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Tag Archives: Christ

The River of Life

River of Life

from Google Images

Many Christians think the River of Life that flows from the Throne of God in New Jerusalem is a literal river. Yet, how could this be, if there were no literal sea into which all rivers flow (cp. Revelation 21:1)[1]. Moreover, if there were also no literal sun and moon (Revelation 21:23; 22:5) to cause the hydraulic cycle that produces springs, which in turn become streams, which come together to produce rivers, how could a literal, physical River of Life even exist in that context. Oh, but God is able to do anything! Well, yes and no. God cannot contradict terms. He cannot make a lie the truth or the truth a lie; neither could he make a square circle etc. That would be chaos! God created order in the universe, not chaos. In other words, God can do all things that are possible to be done by a Being of his Almighty power. Therefore, if there is no literal sea in the new heaven and the new earth, there can be no literal River of Life. Yet, even if there are oceans in the new heaven and the new earth, this still doesn’t mean the River of Life is physical. There is more evidence that the river should be interpreted spiritually. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2020 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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I Heard a Voice from Heaven!

Voice from heaven

from Google Images

The Psalms are filled with songs of rejoicing, but the very first time the word rejoice is used in Scripture is found in the Law. It had to do with the children of Israel coming into the presence of the Lord with thanksgiving for what he had done for their forefathers in Egypt, bringing them to this very land in which they lived. It was similar to America’s celebration of July 4th. Except, Israel had three seasons of rejoicing. Seven days in the spring, one day in the summer and ten days in the fall. Each season represented something the Lord had done for the forefathers, as he took them from Egypt and planted them in the Promised Land. Their times of rejoicing were seasons of their thanksgiving to the Lord. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2020 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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The Earth Was Lighted with His Glory!

Lighted with his glory

from Google Images

It seems to me that many Christians today look for Christ’s return in the near future like most Jews looked for the coming of the Messiah in the first century AD. That is, just as the Jews of the first century AD looked for the Scriptures to be fulfilled literally, so, too, do many Christians want to interpret the Apocalypse literally, as much as they think possible. This is a problem, because literalists need such interpretations in order to assure themselves that what they preach about the Apocalypse and future return of Christ is correct. Nevertheless, literalism is not a good tool of interpretation for this book or the return of Christ! The Apocalypse is about Jesus, not about a number of awesome, unprecedented events. It is about Jesus’ Gospel, with which he entrusted his disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). It is about the judgment of the enemy who sought to destroy the Gospel, before it had an opportunity to take hold. In other words, the Apocalypse is all about Jesus, the spread of his word and the victory he had over his enemies in the first century AD. Any attempt to make Jesus’ Coming into a future event is to mock the Gospel and to make light of Jesus’ victory. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2020 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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Now Is Come Salvation…

War in heaven -- the Lamb

from Google Images

John heard a loud voice speaking in heaven (Revelation 12:10).

 “…Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhibiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knows that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.” (Revelation 12:10-14) Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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Who Are the Two Witnesses?

Two Witnesses

from Google Images

Identifying who the two witnesses really are is something of a difficult task. So many have tried to do so, and, at least for my taste, they all fail to produce a likely interpretation. I cannot seriously consider the return of Moses and Elijah, who seem to have been endowed with the kind of powers the two witnesses employ. Nor am I able to justify the return of Enoch and Elijah on the grounds they never died, but ascended into heaven, something the Scriptures deny (John 3:13). Finally, (and there are probably other interpretations of which I am unaware) I do not suppose the two witnesses could be the faithful church. Such interpretations just don’t appear to be credible or good interpretations of what we find in the Apocalypse. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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Being Rich and Increased with Goods

Riches

from Google Images

Presently, I am wrapping up my study of the seven churches of Revelation 2 & 3, as I consider the seventh of those churches. The city of Laodicea was situated along two major trade routes that connected Rome and Europe to Mesopotamia and to Egypt. Laodicea had three major industries. The first was producing a kind of black wool that was world renowned for its exquisite value. Its second industry was medicine, which produced a medicinal salve that boasted of cures for eye disease and other problems. People came to Laodicea from all over the world, seeking cures for their ailments. The third industry was banking, which was made possible by the huge successes of its first two industries. Laodicea became so rich that when its city was destroyed by an earthquake, cir. 60-62 AD, its inhabitants rejected Rome’s offer to help rebuild, saying they didn’t need anyone’s help and decided to rebuild on their own.[1] Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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The Church of Smyrna

Smyrna

from Google Images

Smyrna was an ancient city in Asia, located 35 miles northwest of Ephesus. Its name is derived from the myrrh tree, whose resin is used for burial and medicinal purposes. Although bitter to the taste, the more the plant was beaten the sweeter was its scent. Smyrna’s modern name is Izmir, and has become Turkey’s third largest city. Smyrna was Asia’s center for the ancient cult of emperor worship. In 23 AD the city was chosen from eleven other cities in Asia to be granted the privilege of building a temple to Tiberius Caesar. Having a provincial temple was not only considered a great honor, since it enhanced the city’s prestige with Rome, but it also was a source of a great amount of revenue for the city and her inhabitants. Ancient Smyrna was the home of Homer and also a famous Christian, Polycarp, who was martyred cir. 155 AD. Polycarp was Smyrna’s first bishop, and tradition tells us he was appointed by the Apostle John. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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Christ Is the Land

Christ is the Land

from Google Images

In a number of previous studies I have been involved in showing that the nature of the Kingdom of God is spiritual by comparing Ezekiel 37 with some of Paul’s epistles, especially 2Corinthians chapters three through six. I’ve been discussing how Ezekiel prophesied the restoration of the twelve tribes of Israel, that is, reunifying Judah, the southern kingdom, with Israel, the northern kingdom. Nevertheless, this prophecy isn’t exclusive to Ezekiel 37. Another prophecy that mentions the salvation of the whole House of Israel is Isaiah 49. Notice what he says: Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2018 in 70 AD Eschatology

 

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The Marriage Supper

Marriage Supper - 1In Luke 12:35-40 Jesus spoke of his coming, and this coming was in the context of a wedding or the marriage supper. I think we might be able to understand what Jesus was saying to his disciples better, if we knew more about what a wedding looked like in the first century AD. First of all, unlike most marriages today, the wedding was usually arranged by the heads of two families, and falling in love had little, if anything, to do with such an arranged marriage. Love would come later. In fact, in most cases the couple hadn’t met prior to the arrangement ceremony. Indeed, if the case of Isaac wasn’t a singularity (Genesis 24:64-65), they may not have met until after all the arrangements had been made. Moreover, our modern wedding ceremonies, including Jewish ones, are very unlike that of the ancients, so to truly understand the metaphors hidden in them we must acquaint ourselves with how those things were done in the Bible. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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The Mission of the Seventy

victory-in-jesus

from Google Images

Lots of folks seem to miss the point of sending out the Seventy; at least as it appears so to me. Some wonder which was more important: the sending out of the Twelve (Luke 9:1-10) or sending out the Seventy (Luke 10:1-16). Others liken the event to an evangelistic outreach, upon which our own ministries should be based. Still others get caught up in their having power over demons and exactly when Satan was cast out of heaven, and when Jesus actually did see his fall. Some of these things, of course, are mentioned in Luke 10, but the real point of it all seems to be far more significant than answering these questions. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Cultivating Christ, Our Outer Life

christ-my-life-2

from Google Images

In my previous study I wrote of the first four characteristics of a disciple of Christ that need to be added to his walk with Christ. Those four were part of the seven Peter mentions in 2Peter 1:5-7. In this study I wish to point to the final three of that seven, or godliness, brotherly kindness and love. These arise out of the first four and manifest our outer life in Christ. That is, the final three visibly characterize the believer who supplies them to his life in Christ. It is as the world sees him. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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Cultivating Christ, Our Inner Life

inner-man-1

from Google Images

In 2Peter 1:5-7 Peter points to seven things we need to add to our new life, and they are virtue, knowledge, self control, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and love. But, what is meant by these things, and how are they added to our new life? According to 2Peter 1:5, we are to supply these things “in your faith”, that is, referring back to the faith mentioned in 2Peter 1:1, “in faith add…” In other words, using the faith you have been given (2Peter 1:1) supply or add such and such to the ‘new life’ you have been given (cf. 2Peter 1:3). The ‘adding’ is the part we play in partaking of divine nature. We have been empowered with all things (2Peter 1:3) pertaining to ‘life’ (our new life which is Christ in us – Colossians 3:4) and ‘godliness’ (God manifest in flesh – i.e. the Gospel or the “knowledge of God, even Jesus our Lord” – 2Peter 1:1-3; cf. 1Timothy 3:16). To these things add… Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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Peter’s Great Confession

the-question

from Google Images

In Luke 9:20 we find that Peter claimed that Jesus was the “Christ of God!” This is the first time anyone has ever made that confession. Earlier the nameless multitudes claimed Jesus was the Prophet who should come (John 6:14), and earlier still even some of the disciples said Jesus was the Messiah (Christ). Peter’s brother, Andrew, told Peter he had found the Christ (John 1:41). About the same time Philip went to Nathanael to say he had found the one Moses said would come (John 1:45), and when Nathanael found Jesus he agreed (John 1:49). Yet, none of these were like Peter’s confession. Andrew repeated what John the Baptist had told him, and he, together with Philip and Nathanael were merely impressed with what Jesus said to them. They reacted to circumstance, but didn’t really think it all through in their hearts like Peter did. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Jesus’ Knowledge and the New Creation

new-creation-1

from Google Images

As Jesus moved through the thronging crowd of people on his way to the home of Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue at Capernaum, a woman who had a menstrual problem for twelve years came up behind him, touched him, was healed and disappeared back into the thronging crowd. Jesus turned around and asked: “Who touched me?” The question I wish to pose is: did Jesus know who touched him, and if not, how could the woman be healed without Jesus’ prior knowledge? Every healing Jesus had done up to this point was a purposeful healing. Jesus knew what he was doing, and he did it. If Jesus knew he was about to heal the woman, why did he phrase his question as he did? Some scholarship wants to questions Jesus’ knowledge, while others seem to want to give Jesus omniscience as a man. What can we say about these things? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Suffering as a Christian

persecution-3

from Google Images

In our 2000 year history the name Christian has become associated with followers of Jesus and, indeed, identifies us more than any other word. In some instances it has become associated with political power. Kings have had Christian leaders as their advisors and exercised their mighty power to satisfy Christian desires, whether for good or for evil. Even in modern America, presidential candidates dare not openly denounce the name for fear of that hurting their ability to successfully take hold of the Presidency. Nevertheless, Peter tells his readers in Asia Minor, if they suffer as a Christian, don’t be ashamed (1Peter 4:16). Why would he word this part of his letter this way? Earlier he spoke about the blessing associated with suffering for the name of Christ, but now he speaks of shame. How does shame enter into the context of Peter’s letter? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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