BSF Study Questions John Lesson 22, Day 2: John 16:5-11

Summary of passage:  Jesus explains the Counselor (Holy Spirit) will come to them once he is gone, which is for their good.  The Spirit will convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment.

Questions:

3a)  Because only then can the Holy Spirit come to guide them and indwell and convict the world of sin, expose righteousness, and judge the devil.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  In person.  Then I would know without a doubt my life would be Christ led.  I think I would have less doubts.  But there are advantages and disadvantages either way.  In reality, we have the Holy Spirit only so growing that is the key.

4)  Sin:  The Holy Spirit shines light in the darkness, exposing the evil.  With the Holy Spirit, one lives by the truth and by the light, which can be plainly seen to unbelievers.  The Holy Spirit cleanses unbelievers to  live a sanctified life.

Righteousness:  Sins pollute us and make us feel unclean and prideful.  The humble are exalted and those who admit they are sinners.  Those who keep the law and God’s commands become conscious of sin, repent, and therefore righteous before God.

Judgment:  God judges sinners but those who confess in faith are sanctified before God. The devil blocks unbelievers from seeing the light.  Through faith, grace, and mercy, we became alive in Christ and obedient to God.

Conclusions:  Back to John after 1 John is such a relief.  Much smaller chunks of the word to intake and digest.

End Notes: Peter had asked this question earlier (John 13:36) and Thomas asked a similar question (John 15:5). Peter was diverted immediately and he made no real attempt to find out where Jesus was going.  He had been concerned with the thought of parting with Jesus, not with that of the Master’s destination. He was only thinking of what it meant for himself for Jesus to leave.  Grief had distracted them.

Jesus does not say why the Holy Spirit would not come until after his departure.

Nevertheless (But in the NIV) is one of the great words of the Bible, meaning despite all of that.   “It tell you the truth” is to emphasize Jesus’ words.

The Holy Spirit will be better for believers than his physical presence–Jesus could now be with every believer every moment of the day.  Our belief is greater since we can’t see Jesus.  We understand Jesus better.  We obviously are closer to him.

Sin is the truth about man, righteousness is the truth about God, judgment is the inevitable combination of these two truths.  Apart from sin’s convicting work, people can never see themselves as sinners.

“Convict” in the Greek means to expose, refute, and convince.  The Holy Spirit would bring the truth and a realization of man’s shame and hopelessness without God in their lives.

Sin is unbelief, the rejection of God and His Son, which the Holy Spirit reveals.  Jesus was righteousness which the Holy Spirit reveals.  The Holy Spirit reveals that Satan will be judged.  The Holy Spirit works in the world and in hearts to reveal these truths to all.

BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 22, Day 2: Revelation 17:1-2

Summary of passage:  An angle beckons John to come and see the prostitute who committed adultery with the kings of the earth and intoxicated the inhabitants of the earth as well.

Questions:

3a)  “The punishment of the great prostitute”

b)  All of earth’s inhabitants including the kings of the earth

4)  Idolatry

5a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Not sure what BSF is going for here.  The definition of the word “appeal” according to Webster’s Dictionary is “the power of arousing a sympathetic response; attraction.”  No one immediately comes to mind.  I like certain politicians and celebrities and heads of state etc because they are personable.  Does that mean I agree with them or support them 100%?  No.  But sympathy?  Yes.  A very basic human emotion.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Any attraction of the world.  Desire for material objects and a nice life I’d say.  It’s not even that I want more.  It’s more I’d like to be secure in my future and in the present. Not sure that is taking away from God however.

Conclusions:  Question 5 is out of place.  Big time.  I don’t think the prostitute was a public figure so why this analogy was chosen I’m not sure.  The question could have been more effective if it asked who in your life appeals to you.  I would say more people have those close to them or acquaintances they admire more so than public figures–basically unknowns.  Has no relevance to the passage whatsoever.

End Notes:  Revelation 17 & 18 will be about the fall of Babylon which represents the world system and its judgment which reaches its climax during the Great Tribulation.

In the Old Testament Babylon was associated with evil since it was the nation of Babylon that conquered the Jews and shipped them off.  In John’s day, Babylon is Rome and the Roman Empire.  In the End Times, it will be the entire world.

Babylon is the essence of all evil.  Since Genesis 11 when the Tower of Babel was built, Babylon is the great prostitute here.

Since its one of the angels from the bowl judgments we just witnessed in Revelation 16 we can conclude this takes place during the Great Tribulation as well.

Some scholars say Babylon represents 3 systems:  1)  Religious system (Revelation 17)  2)  World system (Revelation 18)  3)  A literal city (Revelation 18).

Some scholars say the woman is Rome and the beast is the Roman Empire.  I prefer the entire world view.

Punishment is rendered judgment in other Bible translations.  There is no doubt here:  the prostitute or Babylon or the world will face judgment and punishment.  She represents idolatry (Jeremiah 3:6-9; Ezekiel 16:30; Hosea 4:11-12).  The Old Testament refers to many wicked cities as prostitutes such as Ninevah (Nahum 3:4), Tyre (Isaiah 23:16-17), and Jerusalem (Ezekiel 16:15) due to their immoralities.

History of Babylonian Religion:  The religion of Babylon was founded by the wife of Nimrod, Noah’s great grandson according to legend.  She was a high priestess who claimed she gave birth to a son conceived by a miracle.  This son, named Baal, was considered a savior and he also was killed and brought back to life according to Babylonian belief.  All of this predates Christianity.

Revelation 17:15 tells us the waters the prostitute sits on are “peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages”.  False religion.

Revelation 14:8 mirrors Revelation 17:2:  “Fallen is Babylon gate Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.”

The kings and inhabitants were drunk on idolatry.  Worshipping false gods instead of the One, True God.  This has nothing to do with marriage because the kings and the inhabitants are considered pagans since they are worshipping false gods and pagans don’t marry their gods.

In conclusion, the great prostitute leads people away from God as we’ve seen throughout history and will continue to see until the Second Coming.

Fun Fact:  Babylon is mentioned 287 times in Scripture, more than any other city except Jerusalem.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 22, Day 2: Genesis 27:1-25

Summary of passage:  Isaac, now old and blind, asks Esau to hunt him some wild game and prepare him a meal at which he will give him his blessing.  Rebekah overheard Isaac tell Esau this so she told Jacob to go and bring her some young goats to prepare for him so that Jacob can go and receive Isaac’s blessing.  Jacob wonders though if Isaac touches him what to do because Esau is hairy and he is not.  His mother said not to worry.

Rebekah prepared the food and then dressed up Jacob in Esau’s clothes.  She covered his hands and neck with goatskins and sent him in to Isaac.  Jacob says he is Esau and bids his father to eat.  Isaac wonders how he found the game so quickly.  Jacob says the Lord granted him success.

Isaac suspects a trick and asks to touch Jacob.  He knows Jacob’s voice but falls for the goatskin trick.  Isaac blessed Jacob but is still unsure if he is Esau or not.  Jacob lies again, saying he is.  Isaac ate of the game.

Questions:

3)  Isaac planned to bless Esau and give him the birthright, which defied God’s plan which He revealed to Rebekah before Esau was even born (Genesis 25:23).  God intended Joseph to have the “older serve the younger.”

4a)  In this passage only, Jacob and Rebekah conspire to gain the blessing by having Jacob pretend to be Esau.  Jacob dressed up in goatskin to simulate Esau’s hair.  He wore Esau’s clothes.  Rebekah cooked a meal for Isaac.  Jacob lied to Isaac about his identity.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Don’t lie or deceive or white lie.  Numerous times I have posted about not lying to your kids so they will trust you in the big things.  HERE and HERE if interested.  Have an open relationship.  Have God at the center.  For if God is the center, love and honesty reign.

5a)  She did everything in her power to have Jacob receive the blessing as God intended.  And it worked.

b)  They were deceptive and involved lies and tricks.  Rebekah would have been better served if she had confronted Isaac about his intentions and told him to pray to God to ask for the truth.

c)  Same as above.  White lies.  Or lies.  Cheating people.  Deceiving people.

Conclusions:  Not happy AT ALL about this filler lesson.  I thought we had milked this passage already and here it shows up again?  Seriously?  Enough with the review.  In my opinion, nothing is learned in this lesson we didn’t already know.  We knew God’s plan.  We knew the deceptions Jacob and Rebekah do.  And we know the deceptions Christians (as all people-not just Christians) do today.  Wasted lesson in my opinion.

My time is valuable.  There’s so much in this world I don’t have time for.  And redundant study of a passage is something I don’t have patience for.  A year-long bible study in this society is a huge commitment.  And if indeed this lesson is just to stretch it out I have qualms with that.  I’d rather end a week earlier.  I have no problems being done in April.

In my class, you can tell people are dropping out.  Not as many women are coming nor kids.  This happens every year at the end of the study from my observations.  And maybe lessons like this is part of the reason why.  Something BSF should consider as they are analyzing attendance and growth numbers.