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Showing posts from December 22, 2014

Fish in the Sea of Galilee

Fish in the Sea of Galilee ‎Fishing in the Sea of Galilee played an important role at the time of Jesus. There was a fishery in Magdala, where the fisherman living alongside the seashore pickled the fish. Eighteen types of fish are home in the Sea of Galilee; ten of them are important for commercialization. At the top: The catfish (clarias lazera) is the biggest fish in Palestine. It can reach a length of 1.25 m, and a weight of 10 kg. Since it does not have scales, Jews are not allowed to eat that fish (Lev 11:9; Deut 14:9). Therefore its value was limited for commercial use. Perhaps the term “bad fish” in Matt 13:48 refers to the catfish. Bottom left: The Hafafi (varicorhinus damascinus) also belongs to the barbs. Since it originated in the region of the springs of the Jordan River, it swims up-stream for spawning there in the winter. Bottom right: The barb. ‎Lev 11:9; Deut 14:9; Matt 4:18; 7:10; 13:47–48; 14:17, 14:19; 15:34, 15:36; Mark 1:16; 6:38, 6:41, 6:43; 8:7; Luke 5:2, 5:6;…

The Archangel Michael

The Archangel Michael Excerpt The archangel Michael was sent to bury Moses’ body, but according to Jewish tradition (the pseudepigraphical book, The Assumption of Moses), the devil argued with the angel about the body, apparently claiming the right to dispose of it. But Michael, though powerful and authoritative, did not dare dispute with Satan, so he left the matter in God’s hands, saying, The Lordrebuke you! The false teachers Jude spoke of had no respect for authority or for angels. The apostates’ slandering of celestial beings (v. Jude 8) stands in arrogant contrast to the chief angelic being, Michael, who would not dare slander Satan, chief of the fallen angels. More Pentecost, Edward C. “Jude.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 921. Print

Experience or revelation

December 21st

Experience or revelation
We have received … the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 1 Cor. 2:12.

Reality is Redemption, not my experience of Redemption; but Redemption has no meaning for me until it speaks the language of my conscious life. When I am born again, the Spirit of God takes me right out of myself and my experiences, and identifies me with Jesus Christ. If I am left with my experiences, my experiences have not been produced by Redemption. The proof that they are produced by Redemption is that I am led out of myself all the time; I no longer pay any attention to my experiences as the ground of Reality, but only to the Reality which produced the experiences. My experiences are not worth anything unless they keep me at the Source, Jesus Christ.
If you try to dam up the Holy Spirit in you to produce subjective experiences, you will find that He will burst all bounds and take you back again to the historic Chri…

Court-Yard of the English Orphanage

Court-Yard of the English Orphanage
‎We know but little of the wonderful childhood of Christ in Nazareth save that “He grew and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.” Here were passed the years of the ripening manhood of our Lord, and here he came in the early days of his ministry to declare his high calling to his old neighbors and companions. Little remains of the old Nazareth which can be identified, but the surrounding hills and the distant sea, upon which the Savior so often gazed, remain the same. Truly it was “a central spot in the world which He came to save.” Some fine buildings have been erected of late years. Among these is an institution for orphan girls, sustained by the “Female Educational Society” of England. We have already in these pages seen a fine picture of Nazareth from the esplanade of the orphanage. It is pleasant to remember that He who loved to gather the children about Him, and who taught one of His most heavenly less…

Jerusalem: Chapel of the Ascension-Rock

Jerusalem: Chapel of the Ascension-Rock ‎ Jerusalem. Candles are burning on Assumption Day next to the rock in the Chapel of the Ascension. According to tradition, it was from here that Jesus rose to heaven, leaving his left footprint in the rock. In the Crusader period the prints of both feet were here, and there are many legends about the disappearance of the piece of rock containing the right footprint. Apparently it was stolen by souvenir hunters.


Hildegard of Bingen

Hildegard of Bingen
Scivias, her best-known work, contains 26 visions with their interpretations. Its name is an abbreviation for Scito vias Domini, “Know the ways of the Lord.” In it she spoke with a prophet’s voice, using the first person, speaking as it were for God.
“I spoke and wrote these things not by the invention of my heart or that of any other person,” she said, “but as by the secret mysteries of God; I heard and received them in the heavenly places. And again I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, ‘Cry out therefore, and write thus!’ ”

A unique voice In spite of her harsh denunciations, Hildegard believed that her “new song must float like a feather on the breath of God.” Still, though both Bernard of Clairvaux and Pope Eugenius III recognized her spiritual authenticity, she encountered fierce opposition from other church leaders.
During her last year, her superiors, unhappy with her opposition to local church policies, placed her community under interdict for six mont…

Obedience Through Suffering

Obedience Through Suffering Excerpt Christ as a man discovered what it is to cry out to God in fear and distress. The allusion to Gethsemane is unmistakable (Matt. 26:36–46). He learned to say “thy will be done” when the will of God was the way of the cross. In answer to his prayer he was enabled to bear his trial just as he will enable believers to bear theirs (4:15–16). This statement serves to demonstrate how completely and unqualifiedly the Son of God became a man like other men, though without sin. Though he was the Son of God and a sinless man, he was not exempt from the principle that it is through suffering that a person discovers the true nature and cost of obedience (vv. 8–10;2:10). He was “a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering” (Isa.53:3), and it is precisely that suffering and perfect obedience in suffering which fit him for his role as Savior and High Priest. More Elwell, Walter A. Evangelical Commentary on the Bible. Vol. 3. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 19…

The Laodiceans Had Material Wealth Only

The Laodiceans Had Material Wealth Only Excerpt They were urged to buy not ordinary gold, but refined gold, referring to that which would glorify God and make them truly rich. Through its banking industry the city had material wealth. But the church lacked spiritual richness. Though they had beautiful clothes, they were urged to wear white clothes (cf. v. Rev 3:4), symbolic of righteousness which would cover their spiritual nakedness. As wool was a major product of the area, Laodicea was especiallyfamous for a black garment made out of black wool. What they needed instead was pure white clothing. Then Christ exhorted them to put salve … on their eyes. A medical school was located in Laodicea at the temple of Asclepius, which offered a special salve to heal common eye troubles of the Middle East. What they needed was not this medicine but spiritual sight. The church at Laodicea is typical of a modern church quite unconscious of its spiritual needs and content with beautiful buildings …


Ashurnasirpal A bas relief in stone showing Ashurnasirpal II being anointed by a magical figure, perhaps a priest, dressed in the head and wings of an eagle.
Ashurnasirpal II made Calah (Nimrud) his capital city, employing more than 50,000 prisoners in the work of reconstruction. A. H. Layard, excavating Nimrud in 1845, uncovered the royal palace with its colossal statuary. Ashurnasirpal II was succeeded in 859 B.C. by his son Shalmaneser III, who reigned for 35 years.

Elwell, Walter A., and Barry J. Beitzel. Baker encyclopedia of the Bible 1988 : 216. Print.

Stream from under Mount of Temptation

Stream from under Mount of Temptation
‎On the west of Jericho rise the rugged cliffs of Quarantania, which since the twelfth century has been shown as the Mount of our Lord’s Temptation. Its great cliffs frown above a green oasis, where the Sultan’s Spring, called by Christians “Elisha’s Spring,” rises and spreads verdure as far as the site of ancient Jericho, which once depended upon it for water. Standing upon this height we can see the plain of Jordan below us, the road taken by Joshua and the army of Israel when they advanced into the interior of Canaan, the road passed by Samuel on his way to Gibeah of Benjamin, and possibly the path on which Elijah and Elisha descended together for the last time. For many centuries devout persons of many nations have come here for days or years of fasting until the face of the mountain is honey-combed with cells and caves. Even now a few Abyssinian Christians keep Lent here each spring. Canon Tristram, who, with his party, by the aid of Bedouin…

“Emar, Capital of Astata in the Fourteenth Century BCE.”

The sanctuaries of Baal and Aštart on the cultic terrace with its processional promenade.

The great hall of the temple of Aštart.

Reconstruction of the temples of Baal and Aštart.

The third sanctuary (M-2), sometimes identified as a Pantheon because it seems to have been dedicated to all the gods, was unearthed in Field M. It, too, was designed as a megaron, with the typical structures found in Field E, particularly a small cultic esplanade also located behind the temple. But this temple possessed the peculiarity of being equipped with an annex consisting of three rooms on its long eastern side. Here excavators unearthed the Diviner’s archives, which might have fallen from an upper floor. The Diviner was an important figure whose reputation reached the court of the Great Hittite king.
The last temple, found slightly to the north and not too far from the previous one, was also fully integrated into the urban fabric. Of the same generic shape, but without a deep entry, it opened into a sm…


‎The picture shows the head of an Ammonite king with the Ammonite crown. There were several similarly shaped stone figurines found in the Ammonite region. ‎Gen 19:38; Judg 10:6–11; Judg 11:4–36; Judg 12:1–3; 1 Sam 11:1–2, 1 Sam 11:10–11; 1 Sam 12:12; 14:47; 2 Sam 8:12; 2 Sam 10:1–19; 2 Sam 11:1; 2 Sam 12:26, 2 Sam 12:31; Jer 49:1

Mundy's Quote for the Day

Mundy's Quote for the Day
The Angels Announce Jesus to the Shepherds
8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them,“Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 14      “Glory to God in the highest,     And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982. Print.

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

December 21
  The sea wrought, and was tempestuous
Jonah 1:11
Sin in the soul is like Jonah in the ship. It turns the smoothest water into a tempestuous sea.


Hardman, Samuel G., and Dwight Lyman Moody. Thoughts for the Quiet Hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing, 1997. Print.

Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions

December 22

Latin carol, 14th century

Translation by John M. Neale, 1818–1866
  Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains! For the Lord comforts His people and will have compassion on His afflicted ones. (Isaiah 49:13)
As this sprightly carol reminds us, Christmas should be the most joyous season of the year for all true Christians. Our lives should be filled with gratitude to God for the immeasurable love shown to us in the gift of His Son. Out of joyous hearts we should be exuberant in “heart and soul and voice!” This ancient hymn uses frequent repetition to impress upon us that the birth of Christ won for us “endless bliss” by opening the way to heaven and conquering our fear of death through His assurance of eternal life.
The festive spirit of Christmas, however, should not fade away as the holiday passes. The joy and peace that Christ brings to our lives should enable us to be continually rejoicing Christians, regardless of…

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Go To Morning Reading      Evening, December 21
         “I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers’ skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk.”           — Ezekiel 16:10
See with what matchless generosity the Lord provides for his people’s apparel. They are so arrayed that the divine skill is seen producing an unrivaled embroidered work, in which every attribute takes its part and every divine beauty is revealed. No art like the art displayed in our salvation, no cunning workmanship like that beheld in the righteousness of the saints. Justification has engrossed learned pens in all ages of the church, and will be the theme of admiration in eternity. God has indeed “curiously wrought it.” With all this elaboration there is mingled utility and durability, comparable to our being shod with badgers’ skins. The animal here meant is unknown, but its skin covered the tabernacle, and formed one of the finest and strongest leathers k…

Connect the Testaments

December 22: A False Form of Righteousness
Jeremiah 42:1–43:13; Romans 9:30–10:21; Proverbs 24:23–34

Zeal can be treacherous if it’s misplaced. It may lead us to set and strictly follow standards that have nothing to do with God’s work—standards that make us feel like good people but that can devastate our lives and the lives of others.
Paul addresses the misplaced zeal of many Jewish people in his letter to the Roman church: “Brothers, the desire of my heart and my prayer to God on behalf of them is for their salvation. For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For ignoring the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes” (Rom 10:1–4).
Many Jewish people who had rejected the Messiah were attempting to make themselves right with God by keeping the OT law. In doing so, they missed God by see…