Have you ever heard the term “newspaper exegesis”? What exactly is “newspaper exegesis”? Well, it’s reading the news headlines into the Bible in an attempt to understand a prophetic scripture instead of letting the Bible speak for itself. Quite honestly in years past I have been guilty of using “newspaper exegesis” in an attempt to interpret the prophetic word of God.
A starting place for anyone studying prophecy is the Lord’s Olivet Discourse found in Matthew chapter 24. A favorite past time of many Christians is to take verses in Matthew 24 out of context and then run over to newspapers (or the internet) to see which prophecy is being fulfilled that day. A favorite topic is the “abomination of desolation.”. This subject, along with the “Antichrist” and “The Mark of the Beast” is the subject of books that are selling by the millions. So what should we think of all this?
First, the word “abomination” appears more than 100 times in the Old Testament and just a few times in the New Testament. An “abomination” is normally a great sin which is usually (...)
One of the most difficult passages in the Bible is found in Matthew chapter 24. Referred to as the Olivet Discourse, this part of the Bible is the main jumping off point for a lot of the prophecy teachings regarding a period called “the end time” or “the last days.” Matthew 24 is a frightening scripture that mentions earthquakes, wars and rumors of wars, famines, and pestilences, among the few calamities in store for planet earth. As the teaching goes, all of these horrible things will be a sign that the “end of the world” is right around the corner.
Over the years, I began to realize that there is an entire industry that has grown up focusing on the “end time.” There are books, movies, conferences and seminars that support this area of Bible study. The basic pitch is that terrible stuff is coming! And why is that? Because they believe that the Bible tells them so. The pitchmen declare that they know best how to interpret all this apocalyptic imagery and symbolism. Of course, to avoid all this bad stuff you need to purchase their (...)
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 (...)
Revelation 17:1-6 – “And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS and ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken w/ the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered and great admiration.”
My first encounter with the book of Revelation was (...)
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.