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Showing posts from November 11, 2016

The Keys of Death and Hades

The Keys of Death and HadesRevelation 1:18 Excerpt ...keys are the symbol of authority, and by having been raised from death, the glorified Christ has the power over death and the world of the dead; he has the power to leave people in death or to open the gates of Hades (see Isa 38.10; Matt 16.18 [RSV footnote]) and let its inhabitants leave. This, of course, is a figure for the power to bring the dead to life.  Bratcher, Robert G., and Howard Hatton.A Handbook on the Revelation to John. New York: United Bible Societies, 1993. Print. UBS Handbook Series.

Which Herod?

Which Herod?Excerpt Herod the Great, king of the Jews 40–4 bc, born c. 73 bc. His father Antipater, a Jew of Idumaean descent, attained a position of great influence in Judaea after the Roman conquest and was appointed procurator of Judaea by Julius Caesar in 47 bc. He in turn appointed his son Herod military prefect of Galilee, and Herod showed his qualities by the vigour with which he suppressed brigandage in that region; the Roman governor of Syria was so impressed by his energy that he made him military prefect of Coele-Syria. After the assassination of Caesar and subsequent civil war Herod enjoyed the goodwill of Antony. When the Parthians invaded Syria and Palestine and set the Hasmonaean Antigonus on the throne of Judaea (40–37 bc) the Roman senate, advised by Antony and Octavian, gave Herod the title ‘king of the Jews’. It took him 3 years of fighting to make his title effective, but when he had done so he governed Judaea for 33 years as a loyal ‘friend and ally’ of Rome. More B…

The Divine Name

The Divine NameExcerpt In form the divine name Yahweh is either a simple indicative or a causative indicative of the verb ‘to be’, meaning ‘he is (alive, present, active)’ or ‘he brings into being’, and the formula in which the name is disclosed (Ex. 3:14, I am who I am) means either ‘I reveal my active presence as and when I will’ or ‘I bring to pass what I choose to bring to pass’. In the setting of Ex. 3-20this refers both to the events of the Exodus as those in which Yahweh is actively present (and which indeed he has deliberately brought to pass) and also to the preceding theological interpretation (Ex. 3:1-4:175:22-6:8) of those events vouchsafed to Moses. Yahweh is thus the God of revelation and history and in particular reveals himself as the God who saves his people (according to covenant promise) and overthrows those who oppose his word. More Motyer, J. A. “Name.” Ed. D. R. W. Wood et al. New Bible dictionary 1996 : 801. Print.

Let Us Not Grow Weary

Let Us Not Grow WearyExcerpt But Christians may become discouraged with spiritual sowing because the harvest is often long in coming. In the face of this reality the apostle charged the Galatians not tobecome weary or give up because the harvest is sure. (Paul included himself as he no doubt contemplated his sometimes frustrating labors on behalf of the Galatian Christians.) The reaping will come at God’s proper time,which may be only in part in this life and in full in the life to come at the judgment seat of Christ. More Campbell, Donald K. “Galatians.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 610. Print

God’s Judgment

God’s JudgmentExcerpt Paul again anticipates an objection (“Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted [=anthestēken perfect tense, and continues to resist] His will?”) from his readers from what he has just argued: Mercy is neither a human right nor a divine obligation. Rather God extends mercy to undeserving men as He wills. Hence the objector thinks, if all rebellious men like Pharaoh serve God’s purpose why should God blame them? Could they have acted otherwise? Thus one may conclude: Is God’s will not the basis of human behavior instead of judgment? More Lopez, René A. Romans Unlocked Power to Deliver. Springfield, MO: 21st Century, 2005. Print.

Garden Was Prepared

Garden Was PreparedExcerpt Having prepared the garden for man’s reception, the Lord God took the man. “Not physically lifting him up and putting him down in the garden, but simply exerting an influence upon him which induced him, in the exercise of his free agency, to go. He went in consequence of a secret impulse or an open command of his Maker” (Bush). And put him into the garden; literally, caused him to rest in it as an abode of happiness and peace. To dress it. I. e. to till, cultivate, and work it. This would almost seem to hint that the aurea œtas of classical poetry was but a dream—a reminiscence of Eden, perhaps, but idealised. Even the plants, flowers, and trees of Eden stood in need of cultivation from the hand of man, and would speedily have degenerated without his attention. And to keep it. Neither were the animals all so peaceful and domesticated that Adam did not need to fence his garden against their depredations. Doubtless there is here too an ominous hint of the exist…

Full Assurance of Faith

Full Assurance of FaithExcerpt “Let us draw near” (προσερχώμεθα) is a liturgical phrase, denoting the approach of the people, after ceremonial atonement, to the earthly sanctuary (cf. ver. 1τοὺς προσερχομένους). We may now draw near to the very heavenly mercy-seat, without any sense of a bar to our doing so on the ground of consciousness of sin. In Christ we are to see accomplished all that is needed for atonement. But there are conditions also required in ourselves, expressed first by the “true heart”, and the “fulness of faith”, and then by the clauses that follow. These clauses, like προσερχώμεθα, have a liturgical basis—that of the blood sprinkling (e.g. of the people with the blood of the covenant under Mount Sinai, ch. 9:19, and of the priests on their consecration, Lev. 8:23) and of the ablutions before sacrificial service (Lev. 8:616:424Exod. 30:39). Hence these two participial clauses are not to be separated from each other, and seem best to be both taken in connection…

Fire as Symbol and Imagery

Fire as Symbol and ImageryExodus 3:2, 4 Excerpt Fire is a common symbol of holiness and in some cases of protection (cf. Zech. 2:5). It represents divine action, with God himself presented as ‘a consuming fire’ (Heb. 12:29; cf. Deut. 4:24). Fire is God’s servant (Ps. 104:4; Heb. 1:7), and his word is like fire (Jer. 23:29). In reference to God’s action, fire is most frequently a symbol of destruction associated with the wrath of God and his jealousy. As a metaphor of God’s holiness, however, it may also purge or purify. The Babylonian exile is described as purification by fire (Ps. 66:12; Isa. 43:2), and certainly, the Day of the Lord will purify Israel (Zech. 13:9; cf. 1 Cor. 3:13-15). Fire is a central element of the description of theophany throughout biblical literature. God’s appearance for covenant with Abraham (Gen. 15:17), the appearance in the burning bush (Exod. 3:2), the leading of Israel with the pillar of fire by night (Exod. 13:21-22), and the appearance in fire on Mount S…

About Exodus the Book

About Exodus the BookExodus 3:1–22 Excerpt Exodus, the second book of the Hebrew Bible and the story of Moses’ call by God to rescue his people from oppression in Egypt. After encountering God and entering into a covenant in the wilderness at Sinai, the Israelites constructed a portable shrine (tabernacle) and set out on a journey toward Canaan, the land promised by God to their ancestors as an inheritance. Exodus is the book’s Greek title in the Septuagint (LXX); in Hebrew, it is called (from its opening words)ve‘elleh shmoth, ‘And these [are] the names,’ or simply Shmoth,‘Names.’ Achtemeier, Paul J., Harper & Row and Society of Biblical Literature.Harper’s Bible dictionary 1985 : 288. Print.

Adam and Eve

Adam and EveExcerpt This section (2:4–7) is introduced as “the account of the heavens and the earth”; this is the first of ten units in Genesis introduced with “account of” (or, “story of, descendants of”). In a sense, man is viewed as the offspring of the heavens and the earth. But it is an earth without vegetation (v. 5a) and water (v. 5b), except for subterranean streams (v. 6). God is pictured as a potter. He forms man from the dust. Perhaps we should translate dust as mud or clay, for potters do not work with dust. The idea of God creating man from the earth is mentioned elsewhere in the Old Testament (Job 4:1910:8Pss. 90:3103:14104:29146:4). Not only is God potter, he is an animator as well. God breathes the breath of life into man.  Elwell, Walter A. Evangelical Commentary on the Bible. Vol. 3. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1995. Print. Baker Reference Library.

An Introduction to Paul’s Presentation of the Gospel

An Introduction to Paul’s Presentation of the GospelExcerpt ‎How many steps does it take to lead a person to Christ? That is not an easy question, for there is so much that enters into the receptiveness of the counselee which may hinder him from grasping the details of the gospel. Or on the other hand the primary Soul-winner, the Holy Spirit, already may have prepared him and enabled him to grasp and respond to the gospel readily. For that matter, no single passage in Scripture gives a final answer to the question. Indeed, I suspect that the answer is one which must be answered by the Holy Spirit as the one who is witnessing cooperates with the work of the Holy Spirit in drawing that man or woman to Christ. This seems to be suggested by Christ’s words in that great Upper Room Discourse. In it He marvelously prepared the disciples for the coming of the Holy Spirit after His own resurrection and departure for heaven 40 days later. … More Northrup, Bernard E. True Evangelism: Paul’s Presen…

My Utmost for His Highest

November 11th

The supreme climb

Take now thy son … Genesis 22:2.

God’s command is—Take now, not presently. It is extraordinary how we debate! We know a thing is right, but we try to find excuses for not doing it at once. To climb to the height God shows can never be done presently, it must be done now. The sacrifice is gone through in will before it is performed actually.
“And Abraham rose up early in the morning, … and went unto the place of which God had told him” (v. 3). The wonderful simplicity of Abraham! When God spoke, he did not confer with flesh and blood. Beware when you want to confer with flesh and blood, i.e., your own sympathies, your own insight, anything that is not based on your personal relationship to God. These are the things that compete with and hinder obedience to God.
Abraham did not choose the sacrifice. Always guard against self-chosen service for God; self-sacrifice may be a disease. If God has made your cup sweet, drink it with grace; if He has made it bitter, d…

Morning and Evening

Morning, November 11Go To Evening Reading

“Underneath are the everlasting arms.”          —Deuteronomy 33:27
God—the eternal God—is himself our support at all times, and especially when we are sinking in deep trouble. There are seasons when the Christian sinks very low in humiliation. Under a deep sense of his great sinfulness, he is humbled before God till he scarcely knows how to pray, because he appears, in his own sight, so worthless. Well, child of God, remember that when thou art at thy worst and lowest, yet “underneath” thee “are everlasting arms.” Sin may drag thee ever so low, but Christ’s great atonement is still under all. You may have descended into the deeps, but you cannot have fallen so low as “the uttermost”; and to the uttermost he saves. Again, the Christian sometimes sinks very deeply in sore trial from without. Every earthly prop is cut away. What then? Still underneath him are “the everlasting arms.” He cannot fall so deep in distress and affliction but what the cove…

Connect the Testaments

November 11: Traditions and Miracles
1 Kings 14:1–15:24; Mark 9:2–37; Proverbs 3:23–35

In the face of perplexing situations, we naturally respond with what we know and understand—we even take refuge in familiar traditions. This is precisely how Jesus’ disciples respond when Jesus is transfigured before them.
After Jesus is transformed and Moses and Elijah appear, Peter says, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here! And let us make three shelters, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah” (Mark 9:5). Peter is drawing on the Festival of Tabernacles (or Booths), which celebrated God’s dwelling among His people (Lev 23:42–43). Peter isn’t certain how to respond, so he evokes a tradition. At least Peter understands that this confusing event shows God at work among His people.
But is Peter’s response the correct one? Mark gives us a hint in an aside: “For [Peter] did not know what he should answer, because they [Peter, James, and John] were terrified” (Mark 9:6). It’s not surprising that…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

November 11

  And when the vessel that he made of the clay was marred in the hand of the potter, he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it
Jer. 18:4 (R.V.)
God’s fairest, and highest place of service in the land that lies beyond will be filled by the men and women who have been broken upon the wheel on earth.

G. Campbell Morgan

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