The Covenants God made with Abraham, and then confirmed and expanded with Isaac and Jacob, are the first references in The Bible to the relationship God has endeavoured to establish with mankind. Their influence on God's dealings with man and the establishment of His relationship with His Church in the Last Days are far greater than most Christians realise. This series of studies examines the covenants God made with Abraham and then with each subsequent generation. It briefly follows the story of those tribes, focusing on the promises given to each of the brothers and how history shows that the fulfilment of many of these promises has already taken place.
The Bible contains many references to the Last Days; the Book of Revelation is in fact devoted totally to the subject. As a search on the Internet will reveal, however, there are literally hundreds of different interpretations as to what the Book of Revelation is really about. I personally believed some of those interpretations for many years but always felt uncomfortable about them because they left too many unanswered questions and were always subject to a person's interpretation. The Book of Revelation has one true meaning, a message that God wants His Church to hear and understand; and the key to what it is is found in the book's first three verses.
Although Jesus could have chosen to include Paul among the twelve men who would carry forth his work after his passing, he didn't. And what happened as soon as Jesus left the scene? If we are to believe Paul, Jesus appears to have discovered this mistake of his and made up for it by choosing Paul as the person to deliver the message of the Gpsel to the Gentile nations. This is in spite of the fact that Jesus had previously nominated Peter for that task in front of the other disciples. Paul declared himself an apostle, however no one else ever addressed him as one. Jesus made it very clear there would be 12 apostles, but if Paul is to believed, there are in fact 13, which begs the question, "who is the imposter?"
There are many occasions when what seem like throwaway remarks from Jesus say far more than we may realise. One in particular is heard in an exchange between a Canaanite woman where he tells her, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." So who are the lost sheep of the House of Israel? How did they become lost? Were they ever found? Strangely, these questions were never discussed or addressed, not to mention satisfactoraly answered during my decades as a church goer. This left me with no alternative to go and have a look in the Scriptures and find out for myself. This study documents what I found.
One of the interesting aspects of a number of ancient languages like Hebrew is that in their written form, where we have numbers and letters, they have only letters. In each language there are no numeric characters but the letters are also used as numbers. The context told the reader the word was a reference to a numeric value or not. The interesting outcome of this is that when a word is written, it also has a numeric equivalent. Applied in reverse, when a number is written, it has a word equivalent. One such word that many Christians today are familiar with is the word "tithe". Its numeric value is "one tenth", its word meaning is "gift to God".
As one reads the four gospels in the Bible, it soon becomes clear that Jesus saw his role in life as introducing people to the Kingdom of God, or as it is alternatively referred to – The Kingdom of Heaven. The people he was introducing it to were what we today refer to as Jewish, a very religious people whose concept of God and their relationship with him is defined by their holy book, The Old Testament, and in particular, the first five books of it – the Books of the Law. It is in that context that Jesus, being a Jew, saw God and related to Him, so it is important we keep that in mind if we in modern day western society want to understand what he was talking about.
That the Biblical character Joshua and the Egyptian Pharaoh, Tutankhamun, are both referred to as the Son of Nun, is the first of many pieces of theology-shaking evidence drawn from the pages of Egyptian and Jewish history, the Talmud and The Bible which collectively point towards Jesus and Tutankhamun being one and the same person. But they lived 1,600 years apart; how could that possibly be? This study examines the evidence in these ancient texts that link two of the most famous people in history.
The creation stories told in the Book of Genesis have their origins in the oral history of the people of Israel. They are influenced by this people’s cultural background as inhabitants of the ancient near east, but primarily and most importantly by their experience of God at work in their history. The Cultural Context of Israel gives a good explanation of religious and cultural influences on Israel, and also explains how Israel’s experience of God in its history influenced the accounts of creation.
Although the Israelites, and in particular Joseph and Moses, played so significant a role in Pharaonic Egypt, this role - apart from certain events which are graphically recorded in the Old Testament - remains curiously shadowy and confused when the Hebrew scribes eventually set down in writing what had been an entirely oral tradition. Not only that, the life and times of these and other Old Testament heroes who spent time in Egypt are strangely absent from Egyptian history - or are they?
The modern evangelical church teaches that Jesus Christ died for our sins in an act of atonement, a belief based primarily on the teachings of the Apostle Paul in his letters to the churches of his time. Yet Jesus himself in his teaching seemed to promote a different gospel which centred around the need for behavioral action, with little more than a single passing reference in the four gospels that He played any part in it (Matt. 26:28). So does Jesus offer us the path to Salvation because he taught us the path we should follow, or because he died for our sins in an Atonement?
Though the foundations on which the Christian faith stands are found in the New Testament, by its inclusion in the Bible, the Old Testament does form a prelude to it. One problem for many who read the Old Testament is that it is increasingly being found not to be historically accurate in a literal sense, and so it is often sidelined as being both irrelevant and inaccurate. The reality is that much of what it says happened did happen, but not necessarily in the places, times and to the people it states.
Some argue that the Book of Revelation predicts a Great Tribulation - it doesn't, just as it never refers to The Antichrist. The word "tribulation" only appears five times in the Book of Revelation, each time it references tribulation in general and not a specific event. Take a look at the events Jesus described relating to it, and the time frame he gave for its occurance and you'll discover we've missed it by about 1,800 years.