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)
In addition to rebuilding Jerusalem in a physical sense, Nehemiah was also concerned for the spiritual rebuilding of his people. He was so angry toward the Jewish men who had married pagan woman-a-flagrant disobedience of God’s command (Joshua 23:12-13)-that he beat some of them and pulled out their hair. This violent and serious punishment showed the severity of their sin. Continue reading BIBLE CUSTOMS AND CURIOSITIES (A SEVERE PUNISHMENT)
Usually understood as the final abode of the unrighteous dead wherein the ungodly suffer eternal punishment; the term translates one OT word and several NT words.
OLD TESTAMENT USAGE – The only Hebrew word translated “hell” in the KJV (though not in modern translatons) is Sheol. Sheol itself is a broad term that, depending on the context, may signify the abode of the both the righteous dead and the ungodly dead. Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (HELL)
Israel was guilty of participating in various pagan worship practices. This included actual, physical prostitution at many Canaanite shrines left standing after the conquest of Canaan. The idea behind these degrading sexual rites was that the Canaanites fertility gods Baal and Asherah would favor the participants with healthy babies and crops. Continue reading WHY THE FREQUENT REFERENCES TO PROSTITUTES AND PROSTITUTION IN THE BOOK OF HOSEA?
A way of living that manifests the character of God. The term “godliness” appears most frequently in the warning of Paul, specifically the Pastoral Epistles. Paul encouraged Timothy to pursue “godliness” In an active manner (1 Tim 6:11). By so doing, he challenged him to develop a true respect for God and then, in turn, to live his life Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (GODLINESS)
Birth is our universal means of arrival in life. We can’t begin to experience all that life has to offer until we have passed through the moment of birth. Life has a formative phase in the womb that the psalmist describes beautifully: Continue reading SINGS AND SYMBOLS (BIRTH)
No doctor operating on a patient has ever discovered an organ called the soul, yet we have no better term to describe what distinguishes human beings from every other part of God’s creation. Only people have the unique gift of self-consciousness, the ability to reflect on their own experience, to interpret it to others, and then to speak about it. A famous professor once said, “Dogs bark, but dogs never bark about barking.” Continue reading WHAT IS A SOUL “3 JOHN 2”
The Israelites found themselves in the midst of a Canaanite culture that was awash in pagan immorality. These heathen nations had merged spirituality with sensuality to create a very alluring and very dangerous combination. To keep His people from joining this around-the-clock celebration of perversion, God decreed severe punishment for those guilty of sexual sin. Continue reading WHY WERE PENALTIES FOR SEXUAL SIN SO SEVERE?
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)