BSF Study Questions John Lesson 29, Day 3: John 21:15-17

Summary of passage:  Jesus asks Peter if he loves him.  Peter says of course.  Jesus tells Peter to feed his lambs, take care of his sheep, and feed his sheep.

Questions:

6)  Jesus is letting Peter know he is forgiving for denying him three times after his arrest and that he has important work for him to do.  He’s encouraging him to forgive himself, get over the past, and concentrate on the work ahead.  He’s doing this in front of the others so the others support him as well.

7)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It seems I always have people placed in my way to teach me something the Lord is trying to get across to me.  He always knows just where I need to be or what I need to hear in order to move more towards Him.

8 )  Our past and our sins are forgiven.  Despite our faults of being human, we can still impact this world and make a difference.  In fact, we can use our shortcomings to help others who are struggling with the same sins (addiction, etc).  All is for a purpose for Him.

Conclusions:  Great example of God’s love for us.  There is no reason to wallow in self-pity over our sins when God doesn’t.  He has a plan for us and we can’t waste precious time avoiding it.

End Notes:  Jesus had already met with Peter individually on the day of His resurrection (Luke 24:34, 1 Corinthians 15:5). We can only wonder at what Jesus and Peter talked about at that first meeting. Nevertheless, it was still important for Jesus to restore Peter in the presence of the other disciples.

Peter means “rock” and Jesus does not address him as such here.  Peter hadn’t been a rock.  But he sure would become one!

Before Peter denied Jesus three times, he claimed to love Jesus more than the other disciples did (Matthew 26:33).  Jesus wanted to know if Peter still believed thus.  Of course, Jesus already knew the answer (as Peter points out in verse 17), but Jesus is asking for Peter’s self-knowledge, not his.

Some scholars say here Jesus could be asking if Peter were willing to give up fishing for him since “these” is a pronoun referring to something previous.  However, all indications are it’s the disciples he’s referring to.

Jesus uses the word “agape” when speaking of love and Peter responds with the Greek word “philio”.  Agape is the all-encompassing love and philip is brotherly love as we discussed HERE.

Most scholars agree there is a reason for the difference but most disagree as to what that reason could be.  Some think Peter was now being more reserved after his dismal denials earlier.

Jesus instructs Peter on how to act towards God’s people.  Jesus first emphasizes that the people are his.  The verb translated “take care” or “tend” has a much fuller meaning.  It means to shepherd his people.  Collect them, care for their every need, and lead them.

If Peter loved Jesus how he claimed he loved Jesus, then he would care for Jesus’ people.

Peter, abashed, knows why Jesus is asking him three times.  Three times he denied and now three times he gets to confirm.

This third question Jesus uses “philio” instead of agape.  Again, Jesus tells Peter to forget the past and move on to feeding his people.  Great stuff!

This reinstatement helped embolden Peter to become one of the early church’s most fearless spokesmen.

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BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 29, Day 3: Revelation 22:12-16

Summary of passage:  Jesus is coming to reward those according to what they’ve done.  He’s the Alpha, Omega, First and Last, Beginning, End.  Blessed are the righteous who have the tree of life.  Outside the gates of the city are the dogs who are immoral and practice falsehoods.  Jesus is the Root, Offspring of David, the Morning Star.

Questions:

6)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  He’s the Alpha, Omega, First and Last, Beginning, End, the Root, Offspring of David, the Morning Star.  The first and the last or alpha and omega because everything starts, ends, and everything in between is his.  He is the beginning, the middle, and the end for every Christian.

7a)  Blessed are those who accept Jesus as their Savior and not blessed are those who don’t.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Those who accept Jesus because he lives inside of me via the Holy Spirit.

8 )  Personal Question.  My answer:  Pray to be more like Jesus.

Conclusions:  All personal.  No meat.  I love how Jesus uses all his titles here.  We see most of them in Revelation and throughout the Bible.  It’s a culmination of who he is.

End Notes:  Be ready.  This is stated 3 times in this chapter (verses 7, 12, 20).  It’s meaning is not soon but when they come it will be in rapid succession.  The church and us are meant to be ready always.

“And My reward is with Me.”  The word for “reward” means to “pay for service—good or bad” (more literally, as a “wage”).  Jesus will compensate the saints (Revelation 11:18) as well as the unrighteous (2 Peter 2:12-13).  A believer shall be given the gift of life and rewarded for good works, whereas the unbeliever shall be given the wages of death (Romans 6:23).  There is no partiality with God.  He “will render to each one according to his deeds” (Romans 2:5-16).

What you do here matters.

Jesus uses titles normally associated with God.  Alpha and Omega is in Revelation 1:8; 21:6.  The First and the Last is in Isaiah 41:4.  Jesus wants to leave no doubt he is a Triune God.

There is debate about who speaks this last beatitude in Revelation:  John, an angel, or Jesus.

Some versions say blessed are those who do his commandments instead of who wash their robes. The difference stems from a Greek word:  HOIPLUNONTESTASSTOLAS (washed their robes) or
HOIPOIOUNTESTASENTOLAS (do His commandments).  This would be a copyist’s error.  Still, the meaning is clear.  This is the desire of our hearts.  Obviously, we all fail.  But our desire is to keep his commandments and wash our robes.  That is what matters.  The unbeliever has no such desire.

We saw washing of robes in Revelation 7:14 or washing in Jesus’s blood.  It means fully committing to the Lord Jesus Christ, our lives.

Being on the outside is not literal here.  There are not throngs of unbelievers standing outside the New Jerusalem.  It means they are not in the eternal city.  Jesus is making clear one last time who will stand with him and who will stand against him.

Dogs here is a derogatory term for the morally impure or unbelievers (Matthew 7:6; Philippians 3:2).  Dogs were considered unclean and despised.

Jesus assures us here the Book of Revelation is his word to us, the churches, to be known.

The Root is a Messianic title (Isaiah 11:1).  It shows that Jesus is both the Creator of King David and His descendent.  Jesus spoke this same idea in Matthew 22:41-46.

The Morning Star is another Messianic title from the Old Testament (Numbers 24:17) and the New Testament (Revelation 2:28).  Just as the Morning Star (generally held to be the planet Venus) shines and welcomes the new day, so does Jesus.

Fun Fact:  This is the first reference to the church since the letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2-3.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 29, Day 3: Deuteronomy 33:6-25

Summary of passage:  Moses takes one tribe at a time and blesses them.  Let Reuben live and grow.  Judah help with his foes.  Levi bless him and his skills and strike his foes.  Benjamin rest in Him.  Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) bless him in all ways.  Zebulun and Issachar rejoice for they will prosper.  Blessed is Gad. Dan is a lion’s cub.  Naphtali is blessed.  Asher is blessed.

Questions:

5)  Simeon is missing in Moses’s blessings.  Moses’s blessings is out of birth order.

6)  Let Reuben live and grow. Judah help with his foes. Levi bless him and his skills and strike his foes. Benjamin rest in Him. Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) bless him in all ways. Zebulun and Issachar rejoice for they will prosper.  They will feast on the abundance of the seas and on the treasures hidden in the sand. Blessed is Gad. Dan is a lion’s cub. Naphtali is blessed. Asher is blessed.

7)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I’d take any blessings to be quite honest especially if they were pronounced by Moses.  I liked Levi’s to have his skills blessed and for the Lord to be pleased with his work.  I liked Benjamin’s to rest secure in Him.  Peace is hard to come by in this world.  And I want to do the Lord’s work in this world and I constantly wonder if I am or not.  That is what I want for my family as well–to do His will and not theirs.  That is so very hard in today’s culture.  Fighting selfishness.

Conclusions:  I liked BSF brought in the Genesis 49 passage.  Interesting to see God’s love for his people.

End Notes:  Verses 6-25 is the blessing of the 12 Tribes.

Reuben:  Jacob said “you shall not excel” (Genesis 49:4).  This blessing is similar.  Reuben produced no leaders nor anything beyond the normal.

Judah:  The name Judah means “praise”.  Moses prays God hears the cry of praise.  Moses knew the Messiah would come from Judah (Genesis 49:10) and prays for them to survive.

Levi (and Simeon not mentioned here):  Moses recounts the favored status of the Levites.  Genesis 49:7 says the tribe will be scattered.  Levi’s was a blessing–they spread the Good News.  Simeon was a curse–they disappeared as indicated here when they are not mentioned (although they are given a portion of the promised land–this prophecy was still many centuries to come).

Scholars debate whether Simeon was originally mentioned here or not.  Some ancient manuscripts have Simeon here; some don’t, which say “Let Judah live and not die and let the men of Simeon be few.”  Recall Simeon lost the most men in the second census (63%), which seems to support the idea Simeon was mentioned here.

Benjamin:  As the only surviving son of Rachel when Jacob thought Joseph had died, he was sheltered, protected, and favored.  This is echoed here when he is called “the beloved of the Lord”.  Benjamin was blessed with the city of Jerusalem as their inheritance, which became the center of the nation.  Genesis 49:27 called them “a ravenous wolf”.  They were fierce and loved.

Joseph:  Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which received a double inheritance when Jacob adopted both as his own in Genesis 48 were the most numerous tribes.  This was Jacob’s prophecy as well in Genesis 49:22.

“Him who dwelt in the burning bush” refers to the covenant God made with Moses.

Zebulun and Issachar:  They were given land by the Sea of Galilee and thus became fishermen. Jacob said this as well in Genesis 49:13.

Gad:  Gad turns into a war-like tribe with many soldiers.  1 Chronicles 12:14 says they have many good soldiers.  Genesis 49:14 says Gad will attack.

Dan:  Bashan is in northern Israel but if you look at a map of where the tribes ended up, Dan is in the South.  Judges 18 tells us that the tribe immigrated to the North centuries later.

Dan was a troublesome tribe.  They were the tribe to introduce idolatry into Israel (Judges 18:30).   Jeroboam set up an idolatrous golden calf in Dan (1 Kings 12:26-30).  Dan became a center of idol worship in Israel (Amos 8:14).  Jacob predicts this of Dan in Genesis 49:17, “Dan will be a serpent by the roadside, a viper along the path that bites the horse’s heels so that its rider tumbles backwards.”

Naphtali:  Naphtali was also given land around the Sea of Galilee.  Here Jesus would do a lot of his teachings.  Jacob describes Naphtali as “a doe set free, bearing beautiful fawns”(Genesis 49:21) as we were set free by Jesus.

Asher:  Jacob describes Asher in Genesis 49:20 as “food will be rich and he will provide delicacies fit for a king”.  Moses echoes this saying his feet shall be bathed in oil–something reserved for the rich of the time.

Map of 12 Tribes of Israel:  http://www.biblestudy.org/maps/large-map-of-division-promised-land-to-israel.jpg

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 29, Day 3: John 20:1-18; Luke 24:12-32

Summary of passages:  John 20:1-18:  Mary Magdalene returns to Jesus’ tomb early on the first day of the week and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.  She ran to Simon Peter and the other disciple (John) that Jesus had loved and told them that Jesus’ body had been taken.

Peter and the other disciple run to Jesus’ tomb to investigate and saw strips of linen lying in the tomb and the burial cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head.  The disciples returned home but Mary stood outside the tomb crying.  She looked in the tomb and saw two angels in white seater where Jesus’ body had been.  They asked her why she was crying and she answered because Jesus’ body was stolen and she doesn’t know where it is.

Jesus appeared at that moment.  He asked her the same thing and she does not recognize him until he utters her name.  He told her to go and tell his brothers that he will be returning to his Father and she did.

Luke 24:12-32:  Being told by the women that Jesus had arisen, Peter ran to the tomb to see for himself since he didn’t believe them.  He saw the strips of linen in Jesus’ tomb but still wondered what had happened.

On the road to Emmaus that same day, two of Jesus’ followers were wondering what was going on.  Jesus appeared to them but they did not recognize him.  He asked them what they were speaking about.  Cleopas said he must be a stranger if he doesn’t know recent events.  They recounted the story of how Jesus had been crucified and how his body was now missing and how the women had said he is risen from the dead.

Jesus called them foolish not to understand the prophets so he began with Moses and explained all the Scriptures concerning himself.  They invited him to stay with them overnight.  He blessed the bread and then they recognized him and Jesus disappeared.

Questions:

6)  “The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen.”  The fact that the strips of linen and cloth were neatly arranged discounted the grave robbery theory as robbers have no concern for neatness and would have hurriedly stripped off the linen to get to what lay beneath.

7a)  As intimate as sheep who know their master’s voice like Mary who instantly recognized him when he spoke her name.  The caregiver for all of their needs and whom they implicitly trust, obey, and follow.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  This whole study has impressed upon me the importance of doing His calling for my life on this earth.  How not to give up on that in the face of adversity.

8a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The importance of understanding the Scriptures and the prophecies of the Old Testament.  The importance of listening to Jesus when he does explain them to you.  And the importance of sharing those lessons learned with others as Jesus himself did.  How we should pray to see Jesus in our midst.  How we should pray for our hearts to be set aflame by him.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I try to explain to my kids the meanings and the intricacies of the Bible in terms they will understand.  And I try to explain to you all as well what I understand.  I pray to see Jesus and have him guide my heart and I pray this for others and my kids as well.  I teach them he is there and we can see him with grace and love.

Conclusions:  Don’t like reading John in the middle of the chapter.  Read more for further understanding.  Who amongst us wouldn’t have wanted to have been on that road to Emmaus to hear Jesus explain the Old Testament?  Wow!  What a gift!  Can you imagine the power of Jesus uttering your name and you instantly recognize him?  I want to hear my name spoken from his lips!

Overall, filler lesson since Matthew was not mentioned at all with a lot of personal questions.  Important?  Yes.  For we all must learn to recognize Jesus’ voice in our lives and understand the connections of the Old and New Testaments.

End Notes:  Cleopas could very well be the husband of “Mary the wife of Clopas” who stood faithfully by Jesus’ cross as he died (John 19:25).

John and Peter do not understand what they see because they have forgotten Jesus’ words.  They only know something amazing has happened.

Note Mary is NOT afraid when the angels appear to her here.  This is one of the few places in the Bible when someone is not afraid when angels appear to man.  Her grief is such that their presence does not affect her.

Mary plans to carry Jesus away when she finds him.  How she would accomplish this remains a mystery but her devotion is such she only is focused on finding Jesus.

Mary is already clinging to Jesus when he tells her to not hold onto him.  This tells us he definitely has a tangible, physical body.

Note Jesus’ distinction between “my father” and “your father”.  He is differentiating himself from us as he should since he is our lord as well.

If someone had fabricated this story, would they make a woman the first to see Jesus?  No. Women were nothing in first century AD.  This speaks to the Truth of God’s Word.

Jesus knew the 2 men on the road to Emmaus were sad when they shouldn’t be.  Hence, he wanted them to understand what had truly happened.  Amazing God’s care for the lost!

Jesus encourages them to tell him things even though he already knows them.  As God wants us to do always.

Jesus called them foolish for not believing the testimony of others.  It was a heart problem as so often it is with us.

We should pray that Jesus opens our eyes to see him who walks by our side every day.  Then, as these two men did, we will see him and understand.  Their hearts were set aflame by Jesus’ words. What our prayer should be every day:  to be on fire for Jesus!

Map of Emmaus with great re-telling and famous accompanying artwork:  http://www.jesus-story.net/emmaus.htm

Cleopas:  What we know is basically what the Bible tells us of him.  He is never mentioned again outside of this story.  More information HERE if interested.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 29, Day 3: Genesis 46:5-47:12

Summary of passage:  Jacob left Beersheba for Egypt, taking with him all his sons, their wives and children, his daughters and their families and all his possessions including his livestock.  They numbered 66 persons who went with Jacob that were direct descendants. Counting Joseph and his two sons and Jacob the total came to 70 in Egypt.

Joseph met his family at Goshen to escort them to Egypt and he threw his arms around his father and wept. Joseph said he will go to Pharaoh and ask for them to settle in Goshen as shepherds for all shepherds are detestable to Egyptians.  Pharaoh gave them the best land in Goshen and told Joseph to choose some to tend his flocks as well.

Jacob blessed Pharaoh and settled in Goshen in the best part of the land and had plenty to eat.

Questions:

5a)  66 that journeyed with Jacob, 70 including Joseph and his 2 kids and Jacob himself.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  To preserve the record to Jesus.  These sons are also going to be the 12 Nations of Israel, God’s chosen people, so it’s important to know who’s who.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Our names are written in heaven and those who accept Jesus as their Savior are written in the book of life and go to heaven.  Anyone else goes to the lake of fire.  It lets me know that I am saved, I am known, I am remembered, I am important, I am loved.

6a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  So as not to intermix with the locals.  To stay as a separate people and propagate the land as God commanded. To grow together and not separate.  And to obey God who told Jacob to go to Egypt where He would make them into a great nation.

b)  It kept the Israelites separate from the Egyptians, away from their influence and corruptible practices and kept God’s people from intermingling.  It was apparently a good land to graze animals on.

7)  Even though Pharaoh did not believe in the One, True God, he recognized God’s power and abilities and God’s will for Joseph.  He recognized competency and put Joseph in charge despite who he was and his background.  He was gracious to Joseph and Jacob, allowing them to come to Egypt and have the best land and whatever else they need.

He made every effort to assimilate Joseph and make him comfortable by giving him a prominent Egyptian wife.  He trusted Joseph implicitly with his empire.  He gave Joseph carts for Jacob to travel to Egypt.

Ultimately, Pharaoh was saving his people and was using whomever could do that for him.  He cared for the people by preparing for the famine instead of letting the poor die out.  He was preparing for the future, not the present.  He delegated where he needed to delegate and trusted those under him to do the job.  He rewarded those who served him well (such as Joseph).  Overall, Pharaoh saved his kingdom along with God’s people.

Conclusions:  Let’s not forget that Joseph is the whole reason Jacob and his family were saved.  “Joseph settled his father”.  “Joseph provided food”.  Pharaoh accepted Jacob and the family only because of Joseph.  If they had just been regular Hebrews looking for relief from the famine, they would have been turned away.  But because of Joseph (and God) they were saved–as was God’s will.

The Egyptians considered sheep unclean; hence, everyone who worked with sheep were unclean.

Goshen was what is basically the Sinai Peninsula today.  Today it is a desert land but in ancient times it was renown for it’s grazing of animals.  Succinct history on Goshen HERE.

Map of Goshen:  http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bc/images/03990_000_bible-map-9.pdf

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 29, Day 3: 1 Peter 3:8-22

Summary of passage:  Peter tells his listeners/readers to live in harmony with one another, be sympathetic, compassionate, and humble, and love each other as brothers. Do not repay an insult with an insult but with blessing for that is what we are called to do.  For Psalms says if you want good days and the eyes and ears (attention) of the Lord you must keep your tongue and yourself from evil and live righteously.

You are blessed if you suffer for good.  Set Christ apart in your heart.  Always be prepared to credit Christ for the hope you have in gentleness and respect (basically give no reason to support slander against you).  Better to suffer for doing good than evil.

Christ died to bring you to God.  He preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed God in the days of Noah and saved eight through water, the same water that now saves you through Christ’s resurrection.

Questions:

5a)  Live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic; love as brothers; be compassionate and humble; do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult (revenge basically) but with blessing.  I need all to tell you the truth.

b)  If you repay evil or insult with blessing as you were called to do, you will see good days and the eyes of the Lord will be upon you and he will listen to your prayers.

6)  Respond humbly for you are blessed for your suffering.  Stand firm in your knowledge that you are set apart and keep Christ as your Lord.  And remember this suffering is God’s will.

7)  I think the spirits in prison were demonic spirits, fallen angels if you will, whom Jesus visited (the reason why is not given) after his crucifixion but before his first resurrection to the disciples.  Genesis 6:1-2, the sons of God is a common terms in the Old Testament for angels.  Peter mentions this as an encouragement to the readers of his letter as an example of Christ’s triumph over evil in this world.

Conclusions:  Peter and Paul must have been good friends because this passage, again, echoes Paul’s teachings. Remember in the study of Isaiah how it all seemed like gloom and doom and every week it seemed like God’s people were disobeying and being punished?  Here in the study of Acts it’s the opposite:  it’s all advice (and the same advice in many cases) on how to live.

So instead of being told how bad we are we are being told how to live.  At times, it seems as if my mother were talking to me.  “Now, honey, don’t insult others when they insult you.  Be strong in who you are as a person.  Have compassion on that person and some sympathy.  You don’t know what they’ve been through in life.”

And we roll our eyes but in the end the repetitiveness of the Truth seeps down into our core and we do become compassionate, sympathetic, and humble human beings who love each other as brothers.

God knows us, doesn’t He?

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 29, Day 3: Isaiah 65:17-25

Summary of passage:  God will create a new heavens and earth and the former things will not be remembered.  Rejoice in what God will create for Jerusalem will be a delight for God himself will delight in Jerusalem and what He creates.  The sound of weeping will be heard no more.  People shall live a long time and they shall build houses and eat what they reap with no one to take that away from them.  They will be blessed by the Lord who will enjoy the fruits of their toils and have blessed children.  Before the people call God will answer and God will hear while they speak.  The wolf and the lamb shall feed together and no one will harm or destroy on God’s holy mountain.

Questions:

6a)  There will be new heavens and earth.  We will not remember our former lives.  Jerusalem will be a delight and joy.  The sound of weeping and crying will no more be heard.  Early death will be vanquished.  People will build houses and dwell in them and plant crops and eat them.  Enemies will no longer exist.  God’s chosen ones will enjoy the works of their hands.  They will be blessed by the Lord who will answer their prayers before they are even spoken and will listen as they speak.  The wolf and the lamb will eat together.  The lion will become a plant-eater.  The serpent will eat dust.  Nothing will be harmed or destroyed on God’s holy mountain.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  It gives me hope for a better future.  That my problems are just temporary and will one day disappear all together.  That the world’s pain will end and so will mine and others.  Life will cease to be a struggle and all will be good as God has always intended.  I will be so in tune with God that He will answer my prayers before I even speak.  Awesome!

7)  I think Isaiah is speaking of both.  In verses 17-19, Isaiah is describing the eternal state (Revelation 20:11-15) and in verses 20-25, Isaiah switches to describing the millennium earth (Revelation 20) where Jesus is reigning here on Earth.

The eternal state is described in Isaiah 65:17-19 and Rev 21:1-8.  Here, Isaiah says the former things will not be remembered, something that happens after the millennium reign.  In Ezekiel 40-46, the building of the temple is for the millennium reign, not for the Eternal State (See BSF Lesson 27, Day 3, Question 7 here).  The sound of weeping and crying only ends in the eternal state, not in the Millennium reign (Rev 21:2-27, specifically verse 4).  There is death in the Millennium state, something that would cause tears and heartache in my mind.

The millennium earth is described in Isaiah 20:25 and 2 Peter 10-13.  Here, Isaiah still says there will be death (something that happens in the millennium reign of Christ, NOT in the eternal state where there is no death.  People will still have to work to feed themselves and build their own houses.  This does not occur in the eternal state.

2 Peter 10-13 says the heaves will disappear and the earth shall be laid bare.  Rev 20:4-6 describes the judgment of man and those who have been risen to reign in the 1000-year reign.  Rev 21:1-8 says God will create a new heaven and earth and a new Jerusalem.  God will live with men and wipe away every tear and end death and pain.  His chosen shall inherit the new heaven and earth.  The evil-doers shall reign in the lake of burning sulfur right next to Satan.

8a) 2 Corinthians 5:17 says anyone who is in Christ (who has the Holy Spirit dwell within) is a new creation; the old has gone, the new come.  Isaiah 65:17 says God will create a new heavens and earth and the old will be forgotten.  2 Timothy 1:14:  “Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you–guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.”

Jesus gave us new life.  He created us anew when we accepted what He did for us on the cross.  When Jesus comes again, He will reign for 1000 years and bring judgment and God will create a new heaven and earth in which to dwell.  Both passages attest to God’s greatness, His love for us, and His desire to give us everything we need (Salvation and life with Him) and more.

See also:  Romans 8 and John 14:15-21

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Yes.  Because I have accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit dwells within so I am made new by God.  1 Corinthians 3:16  “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?”

When you accept Jesus, your views and character change, which makes you a new creation.  Man seeks new purposes and lives for new ends.

Conclusions:  BSF is certainly ending on a bang.  This was one of my favorite days of the year (any lesson that takes me 2 days to complete ends up on my list!).  I learned a ton about Jesus’ Second Coming and about the Holy Spirit.  I loved pondering being a new creation.  I’m not just a number, one of billions on Planet Earth.  I’m one of God’s new creations.  He made me.  He knows me.  Intimately.  Something I frequently forget.  It brightens my day to think of me as such.

I loved verse 24  “Before they call I will answer.”  I can’t wait for such a day although in one sense God already answers since He has our whole lives planned out.  I wonder though if this means God will speak directly to us when we talk to Him?  I sure hope so!

End Notes:  My understanding of the End Times is this:  First, Jesus will come to the Earth and reign for 1000 years (the millennium reign) during which time Satan shall be locked away.  Jesus will bring final judgment to all and keep only the remnant.  After 1000 years, Satan shall once again be free to do His evil work “for a short time” (Rev 20:3), to deceive the nations once more before being thrown into the lake of burning sulfur for eternity (Rev 20:10).  God will then judge those remaining, including those whom Satan recruited after his release from prison.  Finally, God will then create a new heavens and earth with the remnant, His chosen people who survived Satan’s assault, where every tear shall end and death shall vanish.

I’d love to hear your views on the topic.  I’m still learning!

Helpful Websites I used for today:

Enduring Word is my favorite.  But today, they nailed it on the head.  I used them extensively to understand Question 7:  http://www.enduringword.com/commentaries/2365.htm

I loved Question 8 as well.  I liked Galatians 6:15:  “Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.”  Here, Paul’s point is it doesn’t matter what you try to do on the outside to appear Christ-like, it’s what’s on the inside (your heart for Jesus) that matters.  Paul continues in Ephesians 4:24:  “to put on a new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

The below website is superb.  Go here first for question 8.  A fabulous explanation of the new character and references many Bible passages that’ll keep you busy for hours!

On 2 Corinthians 5:17:  http://bible.cc/2_corinthians/5-17.htm