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Showing posts from November 5, 2015

Alexander the Great Fights Darius III

Alexander the Great Fights Darius III ‎ Near the ancient town of Issus, in the modern Turkish province of Hatay (the finger of territory extending south toward Lebanon between Syria and the Mediterranean), Alexander the Great and his army ended the first Persian (Achaemenid) Empire. This mosaic, created in Pompeii in the first century B.C., depicts the crucial moment in 333 B.C. when Alexander broke the Persian lines. The terrified Persian king, Darius III, grabbed his own chariot reins—unthinkable for Persian monarchs, who always relied on charioteers—and fled the field. ‎Dan 8:5–8, Dan 11:2–4, 1 Macc 1:1, 1 Macc. 7, 1 Macc 6:2 ‎Image by user virtusincertus, from Flickr. License: CC BY 2.0
Note. Alexander the Great was Black

Rooftop Prayer

Rooftop Prayer
Rooftop prayer
Rooftop prayers were popular among the heathen as well as the Jews. It’s believed that in addition to acting as a screen from public observation, the person praying might also more readily look in the direction of the temple in Jerusalem (see Daniel 6:10 Time of Prayer).

Freeman, James M., and Harold J. Chadwick. Manners & Customs of the Bible. North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos Publishers, 1998. Print.

Taking Freight at Vathy, Samos

Taking Freight at Vathy, Samos
‎Samos is an island of the Ægean Sea. It is eighty-seven miles in circumference and is noted as being the birthplace of Pythagoras. When Xerxes invaded Europe the people of Samos assisted the Greeks, and were finally brought themselves under the power of Athens, after a revolt in the days of Pericles, B. C. 441. Vathy itself is an important shipping town. Its wine is widely celebrated and is very cheap. The city is well built and clean, and the people are thrifty. Greek ideas and influence predominate. The language of the majority of the people is Greek. The writer was sitting under one of the store awnings near the landing, when two bright boys passed by on their way from school. They stopped for a moment to look at the stranger. I asked one of the boys what book he was studying. He did not quite understand me, but handed a book to me. I found that the book was half English and half Greek, arranged in parallel columns. The boys asked me in broken Engli…


Dove Dove
Because the disciples of Christ are hated and persecuted and their ruin is sought, they need the serpent’s wisdom. The word serpent or snake is used symbolically of a deadly, subtle, malicious enemy. (See Luke 10:19.) Yet Christ’s followers are to be as harmless as doves—to neither hurt anyone, nor bear anyone ill will. In the political world today, a dove is a person who advocates peace, conciliation, or negotiation in preference to confrontation or armed conflict.

Freeman, James M., and Harold J. Chadwick. Manners & Customs of the Bible. North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos Publishers, 1998. Print.

Bethlehem, Ephratha, Rama—Medeba Map

Bethlehem, Ephratha, Rama—Medeba Map
‎Here, “Bethlehem” appears in Greek (top center) on the Medeba (Madaba) Map. Below that is “Ephratha,” the region that included Bethlehem (Mic 5:2). To Ephratha’s right, the Greek says “Rama, a voice in Rama was heard.” Rama sits about five miles (eight km) north of Jerusalem, off this picture’s left edge. The mosaicist-cartographer refers to Jeremiah 31:15, fulfilled by Herod’s infanticide around Bethlehem (Matt 2:16–18). Jeremiah himself was remembering Rachel’s death in Rama, during childbirth, while traveling to Bethlehem. In his and Matthew’s minds, the two towns, many miles apart, were linked. ‎Gen 35:16, Gen. 35:19, 1 Chr 4:4, Jer 31:15, Mic 5:2, Matt 2:1–8, Matt. 2:16–18
‎Image by Jean Housen, from Wikimedia Commons. License: CC BY-SA 3.0

Keep Disciples From the Evil One

Keep Disciples From the Evil OneJohn 17:14. Jesus’ intercession for the disciples continued with a reminder of (a) their value and (b) their coming danger. They were valuable because they had received the Word of God: I have given them Your Word (cf. “I gave them the words You gave Me,” v. John 17:8). They were in danger because the satanic world system hated them. It hated them because they are not a part of it. As believers share Jesus Christ, “Everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes, and the boasting of what he has and does” (1 John 2:16) loses its attractiveness. A believer’s commitment shows the world’s values to be trash or dung (cf. Phil. 3:8). Therefore the world hates the exposure of its sham values (cf. John 3:20).
Blum, Edwin A. “John.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 332. Print.

The Symbolism of the Right Hand

The Symbolism of the Right HandHebrews 1:13“Sit at My right hand” (Heb.1:13). The right hand is the traditional place of power and authority in the biblical world. Christ not only laid the foundations of the earth, and possesses endless life and existence, He also exercises all the power and authority of Deity.
Richards, Lawrence O. The Bible Reader’s Companion. electronic ed. Wheaton: Victor Books, 1991. Print.

He Who has an Ear...

He Who has an Ear... As with all the churches (Rev. 2:7, Rev. 2:11, Rev. 2:17, Rev. 2:29; Rev. 3:6, Rev. 3:13), so here, the risen Christ admonishes the reader to pay close attention, using words from the Gospels (Matt. 11:15; Matt. 13:9, Matt. 13:43; Mark 4:23; Luke 14:35), which will be used later in Revelation 13:9. We should heed what the Holy Spirit says because the Spirit will teach us everything we need to know (John 14:15–18, John 14:25), and will exercise his sevenfold ministry as promised by Isaiah (Rev. 11:2).
Elwell, Walter A. Evangelical Commentary on the Bible. Vol. 3. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1995. Print. Baker Reference Library.

Is Harmonization Honest?

Is Harmonization Honest?

The most popular biography ever written is the account of Jesus’ life contained in the four Gospels. For twenty centuries this story has inspired, challenged, and convicted mankind. The story never grows old, and it is today as inspiring as when it was first recorded by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. What is more, the accounts of the life of Jesus in the Gospels have not only survived, but they have thrived in spite of being subjected to unprecedented criticisms. So it is not surprising that Gospel harmonies have long been a popular way of studying the life of Jesus. In fact, the practice of paralleling the similar texts of the four Gospels goes back to the second century when Tatian composed a harmony in the Syriac language. That effort was soon followed by Ammonius of Alexandria, who was first to arrange the text of the four Gospels in four parallel columns. Many refinements were made through the centuries, and Gospel harmonies remain an accepted tool for s…

Elected by God’s Mercy

Elected by God’s Mercy At this point one might wonder about man’s free will. Thus, the question arises: Does God accomplish His purpose in election by letting human freedom take its course? Yes, but one should not presuppose that human freedom takes precedence over God’s electing choice. Rather an omniscient God aware of all possible scenarios and their outcomes, elects first (using an undisclosed criterion), but then accomplishes His purpose through human freedom. That God uses human freedom to accomplish, as well as enforce, His choice may be illustrated through the Scripture account of Pharaoh (Exod 9:16). Only after Pharaoh initially rebels (Ro. 5:2) and hardens his own heart (Ro.7:13, Ro. 7:14, Ro. 7:22; Ro. 8:15, Ro. 8:19, Ro. 8:32; Ro. 9:7) does God harden his heart (Ro. 8:3:19–20; Ro. 4:21; Ro. 9:12). God, knowing beforehand Pharaoh’s response (cf.Exod 4:21–23), uses him to demonstrate His power and declare His name throughout the earth. Therefore, if God chooses to withhold

Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan

November 5: Of Fields and Temples
1 Kings 7:1–51; Mark 4:26–5:20;Proverbs 1:28–33

The building of Solomon’s temple and the growth of the kingdom of God are similar: Both require extensive labor. Both bring miraculous results. And in both efforts, the dredging and toil can proceed for weeks, months, or years before the fruits of the labor become apparent.

When the Bible describes the building of God’s temple, it mentions features and materials that would have been incredible at the time: “He built the House of the Forest of Lebanon … It was covered with cedar above … There were three rows of specially designed windows … All of the doorways and the door-frames had four-sided casings” (1 Kgs 7:2–5). Consider the logistical, expediting, and procurement hurdles that Solomon must have faced. How could one leader build a project that required the finest materials and the most highly skilled craftsmen from all over the known world, all in his lifetime? That it was completed is nearly miraculou…

Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest: Selections for the Year.

November 5th
Partakers of His sufferings

Rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings. 1 Peter 4:13.

If you are going to be used by God, He will take you through a multitude of experiences that are not meant for you at all; they are meant to make you useful in His hands, and to enable you to understand what transpires in other souls so that you will never be surprised at what you come across. ‘Oh, I can’t deal with that person.’ Why not? God gave you ample opportunity to soak before Him on that line, and you ‘barged off’ because it seemed stupid to spend time in that way.

The sufferings of Christ are not those of ordinary men. He suffered “according to the will of God,” not from the point of view we suffer from as individuals. It is only when we are related to Jesus Christ that we can understand what God is after in His dealings with us. It is part of Christian culture to know what God’s aim is. In the history of the Christian Church the tendency has been to evade bei…

Spurgeon, Charles H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings

Morning, November 5      Go To Evening Reading
   “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper.”           — Isaiah 54:17
This day is notable in English history for two great deliverances wrought by God for us. On this day the plot of the Papists to destroy our Houses of Parliament was discovered, 1605.

 “While for our princes they prepare
         In caverns deep a burning snare,
         He shot from heaven a piercing ray,
         And the dark treachery brought to day.”

And secondly—to-day is the anniversary of the landing of King William III, at Torbay, by which the hope of Popish ascendancy was quashed, and religious liberty was secured, 1688.

This day ought to be celebrated, not by the Saturnalia of striplings, but by the songs of saints. Our Puritan forefathers most devoutly made it a special time of thanksgiving. There is extant a record of the annual sermons preached by Matthew Henry on this day. Our Protestant feeling, and our love of liberty, should make us regard its…