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Biblical doctrines hermeneutics

What day of the week was Jesus’ crucifixion?

I have heard it said many times that Jesus could not have been crucified on a Friday particularly if He was resurrected on the following Sunday. The following scripture is often quoted in support of this claim.

Matthew 12:40 (KJV) For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

The logic is that if we count three full 24 hour day/night cycles, and given that He rose on a Sunday morning, He would have to have had died on the Thursday morning prior. Remember the Jewish counting of a 24-hour day starts at sundown and ends at the following sundown. That means that a Friday (the Preparation Day for the weekly Sabbath) starts at sundown Thursday and ends at sundown Friday when the Sabbath begins.

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Biblical doctrines Book of Revelation hermeneutics The Papacy

At the resurrection who is left behind?

Recently I have been studying the book of Luke, and especially the passage on the resurrection “...I tell you, in that night there shall be two men [people] in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left” (chapter 17:34-37). I asked myself when one person (note ‘men’ is not in the original) was taken by Christ at the gathering of the saved, the resurrection, and another was left, what happened to those who were left?

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The standard explanation today is that this is a description of the so-called Pre-Tribulation Rapture, the secret Rapture, like portrayed in the “Left Behind” series of books and movies. But that doctrine, which is attributed to John Nelson Darby, an early pioneer of the Exclusive Brethren (early 1800’s), in fact, had its beginnings much earlier with the Jesuit Francisco Ribera and later Cardinal Belamine. And this was independent of those who claim Darby had developed the ideas himself. Maybe he did. He certainly developed the system of theology called Dispensationalism, where he linked the restoration of the land and nation of Israel–God fulfilling His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob–to a scenario of the Church being caught away from the earth, leaving only the Jews as God’s people and that they would fulfil Millennium prophecies (e.g. Isaiah 65:25) during the subsequent 1000-year reign of Christ on Earth. The only part I agree with him on is that God will fulfil His promise to Abraham.

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The Jesuit Francisco Ribera originated the idea to divert attention away from the pope being identified as the AntiChrist, which was the standard belief during the 16th through 19th centuries with protestant Bible scholars. The Jesuits did not hold to the idea of physical Israel being restored nor a Pre-Trib Rapture, but they developed the notion of futurism, that most of the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation would come to a future end-time fulfilment in a final AntiChrist figure, who would rule the world from Jerusalem under some sort of 7-year peace agreement. This was to push attention away from the Papacy as the AntiChrist. But then the Papacy had and still does have all the hallmarks of the AntiChrist in the prophecies.

Categories
Biblical doctrines Christianity

Did Old Testament believers have a concept of the afterlife?

The New Testament gives very specific details and revelation from God on the afterlife. Did Old Testament believers have any such notions?  There are some indications, though not so many.

18002011-BTH-Job-2-11-Job-and-his-comfortersThe book of Job is considered to be one of the oldest books in the Bible. Therefore from the earliest times on record we know that there was some knowledge of the afterlife.

Job 19:25-27 For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins [heart] be consumed within me.

Job had the assurance that although he was going to die and be eaten by worms, he would receive a new body (“in my flesh”) and in that body he would see God face to face, i.e. in his conscious mind.

Categories
Belief in God Biblical doctrines

The Resurrection of the Just

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Luke 14:14 And you shall be blessed … for you shall be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. (KJVER)

THIS IS THE BELIEVER’S GLORIOUS PROSPECT, GOD’S SURE PROMISE, because Jesus rose from the dead. When He appears, the dead in Christ shall rise first. They shall rise incorruptible, powerful, spiritual, and glorious, in full conformity to His glorious body. His voice will rouse them, His power will raise them, and His glory will surround and adorn them. They shall be like Him, for they shall see Him as He is. What a glorious dawning will the resurrection morning be! How deeply we are interested in it, and yet, how little it exercises our thoughts, or excites our anticipations. It may be the very next morning we shall see, for we may die in our sleep; or for aught we can tell, Jesus may come tomorrow. Are we ready? Are we justified before God through faith in Jesus? Are we just with men, rendering to all their due? The resurrection of the just will be most glorious; they shall come forth perfect in holiness and beauty. We ought often to think of that day, to prepare for it daily, to live and act as if it was just at hand, to do as Paul did, who laboured, suffered and prayed, “If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection.—Daily Remembrancer April 6 Evening

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Belief in God Biblical doctrines

The Final Resurrection

Today is Good Friday which is still recognized in the post-Christian West as a memorial and celebration of the Easter Friday that Jesus Christ willingly gave His life on the Cross, as the Passover Lamb, to vicariously pay our penalty, owed to God the Father, for our sins. He gave His life so that those who accept His once-only-forever-never-to-be-repeated sacrifice, by trusting in Him, as Lord and Saviour, might be redeemed to the Father, whose justice is served, who then cannot even see our sin. We are washed clean in the blood of the Lamb. This covenant was sealed and perfected in Christ’s resurrection, which is celebrated on Sunday.

The following is a summary of what John Calvin wrote on the matter.

by John Calvin (abridged)1,2

calvin3-686x3502. None of the ancient philosophers, except Plato, acknowledge the chief good of man to consist in his union with God. But of the nature of this union, Plato had not the smallest idea. We know what is the only and perfect happiness even in this earthly pilgrimage; but it daily inflames our hearts with increasing desires after it, till we shall be with its full fruition—the resurrection.

3. Let the importance of the object sharpen our pursuit. Paul argues, that if there be no resurrection of the dead, the whole Gospel is vain and fallacious; for we should be “of all men most miserable” (1 Corinthians 15:13-19). To this subject, the most important of all, let us give attention never to be wearied by the length of time.