BSF Study Questions John Lesson 20, Day 5: John 15:18-16:4

Summary of passage: The world hates believers because they were chosen by Jesus to be not of this world. The world will persecute and hate believers as they have persecuted and hated Jesus. The disciples and the Holy Spirit are to testify about Jesus. The time will come where the disciples will be thrown out of the synagogue and persecuted.

Questions:

12)  Part personal Question. My answer:  The human system that opposes God’s purpose and unbelievers.  They hate believers because they were chosen by God.  These people hate me or are indifferent to me because they are of the world and not believers.  Why would I ask myself questions?  It’s a fact and you deal with it and you move on with life.

13)  Part personal Question. My answer:  We need to be the light for others who may come out of the darkness.  We are called to evangelize.  By doing His will.

14a)  All believers, the Holy Spirit, and the disciples.

b) Part personal Question.  My answer:  Because Jesus was persecuted and the world hates believers.  They don’t know the Father nor Jesus, only the devil, so they follow the devil’s way which includes persecution.  We must respond as Jesus would with compassion and from an understanding that they are blinded to God and do not have Jesus’ heart.

Conclusions: Repetitive in terms of how you are living for Christ and bearing fruit. Talked about this last year as well in our Revelation study. In essence, Satan works through unbelievers. He tells them to hate us and persecute us. He blinds them to the Truth. We must understand it is Satan at work and not take it personally. We must be like Christ and still shine bright despite the encroaching darkness around us.

End Notes:  Jesus warns his disciples they will be hated.  All except John were martyred.  First the world hated Jesus, then them.  “You or Ye know” or “keep in mind” means be aware or be very sure.

The disciples were different from the world.  If people don’t know God, they persecute those who do.  Those persecuted (Christians) should sympathize for unbelievers because they don’t know God.

Because Jesus was God walking around on the earth, there is no excuse not to know God or more about Him.  Both his works and his words are enough to know Him.

Jesus quotes the Psalm here to show Scriptural fulfillment.

Jesus previously spoke of the sending of the Counselor (John 14:16, 14:26).  The departing Jesus knew the disciples would need the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit to face the opposition the world would bring.

“Who proceeds from the Father” or “whom I will send to you from the Father”: This is one source of a historic controversy between the eastern and western branches of Christianity, debating if the Spirit proceeds from the Father alone or from the Father and the Son (known as the filoque clause in the Nicene Creed).

The Holy Spirit’s job is to tell us and show us what Jesus would do and who he is.

The disciples’ job is also to bear witness for Jesus.

Jesus did not want his disciples to be surprised by opposition against them so he tells them they will be thrown out of the synagogue, which for a Jewish person is ostracism from all they know.

Most Christian martyrs are killed by followers of other religions.  Jesus is preparing his disciples because up until this point all hatred was against Jesus himself.  When Jesus departs, it will fall upon the disciples to bear.  He will not be there to protect them.  It wasn’t pertinent until this moment.  God’s timing.

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BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 20, Day 5: Numbers 14:20-45

Summary of passage:  The Lord forgave His people as Moses asked Him too.  However, the punishment for disobedience is that none of them will see the Promised Land except Caleb.  God tells His people to turn around.  The Lord tells Moses except Caleb and Joshua all will die who grumbled against Him–He will grant their wish to die in the desert.  The children will inherit the land but only after wandering for 40 years–one year for each day the Israelites explored the land.

God struck down and killed the men who were responsible for the bad report.  The Israelites repented and went to fight anyways.  But this was disobeying God as well for He has ordered them to turn back.  They were defeated as Moses and the ark remained encamped.

Questions:

10a)  Yes.  Verse 20

b)  Nevertheless

c)  “Not one of the men who saw my glory and the miraculous signs I performed in Egypt and in the desert but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times–not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their forefathers.”  The Lord “will do the very things I heard you say:  In this desert your bodies will fall–every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me.”  “Your children will be shepherds here for 40 years, suffering for your unfaithfulness.”

Basically, they will all die without entering the Promised Land and they are sentenced to wander the desert for 40 years to wait for them all to die and as punishment to their children.

11a)  No.  People today have a victim mentality and an entitlement mentality.  They deserve only good things and if something bad happens to them, it’s someone else’s fault and thus they should  be taken care of and given payment because of it.

b)  Yes.  Yes.

12a)  By punishing the instigators.  God struck down the men who reported the false report and thus were responsible for leading the others into sin.

b)  They disobeyed AGAIN by deciding to go and take the land when the Lord had already told them they were to turn around.  They were warned by Moses that the Lord was not with them, but they didn’t seem to care–they did it anyways and were defeated because of it.

Conclusions: Loved Lesson 20.  Great stories.  Great moments of people’s disobedience, God’s grace and forgiveness, and consequences of disobedience.  In Numbers 13-14, we see the whole of the Bible condensed into two chapters.  All that’s missing here is Jesus.

End Notes:  Here we see the power of prayer as God says He has forgiven the people because Moses asked.  God listens and He responds.

God recognized Caleb and rewarded him in front of all.  The people on the other hand have more work to do.

Note even Moses and Aaron is included in those who won’t enter the Promised Land.  So they knew.  I wonder what they were thinking.

No excuse will work here–the people rejected the land and now they must pay the consequences.  Even when they decided to obey, their hearts were not in it–they did not trust the Lord.  They only felt sorry for what they did.  And they paid the price.

See Psalm 95:7b-11, Psalm 106:24-27, & Nehemiah 9:16-17 for more.

They will wander only 38 years since they have already been in the desert for 2 years.

Map of Hormah and possible Route through the Desert:  https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bc/scriptures/content/english/bible-maps/images/03990_000_bible-map-2.jpg

Great map of where the Israelites are headed next:  http://fgcp.org/system/files/images/Promise-Land-Era.jpg

Close-up of Hormah:  http://www.keyway.ca/gif/hormah.gif

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 20, Day 5: Matthew 19:16-22

Summary of passage:  A man asks Jesus what good thing he must do to get to heaven.  Jesus said there is only One who is good and to obey the commandments to enter life.  The man asked which commandments and Jesus said don’t murder, steal, commit adultery, or give false testimony, and honor your mother and father and love your neighbor.

The man asked what he still lacked once he has done this.  Jesus told him to sell all of his possessions, give to the poor for treasure in heaven, and follow him.  The man went away sad, unable to do so.

Questions:

11a)  The man had a limit as to what he would sacrifice for Jesus.  The children do not.  They love whole-heartedly.  The man loved his material things more.

b)  Jesus told him it was more important to store up treasure in heaven, not on earth as the man believed.  The man was of the world.

12a)  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and to “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

b)  His earthly life, his great wealth on earth.

13a)  Jesus knew the man lacked love for others and acceptance of him as a Savior.  He knew the man’s heart was not his.  He knew the man was not willing to give up everything for him.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The gospel (and hence God) is stronger than man and man himself can never hope to follow it without God and Jesus.  With Jesus, we can be whom God called us to be.  Without Jesus, we cannot.  Jesus showed us what matters is the heart.  If our heart is not his, then everything else in life is not worthwhile.  It is meaningless.

With regards to the teachings on marriage, when we weaken God’s word, we all suffer as does society.  Look at our society now compared to the past.  Even 150 years ago, we were stronger.  We must take all of God’s word and not just parts.  It was not meant to be compartmentalized.  We either believe the Truth or we don’t.  We are either God’s or we’re not.  There is no middle ground, gray area, or wiggle room.

Conclusions:  I was hoping to read all of Matthew 19 and am unsure why BSF is breaking this up into two weeks (guess I’ll find out next week).  I wanted to read Jesus’ response to the man and analyze it.  Just too much to cover I guess!

End Notes:  This story is recorded in Matthew, Mark, and Luke.  All say he was rich.  The man appears to be seeking reassurance from Jesus; yet, because he asked him what he is still lacking, he must sense that he is not fully God’s.

Jesus asked the man to “follow me”, similarly to how Jesus called other disciples (Matthew 4:19; 8:22; 9:9; Mark 2:14).  He asked him to be his disciple, which in this case meant selling what was standing in the way of him and God (his material items) and committing fully to God.  The man, too attached to this world, could not do it.

Note the man is miserable before and miserable afterwards.  Life is a waste if you are miserable and yet do nothing to change it.  It is interesting to note human nature here.  Even after being told what he must do to have eternal life, man turns his back.  Wonder how many of us would do that if tested as the man were?  I would hope if God himself or Jesus told me what I was lacking, I’d change it.

Both Mark and Luke record the man as calling Jesus “good”, which is why Jesus here explains that only God is good, meaning if you think Jesus good, then Jesus must be God.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 20, Day 5: Review Genesis 27:1-28:9

Summary of passage:  Isaac, now old and blind, asks Esau to hunt him some wild game and prepare him a meal at which he will give him his blessing.  Rebekah overheard Isaac tell Esau this so she told Jacob to go and bring her some young goats to prepare for him so that Jacob can go and receive Isaac’s blessing.  Jacob wonders though if Isaac touches him what to do because Esau is hairy and he is not.  His mother said not to worry.

Rebekah prepared the food and then dressed up Jacob in Esau’s clothes.  She covered his hands and neck with goatskins and sent him in to Isaac.  Jacob says he is Esau and bids his father to eat.  Isaac wonders how he found the game so quickly.  Jacob says the Lord granted him success.

Isaac suspects a trick and asks to touch Jacob.  He knows Jacob’s voice but falls for the goatskin trick.  Isaac blessed Jacob but is still unsure if he is Esau or not.  Jacob lies again, saying he is.  Isaac ate of the game and then kissed his son.  He smelled Esau’s clothes and concluded this was Esau.

Isaac blessed Jacob, asking God to give him abundance and have the nations serve him and bow to him, have him be lord over his brothers and have those who curse him be cursed and those who bless him be blessed.

Esau returned from hunting and brought in the food to Isaac.  Isaac realizes he had been tricked by Jacob.  But it was too late.  Isaac cannot bless both.  He did not reserve another blessing.  Esau wept and held a grudge against Jacob and planned to kill him once Isaac died.

Rebekah hears Esau’s plans and sends Jacob to live with her brother Laban in Haran until Esau’s temper cools. She tells Isaac she doesn’t want Jacob to marry a Hittite woman so Isaac blesses him and commands him to go to Paddan Aram to the house of his mother’s father Bethuel and take a wife from the daughters of Laban.  He blessed him again with fruitfulness and with the blessing given to Abraham.

Esau learned what had happened and he took a wife from Ishmael’s line in an effort to please his father.

Questions:

11)  When God told Rebekah that two nations were in her womb and the older will serve the younger.

12a)  He called Esau to him privately and was going to bless him without others around or tell anyone else.

b)  Isaac knew Jacob was the chosen one but he was going to bless Esau instead (his favorite).  But once he was tricked, he blessed Jacob willingly.  He realized that God’s will would prevail, not his.

13a)  Isaac definitely had a heart for God.  He willingly submitted to being a sacrifice.  He trusted God to bring him Rebekah as his wife.  He dealt kindly with Abimelech when the disputes arose over the wells.  The Lord appeared to him (Genesis 26:24) to reassure him of his covenant.  His weakness was that he favored Esau over Jacob and tried to circumvent God’s will with the blessing.  But God prevented that as well.  He played favorites with his kids.  In the end, Isaac does bless Jacob for he realizes God’s will after the trick.

Isaac is like most Christians I think.  Has a heart for God but is human with faults and mistakes.  But eventually he corrects them and comes back to God.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  To always seek and trust God.  He is in control.  He will bless those who follow Him.  To deal kindly with unbelievers.  To not judge.  To shine Christ as best as humanly possible.  Even when you fall, Isaac showed you get right back on God’s path.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  To not play favorites (which is hard with multiple kids).  To treat all equally.  To pray and follow God.  It is useless to fight God for He will win every time.  His will not mine.

Conclusions:  God’s will prevails no matter what man does to circumvent it.  So why do we fight it so?

End Note:  Interestingly, even if Esau had received Isaac’s blessing, it wouldn’t have mattered.  Only God can truly bestow the blessing and in God’s eyes it would have been invalid.

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 20, Day 5: 2 Corinthians 6-7

Summary of passage:  2 Corinthians 6:  Paul writing to the Corinthians.  He describes his life of a servant of God:  endurance in troubles, hardships, and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments, and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights, and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience, and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left hand; through glory and dishonor; bad report and good report; genuine and impostors; known and unknown, dying and alive; beaten but not killed; sorrowful yet always rejoicing; poor yet rich; having nothing yet possessing everything.

Open your hearts to this.

Paul warns to not be yoked with unbelievers.  We are the temple of God and unbelievers have the potential to defile that.  We are to try to be as holy as possible and unbelievers can bring unholiness into our lives.

2 Corinthians 7:  Paul tells the Corinthians he has great joy in them and asks them to make room for him in their hearts.  Paul had conflicts galore in Macedonia but God comforted him with the arrival of Titus who bore news from the Corinthians that indicated they had repented of their behavior, they longed for Paul, and they were joyful.

Paul caused them sorrow but their sorrow led to repentance so Paul has no regrets.  Godly sorrow produces earnestness, eagerness to do right, and a longing to see justice done.

Titus was happy from his visit to the Corinthians as he was treated well, upholding Paul’s confidence in them.

Questions:

13a)  Beatings, imprisonments, riots, hard work, sleepless nights, hunger, endurance, troubles, hardships, distresses

b)  Purity, understanding, patience, kindness, Holy Spirit, sincere love, truthful speech, power of God, weapons of righteousness

c)  Glory and dishonor; bad report and good report; genuine and impostors; known and unknown; dying and alive; beaten but not killed; sorrowful and always rejoicing; poor and making many rich; having nothing and possessing everything

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I’m said this before but comparing our lives to the life Paul led is stretching it a bit.  2000 years separates us.  Most of us have not been and will never be beaten, imprisoned, involved in riots, etc.  So I am answering this question speaking just on how I deal with the “hardships” in my life compared to the way Paul did (even though my hardships cannot compare to Paul’s).

I need to be better at all of it.  Patience, kindness, sincere love, wielding weapons of righteousness, always rejoicing, etc.

14)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Paul is happy no matter the troubles of hardships because he sees what God is doing in his life and others’.  He sees the joys and the rewards of his work and sufferings.  He follows God at every turn and is never let down.  Lives are changed and Paul rejoices in that.

I think if we follow God at every turn we can have his joy as well.

Conclusions:  My favorite parts were what BSF did not ask about:  the warning to not be yoked with unbelievers, which I take for myself as to be wary when partnering with them in business, life (through marriage), causes, or anything that would cause you to stray or sin or cause harm to others or cause others to not walk the Way.

We need to live in the world but not be of the world.  We need to be careful that culture and society do not unduly influence us.  We need to walk God’s path for our lives and not society’s.

2 Corinthians 7:10:  Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret.

I like to think of my sorrow as “godly”.  It somehow dulls the pain a bit.  And if we are truly repentant we will have no regrets.  If you still have regrets, you haven’t fully given it to the Lord and need to repent again.  Godly sorrow produces in us the desire and vow to never do it again, the anger when we do something stupid, and the drive to do better next time.

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 20, Day 5 Isaiah 45:14-25

Summary of passage:  All the nations will come over to Israel and be theirs.  They will come in chains and bow before them, acknowledging God is with them.  Israel will be saved by the Lord and will never be put to shame like the makers of idols will suffer.  For the Lord, as Creator, did not intend for the earth to be empty.  He is not deceptive; He is truthful.  God again argues He is the only one who has foretold future events and there is no one apart from Him.  Therefore, all you fugitives from the nations, come to Him and be saved.  His words will never be revoked.  And in the future, every knee will bow and every tongue will swear He alone is righteous.  Those who disagree will be put to shame.  But in the Lord all the descendants of Israel will be found righteous.

Questions:

10)  The nations will come over to them and be theirs; they will come in chains.  They will bow down to Israel and plead, acknowledging God.

11a)  All you ends of the earth, fugitives from the nations.  Their gods cannot save and God foretold these events long ago

b)  Romans 15:8-12  “…the Gentiles may glorify God for his mercy…Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and sing praises to him, all you peoples…the Gentiles will hope in him.”

12a)  Every knee would bow in the name of Jesus and confess Jesus is Lord to God’s glory.  With the coming of Jesus

b) Personal Question.  My answer:  Literally.

Conclusions:  I found this lesson puzzling as my short answers exhibit.  I’m unsure of Question 12a and b I was confused:  I will bow on my knees, splayed out in humility.  I’m unsure how else to bow before the Lord Jesus.

End Note:  I now know who the Cush are but the Sabeans? Interesting description here:

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=20&letter=S