The physical act of circumcision was a sign of the covenant between of God and Israel in which he had chosen them and promised to be their God for all generations (Gen 17:10-11; Acts 7:8). In this act, the foreskin of a male child’s penis was removed (Lev 12:3). More rarely, circumcision was performed on adults. When God made his covenant promises to Abraham, he insisted that they be sealed with the physical reminder that the Israelites were a people set apart. Those who failed to comply with this condition were excluded from covenant community (Gen 17:14; Exod 12:48). Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (CIRCUMSCISION)
1. I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.
2. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.
3. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable. Continue reading SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY (PSALM 145:1-9)
Objects of unknown shape and material used to determine the divine will. Often in the ancient Near East people, especially priests, made difficult and significant decisions by casting lots on the ground or drawing them from a receptacle. Several times Scripture mentions the practice. We do not know exactly what the lots look like. Nor do we know how they were interpreted. We do know that people of the OT and NT believe God (or gods in the case of non-Israelites or non-Christians) influenced the fall or outcome of the lots (Prov 16:33). Thus, casting lots was a way of determining God’s will. Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (LOTS)
Place and agency for education, particularly of children. The word “school” is not mentioned in the OT and only once in the NT where the reference is to a Greek school (Acts 19:9). Until the exile in Babylon (586 B.C.), the education of children was like that of all ancient peoples: it was centered in the home. The main concern of the Jewish people was for religious education in the home. Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (SCHOOL)
Refraining from eating food. The Bible describes three main forms of fasting. The normal fast involves the total abstinence of foods. Luke 4:2 reveals that Jesus “ate nothing”; afterward “He was hungry.” Jesus abstained from food but not from water.
In Acts 9:9 we read of an absolute fast where for three days Paul “did not eat or drink” (HCSB). The abstinence form both food and water seems to have lasted no more than three days (Ezra 10:6; Esther 4:16). Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (FASTING)
ACTS 2:1-3 – 1.And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. Continue reading SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY (ACTS 2:1-3: THE HOLY SPIRIT COMES)
The fact that God has gifted each member of the church does not mean that the church is to be without leadership. To the contrary, the NT speaks of God’s calling out leaders for His church for the building up of the body (Eph 4:11-16). The officers of a NT church are pastors (called “overseers” or “bishops” or “elders”) and deacons (1 Tim 3:1-13). These men are gifted by God and called out from the congregation to serve the church. Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (THE GOVERNMENT OF THE CHURCH)
To the Jews of New Testament times, sundown marked the end of an old day and the beginning of a new day. The twenty-four-hour period between each sundown was divided into twelve hours of night–beginning about 6:00 p.m.-and twelve hours of daylight-beginning with dawn at about 6:00 a.m. Continue reading THE JEWISH CLOCK
People have always gotten to heaven by one way only-God’s way-through the work of Jesus Christ, His Son. That is the gospel, God’s Good News: God has made a way through an intractable divide between human sinfulness and divine holiness. That way is Jesus Continue reading BEFORE CHRIST, HOW DID PEOPLE GET TO HEAVEN?
As epithets go, it’s hard to beat God’s description of David book of Acts: “a man loyal to [God].” A glimpse into David’s life reveals what it takes to be awarded such a designation. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (DAVID: A MAN LOYAL TO GOD)