Since Jesus is the Son of God who has existed before time began, some people assume He has no family history. But this assumption is wrong. Two Gospel of the New Testament-Matthew and Luke-contain family histories of Jesus. And these genealogies give us valuable information about Him and His revolutionary ministry that changed the world. Continue reading THE FAMILY HISTORY OF JESUS
Demons apparently are quite intelligent about matters of theology and practice. They are monotheists (this is, they believe that one supreme God exists), though the history of demonic influence shows that they propagandize false belief in imaginary pagan deities. They hold belief in the identification of Jesus as God’s Son, as shown in their confession in Matthew 8:29. They certainly believe in the existence of moral standards and in God’s final judgment concerning evil. So, in many ways, demons believe biblical truth. They have seen the truth close up, and their entire job is to subvert it. You have to know the opposition, so to speak. Continue reading WHAT RELIGION DO DEMONS BELIEVE?
Sheep appear more often than any other animal in the pages of the Bible, mentioned over seven hundred times. They often represent people, and in a special case, one particular person (discussed below). Sheep are gentle and social creatures that function best in a flock, but their individual tendencies lead them to wander. That combination requires an attentive shepherd to guide and tend a large flock. Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (LAMB/SHEEP)
Some Christian join skeptics on this point. They doubt Matthew’s claim about Mary: “While she was sill a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:18). Continue reading A PREGNANT VIRGIN?
Matthew, atuthor of the Gospel of Matthew, was a Jewish citizen who collector taxes from his countrymen for the Roman government. After Jesus called Matthew to become one of His disciples, Matthew invited some of his tax collector friends to his home for a metal with Jesus and His other disciples. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (EATING WITH TAX COLLECTORS)
David may have been referring in this psalm to an ancient custom observed by mourners at funerals. They would collect the tears they shed for departed loved ones in small flasks and place them in their tombs as memorials of their love. The New International Version renders this phrase as “list my tears on your scroll.” Continue reading GOD KNOWS OUR TEARS
Marriage and the related symbols of bride and bridegroom play as large a role in Scripture as they did in real life in the ancient world. whether we consider the Old Testament picture of Israel as the bride and God as her bridegroom (Isa 62:4-5; Jer 2:2) or the New Testament picture of the church as the bride and Jesus as the bridegroom (2 Cor 11:2; Eph 5:21-32; Rev 21:2, 9), the message points to a special relationship God longs to have with his people. (See also BRIDE, BRIDEGROOM.) Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (MARRIAGE)
Today we know Matthew as the one of the four beloved writers whom God used to chronicle the life of Jesus so we would have it, could refer to it, and could be transformed by it. But Matthew wouldn’t have felt the love during his era. He was from Galilee, and while Rome occupied the area, collaborators like Matthew were the ones who collected taxes for them. Tax collectors were also known to becomes rich by charging more than was due. Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (MATTHEW: TAX COLLECTOR TURNED EVANGELIST)
The armor of God is Paul’s vivid illustration of the spiritual equipment that Christ provides to those who trust Him. These pieces of armor are essential to survival and victory in the spiritual warfare that is a real (though invisible) part of each life. Continue reading HOW DOES THE “ARMOR OF GOD” PROTECT A CHRISTIAN?
The Bible most often portrays the land of Egypt as the crucible in which the nation of Israel was forged. But Egypt played an important role earlier, in the lives of Abraham as well as his great-grandson Joseph. Abraham found shelter there during a famine but left in disgrace after lying to the Pharaoh about Sarai (Gen 12:10-20). Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt and became not only a great blessing to the nation, but also the means by which the rest of his family was kept safe during another devastating famine (Gen 37-46). Eventually Egypt enslaved the young nation and treated them mercilessly for four hundred years. Continue reading SIGNS & SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (EGYPT)