April 1.....BIBLE STUDY

Discussion in 'Spirituality/Worship' started by 143alan, Apr 1, 2007.

  1. 143alan

    143alan New Member

    This month lets look at the life of Christ starting with what happened today, Palm Sunday.

    This is a lot, but lets try to read the entire chapter of Matthew 21. You can do it, I know you can. This chapter is so significant in the life of Christ and we learn so much from this chapter. This chapter begins with Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem. We also see Christ overturn the tables in the temple and teach us a lot through his parables.

    Questions:
    1) What was the signifance of laying the palm branches at the feet of Jesus as he entered Jerusalem?
    2) Why were the chief priests upset with what the children were shouting in the temple?
    3) In the story about the fig tree, was Jesus upset at that the fig tree did not have fruit or was he teaching his disciples about faith?
    4) Why did Jesus not tell the priests straight out who gave him the authority to teach in the temple?
    5) Describe what you would think the Wedding Banquest in heaven is going to be like.

    Thanks everyone, and enjoy exploring the word of God. I will try to check back every day and then do a wrap up on Wednesday. All of you can use this thread to ask each other questions or make comments about this study. I pray for each of you to be filled with the spirit of Christ.
    Love,
    Nancy
  2. Lms526

    Lms526 New Member

    Wow. Cool passage.
    1. The laying of palm branches was an act usually reserved for royalty. So by doing this, the people were telling Jesus that if He wanted to have an earthly kingdom, all He had to do was say so.

    2. The cheif priests were upset because what the children were doing was proclaiming Jesus as divine. They were clearly announcing Jesus as Messiah and the Son of God.

    3. According to a study Bible I have, the fig tree is a common OT symbol for Israel. In this case, Jesus was trying to illustrate God's divine judgement of Israel for her lack of spiritual fruitfulness and her rejection of the Messiah. In the parallel passage (Mark 11:12-14) John MacArthur has this insight to offer "The figs normally grew with the leaves. This tree had leaves, but strangely no fruit. It was also apparently in good soil because its foliage was ahead of season and ahead of surrounding fig trees. The abundance of leaves held promise that the tree might also be ahead of schedule with its fruit. The next normal fig season was more than a month away. This phrase (used only in Mark's gospel 11:13) emphasizes the highly unusual nature of this fig tree."

    In the note for Mark 11:14 John MacArthur has this to say "Here, Jesus cursed the fig tree for its misleading appearance that suggested great productivity without providing it. It should have been full of fruit, but it was barren. In this instance, Jesus used the tree by the road as a divine object lesson concerning Israel's spiritual hypocrisy and fruitlessness."

    4. MacArthur has also has light to share on this. Jesus did not tell the chief priests were His authority came from because He knew that whatever He said, the chief priests would use His answer against Him. But Jesus recognized this (of course) and beat them at their own game. The chief priests were hoping that Jesus would say that Jesus would say his authority came from God so they could charge Him with blasphemy as use it as an excuse to kill him.

    5. I can't even imagine what the wedding feast in Heaven will be like. The only thing we have to compare it to are earthly weddings. Jesus regularly called the Church His bride. I think it will be a time of great joy, worship, adoration, and just spending time in fellowship with Jesus and with fellow believers. There will be no sin to corrupt anything. I think we will be overwhelmed by God's grace. Just the thought of being a part of that blows me away. We are so undeserving. But the Bible says that in the twinkling of an eye (who are in Christ) shall become like Him. Now we see through a glass dimly, but one day, we will see Jesus face to face. I can't wait for that day.

    Lms526
  3. 143alan

    143alan New Member

    Lms526 I always love your input. I learn so much from your research of the scriptures. You also word things better than I do and in a way everyone can understand.

    I'm really glad you provided that explanation of the fig tree. That's one I really was not sure about at all and in my mind I could not escape some idea that Jesus was angry with the tree and killed it. I know that probably sounds silly.

    I can't imagine what the wedding banquet is going to be like either but just being in the presence of Christ will be wonderful beyond imagination. I love how you worded your feelings about it though.
    Thanks so much for sharing.
    Nancy
  4. 143alan

    143alan New Member

    I am learning so much from everyone's input on this.
    Thanks for joining in.
    Take Care
    Nancy
  5. bandwoman

    bandwoman New Member

    some thoughts regarding fruit. I find the whole fig story very fascinating. As we know the scriptures can be interpreted on many different levels.
    Israel was not bearing fruit but had all of the outward signs of religiosity (if that is a word). We could also ask ourselves the same question. In Gal.5:22 "But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Are we exhibiting these qualities in our own lives?

    In John 15:1&2 Jesus is talking. "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. He goes on to say neither can you (us)bear fruit unless you remain with me.

    Bearing fruit can be a wonderful experience but there is some pain involved in the process. Some of us may be in a pruning situation. Pruning is never a fun place to be and we are usually crying out to God to get rid of the pain when He knows that the fruit will come from what we can only see as the painful experience.

    I may have really wondered off the path here but the idea of the fig tree made me delve into the Bible to find out more about this idea of fruit.

    I don't think our finite minds can even have a clue of how wonderful the Wedding Banquet will be. We are only passing through this earth to our destiny to be with the Lord. This should give us great hope in our earthly suffering. For it is only temporary what we suffer here. How much greater will be the glory of being with our Heavenly Father for all of eternity. Praise God.

    Love,
    Nancy
  6. Lms526

    Lms526 New Member

    Hi Nancy,
    I liked what you had to say regarding bearing fruit. This is such an important subject. After all, this is a recurring theme in Scripture. When God repeats Himself, I think we had better pay attention. I think it is a good idea to ask ourselves if we are bearing the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. It seems like so many people today (even in the church unfortunately) seem to care only about outward appearances. As long as people know the right things to say and can give the impression that they are living right, then everything is fine. But I know from experience that it is entirely possible to say the right things, do the right things, and be surrounded by Christian influences yet underneith it all, your heart can be far from God. I lived that way for many years. I could go through the motions. There were a lot of times when I felt like an actor playing a part. I wasn't willing to invest the time and energy to really discover what I truly believed, so I just did what other Christians expected of me. I did and said the right things. I was able to fool a lot of people, including myself. Outwardly, everything seemed okay, but on the inside, I was questioning everything I claimed to believe.
    Another trap I think we can fall into with things like this is self-effort. When God convicts us about something, we start going all nuts trying to cause it to grow in our lives. We start trying to do it through sheer willpower and in our own strength. But the Bible makes it clear that we are just to bear the fruit, we don't produce it. If we try to produce the fruit of the Spirit apart from God, we are setting ourselves up for failure. It is the work of God's spirit that makes the fruit of the Spirit evident in our lives. We just need to get out of God's way and allow Him to prune us or whatever else He needs to do. You are right. The pruning process is not fun. But I don't think that we are to sit back passively and allow God to do all the work either. We need to cooperate with Him and surrender to what He wants to do our in our heart. Even when it's painful, even when we're afraid. Even when we don't understand. We still need to trust Him and surrender to Him completely. We can't just go halfway. I think it is human nature to want to be in control and to only surrender up to a certain point. Pretty much up to the point where we start feeling uncomfortable. But God's ways are so much higher and better than ours. So why do we fight Him at every turn?

    I think so often we try to be God. We try to do what only He can do. And then we get all bent out of shape when things fall apart. I hope you all don't think I have everything all figured out and have it all together. I can assure you. I most certainly don't. Okay, I'll step down off my soap box now.

    Lms526
    [This Message was Edited on 04/03/2007]
  7. morningsonshine

    morningsonshine New Member

    In Gal.5:22 "But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control

    I pasted that from bandwomans post, that is what the word of God says is fruit in our life.
    You can bear His fruit without, Health, wealth, prosperity ;
    of course those things are nice.
    But they are blessings gifts, they are also things that can keep us from knowing, depending, and relying on God if we aren't careful

    Many Christians have had Health, wealth, prosperity, but been spiritually poor inside.

    Go back and reread bandwoman's and Lms, posts again.

    Sweetpotatoe, if you are faithful to the Lord and His teachings, you will bear His fruit. It can't be helped, no matter what anyone tells you your outside should look like.

    That being said, i to want to share something that i struggle with.

    I was just reading a book by a lady i highly respect. And she was writing about discipline and order.

    "The way you keep your house, the way you organize your time, the care you take of your person, and how you spend your money, all speak loudly about what you believe. "The beauty of thy peace" shines forth in an ordered life. A disordered life speaks loudly of disorder in the soul."

    It further states, "The way we live ought to manifest the truth of what we believe. A messy life speaks of a messy-an incoherent-faith.

    OUCH!

    I tend to believe what she says, i've heard this before also in different ways.
    All my life i've struggled with disorganization, and poor self-management, but have alway been a excellant worker under someone elsed directions.
    Now with a family of all boys, and this DD, being organized, is just a fantasy for me. LOL

    Chaos is alive in my household, and it feels like a big huge finger pointing at me and accusing me. And it's an outward thing for all to see.

    But i'm very unsure about what it says about my faith, specially in weak moments. However, i also know that a person can be a control freak, and have the outside all together and be a mess inside??

    It' was so easy for me to see sweetpotatoes words, and want to help her see the truth of Gods word, from what others would try and lay on her. I can clearly see there is a separation from "the fruit of the Spirit" and health, wealth and prosperity.
    Why can't i as clearly see the Word as applied to my own situation?? Because i believe what i just read, God is a God of order, not chaos!!

    Clearly i'm a unorganized messy woman, who can't manage her own life, trying to be a christian and help others, when i need the help myself.

    Okay really showing my dirty laundry, and insecurities today.
    Uhmmmm-

    "Misty, if you are faithful to the Lord and His teachings, you will bear His fruit. It can't be helped, no matter what anyone tells you your outside should look like."

    [This Message was Edited on 04/04/2007]
  8. Lms526

    Lms526 New Member

    Sweetpotatoe,
    I read Morningsonshine’s reply to your questions regarding spiritual fruit. I agree 100% with everything she said. However, I feel that I can shed some additional light on this subject. I would also like to share with you some Scripture for further study. This is a subject about which the Bible has a lot to say. I truly hope that I don’t come across as a know-it-all. That is not my intention at all. This is a subject that I have wrestled with myself and have studied in some depth. But I don’t have all the answers. I would never claim that I do. My main intention is to motivate you to study Scripture for yourself. If I fail to do that, then I have done nothing but waste time. Both yours and my own.

    First, I would like to address the subject of the so called Health, Wealth and Prosperity Gospel. It is very widespread in America today. But it is primarily a Western teaching. This idea of a health, wealth and prosperity being a sign of God’s blessing is completely foreign to Christians in Asia and Africa. But this teaching has clearly infiltrated the church in America. But I believe that the Health, Wealth and Prosperity gospel is a false Gospel and a perversion of the true Gospel. God has entrusted the Gospel to us and with that comes a lot of responsibility. We must be faithful to preach the true, whole Gospel. We can’t just pick and choose the parts we like and preach on those. Yet, I believe that is exactly what a lot of preachers today are doing. It seems to me like most preachers (not all) are more concerned with making people comfortable and happy than righteous.

    Both Paul and Jesus Himself had very strong words regarding the true and false Gospel.

    I encourage you to read Matthew 7. In that chapter, Jesus speaks at length about false prophets, false doctrine, and false teachers. Here is just a small section of that chapter.

    Matthew 7:15
    Watch out for false prophets. They will come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

    As you may know, in Scripture true believers are often compared to sheep. So, these false teachers will resemble true Christians. They will act and talk like true Christians. But my study bible offered another solution. John MacArthur said that they will not act like regular Christians, but like true shepherds (which is another name in Scripture for Pastor/Teacher)But the bad fruit will give them away. Every true Christian will bear good fruit. This is not to say we are perfect and never sin. Far from it. But a true Christian cannot and will not live in unconfessed, unrepentant, habitual sin.

    Paul was also very passionate about this subject. He discussed this topic quite often in his epistles.

    2nd Timothy 4:3
    For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suite their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of preachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”

    If that is not a description of the modern Church, I don’t know what is. So many preachers today seem more interested in telling people what they want to hear, rather than what they need to hear. They talk a lot about God’s love, mercy, forgiveness, goodness etc. These are good things and we do need to hear about them. But it seems to me that very few preachers today are willing to speak openly about subjects such as sin, judgement, hell, and repentance. Did you know that Jesus spoke more about hell than He did about Heaven? The Bible doesn’t shy away from these topics, but a lot of modern preachers do. Preaching only the pleasant aspects of God’s character leads to a lopsided view of God. I have noticed a disturbing trend in the modern church. Sin is hardly ever called sin anymore. It is called a mistake, a weakness, a flaw etc. But sin is seldom called sin anymore. This is something that I have wrestled with big time. I know the Bible tells us not to forsake the assembling with other believers. But I am also greatly disturbed with many teachings and trends that have infiltrated the modern Church. In fact, I think it may not be too longer before the modern Church throws out the Bible and begins preaching worldly doctrine from the pulpit. That is happening already in my opinion, only right now, the worldly doctrine is being cloaked in Scripture to make it sound Christian. But I think eventually, that will stop and the Bible won't even be mentioned anymore. Have you noticed how few people bring their Bibles to church anymore? I sure have. The Bible makes it clear that as the second Coming of Christ approaches, this tendency is going to continue to get worse.

    Another passage where Paul deals with this subject is
    Galations 1:6-7, 9-10
    I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the Grace of Christ and are turning to another gospel, which is really no gospel at all. Evidently, some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. If anyone is preaching to you a gospel other than the one you believed, let him be eternally condemned.
    Am I now trying to win the approval of men or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of God.

    I also want to recommend a book to you. It is by a pastor I greatly respect named John MacArthur. He pulls no punches and is a preacher who is willing to preach on difficult subjects. He has a vast knowledge of the Scriptures and a great love for both the Word and the Lord.

    If you want to get a better understanding of this topic, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of his book “Hard to Believe.” The entire book is based on Matthew 7. He has many throught-provoking things to say. This book has helped my understanding of this chapter so much. I have read this book several times and get something new out of it every time. You can probably find it at your local Christian bookstore. But you could probably get it cheaper on Amazon.com

    I hope that God will give you wisdom and will deepen your understanding of this subject. This is one subject we just can’t ignore.

    Wow. Another novel. Anyway, I hope you found this helpful. May God speak to you through His Word!
    Lms526



    [This Message was Edited on 04/05/2007]
    [This Message was Edited on 04/05/2007]
    [This Message was Edited on 04/05/2007]
  9. 143alan

    143alan New Member

    I think this has been the best week of Bible Study we have had so far. Thank you so much to EVERYONE who participated and added so much insight to the scriptures. I learned SO much this week and it appears we all did. Praise the Lord that he is doing a wonderful work in us all and strengthening the WORD in our hearts.

    I just can't thank all of you enough for your input. This is how we really help each other to learn the word of God and it is so uplifting.

    Thanks again and I will post the new Bible Study verses either late Sat. evening or Sunday morning.
    Love,
    Nancy
  10. Lms526

    Lms526 New Member

    Yeah I know what you mean about reading Joyce Meyer. I went through the same thing. I used to read a lot of her. I kept hearing people I know rave about her teachings. At first, I didn't like her at all. But then I picked up some of her books and started watching her on tv. I came to like her and was blessed by her teachings. But around that same time is when I stumbled across John MacArthur on the radio. The more I read and listened to him, the more I began to realize that much of what Joyce Meyer teaches simply isn't biblical. Which is really too bad. But I ended up getting confused and frustrated. I still read Joyce Meyer occasionally and watch her on tv every now and then. But no where near as much as I used to.

    Lms526
  11. 143alan

    143alan New Member

    I too no longer attend church and haven't in a few years for much the same experiences you have had.

    This worship board is my fellowship with believers and I truly do not think there is anything wrong with that.

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us and I think we can worship together through the Bible study and prayer just as good as if we were sitting in a church. Hey! even better because we don't have all the church politics and clicks to deal with. Most of the service is not taken up by convicting people to serve the church in some capacity, asking for more money for some special project or passing along the gossipy information from the community. We are free to explore the Bible, talk to God, and ask each other for prayer and help in understanding.

    I like this church, all are welcome and we sure don't care what you look like or how you're dressed...LOL!!! We're not going to stare at you as you walk in the door, or care if you're wearing the latest in fashion. We're not going to ask you to bring a cover dish even if you feel like crap because we think you should be able to do it anyway. Yea...I like this church!!

    Love You All
    Nancy
  12. 143alan

    143alan New Member

    Yep, we are truly come as you are.
    Love it!
    Nancy