In Revelation 2:11, Jesus spoke to those “who have ears to hear”, meaning believers who have exercised their senses to discern good and evil (cf. Hebrews 5:14). There, he promises that he who overcomes would not be harmed by the second death. But, what does Jesus mean by the second death? Exactly, how many deaths are there, and how are they described in Scripture? Read the rest of this entry »
Tag Archives: Resurrection
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 »
Many folks have used Revelation 1:7 to say that Jesus’ Second Coming has not yet occurred. After all, if every eye would see the Lord, coming on a lily white, cumulus cloud when he returns, and, given the fact that no one has reported seeing such a news worthy event up to this present day, then surely we must still look for Jesus’ Second Coming in the future. Personally, I think it is high time we stop shooting from the hip with the word of God and take the time to investigate what the text really says. Do you really believe you are able to interpret Jesus’ coming by understanding Biblical language in a 21st century context? We need to consider the fact that the whole Bible, that is, the first and second covenants, were written by Jews and for Jews, using a Jewish manner of speaking. In other words, we need to acquaint ourselves with the Jewish culture of the day, and take advantage of the Greek lexicons and other scholarly writings about the Bible available to us today. Read the rest of this entry »
In Revelation 1:5 John refers to Jesus as: the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead and the prince of the kings of this world, but how should we understand these descriptions of our Lord? First of all the Faithful Witness, according to the Scriptures, is the Messiah (Psalm 89:35-37. His throne is established as a Faithful Witness in heaven, just as the sun and moon witness to God’s glory. God has given Jesus as a Witness to the people, as their Leader and Commander (Isaiah 55:3-4). Although his witness was rejected by men (John 3:11, 32), yet his witness is true (John 8:14-16). Nevertheless, some will receive his testimony (John 18:37), and when we embrace the Truth, we have the Witness in ourselves (1John 5:9-10). Read the rest of this entry »
The Apocalypse never directly quotes a passage from the Old Covenant. However, according to several scholars the book’s 404 verses contain from nearly 300 to nearly 600 allusions and echoes of Old Covenant passages. For example, we are told in Revelation 1:1 that God revealed a secret that would shortly come to pass to Jesus who in turn gave it to his angel who then gave it to Jesus’ disciple, John to disclose to the Church. Under the Old Covenant, we are told that it is God who reveals secrets that would come to pass (Daniel 2:28-29), but the Lord wouldn’t do anything before he revealed his secret to his servants, the prophets (Amos 3:7). So, in the very first verse of the Apocalypse we have an allusion to at least two Old Covenant passages.