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Oaths

When Paul visited Jerusalem for the last time the Jews started a riot in the temple that led to his arrest by the Romans.  The Romans brought him before the Jewish council for trial and he was acquitted.  Acts 21:27 – 23:11

Many of the Jews wouldn’t accept this and were determined to kill him.

When it was day, the Jews made a plot and bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. There were more than forty who made this conspiracy. They went to the chief priests and elders and said, “We have strictly bound ourselves by an oath to taste no food till we have killed Paul. Now therefore you, along with the council, give notice to the tribune to bring him down to you, as though you were going to determine his case more exactly. And we are ready to kill him before he comes near.”
Acts 23:12-15

Paul’s nephew learned of the plot and warned Paul and the Roman commander.  The commander sent Paul to Caesarea so he would be safe from the Jews. Acts 23:12-35

When reading this I have often wondered whether the Jews who swore not to eat and drink until they killed Paul kept their oath.  Did they die of thirst and starvation? Read the rest of this entry

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Sacrificing Ishmael

Everyone who is familiar with the Bible knows that God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac.  Most don’t realize that before this Abraham had been commanded to sacrifice his other son, Ishmael.

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Tongues of fire

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Acts 2:1-4

This was the first time anyone was baptized with the Holy Spirit and two things happened to them: tongues of fire appeared and rested on each of them and they spoke in other tongues.  There would be other occasions when people were baptized by the Spirit and spoke in tongues but this is the only time tongues of fire appeared. Read the rest of this entry

Understanding the Old Testament

When Christians discuss the Bible we are often accused of choosing Bible verses that support our position and ignoring those that oppose it. Usually this takes the form of quoting some law found in the Old Testament and asking why we don’t practice it. Since we consider all of the Bible, including the Old Testament, to be the Word of God this is a reasonable objection that should be answered. Read the rest of this entry

Animal sacrifices during the Millenium

The laws God gave to Israel through Moses included a requirement that they sacrifice animals as an atonement for their sins. These sacrifices didn’t actually take away sins but only served as a picture of what Christ would do when he died for sin. Hebrews 10:11-14 says,

And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. Read the rest of this entry

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