Then God leaves in anger.  God struck Miriam with leprosy.  Both Aaron and Moses cry out to God to heal her.  God banishes her from camp for seven days.  They Israelites finally move on and camp in the Desert of Paran.

Questions:

10a)  He called Moses, Aaron, and Miriam together to the Tent of Meeting.  There he came down in a pillar of cloud and summoned Aaron and Miriam forward.  He chastised them, saying Moses is more than a prophet; he is someone I speak clearly with face-to-face.  Then his anger burned against them and He struck Miriam with leprosy.  Both Aaron and Moses pleaded on her behalf and she was banished for seven days outside the camp instead.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  His words.  How God called Moses a servant of His and is faithful and one whom He speaks with face-to-face clearly.

11a)  That Moses is a God’s servant whom He speaks face-to-face with clearly.  He sees the form of God and He reveals Himself to Moses in dreams and speaks to him.

b)  Faithful in everything.  I picture God’s house as the world and those saved who dwell in it.  Moses is faithful to God’s people and in whatever God asks of him.  Moses is faithful to God in the little things and in the big things.  Faithful everywhere–in all aspects of life.

12a)  God’s anger burned against her and He struck her with leprosy, later commuted to a seven-day ostracism.

b)  Leviticus 13:  Ostracize her and isolate her from the camp and label her unclean.  Miriam would have to wear torn clothes, let her hair be unkempt, over the lower part of her face and cry out “Unclean! Unclean!” for as long as the disease remains (probably the rest of her life).  She would have to live outside of camp.  Cleanse himself as well with sacrifices for touching an unclean person.  Her life would have been ruined if not for God’s grace!

c)  Moses forgave Miriam for her sins and asked God to do so as well.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  That God is a merciful God.  God can administer penalty for sin harshly or not-so-harshly.  God could have ruined Miriam’s life by giving her a skin disease that would have taken her from her people.  But God relented but still made sure everyone knew she had sinned against Him.  God is good.

Conclusions:  I liked Numbers 12.  Great lesson for us to curb our jealous nature.  Great lessons on God’s powerful, merciful nature.  Great example of God’s love for us.  Great example of how we are to answer our accusers:  with nothing, preferring God to handle them for us.

As we study more and more about Aaron, I get a weaker and weaker view of him.  If he hadn’t have been Moses’ brother, I don’t think he would have been chosen to be the High Priest of Israel.  Again, God’s infinite mercy and wisdom to choose Aaron.  Through him we see our own weaknesses and hopefully learn the lessons God was trying to teach Aaron ourselves.

Map of Hazeroth and Desert of Paran:  http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/ml/r1/lp-e/13

End Notes:  God specifically answers Miriam’s question and answers why Moses is so special:  God’s relationship with Moses.  It is intimate and personal and direct.

Miriam’s affliction reflects her heart and in the degree.  She receives a very severe case of leprosy.  Aaron notices first.

Aaron seems to be a follower here again.  He is swayed by the Israelites to make a golden calf.  He is swayed by his sister to speak against Moses.  He’s a very weak leader.  Note as soon as he notices his sister, he pleads to Moses to not hold against them their foolish sins.  He asks for forgiveness first, then to cure his sister.  He is self-interested the entire time.

Aaron is probably thinking, “Oh, no!  Am I next?  I must do something now to save face or I will suffer a similar fate!!”

Moses speaks now for the first time and for others.  He allowed God to handle his accusers.  Here we see Moses “faithful in all my house” as he speaks for his slanderers.

God did heal Miriam or she would have never been allowed back inside the camp.  Still, it was important for all of Israel to know she spoke against their leader.  God is gracious and merciful.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 19, Day 5: Matthew 18:21-35

Summary of passage:  Peter asks how many times should you forgive someone who has sinned against you.  Jesus says 77 times.  Then he tells the parable of a servant who owed his master millions of dollars.  He begged for mercy and the master let him go and canceled the debt.  But when that servant was owed a few dollars by another man, he had the other man he choked him and had him thrown in jail over it!

When the master found out, he had the servant called in and told him he should have had mercy on the man just like he had and he had him tortured because of it.  Jesus says God will do the same thing if we do not forgive others.

Questions:

12a)  Peter thinks there is a limit on the number of times you can forgive someone before not forgiving them and possibly throwing them in jail or what-have-you.  Asking about his brother shows he doesn’t get the parallel between God’s forgiveness of us and our forgiveness of others.

b)  The world follows Lamech’s view:  that if he is wronged 7 times he will have his revenge 77 times. The world does not forgive; it only seeks vengeance.  Jesus said to forgive unlimited times.  Lamech said to seek vengeance unlimited times.

13a)  It is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants who owed him so much money that they would never be able to repay it and therefore had to be forgiven or face eternal hell.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  We must forgive others since God has forgiven us the immensity of our sins for our sins are 77 times greater (or infinitely times greater) than any other sin committed against us by others.  We forgive over and over again as God does us.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It would be a calmer place to live.  Less stressful.  More encouraging.  Happier.  If we truly understood the enormity of our sins then nothing others did to us would matter.  Strife would end.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Oh, Lord, forgive me that which does not deserve forgiving.  Without your grace I would be nothing.  Thank you, oh Lord, for your forgiveness of my sins and help me to show my gratitude as I forgive others.  Amen

Conclusions:  I liked this lesson.  Very powerful parody in the undeservedness of God’s forgiveness and how we are to extend the same to others.  Always easy to say and not so easy to apply in life, thus making it a good lesson to hear over and over again.

End Notes:  If you were a first century Jew, you were taught you could only forgive someone up to 3 times and that’s it.  Here, Peter doubles that, thinking himself generous, which of course, Jesus says is ridiculous.  This is Peter, after all.

Note the anger of the man who had basically just been set free by his master.  He grabbed the guy by the throat very threateningly and demanded payment.  How many times have we done the same thing:  our anger so overpowering us that we blow something up that was so very minor in our lives?

The man was blind to his own sin (as we so often are and why we need people to point it out like Lesson 4 just pointed out) and instead of mercy now received justice.  Note we deserve justice but God gives us mercy anyways if we ask His forgiveness and repent.

Since God who forgives (when He doesn’t need to since He has nothing to be forgiven of) us who are full of sin, we must forgive others who need forgiveness every day of our lives.  We have no right to hold onto grievances.

You can forgive sins but the sinner still faces consequences like in the case of murder.

Forgive others or you yourself will be tortured.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 19, Day 5: Genesis 25:1-18

Summary of passage:  Abraham took another wife named Keturah and had more kids. He left everything he owned to Isaac but gave gifts to his other sons and sent them away to the land of the east.  Abraham lived 175 years and was buried with Sarah in the cave he bought from the Hittites.  God blessed Isaac who settled near Beer Lahai Roi.

Ishmael had 12 sons who became 12 tribal rulers.  He lived to be 137 years old.  His descendants settled near Egypt from Havilah to Shur as you go towards Asshur.  They lived in hostility towards their brothers.

Questions:

12a)  Isaac got everything.  Ishmael got gifts before he died.

b)  Isaac:  Map of Beer Lahai Roi:  http://bibleatlas.org/full/beer-lahai-roi.htm

The sons of Ishmael all settled in Arabia as did most of the sons of Keturah.

13a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Provided my husband with a job opportunity.  He’s given me a band to play in to keep my mind busy.  We are lacking for nothing for we have savings.  I keep getting the message that I need to write so I keep at it.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Husband.  Kids.  Dog.

Conclusions:  I spent a little bit of time trying to find where the descendants settled but everywhere I looked it was all speculation as to the exact location so in the end I just linked to where Isaac settled since we’re going to be seeing a lot of him coming up and left the rest to Arabia.

I think every day is special as a gift from God and everything He provides is special.  So food, clothing, shelter, and another day to live and breathe are special gifts from God.

Does Beer Lahai Roi sound familiar?  It should.  It’s the place where Hagar encountered God in the form of “the angel of the Lord” as she was fleeing from Sarai and Abram in Genesis 16:14.  The name means “well of the Living One who sees me.”  Interesting that Isaac now ends up there.

Fun Fact:  Abraham is mentioned 70 times in the New Testament.  Only Moses is mentioned more.

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 19, Day 5: 1 Corinthians 15-16

Summary of passage:  1 Corinthians 15:  Paul reminds the Corinthians about the gospel:  Christ died for our sins, he was buried, and then raised on the third day.  He appeared to Peter, the Twelve, 500 brothers, James, the apostles, and to Paul. By the grace of God Paul was saved.

Some Corinthians did not believe in the resurrection of the dead which means their preaching is useless and faithless if so. They would be a false witness.  Faith is futile and you are still in sin.

All die but Christ will make them alive again.  First Christ then those who belong to him.  End will come when Jesus has destroyed all dominion, authority, and power.  He will reign until he destroys his enemy and death.  God will be all in all when everything (except God) is under him and then the Son will be made subject to Him.

Paul says if there is no resurrection then everything is in vain.  He dies every day.  Don’t be misled by those ignorant of God.

Paul says there are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies.  All flesh is not the same.  God gives each seed its own body.  The body on earth is perishable.  It will be raised imperishable.  It is in dishonor but raised in glory.  It is weak but will be powerful.  It is natural but will be spiritual.  We will bear the likeness of a man from Heaven when resurrected.

The body will be changed as flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.  Death will end when the mortal become immortal.  Jesus will conquer death!

Stand firm and allow nothing to move  you.  Do the work of the Lord because you know it is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 16:  Give to God’s people (Jerusalem).  Paul says he will try to come to them in person and if Timothy comes make him welcome and have nothing to fear for he is doing the work of the Lord.  Apollos will come shortly as well.

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous and strong.  Do everything in love.

Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus (bearers of the letter we’re reading) should be recognized for their service.

Grace and love to all.

Questions:

12a)  He appeared to Peter, to the Twelve, 500 of the brothers, James, the apostles, and lastly to Paul.

b)  Christ died for our sins; he was buried; he was raised on the third day.  Died, buried, rose again.

13)  If Christ did not rise, then Christianity is a false belief.  Our preaching is useless and so is our faith.  Worse, we are found to be false witnesses about God.  We would still be in our sins and lost forever.

14a)  Christ will come.  Then those who belong to him.  Then the end when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority, and power.  He (Jesus) will reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet and the last enemy (which is death) is destroyed.  Everything under his feet except God himself that is.  Then Jesus will be subject to God so God may be all in all.

b)  The body will be raised imperishable, in glory, in power, will be spiritual (verse 42-44).  The body will be from heaven (verse 47).  We will bear the likeness of heaven just like we bear the likeness of earthly man (verse 49).  We will all be changed into the imperishable and immortal.

c)  We will all be changed, the dead will be raised, and death will be overcome.  With the victory over death, sin will disappear as well.

15)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Give myself fully to the world of the Lord because you know your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Conclusions:  1 Corinthians 16:13-14:  “Be on your guard; stand firm in your faith; be men of courage; be strong.  Do everything in love.”

Words for me right now as I fight every day to stay on track with my purpose.  To guard against the Devil.  To stand firm in my beliefs both in the Lord and what He has for me.  To be courageous.  To be strong.  And to do everything in love.

Powerful words to cling to in these times where power is not encouraged.

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 19, Day 5 Isaiah 44:1-23

Summary of passage:  The Lord who created you says do not be afraid for I will pour my Spirit on you and your offspring and you will flourish.  You will proclaim ‘I belong to the Lord’ and write it on your hand.  I am first and last.  No one is like me.  Apart from me there is none.  I foretell the future and you are my witnesses.

All idols are nothing and worthless and those who make them are ignorant and blink.  Men have to make idols (blacksmith, carpenter) and they wear out just like idols do.  Idols are made from wood, the same material used to cook food and warm man.  Wood burns and no one stops to think, “Gee, I’m worshipping the same thing I’m cooking that turns into ashes.”  Man is deluded and has no knowledge if this is so.

God says remember these worthless idols and how they make no sense.  Remember I have made you, you are my servant and I will not forget you.  I forgive your offenses and sins.  I have redeemed you.  So sing for my praise and glory all I have done.

Questions:

10)  Isaiah 44:3-4:  God will pour out His spirit on us and our offspring till it overflows

Isaiah 44:5:  I belong to the Lord and proclaim it by writing it on my hand

Joel 2:28-29; Acts 2:14-21:  God pours out His Spirit on all people and whoever calls on Him will be saved

John 7:37-39:  The Spirit will flow within those who believe in Jesus

Acts 1:8:  You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and will become witnesses

11a)  He is the first and the last (an idol has to be made and wears out).  God can foretell the future (idols don’t speak).  God has witnesses for Him.  God is the rock that endures.

b)  Men have to make idols instead of being the created.  Men and idols wear out.  Idols know, say, and do nothing.  No one notices what the idol is made of (that it’s also the material used for fuel) and it can be turned into ashes.  The idol cannot save itself.

c) Personal Question.  My answer:  Worshipping of idols lead to emptiness and unfulfillment.  Only God can give you what you need.

d) Personal Question.  My answer:  God, help me to put you first in my life and see through the empty idols our culture worships and tries to project on others.  Help me to know your truth and power and reject messages of simple pleasures idols offer.

12)  He made them.  They are His servant.  They exist because of and for God.  He has swept away their offenses and sins and redeemed them.  So burst into praise because of this.  Remember foolishness of idols and idol-makers.

Conclusions:  “There is no other Rock.”  This sums it up for me.  If God were my Rock in every situation every day of my life, I’d be a lot happier and much more fulfilled and joyful.  Only God can fill me.  If I am full of God, then there is no room left for miscellaneous ‘idol’ distractions, mini-crises, or unnecessary drama.  God and His blessings would rule.  The Devil would have no place to hide.