BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 24, Day 5: Romans 13:6-7

Summary of passage:  Pay taxes to the authorities who should be paid for governing.  Give everyone what you owe such as taxes, revenue, respect and honor.

Questions:

12)  In essence, Jesus said the same thing as this passage:  Give to those what you owe them.  Pay your taxes and pay God.

13)  Today, there are many purposes for taxes and many different kinds of taxes (like in ancient times as well but in a different way).  Here, it says pay taxes so that the officials may be paid for their time in running the government.  Taxes also go for the public good and items and services we consume collectively like roads, police, etc.  We should have an attitude of gratitude towards taxes that pays for the military and police who keep us safe, roads we travel on to visit loved ones, and so many other things we don’t think of.  Taxes are a part of life.  Accept it.

14)  Part personal Question.  My answer:

Exodus 20:12:  Father and Mother.  Honoring their wishes and what they’ve done for you.  Being there for them in their old age.  Loving them.
Leviticus 19:32:  The elderly and God.  Volunteer to help the elderly.  Care for them in their old age.  Visit them.  Care about them and their lives.
1 Timothy 5:17:  “the elders who direct the affairs of the church especially those who preach and teach”  Pastors and church leaders.  Pray for them.  Care for them.  Do random acts of kindness for them.  Give to them when they don’t expect it.
1 Timothy 6:15b-16:  God.  There is no limit to honoring God.  Prayer, obedience, evangelism, being kind to others, worship, etc.
1 Peter 2:13-17:  Governing authorities, rulers, respect everyone, respect believers, fear God, honor your king.  Obey laws, don’t bad-mouth leaders, pray for leaders and rulers, treat others as you want to be treated, obey God.

15)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Pray for them.  Pray for them to follow God’s will.  Honor their choices in life.  Give it to God.  It’s none of your business when it’s friends and families and acquaintances.  Treat them as you want to be treated.  Love them.

Conclusions:  The theme of Lesson 24 is honor and respect authority (both human authority and God’s authority).  Obey both human laws and God’s laws.  Overall, be good citizens and people.

End Notes:  We pay taxes so the officials can do their job in keeping an orderly society–not to enrich them.  But also so they can eat as well.  Paying taxes is supporting God’s work since He gave the government to help us.

Good question to ponder:  Is rebellion against government ever justified? If a citizen has a choice between two governments, it is right to choose and to promote the one that is most legitimate in God’s eyes – the one which will best fulfill God’s purpose for governments.  However, knowing which is right in God’s eyes is the challenge.  The Communists believe they are right. So do democracies.

These verses are easy for those of us living in a democracies.  We are the government; therefore, we are supporting ourselves when we pay taxes as the money goes for public good.

In ancient times, this would have been much more difficult when rulers were oftentimes evil.  The first generation of Christians benefited from the same freedom of worship and legal protection as the Jews.  But soon emperors such as Nero turned on Christians, torturing and murdering thousands.  History shows that most of them followed Paul’s difficult advice in this passage, refusing to revolt against the government no matter how hostile it had become.

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BSF Study Questions John Lesson 24, Day 5: John 18:13-27

Summary of passage: Jesus was arrested and taken to Annas, Caiaphas’ father-in-law. Peter and John followed Jesus. John went with Jesus while Peter waited outside. When asked by a little girl if he was one of the disciples, Peter denies Jesus for the first time.

Annas questions Jesus who is struck by a soldier. He’s shipped off to Caiaphas. Meanwhile, Peter denies Jesus a second and third time. A rooster crows.

Questions:

11)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Fear.  Shame.  In what I accomplish.  I don’t say things are God things when I should and I know they are in front of others.  God does arrange everything. Nothing is coincidence but I omit saying it and am guilty of giving God the credit for it.  A strong faith helps us avoid being like Peter.  Reading the Word more.  Praying. Drawing closer to Jesus.  Like Jesus, pray for my protection more from the devil and his ways and for God’s light more in my life.

12)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I’m alone in my work as a believer.  I try to impart words of wisdom and fate to my colleagues.

13)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Well, they are happening at the same time so it follows chronologically.  We see Jesus’ trials alongside Peter’s.  We see Jesus strong and Peter weak.  We see Jesus’ faith in God and Peter’s lack of faith in God.  We see Jesus’ love and Peter’s lack of love.  We see Jesus’ sacrifice and Peter’s self-preservation.  By contrasting both, we see how you are supposed to act and what happens when you don’t act like Jesus.

Conclusions:  Good questions.  Convicting on how we need to stand up for Christ and give him the glory and how fear holds us back from doing so.  We must pray for protection in this world for the devil is sneaky and cause us to do things we normally wouldn’t because fear grasps our hearts.

End Notes:  Annas was the power behind the throne in Jerusalem. He himself had been High Priest from AD 6 to 15. Four of his sons had also held the high priesthood and Caiaphas was his son-in-law. His name meant “Yahweh is gracious”. He is still called the high priest in Acts 4:6 when Peter and John are arrested.

One reason John reminds us of what Caiaphas said in John 11:49-52 is to show that the judgment against Jesus was already decided. It would not be a fair trial. He would die for the people.

John who had the connections is the reason they had access to the high priest’s house and the reason we know what went on there.

A mere girl scares Peter enough to deny Christ and then he tries to blend into the crowd and shrink himself by standing around a fire with others. How tragic!

Annas means merciful. Ironic.

Jesus was not going to throw his disciples under the bus. He never mentions them. He asks for evidence in asking for others to testify to his words. This should have been the first step Annas should have taken for one accused of crimes. But there would be no fairness here for Jesus. He was a threat that had to be annihilated.

The first blow is laid upon Jesus be an unnamed official. Jesus calls the man out and having no answer, Annas sends Jesus on, still bound.

Luke 22:61 indicates that Peter could see Jesus and see him being slapped. No doubt his fear increased and he lied twice more. John is also present and Peter lied in front of John. The same question is asked in the same way, using the negative. The questioners expected the answer “No”, not expecting a follower of Jesus amongst them. The questioner is identified differently in all Gospels (Matthew 26:71; Mark 14:69; Luke 22:58).

John would know Malchus’ relative and a relative would be eager to know if this was the man who cut off his relative’s ear. Matthew 26:74 tells us Peter cursed this denial. He was adamant and he was a coward.

The rooster crowing fulfilled what Jesus said in John 13:38, and would have immediately reminded Peter of the prediction Jesus made in the upper room. And I would imagine shame would have flooded Peter.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 24, Day 5: Revelation 19:17-21

Summary of passage:  An angel calls together all the carrion birds to feast on the flesh of the defeated enemies of Jesus.  The beast and the kings of the earth and their armies made war against Christ and his followers.  The beast and the false prophet were captured and thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulphur.  All their followers were killed and the birds gorged on their flesh.

Questions:

12)  They die and become a feast for the birds.

13)  Any other religion outside of Christianity.  Deluded by the ways of the world.

14)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Not sure if it does.  I know I’m on the winning side.  I live my life the best God wants me to.  I tell others about God and pray about them but ultimately it’s up to their Free Will and God if they turn.  I don’t worry about it and try not to worry about anything.  God has it all!

Conclusions:  No words needed.

We’ve see “how will you live differently questions” so much I have no new answers.  Lesson 24 Day 4, Lesson 14 Day 2  Lesson 11 Day 5

End Notes:  Graphic end to Christ’s enemies.  Ezekiel 39 prophesied this as Gog and Magog which we’ll see in Revelation 20.

The angel is brighter than the sun since he’s standing before the sun.  This is reflective of God’s glory.

Note the repetition of “flesh” 5 times.  This shows how the flesh is to be let go when God arrives and how all in the flesh will be judged.

There are four different suppers in the Bible:

1)  The supper of salvation, alluded to in Jesus’ parable (Luke 14:16-24)
2)  The Lord’s supper, a commemoration of Jesus’ sacrifice
3)  The marriage supper of the Lamb  (Revelation 19:9)
4)  The supper of the great God (Revelation 19:17)

Everyone will attend at least one of these suppers.  But will you be one of those eating or be one eaten?

We saw the inhabitants of the earth gather in Revelation 16:14.

Some ask:  who would be stupid enough to gather together and battle Jesus?  Well, we can never underestimate man’s hatred of God.  After all, we did murder Jesus on the cross–Emmanual incarnate.  Some scholars say the armies were gathered together to fight each other and then Christ arrives.  You make the call here.  Remember:  the End Times will be chaotic.  One horrible judgment after another.  In times of chaos, man does stupid things as panic and the fight for survival thrive.

Note:  THERE IS NO BATTLE.  Judgment is immediate.  Christ uses his sword (the Word) and it is finished.  He is the victor.

Lake of eternal fire is eternal punishment and torment (Revelation 20:10), also what we consider hell.  Note how the beast (Satan) and the false prophet are thrown alive into the lake of fire BEFORE the Great White Throne of judgment holds court (Revelation 20:11-15).  Their fate is doomed from the beginning.

Conclusions to Revelation 19:  We make ready for Christ’s return and Christ wins.  We want to be on the winning side and prepared.

Conclusions to Lesson 24:  We saw “you” or “your” a whooping 10 times this lesson and this doesn’t include Days 1 & 6.  Weak and repetitious.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 24, Day 5: Numbers 25:6-18

Summary of passage:  An Israelite man brought a Midianite woman to the Tent of Meeting.  Phinehas, son of Eleazar, drove them through with a spear.  The plague against the Israelites stopped but 24,000 died.  God made a lasting covenant of priesthood with Phinehas because he was zealous for God’s honor and made atonement for the people.  The leader of the Simeonite family was killed and now God told the Israelites to treat the Midianites as enemies and kill them for their deception.

Questions:

10a)  Phinehas was jealous for God’s honor and the killing shed blood to atone for the Israelites’ sins.  Furthermore, Phinehas was just as jealous for God’s honor as God is jealous for His honor, showing how much Phinehas has a heart for God.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Defend Him when blasphemied.  Tolerate no sin around you and say something when others are committing blatant sins against Him.  Be Godly yourself.

11a)  Balaam is credited with giving the Midianites the idea to entice/defeat the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality.

[See also Numbers 31:16]

b)  Balaam was killed along with the five kings of Midian shortly after his blessings of the Israelites.  He is remembered as a lover of “wages of wickedness” according to Peter.  He is remembered as greedy and motivated by money–an unbeliever out for himself.

12a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God cannot tolerate sin nor be near sin.  His honor matters and He rewards those who defend Him here on earth.  He punishes justly and gives all a chance to turn to Him.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  To be holy.  To maintain it.  To honor and defend it.

Conclusions:  Question 12 is a filler.  It’s nice to see Balaam being punished for his misdeeds. So often in this world we don’t see sin being punished.  We just have to trust the sinners will be handled by God in heaven.  Still, God is a just God and incidents like this renew our faith that He is in control and consequences will be paid.

End Notes:  Scholars believe Zimri was having sex with Cozbi right in front of the tabernacle, which would make sense to solicit such a reaction from Phinehas.

This one act stopped the plague–an encouragement to us who think sometimes what we do doesn’t matter.

Phinehas had the zeal of God and was ensured he would be the line of the priesthood out of Eleazar’s sons.

Now the Midianites are an enemy of God after they had attacked God’s people first.  God’s anger is burning against them and He orders them to be destroyed.  Good lesson not to mess with God and His people!

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 24, Day 5: Matthew 24:37-51

Summary of passage:  Jesus explains that the coming of the Son of Man will be just like it was before the flood:  no one knew it was about to happen and everyone was just leading a normal life.  Believers will be saved.  So keep watch for the Son of Man.  Stay faithful and wise and care for Jesus’ flock and do not fall away because you think Jesus won’t come.  Jesus will come and send those who have fallen away to hell.

Questions:

10a)  Eating, drinking, marrying, giving

b)  People today think that Jesus will not come in their lifetime so they perpetuate sin and aren’t as strict.  In Noah’s time, God says man is corrupt, wicked and evil.  They lived for themselves.  Same mentality.  Even though we know Jesus is coming and in Noah’s time God was closer to His people, man turned his back.

11a)  A man of integrity, faithful and wise, who was put in charge to care for the servants while the master was away.  He was doing this when the master returned and was rewarded by being put in charge of all of the master’s possessions.

b)  As soon as the master is gone, the wicked servant begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards.  His actions are one of someone who believes he will never be found out.

c)  Those who obey God and His commandments faithfully will be rewarded.  Those who do not obey Him and His commandments will be thrown into Hell on the Day of Judgment.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus says if you love him, then feed his sheep.  I interpret this as spiritually mostly.  Feed those Jesus has given you to care for by feeding them His word and caring for their needs.  There is also the physical need of actual eating as well, which is important, and the intellectual need of knowledge of Christ and who he is.

For me, this would be my children.  It is my responsibility and calling to raise my children and teach them about God and Jesus.  “At the proper time” is important as well for kids learn in stages and feeding them what they need to know at the proper time is important or it will be fruitless.  Basically, keep raising my kids in the Word and God will take care of the rest.

12a)  Keep watch for Jesus’ return and be ready for it.  Stay faithful to the master, stand firm to the end and you will be saved.  Care for those you are put in charge of faithfully so that they are ready as well.

b)  Watch out you are not deceived by false prophets.  Keep watch for the signs of his coming such as the abomination, the sun, moon, and stars, and the signs from heaven and the angels.  Do not fall away or you shall perish.

c)  As the elect, you will be saved and rewarded for your work on earth.  Jesus will return to establish his kingdom here on Earth!

Conclusions:  Please read the rest of John 21.  Talk about mind-opening!  If you love, then take care of Jesus’ sheep.  It just hit me hard that we love and take care of others because we love Jesus and Jesus loves us.  It’s Jesus at his best when he’s trying to get something through to us dunderheads!  Love it!  I love how John ends his book how there is just not enough pages to record all Jesus did.  I love that!

Question 12 was great in bringing the whole chapter together because piece-meal is great for study but hard to get the overriding message:  Stay faithful and Jesus will return!

End Notes:  Here we have another dilemma:  Jesus had previously said in the End Times the heavenly bodies will be out of whack and there will be wars, famines, and earthquakes.  Here, Jesus says the world will be a”as it was in the days of Noah” so life going on as normal until it started to rain.  How can you have normal in a world with major catastrophes and earth-moving signs?

Scholars resolve these “two comings” by saying one is for the church (believers who recognize the signs) and the other is for non-believers who don’t.

Note Jesus’ emphasis on constant readiness.  As Christians, we need to be about His work NOW and not LATER.  Don’t put off God for tomorrow for tomorrow may never come and your plans won’t materialize–only God’s will.  Respond now, Jesus says, and you will be rewarded.

Matthew Chapters 24-25, Mark 13, and Luke 21 is known as the Olivet Discourse, which is where Jesus discusses eschatology (the doctrine of the “last things” in Greek).  It was given to the disciples on the Mount of Olives (see fascinating history and pictures HERE).  Who knew it was a necropolis?  I didn’t!

Breakdown of the Olivet Discourse with side-by-side passages from all 3 Gospels HERE

This is the last of Jesus’ Five Discourses Matthew records before the cross.  Breakdown and summary of Matthew’s Five Discourses HERE.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 24, Day 5: Genesis 33

Summary of passage:  Jacob sees Esau coming towards him with 400 men so he divides up the women and children, putting the maidservants first, then Leah and her kids and finally Rachel and Joseph in the rear (obvious preference here).  He went ahead and bowed 7 times to greet his brother.

Esau ran to meet Jacob and welcomed him with open arms.  They wept and kissed.  Jacob introduced his family and then insisted that Esau keep his gift of animals, saying to see his face is like seeing God’s.

Esau offered to accompany Jacob the rest of the way home, which Jacob refused, citing the fact his herds had a lot of babies and needed to go slow.  Esau offered to leave some of his men with Jacob but Jacob refused that as well.

So Esau went back to Seir while Jacob went to Succoth to shelter.  Then he ventured on to Shechem where he bought the land upon which to pitch his tent.  He set up an altar.

Questions:

14a)  He bowed down to the ground 7 times upon meeting Esau.  He calls himself Esau’s servant and his lord.  He insists Esau keep his peace offering of animals.

b)  They both wept.  He compared seeing Esau’s face to seeing God’s face (no light statement).

c)  Esau is genuinely glad to see Jacob.  He runs to him, embraces him, kisses him, and he weeps.  He asks to meet Jacob’s family and he attempts to refuse Jacob’s gift of animals. A selfish man would have gladly accepted.  He offers to accompany Jacob back “home” and to offer an escort of men as well.

15)  No where does it say in this passage Jacob passed 10 years at Shechem.  In fact, it doesn’t say.  This is a guess by scholars based off of a guess at Dinah’s age.  Genesis 31:13 seems to imply that God is calling Jacob to Bethel.  And in Genesis 35:1, God specifically calls Jacob to Bethel.

We all know if God calls, you go and go NOW!  Don’t wait!  Like the servant’s example in bringing back Rebekah, we must do God’s will and promptly.  There is no time to wait. Especially when we know life is so very short.

Conclusions:  In that culture, the act of Esau accepting the gifts was an act of forgiveness.  You never accepted gifts from an enemy.  With Esau’s acceptance, all was put right between the two brothers.

Jacob is still afraid of Esau.  He doesn’t want Esau to accompany him and he ends up lying to him, saying he will follow him when Jacob instead goes the opposite direction. Despite having wrestled with God, Jacob is STILL not trusting God to be in control and lead him.  Jacob inserts “Jacob” instead of “Israel” here and lingers where he should not.

Plus, Genesis 31:13 seems to imply God is calling Jacob to Bethel.  So why does he stop here in Shechem?  Fear.  Obstinance.  Desire to still be in charge.

One commentary I read suggested Jacob wanted to be close to the city (based off of Genesis 33:18), which is speculation in my view.  I believe Jacob just wanted to be away from Esau so he went in the opposite direction and stopped somewhere, which happened to be Shechem.

Interesting, however, to note that Jacob is repeating Lot’s sin of wanting to be close to Sodom.  As we shall see in chapter 34, sinful people have an unduly influence upon the godly.

Map Work:  Map of Shechem and Bethel with Jabbok River HERE

Another one with Succoth and Peniel HERE

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 24, Day 5: Ephesians 5:22-6:9

Summary of passage:  Wives submit to your husbands for the husband is the head as Christ is the head of the church (his body) and Savior.  The church submits to Christ so wives submit to husbands in everything.

Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and died for it and made it holy through the word and his blood.  Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies (I’m not for sure this is a good analogy this day and age when many people detest their looks) and feed and care for it as Christ did the church.  He will be united to his wife in one flesh.  Husband love wife as self.  Wife respect husband.

Children, obey your parents.  Honor your father and mother.  Fathers, bring your children up in the Lord.  Slaves obey your earthly masters as you would obey Christ from the heart.  Serve as if you were serving the Lord for you will be rewarded for the good you do.

Masters treat slaves in the same way.  Do not threaten them for God is watching and He doesn’t play favorites.

Questions:

12)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Our goal in life is to be Christ-like.  Here, we learn Christ is the head of the Church so the Church must submit to him.  Christ, the leader, gave himself up for the Church (he died for us).  Christ fed and cared for the church (raised it essentially) and then sacrificed everything he had for it.

How we should live:  not for ourselves but for others.  Helping to raise up others in Christ and sacrificing for them.  We must submit to the leadership as they guide us and care for us.

13)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Respect is missing these days.  We let pride get in the way, thinking we know it all, when we don’t.  Respect hierarchy.  If every act was out of love, peace would reign

Conclusions:  I felt these two questions were vague.  I think BSF didn’t want to offend anyone but I would have preferred more specifics.  This is a hard passage to digest and I think we could have chewed on it more.  I hope we do so in the lecture.

Like the word submit.  When most people hear this word, they immediately rebel and turn the other way.  Yet we submit our will every day.  When the light turns red, we stop the car.  When we apply for a driver’s license, we are submitting our will not to have one. When we submit our taxes, we are acknowledging the government’s authority over us.

Submit according to Webster’s Dictionary means, “to yield to governance or authority; to defer or consent to abide by the opinion or authority of another”.

We submit to God every day by recognizing his authority.  Submitting DOES NOT MEAN inferiority.  Just because we follow someone else’s authority, doesn’t mean they are better than us.  We follow our bosses at work because they have been placed above us.

Next, we submit “to your husbands” not to every man in society.  We unequivocally submit to God.  However, we do not to others.  We are honoring God when we submit to our husbands.

There is a defined role for the wife and a defined role for the husband.  He is the head.  In turn, he protects, shields, nourishes, cherishes, and loves us.  Forever.

That’s my take anyways.