Paul knew that the Christians in Rome were going to have certain problems. Since he would not be visiting Rome for a while, he wanted to give advice to this church, which consisted of a mixed element of Jews and Gentiles who met together on a regular basis. What was Paul’s motivation? Realizing that Jews and Gentiles had radically different backgrounds, he wanted to unify them by getting them to appreciate each other’s backgrounds and their one calling. He wanted them to be firm in their faith so that they would not wobble back and forth under the influence of the Judaizing believers, who felt that a Christian had to follow the Law as well as walk in grace and truth by faith. Thus he proceeded to teach the real meaning of the doctrine of justification by faith, and the theme of his Epistle to the Romans is justification by faith in the blood of Christ.
Archive for July 2009
When Egypt conquered the Gaza Strip, it proceeded to prohibit Palestinian national activities and expel Palestinian leadership. Not only did Jordan not grant Palestinian independence to Judea and Samaria, it actually annexed these areas to its own country. When Syria occupied and annexed the Hama area in the Golan Heights, the Arab League outlawed a provisional Palestinian government there. In short, it can be concluded that Arab “rights” to a state in Judea and Samaria are historically weak and were long ignored by other Arab countries.
The full fulfillment of this chapter will occur when the Holy Remnant is delivered out of Jacob’s Trouble. The clue for this statement is, “Thou shalt call them [the blessings and the cursings] to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee.” The reference cannot be to the Babylonian captivity because the Jews were not scattered among all nations at that time.
At that time, the survivors, the Jews comprising the Holy Remnant, will obey God’s voice and return to Him with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength according to all that Moses commanded more than 3,000 years ago. Specifically, the reference is to the second regathering, which will take place after Jacob’s Trouble. They will return not only to the land but also to the God of Israel. The severity of the trouble will be needed for them to return with this fullness.
. The Law gives us God’s thinking. We study the Law to learn what His thinking is on certain subjects, one reason being that the New (Law) Covenant will be in operation during the Kingdom Age. Changes will be made, but nevertheless, the New Covenant will be along natural lines. Some Christians have never studied the Law. With the cost of Bibles being so reasonable in our country today, there is no excuse for not being familiar with the Old and the New Testaments. An allowance is made for babes in Christ, the recently consecrated. The responsibility differs according to availability, the length of one’s consecration, and other factors.
The clause “thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations” stands out. There is a limit in trying to exercise supposedly goodwill toward others in allowing them to express their opinions. We must be careful because wrong doctrines are seductive. It is not sufficient to tolerate them and allow them to exist by giving a deaf ear. The danger in being too liberal is that lo and behold, before we know it, they can become a part of our daily living. The compromising attitude is very dangerous.
Thursday was a day of unusual symbolic importance because 40 days have passed since the shooting of Ms. Agha-Soltan. The 40th day marks an important Shiite mourning ritual, and similar commemorations for dead protesters fueled the demonstrations that led to the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
We suggested that Nicodemus came to Jesus at night because then the Master was freer to talk with him. Another thought is that this detail was inserted because Nicodemus, being a Pharisee, was not willing at this point to totally embrace Jesus and his teaching, and thus he came somewhat secretly. There was some intimidation on the part of Nicodemus, but of course, since he was a great teacher himself, it took much humility for him to go to Jesus, even at night. In view of his position, Nicodemus exhibited courage in going.
The statement “We know that thou art a teacher” shows that among the Pharisees, more than just Nicodemus were in sympathy with Jesus. In fact, the Scriptures say that many of the priests believed on Jesus. The many were not a majority, but of the few individuals who accepted Jesus, a considerable number were priests. If even 5 percent of the priests accepted him, that would be quite remarkable, since even the majority of the common people came for superficial reasons: the loaves and the fishes, healing, and curiosity. Very few of the nation became disciples, so if a small percentage of the priests did so, it could be described as many.
The Babylonian Empire is likened to a lion with eagle’s wings. A lion is called the king of the beasts because of its royal mien; that is, its big head and mouth almost completely hide the body. Similarly, the eagle is considered the king of the birds. These symbols beautifully harmonize with the golden head of the image in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (Dan. 2:31,32).
Whereas Daniel 2 portrays the universal empires from man’s perspective, Daniel 7 pictures them from God’s perspective. In other words, Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel both dreamed about the same four empires but each from a different standpoint. “I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked.” This clause refers to the time when Nebuchadnezzar was reduced to insanity and humiliated for seven years. During that time he ate grass, his nails were like birds’ claws, and his hair grew like eagles’ feathers. In a negative sense a lion shows a boasting attitude, and an eagle indicates pride, being lifted up in heart. Nebuchadnezzar’s attitude was “Haven’t I myself accomplished all this glory, such as the Hanging Gardens?”
“These charges hammer home the point that terrorists and their supporters are not confined to the remote regions of some faraway land but can grow and fester right here at home,” said U.S. Attorney George E.B. Holding.
The charges come less than a week after prosecutors in Brooklyn accused a U.S. citizen from New York of traveling to Pakistan for terrorist training and of providing intelligence to al-Qaeda operatives about the Long Island Rail Road.
Since June 12, authorities have arrested at least four other human rights defenders – Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, Abdolfattah Soltani, Mohammad Mosatafaie, and Kambiz Noroozi.
Another human rights attorney told Human Rights Watch that the authorities are arresting these lawyers in order to cut off an “information supply” to Iranians and the outside world. “Because these lawyers follow up on their clients’ cases and talk about violations of law, authorities are unhappy about the news that leaks out,” he said.