Friday, January 30, 2009

Before You Remarry

Hi Moreen,

I'm sorry for taking so long to get back to you. I hope things have smoothed out for you lately. How are things going?

What I meant by patterns and falling into them easily is that when two people who once were pretty much on the same page fall off that page into the situation ending in divorce it is almost always the result of both of their sinfulness, and over time, patterns of sinfulness. When you and George first married, things were better than they were a year ago. Then after your temporary parting 10 years ago, things were good again. But in neither situation did things stay that way. It wasn't one or the other of your faults alone; it takes two people to have a fight and/or to drift away.

George had no idea how to be a godly husband. He didn't know how to love you in a Biblical way and so his lack of love had a particular result in your heart and behavior. But you also didn't know how to be a respectful wife and your lack of respect for him as God's appointment over you resulted in a certain amount of reaction to you on George’s part. These two things combined over 20 years or so resulted in the situation in which you find yourselves today.

You have been divorced and are technically free to remarry. But before you do wisdom says you need to work on some things so that this marriage won’t go the same direction that last one did. Before you remarry, you need to own your part in the Smith family relationship and repent from it. Repentance means to turn away from the sinful attitude and resultant action and turn to the plan God has for a godly woman and wife.

It is very difficult for a woman to respect a man who isn't being respectable, but God calls all women to do this; and with very disrespectable husbands. You had a difficult time respecting George because of the way he treated you and because of the way he made decisions, or not. But God doesn't call wives to submit to their husbands if they love them well, God calls wives to respect and submit to husbands who are sinners. We're all sinners.

You need to know, before you start letting men give you their attention, that no one is perfect. You can always find things wrong with every man. There is no one except Jesus who is truly respectable. But God calls us to respect and obey him first. And his first command to wives is to submit to and respect their very human husbands.

The way you do this, while you are single and waiting, is to work hard on being godly in a general sense. Right now you don't have a husband to submit to, but you do have pastors, elders, and employers. Work hard to draw near to God and submit to him in every area of your life. Do this by doing what he says, and doing what he says with regard to those he's placed over you in the world.

Even though George isn't your husband any more, respect him when you have the opportunity. If he isn't asking you to sin, let him have his way, without arguing or trying to get him to change his mind. Let him see a different Moreen; one who is not in control or who needs to control every situation. Let Jesus be Lord and let his lordship extend to those situations in life where he wills.

I hope this helps,

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Revelation 1

Revelation 1

Vss. 1-3
v. 1—what is the book called?
What is a revelation? Unveiling, or disclosure
Who or what is it a revelation of?
How many different meanings can “of” have?
What is a Christ?
Who is Jesus Christ?
Who gave the Revelation? Mediated by Christ Heb. 1:2
Who did he give it to?
Why did he give it?
What does “these things” refer to?
When will these things take place? 1:3; 22:6, 10— Other places the word is used to mean soon—Luke 18:8; Acts 12:7; 22:18; 25:4; Rom. 16:20
What does take place mean?
How did God make the revelation known? Signified, Communicated, etc. by signs, symbolic representations—John 12:33; 18:32; 21:19 Things are understandable in a symbolic way, not a “this for that” sort of way. Must know the Bible to understand the Revelation.
What is an angel?
Have we seen angels in any of our recent studies?
Who was he?
To whom did God send his angel?
What was John?
How did God know what was going to happen? He planned it—Psa 103:19; 115:3; Dan. 4:35; Eph. 1:11

v. 2—What did John do with the revelation?
What does it mean to bear witness (testify)?
What three things did he bear witness to?

v. 3—What does “blessed” mean?
What would one need to do in order to be blessed according to verse 2?
Is it enough to merely hear the words of God? Read has a sense of worship about it, not simply reading. One of the major settings of the book is formal corporate worship. Lk. 4:16; Acts 13:27; 15:21; 2 Cor. 3:15; Eph. 3:4; Col. 4:16, etc.
What does it mean to keep (obey)?
Why is it important to read, hear and obey the prophecy?
What is near?
What does it mean that the time is near?

Vs. 4a—Who is writing this book?
Who was John?
Who was he writing it to?
Who were these churches?
Where were they located?
Did they exist at the time of the writing?
How can we read and profit from a book written to other folks?

Vss. 4b-5

v. 4b—What does John start out giving to the churches?
What is grace?
How can it be given or received?
What is peace? John 14: 27; Rom. 5:1; Phil. 4:7; Isaiah 57:19-21
Who is the grace and peace coming from? Notice the Trinitarian aspect of this blessing: Father chose us 1 Pet. 1:1-3; Son redeemed us, Spirit applies the work of the son in our lives through regeneration and sanctification.
Why does it say he is, was, and is to come? Ex. 3:14; Mal 3:6 Greek the being and the was and the coming. God never changes.
Who is this talking about?
Where does he sit, where is the throne (46 times in Revelation. There is a strong sense of rule, therefore worship, in the Bible.) located? 1 Chron. 28:2; Ex. 25:40; Heb. 8:5
And who else?
Who are all these folks? Zech. 4:1-6
How can John give something that comes from someone else?

v. 5a—Who else does the grace and peace come from?
How does John describe Jesus?
What does he mean by faithful witness? Jer. 42:5; John 18:37
What does “firstborn” mean?
What does it mean that he is the firstborn from the dead? Rom. 1:22-25; Col. 1:18; Psa 110:1; Acts 2:32-36 The one you killed God made ruler over all. Phil. 2:11; Mat. 28:18
What does he rule over? Psa 89:27; 2:8-12
What are some of the ramifications of this for us?

1. This Gospel will triumph over the false gospels of men.
2. This declaration stands in stark contrast to the false gospel of humanistic statism.
3. This message stands in direct opposition to the false gospel of humanistic religion.

Vss. 5b-7

v. 5b—What does he mean by “to him”?
Who is “him”?
Who loves us?
How has he loved us?
Who has freed us from our sins? Rom. 6:7, 18-23; 8:2; 1 Cor 15:51-58
How did he free us from our sins? No Guilt: Secures our salvation—justification 2 Cor. 5:21; Proptitiation 1 Jn. 2:1; power of sin Eph. 5:25-26, etc.
What does he mean by his blood? Rom. 5:8ff; 1Cor. 6:11; Tit. 3:5
What does it mean that we have been freed from our sins?
Freed from what?
What sins?
How had/has sin bound us?
What does it mean that he has made us a kingdom? Ex. 19:4-6; We now rule with Christ Eph. 1:20-22; 2:6; Col. 1:13

v. 6—What else did he make us? 1 Pet. 2:5-9
What is a kingdom?
How can a group of folks be a kingdom?
What is a priest?
What do they do? Someone who goes between, makes intercession for, paves the way between men and God, makes it okay to enter into the presence of the most holy one.
Who are we priests to?
What does that mean?
Why do they add father?
What does he ascribe “to him”?
Who is the him referred to here?
What is glory? Effulgence Heb. 1:3, make famous, fame.
What is dominion?
How long is forever and ever?
What does “amen” mean?
Why does he say it here?
What part of speech is this verse? A Benediction or doxology of praise. Eph 1:20-22; 2:6; Col. 1:13; Rev. 5:9-10.

v. 7—What does “behold” mean?
What are we to behold?
Who is coming?
What is he doing?
What is he coming with?
What does it mean to be coming with the clouds? Ex. 13:21-22; 19:19; Psa 18:8-14; 104:3; Isa 19:1; Ezek 32:7-8; Matt. 24:30; Acts 2:19; Nahum 1:2-8
Who will see him coming?
What about those who pierced him? Zech 2:12; Mat 26:64; Dan 7:13
Who are those who pierced him?
What does this phrase mean?
How soon will all this be happening of those who pierced him get to see him coming with the clouds?
Who will wail on account of him?
Who are all the tribes who will wail? Mat 24:30, 51
Who will do all this wailing?
Why will they wail? Mat 24:51; Zech 12:10-14
What does “on account of him” mean?
What does “even so” mean?
Why does he say it here?
What does Amen mean?
Why does he say it here?
What is the advantage of the destruction of Israel? Jesus came to save the world (Jn. 3:17). Destroying Jerusalem paves the way for saving the whole world. It gets evil Israel out of the way and institutes the Church, the kingdom of God in the earth. It removes a nation that could be shaken and installs a nation that cannot be shaken (Heb. 12:25-29). Rom. 11:11-12 15, 23-24; Isa 26:9; John 3:17

v. 8— Who is speaking? Rev. 1:17, 2:8, 21:6, 22:13
Who does he say he is?
What does “alpha and omega” mean? It means the same thing that YHWH meant in Exodus: The eternal origin and consummation of all things. Isa. 41:2-4, 43:10, 44:6, 46:10, 48:12; Rom 11:36; Col. 1:16; Prov. 16:4
Notice that most of the translation don’t have “the beginning and the ending”? But this is what the term means. So it really isn’t a problem.
What does he mean by “who is and who was and who is to come”?
Where have we seen this term before and who was saying it then?
What does he mean by “the Almighty”? Phil. 2:9-11; Eph 1:18-23; John 19:11; Matt. 28:18 It equals Lord of Hosts or armies in the OT.
What does this statement tell you about what you are about to read?
What does it tell you about how to live?
This is important for us to understand and get right because:
1. This is the foundation of the Christian world view and Christian living.
2. This is the foundation of what we preach and represent to all unbelievers.
a. It is what they fear
b. It is what they don’t want to submit to
c. It is what they are in rebellion against
d. It is the only thing that can save them from themselves and their pride and arrogance
3. This is where the Christian finds his strength, comfort, calm, and life
a. No worry, no strife, no discontentment, no
b. Gives confidence for praise, trust, faith, belief, knowledge and understanding of things not known and unanticipated.

Vss. 9-11
v. 9—Now who is talking?
Who is John?
What is a brother?
What is a Companion?
What tribulation is he talking about? 1 Thess. 1:6; 3:4; 2 Thess. 1:4-10; 1 Tim. 4:1-3; 2 Tim. 3:1-12; Matt. 24:4-13; Acts 14:22; Col. 1:24
What kingdom is he talking about?
What is in Jesus?
What is patience?
How would someone know if they have patience?
Patience in Jesus? Rev. 2:2, 3, 19; 3:10; 13:10; 14:12
Where was John living when he wrote this letter? Not on Patmos anymore—see the “was” on the island of Patmos.
How did he get there? According to the text?
Why was he there?
What does it mean “on account of the word of God”?
What is a testimony?
What would a testimony “of Jesus” be?
What could a person do that would get them exiled to an island in the middle of the ocean? John is just the messenger. The conduit.

v. 10—What was John in?
What does “in the Spirit” mean? Matt. 22:43; 2 Sam. 23:2; Ez. 2:2; 2 Pet. 1:21
What or who is the Spirit?
When was John in the Spirit?
Which day is the Lord’s day? How do you know?
What is the significance of it being the Lord’s day? Chilton—the Lord’s Day is the Day of the Lord in action: Judicial declaration of forgiveness, judgement, execution, and the proclamation of the Kings Word. Could simply be the first day of the week. The day they met with God Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2
What did John hear when he was in the spirit on the Lord’s day?
Where was it located?
How loud was the voice?
Why did he liken it to a trumpet?

v. 11—What was the voice saying?
What was he seeing?
What was he to do with what he saw?
What was he to do with what he wrote?
How many churches was he to send his letters?

Vss. 12-16
v. 12—what did John do next?
What did he see?
How do you see a voice? This hearing, turning, and seeing is a pattern that we will see throughout the book. Sometimes it goes the other direction; he sees and then gets an explanation.
What is he actually saying?
What did he see when he turned around?
How many lamp stands did he see?
What were they made out of?
How do lamp stands talk?

v.13—What was in the midst of the lamp stands? Dan. 7:9-10; 13-14; 10:5-11
What is the son of man?
What significance does that description have in the Bible?
Is the term “son of man” a title or a description or both?
How was he dressed? Ex. 28:4; 39:27-29; Lev. 16:4
Over all, who did John see and who was he listening to?

v. 14—What did his hair look like? Dan. 7:9
What did his eyes look like? Dan. 10:14

v. 15—What did his feet look like? Dan. 2:33
What did his voice sound like? Ez. 43:2
How does this compare with the trumpet sound earlier?

v. 16—What did he have in his right hand?
Is there any significance to “seven” stars? 1:20; John 10:28
What is the significance to having stars in his hand? Chilton—a cluster of 7 stars appeared regularly on coins in the first century; symbols of supreme political sovereignty.
What was coming out of his mouth?
How do you talk with a sword coming out of your mouth? Isa 11:4; Rev. 2:16; 19:11-16
Is there any significance to the sword being two edged?
What else in the bible is like a double edges sword? Eph. 6:17; Heb. 4:12
What does this mean?
What did his face look like?
How could John look at him?
What did it all signify?
Why did he look like this?

Overall what picture do you see in your mind’s eye? Glory and splendor, purity and light, holiness and grandeur? Isaiah 6:1-3

Monday, January 05, 2009