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Showing posts from May 27, 2015

'Spirit and Truth' Gnosticism

'Spirit and Truth' GnosticismJohn 4:23-27 In response to her reply, Jesus immediately seized the opportunity and declared (lit.), “I am [egō eimi; 4:26], the one speaking to you.” In John the use of egō eimi is an important theological theme that is used in the mouth of Jesus as a self-identifying vehicle for announcing some important theological idea concerning him. Normally the expression is accompanied by some thematic description such as “bread of life” (6:35), “light of the world” (8:12), “door of the sheep” (10:7), “good shepherd” (10:14), or “resurrection and life” (11:25). But in a few places like the present one egō eimi is used without such an accompanying description (cf. also6:20; 8:58; 18:5). In these texts the shocking reality of a confession of the divine-human presence is being highlighted, and there is no need for discussion with Jesus about who he is. Elsewhere the egō eimi statement by itself is used to emphasize that Jesus is the startling presence of the …

Warning of Apostates

Warning of Apostates1:11 Examples from history. Jude compared the present apostates to three historical apostates, all of whom have their counterparts today:     •      Cain, who ignored God’s wishes and offered a bloodless sacrifice (see Gen. 4:1–7; Heb. 11:4; 1 John 3:12). Many today, while claiming to be Christians, ignore God’s Word.
    •      Balaam, the greedy prophet hired to curse Israel, who was reprimanded by his donkey (seeNum. 22:1–25:9; Rev. 2:14). Many today make merchandise of the gospel.
    •      Korah, who slandered and rebelled against Moses (seeNum. 16). Present-day apostates speak evil against those who speak for God.
1:12–13 Examples from nature. Apostates are self-serving, like clouds without rain, trees without fruit, or stars that wander and are therefore useless as guides for travelers.
1:14–16 Even Enoch saw it coming. Citing a prophecy by Enoch, Jude declared that God would someday judge these false teachers. Enoch predicted Christ’s second coming and judg…

Tombs of Zacharias and St. James

Tombs of Zacharias and St. James ‎ The tomb to the left of the picture is the reputed tomb of St. James. It is opposite the southeast angle of the temple ground. It is an excavated chamber in the rock. The porch in front is eighteen feet wide by nine feet deep. On the south side is an excavated passage leading to the tomb of Zachariah, which is the cubical structure to the right of the picture. It is cut out of solid rock. It is seventeen feet on each side and twenty-nine feet in height. This is supposed to be the tomb of Zachariah spoken of by our Savior, but the Jews claim that it is the tomb of Zechariah who was stoned in the reign of Joash—2 Chronicles 24:20–22. The most picturesque group of sepulchres around the holy city, which is a city of tombs, is that in the Valley of Kedron. The entire face of Olivet above the tombs of Zachariah and St. James is crowded with graves of Jews, and in the Valley of Hinnom are sepulchres without number.
‎Dr. Porter says that “there is no eviden…

Stone grinder (front view)

Stone grinder (front view)
‎This kind of stone grinder was used for the first time only in the Roman period. It consisted of two that stones were conically shaped on the inside, and placed on top of each other. The upper stone could easily be turned by a donkey tied to a rod, which was inserted into the upper stone. Such a device could grind a much larger amount of grain than simple grinding stones. ‎Matt 18:6; Mark 9:42; Luke 17:2; Rev 18:21


The Bible is a biblos, a single book. It has two Testaments, better called covenants or agreements between God and His people. Those two parts of the Bible are inseparably related: the New Testament is in the Old concealed, and the Old is in the New revealed.

Down through the centuries the Bible has been subdivided into sections and has had several different arrangements of its books. The Hebrew Bible came to have a threefold division (Law, Prophets, and Writings), so categorized according to the official position of the writer. However, beginning with the Septuagint and continuing in the Latin and modern English translations, the Old Testament has been given a fourfold topical structure. The New Testament was also given a fourfold topical arrangement of Gospels, Acts, Epistles, and Revelation.

When viewed carefully, those sections of the Bible are obviously not arbitrarily put together. Instead, they form a meaningful and purposeful whole, as they convey the pr…

Qualities Needed in Trials

Qualities Needed in Trials 3So then, 19bAddress                                           my beloved brethren, cMandate                                     let every man be dList-Item                                         swift to hear, eList-Itemuslow to speak, fList-Itemvslow to wrath; 20Reason                                                 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (James 1:19-20)[1]

3 NU Know this or This you know uProv. 10:19; 17:27 vProv. 14:17; 16:32; Eccl. 7:9 [1]The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982. Print.

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

May 27

  Whatsoever ye do.… do all in the name of the Lord Jesus
Col. 3:17
Do little things as if they were great, because of the majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ, who dwells in thee; and do great things as if they were little and easy, because of His omnipotence.


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

Connect the Testaments

May 27: Math: Maybe Not a Mystic Language After All
1 Chronicles 21:1–22:19; 2 Timothy 2:14–26; Psalm 86:1–87:7

In a world of metrics, it’s easy to become obsessed with statistics and start to quantify every aspect of our lives. Stats can even become a type of scorekeeping between churches or pastors: “We have more members than you do.” We may never say those words out loud, but we think them; more than one person has made the mistake of measuring a ministry based on attendance. But God has His own method for measuring success.
Prompted by an adversary (“Satan” is often better translated as “adversary” or “accuser” in the Old Testament), David decides to seek metrics—to count the people of Israel. This account illustrates the harm of seeking gratification or understanding in numbers. In 1 Chronicles 21, major problems emerge from this: including placing an adversary’s will above God’s and predicting God’s will rather than seeking it regularly.
Rather than counting our successes, we sho…

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, May 27                                                 Go To Evening Reading
         “So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem: for he did eat continually at the king’s table; and was lame on both his feet.”
         — 2 Samuel 9:13
Mephibosheth was no great ornament to a royal table, yet he had a continual place at David’s board, because the king could see in his face the features of the beloved Jonathan. Like Mephibosheth, we may cry unto the King of Glory, “What is thy servant, that thou shouldst look upon such a dead dog as I am?” but still the Lord indulges us with most familiar intercourse with himself, because he sees in our countenances the remembrance of his dearly-beloved Jesus. The Lord’s people are dear for another’s sake. Such is the love which the Father bears to his only begotten, that for his sake he raises his lowly brethren from poverty and banishment, to courtly companionship, noble rank, and royal provision. Their deformity shall not rob them of their privileg…

Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest

May 27th
The life that lives

Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. Luke 24:49.
The disciples had to tarry until the day of Pentecost not for their own preparation only; they had to wait until the Lord was glorified historically. As soon as He was glorified, what happened? “Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.” The parenthesis in John 7:39 (“For the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified”) does not apply to us; the Holy Ghost has been given, the Lord is glorified; the waiting depends not on God’s providence, but on our fitness.
The Holy Spirit’s influence and power were at work before Pentecost, but He was not here. Immediately Our Lord was glorified in Ascension, the Holy Spirit came into this world, and He has been here ever since. We have to receive the revelation that He is here. T…