Friday, April 21, 2017

Marching Orders



Theme: The King’s Commission

Scriptures: Matthew 28:16-20 and Acts 1:6-11

Objectives:
Know: Christ commissioned His followers to make disciples wherever He sends them.
Think: Live with the understanding that I am to share and teach the gospel at every opportunity, and be part of getting it to all the world.
Do: Share and teach the gospel with those I come in contact with, and help sent the gospel to all people groups.

Notes and questions:
B1 Situation
  • Map
  • Distance
  • Mountain in Galilee
B2 Is every Christian a missionary?
B3 Is every Christian an evangelist?
B4 What is motive of preaching the Gospel?
B5 A few textual issues
  • Matthew 28:17
    • Some manuscripts have “...worshipped him” while others leave out “him.”
    • It seems that the context clearly shows the object of worship is Jesus.
    • “Some doubted” in Matthew 28:17 is literally “they doubted,” but as Wilbur Pickering notes, The Text actually says “they doubted”—it seems improbable that all of them would doubt (after all, they had seen Him at least twice already), so most translations render “some”. Although verse 16 refers specifically to the eleven, there may have been others (like His half-brothers, verse 10) along who had not seen Him yet.
  • Matthew 28:19
    • “... baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
    • Note the words and of the.
    • Wilbur Pickering in his notes on this passages remarks: Our Lord defines the Trinity here. According to Greek grammar the use of ‘and’ plus the definite article with items in a series makes clear that the items are distinct entities. So “the Father” is different from “the Son” is different from “the Holy Spirit”. So we have three persons. But He also said, “in the name”, singular, not ‘names’. So we have only one name. God is one ‘name’ or essence subsisting in three persons.
B6 Matthew 28:16-20
  • Who are the eleven? What happened to the 12th?
  • Why are they in Galilee?
  • Who were the ones who doubted? (Probably more than 11 went to the appointed hill in Galilee, perhaps, including Jesus’ half-brothers).
  • What are the 4 commands that Jesus gave? (We are to go and make disciples. Then when there are disciples, we are to baptize and teach them).
  • Were they to only teach part of Jesus’ teaching?
  • Why did Jesus include the nations in this commission?
  • Baptism here is water baptism. Christian baptism shows at least 4 things.
    • Shows our burial and resurrection WITH Jesus Christ. Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:3-4, NKJV)
    • Shows our obedience to Jesus Christ. Matthew 28:19
    • Shows that we willingly place ourselves under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 10:2 ...all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, (1 Corinthians 10:2, NKJV) and Ephesians 1:22 And He put all [things] under His feet, and gave Him [to be] head over all [things] to the church, (Ephesians 1:22, NKJV)
    • Shows that we have a clean conscience.
      • The blood of bulls and goats were a covering for sin but did not cleanse the conscience.
      • The perfect Passover Lamb (Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. (1 Corinthians 5:7, NKJV) is Jesus Christ whose sacrifice did cleanse the conscience.
      • Water has NO sacramental effect, that is, water does not wash away sin.
      • The physical water saved Noah and the other 7, because of the ark, while for the others, the water caused their death.
      • What washes us clean is the blood of Jesus Christ. (But Christ came [as] High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:11-14, NKJV) and Revelation 1:5 (and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, (Revelation 1:5, NKJV) Also Revelation 7:14.
  • What does the word observe mean?
    • It means to guard, keep, watch, etc. In our sense here, it would be obey as we would say keep the speed limit).
    • A quote from Rhoderick Ice in the The Bible study New Testament Explanatory Notes comment on this passage: The second part is to teach and instruct these disciples. To obey. Christianity is a way of life. We honor God by living “new lives.” Everything I have commanded you.
  • How many of the commands of the Lord Jesus are we to obey?
  • Haven’t times and culture changed, so that we do not have to obey these outdated commands? This is an evil teaching, because
    • Jesus said all
    • Some verses
      • who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. (Romans 1:25, NKJV) (The teaching here is that everything about God, who He is, what He believes, what He teaches, and what He wants creation (including us) how to live is corrupted and changed into something else).
      • But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, putting away lying, “[Let each one of you] speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with [his] hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:20-32, NKJV) (There is a Christian life to live).
    • The are about 1,000 laws in the New Testament for Christians. Some are given above in the quote from Ephesians.
    • God does not have a different law for different cultures, different eras, or different current nations.
    • By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. (1 John 5:2-3, NKJV) (Obedience is serious to God, and we should submit to God).
  • How long does Jesus promise to be with us?
    • Always
    • He is near to all, hoping for repentance. Acts 17:27-28 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; “for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ (Acts 17:27-28, NKJV)
    • He is near to all who call on Him for repentance and salvation. Psalm 145:18 The LORD [is] near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. (Psalms 145:18, NKJV)
    • He is near all believers. 1 Corinthians 3:16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and [that] the Spirit of God dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16, NKJV)
    • He is near to meet all our deepest needs. Hebrews 13:5-6 [Let your] conduct [be] without covetousness; [be] content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The LORD [is] my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”  (Hebrews 13:5-6, NKJV)
    • He is near us whenever and wherever we serve Him.
      • Philippians 4:10-13 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:10-13, NKJV)
      • Here is a good note in the book HandFuls on Purpose Volume 7 (1): This is not only the promise of His presence, it is the assurance of His co-operation. "The Lord is with thee... go in this thy might" (Judges 6:12-14). As servants, we are His property, to do His work, using His means and enjoying His presence and help. In this holy service we have nothing that we have not received, but in this lies the secret of our confidence. We take His yoke upon us, and so learn of Him who walks in the yoke with us.
    • Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:5, NKJV)
    • Some have pointed out also that this can only be accomplished if Jesus is God the Son.
B10 Acts 1:4-11
  • Promise of the Holy Spirit baptism, which was fulfilled in Acts 2:1-4. This is the birth of the Church. The Church is all the believers in Jesus Christ from His resurrection until the rapture.
  • The Holy Spirit baptism happens to all true believers at conversion. There is NO so-called second blessing or the evidence of not receiving the Holy Spirit until one talks in tongues.
    • But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. (Romans 8:9, NKJV).
    • In Him you also [trusted,] after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, (Ephesians 1:13, NKJV)
    • Do you not know that you are the temple of God and [that] the Spirit of God dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16, NKJV)
    • And many others.
  • What is the Kingdom?
    • It is believers
    • It is the DNA nation of Israel. This is the plain teaching of the Bible.
      • Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy. “Know therefore and understand, [That] from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, [There shall be] seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times. “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it [shall be] with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined. Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.” (Daniel 9:24-27, NKJV)
      • Zechariah 12 and 14
      • But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials. “And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed [one] upon Me, “that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Luke 22:28-30, NKJV)
      • Many other places.
    • There is a physical kingdom and a spiritual kingdom.
      • The Kingdom of God (Heaven) is where God rules whether an individual, country, or universe and beyond.
      • There is coming a time when God rules all earth and universe. Some will receive the just sentence because of their sin, while others God’s blessing for their obedience to the Gospel.
        • Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become [the kingdoms] of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” (Revelation 11:15, NKJV)
        • Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on [His] robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. (Revelation 19:15-16, NKJV)
        • Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3, NKJV)
        • Then [comes] the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy [that] will be destroyed [is] death. (1 Corinthians 15:24-26, NKJV)
      • There was a change when the Lord Jesus began His ministry. “The law and the prophets [were] until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it. (Luke 16:16, NKJV)
  • Why did Jesus not give a date for the Kingdom to be restored to Israel?
    • It is none of our business. We should be concerned with preaching that kingdom and living that kingdom. “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. (Matthew 24:36, NKJV)
    • We are to be prepared. “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer [is] near. “So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near–at the doors! (Matthew 24:32-33, NKJV)
  • What kind of power does Jesus refer to in Acts 1:8?
  • What kind of witnesses are we to be?
    • Wilbur Pickering makes a textural comment and a interpretative comment: A very small minority of Greek manuscripts (perhaps 2%), of inferior quality, read ‘my witnesses’ instead of ‘witnesses to me’. To my mind, at least, there is a significant difference in meaning—to be a witness to Jesus involves being like Him (Matthew 10:25) and doing like Him (John 14:12).
    • We are to be these witnesses.
    • Does Jesus want everyone to hear this?
  • Did Jesus really go up into heaven? How do we know?
  • Who are the two men?
  • What is the promise given?
  • Why hasn’t that promise been fulfilled yet? Jesus will return to the same place that He left. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, [Making] a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south. (Zechariah 14:4, NKJV)
  • What was the hope and joy of the disciples? (And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, (Luke 24:52, NKJV).
B11 Next week
  • He’s coming back
  • Theme: The King’s Return
  • Scriptures: Matthew 24:1-44

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Death Defeated



Theme: The Risen King

Objectives (from the D6 Fusion study guide)
Know: An angel rolled back the stone, revealing that Jesus was not in the tomb. He had risen from the dead.
Think: Be confident in my faith, knowing there is solid evidence for the Resurrection.
Do: Worship the risen Savior and spread the good news.

Scriptures: Matthew 28:1-15

Notes and questions
B1 Outline:
  • Jesus rises from the dead Matthew 28:1-10
  • Soldiers are bribed by chief priests Matthew 28:11-15
B2 Timeline
  • Jesus is crucified (Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday--probably Thursday)
  • Friday is special Sabbath, the Day of Preparation
  • Saturday is Regular Sabbath
  • Time runs from 1800 to 1800 the next day (“...evening and morning were the first day.” Genesis 1:5).
B3 Facts about Messiah’s Resurrection
  • Sources
    • Bible
      • Four Gospels
      • Epistles of Paul
    • Secular: The Toledoth Jesu, a compilation of early Jewish writings, is another source acknowledging this. It acknowledges that the tomb was empty, and attempts to explain it away. Further, we have a record of a second century debate between a Christian and a Jew, in which a reference is made to the fact that the Jews claim the body was stolen. So it is pretty well established that the early Jews admitted the empty tomb. Link.
    • On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, 'He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Anyone who can say anything in his favor, let him come forward and plead on his behalf.' But since nothing was brought forward in his favor he was hanged on the eve of the Passover! Link.  Search the document for the word “Yeshu.”
  • Prophecy
    • "For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption." (Psalm 16:10 NKJV) Compare Acts 2:25-28.
    • "O LORD, You brought my soul up from the grave; You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit." (Psalm 30:3 NKJV)
    • For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Matthew 12:40 [ESV]). So also Matthew 16:4, Matthew 16:21, Matthew 17:23, Matthew 20:19, Matthew 26:32, etc.
  • New Testament teaching
    • "...whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it." (Acts 2:24 NKJV)
    • "This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses." (Acts 2:32 NKJV)
    • “He was holy and good, but you rejected him, and instead you asked Pilate to do you the favor of turning loose a murderer. You killed the one who leads to life, but God raised him from death—and we are witnesses to this.” (Acts 3:14-15).
    • Shows
      • He is God. He is sinless. He has the principle of life in Him. “...and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” (Romans 1:4, NKJV)
      • Fulfillment of Scripture. See the prophetic verses above. Also, “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4, NKJV).
      • He has conquered death. Romans 6:9 with Ephesians 2:6
      • Proof and promise of our resurrection. The promise of a new body like Jesus’. Romans 6:5, 1 Corinthians 15:12-13, 21, 42.
      • We are justified. Proves His authority to forgive sin. Romans 4:25, 1 Corinthians 15:17
      • Gives us hope. 1 Corinthians 15:19
      • Is a picture of our new life. Romans 6:4, Colossians 2:12
      • He is King of the Universe (and all). Revelation 1:17-18
  • Proofs
    • Many witnesses, the more the better. Among many passages--Thereafter He appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, of whom the majority remain until now, but some have fallen asleep. (I Corinthians 15:6 [EMTV])
    • Hostile witnesses-- Now while they were going, behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. When they had assembled with the elders and taking counsel, they gave sufficient silver coins to the soldiers, saying, "Tell them, 'His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we were sleeping.' "And if this reaches the governor's ears, we will influence him and make you secure." So they took the silver and did as they were instructed. And this saying has been widely spread among the Jews until this day. (Matthew 28:11-15 [EMTV])
    • Recorded close as possible to the event. The Gospels were written in the first century.
    • It was well known. “Now when some days had passed, King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at Caesarea, and greeted Festus. As he stayed there many days, Festus laid Paul’s case before the king, saying, “There is a certain man left a prisoner by Felix; about whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, asking for a sentence against him. To whom I answered that it is not the custom of the Romans to give up any man to destruction, before the accused has met the accusers face to face, and has had opportunity to make his defense concerning the matter laid against him. When therefore they had come together here, I didn’t delay, but on the next day sat on the judgment seat, and commanded the man to be brought. Concerning whom, when the accusers stood up, they brought no charge of such things as I supposed; but had certain questions against him about their own religion, and about one Jesus, who was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive[Emphasis--edit]. Being perplexed how to inquire concerning these things, I asked whether he was willing to go to Jerusalem and there be judged concerning these matters. But when Paul had appealed to be kept for the decision of the emperor, I commanded him to be kept until I could send him to Caesar.” Agrippa said to Festus, “I also would like to hear the man myself.” “Tomorrow,” he said, “you shall hear him.” So on the next day, when Agrippa and Bernice had come with great pomp, and they had entered into the place of hearing with the commanding officers and principal men of the city, at the command of Festus, Paul was brought in. Festus said, “King Agrippa, and all men who are here present with us, you see this man, about whom all the multitude of the Jews petitioned me, both at Jerusalem and here, crying that he ought not to live any longer. But when I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death, and as he himself appealed to the emperor I determined to send him.” (Acts 25:13-25 [WEB])
  • Excuses
    • Swoon theory
      • Jesus didn’t die. He passed out. The soldiers thought he was dead.
      • In the tomb He revived, moved the heavy stone out of the way, overpowered the Roman guards, and walked nearly a mile after being dehydrated for over 4 days, wounded, beat, bruised, etc.
      • Not exactly good logic or reason any victorious celebration.
      • Totally false
    • Hallucination theory
      • Jesus died and was buried.
      • The disciples believed so strongly that over 500 people had a mass hallucination of seeing him alive and victorious in Jerusalem.
      • The first mass hallucination that included followers and non-followers.
      • The list of witnesses (from “The New Evidence the Demands a Verdict” by Josh McDowell)
        • To Mary Magdalene: Mark 16:9, John 20:14
        • To women returning from the tomb: Matthew 28:9-10
        • To Peter later in the day: Luke 24:34, 1 Corinthians 15:5
        • To the Emmaus disciples: Luke 24:13-33
        • To the Apostles without Thomas: Luke 24:36-43, John 20:19-24
        • To the Apostles with Thomas present: John 20:26-29
        • To the seven by the Lake of Tiberias: John 21:1-23
        • To a multitude of 500+ believers on a Galilean mountain: 1 Corinthians 15:6
        • To James: 1 Corinthians 15:7
        • To the eleven: Matthew 28:16-20, Mark 16:14-20, Luke 24:33-52, Acts 1:3-12
        • At the ascension: Acts 1:3-12
        • To Paul: Acts 9:3-6
        • To Stephen: Acts 7:55
        • To Paul in the Temple: Acts 22:17-21, Acts 23:11
        • To John on Patmos: Revelation 1:10-19
      • Totally false
    • Substitute theory
      • Jesus didn't die
      • The substitute died
      • A few days later Jesus shows up and proclaims that He has risen from the dead.
      • Pilate and the religious leaders didn't have a clue what Jesus looked like.
      • Jesus had a twin who volunteered to be crucified.
      • Totally illogical and false
    • Stole the body theory
      • The scared and cowardly disciples overpowered the Roman guards by showing up and scaring them.
      • After the guards fled from the disciples, the disciples removed the dead body of Jesus and proclaimed that He had risen.
      • Nobody saw Jesus walking around after the resurrection.
    • The dogs ate Jesus body theory.
      • After Jesus died, his body was thrown out into a ditch were some wild dogs ate his body.
      • No one could find Jesus body, so the disciples decided that Jesus has risen from the dead.
      • Eleven of the Apostles were put to death in the first century believing this lie.
      • This theory is not even good fiction. There is no proof, no witnesses, and no argument.
    • Resurrection was not physical; it was a spiritual resurrection.
      • Jesus died and was buried.
      • He rotted in a few hours and could not be found.
      • The disciples wanting a good story said that Jesus raised from dead and went to heaven.
      • No one saw Jesus do this including God.
      • No evidence, not even a little bit of thinking.
    • The wrong tomb theory.
      • Joseph of Arimathea, his servants, and the women were clueless to get around Jerusalem.
      • Joseph didn't even know where his tomb was.
      • The Romans guards or Jewish leaders didn't know where the tomb was either.
      • When the disciples came looking for Jesus, they got lost, and found some grave that was empty, and decided that Jesus had raised from the dead.
      • The Roman soldiers, Jewish leaders, and Joseph of Arimathea became disoriented and couldn't find the grave with the dead body. They wanted to show everyone that Jesus body was in the grave, but no one knew where that grave was.
B4 Matthew 28:1-15

  • Parallel passages
    • Mark 16:1-8
    • Luke 24:1-12
    • John 20:1-10
  • When did the Sabbath end? (The previous sunset).
  • When did the two women journey to the tomb?
  • Who were the two women? (Mary and probably Mary the mother of James and Joseph. Matthew 27:56)
  • Who is already at the tomb? (The Roman guard. It was not the Temple Guard. The religious leaders had asked Pilate for a guard (Matthew 27:62-66).
  • What was happening at the tomb before the women arrived?
  • What happened to the guards?
  • Why was the stone rolled away?
  • What is the significance of holding Jesus’ feet? (Proves He is a real body, not a ghost/spirit).
  • Why did the Roman guards go to the chief priests and not Pilate? (Pilate would have had them killed for letting the “prisoner” go. These guards knew the chief priests could help them out).
  • Why did the priests give the guards this particular message?
  • How does the resurrection of Jesus Christ affect you today?