September - Reading 18

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Sep 18, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good evening -

    When reading Isaiah today I was very struck by the obvious sarcasm in chapter 47. Look at verse 12 for an example. It is like the prophet is saying, "Go ahead, keep it up! You'll get your's!" This chapter will be the last mention of Babylon in this Book. It is interesting that Assyria is viewed as God's instrument in earlier chapters, Babylon is viewed as a disgrace. Despite the beauty of the city (verse 7), it would become like prostitute (verse 3). Babylon, like her idols, would be consumed with the fire of the Lord's retribution.

    I got ahead of the reading last night in Luke and spoke about the sign over Christ's as He hung on the cross. I will paste from last night's commentary what I said there and edit that post at another time.
    In Luke 23:38 I read an interesting footnote that perhaps Pilate had this sign hung above Christ to mock the Jewish leaders who called for the crucifixion. As I stated before, I've always felt a bit of pity for Pilate. There are legends that after the death of Christ, Pilate began wringing his hands incessantly, still trying to wash the blood from them (Matthew 27:24). Unresolvable guilt accompanied by the wringing of hands is even still known today by modern psychologists as a "Pontius Pilate complex".

    In Hebrews, the author has summarized his assertions concerning the Priestliness of Christ. The curtain spoken of in verse 20 is the curtain that hung in the Tent and eventually the Temple seperating the Most Holy Place from the rest of the enclosure (Leviticus 16:2). The curtain was torn at the moment of Christ's death (Matthew 27:51) granting all who beieved access into that Most Holy Place. We also read of the Most Holy Place in 1Kings 6:15 where the dimensions describe it as a cube. In Revelation 21:22, the whole of the new Jerusalem IS the Most Holy place and thus has no Temple. This will be when we are again in direct communion with God. This is the end result of Christ's sacrifice as High Priest.

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  3. Aaron

    Aaron
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    Hebrews 10:19-20 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body.

    ...the curtain, that is, his body.

    Everything about the Temple, the Priesthood and the Offerings prefigured Jesus Christ and His work. Here the Apostle spoke of the curtain as symbolizing Christ's body.

    God bore witness of this symbolism when He tore the curtain in two from top to bottom when His beloved Son from His torn body gave up the ghost.

    Jesus also testified of this saying, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up....But he spake of the temple of his body," John 2:19-21.

    Who rent the vail in two? God Himself. Who crucified Christ? God Himself, though the unbelieving Jews were His instrument.

    As we will read in the great Book of Isaiah, "It pleased the LORD to bruise him," Isa. 53:10.

    And again, "Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered:" Zech. 13:7.

    What a great salvation the LORD has wrought for us! Is it any wonder the fearful warning the Apostle gives us?
    Let us indeed "hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful," vs 23.
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Proverbs 27:3-4

    Chapter 27 offers us little in religious instruction, but the author is here "telling like it is." Verses 3-4 concentrate on the emotions of jealousy and envy in a fool. Our Master suffered at such emotions and even Pilate recognized it as the Scriptures tell us in Matthew 27:17-18.
     
  5. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lesson 2/20/05 - continued

    Luke 23:39-43 The Penitent Thief

    Once again we have here an episode told to us only by Luke. Mark states “those who were crucified with Him also reviled Him.” Luke tells us that one of them recognized Jesus for who He truly was. He calls down his fellow criminal on the basis that the hour of death is hardly the time to mock an innocent man. They, too, were being ushered through the door of death to the judgment of God.

    The thief turns to Christ with a plea that he be remembered when Christ comes into His kingly power or, by some manuscripts, kingdom. In His reply, Jesus informs the man that he will not have to wait for some future date but that he would be with Him in Paradise. It should be noted that the comma could be placed after “today,” but the placing of it before seems to fit the context better. Even in the last moment of life, one can turn to Jesus and be granted fellowship. Death is presented as the necessary step towards that fellowship. Both Jesus and the man would have to die to be in “Paradise.”

    The term “Paradise is used three times in the New Testament: here, 2Corinthians 12:4, and Revelation 2:7. In the Old Testament it is translated “garden” but here it refers to a place of blessed happiness. By some interpretations it represents a station separate from the “third Heaven”. Without pursuing the lines of this argument, suffice it to say that the thief was granted salvation by Jesus. Death, therefore, is not presented as defeat but as a necessary step to enter glory.
     
  6. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Isaiah

    Sunday School 4/30/06 conclusion

    Isaiah 46:1-2 The Burdensome gods of Babylon

    The commentator George Adam Smith noted of this chapter, “It makes all the difference to a man how he conceives his religion – whether as something he has to carry, or as something that will carry him.” The religion of Babylon would soon demonstrate itself as one that must be carried.

    Verses 1-2 describe the frantic efforts of the people of Babylon to save their two chief gods, Bel and Nebo, from falling into the hands of the Persians. These entities that were looked upon as the strength of Babylon, however, are soon taken captive as they ride away on beasts and they must now suffer captivity. Obviously, they were no gods at all.

    Isaiah 46:3-4 God’s Unfailing Support of Israel

    The gods of Babylon had been carried about by men but the God of Israel had carried His people since their conception and would do so until their deaths. There was never a lapse in His care for them nor would there ever be one.

    In chapter 40 we saw that many of the remnant thought that God no longer cared about them. Here God speaks through the prophet to encourage and assure them that He was there in the beginning and would continue until the end. The reference to “saving” obviously references the end of the exile.

    Isaiah 46:5-7 The Absurdity of Idolatry

    The attack upon idolatry by the prophet was quite relentless as the stakes were high. Idolatry had been a main factor in the theological reason for the exile in the first place and Israel’s future depended upon them accepting the lesson. Here he reiterates some of his main points from previous Passages: (1) even though idols are made of valuable materials, they are still only man-made objects; (2) they must be carried from place to place; (3) When man is not moving them, they are not able to move themselves; (4) They do not respond to prayer; (5) they can not deliver a man from his troubles. Though these points seem self-evident, man is always in danger of falling into the trap of idolatry.

    Isaiah 46:8-13 Exhortation to Unbelievers

    Once again, we see several of the prophets motifs reiterated in this Passage. These include (1) the present stubbornness and rebelliousness of the exiles; (2) the uniqueness of Israel’s God; (3) an exhortation to faith with an appeal to prophecy; (4) the certainty of the fulfillment of the Lord’s purpose; (4) the emergence of Cyrus as the Lord’s servant. Verse 13 speaks of the deliverance being near at hand suggesting a date just prior to Cyrus’ conquest of Babylon.
     
  7. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Hebrews



    As stated last week, chapter 10 of the Book of Hebrews deals with the ultimate will of God. The chapter can be divided into six parts of which we discussed the first three last week. Those were:
    • Verses 1-4 that deal with the failure of the Law to make perfect God’s elect;
    • Verses 5-10 describe the will of God in terms of the One who took bodily form and through obedience performed the will of God;
    • Verses 11-18 speak of the final forgiveness which makes the sin offering no longer necessary.
    The second three sections dealing with the same subject are:
    • Verses 19-25 which extend the invitation to draw near to God. This is the ultimate goal of religion and a feat accomplished by the bodily sacrifice of Christ;
    • Verses 26-31 issue a solemn warning against deliberate sin after receiving the truth of the Gospel;
    • Verses 32-39 close the chapter with words of encouragement to endure to the end and receive the award granted through faithfulness.
    Hebrews 10:19-25 The Invitation

    The Old Testament Jews held a very high respect for royalty. When one sought audience with a monarch there was no guarantee that one would get to see him. That point is illustrated in Esther where she as a queen was dubious as to whether the king would see her. That feeling was extended even more so to God. Such an attitude is highly commendable for a believer in God. There can be no irreverent arrogance as one approaches the throne.

    The preacher in Hebrews reassures us that we can approach the throne with surety because of the confidence we have through our faith in Jesus Christ. The confidence we hold is grounded in the sacrifice made for our atonement. Our personal worthiness does not come into play here. Jesus opened the way and we are to enter following Him.

    The preacher uses Jesus’ flesh as a metaphor to the veil that separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the Temple. This veil in the past had served to shut man out from the presence of God. At the moment of Christ death, that veil was torn. Some scholars have noted that it was torn from top to bottom, by the hand of God, not bottom to top by the hand of man. The separation of man from God could only be rectified from God’s side. Man had always lacked the ability to tear the veil.

    Now the invitation is put forth to draw near. Man had beforehand been prevented from drawing near by the veil. We must therefore analyze what the veil really was. It was constructed by man and it consisted of his sins. We constructed the veil in unrighteousness and it became too great a barrier for us to remove. But Christ being greater than our sins, by taking our sins upon Himself and tearing that flesh on the cross, laid open a new and living fellowship with God.
    There are conditions set forth as to the proper way to draw near, however, and they are set forth in verse 22. We are to draw near with the full assurance of faith. We approach wholeheartedly and with no reservations. We believe that God exists and we believe that He rewards those that seek Him. We believe that God will always be in a receptive mood and will answer our prayers and accept our worship.

    We are to draw near to God with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience. Only with our inner selves cleansed can we feel comfortable in the presence of God. Christ’s sacrifice provided that inner cleansing that created within us a clean heart and put a new spirit within us (Psalm 51:10).

    We must draw near with our bodies washed with pure water. While this may sound like an argument for the necessity of baptism, it is far deeper than the baptism of water that John provided. This is the moral cleansing that that baptism symbolized. That moral cleansing is evidenced in the way in which we conduct our lives. A clean heart must be accompanied by a higher moral position in this world. A clean living body evidences that it is the residence of the Holy Spirit.

    After the appeal to draw near to God the preacher appeals to his audience to hold fast the confession of hope. Remember, the Christian hope is anchored by Christ in the Heavenly Sanctuary. That hope is our confession at baptism when we are buried with Christ and raised in a new life. Our hope lies in the resurrection not only of the Master but for us as well.

    The third appeal made by the preacher is to stir up one another with love and good works. In these appeals we see the common triad presented throughout the New Testament: faith hope and love. These are the graces bestowed upon the believer when he draws near to God. Notice how good works is tied to these graces. Dynamic Christian behavior is the natural effect of our fellowship with God through Christ.

    The KJV translation of verse 25 puts proper emphasis on the exhortation presented. We are told to never do to each other what God has promised to never to do to us. We are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. There are no lone Christians. We function as a body. To abandon public worship goes against Jesus’ establishment of the church. The exercise of the three graces of faith, hope and love are kept alive by the communion we have with one another. The preacher tells us to encourage one another. The act of absenting oneself from the assembly discourages our brothers and sisters. Many lives are shipwrecked when they distance themselves from the church. Even impending persecution should not discourage the believer from assembly. To be deliberately absent from Christian fellowship can be interpreted as disloyalty and that leads to the warning which follows.

    Hebrews 10:26-31 The Warning

    There are no stronger words of warning in the New Testament than these. For the preacher, there is no worse sin than disloyalty. The person guilty of disloyalty after receiving the truth of the Gospel was as guilty as if he had trodden Christ underfoot.

    In such a case where one has betrayed Christ, showing contempt of His sacrifice, what else can a Just God do but take vengeance? Blasphemy is regarded in both Testaments as a heinous sin. For the preacher one form of blasphemy was withdrawal from the Christian community. Since God had extended the invitation of fellowship through Christ, a show of ingratitude or disloyalty could only result in punishment.

    Once again we must consider the echoing question that Hebrews raises: can one lose their salvation? It was likely not the preacher’s intention to raise such controversy over the millennia, but his arguments must make the serious student take notice and never take the issue lightly.
     
  8. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Hebrews 10:32-39 The Encouragement.

    The preacher abruptly turns from solemn warning to consoling encouragement. He reminds them of the valor they had shown in the early days of their conversion. The persecution they were undergoing had been going on for at least as long as their church had been established as it is implied that they had previously known that renouncing their faith would have ended their persecution. Yet they persisted and gave aid to those who had fallen victim to the intolerance of the world. They had aided those in prison, a potentially dangerous move and had endured the confiscation of their property knowing that they were still far richer than those who robbed them.

    History has shown us and the New Testament has warned us that faith comes with a cost. It is never held without struggle on some level. Should times become increasingly trying, know that it is the way of the cross, the new and living way established by Christ that we follow. By persisting in faith and persisting in confession, by remaining faithful to our meetings and faithful to our brethren, we do the will of God and move forward towards our reward.

    The New Testament writers saw the return of Christ as imminent and the Hebrew audience was to approach their endurance as lasting but a little while. By writing in such near future terms, the words remain relevant to us as well. We must look to the reward as coming soon. The Day of Judgment is upon us at any moment and to shrink back from our faith is unpardonable. The preacher quotes Habakkuk in verses 37-38 to once again tie the relevance of the Gospel hope to the Old Testament.
     
  9. Clint Kritzer

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