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Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Aaron, Sep 3, 2002.
[ September 03, 2002, 11:41 PM: Message edited by: Aaron ]
So far in Hebrews, there have been eight direct citations from the Old Testament, and six of those are from the Psalms. </font>
Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee, Psalm 2:7.</font>
I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son, 2 Samuel 7:14; 1 Chron. 17:13.</font>
Let all the angels of God worship him, Psalm 97:7.</font>
Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire, Psalm 104:4.</font>
Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows, Psalm 45:6,7.</font>
Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail, Psalm 102:25-27</font>
Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool, Psalm 110:1.</font>
What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet, Psalm 8:4-6.</font>
All of these pertain to Jesus Christ, yet, if we were simply reading through the Psalms, or the two histories cited, would we comprehend that these things were speaking directly of Jesus and His office?
Not likely. These things are spiritually discerned. But the Apostle thought these citations rather conclusive evidence in his arguments.
[ September 03, 2002, 11:40 PM: Message edited by: Aaron ]
Good evening -
To Aaron's comments on Hebrews I will add this one observation: verse 3 seems to lend evidence that Paul nor any of the Disciples are the author of this Letter. The term "those who heard him" is not being applied in a first person sense whereas Paul had seen Christ on the road to Damascus. Of course, the actual author is inconsequential to the modern believer. The Book of Hebrews harmonizes perrfectly with the other Epistles and the Gospels. However, speculating on the author adds a bit of mystery and fun to one's Bible studies.
In Isaiah I will say again that so much material is covered so quickly that it is hard to keep these commentaries brief. Chapter 6 shows us the Call or commission of Isaiah. In verse 8 just as we have seen in so many other Biblical characters, the man of God when called answers "Here I am." Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Samuel, etc. all answered with this same reply. In chapter 7 we see the sign of Immanuel or "God with us." The Messianic prophecies are easy for the modern Christian to spot however, this passage was also reflecting the deliverance of the Jews to Jerusalem from their bondage by the Assyrians, Babylonians, and finally Persians. It should be noted that King Uzziah is also known as Azariah for your cross-referencing. The reference to curds and honey implies that the Israelites would be living off of the land instead of from domesticated livestock and agricultural goods.
In chapter 8 verses 16 & 17 may refer to Isaiah having his prophecies sealed to be opened at a later date to prove their accuracy. Just a theory.
The Widow's Offering in Luke is one of the great cheerful giver stories. Copper coins at that time, just as today, were not worth very much, but it is what the old gal had. God does not need our money but He demands our obedience. The widow gave what she had to give and was recognized by the Master for it, and lives as an example to this day. What a testimony!
May God bless you
Not only is there happiness and peace of mind to be found in following the way of Wisdom, but even life itself. Living by the guidelines that God sets forth for us secures for us bliss, both now and in the future life. John 14:12-13; 15:10-14
Sunday School lesson - 2/6/05
The bulk of chapter 21 deals with some of Jesus’ teachings about the last days, that is, the time immediately before the Parousia. It is noteworthy that these revelations are made at the prompting of a question as opposed to a simple volunteering of information. Just as in the modern day, believers of the first century also sought to know the future. While Christ’s reply did not answer the specific “when,” that His questioners had hoped for, it did give a message of hope for the believers and a warning to stay prepared.
Once again, the context of these events is important to understanding the events being told here. Jesus had entered Jerusalem in a deliberate method declaring His Messiahship, fulfilling numerous prophecies. After entering the city he cleansed the Temple of the moneychangers and merchants and set up a base of operations for His teaching ministry. There were numerous witnesses to the miracles He had performed during the traveling phase of His ministry. All of these things pointed to Him as the Christ who would free Israel from her bondage. While the religious and political leaders plotted in secret, the crowds openly gathered about Him. We are now examining what would traditionally be Thursday of Passion Week.
Luke 21:1-4 The Commendation of the Widow
The first four verses of chapter 21 are a postscript to the final 3 v3erses of chapter 20. Jesus had just condemned the scribes who used their position for power and prestige. Now on the other side of the social fence, He sees a widow among the rich making monetary offerings at the Temple. She must have seemed rather out of place among those who were making such large contributions and the paltry offering of two copper coins (KJV-mites) worth less than a penny being put into the treasury must have seemed rather insignificant.
Throughout Luke we have seen that monetary wealth should never be confused with spiritual health. There is the story of the rich, young man, Lazarus and the rich ruler, the man who built new barns and Zacchaeus’ desire to return his ill gotten gains to his victims after his conversion. Now in the small drama before His listeners’ eyes was a demonstration of spiritual health superceding monetary wealth.
The contribution made by the widow represented her entire earthly wealth. In doing so, she demonstrated her faith that God would provide for her needs. She did not concern herself with her physical needs for the future because she knew that God would provide for them. The rich beside her had given out of their abundance. They had not demonstrated the faith that the widow had shown because they had not forfeited their financial security. Further, they may have even thought that they had purchased God’s favor and denied the very concept of Grace.
Luke 21:5-38 Teachings About the Events of the End
Luke 21:5-9 The Danger of Being Led Astray
The Herodian Temple, though it likely did not approach the grandeur of the original Temple built by Solomon, was nonetheless a very spectacular structure. The extrabiblical accounts and modern archaeological findings we have some glimpses of how ornate and ornamented it was. Mark attributes the comment about the remarkable beauty and grandeur of the Temple to one of the Disciples. Jesus replied to this comment of admiration that one day the edifice in which He was teaching, that bore such an air of permanency would be reduced to rubble. Indeed, in 70AD the Romans put the building to the torch and subsequently leveled it so that the site of the once proud building became a barren plot.
From the text we can surmise that the destruction of the Temple was considered an eschatological event. This prompts one of His audience to ask Him what would be the sign that such an event was upon them. Jesus begins His teaching about the end times with a word of warning not to be deceived by false messiahs. He also adds not to be alarmed by reports of wars and civil disturbances. These events are not the marks of the end. Finally He informs them that there will be a delay, the end will not come at once. These events will occur, but they do not mark the eminency of the end.
Luke 21:10-19 Disturbances and Persecutions
International conflicts, natural disasters, and unusual astral phenomenon have always been associated with divine displeasure. In Christian circles they have even been interpreted as signs of the return of Christ and God’s final judgment. Once again, however, we are told that these are also not the signs that we should seek pointing to the end.
More pertinent to Jesus’ audience was the persecution that they would have to endure before the end. There have been times throughout history that believes must have hoped and prayed for the return of Christ in order that their sufferings would end. Even in the times immediately following Christ’s Ascension, the early Christians were brought into synagogues for inquisition and before governors for trial (Acts 24:1). Christians must recognize that persecution is not a sign of the end. Instead it is an opportunity for witnessing. Faith in the face of persecution will serve as a testimony of their faith. In those times we are told that Jesus (or the Holy Spirit elsewhere in the New Testament, no contradiction) will give us the words that we should use.
As followers, however, we may be asked to pay a heavy price. We may be betrayed by family and friends and some will even suffer martyrdom. Jesus states in no uncertain terms that we will be hated by all. Nonetheless, if we stay the course our future is assured, not necessarily with physical well being, but spiritual reward and security.
Sunday School lesson 3/12/06
As one reads through the Old Testament, certain Passages stand out as particularly significant. A few of these are Jeremiah 31, Psalm 23, and Exodus 20. I probably do not even need to name what these Passages are. One of those pinnacles is the subject of our study today, Isaiah 6 – the call of Isaiah.
Isaiah 6:1-5 The Vision and the Response
Isaiah had grown to manhood under the rule of King Uzziah and now in the year 740 BC the good king had died. Uzziah is praised in the Scriptures that speak of him. He modernized the army, conquered Philistia, extended trade into Arabia, restructured mining in Elath and took an active interest in the agricultural industry of his kingdom. He raised Judah to a point of splendor that had not been matched since Solomon.
His death after forty years of rule brought about a great anxiety in the people. Assyria loomed to the north, growing in strength. Uzziah’s son, Jotham, was known to be a weak leader. As Isaiah entered the temple, he must have felt a great sense of worry over the political climate his countrymen found themselves in.
Once inside, however, Isaiah had a vision of the Heavenly courtroom described often in the Old Testament where God sits on a throne attended constantly by various beings. Judah’s earthly throne was empty. Earthly kings come and go in procession but Heaven’s throne had One who sat on it eternally.
The text describes God as being attended by an unspecified number of seraphim. Though described in Ezekiel 5, they are named nowhere else in the Old Testament. The term means “to burn” and the word from which “seraphim” is derived is used elsewhere to describe snakes, perhaps because of the burning sensation of their venom. They are strangely composite beings made up of characteristics of birds, snakes and men. Each seraphim had six wings. With two of these they covered their faces, showing reverence before God, with two they covered their feet, a euphemism for genitals, showing modesty and with two they flew showing their ability to serve.
One of the seraphim called to another, “holy, holy, holy.” This threefold repetition serves to mark the uniqueness of Israel’s God. Holiness is a quality that belongs only to God. It is derived from a root that means “to cut off,” or “to separate.” God is separate from man and man’s sin. This aspect becomes a focal point throughout th Book of Isaiah as his favorite term for God is “the Holy One of Israel.
Upon being confronted with God’s holiness, Isaiah exclaims, “Woe is me.” He became at once aware of his own sinfulness and defilement. Isaiah did not fear God because he was a man, but because he was a sinful man. The word translated “lost” or “undone” in Isaiah’s exclamation means literally destroyed. He must have felt that to be in the presence of such holiness was doom for a sinful creature. He had not yet experienced the mercy of God.
Isaiah had not recognized how depraved his moral state was until he came face to face with God. He described his lips as “unclean” like those of a leper. His people as a whole were also of unclean lips. Perhaps Isaiah sensed that he was going to be called to be a prophet. He just did not feel that he was worthy of such a great honor.
Isaiah 6:6-13 The Purification and the Commission
Forgiveness of sin has always been at a cost. In Isaiah’s case, the cost was having a hot coal pressed to his unclean lips. The seraphim removed the coal from the altar with a pair of tongs. The pressing of the coal to Isaiah’s lips represents the removal of his guilt and makes him a new man. Isaiah who had felt separated from God now feels separated from his sin.
We now see that Isaiah came upon the scene of the royal court after a verdict had been rendered. The deliberation had been against Judah and it was time now for the verdict to be delivered. The Lord asks, “Whom shall we send?” The question does not seem to be directed towards Isaiah in particular, but unlike Moses who made excuses or Jeremiah who claimed inadequacy, Isaiah steps up immediately and replies, “Here am I. Send me.” Isaiah was so grateful for the removal of his sin that he set himself into service before he even knew what the task would be. His urgency seems to suggest that he feared someone else may have accepted the task and taken away his opportunity.
It is interesting that God did not commission Isaiah until after he had volunteered. Isaiah desired to be a servant no matter what that service may be. When he is given his instructions, it must have seemed an impossible task.
Isaiah is told to make the people’s hearts hard, their eyes dim and their ears numb. It should be understood that this was not the intent of the message but the inevitable result of delivering to a people who were so rebellious. The prophetic message would crystallize the charges against Judah and seal her fate.
Isaiah’s response seems to indicate surprise and so he asks, “How long?” Perhaps the newly commissioned prophet was a bit bewildered that so soon after being relieved of his burden of sin he had picked up the burden of preaching to a rebellious people. God’s response was not very encouraging. No time limit was set. Instead he was instructed to continue his ministry until the existing and presently prosperous state of Israel had been annihilated.
Verse 13 has traditionally been interpreted as setting forth the doctrine of the remnant so prevalent in Isaiah. Just as a stump will push out new growth, so too would a decimated Israel miraculously endure.
Hebrews 2:1-5 The Word of Jesus vs. the Word of Angels
As stated in the introduction, a crisis of persecution is evident in the text throughout Hebrews. In chapter 2, however, we are introduced to the more important crisis the early Christians were facing – a loss of fervor. The world was sweeping them away from Christ.
The author had preached a high and heady theology in chapter 1 but now he brings it all down to the level of the current crisis. His Christology had not been to correct an error in doctrine. It was far more practical. He was giving a wake up call to a congregation who was drifting.
Christ as the Son, as the Creator, as the Ruler of Heaven is the anchor and the rudder of the church. The word “drift” in verse 1 literally means “to carry past.” The danger to this congregation was that they would be carried past the harbor of the promised land by the tides of their society. To avoid this sad catastrophe, they must pay closer attention to what they have heard, that is, the Gospel of Christ.
The message carried by the angels is confirmed as valid. That message was the Law to Moses and the word to the prophets. When that word was disobeyed, punishment was forthcoming. Now the word given by Christ, the final Word of God, was being ignored. How terrible would be the consequences! Indifference to Christ spells certain downfall.
For the author of Hebrews, salvation is that final phase of existence in the Glory of God. The greatness of that salvation is attested in four ways: (1) The Lord Himself spoke of it in His life and teachings. (2) It was attested by the ear-witnesses to the event of that life. (3) God bore witness to the salvation offered by Christ with signs, wonders and miracles. (4) The Holy Spirit’s descent at Pentecost and the receiving of spiritual gifts still stood in the memories of those who heard the author.
That salvation was not targeted towards the angels. It was not for them that world to come had been designed for. It was for those who would put their faith in Christ and hang on to for the long haul. It was for those who remained moored to him. It was for those who the preacher of Hebrews saw drifting past.
Hebrews 2:6-18 As we enter chapter 2 of Hebrews, it is key to remember that the author is still presenting his argument establishing Christ as God’s final word. For salvation of mankind to occur, it was necessary that God come to man. Man could not go to God.
In the first chapter of the Book, the author dedicated his sermon to establishing Jesus as superior to the angels. That argument was based upon several theological truths including Jesus having the name “Son,” the Law of Moses brought by the angels as insufficient, and the eternal nature of Christ opposed to the created nature of the angels.
By all appearances, man is at a lower station of existence than the angels. True though this may be at the present point in history, it was not and will not always be the case. In fact, God created man in His image as an immortal entity who had dominion over all of creation. It was man’s folly of sin that brought him into this station. This was the final argument of 2:5 and now the preacher will expound upon the necessity of God becoming incarnate in the form of Christ to move us back to the previous glory for which we were originally intended. The angels were not able to do this. Therefore the present argument is towards the superiority of Jesus in redemptive work.
The word of salvation spoken by and through Christ was superior to that of the angels. It spoke of the painful passion of the Son of God here among us. His suffering and endurance to the point of death not only qualified Him, but also enabled God to invest Him with power which He could use on behalf of His fellow man.
Hebrews 2:6-9 The Necessity of Incarnation
In verse 6, the phrase “it has been testified somewhere” was a common device used by the commentators of Scriptures. By omitting an author’s name and referring only to the statement, the commentator is displaying his belief that the actual author was God. It is a testimony to the doctrine of inspiration. It shows that the speaker is not as important as the speech.
God had intended to bring into subjection the world to come, not to the angels, but to man. He had intended to crown with glory, not the angels, but man. The only way in which this could be accomplished was that man must be made, for a time, a little lower than the angels and hence the representative man who would bring about salvation must also be so.
The author concedes we have not seen all of this world yet brought under our dominion. But, he says, we see Jesus. The preacher has already established Christ in His pre-incarnate form as the author and reason for creation. In His post-incarnate form He has been crowned with glory and exalted to God’s right hand.
For the Jews, the fact that Jesus had suffered and died was a stumbling block to their faith. Why, they asked, was it necessary for the Christ, the promised Messiah, to suffer death? The answer is that it was the purpose of God to bring man to glory and the only way to reach that destiny is through suffering. Therefore it was fitting that the leader of the portion of mankind that would reach that end must also suffer. In answer to the Jews’ stumbling block the author gives this answer: He suffered for all mankind.
In addition, Jesus’ suffering accomplished two things: (1) it made Him sympathetic and therefore qualified as a High Priest, and (2) by His death He broke the power of death which had kept man in fear.
The argument will be further explored in the next Passage.
Our Scriptures for 9/4 are: