I was channel suffering the other night when the title of a show (Time Scanners) caught my attention. The info for the episode referred to the walls of Jerusalem during Jesus’ time being examined so I decided to check it out. The short of the long is I’m glad I did. It was an excellent and enlightening show. There’s a lot that I could say about it but instead I would encourage you to watch it for yourself. The episode is nearly an hour-long so you may have to come back later, but if you do I don’t think you’ll regret it. I don’t watch a lot of PBS but every once in a while their programming does an excellent job.
Here’s a link to watch it over the web, and here’s a description of the episode from the website:
Jerusalem: In this show the team sets out to explore the epic building legacy of Jerusalem. From the vast walls of the Temple Mount, to the incredible man-made mountain of Herodium, they plan to use cutting edge 21st century technology to analyze constructions made at the time of Christ. Given unique access to scan the iconic Wailing Wall, and travelling deep into the dangerous West Bank, the team treks across Jerusalem and beyond on the trail of King Herod’s remarkable building ambitions, discovering new revelations about just how good his ancient builders were and answering long held mysteries about Herod’s magnificent structures.
After Saul is converted in the city of Damascus, Barnabas opens the doors for him into the fellowship of the Jerusalem church.
The disciples were wary of him, apparently not believing his conversion was genuine, but rather a ruse in order to find and arrest them.
And he was with them, moving about freely in Jerusalem, speaking out boldly in the name of the Lord,” Ac 9.28 NASB.
Here are some disparate thoughts on this verse.
What does Luke mean by the phrase, “moving about freely in Jerusalem”? Among the brethren? Or that he was already going to the Jews to preach the gospel? Continue reading
The biggest put you on the edge of your seat movies have them. The most drama filled novels are replete with them. And those situations can actually pale in comparison to what happens in real life! What is it? It’s the twist that changes how everything up to a certain point gets viewed. And such a twist gets revealed in Galatians 4.
While talking to the church(es) in the Galatia region about the damage that had been inflicted by false Jewish teachers upon the believer’s faith in Jesus’ work, Paul drops a twist in the plot line of the age-old story concerning God’s promise to Abraham in more ways than one.
The Jewish people prided themselves upon their physical heritage in Abraham (rightly so, but wrongly done), and they used that heritage to “lay claim” to the path that leads to salvation; a path that wrongly included various adherences to the Law of Moses after the Law of Christ had been given by God.
So to make his point clear when it came to the difference between the Law of Moses and the Law of Christ, Paul uses two different mountains, two different women and two different children to show how the people who prided themselves on being the sons of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were in reality more like the sons of Abraham, Ishmael and Nebajoth because of their attitude toward the faith delivered by God through Jesus. Paul says those who boast of Abraham and Sarah outside of Christ find themselves sitting in bondage at the foot of Sinai instead of enjoying the freedom that flows from Mount Jerusalem. At the end of the of day their circumcision had actually cut them out of the promise to Abraham through Isaac. Paul says that the false teachers were children of Abraham alright – but they were the wrong child.
What a twist in the story!
“Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar—for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children—but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written: “Rejoice, O barren, you who do not bear! Break forth and shout, you who are not in labor! For the desolate has many more children than she who has a husband.” Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise.” (Galatians 4:21-28)
I am looking for your insight into a difficult passage. It seems obvious to me that this discusses heaven. However, there are two parts of this passage that are difficult. I accept the later date for Revelation so I don’t know what advocates of the destruction of Jerusalem interpretation believe about this scene.
Ogden says, “The new Jerusalem is the bride of Christ, the Lamb’s wife” [p. 377].
Others take these verses to mean that heaven will be on a reconstituted earth.
The text says:
“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:1-2, NKJV).
The questions for you are:
1. What is being discussed here? Heaven or something else?
2. What is the new heaven and the new earth?
3. What does “come down” mean in this context?
Thank you for your sharing your knowledge with me. God Bless.
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that killeth the prophets, and stoneth them that are sent unto her! how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. (Matthew 23:37-39, ASV).
Jesus, during the last week of His life on this earth, speaks these words because of an anguished heart. For three years He had been preaching the message of God, both in Jerusalem and in the extended areas. And for three years His message was spurned by the masses. Certainly it was not because His word did not warrant acceptance, rather it was because His word was contrary to preconceived notions. These preconceived notions and the subsequent rejection of the message of God brought God’s wrath upon Jerusalem.
Jerusalem and the Israelite nation was the “chosen” of God. But the nation Israel had fulfilled its purpose, now the purposes of God had gone beyond that. When God chose Israel it was because through them the promised Savior would come into the world. Into the world He came and many people wanted nothing to do with Him. But, whether rejected or accepted, Jesus is the chosen of God. Will we accept God’s chosen?