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Bruce Larner - Reflect His Glory

Bruce Larner - Reflect His Glory

The Best Commentary On The Bible Is The Bible Itself
Bruce Larner - Reflect His Glory
 
The Reflections Newsletter

Monday, May 26, 2008

**In This Issue**

  1. The Book of Acts
  2. What Does the Bible Say About...?
     

Welcome to the Reflections Newsletter from Reflect His Glory.  RHG is a co-ministry with Creation Science Ministries.  Feel free to send this to your relatives and friends.
 


The Book of Acts

"The Book of Acts," which I affectionately refer to as "Luke II", completes what can be called the "Pentateuch of the New Testament."  Regarded by many as the most exciting and relevant book for the believer in Christ Jesus, it is one of the most rewarding and instructive.

Roman law required written documents, containing all the pertinent background regarding a case, to precede an petitioner's appearance before Caesar.  There are some scholars who suspect that the two volumes penned by Luke complied with those requirements.  To compile a comprehensive history of the facts surrounding Paul's appeal to Caesar was an expensive undertaking, and some assume that the official known as Theophilus was Luke's supporter.  In a world denied the conveniences we currently take for granted with copiers and fax machines, it is hard for us to appreciate a culture entirely dependent upon handwritten documents.  That is why we call them manuscripts).

An analysis of Luke's writings seems to support the pre-trial premise.  Luke's consistent emphasis in the various episodes always focuses on establishing the responsibilities of the Jewish leadership in instigating the numerous uprisings, rather than Paul.  The avoidance of civil unrest would have been the primary concern of the Roman administration. It is also interesting to note that, in Luke, centurions are always presented as "good guys."

The traditional title of this book is, in some respects, a misnomer: it primarily deals with the "acts" of Peter (Chapters 1-12) and Paul (Chapters 13-28).  It really should be called "The Acts of the Holy Spirit."  Jesus had indicated that the next phase of God's program would be "The Comforter's":

 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send him to you.  - John 16:7 KJVER

Certainly He, the Holy Spirit, is the principal mover behind the scenes.  Do you find It interesting that the Holy Spirit is always modeled as "an unnamed servant" in Biblical typology.  Jesus also explained why:

But when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come.  John 16:13  KJVER

Among the pivotal passages are several that have significance far beyond we read in the narrative.  Perhaps the most important of these is Chapter 2, in which we see the fulfillment of the prophetic significance of Hag Shavout, "The Feast of Weeks", or as we know it, "Pentecost", the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, generally regarded as the birth of the Church.  One should ask, "Why is the Book of Ruth always read at this time?"

Another chapter with special revelations for us is Chapter 7, where young Stephen has the chutzpah, or audacity, to give a review of the Old Testament to the most august body of the Jews, the Sanhedrin.  Hidden behind the subtleties of the text are clues that reveal a number of surprises, such as Abraham's delay in responding to God's call in Genesis 12, and the fact that the Pharaoh that oppressed Israel prior to the exodus was not Egyptian!

There are some other lessons hidden within this fabulous book.  For example, what Bible study, repeatedly recorded in the Book of Acts, was given by seven different people on twelve different occasions, and always proved extremely fruitful, yet is rarely taught today?  The answer is so simple, yet eludes us.  The answer is the study of Christ Jesus using nothing but the Old Testament.  We must remember that the only "Scriptures" that were available to the disciples was the Jewish Scriptures, what we call the "Old Testament."  The "New Testament" had not yet been codified.  Can you do that?  Can you present, to your Jewish friends, Jesus as the Messiah, using nothing but the Old Testament?  It really is not as hard as you might think, if you are prepared.  Now, would that not be a great Bible study at your church?  In the meantime, I encourage you to dig into this uniquely relevant and rewarding book of God's Word.  


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Bruce Larner - Reflect His Glory


What Does the Bible Say About...?

 
   

In this section of the Reflections Newsletter we answer questions that have been asked.  If you have a question that you would like ask, and do not mind having printed in the newsletter, (your name will not be mentioned), feel free to send your question in an email to me at biblequestions@reflecthisglory.org.  Of course, you may call me anytime by phone at 801.302-1111.

The question for this issue is, "Jesus spoke of a 'key of knowledge' in Luke 11:52.  What does this term mean?"

In the context of this verse, Jesus was addressing the Pharisees and lawyers, who were the teachers of the Jewish Law.  He chastised them for their legalism, and their lordship over the Jewish people.  In this verse, Christ Jesus said

Woe to you, lawyers!  for you have taken away the key of knowledge: you entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in you hindered.           Luke 11:52 KJVER                

The "key of knowledge" is the saving knowledge of Christ Jesus.  In their condemnation of Jesus for themselves, not only did the lawyers exclude themselves from entering into His Kingdom, but they did something more offensive to the Lord.  Buy their teachings, they hindered others from entering in as well.  Therefore, Christ Jesus pronounced woe on them, just as He did on the Pharisees, who also rejected Him and urged their followers to do likewise.


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Bruce Larner - Reflect His Glory

 

**MEMORY VERSE OF THE MONTH**

But when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come.

John 16:13  KJV ER

Bruce Larner - Reflect His Glory

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"Then Jesus said to those Jews which believed on him,
"
If you continue in My word, then are you My disciples indeed;
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free
."

John 8:31-32

  
Bruce Larner - Reflect His Glory
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Bruce Larner - Reflect His Glory
Bruce Larner - Reflect His Glory