Tag Archives: John the Baptist

The Church of Ephesus

Church of Ephesus

from Google Images

Ephesus was made the capital of the Province of Asia in 27 BC by Caesar Augustus, and it was the home of the Temple of Artemis (Diana), which was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Its Temple was 450 feet long by 225 feet wide.[1] It was 60 feet high and had at least 127 columns, four times larger than the Parthenon at Athens. The city was situated on the Cayster river, which emptied into the Aegean Sea, and trade from the Cayster Valley, whether by road or by river, went through Ephesus. In fact, according to William Barclay, all Roman trade coming from the Cayster and the Maeander Valleys of Asia, and from Galatia and even as far off as Mesopotamia, went through Ephesus.[2] For all intents and purposes the city was the highway to Rome from both Asia Minor and Mesopotamia. Four important Roman roads that went through Asia converged in Ephesus, prompting Strabo, an ancient geographer and contemporary of Jesus, to call Ephesus ‘the market of Asia.’ Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on February 24, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation


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Understanding the Parables

Parables of Jesus

from Google Images

It has been said, “If a parable has to be explained, it loses much of its force, just as a joke does when someone doesn’t get it and needs an explanation.”[1] The problem with accepting this analysis is that the reasons Jesus gave for his speaking in parables was, first of all, to hide the mysteries of the Kingdom of God from those who had hardened hearts toward the word of God (Matthew 13:10-15), and, secondly, to reveal those mysteries to the elect or those who had ‘ears to hear’ (Matthew 13:9, 16-17, 34-35). Moreover, sometimes even the disciples didn’t “get it” and the parables had to be explained (Luke 8:9; Matthew 13:36). Far from being akin to telling a joke, the parables are the keys to understanding the New Testament mysteries (Matthew 13:35). Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on August 8, 2018 in 70 AD Eschatology


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John as Elijah


from Google Images

For the most part, the New Testament begins with the preaching of John the Baptist. He was sent to, among other things, introduce the Messiah to his people, the Jews. In my previous study on the motif of the eschatology of the parables, I mentioned that John’s ministry was in perfect harmony with Jesus’ Parable of the Wheat and the Tares. We are told that John warned the Jewish authorities of the coming judgment of the nation (Matthew 3:7, 10) at the hand of the Messiah (Matthew 3:12). Moreover, he went on to say that at the time of the harvest the Messiah would separate the grain from the chaff, i.e. the believers from the unbelievers, burn the chaff in the fire and save the grain in his barn. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on August 6, 2018 in 70 AD Eschatology


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How Is the Messiah David’s Son?

Messiah - 1

from Google Images

Jesus had just defeated the scholarly Sadducees in a verbal battle of wits. In doing so, he had caused the Pharisees to rejoice, in that Jesus had shown how the Law points to the resurrection, something the rabbis had heretofore been unable to do. Therefore, perhaps not to appear he supported this group over that of the Sadducees, Jesus asked the disciples of the Pharisees how their teachers (the rabbis / scribes – see Mark 13:35) taught the Messiah was David’s son (Matthew 22:41; Luke 20:41). Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on May 6, 2018 in Gospel of Luke


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Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord

Highway of Holiness

from Bing Images

One of the most interesting allusions that I have seen that points to a spiritual Kingdom of God rather than a physical one, which all futurists need to have in order to prove their eschatology, is the theme found in Isaiah 35. Here we find people in a wilderness, but the desert blossoms and is full of life. The strong are to help the weak and encourage the fearful, saying: “God will come… and recompense; he will save you.” (Isaiah 35:1-4). It is a time for opening the eyes of the blind and the ears of the deaf (Isaiah 35:5). Then the prophet says a highway will been there—The Way of Holiness. But the unclean are unable to pass over it. “And He Himself is by them, Whoso is going in the way–even fools err not” (Isaiah 35:8 – Youngs Literal Translation). The ransomed of the Lord return, and come into Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads (Isaiah 35:10). Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on April 30, 2018 in 70 AD Eschatology


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The Snare that Backfired

Backfired Trap

from Google Images

The Jewish authorities had hoped to trap Jesus (Luke 20:1-2) by causing him to defend himself and admit to something theologically wrong, proving himself to be a lawless fellow seeking to cause trouble for legitimate authority, or admit that he was King of Israel in opposition to Caesar. The least they wished to accomplish was for Jesus to lose face before the people, but they had hoped they could arrest him and punish him themselves or turn him over to Roman authorities to be slain as a rebel. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on April 17, 2018 in Gospel of Luke


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Jesus’ Seven Visits to Jerusalem

Jesus Enters Jerusalem

from Google Images

We cannot know how many visits Jesus actually made to Jerusalem, but we can know how many are specified in the New Testament. Each time the Gospel narratives tell us of Jesus going up to Jerusalem, it was for a purpose, and that purpose was to celebrate one of the Jews’ annual holy days. To be in Jerusalem during one of the holy day seasons meant there would be many pilgrims there to whom Jesus could preach the Gospel of the Kingdom. Josephus tells us that at the time of the Passover, just before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, there were more than two million pilgrims worshiping in the city.[1] So, one can only imagine how important Jerusalem was for the preaching of the Gospel in the first century AD. Jesus took advantage of great number of pilgrims worshiping there during these seasons and so did the Apostles later, as we are able to understand from the book of Acts. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on February 4, 2018 in Gospel of Luke


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Stored Up and Reserved for Judgment

End of the Age

from Google Images

I have been commenting on the meaning of Peter’s words in 2Peter 3:7 for the past several studies, and I intend to continue to do so in this one. Peter uses two words in order to support the idea that ‘heaven and earth’ refer to the Jewish or the Old Covenant age. Notice that he says “…the heavens that now are, and the earth, by the same word have been stored up for fire, being reserved against the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men” (emphasis mine). I want to consider the words stored up and reserved in order to understand more accurately what Peter is telling us. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on December 25, 2017 in Eschatology, Prophecy


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The Great and Terrible Day of the Lord

Day of the Lord

from Google Images

Many modern teachers of eschatology (study of last things) will tell us that the “great and terrible day of the Lord” (Joel 2:31; Malachi 4:1) is yet in our future.[1] However, if we take the New Testament writers at their word, the great and terrible day of the Lord has already past. It is not in our future. The book of Malachi has had tremendous influence over the eschatology of the New Testament writers. For example, in the day when the Messiah suddenly comes to his Temple and purifies the sons of Levi that they may offer offerings acceptable to the Lord, the question is asked: “Who will be able to stand?” (Malachi 3:1-3). Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on December 4, 2017 in Eschatology, Prophecy


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John the Baptist

John the Baptist - 1In the past few studies I’ve been looking at the book of Malachi, as this book is drawn from in the New Testament, and using this knowledge of the relationship between Malachi and the New Testament to define the eschatology of the New Testament writers. So far, it has been somewhat surprising to understand the magnitude of the influence this little book has had upon what we read in our New Testament scriptures. Nevertheless, this little journey has not only been surprising for me, it has also been pleasant and encouraging. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on November 29, 2017 in Eschatology, Prophecy


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The Parable of the Evil Spirit


from Google Images

In Luke 11:24-28 Jesus offers his listeners a parable about an evil spirit in an effort to unveil what was at stake for the Jewish nation, if they didn’t receive him as their Messiah. First of all, there isn’t a single example in the Bible where a demoniac was healed but, afterward, became possessed again. Therefore, we need to ask if Jesus’ words have another meaning. Secondly, we need to remember that Jews in the first century thought and spoke differently than did gentiles of the same period. Jews would think and speak in pictures, but gentiles more analytically. For example, a gentile might have claimed Caesar was a great leader, but the Jews would have called David a great shepherd. A gentile might refer to a good man as someone of strong moral character, but an ancient Jew might say he was as a tree planted by the riverside, whose leaves didn’t wither (cf. Psalm 1:3). Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on July 6, 2017 in Gospel of Luke


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Feeding the 5000


from Google Images

When the people realized Jesus had left Capernaum, they followed him from the shoreline (Luke 9:11). Mark even tells us that at least some of the people were able to reach Bethsaida before Jesus (Mark 6:33-34). When he went ashore and found the people, Jesus had compassion upon them and received them and preached the Kingdom to them and healed many of their diseases (Luke 9:11; Mark 6:34). As the day drew on, however, the Apostles wanted Jesus to send the people away, because there was no food readily available at that place (Luke 9:12). It was a deserted area, probably used for grazing sheep or cattle. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on February 23, 2017 in Gospel of Luke


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When Herod Became Aware of Jesus


from Google Images

While the Apostles were going through at least part of the region of Galilee, and perhaps Peraea, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom and doing miracles of healing and casting out demons, they caused quite a commotion. Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of that region, received reports concerning what occurred. If Jesus was unknown to Herod prior to the Apostles’ expedition, he certainly became aware of Jesus at this time, due to the fuss that was raised by the people in his jurisdiction, as that commotion pertained to the Apostles’ ministry among them (Luke 9:7). This is the same Herod who beheaded John the Baptist, and it is also he to whom Jesus was sent by Pilate on the day Jesus was crucified (Luke 22:6-7). Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on February 21, 2017 in Gospel of Luke


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Doubt, Unbelief—What’s the Difference?


from Google Images

As we walk through these studies in Luke, we need to understand the difference between the attitudes of John the Baptist, Simon the Pharisee and the sect of the Pharisees and the Jewish authorities. Jesus warned of the blessings that were meant to go to the Jews but would ultimately go to the gentiles, if the Jews wouldn’t repent and receive the Gospel Jesus preached (cf. Luke 4:24-27). History reveals that the Jews, as a whole, didn’t believe Jesus, so the Gospel eventually went out to the gentiles, and they were granted the privilege of preaching the word of God to the world throughout this age, something up to the 1st century AD had been granted only to the Jews. Yet, one has to wonder about at least some believers. John the Baptist (Luke 7:18-23) and Simon the apostle of Jesus (Luke 7:36-50) show they doubted Jesus was the Messiah. Why were they excused, but the Pharisees and the Jewish lawyers punished? Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on January 1, 2017 in Gospel of Luke


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No Greater Prophet


from Google Images

After John’s disciples left to return to John with a message from Jesus (Luke 7:24), Jesus turned to the people who remained. They seemed to have been aware of the fact that John questioned the direction of Jesus’ ministry, and it seemed obvious that he had expressed some displeasure in what Jesus was and was not doing. Some of those people may have been offended with John’s request, but Jesus was not. Therefore, Jesus turned to the people and asked them why they went out of the cities in order to hear John. What did they expect to find? They could not have expected to find someone tossed by the wind (Luke 7:24), because John wasn’t fickle with words. That is, people couldn’t take John’s words to mean anything they interpreted them to mean (cf. 1Corinthians 1:17). They knew John wasn’t double-minded. They knew he wasn’t tossed and carried away by every wind of doctrine (James 1:6-8). Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on December 20, 2016 in Gospel of Luke


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