Study 6, part 2: Christ Enters the Heavenly Tabernacle

Study Series Note: This study is one in a series of studies on the Bible’s sacred places (tabernacle, temple, etc.). Previous studies focused on the Creation and the Garden of Eden as a Temple.

The last study was devoted to the tabernacle, the portable tent temple, which the Lord established as a place to dwell with the people of Israel. (If you haven’t already, you can read the first part of study six here: https://throughandto.com/2017/02/15/study-6the-tabernacle-in-tents-holiness/#more-752) Understanding the concept of holiness was shown to be crucial for understanding the function of the tabernacle. The tabernacle (along with the later temple) and its priesthood mediated the holiness of God to his wayward people.

Although priests were intermediaries, they still had to go through many rituals to be able to move across the buffers to holiness. They still needed to offer sacrifices for their own sins, and certain actions rendered them unfit for the priesthood. The Book of Hebrews presents Jesus as the perfect high priest who is able to enter the true heavenly tabernacle. Continue reading

Review of “Going Deeper with New Testament Greek.”

Review of Going Deeper with New Testament Greek by Andreas Köstenberger, Benjamin Merkle, and Robert Plummer. Published by B&H Academic, 2016.going deeper

Going Deeper with New Testament Greek (a.k.a Going Deeper) is a collaborative work of Andreas Köstenberger, Benjamin Merkle, and Robert Plummer. All three are professors of New Testament in Southern Baptist seminaries, and Köstenberger is widely published in the fields of New Testament Studies and Biblical Theology.[1] Plummer and Merkle are not as prolific as Köstenberger in terms of published works (few are), but they have collaborated further on the forthcoming Greek for Life: Strategies for Learning, Retaining, and Reviving New Testament Greek. Plummer is also well-known to students and teachers of Biblical Greek through his production of the “Daily Dose of Greek,” a daily, two-minute video that examines a verse in the Greek New Testament (My wife gets really annoyed when Plummer sounds the “subjunctive alarm” during these videos).    Continue reading

Study 6:The Tabernacle: “In-tents” Holiness.

The previous two studies were devoted to the sacred places before the tabernacle. The next two studies return to the tabernacle, the portable tent temple, which the Lord established as a place to dwell with the people of Israel. We will discuss how the tabernacle (along with the temple) and its priesthood mediated the holiness of God to his wayward people.

Study Series Note: This study is one in a series of studies on the Bible’s sacred places (tabernacle, temple, etc.). Previous studies focused on the Creation and the Garden of Eden as a Temple.

Continue reading

Jesus as the new Bethel. Study 5, part 2 in the “Where Heaven and Earth Meet” series.

This study looks at how the Gospel of John appropriated Jacob’s encounter at Bethel to show Jesus as the typological fulfillment of that event. If you have not read it already, I suggest reading the first part of Study 5’s post from December 27, 2016. That post examines Jacob’s vision as it appears in the book of Genesis. jacob

Bethel was a place where heaven and earth met. This connection was vividly portrayed in Jacob’s dream with angels going up and down a ladder that stretched to the Lord in heaven. In the Gospel of John, Jacob’s ladder finds fulfillment in Jesus Christ. Jesus himself makes this claim to Nathanael, one of the several men who are deciding to become Jesus’ disciples. We read about this encounter in John 1:43-51. Continue reading

Study 5:A Journey of Faith Begins and Ends at God’s House in Bethel.

A Journey of Faith Begins and Ends at God’s House in Bethel.

 

Study Series Note: This study is one in a series of studies on the Bible’s sacred places (tabernacle, temple, etc.). The last study (posted in September under Study 4) focused on the Creation and the Garden of Eden as a Temple.

All sacred places of the Bible are made sacred by Godjacob’s presence. God walked in the Garden of Eden and was close to the people he created, which was why the Garden was closely associated with the later temple. Visiting the houses of God, therefore, doesn’t always entail entering a structure. In today’s study, we jump forward several chapters in Genesis and many thousands of years.
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Simeon and Anna: An expectant faith.

Today is the first Sunday of Advent; the season leading up to Christmas. During Advent, the Church remembers the anxious waiting  that preceded the coming of the Christ. Although I posted the following sermon text last year, I am re-posting it (with modifications) as a reminder of the hope and expectation that the first Sunday of Advent usually focuses upon.

Simeon and Anna: An Expectant Faith.

In the last couple years, consumers have started to voice their displeasure with simeonstores advertising for Christmas earlier and earlier. Stores couldn’t wait till Thanksgiving day –  the decorating, the sales, and the preparations began shortly after Halloween. The situation seems to have improved, but stores still send out flyers throughout November to entice us to spend as much money as possible on black Friday. Have you received any flyers? Over the last month many Christmas sale flyers have made their way into both my postal and electronic mail boxes. These flyers tell us to be expectant and prepared because our shopping hopes will soon be fulfilled. While many are looking forward to saving 25% on electronics, just as many people wish that stores would at least wait until Thanksgiving before bombarding us with Christmas advertising. Before we become too upset with all this pre-thanksgiving Christmas advertising, we should realize that the first Christmas was actually advertised, and prepared for, centuries before the actual day.  Continue reading

James 4 sermon from “Night in the Light”.

Below is the text of the sermon I gave at the “Night in the Light” on October 21, 2016. a-night-in-the-light-4-poster

James 4:1-12

            In the fourth chapter of the book of James we come to a section that addresses two questions that have always plagued the church: 1) Why do Christians, who should be known for their love, often fall prey to infighting? 2) Why do our prayers often go answered, even though Jesus said, “Ask anything in my name and I will give it to you?” These two questions eventually present themselves to every Christian and to every church context. James not only addresses these questions, he gives a prescription to remedy the underlying ailment. Continue reading

Study 4:Creation and the Garden of Eden as a Temple

Reading the first chapters of Genesis may not cause the average Westerner to skythink of the Jerusalem temple, but Israelites of biblical times associated the temple with creation and the Garden of Eden. Evidence of this association can be found in the furnishings of the temple itself as well as the testimony of non-biblical Jewish writers (the most prominent being Philo and Josephus).

In several places, both Philo and Josephus wrote about how the temple represented the entire universe and how the temple’s fixtures and the priest’s garments symbolized different parts of creation giving God the worship due him.[1] The individual lights on the temple’s golden lampstand were thought to symbolize the planets and/or the lights that God fixed in the heavens (Genesis 1:14-16). Continue reading

Book Review of Anthony Thiselton’s “The Holy Spirit—In Biblical Teaching, through the Centuries, and Today.”

Expect another post in the “Where Heaven and Earth Meet” series soon. For now, I present the following book review:

Thiselton, Anthony. The Holy Spirit—In Biblical Teaching, through the Centuries, and Today. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2013. 565 pages. 

thiselton

In The Holy Spirit—In Biblical Teaching, through the Centuries, and Today, Anthony Thiselton aims not only to produce a “thorough biblical and historical study of the Holy Spirit in systematic form,” but also to initiate and develop “a mutual dialogue with Pentecostals and those influenced by the Renewal Movement” (ix). Thiselton, for the most part, achieves these aims in a modest 565 pages (considering the magnitude of the topic).   Continue reading