Purification rituals involving water were common in ancient religious, so baptism would not have seemed like a practice that was peculiar to the early Christian church. For them, however, it was a once-for-all ritual washing rather than a repeated act. It is now a symbolic washing away sins upon conversion to faith in Christ. John the Baptist
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During the exodus, the people of Israel repeatedly rebelled against God and didn’t trust his Word, so God sent “poisonous snakes” (Num 21:6) into the camp as a punishment for their sin. Some translation call them “fiery serpents.” When the Israelites repented and begged for deliverance, God told Moses to create a bronze serpent and put
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Camels were a common sight throughout Bible times, particularly in cities and villages along caravan routes, where these long-distance beasts of burden might pause for a night before trudging on to their destination. In addition to being a means of
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Incense is a combination of aromatic spices, herbs, and oils that yields its strongest fragrance when warmed or burned. The incense used in the temple was made of stacte, onycha, galbanum, and frankincense; any combination other than this was not to be used for worship, and this combination was not to be used for any other purpose. When the high priest entered the Holy of Holies, he put a handful of incense on the hot coals
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Having the key to something denotes power and authority. You have the right to enter in and the right to refuse entry to others. In the ancient world, keys were given to the steward, a servant whom the master of the house trusted to care for the household. The long, large keys of the day were often carried on a person’s shoulder.
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While we almost always think first of marriage when the subject of rings comes up, the Bible records no instances where a ring is used as a symbol of marriage or wedding vows. But surprisingly, the first time a ring is mentioned in Scripture involves an interesting account of surrogate courtship. When Abraham’s servant Eliezer arrive in Haran on a mission to find a wife for young Isaac, he met a young woman at the city well whose name was Rebekah (Gen. 24:1-67). Discovering that Rebekah’s parents were relations of
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Outside the Bible, the recognition of twelve months in the lunar calendar made the number twelve an important symbol for the annual cycles of life. In the Bible, this number usually symbolizes completeness, especially with regard to the people of God. Once the twelve tribes of Israel were established, uses of the number twelve became a symbol pointing to the entire people of God.
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