Magic is typically forbidden to Israel for a number of reasons: (1) Magic is human encroachment into the divine realm. (2) Magic is used to manipulate deity. (3) Magic involves relying on a power other than Yahweh. If that is the reason, a sanctioned prophet would be able to bypass all three; his office already enters the divine realm, and the power comes from Yahweh, even though the prophet appears to have some autonomy in using it. The prophets are called to wield divine authority at some level.Continue reading PRACTICE OF MAGIC
The matter of circumcision became a contested issue as the early Christian church was finding its feet. To appreciate why, we first need to understand that this had grown to be a most important element within Judaism. Between the time of the Old and New Testament, Seleucid King Antiochus IV attempted to stamp out Judaism, in part by forbidding the practice of circumcision among the Jews. This rite had become so vital to the identity of God’s people that they chose to die rather than yield to this pagan order.Continue reading SIGNS AND SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (CIRCUMCISE)
Demons apparently are quite intelligent about matters of theology and practice. They are monotheists (that 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 beliefContinue reading WHAT RELIGION DO DEMONS BELIEVE?
Nehemiah is an example of a person who lived by prayer. He responded to difficulty with prayer. He planned in prayer. He prayed before he spoke. When he evaluated his work, he did so in prayer. When others attacked, mocked, or threatened him. Nehemiah prayed.Continue reading HOW DID NEHEMIAH PRACTICE PRAYER?
Spectator sports and entertainment were fully developed by the Romans so as to satisfy the common people’s lust for excitement and blood. Even the rush for seats was an excitement in itself; there were no reserved seats until the time of Augustus. In the arena, condemned criminals fought against wild animals-lions, bears, elephants, and hyenas- and the crowd would urge on the contest. Paul says that he fought against wild beasts at Ephesus (1 Corinthians 15:32), but he may have been referring to the experiences recorded in Acts 19 in a metaphorical way (see also Hebrews 10:33).