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Showing posts from July 25, 2017

Visions

VisionsExcerpt [Visions are] things normally hidden from human eyes. Visions, dreams, and heavenly journeys are closely related phenomena through which secrets are thought to be revealed. These media of revelation are especially characteristic of apocalyptic literature. Visions can be distinguished from theophanies and epiphanies of angels or of Jesus. In theophanies and epiphanies the emphasis is on the appearance or presence of a heavenly being and often on the message conveyed by that being. In visions the emphasis is on an object, a scene, or a sequence of events that is enacted. Accounts of visions have certain typical formal features. They are usually in the first person: the visionary describes his or her experience. The setting is often given near the beginning: the date, place, and time at which the vision occurred. Then follows the content of the vision, usually introduced by the words ‘I saw.’ Sometimes the account concludes with remarks about how the visionary reacted to the…

Holy Spirit as Inheritance

Holy Spirit as InheritanceEphesians 1:13–14 Excerpt The Holy Spirit who seals is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance. The “deposit” is more than a pledge which could be returned; it is a down payment with a guarantee of more to come (cf. “the firstfruits of the Spirit,” Rom. 8:23). “A deposit guaranteeing” translates the Greek arrabōn(used elsewhere in the NT only in 2 Cor. 1:225:5). It guarantees believers’ “inheritance” of salvation and heaven (cf. 1 Peter1:4). (See comments on “inheritance” in Eph. 1:18.) In essence, the “deposit” of the Holy Spirit is a little bit of heaven in believers’ lives with a guarantee of much more yet to come. More Hoehner, Harold W. “Ephesians.”The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 619. Print.

Moses Strikes the Rock Twice

Moses Strikes the Rock TwiceNumbers 20:10–11 Excerpt Milgrom has examined Moses’ actions against the backdrop of Egyptian and Mesopotamian magicians and diviners as well as in the context of the nature of God revealed in the Pentateuch. Moses’ actions were tantamount to that of an idolatrous pagan magician, and thus Milgrom notes, “Here, in a direct address to his people, Moses ascribes miraculous powers to himself and Aaron. Indeed by broadcasting one word, nôṣîʾ, “we shall bring forth”—Moses and Aaron might be interpreted as having put themselves forth as God.… Israel had to be released from more than chains; it still had to purged of its pagan background.363 In summary, Milgrom states, “Against the backdrop of the Pentateuchal sensitivity to man’s usurping of God’s powers, Moses’ act is manifestly shocking.”364 The collapse of character was so critical that he would suffer severely for his actions and his attitudes. He would not experience the fullness of God’s promise, the ultimate …

John’s Imprisonment

John’s ImprisonmentExcerpt Scholars debate the dates of John the Baptist’s imprisonment and death. It is likely that John began his ministry about a.d. 29 (cf. v. 1), that he was imprisoned the following year, and that he was beheaded not later than a.d. 32. His entire ministry lasted no more than three years—about one year out of prison and two years in prison. (For details on John’s imprisonment and death by beheading see Matt. 14:1-12Mark 6:14-29Luke 9:7-919-20.) More Martin, John A. “Luke.”The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985. 212. Print.

Connect the Testaments

July 25: The Difficult Issue of the Heretics 2 Samuel 14:1–15:37; 2 Peter 1:16–21; Psalm 141:1–142:7 Distinguishing between correct and false teaching has plagued nearly every church. We ask questions such as, “Are we venturing too far in that direction?” “Is this just my personal theological issue, or is this actually a big deal?” “Should I be concerned about that, or is it simply a matter of individual choice?” Thankfully, the nt clarifies many of these issues for us. Throughout Peter’s second letter, he addresses the challenge of warding off false teachers; he aims to defend the gospel and explain why the false teachers’ claims are incorrect. To do so, Peter hinges his argument on his own experience—on what he witnessed. In his case, arguing from personal witness makes sense: Peter actually knew Jesus. He writes, “For we did not make known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ by following ingeniously concocted myths, but by being eyewitnesses of that one’s majesty. For …

Morning and Evening

Morning, July 25Go To Evening Reading
“He left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.” —Genesis 39:12
In contending with certain sins there remains no mode of victory but by flight. The ancient naturalists wrote much of basilisks, whose eyes fascinated their victims and rendered them easy victims; so the mere gaze of wickedness puts us in solemn danger. He who would be safe from acts of evil must haste away from occasions of it. A covenant must be made with our eyes not even to look upon the cause of temptation, for such sins only need a spark, to begin with, and a blaze follows in an instant. Who would wantonly enter the leper’s prison and sleep amid its horrible corruption? He only who desires to be leprous himself would thus court contagion. If the mariner knew how to avoid a storm, he would do anything rather than run the risk of weathering it. Cautious pilots have no desire to try how near the quicksand they can sail, or how often they may touch a rock without springing…

My Utmost for His Highest

July 25th Am I blessed like this? Blessed are… Matthew 5:3–10. When we first read the statements of Jesus they seem wonderfully simple and unstartling, and they sink unobserved into our unconscious minds. For instance, the Beatitudes seem merely mild and beautiful precepts for all unworldly and useless people, but of very little practical use in the stern workaday world in which we live. We soon find, however, that the Beatitudes contain the dynamite of the Holy Ghost. They explode, as it was when the circumstances of our lives cause them to do so. When the Holy Spirit brings to our remembrance one of these Beatitudes we say—‘What a startling statement that is!’ and we have to decide whether we will accept the tremendous spiritual upheaval that will be produced in our circumstances if we obey His words. That is the way the Spirit of God works. We do not need to be born again to apply the Sermon on the Mount literally. The literal interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount is child’s play;…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

July 25 Do thou that which is good 2 Kings 10:5 Keep as few good intentions hovering about as possible. They are like ghosts haunting a dwelling. The way to lay them is to find bodies for them. When they are embodied in substantial deeds they are no longer dangerous. William Arnot

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