BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 25, Day 4: Romans 13:12-14

Summary of passage:  Put aside sin (orgies, drunkenness, sexual immorality, debauchery, dissension, jealousy, etc) and put on Jesus (the armor of light).

Questions:

10)  I don’t know about normalized but it’s more ignored.  These behaviors are so widespread now that I think society has given up the fight.  We are so overwhelmed with the prevalence that we can’t handle it so we choose to ignore it.

11)  The opposite of verse 13:  sexual purity, abstinence or moderation in drink, compassionate, helpful, etc.

12)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I do tend to get jealous when others do things I want to do or follow in my footsteps because I like to think I’m unique.  I tend to hold back instead of be forthright and giving.

Conclusions: More ways Paul encourages us to be good people and godly.  Remember our time here is limited.  Avoid sin.  Walk with Jesus.

End Notes:  Putting aside darkness (sin) and putting on light is a metaphor with putting on clothes (which we all do).  Put on Jesus (the armor of light) every morning!

Spurgeon explains this passage: “The rags of sin must come off if we put on the robe of Christ. There must be a taking away of the love of sin, there must be a renouncing of the practices and habits of sin, or else a man cannot be a Christian. It will be an idle attempt to try and wear religion as a sort of celestial overall over the top of old sins.”

The night is the present evil age.  This is a clear teaching of the nearness of the end times (1 Corinthians 7:29; Philippians 4:5; James 5:9, 1 Peter 4:7; 1 John 2:18).  Early Christians did not believe Jesus would return within a few years.  Instead, they saw the death and resurrection of Jesus as the events that began the last days (Hebrews 1:1-2).  “The night is nearly over” is the next great event in God’s plan, which is the Second Coming.  The day is when Jesus does come and ushers in the consummation of the kingdom.

The armor of light allows us to both defend and attack like in battle.

We have to work to not let sin creep into our lives since it is our nature to sin.  This is part of being present so you can stop sin in its tracks!

When we clothe ourselves with Jesus, he becomes our partner and helper and he works through us (not for us) to combat sin.

Fun Fact: God used this passage to show Augustine, the great theologian of the early church, that he really could live the Christian life as empowered by the Holy Spirit – he just had to do it. And so do we.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 25, Day 4: John 18:38-19:17

Summary of passage:  Pilate declares Jesus innocent and offers to release him as is the Jewish custom of Passover.  The Jews instead demand a rebel, Barabbas.  So Jesus was flogged and beaten and mocked.  Pilate again says Jesus is innocent.  The Jews again demand to crucify him and accuse him of disobeying their law.  Afraid of an uprising, Pilate questions Jesus again, probably looking for more reasons to set him free.  Jesus refuses to answer, saying all the power Pilate has over him is from God.

Still, Pilate tried to set Jesus free but the Jews kept insisting he die.  Finally, the Jews said Jesus is violating Roman law by claiming to be a king over Caesar.  So Pilate brings Jesus out and the people demand he die so Pilate reneges.  Jesus carries his cross to Golgotha.

Questions:

9)  Pilate ignores the truth in front of him.  Jesus explains how God is the one who has given him power over him.  Pilate chose instead to look out for himself.  He was afraid he’d lose his position.

10)  He ultimately condemns a man he knows to be innocent to death.  He’s afraid of a Jewish uprising.  He’s afraid he’ll lose his position.

11)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Many.  Unquestioningly.

Conclusions:  Not the best questions.  We all know Pilate was a coward and caved to political pressure.  Obeying God is our job.

End Notes:  Knowing Jesus was innocent, Pilate offers to release him, calling Jesus the King of the Jews in hopes of appealing to them.  The crowd condemns Jesus as Matthew tells us at the prompting of the religious leaders (Matthew 27:20; Mark 15:11).  The name Barabbas sounds like son of the father.  The people chose the antichrist instead, a choice that is still being made every day when Jesus is rejected.

Barabbas was probably involved in the local resistance movement against the Romans and would have been viewed as a hero.  He was accused of at least three crimes: Theft (John 18:40), insurrection (Mark 15:7), and murder (Mark 15:7).

Pilate ordered Jesus to be scourged.  Most think Pilate was trying to help Jesus–that this act would satisfy the crowd.  Scourging like crucifixion was a Roman practice.  It involved a whip (picture HERE) with many leather strands, each having sharp pieces of bone or metal at the ends, pummeling the back, redoing it to raw flesh.  Many died from its use.

Scourging had three purposes. It was used to punish prisoners, and to gain confessions of crimes from prisoners. Also, in cases of crucifixion scourging was used to weaken the victim so he would die more quickly on the cross.

Jesus was humiliated and mocked.  The crown of thorns cut into his head and purple was reserved only for royalty.

As a judge Pilate had both reason and responsibility to set Jesus free with no punishment instead of the humiliation and brutality that He endured.  Pilate made five attempts to release Jesus (Luke 23:4, 15, 20, 22; John 19:4, 12, 13).

Whatever pity the crowd might have had was drowned out when the religious leaders shouted:  “Crucify!”  Pure hatred this was plain and simple.

The Jews finally admitted they wanted Jesus dead because he claimed to be God.  Pilate was afraid because he did see something in Jesus.  The Romans believed their gods came to earth in human guise all the time.  Pilate probably did believe Jesus was some sort of divine being.

Pilate questions Jesus more, hoping for something to set him free.  Unfortunately, he asks Jesus the same questions he already answers so Jesus says nothing more.

Pilate is angry Jesus won’t beg for his life or answer someone as important as him.  Pilate claims to have power but he’s at the mercy of the religious leaders and the crowd.  Jesus tells him God is in charge and there are others more guilty than you.  These are Jesus’ last words to Pilate.

Pilate panics.  His wife had told him she dreamed Jesus should be set free (Matthew 27:19-20); yet he caves to the crowd.  Pilate was a weak, unremarkable man who only had his position because he married the granddaughter of the emperor. He was scared his position would suffer if he set Jesus free.

The Lamb of God is ready for sacrifice on Passover.  Pilate is the one actually on trial.  He refuses to free an innocent man and condemns him to death.

Mark and John disagree on the time here.  It is possible it’s a copyist error or John may have been using Roman time, which means Jesus was before Pilate at 6 am and crucified at 9 am.

Again, it was Roman custom to carry the crosspiece to the place of execution.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 25, Day 4: Revelation 20: 7-10

Summary of passage:  After the 1000 years, Satan will be released and will go out to deceive the nations and gather Gog and Magog for battle.  There will be a huge number of them.  God however threw fire down from heaven to destroy them and threw the devil into the lake of burning sulfur to be tormented for eternity.

Questions:

9a)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  He goes out to deceive the nations.  He’s evil, pure and simple.  Man is evil, pure and simple.

b)  God wins.  God destroys all of Satan’s followers and throws Satan into the lake of burning sulfur for eternity.

10a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It doesn’t astonish me.  It doesn’t.

b)  They prefer to sin.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Pray.  Know God’s word.  Count on God to get me through the day and all the temptations of the world for he doesn’t give me more than I can handle and He always provides a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Conclusions:  Flabbergasted to tell you the truth.  Nothing here worthy of mentioning.  No substance.  Nothing on God and Magog.  Stunned.  My kids are bored with this study and I have started to let them skip classes.  And I am counting down the lessons.  Sad for me.  Truly sad.

Suffering and death is what we deserve.  Hence, Satan’s actions upon the world don’t “astonish” me or anything else.  I follow God.  I tell others.  I don’t worry (Phillippians 4:6).  The rest is up to God.

End Notes:  Why would anyone after 1000 years with Jesus and peace rebel again?  God allows it to show just how corrupt man is.  During Jesus’ reign, people will go through the motions and never have a heart for Jesus.  This will show when Satan returns and gathers too many to count.  Sad.  Very, very sad.

This is the last rebellion before the final judgment.

There will be no one to blame but our own sinful, depraved nature.  In a perfect world, man is not perfect.  Can’t blame your parents, your school, your socioeconomic condition, where you were born, etc.  All will be your responsibility.  And God wants to make that abundantly clear.

The angel is NOT Jesus.  It would say “Jesus” here if it were.  The key represents authority so we can assume Jesus has given the key to the angel to administer his justice.

The rebels will be the children of those who survived the Great Tribulation and live during the Millennium.  Even though Jesus rules because of Free Will all these children will need to accept Christ.  Man must overcome his sinful nature as always.  This could potentially number in the billions once again (“the sand on the seashore”).  If you think of how many survive the Tribulation and they all procreate for 1000 years, that’s a lot.

Who/What are Gog and Magog?  They appear in Ezekiel 38-39 and represent an evil empire that attacks Israel from the north.  Gog is the prince and Magog is the land of Gog, probably in Asia Minor.  Many have tried to identify them as a specific country such as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union.  THIS GOG AND MAGOG HERE IS NOT THE SAME AS THE GOG AND MAGOG IN EZEKIEL.  Here, the Bible tells us they are the nations in the four corners of the earth.  In this passage Gog and Magog represent all enemy nations against God and His people.  They are evil personified.  Here are used as symbols for the participants in the final battle with evil.

Best concise explanation of God and Magog with the comparison to Ezekiel HERE

We’ve seen the gathering of kings and beasts against God’s people before (Revelation 19:19: 16:14-16).  And just as before they will be defeated.

God’s people here could be the saints ruling with Jesus from the Tribulation or earth’s inhabitants who have a true heart from Jesus that are alive during the 1000 years.

“The city he loves” is Jerusalem.

Again, we see no battle like in the battle of Armageddon in Revelation 16.  God just wipes out all with heavenly fire.  They will await final judgment at the Great White Throne room in Revelation 20:11-15.

We have Satan, the beast (Antichrist), and the false prophet in the lake of burning sulfur forever (Revelation 19:20).  Jesus speaks of this as well in Matthew 25:41. God is good!

What is hell like?  Here we have some answers in this passage:

  1.  It’s eternal, “forever and ever”.  We see this used to describe the throne of Christ (Hebrews 1:8).  So hell is unending as Christ is unending.
  2. It’s a place of eternal torment. There is no hope, forgiveness, or clemency.
  3. Unbelievers will be cast into the eternal lake of burning sulfur along with Satan and the unrepentant angels.  We see two humans (Antichrist and the false prophet) cast into the lake of fire before Satan (Revelation 19:19-20).

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 25 Day 4: Numbers 28-30

Summary of passages:  Numbers 28:  God tells Moses to review the offerings with the people:  the burnt offerings, the Sabbath offerings, the monthly offerings, the Passover offerings, and the Feast of Weeks offerings.

Numbers 29:  God reviews more laws and regulations with the people, this time the offerings for the Feast of Trumpets, The Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles.

Numbers 30:  Moses discusses vows made to God and when one vows to the Lord, one must stick by it unless it is made by a daughter and her father or husband forbids it then it is not binding.  Any vow made by a widow or a divorced woman stays.  If a husband says nothing, then the vow stays for the wife but the husband bears the guilt if she doesn’t stick to her vow and he didn’t nullify it.

Questions:

7a)  It’s always important to review so you don’t forget–it’s what happens in school all the time. Review before a test.  Here, God wants to make sure the new generation knows the offerings to the detail before they entered the Promised Land.  They needed to know the central place atonement has in their lives and without atonement they could not be with God.

b)  God expects His people to remember His laws and regulations and to follow them and abide by them exactly.  In doing so, this shows the people’s reverence for God.  Same for us.  When we worship, it is about Him and honoring Him.  God expects the same from all of His people no matter the point in time at which we live.

8 )  Making a vow before the Lord should be taken seriously.  It is interesting that the man has final say.  This shows protection of the woman just like God protects us.  I wish more women would accept protection of their man instead of fighting it.  Most men yearn to do nothing more than protect their wife, a role God has given them.

Conclusions:  Relatively easy lesson as it is all stuff we have covered before.  I like how God includes this as it’s an important lesson for us all how we must be reminded of things because we easily forget.  The Israelites are about to take the steps that they have been preparing for their entire lives; God wants to make sure they know what’s important (worshipping Him) before they get caught up in the hubbub of moving!

I liked the vows chapter.  Like I said, I wish more women would be receptive to men as their protector as God is our protector.  Someone has to be the final decision maker.  Two people can’t both have the final say.

End Notes:  Numbers 28:  God commands an animal be sacrificed for our sins every morning and night to remind the Israelites of who’s important in their lives.  Every Sabbath an additional lamb was sacrificed in the morning and at night.  The importance of atonement for our sins is here and omnipresent as it should be in our own lives.

Numbers 29:  The Feast of Tabernacles was a celebration of God’s rich provision for the Israelites.  It celebrated God’s faithfulness to His people during the Exodus.

Note the lamb is the most common sacrifice–anyone see Jesus here?  The sacrifices listed here and in Numbers 28 was immense (over 1000 animals) and these are just the sacrifices the priests made for the people.  This does not include the individual sacrifices the people offered.  Can you imagine the expense?  And yet it was never enough!  Only Jesus was/is enough!

I can just picture the priests as this being their primary job–to offer sacrifices for the people and make atonement.  Little time left would have been for the preaching of God’s Word.

Numbers 30:  God takes our vows seriously so we need to be careful what we swear by.  God himself made vows (Luke 1:73, Acts 2:30, Hebrews 3:18, 6:13, 17) as did Jesus (Matthew 26:63-64).

The man was accountable for the woman’s fulfillment of her vow.  Authority always comes with accountability.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 25, Day 4: Matthew 25:31-46

Summary of passage:  The Son of Man will separate all the nations gathered before him.  Those on the right will inherit the kingdom of heaven and eternal life that has been prepared for them since the creation of the world because they took care of Jesus through taking care of others (his sheep).  Those on his left will go to Hell and eternal punishment for they did nothing for him nor others.

Questions:

10a)  A throne on earth in heavenly glory

b)  All nations, the world, people everywhere

11a)  By doing for their brothers (or others).  This includes feeding, clothing, inviting in, taking care of when sick, visiting in prison.

b)  By not doing for their brothers (or others).  This includes by not feeding, clothing, inviting them in, looking after them when sick or in prison.

12a)  They said they never fed Jesus himself or gave him something to drink or invited him in or clothe him or see him sick or in prison to care for.  The ones on the left said the same thing, adding they never saw him to help him.

b)  Romans 2:7-11:  If we do good and seek to do His glory, we will receive glory, honor, and peace.  If we are self-seeking and reject the truth and follow evil, we will meet with wrath and anger, trouble and distress.

James 2:14-17:  Act out your faith:  if you see someone in need, help them.  Offer clothing and food.

1 John 3:16-19:  We ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.  If we see someone in need, we need to have pity on them and help if we are able.  Love with actions and in truth and then we will know we belong to Him.

Conclusions:  Sigh of relief!  Much, much easier than the last two days.  Basically, what you do for others, you do for Jesus himself.  Be kind and generous and do what Jesus would do since he is not here in person to care for his sheep, then we are to care for his sheep in his name.

End Notes:  This judgment is different than the one in Revelation 20:11-15.  This one happens on earth, right after Jesus returns and seems to be only for the Gentiles.

Sheep and goats were pastured together but at night separated since goats need to huddle for warmth but sheep with their wooly fur do not.

This judgment is based purely on works.  The ones on the left were condemned for being indifferent and doing nothing.  Hence, scholars believe this was a separation before Jesus’ millennial reign.  I am no expert in this area so I defer to our forthcoming study of Revelation to clear this one up.

This ends Jesus’ Olivet Discourse and Jesus’ teachings and now we will focus on the events that lead to Jesus’ death.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 25, Day 4: Genesis 35:1-5

Summary of passage:  God told Jacob to settle in Bethel and build Him an altar there. So Jacob and his household prepared to move, ridding themselves of their idols, purifying themselves, and changing their clothes.  Jacob buried the foreign gods and their rings under an oak at Shechem.  God protected them as they went so they would not suffer repercussions from the slaughter of Shechem.

Questions:

9a)  Go to Bethel and build Him an altar

b)  Jacob vowed that the Lord would be his God and he would give a tenth if he returned safely to his father’s house.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  To go where God wants me and follow His lead in my life and worship him by following his commands, which include tithing, praying, obeying, reading His word, praying, and much more.

10a)  “To get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes.”

b)  2 Corinthians says to purify yourself from everything that contaminates body and spirit in order to perfect holiness.  Ephesians tells us to put on our new self in the attitude of the mind in order to be righteous and holy.  1 John tells us to confess our sins and walk in the light and the blood of Jesus shall purify us from the unrighteousness. And to keep ourselves from idols.

c)  Acts recounts how people renounced sorcery by burning their scrolls.  An idol is anything we value and/or worship more than God.  This can be our kids, our spouse, any material items such as our house, car, or job.  And an image of an idol like in ancient times such as a Buddha statue or what-have-you.  (Anyone reminded of the study of Isaiah here?)

Conclusions:  Anyone else see a problem with the fact Jacob’s family had idols lurking around and it was only when God told them to leave did they see the need to dispose of them?  I’m sure as soon as they reach Bethel more idols will appear.

The WORST part:  Jacob, as supposedly the head of God’s chosen people, seemingly knew about these idols and condoned them!  It seems he only got rid of them because God spoke to him again.  Maybe he felt guilty.  Or maybe they were too heavy to carry across country!

Jacob is chastizing his family mildly.  It’s almost an after-thought.  “Oh, yeah, by the way, you need to get rid of those idols you’ve had for 10 years now.”  Seriously???

There is definitely some failed leadership going on here.  This explains a lot about today’s society where the man does not take the primary role in the family and our children are failing because of it.

It’s safe to assume Rachel still had her idols here so she is setting the example that it’s okay to possess these idols.  God doesn’t care.  Wrong!

The changing of their clothes was symbolic here.  Just like circumcision was an outward sign of being God’s chosen people the changing of the clothes here in OT times is an outward sign that they are changing their minds, their attitude, their character, and their ways and turning to God.  It’s like the Ephesians passage we read.  They are taking off (literally) their old selves and putting on their new and turning to God for their salvation.

The earrings also must have had some kind of pagan association since they got rid of those as well.  We must also get rid of anything ungodly and separate ourselves from the world like Jacob did when he moved to Bethel away from the corruption of Shechem.

Good opportunity to learn from Jacob’s failing miserably as the head of his household and God’s and re-examine our own lives and see where we are failing in God’s call, where we are worshipping idols, where we are failing to set the example for others around us, how we can place ourselves away from worldly influences as much as possible, and how we can put God and His will back at the center of our lives.  That’s my prayer anyways.

Map of Bethel:  Quick reference point.  Bethel is in red and Shechem is right above it.

http://www.keyway.ca/htm2002/bethel.htm