As a physical feature, darkness is nothing in and of itself. Darkness is instead defined as the absence of light. Synonymous with emptiness, darkness is used to describe the earth at the very beginning of creation when “darkness covered the deep water” (Gen 1:2). Out of this absence, the first thing God created was light. In the beginning, Scripture pictures light and darkness as balanced parts of a single day and night: “So God separated the light from the darkness. God named the light day, and the darkness he named night” Gen 1:4-5). Continue reading SIGNGS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (DARKNESS)
Jesus spent a lot of time alone in prayer. This impressed the disciples, so they asked Him to teach them how to pray. Jesus responded by teaching them the Model Prayer, often referred to as the Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11:1-13). A longer version of this prayer appears in His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:9-13). Continue reading TEACHINGS ON PRAYER
Elijah never died. Celestial chariots of fire and a whirlwind carried him away.
Since his body wasn’t destroyed, some Jews consider it reasonable that he can return. Malachi’s promise leads many Jews to believe that Elijah will become the advance man for the Messiah-or as Isaiah put it, “the voice of someone shouting, ‘Clear the way through the wilderness for the LORD!. . . Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together’ ” (Isaiah 40:3,5). Continue reading SECOND COMING OF ELIJAH
The jailer at Philippi was sleeping soundly while Paul and Silas sang praises to God at midnight. But God caused an earthquake that left him wide awake and terrified. All the locked prison doors swung open and all the prisoners were freed of their constraints. Since his own blood would be shed if they escaped, he probably saw his life flash before his eyes. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (THE PHILIPPIAN JAILER: FINDING SALVATION)
In Matthew 27:19 the raised platform or bench occupied by Pontius Pilate while he was deliberating the accusations made against Jesus and the sentence he would Continue reading DEFINITON OF THE DAY “JUDGMENT SEAT”
Contrary to the popular conception of the pastor who only works one day a week, real pastoral ministry is tough, draining, and emotionally taxing. It’s not for the faint of heart. It requires a unique combination of battle toughness and fatherly tenderness. A pastor is closely connected to the lives of the people he serves, and vicariously experiences both joy and heartbreak that his people experience. When a young man gets married, the pastor rejoices. When the same young man gets cancer, the pastor is heartbroken. When a couple has a child, the pastor is elated. When the same couple gets divorced five years later, the pastor is heartbroken. Continue reading HOW TO ENCOURAGE YOUR PASTOR!
The Bible depicts Barak, a military leader during the time of the judges in Israel, as a great man of faith-so great that he is mentioned by name in the Faith Hall of Fame in Hebrews 11 (v32). Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (BARAK: CLAIMING THE FULL BLESSING)
Ancient Israelites attached a severe social stigma to rape. A young woman victim was “ruined”-she became an outcast with no means of financial support and no prospects for a family of her own. So the law imposed on the perpetrator the responsibility of care for the victim-providing her a home and family-at considerable cost to him. Such an arrangement also reduced the need of the victim’s family to seek forcible revenge, thus sparing the culture much violence. Continue reading OLD TESTAMENT LAW REQUITES A MAN WHO RAPES A VIRGIN TO MARRY HER. WHY FORCE THE VICTIM OF SUCH A TERRIBLE CRIME MARRY THE PERPETRATOR?
Laban was the brother of Jacob’s mother, Rebekah (Genesis 29:10). This relationship would have made Laban’s daughter Rachel-the woman whom Jacob wanted to marry-Jacob’s first cousin. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (MARRIAGE AMONG RELATIVES)
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”