Monday, May 26, 2008
**In This Issue**
- The Book of
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
The Book of
"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
is why we call them manuscripts).
An analysis of Luke's writings seems to support the pre-trial
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
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
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:
the Spirit of truth, is come, He
will guide you into all truth: for
He shall not speak of
shall hear, that shall He
speak: and He
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
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
firstname.lastname@example.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.
**MEMORY VERSE OF THE
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
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