BSF Study Questions John Lesson 29, Day 4: John 21:18-23

Summary of passage:  Jesus says Peter will go places where he doesn’t want to go when he follows him and he’ll be martyred.  Peter goes off with Jesus with John following with Jesus indicating John will live a long time.

Questions:

9)  Peter would go places he didn’t want to go and he’d be martyred (specifically crucified) and John would live a long time.

10)  He gives each enough information to continue on their path.

11)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I am trying to follow him by quitting my job, teaching my kids, and doing His work in my life not mine.

Conclusions:  Very weak.

End Notes:  “I tell you the truth” means pay attention.  Most of us in our younger days did what we wanted to do.  Jesus is saying as he gets older, he’ll do what Jesus wants him to do.  Jesus tells him it will be his death by a cross that will glorify God.

On one hand, this should have terrified Peter (remember he denied Jesus to save his own skin).  Yet on the other hand, Jesus says you will have faith at the end.  How encouraging!

Scholars say in about 34 years, Peter would face this death and he would so embrace it that he’d ask to be crucified head down, deeming himself unworthy to go in the same manner as his Lord.

The verb is “keep on following” all the days of Peter’s life just as Jesus called him to do years before in Matthew 4:18-19.

Peter, not wishing to answer, deflects the attention from himself to John (as most of us would do).

Jesus lets Peter know that his destiny for John is completely different than his.  We also see how easy it is for others to misconstrue God’s word as the rumor spread that Jesus said John would live forever.  John makes sure to correct this misconception.

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BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 29, Day 4: Revelation 22:17-21

Summary of passage:  Let all come for the gift of the water of life say the Spirit and the bride.  A warning to not change the prophecy in the book of Revelation.  Jesus is coming soon.  Grace be with God’s people.

Questions:

9a)  The invitation is to all to accept Jesus as Savior.  It is open to all.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I am thirsting for Him more.  For His world here.  For His presence more in my life.

10)  So nothing is twisted to mean something else.  God wants all to know the promises for the believers and the consequences for the nonbelievers.  No sugar-coating going on here.  All need to know the Truth.  Whoever changes it, corrupts His word and leads others astray.

Conclusions:  I love the ending!  A final invitation to God’s world and eternal life with Him.  A reminder Jesus is coming soon.  And a prayer for us!  His grace be with us!  Awesome!

End Notes:   Is this an invitation to Jesus, asking Him to return? Or is it an invitation to those with a spiritual thirst to come to Jesus? Either sense is certainly true.  Isaiah 55:1 echoes this invitation.

All you need is the desire to have Jesus in your heart.  Come and God will do the rest.  There is no bringing anything to God or giving.  It’s HIM doing the giving.  All you have to do is accept.  This is the greatest invitation you’ll ever receive.

The warning is either Jesus, the angel, or John.  It is not clear who is speaking here.

God’s word is holy and must not be altered. 2 Peter 3:16 says those who do face destruction.

“Come, Lord Jesus” in verse 20 is a common Aramaic expression that was well known in the ancient church: Maranatha!  Should be our cry today!

Will the End Times be in our times?  Only God knows.  It is our job to be ready.  God has the rest.

Note:  it’s a cry for Jesus to fix the world.  Man cannot fix it.  It’s man’s fault the world is full of sin.  Despite our noble efforts, we are Fallen.  Only God can catch us and make us whole again.

The word of grace was used by Paul as well to sign off on his letters (1 Corinthians 16:23, 2 Corinthians 13:14, 1 Thessalonians 5:28, 2 Thessalonians 3:18).  In 2 Thessalonians 3:17-18, Paul indicated that this signature – no doubt written with his own hand – was a mark that the letter was genuinely from him.  John is greeting those who will soon be reading his testimony and praying for them as well.

The last verse of the Old Testament contains a curse by the Lord: “Else I will come and strike the land with a  curse. (Malachi 4:6).  The last words of the New Testament speak of grace–the saving grace of Jesus that saves and redeems.  The fading of the Old Covenant with the New Covenant.  A curse but a promise fulfilled at the end.

BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 29, Day 4: Deuteronomy 33:26-29

Summary of passage:  Moses leaves the people with encouraging words, telling them there is no one like God who is their refuge and salvation and protector and provider.  They are blessed and will drive out their enemies with the Lord before them.

Questions:

8 )  They are God’s chosen people no matter their sins (just like we are today).  God chose them from the beginning and God will never abandon them.  They are righteous if they follow the sacrificial law despite their rebellion.  They are blessed and righteous because God said they are blessed and righteous.  In my book, that’s proof enough.

9)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God is omnipotent.  God never abandons us.  God drives out our enemies so we can live in safety.  God blesses us and is our shield.  God walks with me in my daily struggles which compound sometimes into the big struggles.  Knowing He is there makes life indescribably easier.

Conclusions:  Felt these questions could have been deeper.  Moses sums up his whole experience with God in these three verses and gives them as a gift to us.  God is there always and we should feel forever humbled and grateful and reverent for what He has done.

End Notes:  Note the power in these words:  “eternal God” and “everlasting arms”.  God is forever.  No other god was/is.

Israel shall live alone means Israel shall never merge with other people.  They shall continue to be separate and set apart from all the other people–which is true to this day.  Try reading the translation:  “Israel shall dwell in safety; alone shall the fountain of Jacob be”.

Most translations render “Blessed” in verse 29 as “Happy.”  Reads different, doesn’t it?  We should be happy God has saved us and chosen us.

On this side of heaven, we are to read this victory as Jesus’s victory on the cross as well.  These words instruct us:  The One, True God has saved us completely; therefore, He is to be our refuge, our shelter, our protector, our provider.  And in return we offer full faith, worship, and surrender to Him.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 29, Day 4: Matthew 28:1-15; Acts 1:3-11

Summary of passages:  Matthew 28:1-15:  Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to Jesus’ tomb after the Sabbath at dawn. An angel of the Lord came down from heaven and rolled the stone back. He appeared like lightning in all white. The guards were afraid of him and fainted.

The angel told the women to not be afraid and that Jesus has risen. Come and see and then go and tell the disciples that Jesus is in Galilee. The women did as told and on the way Jesus met them. They worshipped him and Jesus told the women the same message as the angels said.

The guards went into Jerusalem and told the chief priests what had happened. The chief priests and elders bribed the guards to say that the disciples had come and stolen Jesus’ body and they would keep the soldiers from getting into trouble because of it. The soldiers agreed.

Acts 1:3-11:  Luke picks up the story right after the resurrection.  Jesus gave many proofs that he was alive.  He appeared to the disciples over a a period of 40 days and spoke about the kingdom of God.  Jesus told them to stay in Jerusalem until they received the Holy Spirit.

The disciples asked Jesus if he was going to restore the kingdom of Israel.  Jesus said that is not for you to know.  You will receive power with the Holy Spirit and be his witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the world. Then Jesus was taken up to heaven and as the disciples watched two men told them Jesus would return in the same way he was taken.

Questions:

9a) 1 Corinthians argues that if Christ didn’t rise from the dead, then our faith is useless and we are all false witnesses. Our faith is futile and we are still unsaved sinners and there is no afterlife with God in heaven.  I think the number of witnesses who saw Jesus alive and touched him is proof.  Mary clung to Jesus when she met him after his death (John 20:17).  Thomas touched Jesus’ wounds (John 20:27).

All the disciples witnessed Jesus in the flesh when he appeared to them.  1 Corinthians 15:6 says 500 people witnesses Jesus walk on the earth after his death.  Furthermore, as the Bible is God’s breathed word, we are to have faith in what it says.  The Bible says his body rose from the dead and Jesus walked the earth once more.  Hence, we are to believe it.

b)  Our faith is useless and we are still in our sin.  There will be no eternal life with God in heaven. For if Jesus did not rise from the dead, then neither can we.

10)  John 10:17-18:  Jesus laid down his life and took it up again.  This is how it shall be with us.

Acts 2:31 with Psalm 16:10:  Jesus would not be abandoned to the grave nor his body decay.

Acts 17:30-31:  God will judge the world and His proof is raising men from the dead.

1 Corinthians 15:45-58:  Physical death is the penalty for sin so when we die, our sins die with us.  When we are raised, we are raised anew–imperishable and immortal–and we are now righteous with God.

Ephesians 1:18-20; Romans 6:4:  We can live a new life through the glory of the Father.  God has power over the dead to give life.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-14:  With Jesus’ death and resurrection, he gave the ability and power for all believers to rise from the dead with him to be with God.

Hebrews 7:16, 23-28:  Jesus’ resurrection allows us to live forever and our sins are forgiven forever with his blood.  We can all be near to God because of Jesus.

1 Peter 1:3-5:  Jesus’ death and resurrection gives us a new life and inheritance in heaven.

Christ’s resurrection must take place physically or we cannot rise from the grave and come to new life in him and live eternally with God.

Conclusions:  Great lesson!  I had never really connected how it’s the fact Jesus rose from the dead that allows us to rise and be with God.  I had always just thought Jesus died for our sins and now we get to be with God.  Nope.  If Jesus hadn’t risen from the grave, Jesus could have died for our sins but we’d have no eternal life.  We’d just be cleansed forever but not live forever.

Hence, Jesus’ physical death on the cross paid for our sins.  His resurrection is our resurrection as well:  into a new life with God always.  Great passages explaining this!

End Notes: Acts 1 records the last time Jesus is seen by his disciples in his physical body.  You can only be a witness for Jesus if you have the Holy Spirit within.

Jesus’ commission of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and the rest of the Earth is the outline of the rest of Acts–in that order.

Jesus’ ascension into heaven is for the disciples:  so they would know for a fact he was gone.  With his departure, the Holy Spirit could now come (John 16:7).

Presumably two angels appear and tell the disciples to get to work.

I love the phrase “same Jesus.”  Jesus never changes as God never changes.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 29, Day 4: Genesis 47:13-31

Summary of passage:  All the food (except that stored by Joseph) was eaten in Egypt and Canaan during the famine.  Joseph brought all the money in payment for the grain to Pharaoh and when all of the people’s money was gone the people came to Joseph, begging for food.

So Joseph began exchanging food for the people’s livestock.  When the people’s livestock was gone, they had nothing left to sell except their land and their bodies.  So all the land became Pharaoh’s and the people were reduced to servitude.  All except the priests who were protected and fed by Pharaoh.

Joseph instructed the people to begin planting again but to give one-fifth of their crop to Pharaoh. This became law for all land except the priests’ land.

The Israelites settled in Goshen, acquired property, and were fruitful.  Israel requested to be buried in the Promised Land.

Questions:

8a)  That the Promised Land was in fact his–enough so to spent eternity there.  That he believed in God’s covenant with him and his people.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The Bible says our home is in heaven.  Our inheritance is in heaven.  We are children of God.  We exist for heavenly rewards, not earthly rewards.

This life is temporary.  We are to do God’s work here and work for Him.  Our time here is short and we are to live each day to the fullest for we do not know when God will call us home.  We should look forward to that day when we get to spend eternity with God. We should not be afraid.  If our work is done, we shall depart to a better place.

9a)  First, the people were to use money to buy grain.  Second, they were to use livestock once their money ran out.  Finally, they were to sell their land and bodies as payment.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  So the people didn’t get used to handouts from the government.  The people still had to earn their food and work for it.  This gives people a sense of pride and keeps the country prosperous.

c)  No.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Discipline of kids and money.

Conclusions:  I found this interesting cause I never really knew how the Israelites ended up in bondage in Egypt.  This is one reason at least.  Fascinating.

BSF Study Questions Acts Lesson 29, Day 4: 1 Peter 4

Summary of passage:  Peter tells us that Christ suffered in this body so we should be prepared to suffer as well since it means we will be done with sin, resulting in living for the will of God and not for this earthly life.  You spent time doing pagan things and now they abuse you.  But they will be judged in the end.

Be clear-minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.  Love each other deeply.  Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.  Use your gifts to serve others.  If you speak, speak the words of God.  Serve through God’s strength so that He may be praised.

Rejoice in your suffering since you are participating in the sufferings of Christ.  If you are insulted because of Christ, you are blessed.  Praise God that you bear His name in your suffering.  Commit yourselves to God and do good.

Questions:

8 )  Personal Question.  My answer:  Again, I hate to harp on this but BSF keeps asking:  I haven’t suffered physically at all.  No one has beaten me, flogged me, ostracized me, or condemned me, especially based on my beliefs (probably afraid they’d get sued if they did).  That being said, I have experienced God’s tests and how He takes away when we went through bankruptcy and we lost everything.  In this instance, I realized material things are just that.  There’s always another house or car.  But what matters is family and God.  If I have both, then I’m good.

9)  Pagans will have to give account for their actions and behavior (as we all do) because God judges both the living (those with the Holy Spirit) and the dead (those without the Holy Spirit).

10a)  Speaking the very words of God

b)  It is possible because Christ did so and if Christ did so, then we (with the power of the Holy Spirit) can do so as well.

2 Peter 1:3:  “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”  He has given us everything we need in order to do so.

c)  Love is also an act of will.  This is what many couples do not understand and what leads to divorce.  Love isn’t a feeling (and definitely not the one of first love).  You choose to love your husband even when….(fill in the blank).  It’s the same with others.  You choose to love others even when….(they fall, they sin, they hurt you, they are imperfect as we all are, etc). Christ loved all.  We must love all.  We must override our feelings and choose to do so.

11)  You will be rewarded when his glory is revealed, you are blessed with the Spirit of glory and God upon you, you suffer in His name.

12)  To pave the way for Christ’s return by purifying them and giving them time to be refined like silver and tested like gold.

13)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Perseverance.  Patience.  Faith and trust in Him.

Conclusions:  I almost choked on verse 8.  Love?  Seriously?  Come on, Peter.  We get it.  But I liked BSF’s take on it so I did get something out of it after all, pointing out how we must choose to love and not love by feeling.  If we relied just on emotion, no one would love anyone.

My favorite (if you haven’t guessed) was verse 10.  Yes, another repetition of Paul’s but one I need to hear constantly in order to keep the faith in my novel.  I have been gifted to serve others and I must follow through on that gift.  That is the hard part when every day I ask myself, “Is this worth it?”

I like the idea of being purified for I tend to think of myself as pyrite instead of gold. Good stuff!

BSF Study Questions Isaiah Lesson 29, Day 4: Isaiah 66:1-16

Summary of passage:  The Lord says Heaven is His throne and earth is His footstool.  His hand has made all these things.  He esteems those who are humble, contrite in spirit, and tremble at His word.  But those who choose their own ways and offer sacrifices out of mere ritual with no heart, the Lord will bring harsh treatment and dread upon them.  They did not answer or listen to Him.  They did evil in His eyes and chose actions that displeased Him.

For those who tremble at His word (the faithful):  The Lord will repay the faithful’s enemies (those who hate His people because they worship Him) and be put to shame.  One day the Lord will deliver Jerusalem without pain (as in the pain of childbirth).  God will close up the wounds (womb) of Jerusalem upon His delivery.

Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her.  Love her.  Those who do will be comforted, satisfied, and have an overflowing abundance.  The Lord will bring peace to Jerusalem and to nations (the Gentiles) and will comfort them.  You will flourish like grass and have the hand of the Lord known to you.  God’s fury will be upon His foes.  He will come with fire, anger, fury, flames, and sword in judgment and execute those found guilty.

Questions:

9a)  God is the Creator.  He is above all things.  He made us and can do what He wants with us.  He can squash us with His foot if He so desires.  We cannot possibly build God a house or a resting place.  He is the builder and the provider of rest.

b)  Humble (not prideful, insignificant) and contrite (penitent over sins) in spirit:  Have a spirit of insignificance and penitent

Tremble at God’s Word:  Have a healthy fear of God’s power.  To know when God speaks you listen or face a time-out!

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  God has reiterated this year over and over the truth, power, and expected obedience to His word.  That what God says you better do or face the consequences.  That knowledge has created a new reverence for Him and His word in me.  I stand more at attention when He speaks.

10a)  The Lord esteems those who are humble and contrite in spirit and who tremble at His word.  Those who tremble at His word (the faithful)–for those who hate you, they shall be put to shame and repaid all they deserve.  Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her and love her for God will one day deliver her without pain (like in labor).  Then you will be comforted and will delight in overflowing abundance.  The Lord will grant peace to Jerusalem and to the Gentile nations and be comforted.  You will flourish like grass.  The Lord will make himself known to you but His enemies will be His foes.  The Lord will bring judgment to all men and execute those found guilty.

b)  Isaiah 66:7-9; John 3:3-8  Jerusalem (Zion) will be delivered and reborn; reborn when baptized and accept Holy Spirit in our lives

Isaiah 66:10-11; John 16:20-24  Rejoice for Jerusalem and receive comfort and abundance; from great pain comes great joy (from childbirth come baby)–from Jesus’s death comes great joy (salvation for all)

Isaiah 66:12; Romans 5:1  Jerusalem and nations shall have peace; through faith in Jesus we are justified and have peace with God

Isaiah 66:13; Corinthians 1:3-4  God will comfort us as a mother does; God comforts us in all our troubles so we can comfort others

Isaiah 66:14; Matthew 28:19-20  You will flourish like grass and know the hand of the Lord; be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and He will be us always to the end of time

c)  Isaiah says the Lord is coming with fire, bringing His anger, flames, and rebuke.  He will execute judgment upon all men and slay some with His sword and fire.

Matthew warns us to beware of false prophets and false Christs before the end time.  He implies the coming of the Son of Man will be visible to all.  The sun will be darkened, the moon will fade, the stars fall, and heavenly bodies be shaken.  The sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky and all earthly nations will mourn.  The Son of Man will descend from heaven with power and glory.  Angels will announce His arrival with loud trumpet calls and they will gather His elect from all corners of the world.

Thessalonians reiterates Matthew, saying the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven in blazing fire accompanied with powerful angels.  Jesus will punish those who do not know God and who have rejected Him with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord forever.  At this time, He will give relief to those who are troubled and pay back trouble to those who trouble you.

Revelation says Jesus will be riding a white horse, bringing justice.  His eyes are blazing and He wears many crowns.  His robe is dipped in blood and He is followed by the armies of heaven.  He will strike down the nations with His sword.  His robe says King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  An angel calls out to people to gather around at God’s table.  The enemy (beast or Devil) comes against Jesus and His army but the beast is captured along with his cohorts.  They were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.  The rest were killed by Jesus’s sword.

Not a pretty picture for unbelievers, evil-doers, or unrepentants.

Conclusions:  God is all powerful and if  you obey, believe, repent, have faith, love others, and do your best to be like Jesus, you’ll be fine.  If not, watch out!  The Lord lays it out what will happen in the Second Coming and none of it is pleasant.

I like how Isaiah includes the Gentiles in God’s almighty plan and will have the same benefits as His chosen people.  I like how God says to rejoice for Jerusalem, God’s people, and if you do, you will have abundance.  I like how God distinguishes those who follow Him from those who don’t by laying out, really, how simple it is to obey Him and then to receive His promised gifts. Great messages!

End Note:  I changed 10b Matthew 28:20 and included 19-20 since being baptized is the quintessential symbol of being re-born and the culmination of accepting Jesus into your heart.