January - Reading 5

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Brother Adam, Jan 5, 2002.

  1. Brother Adam

    Brother Adam
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    Here are today's readings:

    Matthew 3:1-12

    Acts 3

    Psalm 5

    Genesis 12-14

    Though I am not commenting everyday, please note that I am reading both the daily passages and what you write here. This is registration rush time at work (college) so I am working extra hours to help handle the influx of students.

    UNP
    Adam

    [ January 05, 2003, 12:55 PM: Message edited by: Clint Kritzer ]
     
  2. SaggyWoman

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    I just love the Psalms!

    'FOR THOU, O LORD ARE A SHIELD FOR ME... ."

    And I learned something new today. I didn't realize that Abraham went to battle to collect back Lot and his "stuff." Hummpf.
     
  3. Clint Kritzer

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    Map of Genesis Countries

    I looked up this link for my own aid in comprehending these stories and felt others may like it for reference. I will post more later I am sure. Tonight, Abram traveled from Mesopotamia to Haran to Canaan to Egypt. Not all of these cities are cited on my map unfortunately. If anyone has a link or could scan a detailed map of the period we are reading I sure would appreciate it.

    - Clint

    [ January 05, 2005, 09:16 AM: Message edited by: Clint Kritzer ]
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

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    By the way...

    If any of you do have a good map that you can scan, e-mail it to me and I will make a web page to which we can all link. My e-mail address is in my profile. Since this would be for a private forum that receives no profit, I don't believe we would need to worry about a copyright infringement. Please send the image as a .bmp or.gif since these have better resolution. It may take a while for the upload but, hey, what else you gonna do while reading the Baptist Board? [​IMG]

    - Clint
     
  5. tyndale1946

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  6. Clint Kritzer

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    Well, at the risk of talking to myself here...

    John the Baptist is one of my favorite Biblical characters. He was the son of a very prestigious man (Zecharia), a high priest, but John turned into the total non-conformist. Living in the wilderness, wearing camel hair, eating locust and honey (the same diet Samson "enjoyed" for a while), and preaching and prophesying at the top of his lungs! No wonder the town turned out to see him. It must have been quite a spectacle!
    One must read the accounts in Luke as well as Matthew to get an image of John but both of these authors go into a fair amount of detail on the man. I always like thinking about the human element of the characters in these Bible stories. From the scriptural glimpses of John's parents, I like to think that Elizabeth may have been amused at her son's lifestyle, but I bet Zecharia was MORTIFIED! He was an elderly, respected holy man, repected by his peers while here his non-conformist son was completely unswayed by anyone. In verses 7 - 10 of Matthew 3, John even verbally attacks some of Zecharia's peers, calling them a brood of vipers and saying that their faith as sons of Abraham was poppycock. I wonder what those men reported back to John's Dad!

    Just my thoughts. I always feel I get such a clear picture of John when I read about him. The only person who humbled John was Christ himself. John was the epitomy of what so many of us strive to be: holy.

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  7. Helen

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    First of all, here you go, Clint -- and the last link is a dilly!
    http://www.us-israel.org/jsource/History/abemap.html
    http://www.mdumc.org/upperoom/maproom.htm
    http://www.bible.ca/maps/
    http://www.biblestudysite.com/mapindex.htm


    This post is going to be about the Matthew section of the Bible study, because there is something that caught my eye today that I have never really looked up before -- so I did today. It's something interesting to me, and I'd like to throw it out and hope some of our pastors and/or Bible scholars could comment...

    Before that, though, note how John lashes out at the Pharisees and Sadducees who show up where John is baptizing -- he calls them a brood of poisonous snakes (vipers) and tells them to produce fruit in keeping with repentance.

    We usually think of fruit in terms of the fruits of the Spirit, and we know that simple repentance does not save, as is noted in Acts 19:1-5. So what was John talking about? It's so simple, really: if you are sorry for what you have done, STOP DOING IT! This, and Jesus' anger at the Pharisees as shown in Matthew 23, both indicate that these folks were all show and no go.

    OK, now what I have read so many times before and still stopped me this morning was John's explanation about his own baptism in verse 11:

    I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."

    Out of curiosity, I looked up the words "baptize", "baptism" and "baptizing" in the Concordance to see what Jesus had to say about baptism.

    He never spoke about baptism with water! The only two times it could even be inferred are at the end of Matthew, when He says to baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and the verse in Mark 16:16, which is part of the ending of Mark which is so highly disputed and probably was not in the original document. Every other time he speaks of baptism it is specifically not concerning water.

    In Mark 10:38-39, Jesus is referring to a series of trials or to His death when He asks James and John if they can be baptized with the baptism He is baptized with.

    In John 3:22-26 we see the disciples baptizing in water, but Jesus was evidently not there, for in 4:1-3, we read,

    The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John, although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

    Did He go to stop them? The Bible never says. But it is on His way back that He meets the Samaritan woman at the well.

    We know the disciples baptized with water. This is not an issue. But the fact that Jesus never baptized anyone Himself and did not ever refer to water baptism interested me.

    We often think of water baptism as symbolic of the New life in Christ. But, according to Paul, that is not what it is at all! In Romans 6, Paul says (v.3)
    Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in oreder that, just as Christ was raised frm the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

    So while baptism with water, however it is done, is done in obedience to the Lord by the person who has received the New Life in Christ, the symbol is one of death. And I thought of another water of death: Noah's Flood. There, the Ark is a 'type' or symbol of Christ -- get on or get dead. The waters were the waters of death.

    It's interesting. In part because an unsaved person -- the very person who NEEDS to die to himself cannot be baptized and have it please God. Romans 8:8 says nothing the person with a sin nature does can please God. So it can only be pleasing to God AFTER we are saved by Him.

    We, as human beings, baptize with water as a symbol of death. But Jesus baptizes us with the Holy Spirit into life. But the reality of the death and life we experience in Christ comes before the symbolic baptism which is of water.

    Working through this in Scripture seems to make it perfectly obvious that it is impossible for water baptism to have any part in salvation at all -- and so I can only wonder why the Catholics and others such as some of the Episcopalians and Lutherans arrive at the doctrine of the necessity of baptism for salvation? It is not only not in the Bible, but it seems exactly contrary to it.

    He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

    Fire... we know the Holy Spirit appeared sort of like tongues of fire over the heads of the disciples at Pentecost. We know Paul tells the Corinthians in 1 Cor. 3 that our works are tested as though by fire (although not we ourselves in this sense as is taught by the Roman Catholic church). And we can go back in the Old Testament to the furnace of fire into which Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were cast and know they were kept safe by a Fourth and that they came out unscathed. So what is baptism by fire?

    I don't know. Is it the separation from the world? Is it the burning away of our old life, bit by bit, as we are matured in Christ? Is it the learning to trust that happens because we have to go through hard times?

    I know that being a Christian can hurt. I know it can alienate one from family and old friends. I know that I get put into situations where I am totally incapable of coping without Christ, and so in my exhaustion and fear I learn to lean on Him more.

    Or does it mean something else? The next verse has another reference to fire, but this is hellfire, where the damned will go. They are the chaff, as we can reference in Psalm 1:

    No so the wicked!
    They are like chaff that the wind blows away.


    So I don't think the fire is referring to judgment as my NIV notes mention it might. Those baptized with the Holy Spirit will not experience that fire.

    So another fire -- I would assume a purifying fire that is what cleans us of our old life, bit by bit.

    I'll be thinking about this for awhile... [​IMG]
     
  8. Helen

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    First, to Tyndale -- I spent about a half hour thinking my way through the last post, so I did not know that you had linked a map. I did not mean to try to upstage you!

    On the Acts portion today.

    I don't think anyone commented about the last part of Acts 2 yesterday. It is the description of the brand new church. They DEVOTED themselves to the teaching of the Apostles (not to tradition or interpretations or social causes, or...). To this learning was added fellowship, communal meals (which, unless I am mistaken, are now taken as Holy Communion), and prayer. They considered nothing their 'own' and sold and shared as it was needed. The selling was voluntary and not forced as was the sharing. They helped whomever needed help and they met EVERYDAY in the temple courts.

    That is quite different from an hour on Sunday mornings!

    Going on to chapter 3, the first thing we see is Peter healing the beggar.

    In the Assembly of God church, there is a doctrine among some of them which is called the 'health and wealth' doctrine. Basically, it says that if you are in favor with God you will not be sick and you will be wealthy.

    In direct contrast to that, please look at Peter's words to the beggar:

    Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Mazareth, walk.

    The health thing was going pretty good there -- but so much for the wealth! -- At least in worldly terms!

    The 2nd part of chapter 3 is Peter addressing the curious crowd of onlookers after that healing. He explains about Christ.

    And that is what the miracles are for! Not so much as for the direct healing, although that is always wonderful, but about the witness to God that they bring. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says,

    In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

    So the purpose of what we do as Christian is NOT to 'get closer to God'. What we do is a RESULT of being closer to God and testifies to HIM. The difference comes down to whether I'm showing off me in what I do, or showing off God.
     
  9. Helen

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    Psalm 5 is really interesting. It goes back and forth between positive and negative.

    Positive
    1-3 -- Asking the Lord to listen when I sigh and cry for help. Saying I pray only to God and can present my requests to Him every morning and then wait "in expectation." That's exciting that we can do that.

    Negative
    4-6 -- God DOES hate, and not only actions, but some people

    Positive
    7-8 -- contrasting myself to the enemies God hates and attributing my position in His presence to His mercy. Asking Him to lead me 'in your righteousness BECAUSE OF MY ENEMIES -- " Once more the indication of a witness.

    Negative
    9-10 -- going back to the wicked. They cannot be trusted, their hearts are filled with destruction, they are full of intrigues and have rebelled against God Himself.

    Positive
    11-12 -- The joy of those who are the Lord's and how He protects them.


    This Psalm absolutely mirrors many of my days -- up and down and up and down. But as long as I start it and end it with the Lord, the ups are always one more than the downs.
     
  10. Helen

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    And Genesis 12-14 -- just some things to notice:

    12:4 -- Abram obeys immediately when commanded by God. An excellent example to follow!

    12:7 -- the Lord promises the land to Abram AFTER Abram has obeyed the Lord and arrived there (in hostile territory...)

    12:10-end -- Abram's lie to protect his own life at possible expense to Sarai, his wife. This affects others to the extent that serious diseases are inflicted by God Himself on Pharaoh's household. The result? Abram is given goods and told to leave.


    In Chapter 13, Abram has learned not to just think of himself! He gives Lot the choice of the best lands when they have to divide the land between them. Immediately following this the Lord again promises Abram the land as an inheritance.

    Whereas Abram was invited to leave Egypt after his lie to protect himself, when he instead thinks of someone else's good -- Lot's -- Abram is again given the promise by God of this special land. It's an interesting contrast.

    In chapter 14 is the battle of the kings, in which Lot and his family are taken prisoners of war. Abraham hears about it and goes after them to rescue Lot

    WITH ONLY 318 TRAINED MEN!!!

    And a night attack...

    Attacks at night cause confusion. This same tactic will be repeated by Gideon later.

    There is a bit of a spiritual picture that can be taken from these incidents, though.

    Lot went to live hear Sodom. He soon got drawn into it. Lesson: steer clear of "camping out" near sin!

    Next, in the confusion of the night attack. It is the darkness of my times of sadness and depression -- such as the death of a loved one -- in which confusion can come so easily. "How could God allow this?" "What have I done wrong to deserve this?" "Doesn't God care?" There IS spiritual warfare going on, the the forces of evil are not less intelligent than Abram was! They, too, will attack with doubts and fears when our lives are dark. We need to remember the promise of Psalm 23; "yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me."


    On the way back, Abram meets Melchizedek. Who was he? Some say Christ. However Jewish tradition says he was Shem (from the Jerusalem Targum on Gen. xiv.18. The Midrash also includes a legend of Abraham asking Mechizedek how they came safely off the Ark)! The writer to the Hebrews, in Hebrews 7, says, "LIKE the Son of God, he remains a priest forever", speaking of Melchizedek.

    Given, then, both the mention in Hebrews of Melchizedek being LIKE the Son of God and the Jewish tradition that he was Shem, the name Melchizedek probably means "My king is righteousness" instead of its alternate translation "King of righteousness."

    And, finally, please note that Abram took nothing, nada, zero, zilch from the King of Sodom.

    God is sufficient for His own.
     
  11. tyndale1946

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    Helen you did not upstage me. You can never have enough maps and you know how men are, we never ask for directions. Anyway that aside, those are some very good map sites and I will put in my favorites list for further use. I hope Clint finds many uses for them... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  12. John Wells

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    Ahhh, but sin has its consequences! Like father, like son; it seems not only Abram (Abraham) had a problem with lies and deception, but Isaac used the exact same ploy with Rebekah:

    Genesis 26:6-9 (ESV)
    6 So Isaac settled in Gerar. 7 When the men of the place asked him about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” for he feared to say, “My wife,” thinking, “lest the men of the place should kill me because of Rebekah,” because she was attractive in appearance. 8 When he had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out of a window and saw Isaac laughing with Rebekah his wife. 9 So Abimelech called Isaac and said, “Behold, she is your wife. How then could you say, ‘She is my sister’?” Isaac said to him, “Because I thought, ‘Lest I die because of her.’ ”

    And then Jacob deceived and lied to his father Isaac:

    Genesis 27:14-23 (ESV)
    14 So he went and took them and brought them to his mother, and his mother prepared delicious food, such as his father loved. 15 Then Rebekah took the best garments of Esau her older son, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son. 16 And the skins of the young goats she put on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. 17 And she put the delicious food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.
    18 So he went in to his father and said, “My father.” And he said, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?” 19 Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me; now sit up and eat of my game, that your soul may bless me.” 20 But Isaac said to his son, “How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?” He answered, “Because the LORD your God granted me success.”
    21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, to know whether you are really my son Esau or not.” 22 So Jacob went near to Isaac his father, who felt him and said, “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” 23 And he did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau’s hands. So he blessed him.

    Then Jacob was lied to and deceived by Laban:

    Genesis 29:21-25 (ESV)
    21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife that I may go in to her, for my time is completed.”
    22 So Laban gathered together all the people of the place and made a feast. 23 But in the evening he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and he went in to her. 24 (Laban gave his female servant Zilpah to his daughter Leah to be her servant.) 25 And in the morning, behold, it was Leah! And Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?”

    Besides revealing to us that the patriarchs were not perfect, this string of lies and deceptions teaches us “what goes around comes around” biblical style! Repented sin is forgiven, but we may still have to bear consequences. Jacob had to enslave himself to Laban for fourteen years instead of seven to get the woman he loved for his wife.
     
  13. RodH

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    Bump - For 2003
     
  14. Gwyneth

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    As this is my first arrempt to read through the Bible in an organised group, having tried several times and failing I have prayed much for understanding and staying power, encouragement came today when at Church I was able to tell an older member what the firmament means, and that before the flood that rain as we know it did not happen , and when I
     
  15. Gwyneth

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    Continued ......opened my e.mail this was there ...."And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from
    the darkness."
    - Genesis 1:4

    Light might well be good since it sprang from that fiat of goodness, "Let
    there be light." We who enjoy it should be more grateful for it than we
    are, and see more of God in it and by it. Light physical is said by
    Solomon to be sweet, but gospel light is infinitely more precious, for it
    reveals eternal things, and ministers to our immortal natures. When the
    Holy Spirit gives us spiritual light, and opens our eyes to behold the
    glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, we behold sin in its true
    colours, and ourselves in our real position; we see the Most Holy God as
    He reveals Himself, the plan of mercy as He propounds it, and the world to
    come as the Word describes it. Spiritual light has many beams and
    prismatic colours, but whether they be knowledge, joy, holiness, or life,
    all are divinely good. If the light received be thus good, what must the
    essential light be, and how glorious must be the place where He reveals
    Himself. O Lord, since light is so good, give us more of it, and more of
    Thyself, the true light.

    No sooner is there a good thing in the world, than a division is
    necessary. Light and darkness have no communion; God has divided them, let
    us not confound them. Sons of light must not have fellowship with deeds,
    doctrines, or deceits of darkness. The children of the day must be sober,
    honest, and bold in their Lord's work, leaving the works of darkness to
    those who shall dwell in it for ever. Our Churches should by discipline
    divide the light from the darkness, and we should by our distinct
    separation from the world do the same. In judgment, in action, in hearing,
    in teaching, in association, we must discern between the precious and the
    vile, and maintain the great distinction which the Lord made upon the
    world's first day. O Lord Jesus, be Thou our light throughout the whole of
    this day, for Thy light is the light of men.

    :confused: ONE DAY??? I MAY LEARN TO USE THIS COMPUTER AND NOT PRESS THE SEND KEY BEFORE I FINISH ;)
     
  16. Aaron

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    After Abram rescued his neighbor Lot from Kedorlaomer king of Elam, the King of Sodom, from whom Lot had been stolen along other citizens and their spoils, requested only his citizens returned to him. Abram and his confederates could keep the spoils, he said. But Abram refused saying, "I lift my hand and swear by the LORD, God Most High, creator of heaven and earth: not a thread or a shoe-string will I accept of anything that is yours. you shall never say, 'I made Abram rich.'" (NEB)

    I think this is a timely reading in light of the discussions of late concerning whether churches should receive offerings from questionable sources.

    [ January 05, 2003, 06:45 PM: Message edited by: Aaron ]
     
  17. Aaron

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    Excellent point. I would add that though God did not create darkness, He takes note of it and gives it a name, Night, that we might learn also to put a difference between light and darkness, good and evil, the holy and profane. [​IMG]
     
  18. Clint Kritzer

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    Good evening -

    One further note on the reading from Genesis:

    We are introduced in Genesis 14: 18 to Melchizedek, a "priest of God Most High." We will only see his name once more in the Old Testament, in Psalm 110:4. However, the author of Hebrews deals extensively with the subject of this non-Jewish character in chapters 5, 6 and 7 of that Book. Christ, not being of the Levites is said to be of the order of Melchizedek.
    Acts chapter 3 begins abruptly with no indication of how much time has passed since Pentecost. Instead we are dropped abruptly into a scene in which Peter and John are attending the Temple at the customary time of worship by Jewish custom. It appears that the Temple was a common meeting place for the early primitive church.

    The healing of the lame man, just as the miracles performed by Christ, happened for a specific purpose and as a sign. This event enabled Peter a second platform from which to deliver a second sermon. The recognition of the healing of a forty year infirmity drew a crowd to the disciples. They are quick to point to the fact that they do not possess supernatural powers themselves but they are imparted through the name of Jesus Christ. Once again Peter relies on the Scriptures of the Old Testament to make his point with a call for repentance, but this time there is a conspicuous absence for a call to baptism. Peter's sermon is one of guilt to the Jews and he contrasts their fervor to crucify Christ with Pilate's claim of innocense for the Man.

    It should also be understood that though we in hindsight can clearly see that Christ was the Messiah, the Jews held a tradition that the messiah would come to unify Israel just as David had. They did not neccessarily recognize that the Messiah would be a Diety.

    May God bless you

    - Clint

    [ January 05, 2003, 11:36 PM: Message edited by: Clint Kritzer ]
     
  19. Clint Kritzer

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