In Bible times, a marriage was arranged through a legal agreement between the parents of the groom and the bride (Gen 24:4). The groom’s parents selected a woman for their son to marry, then paid the bride’s parents a dowry, or bride-price, to compensate them for the loss of her services as a daughter.Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS & CURIOSITIES (JOSEPH & MARY’S BETROTHAL)
Expression found in both the OT and the NT. “Son of man” is used in these ways; (1) as a poetic synonym for “man” or “human,” as in Psa 8:4 and 80:17; (2) in Ezekiel as the title by which God regularly addresses the prophet (2:1,3; 3:1, 3); and (3) in Dan. 7 as the identity of the glorious person whom the prophet sees coming with the clouds of heaven to approach the Ancient of Days. “The Son of Man” is a designation of Christ found frequently in the NT. It was Jesus’ favorite designation of Himself to imply both His messianic mission and His full humanity.Continue reading DEFINITON OF THE DAY (SON OF MAN)
The Gospel writer Luke precedes his account of Jesus’ birth with that of a lesser (though still prominent) figure in Jewish prophecy: the forerunner who would prepare the way for the Messiah and announce his arrival.
The circumstance of this forerunner’s birth were memorable. His mother, Elizabeth, was a relative of Jesus’ mother, Mary. His father, Zechariah, served as a priest in the temple. One day the angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah to announce that he and his wife would have a son. When Zechariah asked how that could be possible, since he and Elizabeth were well past the age when most people become parents, Gabriel told him he would be mute until his son was born because of his unbelief (Luke 1:5-20).Continue reading MEN OF THE BIBLE (JOHN THE BAPTIST: LIVING LIKE YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE)
The themes of God’s kingship and the eastern kingdom run throughout Scripture. God’s kingdom is a favorite motif of the psalmists and prophets, and was an especially comforting symbol to the Israelites who struggle under unjust and oppressive kings throughout history. In a general sense God is King over all creation because he made all things: “LORD of Armies, God of Israel, you are enthroned the angels. You alone are God of all the kingdoms of the world. You made heaven and earth” (2 Kings 19:15). Elsewhere we read, “Greatness power, splendor, glory, and majesty are yours, LORD, because Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (KINGDOM)
Elizabeth, mentioned only in Luke’s Gospel, was married to a priest named Zechariah. “Both were righteous in God’s sight, living without blame according to all the commands and requirements of the Lord” (Luke 1:6).
Yet in a culture where children were viewed as a primary evidence of God’s blessing, they were also childless. Elizabeth was unable to conceive. This barrenness was a source of deep disgrace to her (Luke 1:25). Only those who’ve suffered through fertility issues can fully appreciate the sting of all those unanswered prayers, the piercing pain of an empty nursery. Since Elizabeth and Zechariah “were well along in year” (Luke 1:7), it’s not unreasonable to assume that they had given up the hope of ever becoming parents. Continue reading WOMAN OF THE DAY (ELIXABETH: THE MOTHER OF JOHN THE BAPTIST)
Isn’t it amazing how an entire life can change in a moment? That’s the way it happened for the unnamed woman we meet in John 4.
On a nothing-special day in the Samaritan village of Sychar, she was minding her own business when she realized her household water jar was empty. It was unbearably hot out. Perfect, she thought. She probably wouldn’t have to see anyone or talk to anybody. Grabbing her water jar, she slipped out the door. Continue reading WOMAN OF THE BIBLE (THE SAMARITAN WOMAN: MEETING THE THIRST QUENCHER)
ANTICHRIST- The antichrist is an adversary of the Messiah, used by Satan to oppose the work of God (2 Thess 2:9; Rev 13:12). Various terms in Scripture designate this individual, including “abomination of desolation” (Dan 12:11 Matt 24:15), “the beast” (Rev 13:1-8), “the man of lawlessness” (2 Thess 2:1-10), and “antichrist.” In the Greek, the prefix anti- means “against,” “opposite,” or “in the place of.” Appropriately named, the antichrist stands against Christ and operates contrary to Him by speaking lies and blasphemies and by persecuting God’s people. In addition, he seeks to stand in the place of Christ, garnering to himself the worship due to God alone.
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
Jesus asked His disciples who they thought He was. He had certainly given them plenty of evidence to believe He was the Messiah. The miracles, healing, and His power over nature added supernatural confirmation to the “Good News” message Jesus was preachings to the crowds. Still, it must have been difficult even for the disciples to declare that their new leader, Jesus, was in fact the Messiah they had heard about all their lives. Continue reading HOW DID PETER KNOW THAT JESUS WAS THE MESSIAH?
Doors allow access to or prevent us from entering a room or home. Gates are usually more imposing and important. They guard the access to large spaces: cities, estates, and the way to eternal life. In Bible times, most cities of any size were surrounded by walls, so gates were a constant feature in people’s’ lives. No wonder, then, that the role of gates became symbolic of other values and ideas. Continue reading BIBLE SIGNS AND SYMBOLS (GATE)