Social Media Buttons - Click to Share this Page

31 March, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 5 — Mark 3:7-19a

Study 5 From The Book of Mark is: Mark 3:7-19a

1.       At this stage in His ministry, what obvious dangers and what positive desires made Jesus withdraw and go up into the hills? Whom did He take with Him, and why? What were the overriding aims and the underlying strategy of His method?
2.     The Twelve are first described as ‘disciples’ (i.e., ‘learners’) and later as ‘apostles’ (see 3:14, mg.; ‘men sent on a mission’). What kind of response did each calling demand? Can we become one without becoming the other? How far have you got in this sequence?  

30 March, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 4 — Mark 2:13 – 3:6

Study 4 From The Book of Mark is: Mark 2:13 – 3:6

1.      Note how, when questions were asked about His behaviour, Jesus made Himself and the work which He had come to do the sufficient justification for His action.  Cf. 2:6-12.  What claims was He thus making for Himself?
2.     Why did not Jesus’s disciples stand condemned for ‘doing what is not lawful on the sabbath’? Who did stand condemned for their wrong use of the Sabbath in the subsequent controversy concerning the healing of the man which a withered hand? Since Jesus used the Sabbath as His day, and for men’s good, how ought we to use the Lord’s day?
1.       2:19.   The ‘bridegroom’ is, according to Old Testament usage, virtually a description of God in His covenant relation to His chosen people Israel.  Cf. Ho. 2:16-20
2.      2:25, 26.  Note the repeated phrase ‘those who were with him’. In such company their action could not be condemned.
3.     2:23, 24 and 3:2.  The scribes taught that to pluck ears of corn was a form of reaping which the law did not allow on the Sabbath (Ex. 34:21); also that it was unlawful to do the work of healing on the Sabbath, unless life was in danger.  

29 March, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 3 — Mark 1:35 – 2:12

Study 3 From The Book of Mark is: Mark 1:35 – 2:12

1.      After the astonishing events of the preceding day Jesus had to consider what He should do next. How did He arrive at a decision, and to what decision did He come?  In what way did the healed leper’s disobedience hinder Jesus’s work? What bearing has this upon (a) our prayer life, and (b) the Church’s missionary duty? Cf. Jn. 20:21; Mk. 16:15
2.     What evidences do you find in this story in chapter 2 of our Lord’s powers of discernment? What did Jesus ‘see’? And when He confirmed a verbal claim, which men questioned, by a miraculous work, which none could deny, to what truths was He bearing decisive witness?

Note. 2:4. The house would have a flat roof, which could be reached by an outside stairway (cf. 13:15).  


28 March, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 2 — Mark 1:16-34

Study 2 From The Book of Mark is: Mark 1:16-34

1.      In what different ways does Jesus here exercise His authority? What kind of questions did such actions make people ask? On what did they repeatedly focus attention?
2.     How were these Galilean fishermen to become personal soul-winners? What were the conditions and the cost of the realization of such a surprising suggestion? Is there any reason why a similar change could not happen in my life?
1.      Verse 22. The scribes quoted the great authorities. Jesus spoke as if He Himself were the supreme authority.  Cf. ‘But, I say to you’ (Mt. 5:21, 2233, 34).
2.     Verses 25-27. Jesus did not invoke God’s name like Jewish exorcists. He spoke as if the decisive authority was His own; and it ‘worked’. The unclean spirits obeyed Him. 


27 March, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 1 — Mark 1:1-15

Study 1 From The Book of Mark is: Mark 1: 1-15

1.      Why ‘the gospel’ (verse 1)? How is this record different from a biography?  What blessings of the gospel of Christ were anticipated in the Baptist’s preaching? Cf. Acts 2:38. When Jesus Himself preached ‘the gospel of God’ what aspects of its accomplishment and enjoyment did He stress?
2.     Observe how the Father, Son and Holy Spirit were all active in the events recorded—and Satan also. What does this imply concerning the issues involved in the coming story and in our own earthly lives?

Note. Note Mark’s significant use of the description ‘gospel’.  It is of such ‘good tidings’ that Isaiah had explicitly written.  Cf. Is. 40:9-11; 52:7 -10; 61:1-4.

26 March, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 0 — Book of Mark

Study 0 From The Book of Mark is: The Introduction of the book of Mark

It is generally held that this Gospel was written by John Mark, the nephew of Barnabas, and is the earliest of the four Gospels. According to tradition it is based upon the teaching of the apostle Peter, whose interpreter Mark became (cf. 1 Pet. 5:13), and was written in Rome for the church there.  It begins with a short preliminary statement of John the Baptist’s ministry, and of the baptism and temptation of Jesus, and then passes on to His public ministry in Galilee.  In common with the other Gospel, it devotes a comparatively large space to Jesus’s sufferings, death and resurrection.

 The story centres in the confession of Peter, ‘Thou art the Christ’ (8:27-29).  Up to that time it tells of our Lord’s activity in preaching and healing; but after the confession of Peter, Jesus makes known to the Twelve that He must suffer and die, and be raised the third day, and His face is turned towards the cross.  The disciples failed to understand; and the work of Jesus in this latter half of the Gospel consists largely in teaching His disciples, and seeking to wean them from the false ideas of the kingdom which possessed their minds.

The  closing verses of the Gospel (16:9:20) do not appear to be the original ending.  Some ancient manuscripts end at 16:8, and others have a different paragraph at the close.  But, these verses contain the great missionary commission and have an established claim to be regarded as a part of Scripture.  

25 March, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 25 — Numbers 33-35.

Study 25 From The Book of Numbers is: Numbers the srciptures
With this study we end the book of Numbers.  The next study will take us to the book of Mark (Part 1)
  1. What details stand out in this statistical account which make one aware of the particular interests and concerns of Moses (see 33; 2) the ‘statistician’? What does he want his readers to take note of an remember?
  2. The theme of entry into a promised inheritance appears several times in the New Testament. especially Acts 20:32; Rom. 8:17; Gal. 3:29; Heb. 11 makes it clear that our real inheritance, both Israel’s and Christians’, is a heavenly one. What does Israel’s entry into its earthly inheritance teach us about preparing for an claiming our true inheritance? To what warnings ought we to pay heed?
  3. What can we learn from chapter 35 concerning God’s standards of judgement as regards manslaughter and murder?
Note.  For consideration of Numbers 36 see study #20  few days ago.

24 March, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 24 — Numbers 32. Inheritance of the two and a half tribes

Study 23 From The Book of Numbers is: Numbers 32. Inheritance of the two and a
half tribes
1.      What was wrong with the request of Reuben and Gad? What was the result which Moses feared might arise from it, and on what conditions only could it be granted? Why is this event particularly significant for Israel as it arrives in the promised land, and begins to form itself into a tribal confederacy? How will its future life as a ‘nation’ differ from all that it has been up to now?
2.     What great principle with regard to sin and its consequences is expressed in verse 23? Can you think of instances in Scripture which illustrate its working? Cf. Gal. 6:7-8.
Note.  Verses 1-5.  The tribes of Reuben and Gad understandably thought that the land of Jazer and Gilead would suit their large herds of cattle.  But, their self-willed choice brought their descendants into constant trouble in later times.  The territory lacked natural frontiers and was somewhat isolated and exposed to attack.  Often in later centuries the other tribes had to come to their rescue.  Cf. 1 Sa. 11; 1 Ki. 22:3.

23 March, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 23 — Numbers 31. Conquest of the Midianites  

Study 23 From The Book of Numbers is: Numbers 31. Conquest of the Midianites

1.      This is another difficult passage unless you bear in mind (a) that it records only the bare outline of an event far greater in scope; (b) that it is recorded from a particular standpoint (the Midianite account was probably quite different from this one); and (c) that its message concerns a God of love who must purge of evil everything that is His.  What are the forms of purging found in this account? In what directions ought a Christian to act with comparable severity? Cf. Col. 3:5-11.
2.     What does the chapter teach about sharing and giving? On what grounds were portions given to the priests and Levites?

22 March, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 22 — Numbers 30   

Study 22 From The Book of Numbers is: Numbers 30

1.      How does this chapter show our responsibility in speech? Cf. Mt. 5:33-37; 12:36
2.     Do you think the woman’s relationship to father and husband should be viewed as merely local Israelite custom, or is there an implied principle which hold in the twentieth century too?


21 March, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 21 — Numbers 28 and 29. Reviews of Israel’s Sacrifices

Study 21 From The Book of Numbers is: Numbers 28 and 29. Reviews of Israel’s
1.      Distinguish between the daily sacrifice throughout the year offered every morning and evening (28: 3-8) and the additional sacrifices: (a) on the Sabbath (28:9, 10); (b) at the new moon each month (28:11-15); (c) throughout the feast of unleavened bread and at the 
Passover itself (28:17-25, see Note below); (d) at the Feast of Weeks (28:26-31); (e) at the blowing of trumpets (29:1-6); (f) on the Day of Atonement (29:7-11); (g) at the Feast of Tabernacles (29:12-38).
2.     It was easy for these sacrifices to become mere ritual-so much so that later prophets strongly condemned their misuse. Am. 5:21-24 and Is. 1:11-18 give a clue as to the purpose of these offerings and to God’s real requirements in and through them. Cf. Also Heb. 10:1-18.
Note. 28:24. The meaning is the sacrifices prescribed above in verses 19-22 are to be offered daily throughout the feast.

20 March, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 20 — Numbers 27 and 36. Laws of inheritance   

Study 20 From The Book of Numbers is: Numbers 27 and 36. Laws of inheritance 

  1. What was the principle lying behind the request of the daughters of Zelophehad, and to what did the request lead? What was the importance of all this?
  2. What was Moses’s overriding concern before his death? How was Joshua’s commission different from that of Moses? Was it inferior?

19 March, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 19 — Numbers 25 and 26      

Study 19 From The Book of Numbers is: Numbers 25 and 26

1.      Chapter 25. Why was God’s anger so fierce against the sins of His people? Cf. 1 Cor. 10: 6-12. In this situation what two complementary concerns stirred Phinehas to action? Who likewise was moved to action on our account by similar concerns?
2.     Chapter 26.  Compare the numbering in chapter 1. This is a new generation.  See verses 64, 65.  Notice which tribes had increased and which decreased.  What explains the survival of Caleb and Joshua?
Note.  25:1-5. Nu. 31:16 and Rev. 2:14 reveal that these developments were due to Balaam’s activities. The Israelites were seduced into idolatry and immorality.

18 March, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 18 — Numbers 23 and 24 (second study)

Study 18 From The Book of Numbers is: Numbers 23 and 24 (second study)

1.      What can we learn from Balaam about the demands of being a spokesman for God, and a steward or minister of His Word? Note carefully the answers which Balaam gives to Balak’s suggestions. Cf. 1 Cor. 9:16, 17.
2.     23:19. What is here said to make God’s words different in character from those of men.?  When God gives us His word, of what else can we be sure? Cf. 1 Thes. 5:24.

17 March, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 17 — Numbers 23 and 24 (first study)

Study 17 From The Book of Numbers is: Numbers 23 and 24 (first study)

1.      Two studies are to be given to these chapters. On this occasion concentrate attention on Balaam’s oracles. Make a list of the statements in them which indicate God’s special purpose for, and care of, the people of Israel.
2.     Seek to appreciate the full significance of each one of these statements.  What were the grounds of Balaam’s assurance of Israel’s victory and success? What similar grounds have we for thankfulness and wonder? Cf., e.g., 1 Pet. 2:9, 10.
Note. 23:10. ‘The righteous’: the word is plural, and refers here to the Israelites.

16 March, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 16 — Numbers 22. The story of Balaam

Study 16 From The Book of Numbers is: Numbers 22. The story of Balaam

This is a difficult story.  Before tackling it, it will probably be helpful to read 2 Pet. 2:15, 16; Jude 11; Nu. 31:16 and Rev. 2:14, which give a clue as to Balaam’s true character and motives.
1.      Balaam’s influence and relationship to God are interesting.  Think about them.  Consider also Moab’s fear in the face of Israel’s advance. What does this show concerning the ways in which God works?
2.     What was the ‘chink’ in Balaam’s armour? Why did his ‘guidance’ seems all confused after that? Contrast verse 12 with verse 20, 22, 32, 35.  What ought we to learn from his failure? Do you think, 10 Rom. 14:22b, 23 and 1 Tim. 6:9, 10 give us a similar warning?

15 March, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 15 — Numbers 21. Conquest of the Amorite kings  

Study 15 From The Book of Numbers is: Numbers 21. Conquest of the Amorite kings

1.      Israel’s reaction to adversity gets a little monotonous (verse 5), and it is easy to say, ‘why cannot they learn to trust God?’  But are not we often as unbelieving? Notice how Jesus uses this story (verses 6-9) as a ‘type’ in Jn. 3:14, 15. What parallels are there in the condition of the afflicted and in the means of salvation in each case? Why a serpent on the pole? Cf. 2 Cor. 5:21.
2.     It is worth tracing Israel’s journey on a map from 20:1 onwards. Notice how circuitous it was.  What evidence is there, as against 20:2, 3 and 21:4, 5, that Israel was learning trust and obedience through discipline? What discipline? Cf. Dt. 8:2.

14 March, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 14 — Numbers 20      

Study 14 From The Book of Numbers is: Numbers 20

  1. Notice Moses and Aaron’s reaction to the people’s discontent (verse 6) . What did God desire to achieve through this incident? See verses 6, 8, 12. How did Moses and Aaron fail, and in what terms is their failure described?  See verses 10, 12, 24; Cf. 27:14; Dt. 32:51
  2. God’s anger with Moses and Aaron may at first seem to us out of proportion to the extent of their failure. What ought we to learn from this? What ought we also to learn from the fact that even ‘meek’ (12:3) Moses ‘s spoke words that were rash’ (Ps. 106:33)?

13 March, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 13 — Numbers 18:8-19:22      

Study 13 From The Book of Numbers is: Numbers 18:8-19:22search the srciptures
  1. What does 18:8-32 teach us about offerings which are holy and belong by right to God?
  2. What are the special features of the sacrifice described in 19:1-10? Note the use to which the ashes were put (19:9, 12, 17-19). What are the ‘dead works’ from which we need to be purified?
  1. 18:19. ‘A covenant of salt’: i.e., an indissoluble covenant. 2 Ch. 13:5.
  2. 19:9, 12, 17-19. The cleansing virtue of the sacrifice already made was thus symbolically stored up and applied, as need arose, to the unclean. Heb. 9:13, 14; 1 Jn. 1:7-9.

12 March, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 12 — Numbers 16:36 – 18:7    

Study 12 From The Book of Numbers is: Numbers 16:36 – 18:7

  1. How is the exclusive Aaronite priesthood strengthened and confirmed? What does the service of the priesthood involve? Notice especially 16:48, and compare the work of Christ as great High Priest. Cf. Heb. 5:1, 9, 10; 7:25-28; 9:11, 12, 26.
  2. How could our service be transformed by thinking of it as a gift (18:7)? Cf. 1 Tim. 1:12-14; 2 Tim. 1:6.

11 March, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 11 — Numbers 16:1-35

Study 11 From The Book of Numbers is: Numbers 16:1-35

1.      There is evidence here of a double revolt: one by Korah (a Levite) ‘and all his company’ against Moses and Aaron; and one by Dathan and Abiram (reubinites) against Moses. What was the ground of complaint in each case? See 16:3 and 16:13, 14.  To what extent was it justified? Cf. Heb. 5:4; 2 Cor. 10:18.
2.     What lay behind the revolts which made them serious enough to warrant so drastic a punishment and warning to the people? See especially verses 11, 19, 28, 30.

Note. Verse 1. That such men should lead and open revolt against the authority of Moses and Aaron meant that it was a very serious outbreak of discontent.

10 March, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 10— Numbers 15. Religious Laws

Study 10 From The Book of Numbers is: Numbers 15 Religious Laws

1.      What do verses 1-21 teach us about making offerings which are pleasing to God?
2.     Why as there no way of atonement for the person who sinned ‘with a high hand’? What does this mean? Cf. Mk. 3:28, 29; Heb. 10:26-31, 39; Ps. 19:13.
3.     Notice by whom the deliberate law-breaker had to be dealt with and in what way.  Cf. Mt. 18:15-17; 1 Cor. 5; Heb. 12:15. Why is such church discipline so little practiced?

Note.  Verse 38. ‘Tassels’: these were made of twisted thread and attached by a blue ribbon to the robe, to remind the wearer of the commandment of the Lord, and of his obligation to keep them.

09 March, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 9 — Numbers 14:10b-45

Study 9 From The Book of Numbers is: Numbers 14:10b-45

1.      What can we learn from Moses’s prayer, especially concerning governing motives and grounds of appeal to God?
2.     Although forgiven, the people suffered the consequences of their sin. How? In what way do they show themselves throughout this story (Nu. 14 and 14) to be typical of us?

08 March, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 8 — Numbers 13:1-14:10a. The Spies Are Sent Into the Land    

Study 8 From The Book of Numbers is: Numbers 13:1-14:10a. The Spies Are Sent Into the Landsearch the srciptures
  1. To what places in Canaan did the spies go? Look up Hebron and the Valley of Eschol on a map. What were they commissioned to discover, and what report did they give?
  2. What lay behind the opposing views expressed in 13:30 and 31? Were Caleb and Joshua being unrealistically optimistic and refusing to face facts? What was the outcome of the people’s fear and unbelief? Notice how few believed, and the frequent occurrence of the word ‘all’ in 14:1-10. Heb. 4:1, 2
Note. 13:32. ‘A land that devours its inhabitants’: this probably refers to the constant wars between its people, and their ferocity in internecine strife.

07 March, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 7 — Numbers 11 and 12. Complaints

Study 7 From The Book of Numbers is: Numbers 11 and 12.  Complaints

1.      What different attitudes are shown here by the people, the rabble, Joshua, Myriam and Aaron, and Moses? How does Moses stand out as ‘different’?
2.     How did God ‘deal’ with the various complaints made?
Note. 12:3 ‘Meek’: not concerned for his own interests or prestige, and so able to pay no attention to the unfair attacks upon himself.

06 March, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 6 — Numbers 9:15 – 10:36. The journeying begins again   

Study 6 From The Book of Numbers is: Numbers 9:15 – 10:36 

1.      Israel were made very sure of God’s guidance.  Without the actual symbols of cloud and fire can we claim the same assurance? Cf. Acts 16: 6-10; Rom. 8:14. Why the repetition of the word ‘at the command of the Lord’?
2.     Notice the correspondences and the differences between 10:14-28 and 2:3-31.  What is there in chapter 10 to show that, although God led and protected the children of Israel, He did not expect them to be utterly passive and to do nothing for themselves?
3.     What was the significance of the trumpets (10:1-10)? Cf. Lv. 23:24; Nu. 29:1. It has been said, ‘When God remembers, He acts’. Cf. Gn. 8:1; 19:29; 30:22.
Note. 10:35, 36.  These were the word uttered publicly by Moses at the beginning and end of each day’s journey. Note their expression of dependence upon God’s protection and desire for His abiding presence.