Some suggest that the Bible prophesies of a “last days” regathering of the Jewish people to Israel. Various “proof texts” are cited to support this belief. In examining these “proofs”, we find that these scriptures were either already fulfilled during one of the Old Testament exiles or that they foretold of the coming promises of the New Covenant of Jesus Christ. Remember, Jesus’ focus was not on a physical land, but on a spiritual existence in His people!
The 1st Return Of The Jews
The Jews were living as exiles in Egypt when Moses brought the 12 tribes back to the land of Canaan in 1445 BC.
The 2nd Return Of The Jews
The Jews were living as exiles throughout the vast Babylonian Empire which Isaiah perceived as the four corners of the world when Ezra brought only 3 tribes back to the land of Israel in 536 BC. These were the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi. The other tribes were lost forever. Just prior to 70 AD, Herod destroyed (...)
When the word church comes to mind, many think in terms of a building where believers in Jesus Christ assemble. That’s certainly part of the dictionary definition of the word church, but it’s not the complete definition. The important part of the definition is that it’s the whole body of believers in Jesus Christ. In the King James Version Bible, the English word church appears in the New Testament but not the Old Testament. This simple word church has an interesting background and far reaching meaning. The focus here is how the word church was used prior to the New Testament.
One unique source that will help us in our quest is a Greek translation of the Old Testament called The Septuagint (sometimes abbreviated LXX). The Septuagint was written in the 3rd century BC, in Alexandria, Egypt by a group of 72 scholars. It was widely used among Hellenistic Jews. Many Jews, spread throughout the Roman empire, were beginning to lose their Hebrew language. The process of translating the Hebrew to Greek also gave many non-Jews a glimpse into Judaism. It has also been (...)
How should we understand the Bible? What is it really all about? Here’s a good way to look at it. The Bible is the story of redemption with a three chapter introduction. Genesis chapters one and two tells us about God’s very good creation and His purposes for humanity. In Genesis chapter three we read about man’s’ fall into sin and how sin has corrupted the entire creation. The rest of the Bible, from Genesis 3:15, which is the first promise of redemption to the last verse in Revelation is the story of redemption. The Old Testament presents the promise of redemption through a series of covenants and related prophecies.
The rest of the Bible, from Genesis 3:15, which is the first promise of redemption to the last verse in Revelation is the story of redemption. The Old Testament presents the promise of redemption through a series of covenants and related prophecies.
Psalm 25:14 – The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.
I Kings 8:23 – And he said, LORD God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth
Is there anywhere in Scripture that we find nations compared to heavenly bodies? The 1st chapter of Genesis gives us a clue as to why the Bible compares the sun, moon, and stars to rulers and their kingdoms.
In Genesis 1:16 (KJV) we read: “And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.”
Please, notice that the sun (“greater light“) and the moon (“lesser light“) are said to “govern the day“ and “night.” Notice the word “govern” in Gen. 1:16. To “govern” denotes a government! Can we find examples of the sun and moon being used as symbols of government? Why, of course!
Joseph the Dreamer
Let’s go to Genesis 37:9: “And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.”
Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “temple” as “a building for religious practice”; “either of two successive national sanctuaries in ancient Jerusalem”; “a building for Mormon sacred ordinances”; “the house of worship of Reform and some Conservative Jewish congregations”; “a local lodge of any of various fraternal orders” or “a place devoted to a special purpose”.
Tabernacle in the Wilderness
In the book of Exodus, God directed Moses to build a sanctuary that He may dwell with His covenant people.
“And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it”. (Exodus 25:8-9)
God instructed that worship would be in a centralized tent structure where there would be a physical manifestation of His presence.
“Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle,” (Exodus 40:34).
Here we see God commissioning the tabernacle as a house of worship where He intended to manifest His presence visibly.
To produce a good crop, every farmer or gardener knows that you need good quality seed. Appearance and tests can be used as a basis to select quality seed. Quality seed should have the following characteristics: purity, germination, weight, and color. Purity usually cannot be determined by looking at the seed or by a lab test. One must have absolute knowledge of the source by reading the seed tag and relying on the credibility of the seller. Testing is the only reliable means of determining the ability of the seed to germinate and the presence of disease. Visual inspection can not determine germination. Testing a good representative sample is the only way to ensure the seeds will grow.
High test weight per bushel indicates well-matured seed. Large, well filled, plump kernels produce fast growing, healthy seedlings that may tiller more. Such seedlings can withstand early growing season stress, have more expansive root systems, compete more effectively with weeds and are better able to tolerate low levels of disease. Good seed is usually large, plump and uniform in size to permit even seeding. Discolored, black, pink, grayish seeds or shriveled, off color seeds usually indicate disease. Good (...)
This is the first in a series on the subject of “Leadership, Authority and Submission” in the “Church” that Jesus Christ established.
Two Different Systems of Governance
As a college student, I attended one of our nation’s federal military academies. After graduating I served on active duty in the U.S. Coast Guard for twenty-two years. The military system of governance is a top-down command and control structure. Today’s military is still structured very much like that of the Roman Army that occupied Palestine during the time of Jesus. Having been part of a military governance system, I am familiar with the subject of leadership, authority and submission from a worldly perspective. Also having been a Christian for over thirty-three years I am familiar with the concept of Biblical leadership, authority and submission within the Church. What I have concluded is that the two systems are very different, or at least should be.
What do the scriptures have to say about the subjects of leadership, authority and submission? Well, Jesus had a lot to say about spiritual leadership. He said that leaders in the church should be servants. Christian leaders (...)