November - Reading 3

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Nov 3, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good evening -

    As many of you may have noted our server was down this morning and I was unable to post.

    In our reading of Ezekiel on November 3, we read of the killing of the idolaters and the pronouncement of the same for the leaders. Twice we see Ezekiel's first objections to the Lord in 9:8 and 11:13. These are two examples of the very few times that Ezekiel questions the Lord's decision. We also see a return to the vision that Ezekiel experienced at the Kebar River. This time, however, the face of the ox has been replaced by the face of a cherub. The signifigance of this may be found in ancient statues from Mesopotamia that stood guard at palaces and were the likenesses of human headed bulls and lions compared to the cherubim that stood guard at the gates of Eden. Perhaps the meaning will manifest itself more clearly in ther future. Chapter 11 ends with a glimmer of hope with the promise to restore the Israeli nation. Chapter 12 shows the first indication that Ezekiel's symbolic acts may have been getting notice in verse 12:3.

    John 7:53 - 8:11 does not occur in the earliest manuscripts but it is where we get the story of the stoning of the adultress. Jesus was obviously quite brilliant at avoiding word traps. The Romans did not allow the Jews to perform executions without Roman involvement. This was the dilemna for Christ: obey the Law or obey Rome? He side steps this with his answer. He never says not to throw a rock at the woman, he merely adds a qualification of being free of sin. The Pharisees were not completely correct in the Law either as the Law required witnesses of the act and that the woman be betrothed. The Law also said that the man should be there as well if this was the case. Deuteronomy 22:22-24; Leviticus 20:10

    In 2Peter we read a very important passage regarding false teachers and their immanent destruction. The New Testament is quite active in proclaiming that there would be false teachers and further study of them can be found in Matthew 25:4-5, 11; Acts 20:29-30; Galatians 1:6-9; Philippians 3:2; Colossians 2:4, 8, 18, 20-23; 2Thessalonians 2:1-3; 1Timothy 1:3-7; 4:1-3; 2Timothy 3:1-8; 1John 2:18-19, 22-23; 2John 7-11; and Jude 3-4. The Old Testament also has much to say. We must always remain aware of their existence.

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  3. mark brandwein

    mark brandwein
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    Clint, in 2Peter is the message about Apostasy? There is nothing mentioned about the Lord's death, resurrection, accension or prayer. Also I have looked up the word " Aramaic", my Bible Dictionary for some reason does not have this word in it. Is it a religion or Arab language? Thank-you and God bless.
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    The context of 2 Peter 2:1-9, is that of false teachers. I'm not really sure that apostasy is the correct term (though a false teacher could be apostate). Apostasy implies that one was once on the right path but has since turned from it. From Webster's 1828 dictionary:

    From Merriam-Webster's on line dictionary:
     
  5. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lesson 6/19/05

    Ezekiel 12

    Chapter 12 of Ezekiel brings to a close the first series of oracles in the Book. Once again the prophet utilizes the device of pantomime or symbolic action to convey the Lord’s message. The reason for such presentation is clear. The people had eyes to see and ears to hear but they refused to either see look or listen. Perhaps they would understand if an oracle was presented to them in symbolic action.

    In verses 1-16 the prophet is commanded to act out a very strange scene. He is to gather together baggage as a person fleeing siege would (literally, “vessels of exile”) and claw his way through a wall. He was to gather the items for his baggage in front of his house, raising attention from curious onlookers. The Hebrew for wall at this juncture implies the wall of a house, probably his own, as opposed to a city wall. Since Babylonian bricks were made of sun-dried mud, digging through them would have been a very arduous task. After making his way through the wall he was to gather up his baggage, cover his face, and imitate a dejected refugee as he departed into the dark.

    The following day Ezekiel would have returned to his home and those who witnessed this curious display would have the hoped for inquiry of: What are you doing? God instructs Ezekiel to answer in the following way: What he had depicted in pantomime would become a reality for the “prince in Jerusalem, a reference most likely to Jehoiachin, but some contend Zedekiah. Jehoiachin had been captured as he attempted to escape the Babylonians and he was blinded after witnessing the execution of his sons. The Scriptures tell us that the blinded deposed king died there in the land of the Chaldeans.

    Verses 14-16 once again speak of the disbursement of the Israelites through war and God’s promise to save a remnant of them. In this case the remnant is not preserved for the sake of the Hebrew nation but for the sake of God’s integrity. As they were scattered through the known world they would be testimony of the sovereignty of God.

    Ezekiel 12:17-20 The Dread of Invasion

    In ancient long-range siege conditions, bread and water would be the only sustenance for the people. In chapter 4 the focus was on the physical hardship of starvation diets during the siege of Jerusalem. Here, however, the focus is on the psychological anguish that would accompany the siege.

    The wording of 17-19 (quaking, trembling, carefulness, astonishment) are those which indicate mental trauma. For example, the Hebrew word for “quaking (KJV-trembling)” literally means an earthquake, that which turns the countryside upside down. It denotes a tumultuous mental state marked by palsied hands, weak knees, faltering steps, choked voices and facial tics. To eat bread and water in poverty and peace is one thing, but to eat such when all hope is gone and destruction is imminent is meaningless. Even the grandest banquet would have been vain under such conditions.

    Ezekiel 12: 21-28 The Popular Attitude Towards Prophecy

    The Lord next has Ezekiel deal with the skeptical attitude people had taken towards prophetic utterance, especially towards those of retribution and judgment. A proverb had grown up around this attitude which stated, “The days grow long and every vision comes to naught. This reveals how the people had come to view real prophecy. If the days passed without fulfillment, the people considered the prophecy nullified.

    During the 8th century BC the ethical prophets, Amos, Hosea, Micah, and Isaiah, had had pronounced judgments that had not historically come to pass. Now after a century and a half the people had begun to say, “The days grow long.” The people made the conclusion that since the predicted judgment had not come to pass it would never come.

    Therefore, why should they listen to Ezekiel who was giving the same message? He was, in their eyes, just another gloom and doom preacher babbling about judgment. Even those who believed Ezekiel’s authenticity thought that he was like the other prophets in that his prophecies would not be fulfilled “many days hence and he prophesies of times far off.” Thus his words would not affect them. Ezekiel admits to a delay in the culmination of previous prophecies but not of his own. He gives three prophetic replies to the attitude of the people:

    1. In verse 23 Ezekiel tells his audience that “the days are at hand, and the fulfillment of every vision.” The prophecies had not failed. The people to whom they were given had. In this day all prophecies would be validated. Since the 8th century prophecy had followed a consistent pattern of judgment and hope. The prophets asserted that if the people would repent the judgment would be averted, but when judgment came because of a refusal to return to God, some would be spared. The failure in the people’s attitude was that they did not recognize that the delay in judgment was not because of the failure of prophecy but because of God’s love and patience for Israel. God had granted the people a period of grace, which they misinterpreted as ineffectiveness on the part of Yahweh. Ezekiel asserts now that that period of grace was over. This message is echoed in 2Peter 3:3-9.

    2. Further, God asserts through Ezekiel that there will be no more “false (KJV-vain) vision (false prophecy)” or “flattering divination.” Ezekiel is confirming that Israel had been duped and misled by pseudo-prophets and diviners. The diviner, in contrast to the true prophet, sought to foretell the future through the use of artificial devices such as casting lots, reading signs or giving meaning to omens. The likes of such are legislated against in the Torah (c.f. Leviticus 19:26). Both the diviner and the false prophet played to the audience. The false prophet would tickle the ears of the hearers by speaking what they wanted to hear. The diviner would invariably do the same by always giving favorable readings. Chapter 13 of Ezekiel elaborates greatly on the punishment awaiting the false prophets.

    3. Unlike the days of Isaiah, in Ezekiel’s day, God would not only speak the word of judgment through His prophet but He Himself would perform it. The judgment would take the form of sword, pestilence, famine, holocaust, catastrophe and exile.
     
  6. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    2 Peter

    2Peter 2

    The Epistle now shifts focus from the true knowledge possessed by true believers in Christ to the false knowledge and the false prophets who convey it. The false teachers are addressed in a very similar fashion in the Book of Jude. Just as false prophets had plagued the Old Israel in the days of the Old Testament, they would also plague the New Israel. They claimed to be members of the Christian community but their false teachings proved them to be otherwise.

    2Peter 2:1-3 Knowledge from False Teachers

    Peter is here continuing his thought concerning the nature of prophecy and revelation from God in the Old Testament. Most of the New Testament writers warn us of the coming of false teachers. Jesus was very specific in warning of them, Paul wept before parting from Ephesus over the coming of the wolves. In the same way, Moses spoke of false teachers in Deuteronomy. Ezekiel, Amos and Jeremiah also speak quite a bit about the presence of them.

    The real danger is, of course, that not only do their beliefs lead to their own destruction but also to those who heed their words. Their heresies are destructive in both doctrine and character. They profess to know Christ but their lives reflect that they do not obey Him. For Peter, such a concept may have been quite ironic. It was he who denied Jesus during the trial while actually believing. The false teachers do not believe while claiming to know Him.

    The Gnostics were teaching that actions performed by the physical body were irrelevant to salvation. They taught that all that was physical was inherently evil. As such, it follows that their lifestyle reflected one of immorality. Combined with that they conducted themselves with a spirit of greediness, meaning they have a covetous nature. They exploited their listeners and with false words made financial gains from the unwary.

    Peter’s indignation at the exploits of the false teachers caused him to voice the certain judgment they faced. The condemnation of them was as certain now as it was in the Old Testament. Destruction was waiting for the false teachers and would fall upon them, of this everyone concerned could be certain.

    2Peter 2:4-10 Judgment Upon False Teachers

    The Judgment announced by Peter in verse 3 is explained in verses 4-10. This entire Passage is one long conditional sentence beginning with “if God did not spare” in verse 4 concluding with the “then the Lord knows how” in verse 9. Three illustrations are given of God not sparing judgment upon evil.

    • God did not spare the angels when they sinned. This phrase has caused some debate among scholars as Peter is not very specific. It may refer to the “sons of God” in Genesis 6 who mated with the “daughters of men” to produce the Nephilim. Some scholars feel that this may be a reference to the apocryphal work of the book of Enoch. Others tie it to the great war between Michael and Satan along with their armies of angels in Revelation. In any case, the statement reflects a belief that angels had been cast from heaven into hell for disobedience. The word used here for “hell” is not the Gehenna of the Gospels but Tartarus from Greek mythology which was a place for the wicked dead. In that pit they wait for the final judgment.

    • If he did not spare the ancient world is a clear reference to the days of Noah. The instrument for that judgment was the flood. Noah, the herald of righteousness, was a good man in a wicked environment. His very life preached righteousness. His faith in building the ark preached to the world.

    • If by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah is the third illustration of God’s judgment to the wicked. Peter states that the fire and brimstone made the people of those cities and example to the wicked that would come after them. Just as Noah was a ray of hope in his time, Lot was the beacon in his. Lot is described as a righteous man who was disturbed by the happenings of the twin cities. Lot as a righteous man was offered salvation from the doom suffered by the city showing the deliberateness of God’s judgment on the wicked.

    If God could administer such punishment on the ancient world, He could still the same today. The false teachers faced a fate similar to the fallen angels, the men of Noah’s day, and the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah.

     
  7. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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