BSF Study Questions John Lesson 25, Day 5: John 19:13-17

Summary of passage:  So Pilate brings Jesus out, placing him on the judgment seat, and the people demand he die so Pilate reneges. Jesus carries his cross to Golgotha.

Questions:

12)  God’s judgment is just; Pilate’s is unjust.

13)  God’s people are to sacrifice a lamb to commemorate God’s judgment on the Egyptians and their gods and their rescue out of Egypt.  Jesus will take away the sin of the world as the Sacrificial Lamb.  It will be the ultimate judgment on unbelievers and the ultimate salvation and justification with God.

14)  Personal Question.  My answer:  There are no words.  Worshipful.  In awe.  Eternally grateful.

Conclusions:  I think there is so much more to this we could have dived into.

End Notes:  Pilate caves to political pressure.  He sits Jesus on the judgment seat who is about to judge all of mankind.  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 based on the crowd.

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.

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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 John Lesson 25, Day 3: John 18:33-38

Summary of passage:  Pilate went into his palace with Jesus and questioned him.  He decides there is no basis for charges against Jesus and tells the Jewish leaders.

Questions:

6)  “Are you the king of the Jews?”  Jesus says, “Is that your own idea or did others talk to you about me?”  “What is it you have done?”  Jesus says, “My kingdom is not of this world.  If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews.  But now my kingdom is from another place.”  In ch. 9, Pilate asks Jesus, “Where do you come from?”  Jesus says nothing.  “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”  Jesus says “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.  Therefore, the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”

7)  He could have learned who Jesus truly was.

8 )  Part personal Question.  My answer:  God is in charge of all.  Jesus fulfilled prophecy with his death.  Death is a gateway to heaven for believers.  All the difference.  Comforting to know how God is in charge even during the bad.

Conclusions:  More evidence of Jesus’ innocence and man’s determination to kill him.  I do like how Pilate is reluctant to do it.  It’s as if he knows who Jesus is on some elementary level.  Or he just despises the Jewish leaders.  Pilate could have just condemned him.  Instead, he tries to find out the truth.  He just doesn’t discover the TRUTH.

End Notes:  This is the second questioning of Jesus.  John combines two appearances of Jesus before Pilate, separated by an appearance of Jesus before Herod Antipas (Luke 23:8-12). Pilate hoped to give this problem to Herod because he ruled over Galilee, where Jesus was from. Herod sent Jesus back to Pilate where this questioning begins.

Jesus didn’t look like a revolutionary or a criminal.  He certainly didn’t act like one.  Hence, Pilate’s doubt and questions.

Jesus asked Pilate if he was asking for himself or for the Jews.  Yes, he was the Messianic king of the Jews.  No, he wasn’t the political king.

Pilate, still trying to decide what to do with Jesus, asks him what he has done.  Augustine observed  that earthly kingdoms are based upon force, pride, the love of human praise, the desire for domination, and self interest – all displayed by Pilate and the Roman Empire.

The heavenly kingdom, exemplified by Jesus and the cross, is based on love, sacrifice, humility, and righteousness – and is to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Gentiles foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:23).

“The obvious inference from his words would be that he came in to the world from another realm, that whoever did not listen to him would not be characterized by truth, and that if Pilate really wanted to know what truth was, he would give Jesus his earnest attention.” (Tenney)

Pilate is mocking Jesus who appeals to the Truth.  Pilate dismisses the Truth of a heavenly kingdom, having obtained his answer that Jesus is no revolutionary and is innocent.  Teaching the truth was not a criminal offense (John 19:4, 6).  He reports this to the Jews.

Jesus’ movements again HERE and HERE

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 25, Day 2: John 18:28-32

Summary of passage:  Jesus was taken to Pontius Pilate’s house and addressed outside so his Jewish captors could remain clean.  They took him there to be tried under Roman law because Roman law allowed executions.

Questions:

3)  They would become unclean if they entered Pilate’s palace and they wanted to eat the Passover meal.  More concerned about food than the life of a man.  Hypocrites.

4)  Jewish law does not allow executions but Roman law does.  Pilate tried to have the Jews try him.  He will be crucified and flogged.

5)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I’m not one for excuses and I try to do what is right.

Conclusions:  We’re marching along with Jesus to his death and are seeing everything people will do to kill him–doing things they normally wouldn’t do probably.  The sad thing is man hasn’t changed.

End Notes:  John leaves out how Jesus was first presented before the council recorded in Matthew 26:57-68 and the official, daylight meeting of the Sanhedrin in Luke 22:66.  Thus, the Jews have condemned Jesus to death and now need the Romans to carry it out.

The palace or praetorium was likely at the Roman Fortress Antonia, where Pilate held court and conducted public business.  It was the commander’s headquarters.  The word is better translated judgment hall.  Palace is a misnomer.

We see the hypocrisy here as the Jews refused to break relatively small commands regarding ceremonial defilement, but broke much greater commands in rejecting God’s Messiah and condemning an innocent man to death.  The law stated they couldn’t come into contact with unclean Gentiles or enter an unclean home with leaven.

“Eat the Passover”:  This statement introduces a controversy, namely this – was the Last Supper a Passover meal, and was Jesus crucified on the Passover or the day following? This statement in John 18:28 seems to indicate that Passover was the coming day, the day Jesus would be crucified and that the Last Supper was the day before Passover. Yet several passages seem to indicate that the Last Supper was a Passover meal (Matthew 26:18, Mark 14:12, 14:16, Luke 22:15). The best solution to this difficult chronological problem seems to be that Jesus was crucified on the Passover, and the meal they had the night before was as Passover meal, held after sunset (the start of the day in Jewish reckoning). We can speculate that Passover lambs were sacrificed on both days, a necessity due to the massive number of lambs sacrificed in Jerusalem at the temple on Passover (later described by Josephus as being more than 200,000).–Taken from enduringword.com

It was early, perhaps before 6 am and we see Pilate’s irritation.  The religious leaders did not expect objections from Pilate.  He was a ruthless man, known for his corruption, his acts of insolence, his rapine, his habit of insulting people, his cruelty, his continual murders of people untried and uncondemned, and his never-ending gratuitous and most grievous inhumanity.  The Jews are evasive cause they know the charges are trumped up and false.  Luke 23:2 does have a more specific answer.

Josephus tells us, that it was not lawful to hold a court of judgment in capital cases, without the consent of the Procurator.  Besides, Jewish law allowed for death by stoning.  Only the Romans could crucify.

The Jews were the ones who wanted Jesus dead.  He wasn’t really on the radar as an enemy of Rome.  The Jews were the ones who made him so.  Tragic.

Who was Pontius Pilate?  Pilate was the Roman procurator or regional ruler for Judea at the time of Jesus’ death from 26-36 AD.  His early life is unknown and most of what we know before Jesus is speculation like how he came to be governor.  Some say it was punishment.  Others say it was political connections.  Governors were mainly in charge of tax and financial matters but because Judea was so difficult and troublesome a province the governor there answered directly to the emperor and had authority over judicial matters as well.

Most governors hated being posted to so distant a post but Pilate seems to enjoy it.  He was cruel to them as he tried to force Rome upon them.  Pilate was in Jeruasalem to keep the peace during Passover.  He was staying at Herod’s Palace near the temple.  He didn’t want to offend the Jews nor condemn an innocent man so he kept trying to get Jesus set free.  Eventually, he succumbed to politics and sentenced Jesus to death.

Judea was a source of turmoil as the Jews hated Rome.  He didn’t want to deal with Jesus and tried sending him to Herod instead.  He asked, “What is truth?” and didn’t see truth right in front of him.

He condemned Jesus to be rid of him and keep the peace between Rome and the Jews.  Pilate would be out of power a few years later for massacring Samaritans and after that he disappears from history with only unsubstantiated claims he killed himself.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 25, Day 5: Revelation 20:1-10

Summary of passage:  An angel bound Satan in chains and threw him into the Abyss (hell) for 1000 years after which time he will be set free for a short time.  John sees thrones where those given authority to judge are seated.  He sees the souls of the martyrs who died for Jesus alive and reigning for 1000 years during the first resurrection.  The rest did not come to life. Blessed are these.  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:

11a)  Satan will be bound for 1000 years to keep him from deceiving the nations.  Then Satan will be released for a short time to go out and deceive the nations for the last time.  They surround Jerusalem but God sends fire down to destroy the people and hurl the devil into a lake of burning sulfur for all of eternity.

b)  Scholars presume it is God who throws fire down from heaven and devours all the rebellious people and throws the devil into the lake of burning sulfur forever.

c)  Part personal question.  My answer:  We will live forever and rule with Christ by his side as subordinates.  Complacent is a Latin word meaning “very pleased.”  It means, “marked by self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies.”  Smug.  Feeling so satisfied with your own abilities or situation that you feel you don’t need to try harder.

To be honest, this passage does the opposite.  I do feel complacent because I know where I’m going.  I think this would be a better question asked in relation to nonbelievers:  how can we not be complacent in relation to the urgency to evangelize.

However, that being said, we shouldn’t be so complacent with our eternal salvation that we fall into sin and have no regard for God, His laws, or His people.  We are still to be godly here on earth as much as humanly possible.  Eternal salvation is not an excuse for sin.

12)  Beautiful and heavenly.  Israel will be the leading nation on earth (Isaiah 2:1-3, Ezekiel 17:22-24). Jesus will reign (Isaiah 2:1-5; 9:7; Zechariah 14:9) with no war (Isaiah 2:1-5). King David will rule over Israel (Isaiah 55:3-5, Jeremiah 30:4-11, Ezekiel 34:23-31, Ezekiel 37:21-28, Hosea 3:5). Israel will be blessed (Amos 9:11-15; Isaiah 62:2-3) and the temple will be restored (Ezekiel 40-48, Ezekiel 37:26-28, Amos 9:11, Ezekiel 20:39-44). Saints will have jobs Luke 19:11-27, Revelation 20:4-6, Revelation 2:26-28; 3:12,22, 1 Corinthians 6:2-3). God will be number one (Zechariah 13:1-9). There will be no sickness nor disease (Isaiah 29:18).

Christ will reign on earth without opposition, and His kingdom will be characterized by righteousness, peace, and love (Isaiah 2:3-4; 11:3-5; Daniel 7:14; Zechariah 14:9).

Conclusions:  Good questions to sum up the passage.  Question 11c would have been better with my slant.  Am hoping the lecture will bring it all together.  Great passage all Christians should study:  the final defeat of Satan.  We need to keep this in mind when we are under attack and see no way out.  God is there–always–in control and limiting Satan.  Satan will pay the ultimate price for his behavior.  Cling to God.  He never fails.

End Notes:  See End Notes for Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4.

Conclusions to Lesson 25:  Nothing here below the superficial.  Sad for me.  Really sad.  I started with Isaiah and the difference in substance between then and now (5 years) is overwhelming.  I had hoped BSF would do more of the leg work for me because all of this that you read takes hours and hours on my end.  Which is fine.  But at times it’s frustrating.

I have started skipping lectures because our teaching leader says the same things over and over again.  She drags out a 20 minute lecture to 45 and I’m left surfing the Internet on my phone.  And what she says is all I know because I’ve done all of this work.  Nothing is new.  Even the notes are lackluster.  I expected an in-depth study of eschatology.  Instead, I’ve found an in-depth study of opinion questions and “you” s.  I’m tired of focusing on me.  Can I focus on God please for at least these 2 hours during my BSF class?

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 Revelation Lesson 25, Day 3: Revelation 20:4-6

Summary of passage:  John sees thrones where those given authority to judge are seated.  He sees the souls of the martyrs who died for Jesus alive and reigning for 1000 years during the first resurrection.  The rest did not come to life.  Blessed are these.

Questions:

6a)  “Because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God.”  They were raised from the dead and reigned with Christ for 1000 years.

b)  Personal Question that I’m tired of answering:  It doesn’t.

See Lesson 16 Day 4 for repetition.

7a)  Risen from the dead and all believers will share in it.

b)  The second death.

8 )  Priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.  Everything.

Conclusions:  Rich passage.  Strike out the personal questions and add more interpretation especially with the different deaths and resurrections.  This was VERY confusing to me and only after I researched it did I have an idea what John was talking about.  Perhaps the notes will address this but I need to understand NOW not after the lecture.

End Notes:  This passage fulfills Revelation 2:10-11.

Who is sitting on these thrones?  Possibilities:  the twenty-four elders representing the church (Revelation 4:4) or the apostles (Matthew 19:28) or the company of saints as a whole (1 Corinthians 6:2-3).

“Those given authority to judge” are all those who had been redeemed by His blood, resurrected from the grave, and raptured into His presence. These (the saints) will reign as kings and priests with Christ (Revelation 1:5-6; 5:9-10).  Note they reign for the same amount of time Satan is bound.

These beheaded (executed in ancient Greek) ones are the souls we saw under the altar in Revelation 6:9.  More have been added (Revelation 6:11) during the Tribulation.  In essence, all will reign (Revelation 2:26-28, 3:12,22; 1 Corinthians 6:2-3) but the martyrs here are encouraged and specified for all they have suffered.

Scholars debate if this is a bodily resurrection or not.  Some point to Ezekiel 37:12-14 where a nation is described as being resurrected and to Isaiah 26:19 where he is speaking figuratively after Babylon of victory.

The “rest of the dead” are the unbelievers who did not take part in the “first resurrection” with the redeemed and did not accept Jesus as Savior.
“And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2)
The “first resurrection” refers to the resurrection of the redeemed.  It includes: resurrection of Christ (1 Cor. 15:23; Revelation 1:5), resurrection of the church (the dead in Christ – 1 Cor. 15:23; 1 Thess. 4:16); and resurrection of Old Testament and Tribulation saints (Revelation 20:4; Isaiah 26:19; Dan. 12:2). The rest of the dead (unbelievers) will be raised in the second resurrection (Revelation 20:12-13).

The second death, which is referred to in Revelation 20:14-15, is a spiritual death.

In essence, those who suffered death by martyrdom will not suffer spiritual death.  They are promised the first resurrection.  Those who didn’t suffer death by martyrdom will face the second or spiritual death and their resurrection (the second) will be seen in the White Throne room in verses 11-15.

The Bible discusses two “deaths” and two “resurrections”.

The “first death” is the death of the body (Hebrews 9:27).  The “second death” is the eternal death and suffering that only affects unbelievers.  (v.14).  This explains John’s words in verse 6.

There are two “resurrections.”   The word “resurrection” is a Greek word meaning “to make to stand” or “rise up.”  This occurs when the soul reenters the body after the physical death and rises up.  All resurrect because all die.

Believers take part in the “first resurrection” and acquire a new body in the process (Phil.3:20-21; 1 Cor.15:52).  Scholars debate whether the first resurrection will have many parts beginning with Jesus and encompassing the Tribulation martyrs amongst others  (Matt.27:53; 1 Thess.4:16-17; Rev.11:11).  This depends on when you believe the rapture will occur.  Pretribulationists believe it will be in many parts.  Posttribulationists believe it will be one event.
Unbelievers not in Christ take part in the “second resurrection”.   They do not receive a new body and this occurs one time after the Millennium, which explains verse 5.

In John 5:28-29, Jesus mentions these 2 resurrections.  The 2 are separated by 1000 years as believers are raised first and then non-believers.

We see the Fifth Beatitude in verse 6.