Branches in the world of the Bible were either on trees or vines and were relatively rare given the arid climate, so the picture of a healthy and fruitful tree was a symbol of vigor and prosperity. “Branch” or “branches” could refer to families (Gen 49:22) or rulers (Ezek 31:3,6). Broken or unfruitful branches symbolized judgment or the downfall of a person or nation (Job 15:32; 18:16; Dan 4:14; Isa 9:14: 17:6; Jer 11:16). But God always gives the hope of restoration, and branches figure in the symbolism of redemption as well: “When that day comes, the branch of the LORD will be beautiful and wonderful. The fruit of the land will be the pride and joy of Israel’s survivors” (Isa 4:2). The image of judged or redeemed branches reaches its climax in the prophecies of the messianic Branch and the salvation he brings.
Commonly called the Millennium, three positions are taken on its meaning and identity:
1. Postmillennialists (the most popular evangelical view of a century ago) teach that the thousand-year reign occurs at the end of history when the world has turned to Christ, for the most part. Christian values dominate world cultures in a period that typifies God’s original plan for creation. Christ is not literally on earth, but His message and people cover the earth. The second coming of Christ occurs as the capstone of this period. Continue reading WHAT IS THE THOUSAND-YEAR REIGN OF CHRIST (REVELATION 20:4)→
The word about Jesus’ ability to heal the sick had spread to the point that when He returned to Peter’s house after a trip through Galilee (where He had recently healed a leper), a large crowd gathered outside, hoping for an encounter with Jesus. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (MEN OF FAITH: FIND A WAY)→