The Israelites found themselves in the midst of a Canaanite culture that was awash in pagan immorality. These heathen nations had merged spirituality with sensuality to create a very alluring and very dangerous combination. To keep His people from joining this around-the-clock celebration of perversion, God decreed severe punishment for those guilty of sexual sin. Continue reading WHY WERE PENALTIES FOR SEXUAL SIN SO SEVERE?
HADES- (Ha’ dez)- The Greek noun hades is used 61 times in the Greek OT (Septuagint) to translate the Hebrew term she’ ol, which refers to the grave or the realm of the dead (Gen 37:35; 1 Sam 2:6; Prov 15:24; cp Ps 16:10 and Acts 2:27, 31). Although the biblical writers were familiar with pagan concepts of a realm of departed spirits ruled by a deity (the meaning of hades in pagan Greek literature), and they occasionally alluded to such ideas, this concept is not taught in Scripture. The picture generally presented by Sheol is the tomb, where the bodies of the dead lie in silence. Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY “HADES”
CIVIL RIGHTS- Basis for civil rights is grounded in the impartiality of God (Deut 10:7-18; Acts 10:34; cp. Luke 20:21), in the created order by which all persons are made in the image of God (Gen 1:27-28; 9:6), and in the redemptive work of Christ (Gal 3:28). Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (CIVIL RIGHTS)
ACTS 18:26- [Apollos] began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (AQUILA: A RADICAL APPROACH TO HIS MINISTRY)
The concept of transparency, which is technically not a color, is relatively rare in the Bible. The idea is mostly connected with the marvels of crystal, a hard substance that can be seen through. It provided a measure of clarity, but was considered a gem. Glass was still practically unknown. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (CLEAR/CRYSTAL/TRANSPARENT)
In three other of his epistles, Paul instructed believers to greet one another in this way (1 Corinthians 16:20: 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:26). Thus, we can assume that the holy kiss (“kiss of charity,” 1 Peter 5:14) was practiced widely among the early New Testament churches. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (PAUL’S “HOLY” KISS)
In scientific terms, yeast is a fungus that ferments carbohydrates and makes dough rise. It is a key ingredient in the making of bread, beer, wine, and spirits. Leavened bread is present in most cultures from prehistoric times onward, including that of the Israelites. That is why Moses’ instruction to leave yeast out of their bread in preparation for the exodus seemed notable and became part of the remembrance celebration of the Passover. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (UNLEAVENED BREAD/YEAST)
Day is one of the units of time we use to mark life. Typically, we think of days as the time between sunup and sundown, followed by night. But right from the beginning, God has exercised his divine authority over time by defining days in an unexpected manner. In the account of creation in Genesis 1, six times the record repeats, “There was evening, then morning-the first day” (v5), changing only the number of the day of the week. In Continue reading SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (DAY)
Knowing Christ makes you alive because God wakes up your spiritual nature that was previously dead. Jesus called that being “born again.” Just as we were born physically and bought into the living, breathing, and moving of physical life, God wants to awaken the spiritual nature He created in each one of us. When we seek God, His Spirit breathes new life into us and we become alive in Christ. Continue reading HOW CAN KNOWING CHRIST MAKE YOU ALIVE?
Both mesmerizing and mysterious, fire represents combustion, a chemical reaction that releases both heat and light. Today, fire seems to be at our fingertips-we just need to turn on the stove or light a match. Because we no longer have to work to get it, most of us take fire for granted. Yet we rely on fire for light, warmth, cooking, manufacturing, and refining. Fire figures into the Bible in numerous ways-in daily life, religious ceremony, Continue reading BIBLE SIGNS AND SYMBOLS (FIRE)