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Showing posts from December, 2020

Fruitless Temple

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The cursing of the barren fig tree symbolized the coming destruction of the Temple and the fruitlessness of Israel  -  Mark 11:12-26 .  The  Gospel of Mark  divides the story of the barren fig tree into two sections, placing the “cleansing” of the Temple between them, and thus, the two events are inextricably linked.  The  fruitlessness  of the fig tree and its subsequent cursing highlighted the spiritual state and destiny of the Temple, and Christ’s actions foreshadowed its destruction [ Photo by Johann Siemens on Unsplash ].

Coming on the Clouds

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The whole earth will observe the “Son of Man” arriving on the clouds to gather his “elect” to himself – Mark 13:21-27 .  The ‘Olivet Discourse’ now takes us beyond the destruction of the Temple to the return of the “ Son of Man ” to gather his saints. How much time will pass between the demise of the Temple and Christ’s arrival in glory is not provided, but during the interim, the church must beware of deceivers that disseminate false information about his coming - [ Clouds over church - Photo by Jacob Mejicanos on Unsplash ].

Appointed to Tribulation

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His disciples escape God’s “wrath” but endure “tribulation” to which they have been “appointed” – 1 Thessalonians 3:1-4 .  In the New Testament, the terms “ tribulation ” and “ wrath ” are NOT synonymous. “ Tribulation ” is what disciples endure for the sake of Jesus, but “ wrath ” is the horrific fate awaiting the wicked at the “ end of the age ,” the “ second death ,” which unrepentant sinners and apostates endure on account of their iniquities and betrayals - [ Lighthouse in a storm - Photo by Marcus Woodbridge on Unsplash ].

Dream of the King

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Only Daniel was enabled to reveal the troubling dream of the King, which unveiled the fate of kings and kingdoms  –  Daniel 2:1-49 .  The second and third chapters  present a single story told in two parts. In the first, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed of an enormous image composed of several materials. In the second, he attempted to implement that image according to his concept of political power. Daniel’s interpretation of the dream demonstrated the sovereignty of God over all the kingdoms of this age - [ Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash ].

Land of Shinar

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The arrogant acts of Nebuchadnezzar against the kingdom of Judah paralleled the incident at the Tower of Babel .  In its opening passage,  Daniel  calls Babylon the “ land of Shinar ,” an intentional link to the story of the Tower of Babel and the founding of the city of Babylon. That incident is echoed again in the third chapter of Daniel when Nebuchadnezzar gathered all the nations to pay homage to the image that he had “ set up ” - [ Ancient Babylon - clipart.christiansunite.com ].

Theology of History

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The book of Daniel demonstrates the absolute sovereignty of Yahweh over the course of history and nations .  The very first paragraph of the  Book of Daniel  introduces its key theme:  God reigns supreme over the kingdoms of the earth , whether wicked or just. This proposition is presented in explicit statements and demonstrated by the accurate predictions of the prophet Daniel, especially to the rulers of Babylon and Persia - ( Genesis 11:1-9, Daniel 2:21-45 ,  4:17 ,  5:17-29 ,  11:1-4 ) - [ Photo by  Darran Shen  on Unsplash ].

Greetings from the Throne

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The salutations from the throne to the churches highlight key themes of the book, especially the present reign of Jesus  –  Revelation 1:4-8 .  Next, the book presents greetings to the “ churches ” from the “ throne ,” from God, Jesus, and the “ Seven Spirits .” It stresses Christ’s present over the political powers of the earth, and his sovereignty is based on his Death and Resurrection. The recipients of the book   are identified, the “ seven churches ” in Asia - [ Photo by Andrew Dunstan on Unsplash ] .