February - Reading 15

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Feb 15, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good evening -

    Tonight ends our readings in the book of Exodus. We witnessed through the scriptures how a baby that was ordered destroyed by man grew to be the man destined to lead the people of God into deliverence. The Exodus is done but we now have many years left to wander in the wilderness. Exodus teaches us that God takes care of His people and that a single man who stays obedient to God can make all the difference.

    The scripture today in Matthew is one of my favorite passages. I find Peter's emphatic interjection of who Christ is (v. 16) one of the most dramatic moments in the Bible. It marks a turning point in Christ's ministry to His disciples. He now tells them of God's plan for Him. When I first joined the board I chose Matthew 16:16 as my favorite verse.

    In Acts we see how clever Paul is in using the difference in philosophies between the Pharisees and Saducees to divert attention from himself. The "whitewashed wall" statement in verse 3 is a very clever metaphor. Tombs and crypts were whitewashed so Paul was saying that even though the man, Ananias, was high priest and seemingly good, his actions showed that his inner self was dead. The passage ends with Christ telling Paul that there is more to come in Rome. This news must have been some comfort to Paul as he will not be leaving for Rome until chapter 27 in Acts. He has much hardship left in Jerusalem.

    May God bless all of you

    - Clint
     
  3. Helen

    Helen
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    Clint,

    Thank you so much for your faithfulness here. Barry is recovering from walking pneumonia and is sleeping a lot and coughing a lot still, and I have been trying to wait for him on this. But he's asleep now, so here's some from me:

    The passage in Matthew contains the exchange between Peter and Jesus which the Roman Catholics use as justification for the papacy. They say that Jesus referred to Peter as the rock on which Jesus would build His church.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. To find out something for myself, I did a study on the number of times Rock was used in the Old Testament. Every time it is not used for a natural object (a rock), it is used as almost a title for God. The study is MUCH too long to reproduce here, but I have it as a Word file if anyone is interested.
    (my email is [email protected]).

    So what was going on in this exchange? First of all, Peter declared the identity of Christ through a revelation from God. Jesus says that. And no matter WHAT language the original gospel of Matthew was written in (probably Greek, but the Catholics say no because of the following--), two different words are used in the Greek for "Peter" and "Rock." The word used for Peter in "you are Peter" is the word for a pebble, or small rock. By way of CONTRAST, Jesus says, "and on THIS ROCK I will build my church." What Rock? He Himself is the Rock, as testified to throughout the entire Bible. Some say the Rock is the declaration of faith by Peter, but Peter Himself explains in his first epistle, chapter 2, started from verse 4:

    As you come to him, the living Stone -- rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him -- you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says:

    "See, I lay a stone in Zion,
    a chosen and precious cornerstone,
    and the one who trusts in him
    will never be put to shame."

    Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,

    "The stone the builders rejected
    has become the capstone."

    and

    "A stone that causes men to stumble
    and a rock that makes them fall."


    Peter in the above says "you ALSO, like living stones...." "Also" refers to along with the disciples, or the group Peter himself belongs to. He acknowledges Christ here as the Rock, the cornerstone, the precious stone, the capstone. He knows he, Peter, is none of those things, but simply one of the living stones, as Jesus said when He named him Peter.


    The following verses are also widely misunderstood by Catholics and we need to understand their meaning to be able to answer challenges about them.

    First of all, the Bible does NOT contradict itself. So when God is listed as the Judge and the only Judge, that is final.

    So what are the 'keys' to the kingdom of heaven? They are an idiom which is still in use in many languages today. If I say to you, "The key to understanding that is to know that....." you will see what Jesus is saying. The Jewish religion was law-based, or so they thought. But all the laws in the world would not help them get into heaven; heaven could not be earned. But the KEY to heaven is Jesus. When Jesus said to Peter and the apostles that He was giving them the keys to heaven, He was giving them the knowledge of Himself that they would then share with the world -- for it is through Jesus and through Jesus only that any of us can get into heaven! So the key or keys to heaven means an understanding of Jesus. And this is precisely what the Apostles acted on from the day of Pentecost on. They were opening up the door to heaven to all people. They had the keys -- the information about Jesus.

    And what about "Whatever you bine on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."?

    The Catholics say that this means the RC church and/or its representatives are capable of judging and pronouncing judgment on people.

    Not so.

    First of all, Jesus said WHATever you bind or loose. Not WHOMever. The judgment of people is God's province and His alone. So it is actions and things and words that may be judged. And, in fact, we are commanded to judge these things -- to KNOW right from wrong, to BE discerning. And so Jesus is telling His apostles that they will have the discernment necessary in establishing the new church to know what is already 'bound' or 'loosed' in heaven -- what is right and good and what is not; which actions are permissible and which are not.

    And we see the disciples through the book of Acts struggling with a number of issues, and coming to an understanding of this sort of thing, just as Christ promised them they would.

    It is immediately after this that Peter denies the necessity of the death of Jesus, at which point Jesus turns on him and says "Get behind me, Satan!"

    Now this, to the same person the Roman Catholics say was the first pope! They always have an excuse for this part though, and insist that Peter was the rock on which the church -- their church -- is built.

    But the interesting thing about this comment by Jesus is that He recognized who the temptation came from. If we go back to the temptations in the desert, but check Luke 4:13, we will find Luke has added an interesting comment at the end of those temptations: "When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time."

    And there it was, with Peter. The opportune time. Jesus had just complimented Peter on his comment about Jesus' identity. Could Jesus then turn on Peter for saying something wrong? Perhaps the devil did not think so?

    But Jesus did. "Get behind me, Satan!" spoken in sharp rebuke to Peter.


    The close of Matthew 16 is very strong.

    First Jesus says that if any of us would come after Him, we must take up our cross and follow. The cross is an instrument of death. We must be willing to die to ourselves. Thus, Jesus says in the next sentence "For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life FOR ME will find it." (I capitalized those words, because they really make a difference!)

    There is another way of putting that, perhaps:

    You cannot be both safe and saved. If you don't jump, you can't be caught.


    In Exodus, in the section today and before, it seems awfully boring sometimes to read about all the details of the Tabernacle and the priestly garments and the laws concerning the sacrifices and such. But don't skip them. Read them. By the time you get to Hebrews, you will start to understand a little more how all of this is involved in God's giving us physical symbols of spiritual realities, and to make those spiritual realities as comprehensible as possible to us, the directions for the Tabernacle and all associated with it are very precise.

    In the very last verses of Exodus, we read of the glory cloud. This is also referred to as the Shekinah (spelled a variety of ways) Cloud. We see this cloud of glory a number of times in Scripture, and there will be a time when we all see it again.


    The section of Psalm 37 we are to read has one of my favorite promises in it. In verses 25-26, we read,

    I was young and now I am old,
    yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
    or their children begging bread.
    They are always generous and lend freely;
    their children will be blessed.


    Some of you may have heard of the songwriter Bob Cull ("Open my eyes, Lord, I want to see Jesus..."). I had the opportunity of hearing him a number of times as he is the brother of the man who was the Calvary Chapel pastor in our area for some time. Bob has a beautiful song written around the words quoted above, in which he uses the words

    "I have never seen the righteous forsaken,
    Never seen God's children begging for bread..."

    And I love it when people write songs around the Psalms, because then when I read them to my children, or myself, inevitably comes,

    "Oh, I know that! That's that song....!"

    Music is a wonderful way to teach Scripture.


    Verse 34 of Psalm 37 is a verse I need to inscribe on the walls of my own house!

    Wait for the Lord and keep his way.

    How often I want to rush Him.
    Give me patience NOW, Lord!! :D


    And the close of this lovely Psalm:

    The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord;
    he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
    The Lord helps them and delivers them;
    he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
    because they take refuge in him.


    Amen.

    And Cliff was great with Acts. Again, thank you Cliff for your daily faithfulness here.

    God bless you all.
     
  4. Denise

    Denise
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    Very interesting and educational discussions about today's readings (even if they were from 2002!)
     
  5. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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