Tag Archives: Matthew

WHAT IS SPIRIT WAREFARE?

It is cosmic conflict between the forces of good and evil. The outcome has been determined, but eh ongoing conflict still includes a great number of victories and defeats. The soul and life of each person is the battleground.

Continue reading WHAT IS SPIRIT WAREFARE?

DEFINITION OF THE DAY (PRAISE)

One of humanity’s many responses to God’s revelation of Himself. The Bible recognizes that men and women also may be the objects of praise, either from other people (Prov 27:21; 31:30) or from God Himself (Rom 2:29), and that angels and the natural world are likewise capable of praising God (Ps 148). Nevertheless, human praise of God is one of Scripture’s major themes.

Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (PRAISE)

EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (TAX COLLECTOR PT1)

During the Roman era, tax collectors and the manner in which taxes were collected evolved and varied from one region to the next. Here we offer a general picture of the process that will allow us to appreciate the role tax collectors played in the Gospels. Taxes were paid to both the temple and the state, each of which established its own tax code without consideration of the other. First-century Jews paid a religious tithe of their produce, herd, and flock (Lev 27:30-32); they were also required to pay the half-shekel or two-drachma tax for sanctuary upkeep (Exod 30:13; Matt 17:24). The state demanded taxes that included a poll tax levied on males fourteen to sixty-five years of age and females twelve to sixty-five, real estate tax, customs tax collected at road and harbor stations, a tax on produce that amounted to 10 percent on grain and 20 percent on wine, fruit, and oil, a 1 percent income tax, and sales and inheritance taxes.

Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (TAX COLLECTOR PT1)

IS HEAVEN’S POPULATION LIMITED TO 144,000

The number cannot be taken literally. Even the literalism formerly taught by the Jehovah’s Witnesses cult (prior to its own growth spurt) has been revised. If not a literal head count, the number must be symbolic, and likely meant to point to the completion of God’s work of salvation among all the nations.

Continue reading IS HEAVEN’S POPULATION LIMITED TO 144,000

IS IT EVER OKAY TO LIE?

To be entirely and blatantly truthful in everything we say could unnecessarily hurt a lot of feelings and create a lot of worries. Thus, in everyday conversation we say “white lies” about someone’s appearance or even about our own state of health.

Continue reading IS IT EVER OKAY TO LIE?

THE PASSOVER IN THE BIBLE

In Exodus 12, God gives Moses the instructions and requirements for the Passover.

Continue reading THE PASSOVER IN THE BIBLE

ISRAEL AT SINAI

Exodus 19 describes Israel arriving at Sinai. This chapter is important for understanding the events at Sinai, where Israel spent over two years (Numbers 10:11). God addressed the people as “the house of Jacob. . . the people of Israel . . .” (Exodus 19:3) as a way to remind them that they were the people of the covenant, the descendants of Abraham. What was about to happen at Sinai was not a new covenant with the people but an extension of the covenant God made with Abraham.

Continue reading ISRAEL AT SINAI

OLD TESTAMENT ORIGIN OF THE PASSOVER

THE PASSOVER is the Old Testament feast that celebrates and remembers God’s liberation of Israel from Egypt. After Joseph saved Egypt from starvation (Genesis 41), the Israelites lived in Egypt as guests. Eventually, the Egyptians forgot about Joseph and enslaved the Israelites for hundreds of years (Exodus 1:6-14).

Continue reading OLD TESTAMENT ORIGIN OF THE PASSOVER

SHEPHERD IMAGERY IN THE BIBLE

OLD TESTAMENT

  • God is the Shepherd (Gen 49:24; Ps 23; 80:1).
  • God’s appointed leaders are undershepherds (Ezek 34).
  • Many people in the Old Testament were shepherds by trade, like Abel, Abraham, Isaac, Rachel, Jacob, Moses, and David.
  • Foreign leaders were sometimes called shepherds when their leadership impacted God’s people (Isa 44:28).
  • The prophets depicted the distress of Israel without leadership or bad leader in terms of a flock without a shepherd (Ezek 34:1-10; Zech 10:2; 13:7).
  • The prophets used shepherds imagery to point to the Messiah to come (Ezek 34:22-24; 37:24; Isa 40:11; Zech 13:7; see also Matt 26:31; Mark 14:27).
Continue reading SHEPHERD IMAGERY IN THE BIBLE