The Seven Natural Wonders of the World and Ephesians 3 – Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles

October 24, 2014

The words in Black and Maroon is the text from historical/archaeological facts or the numbered scriptures from the Bible.  
Words in Blue are God – Red is Jesus – Green is Jerry.
Jerry is not a scholar, but a very curious 12 year old boy who loves Jesus and likes to research.
If you have any questions you would like to be answered privately or any subject you would like posted please contact me here.

The Seven Natural Wonders of the World

The Seven Natural Wonders of the World, is the  natural nature  on earth.

These includes:
1) Mount Everest,
2) The Great Barrier Reef in Australia,
3) Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe, Africa, 
4) Paricutin Volcano in Mexico, 
5) The Grand Canyon, Harbor of Rio De Janeiro in Brazil,
6) The Harbor of Rio De Janeiro in Brazil,
 
7) Northern Lights in Antarctic and Arctic Regions.

Mount Everest

Aerial photo of Everest from the south, behind Nuptse and Lhotse

Aerial photo of Everest from the south, behind Nuptse and Lhotse

Mount Everest Golden Summit

Mount Everest Golden Summit

Mount Everest (also known in Nepal as Sagarmatha and in Tibet as Chomolungma) is the Earth’s highest mountain. It is located in the Mahalangur section of the Himalayas.

Its peak is 29,029 feet above sea level and is the 5th furthest point from the center of the Earth. The international border between China and Nepal runs across the precise summit point.

Its massif includes neighboring peaks Lhotse, 27,940 feet; Nuptse, 25,771 feet and Changtse, 24,870 feet.

Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia

Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia

Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia

Perfectly positioned on the only Great Barrier Reef island with its own commercial jet airport, qualia is on the eastern edge of the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef.

Perfectly positioned on the only Great Barrier Reef island with its own commercial jet airport, qualia is on the eastern edge of the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef.

The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs  and 900 islands.  The reef is located in Northeast Australia off the coast of Queensland Coral Sea. 

The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is the world’s biggest single structure made by living organisms. 

The Victoria Falls

The Victoria Falls, in Zambia, Africa,-and the world’s largest water fall

The Victoria Falls, in Zambia, Africa, and the world’s largest water fall

Victoria Falls, The naturally formed “Devil’s Pool”, where some tourists swim

Victoria Falls, The naturally formed “Devil’s Pool”, where some tourists swim

The Victoria Falls or Mosi-oa-Tunya  is a natural wonders of the worlds, largest waterfall located in southern Africa on the Zambezi River between the countries of Zambia and Zimbabwe. 

Paricutin Volcano Eruption in 1943

Paricutin Volcano Eruption in 1943

Paricutin Volcano Natural Wonders

Paricutin Volcano Natural Wonders

 Parícutin  is a cinder cone-like volcano in Michoacan, Mexico, close to a lava-covered village of the same name. The volcano is unique in the fact that its formation was witnessed from its very inception.

It appears on many versions of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Parícutin is part of the volcanic field of Michoacan-Guanajuato, which covers much of west central Mexico.

The Grand Canyon 

Grand Canyon from the South Rim, near the NPS Visitor Center.

Grand Canyon from the South Rim, near the NPS Visitor Center. 

Eagle Rock (located at Eagle Point) on the west rim, aptly named for its shape, is considered sacred by the Hualapai Indians.

Eagle Rock (located at Eagle Point) on the west rim, aptly named for its shape, is considered sacred by the Hualapai Indians.

The Grand Canyon  is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River state of Arizona, in the United States. It is maintained under the management by Grand Canyon National Park, the Hualapai Tribal Nation, and the Havasupai Tribe. 

The Harbor of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Christ at the Harbor of Rio de Janeiro

Christ at the Harbor of Rio de Janeiro

The Harbor of Rio de Janeiro

The Harbor of Rio de Janeiro

The Harbor of Rio de Janeiro is one of the ‘Seven Natural Wonders of the World’. It is located in the country of Brazil, South America.

It is world famous for being the world’s largest bay, having mountains that come down almost to the water’s edge and for an enormous statue that looks down on the city and harbor from one the mountain peaks.

Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis

Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis

Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis

Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis

Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis

An aurora, Latin word meaning sunrise, is a natural light display in the sky particularly in the high latitude in Arctic and Antarctic regions, caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere or thermosphere.

The magnetosphere  and the solar wind where it originates, charged particles, on Earth, are directed by the Earth’s Magnetic Field into the atmosphere. 

The aurora borealis or northern lights, in northern latitudes, named after Aurora, the Roman goddess of dawn, and the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas by Pierre Gassendi in 1621.


Father, it’s sad to see how people can look at all the beautiful and amazing things You created in this world and not believe in You but they’ll believe all the lies that President Obama says.

Since we’re talking about stupidity and ridiculous beliefs tomorrow we’ll look at…

Ephesians
Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles

1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,922-a

3:1-13 – having saved people individually by His grace (2:1-10), and having reconciled them to each other as well as to Himself through the sacrificial death of Christ (2:11-22), God also now unites them on an equal basis in one body, the church.

This step in God’s eternal plan was not fully revealed in previous times.  Paul calls it a mystery.

2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,

“Mystery” – a truth known only by divine revelation.  Here the word “mystery” has the special meaning of the private, wise plan of God, which in Ephesians relates primarily to the unification of believing Jews and Gentiles in the new body, the church. 

It may be thought of as a secret that is temporarily hidden, but more than that, it is a plan God is actively working out and revealing stage by stage until the Second Coming of Christ.922-b

4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ).

5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

6 That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.

8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

922-c9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

“Principalities and powers” – Christ had ascended over all these.  It is a staggering thought that the church on earth is observed, so to speak, by these spiritual powers and that to the degree the church is spiritually united it portrays to them the wisdom of God.

This thought may be essential in understanding the meaning of “vacation” in 4:1.

“By the church” – the fact that God had done the seemingly impossible – reconciling and organically uniting Jews and Gentiles in the church – makes the church the perfect means of displaying God’s wisdom.

11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:922-d

12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

13 Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.

14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

922-e“Passeth knowledge” – Not unknowable, but so great that it cannot be completely known.

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.


…Strange Lands: Social Fays.


The Dividing Wall of the “Court of the Gentiles” in Herod’s Temple and Ephesians 2 – New Life with Christ

October 23, 2014

The words in Black and Maroon is the text from historical/archaeological facts or the numbered scriptures from the Bible.  
Words in Blue are God – Red is Jesus – Green is Jerry.
Jerry is not a scholar, but a very curious 12 year old boy who loves Jesus and likes to research.
If you have any questions you would like to be answered privately or any subject you would like posted please contact me here.

The Dividing Wall of
the “Court of the Gentiles” Herod’s Temple

Gentiles were allowed to enter the outer temple enclosure in Jerusalem. This large, paved area surrounding the temple and its inner courts was enclosed by a double colonnade of pillars standing 37 feet high. The perimeter of this area measured three-quarters of a mile. This outer court was also called the court of the Gentiles.

Jerusalem Temple Warning Inscription 1st century B.C. Reproduction When King Herod rebuilt the Temple in Jerusalem between 19 and 9 B.C. he enclosed the outer court with colonnades.  The large separated area was referred to as the Court of the Gentiles because the “gentiles” (non-Jews from any race or religion) were not permitted to go beyond the outer court of the temple area.   They were excluded from entering into any of the inner courts, and warning signs in Greek and Latin were placed on the balustrade, the stone partition wall called the Soreg, giving strict warning that the penalty for trespassing into the sacred areas of the temple would be death.  The Romans permitted the Jewish authorities to carry out the death penalty for this offence, even if the offender was a Roman citizen.  An intact temple warning inscription in the Greek language, chiseled into a limestone block, was discovered by C.S. Clermont-Ganneau in 1871.  The letters were painted with red ink against the white limestone.  Portions of other such warning inscriptions have since been discovered.  The warning reads: NO GENTILE MAY ENTER  BEYOND THE DIVIDING WALL INTO THE COURT AROUND THE HOLY PLACE 
 WHOEVER IS CAUGHT WILL HAVE HIMSELF TO BLAME FOR HIS SUBSEQUENT DEATH

Jerusalem Temple Warning Inscription
1st century B.C.
Reproduction
When King Herod rebuilt the Temple in Jerusalem between 19 and 9 B.C. he enclosed the outer court with colonnades.
The large separated area was referred to as the Court of the Gentiles because the “gentiles” (non-Jews from any race or religion) were not permitted to go beyond the outer court of the temple area.
They were excluded from entering into any of the inner courts, and warning signs in Greek and Latin were placed on the balustrade, the stone partition wall called the Soreg, giving strict warning that the penalty for trespassing into the sacred areas of the temple would be death.
The Romans permitted the Jewish authorities to carry out the death penalty for this offence, even if the offender was a Roman citizen.
An intact temple warning inscription in the Greek language, chiseled into a limestone block, was discovered by C.S. Clermont-Ganneau in 1871.
The letters were painted with red ink against the white limestone.
Portions of other such warning inscriptions have since been discovered.
The warning reads:
NO GENTILE MAY ENTER
BEYOND THE DIVIDING WALL
INTO THE COURT AROUND THE HOLY PLACE 

WHOEVER IS CAUGHT
WILL HAVE HIMSELF
TO BLAME FOR HIS
SUBSEQUENT DEATH

But Gentiles were physically prevented access to the inner courts of the temple by a 4½ foot high barrier (Paul’s “dividing wall of hostility” in 2:14).

The Jewish historian Josephus pointed out that 13 stone slabs with writing in both Greek and Latin were placed at intervals on the barrier, warning Gentiles not to enter. In Josephus’s words,

“There was a partition made of stone… Its construction was very elegant; upon it stood pillars, at equal distances from one another, declaring the law of purity, some in Greek, and some in Roman letters, that “no foreigner should go within that sanctuary” [Wars, 5.5.2).

Archaeologists have discovered two of these warning slabs, which state:

“No foreigner is allowed to enter within the balustrade surrounding the sanctuary and the court enclosed. Whoever is caught will be personally responsible for his ensuing death.”

This dividing wall had great significance for Paul, who was arrested in Jerusalem for reportedly bringing a Gentiles into the inner court of the temple.

Paul and other Jewish followers of Christ recognized that the God who had previously resided in the temple had entered humanity in the person of Jesus, the Messiah.

Jesus’ death on the cross and his resurrection had in effect broken down the dividing wall, effecting spiritual unity between Jews and Gentiles.

As a result, Paul knew, all people have been granted access to God through saving faith in Jesus Christ.


If the Jews could they’d imprison everyone and it’s a wonder that they haven’t, at least not yet. 

Speaking of wonders, we have looked at the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the Seven Wonders of the Medieval Mind.

Tomorrow we’ll look at…

Ephesians 2
New Life with Christ

1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;921-a

2:1-10 – Paul wrote of the great purposes and plan of God, culminating in the universal headship of Christ, all of which is to be for “the praise of His glory.”

He now proceed to explain the steps by which God will accomplish His purposes, beginning with the salvation of individuals.

2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

“Prince” – Satan  (cf. Jn 14:30, “prince of this world”).

“Air” – Satan is no mere earthbound enemy. 

“Spirit” – Satan was a created angel and he’s still an angel, but a fallen one, and an enemy of God’s.  Who he hates the most is Jesus Christ and then people.

921-b

3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

“Quickened us together with Christ” – see Rom 6:1-10.

6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

A major passage for understanding God’s grace, i.e., His kindness, unmerited favor and forgiving love.

921-c

“Are ye saved” – “Saved” has a wide range of meanings.  It includes salvation from God’s wrath, which we all had incurred by our sinfulness.  The tense of the verb suggests a completed action with emphasis on its present effect.

“Through faith” – which establishes the necessity of faith in Christ as the only means of being made right with God.

“Not of yourselves” – no human effort can contribute to our salvation; it is the gift of God.

We can’t create our own salvation or earn it, it is God’s decision to give it to us.  Many think you can’t lose your salvation but you can, see Heb 6:4-6, 10:26-27.  Those that believe you can’t lose it probably aren’t saved anyway, they just think they are.

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

921-d

11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

2:11-12 – from the salvation of individuals, Paul moves to another aspect of salvation in which God reconciles Jews and Gentiles, previously hostile peoples, not only to Himself but also to each other through Christ.

More than that, God unites these now reconciled people in one body, a truth introduced in vv. 19-22 and explained in chapter 3.

12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;921-e

15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

“Abolished…the law” – the Old Testament law is not changed by the coming of Christ, what is abolished here is probably the effect of the specific “commandments contained in ordinances” in separating Jews from Gentiles, whose nonobservance of the Jewish law renders them ritually unclean.

16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.

18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

921-f

20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord:

22 In whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit.


…the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.


Lost Cities of the Americas: Pueblos of Chaco Canyon (2 of 7) and Ephesians 1 – Spiritual Blessings in Christ

October 22, 2014

The words in Black and Maroon is the text from historical/archaeological facts or the numbered scriptures from the Bible.  
Words in Blue are God – Red is Jesus – Green is Jerry.
Jerry is not a scholar, but a very curious 12 year old boy who loves Jesus and likes to research.
If you have any questions you would like to be answered privately or any subject you would like posted please contact me here.

- Pueblose-0

Lost Cities of the Americas:
Pueblos of Chaco Canyon (2 of 7)

Location: New Mexico
Date of Construction: c 10th Century C.E.
Abandoned: Late 12th Century C.E.
Built By: Ancestral/Ancient Pueblo Peoples (also known as Anasazi)
Key Features: Great Houses; Pueblo Bonito; Kivas (ceremonial chambers); Turquoise Beads; Road System.

The United States  Army surveyors, cattle herders and cowboys of the 19th and 20th centuries who first sought to open up to settlement the arid canyons and deserts of (what is now) the Four Corners area of the Southwest USA were astonished to discover the remains of enormous buildings concealed within obscure canyons.

Fajada Butte is a striking sight rising from the canyon floor.

Fajada Butte is a striking sight rising from the canyon floor.

Impressive multistory walls of stone and brick enclosed masses of rooms and chambers, in what are often described as apartment complexes. Who could have built such wonders and even more mysteriously, how could the large populations of these mini-metropolises possibly have been supported in the midst of a barren desert?

The desert canyons of the Southwest USA are deeply inhospitable. Today they support only a meagre population at an extremely low density, yet somehow this same area supported several complex societies centered on communities that may have numbered 10,000 or more.

These communities vanished before Columbus, leaving the empty remnants of the largest buildings in pre-Columbian America  -structures that would not be topped until the building of the first steel girder skyscrapers in Chicago in the 1880s.

These buildings are known as Great Houses, and are the grandest form of pueblo, or village, constructed by the pre-Columbian inhabitants of the area. Although they are popularly known as the Anasazi, from the Navajo word for “ancient ones”, the Navajo themselves were post-Columbian immigrants to the area, and archaeologists and historians now prefer to refer to the prehistoric residents as the Ancient Pueblo Peoples, or, in reference to their latter-day descendants the Hopi and Zuni (see below), the Ancestral Pueblo.

The Anasazi were just one of several neighboring cultures in this part of the Americas, but it is their remains that are the most noteworthy. Among these, the most impressive and best known are the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde and the pueblos of Chaco Canyon (in northern New Mexico), which include the biggest Great House of all, known as Pueblo Bonito, and which constitute the largest cluster of archaeological remains in the USA.

Rise of the Ancestral Pueblo Peoples

Pueblo Bonito, the largest building at Chaco Canyon.  According to the National Park Service website, Pueblo Bonito “is the most thoroughly investigated and celebrated cultural site in Chaco Canyon.  Planned and constructed in stages between 850 A.D. and 1150 A.D. by ancestral Puebloan peoples.”

Pueblo Bonito, the largest building at Chaco Canyon.
According to the National Park Service website, Pueblo Bonito “is the most thoroughly investigated and celebrated cultural site in Chaco Canyon.
Planned and constructed in stages between 850 A.D. and 1150 A.D. by ancestral Puebloan peoples.”

Although the region was probably settled by hunter-gatherers from the time of the original peopling of the Americas (probably c 12000 B.C.), it took a long time for agriculture to spread north from Mesoamerica.

By the start of the Common Era crops such as corn, squash and beans were grown in the region by increasingly sedentary people and population densities began to increase.

Around 600 CE farmers moved to Chaco Canyon, where they initially lived in underground pit houses, where a pit was dug, lined with flat stones, walled with logs and roofed over with poles and woven matting.

By around 700 CE they started to build stone structures above ground, eventually adopting an accomplished form of rubble-core dry-stone masonry, where carefully selected and shaped brick-like stones are used to form twin veneers, the space between which is filled with rubble and adobe.

By 920 CE buildings at Pueblo Bonito were two stories high, and from around 1000 CE Chaco Canyon Anasazi culture reached its climax, although it lasted for only a brief period until its catastrophic collapse in around 1150 CE.

At its height Chaco Canyon was a thriving population hub centered on Pueblo Bonito and 12 other Great Houses along the canyon, spaced at intervals of about a mile.

Pueblo Bonito Great House in Chaco Canyon.  The large round structured are kivas. Note the wall running towards the camera across the central plaza, with a kiva on either side.  This wall runs north-south and divides the pueblo in two.

Pueblo Bonito Great House in Chaco Canyon.
The large round structured are kivas. Note the wall running towards the camera across the central plaza, with a kiva on either side.
This wall runs north-south and divides the pueblo in two.

Holes in the canyon’s northern walls, drilled for wooden roof beams, show that much of its length was lined with houses, while the remains of hundreds of small settlements have been found on the canyon’s southern side.

Taken together with the size of Great Houses like Pueblo Bonito, this would seem to indicate that up to 10,000 or more people lived here.

On the other hand, the consensus among most archaeologists is that even with the Anasazi’s expertise at dry land agriculture, the meagre natural resources of the region would have limited the maximum population to less than 5,000 and this would appear to be borne out by the finding that many of the rooms in Pueblo Bonito were unoccupied for long stretches of time.

One suggestion is that the Great Houses were ceremonial centers that were only periodically occupied and that the permanent population of the canyon was relatively low, swelling on special occasions.

Chaco Canyon was also the hub of a sophisticated network of roads that linked it to tens of thousands of smaller Anasazi settlements across the Four Corners region; 22,000 have been identified in New Mexico alone.

The roads are up to 59 1/2  miles long and 42 1/2 feet wide and some still show evidence of stone kerbs, indicating that they were carefully constructed and maintained.

The presence of trade goods at Pueblo Bonito shows that these roads were used to import food, timber and other raw materials, particularly luxury goods such as turquoise, shells and even exotic bird feathers from as far away as Mexico.

The roads may also have had military uses, allowing the rapid transit of soldiers directed from the center of power at Chaco Canyon.

An alternative point of view, however, is that the roads were primarily religious or spiritual in significance and function. Unlike most Native American roads, they do not follow the contours of the landscape or detour around obstructions; rather they run in straight lines, converging on Chaco Canyon like spokes on a wheel.

Across the canyon from Pueblo Bonito is a giant subterranean kern called Casa Rinconada, precisely arranged along a north-south axis.  Around the walls are 28 niches and six crypts. At the summer solstice a beam of sunlight coming through the northeastern entrance illuminates one of the niches.  It seems likely that this is an accident, though, and that when the kern was in use this alignment would have been impossible to see because structural beams and other rooms probably blocked the light.

Across the canyon from Pueblo Bonito is a giant subterranean kern called Casa Rinconada, precisely arranged along a north-south axis.
Around the walls are 28 niches and six crypts. At the summer solstice a beam of sunlight coming through the northeastern entrance illuminates one of the niches.
It seems likely that this is an accident, though, and that when the kern was in use this alignment would have been impossible to see because structural beams and other rooms probably blocked the light.

One theory is that the roads were sacred highways and functioned as ceremonial routes and religious symbols.

The writer Paul Devereux has shown that many different cultures in history have shared the concept of ghost or spirit roads -actual geographical routes that spirits follow, including the souls of the dead, shamans on spirit quests and other supernatural entities – and that the defining characteristic of these is that they run in straight lines.

Given the suspected importance of Chaco Canyon as a spiritual and religious center for the Anasazi, is it possible that they built these roads to facilitate the free passage of spirits to and from their natural home (thus helping to propitiate and draw power from them)?

Pueblo Bonito

The jewel in the Anasazi crown was the Great House at Pueblo Bonito. This was the biggest Anasazi structure. It was up to six stories high and comprised over 600 rooms, all jumbled together into a contiguous structure not dissimilar to Qatalhoyuk with entrance to upper levels via flat roofs, which themselves were the site of communal activities.

It was built with timber roof supports made from huge single logs up to 16 feet long, weighing as much as 700 pounds. Over 200,000 of them were used in the construction of the Chaco Canyon pueblos, which took shape over the course of two centuries.

At first, pinyon pines from the local area were used, but when these were exhausted the Anasazi had to look further afield. Analysis of mineral isotopes in surviving timbers has allowed experts to determine the exact locations these logs came from – the Chuska and San Mateo mountains, around 50 miles away.

Chetro Ketl, built around 1050 A.D. features three kivas. The Great Kiva in Chetro Ketl at Chaco Canyon.

Chetro Ketl, built around 1050 A.D. features three kivas.
The Great Kiva in Chetro Ketl at Chaco Canyon.

The Anasazi had no carts or pack animals, so they would have had to bring the logs down from the mountains by muscle power alone. The timber, well preserved in the dry desert air, has also helped archaeologists to date the settlements through the science of dendrochronology – counting tree rings to determine dates and also information about climate.

Most of the rooms in Pueblo Bonito are around 13 x 16 feet, but there are several large circular chambers called ‘kivas’ after contemporary Native American structures that seem to be identical.

Contemporary kivas are used for rituals and tribal gatherings and it is assumed that Anasazi kivas served similar functions. Other rooms in the pueblo were food storage chambers, while beneath the floors of some rooms were burials complete with rich grave goods, including great quantities of valuable turquoise beads.

The skeletons of those buried here are taller and larger than at lesser Anasazi sites, suggesting that the well-fed Anasazi elite lived in the Great Houses and were supported by the produce and labor of the lower orders who dwelt at outlying settlements.

Seeds of Destruction

Two of the greatest mysteries regarding Chaco Canyon and the Anasazi are how they supported a dense population in such a barren region and why their civilization collapsed.

The two are probably closely linked. The upland desert of the Four Corners region appears to be highly unsuitable for agriculture. Rainfall is low, sporadic and unpredictable, and tends to occur in sudden intense bursts that cause flash flooding where most of the runoff is lost.

Temperatures at high elevations, where rainfall is higher, are very low and the conditions mean that forest growth and soil fertility replenishment are slow.

The Anasazi used several techniques to overcome the limits of the environment. They devised sophisticated water management schemes in Chaco Canyon, damming the main canyon and feeder canyons to catch and store runoff.

Part of Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde, the largest cliff dwelling in North America.  Like Chaco Canyon, Mesa Verde was an important population center for the Ancestral Pueblo.

Part of Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde, the largest cliff dwelling in North America.
Like Chaco Canyon, Mesa Verde was an important population center for the Ancestral Pueblo.

They grew crops at sites such as the alluvial bottom of Chaco Canyon where the water table was close enough to the surface for the roots of their crops to reach and they founded agricultural colonies or stations over a wide area so that at least some of them would garner enough rainfall to produce a surplus big enough for redistribution.

But in the success of the Chaco Canyon Anasazi lay the seeds of their downfall. Their system of agriculture was marginal – in good years, with decent rainfall, it could support a large population, but they could only store corn for two years (after this it will rot and become inedible), making them vulnerable to drought.

At the same time, the urban model they adopted at Chaco Canyon was unsustainable in this impoverished ecosystem.

Analysis of plant remains in packrat middens (nests of dried litter left by packrats, which can survive for thousands of years in the desert) has shown that after 1000 CE the Chaco Canyon Anasazi had deforested the local area, which in turn led to problems with soil erosion and loss of fertility.

Eventually Chaco Canyon became a largely unproductive center, dependent on the rest of the wider Anasazi world to supply it with everything from food and timber to luxury goods, presumably because by then the Anasazi had developed a strict hierarchical society centered on the canyon and the elite who lived in the Great Houses.

By the 12th century the growing environmental problems caused by the dense population combined with a prolonged drought period caused the collapse of the Chaco Canyon Anasazi.

Explorer ascending to an Ancestral Pueblo cliff dwelling, built, like the far larger Cliff Palace, into an alcove in the cliff.  In the 19th and early 20th century, many Ancestral Pueblo sites were visited and stripped by looters.

Explorer ascending to an Ancestral Pueblo cliff dwelling, built, like the far larger Cliff Palace, into an alcove in the cliff.
In the 19th and early 20th century, many Ancestral Pueblo sites were visited and stripped by looters.

Dendrochronology shows that the last timber used at Pueblo Bonito was cut in 1117, while the youngest anywhere in the Canyon dates to 1170. Other Anasazi sites show evidence of fortification, warfare and cannibalism, and it seems likely that as crops failed and famine spread, the center could not hold and the society descended into disorder and warfare.

Some of the Anasazi appear to have survived by moving to new areas and the lack of useful artefacts at many Anasazi sites shows that the residents effected a planned evacuation, taking their important objects with them.

It is believed that the Pueblo Peoples, including the Hopi, Zuni and Acoma, who still live in pueblos and practice dry land agriculture, are at least partly descended from the Anasazi.



The Jews have always thought they were the Chosen Ones of God, but even though He has His favors to perform certain duties, He loves everyone the same (Acts 10:34).  We are all predestined.

The Jews hated the Gentiles, kind of like the Muslims do, and they set laws against them so tomorrow we’ll look at…

Ephesians 1
Spiritual Blessings in Christ

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:Pueblose-a

“By the will of God” – Paul not only stresses his authority under God, but also anticipates the strong emphasis he will make later in this chapter and book on God’s sovereign plan and purpose.

2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

1:3-14 – all one sentence in Greek, this section is often called “doxology” because it recites what God has done and is an expression of worship to honor Him. 

Paul speaks first of the blessings we have through the Father, then of those that come through the Son and finally of those through the Holy Ghost.

“Heavenly places” – occurs five times in Ephesians, emphasizing Paul’s perception that in the exaltation of Christ (His resurrection and enthronement at God’s right hand) and in the Christian’s union with the exalted Christ ultimate issues are involved – issues that pertain to the divine realm and that in the final analysis are worked out in and from that realm.

Pueblose-bAt stake are God’s eternal eschatological purpose and the titanic conflict between God and the powerful spiritual forces arrayed against Him – a purpose and a conflict that come to focus in the history of redemption.

Here (v. 3) Paul asserts that, through their union with the exalted Christ, Christians have already been made beneficiaries of every spiritual blessing that belongs and comes from the heavenly places.

In vv. 20-22, he proclaims Christ’s exaltation to that realm and His elevation over all other powers and titles so that He rules over all for the sake of His church (Christians).

According to 2:6, those who have been made alive with Christ (2:5) share in Christ’s exaltation and enthronement in heaven.  Thus (3:10) by the gathering of Gentiles and Jews into one body of Christ, God triumphantly displays His “manifold wisdom” to “the principalities and powers” in the heavenly places.

As a result, the spiritual struggle of the saints here and now is not so much against “flesh and blood” as against the great spiritual forces that war against God in heaven (6:12).Pueblose-c

4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

“Chosen” – divine election is a constant theme in Paul’s letters.  In this chapter it is emphasized in the following ways:

(1) “he hath chosen us.”

(2) “predestined us.”

(3) “also we have obtained an inheritance.”

(4) “being predestinated.”

“Holy and without blame” – holiness is the result – not the basis – of God’s choosing.  It refers both to the holiness imparted to the believer because of Christ and to the believer’s personal sanctification.

5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Pueblose-d“Redemption” – See vs. 14, 4:30; Rom 3:24; Tit 2:14.  The Ephesians were familiar with the Greco-Roman practice of redemption: Slaves were freed by the payment of a ransom. 

Similarly, the ransom necessary to free sinners from the bondage of sin and the resulting curse imposed by the law (see Gal 3:13) was the death of Christ (called here “his blood”).

8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

10 That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.Pueblose-e

15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,

16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;

17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

“Eyes of your understanding” – your mind or inner awareness.

“Saints” – those whom God has called to be His own people, i.e., all Christians.  The word carried the idea of dedication to a deity.

Pueblose-f19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

In this verse Paul piles term upon term to emphasize that the extraordinary divine force by which Jesus Christ was raised is the same power at work in and through believers.

20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

“Right hand” – the symbolic place of highest honor and authority.  The term “left” always pertains to the dark or evil.

21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

“All principality…every name that is named” – including whatever supernatural beings his contemporaries might conceive of, for in his day many people believed not only in the existence of angels and demons, but also in that of other beings.  Christ is above them all.

“This world…that which is to come” – like the rabbinic teachers of his day, Paul distinguishes between the present age, which is evil, and the future age when the Messiah will consummate His kingdom and there will be a completely righteous society on earth (which is in the near future).

22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,Pueblose-g

“Under His feet” – Ps. 8:5-6 emphasizes the destiny of man, and Heb 2:6-9 shows that ultimately it is the Son of man who rules over everything.

“Head” – Christ is not only the head of the church, but the head of everything.

23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.


…the Dividing Wall of the “Court of the Gentiles” in Herod’s Temple.


The Book of Ephesians

October 21, 2014

919-Category

The Summary of the Book of Ephesians

The book of Ephesians is a Prison Epistle (letter written while in prison).   Paul wrote it about 60-62 A.D.

Ephesus is famous as the home of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Temple is recognized as the largest Greek temple ever built.

Ephesus is famous as the home of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Temple is recognized as the largest Greek temple ever built.

The key personalities of Ephesians are the Apostle Paul and Tychicus. It was written to encourage believers to walk as fruitful followers of Christ and to serve in unity and love in the midst of persecution.

Chapters 1-3 – Paul begins with the joyful truth that every believer has been chosen by God before the foundation of the world:

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will (1:4-5).

Paul then teaches about the unity of believers. These are the truths and blessings that all believers have in common. He wrote:

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace (1:7), and

In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise (1:13).

Paul continues on to clear up one of the most misconceived and/or often ignored subjects even to this day, “Salvation by Grace.”

He wrote that salvation is by the “Grace” of God and that it is through “Faith”, and that no one can contribute to salvation, in any way, even with good deeds:

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Not of works, lest any man should boast (2:8-9).

Chapters 4-5 – Paul encourages the believer to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling”. Every believer has a responsibility to live as servants of Jesus Christ.

In these chapters, Paul teaches that it takes hard work to be in unity with others:

Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children (5:1).

Ruins of the Celsus Library in Ancient Ephesus in Modern Day Turkey.

Ruins of the Celsus Library in Ancient Ephesus in Modern Day Turkey.

He mentions imperative truths and advice for well-functioning families, including husbands and wives who upon the oath of marriage become as “one flesh” (5:31).

Paul explains the concept of a biblical marriage. Marriage is a picture of Christ and the church (body of believers) and the way that Jesus Christ loved the church is the way that the husband must love his treasured wife:

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it (5:25).

Paul doesn’t end there, he goes on to reinforce that husbands are to love their wives:

So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself… (5:28, 33).

When a husband learns to love his wife in this way, his wife usually has no issues fulfilling her role and even enjoys it:

… and the wife see that she reverence her husband (5:33).

Chapter 6 – Paul instructs believers how to prepare for spiritual battle by dressing in the full armor of God:

Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (6:11).

Prayer is the key weapon of the Christian soldier. He emphasizes his principle with the repeated statement “stand firm”.


Ten (41-50) More Quotes About Jesus and Galatians 6 – Fulfilling the Law of Christ

October 20, 2014

The words in Black and Maroon is the text from historical/archaeological facts or the numbered scriptures from the Bible.  
Words in Blue are God – Red is Jesus – Green is Jerry.
Jerry is not a scholar, but a very curious 12 year old boy who loves Jesus and likes to research.
If you have any questions you would like to be answered privately or any subject you would like posted please contact me here.

Ten (41-50) More Quotes About Jesus

 918-1“God tests, but he does not tempt.”

Criss Jami

 

 

918-2“We might be wise to follow the insight of the enraptured heart rather than the more cautious reasoning of the theological mind.”

A.W. Tozer

  

918-3“The difference between Socrates and Jesus is that no one had ever been put to death in Socrates’ name. And that is because Socrates’ ideas were never made law. Law, in whatever name, protects privilege.”

E.L. Doctorow 

 

918-4“The unwounded life bears no resemblance to the Rabbi.”

Brennan Manning 

 

 

 

918-5“Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin will entice a man to cease from prayer.”

John Bunyan 

 

918-6“The sinners to whom Jesus directed His messianic ministry were not those who skipped morning devotions or Sunday church. His ministry was to those whom society considered real sinners. They had done nothing to merit salvation. Yet they opened themselves to the gift that was offered them. On the other hand, the self-righteous placed their trust in the works of the Law and closed their hearts to the message of grace.”

Brennan Manning  

918-7“Immanuel, God with us-that He would leave the spiritual realm and be present in the flesh and blood in such an act of humility is a staggering notion. As it is, He willingly gave His blood, in the flesh, so that others might find life, for it is written: “He did not come by water only, but by blood,” and “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission.” Now blood is required to give new life to the dead. 

I tell you, He did not give only a small amount to satisfy this requirement. He was beaten and crushed and pierced until that blood flowed like a river for the sake of love. It was for love, not religion, that He died. 

There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins. And those plunged beneath that watery grave to drink of His blood will never be the same.”

Ted Dekker

918-8“He has a plan for everybody here and it’s all a matter of whether you answer it when He calls you.”

Lacey Mosley

  

918-9“For me the most radical demand of Christian faith lies in summoning the courage to say yes to the present risenness of Jesus Christ.”

Brennan Manning

 

 

918-10“As for those who state that it is thanks to a woman, the lady Eve, that man was expelled from paradise, my answer to them would be that man has gained far more through Mary than he ever lost through Eve.”

Christine de Piza

This is the last chapter of Galatians; tomorrow we’ll start with… 


This is the last chapter of Galatians; tomorrow we’ll start with…

Galatians 6
Fulfilling the Law of Christ

1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.918-a

2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.

4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.

5 For every man shall bear his own burden.

918-b“Bear his own burden” –the “For” at the beginning of the verse connects it with v. 4.  Each of us is responsible before God.  The reference may be to the future judgment (the verb is in the future tense), when every person will give an account to God.

6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.

7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.918-c

10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

11 Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand.

“Large a letter” – may have been for emphasis or as some have suggested, because he had poor eyesight.

“With mine own hand” – the letter up to this point had probably been dictated to a scribe, after which Paul took the pen in his own hand and finished the letter.

12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.918-d

13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.

14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

“New creature” – in Christ man undergoes a transformation that results in an entirely new being.  Creation again takes place (see 2 Cor 5:17).

16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.918-e

17 From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.

“Marks” – in ancient times the Greek word was used of the brand-marks that identified slaves or animals.  Paul’s suffering (stoning, beatings, and illness) marked him as a “servant of Christ.”

18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

Written to the Galatians written from Rome.


…Book of Ephesians.


Magic in the Greco-Roman World and Galatians 5 – Liberty Threatened by Legalism

October 19, 2014

The words in Black and Maroon is the text from historical/archaeological facts or the numbered scriptures from the Bible.  
Words in Blue are God – Red is Jesus – Green is Jerry.
Jerry is not a scholar, but a very curious 12 year old boy who loves Jesus and likes to research.
If you have any questions you would like to be answered privately or any subject you would like posted please contact me here.

Magic in the Greco-Roman World

Various types of magical practice flourished in the Greco-Roman world. Spells, charms, amulets, potions and even voodoo-type dolls were used to procure the favor of supernatural powers.

Real lector priests performed magical rituals to protect their king, and to help the dead to rebirth.  By the first millennium B.C., their role seems to have been taken over by magicians (hekau).  Healing magic was a specialty of the priests who served Sekhmet, the fearsome goddess of plague.

Real lector priests performed magical rituals to protect their king, and to help the dead to rebirth.
By the first millennium B.C., their role seems to have been taken over by magicians (hekau).
Healing magic was a specialty of the priests who served Sekhmet, the fearsome goddess of plague.

The borders of magic were fluid; some “magical potions” may have been legitimate attempts at pharmacology, while certain “magical spells” had a strong component of prayer and worship.

Nonetheless, the idea of magic as manipulating supernatural beings for one’s personal benefit still accurately represents this underground spirituality.

Various substances—anything from bits of the hair of a desired lover to baboon dung or drowned field mice—were employed in spells.

These substances, combined with the “right” ritual practices and the proper magic words, supposedly guaranteed the compliance of the deity who was to accomplish the task.

The words might be nonsense syllables or secret names of the gods. It was not unusual for such spells to end with an abrupt command such as “Quick! Quick! Do it! Do it!”

While practitioners commonly called upon evil spirits of the underworld to do their bidding, any divinity was likely to be invoked.

Some magicians even attempted to manipulate the God of Israel. Indeed, he is invoked frequently in the magical papyri, generally under the name”lao,”a possible pronunciation of the name Yahweh by 1st century Christians.



Father, I just can’t understand how people can be so stupid not to accept Jesus.  

When He was on earth the people saw all the things He was able to do through You and each thing He did, from feeding the 5,000 to healing the cripple to giving sight to the blind along for other things was always for their benefit.

The Devil Has Many Faces A likeness has been noticed between Moroccan actor Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni, who plays the Devil in the program 'The Bible', and U.S. President Barack Obama. I'm not claiming Obama is the devil.  The devil is intelligent and far from a puppet.

The Devil Has Many Faces
A likeness has been noticed between Moroccan actor Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni, who plays the Devil in the program ‘The Bible’, and U.S. President Barack Obama.
I’m not claiming Obama is the devil. The devil is intelligent and far from a puppet.

But when they see someone else managing to fool them through trickery or the devil’s evil power they disregard Jesus and claim that He is of the devil.  

Now days they aren’t called magicians, but politicians.

Yet, there are some people that say great things about Jesus, tomorrow we’ll look at… 

Galatians 5
Liberty Threatened by Legalism

1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

“Made us free” – the freedom spoken of here is freedom from the yoke of the law.

“Yoke of bondage” – the burden of the rigorous demands of the law as the means for gaining God’s favor – an intolerable burden for sinful man.

Ivory Wands Metal wands representing the snake goddess Great of Magic were carried by some practitioners of magic.  Semi-circular ivory wands - decorated with fearsome deities - were used in the second millennium B.C.  The wands were symbols of the authority of the magician to summon powerful beings, and to make them obey him or her.

Ivory Wands
Metal wands representing the snake goddess Great of Magic were carried by some practitioners of magic.
Semi-circular ivory wands – decorated with fearsome deities – were used in the second millennium B.C.
The wands were symbols of the authority of the magician to summon powerful beings, and to make them obey him or her.

2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.

3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

“Debtor to do the whole law” – the Old Testament law is a unit; submission to it cannot be selective (see Jas 2:10).

4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

“Fallen from grace” – placed yourself outside the scope of divine favor because gaining God’s favor by observing the law and receiving it by grace are mutually exclusive.

5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

“Faith which worketh by love” – Faith is not mere intellectual assent but a living trust in God’s grace that expresses itself in acts of love.

7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?”

Angry deities, jealous ghosts, and foreign demons and sorcerers were thought to cause misfortunes such as illness, accidents, poverty and infertility.  Magic provided a defense system against these ills for individuals throughout their lives.

Angry deities, jealous ghosts, and foreign demons and sorcerers were thought to cause misfortunes such as illness, accidents, poverty and infertility.
Magic provided a defense system against these ills for individuals throughout their lives.

Ye did run well” – before the Judaizers hindered them.  Paul was fond of depicting the Christian life as a race.

8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.

“Persuasian” – by the Judaizers.

9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.

A proverb used here to stress the pervasive effect of Judaism. When the word “leaven” in the Bible is used a as symbol, it indicates evil or false teaching, except in Matt 13:33.

10 I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.

11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? Then is the offence of the cross ceased.

12 I would they were even cut off which trouble you.

“Were even cut off” – the Greek word can also mean “to castrate.”  The Galatians would be better off if these Judaizers who are preaching circumcision were themselves “cut off.”

In Phil 3:2 Paul uses a related word to describe the same sort of people as “the false circumcision.”  His sarcasm is evident.

Horus A type of magical stela known as a cippus always shows the infant god Horus overcoming dangerous animals and reptiles.  Some have inscriptions describing how Horus was poisoned by his enemies, and how Isis, his mother, pleaded for her son's life, until the sun god Ra sent Thoth to cure him.

Horus
A type of magical stela known as a cippus always shows the infant god Horus overcoming dangerous animals and reptiles.
Some have inscriptions describing how Horus was poisoned by his enemies, and how Isis, his mother, pleaded for her son’s life, until the sun god Ra sent Thoth to cure him.

13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

“Use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh” – see Rom 6:1; 1 Pet 2:16.  LIberty is not license but freedom to serve God and each otehr in love.

14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

“All the law is fulfilled” – doing to others what you would have them do to you expresses the spirit and intention of “the law and the prophets” (Matt 7:12; cf. Mk 12:31).

15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

“Bite and devour one another” – opposite vv. 13-14.  Seeking to attain status with God and man by mere observance of law breeds a self-righteous, critical spirit.

16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

“Walk” – present tense – “go on living” (used of habitual conduct).  Living by the promptings and power of the Spirit is the key to conquering sinful desires.

17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

“Not under the law” – not under the bondage of trying to please God by minute observance of the law for salvation or sanctification.917-g

Or in other words if you walk with Jesus and sin your punishment/chastisement (Heb 12:3-11) will not be under due to the Mosaic law, but done so through God’s grace.

19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Ancient Egypt Magic and Corruption The gods themselves used magic and charms against one another. The literature of Egypt is full of magicians of wizards who dry up lakes with a word, or cause severed limbs to jump back into place, or raise the dead. The king had magicians to help or guide him; and he himself was believed to have a magical power to make the rain fall, or the river rise. Life was full of talismans, spells, divinations; every door had to have a god to frighten away evil spirits or fortuitous strokes of bad luck. Children born on the twenty-third of the month of Thoth would surely die soon; those born on the twentieth of Choiakh would go blind.

Ancient Egypt Magic and Corruption
The gods themselves used magic and charms against one another.
The literature of Egypt is full of magicians of wizards who dry up lakes with a word, or cause severed limbs to jump back into place, or raise the dead.
The king had magicians to help or guide him; and he himself was believed to have a magical power to make the rain fall, or the river rise.
Life was full of talismans, spells, divinations; every door had to have a god to frighten away evil spirits or fortuitous strokes of bad luck.
Children born on the twenty-third of the month of Thoth would surely die soon; those born on the twentieth of Choiakh would go blind.

23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

“Walk in” – a military term meaning “keep in step with,” or “walk in the line with.”  A different Greek word for “walk” was used in v. 16, meaning “live,” involving one’s conduct.

26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.


…ten (41-50) more quotes about Jesus.


The Gods of the Greeks and Romans and Galatians 4 – Do Not Return to Bondage

October 18, 2014

The words in Black and Maroon is the text from historical/archaeological facts or the numbered scriptures from the Bible.  
Words in Blue are God – Red is Jesus – Green is Jerry.
Jerry is not a scholar, but a very curious 12 year old boy who loves Jesus and likes to research.
If you have any questions you would like to be answered privately or any subject you would like posted please contact me here.

The Gods of the Greeks and Romans

The “religious marketplace” was extremely crowded during the Hellenistic era.

Zeus was the king of the gods and is often portrayed as being a user and manipulator of humans.  Zeus uses a thunderbolt as a weapon, among other things, and that is faithfully recreated in the "God Of War" games.  You encounter Zeus in each game, often in different forms, and he ends up being the main antagonist of the series.

Zeus was the king of the gods and is often portrayed as being a user and manipulator of humans.
Zeus uses a thunderbolt as a weapon, among other things, and that is faithfully recreated in the “God Of War” games.
You encounter Zeus in each game, often in different forms, and he ends up being the main antagonist of the series.

The Olympian deities (and their Roman equivalents) still held a place in popular religion: mighty Zeus and his consort Hera, warlike Ares, erotic Aphrodite, prophetic Apollo, the virgin warrior Athena, Artemis the huntress, Hermes the messenger of the gods, Hephaestus the smith, Poseidon of the sea, Demeter of the field and Hestia of the hearth.

Pluto, the grim god of the underworld, was not always listed among the “Twelve” but retained a significant place in religious thinking.

While these deities were certainly reverenced, they were seldom seen as admirable characters. To the contrary, myths described them as violent and lustful, as well as capricious and conniving in their dealings with humans and with one another (as is seen in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey and in Ovid’s Metamorphoses).

It is not surprising, then, that these deities and their stories were later sanitized by the philosophers. In some systems, for example, Zeus was equated with the organizing principle of the universe (examples are Cleanthes’ Hymn to Zeus and Aratus’s Phaenomena).

This transformation of the idea of Zeus was so thorough that Jews and Christians could sometimes make use of material related to Zeus in their apologetic teaching in the Hellenistic world (as in Paul’s reference to a poem by the stoic Aratus in Acts 17).

Foreign cults also proliferated in Greece and Rome during the Hellenistic age. The worship of the god Sarapis was particularly popular, even though it appears that he was invented as late as the 3rd century B.C.,drawing together characteristics from various Greek and Egyptian deities.

Hera is the wife and one of three sisters of Zeus in the Olympian pantheon of Greek mythology and religion.  Her chief function was as the goddess of women and marriage.  Her counterpart in the religion of ancient Rome was Juno. The cow, lion and the peacock were considered sacred to her.  Hera's mother is Rhea and her father Cronus.

Hera is the wife and one of three sisters of Zeus in the Olympian pantheon of Greek mythology and religion.
Her chief function was as the goddess of women and marriage.
Her counterpart in the religion of ancient Rome was Juno.
The cow, lion and the peacock were considered sacred to her.
Hera’s mother is Rhea and her father Cronus.

Widespread stories of his offering help to his followers (deliverance from shipwreck, healing, etc.) compensated for his lack of a long history, Isis and Osiris, other Egyptian dieties, were also popular objects of worship.

In addition to these major deities, there remained a host of local spirits and gods that attracted veneration throughout the empire.

Household gods, preserving hearth and home, were especially popular among the Romans Naiads were described as water-nymphs associated with fountains, just as Dryads were associated with trees and Nereids with the sea.

Various spirits connected with the earth were thought to bring fertility to crops, as well as to be associated with death and the underworld.

The terrifying goddess Hekatewas particularly prominent and was frequently invoked in magic spells.

Finally, heroes from the past, most notably Hercules, were thought to aid people in distress and sometimes to serve as spiritual mentors.


As stated in the above article, magic spells were related to the false Roman and Greek gods, so tomorrow we’ll look at… 

Galatians 4
Do Not Return to Bondage

1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;

Facade of Nereid Monument  The Nereid Monument is a sculptured tomb from Xanthos in classical period Lycia, close to present-day Kinik in Antalya Province, Turkey.  It took the form of a Greek temple on top of a base decorated with sculpted friezes, and is thought to have been built in the early fourth century B.C. as a tomb for Arbinas , the Xanthian dynast who ruled western Lycia. The tomb is thought to have stood until the Byzantine era before falling into ruin.  The ruins were rediscovered by British traveler Charles Fellows in the early 1840s.  Fellows had them shipped to the British Museum: there some of them have been reconstructed to show what the East facade of the monument would have looked like.

Facade of Nereid Monument
The Nereid Monument is a sculptured tomb from Xanthos in classical period Lycia, close to present-day Kinik in Antalya Province, Turkey.
It took the form of a Greek temple on top of a base decorated with sculpted friezes, and is thought to have been built in the early fourth century B.C. as a tomb for Arbinas , the Xanthian dynast who ruled western Lycia.
The tomb is thought to have stood until the Byzantine era before falling into ruin.
The ruins were rediscovered by British traveler Charles Fellows in the early 1840s.
Fellows had them shipped to the British Museum: there some of them have been reconstructed to show what the East facade of the monument would have looked like.

2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.

3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:

4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

“Fulness of the time was come” – the time “appointed” by God for His children to become adult sons and heirs.

“God sent forth His Son” – see Jn 1:14, 3:16; Rom 1:1-6; 1 Jn 4:14.

“Made of a woman” – showing that Christ was truly human.

“Made under the law” – subject to the Jewish law.

5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

“The adoption of sons” – with the full rights of sons.  See Rom 8:15, where the “spirit of adoption” is contrasted with the “spirit of bondage”. 

God takes into His family as fully recognized sons and heirs both Jews that believe (those who had been under the law) and Gentiles who believe in Christ.

6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

8 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.

A young warrior dies. Block from the greater podium frieze. The upper, shallower frieze on the podium also consisted of 22 blocks, and three have been lost.  Each of the four sides of this frieze represents the siege of a city. The cities are portrayed with characteristic Lycian merlons, and the frieze is thought to represent Arbinas's conquest of Lycian cities so as to ensure his succession to the leadership. Arbinas is represented in various ways, including sitting in Persian style, shaded with a parasol, and with his feet supported off the ground by a footstool. There is also variety in the soldiers, including heavily armed hoplites and archers, and there are prisoners being led away, and besiegers scaling city walls with ladders.

A young warrior dies. Block from the greater podium frieze.
The upper, shallower frieze on the podium also consisted of 22 blocks, and three have been lost.
Each of the four sides of this frieze represents the siege of a city. The cities are portrayed with characteristic Lycian merlons, and the frieze is thought to represent Arbinas’s conquest of Lycian cities so as to ensure his succession to the leadership.
Arbinas is represented in various ways, including sitting in Persian style, shaded with a parasol, and with his feet supported off the ground by a footstool.
There is also variety in the soldiers, including heavily armed hoplites and archers, and there are prisoners being led away, and besiegers scaling city walls with ladders.

9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.

11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain.

12 Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all.

13 Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first.

14 And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.

“Received me” – Paul implies that under the influence of Judaizers they have changed their attitude toward him.

15 Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? For I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.

16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

17 They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them.

18 But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.

Arbinas, in Persian dress, receives emissaries. Scene from the upper podium frieze. The frieze on the architrave on top of the columns is carved in a simpler, more naive style than the podium friezes.  It again portrays scenes of combat, but also a boar hunt, figures bearing offerings, and preparations for a banquet.

Arbinas, in Persian dress, receives emissaries. Scene from the upper podium frieze.
The frieze on the architrave on top of the columns is carved in a simpler, more naive style than the podium friezes.
It again portrays scenes of combat, but also a boar hunt, figures bearing offerings, and preparations for a banquet.

19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,

20 I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.

21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?

22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.

“Two sons” – Ishmael was born to the slave woman, Hagar (Gen 16:1-16), and Isaac to his wife Sarah (Gen 21:2-5).

23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.

24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.

25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

“Answereth to Jerusalem which now is” – Jerusalem can be equated with Mount Sinai because it represents the center of Judaism, which is still under bondage to the law issued at Mount Sinai.

26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

One of the nereids. The monument is now named after the life-size female figures in wind-blown drapery. Eleven survive, which would have been enough to fill the spaces between columns on the east and west sides, and the three on the north.  Jenkins speculates that there might never have been figures on the south side. They are identified as sea-nymphs because various sculpted sea creatures were found under the feet of seven of them, including dolphins, a cuttlefish, and a bird that may be a sea-gull.  They have generally been called Nereids, though Thurstan Robinson argues that this is imposing a Greek perspective on Lycian sculptures, and that they should rather be seen as eliyãna, Lycian water-nymphs associated with fresh-water sources and referenced on the Letoon trilingual inscription, which was discovered a few kilometres to the south of the site of the monument.

One of the nereids.
The monument is now named after the life-size female figures in wind-blown drapery.
Eleven survive, which would have been enough to fill the spaces between columns on the east and west sides, and the three on the north.
Jenkins speculates that there might never have been figures on the south side. They are identified as sea-nymphs because various sculpted sea creatures were found under the feet of seven of them, including dolphins, a cuttlefish, and a bird that may be a sea-gull.
They have generally been called Nereids, though Thurstan Robinson argues that this is imposing a Greek perspective on Lycian sculptures, and that they should rather be seen as eliyãna, Lycian water-nymphs associated with fresh-water sources and referenced on the Letoon trilingual inscription, which was discovered a few kilometres to the south of the site of the monument.

“Jerusalem which is above” – Rabbinical teaching held that the Jerusalem above was the heavenly archetype that in the Messianic period would be let down to earth (cf. Rev 21:2).

Here it refers to the heavenly city of God, in which Christ reigns and of which Christians are citizens, in contrast to the “Jerusalem which now is.”

27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath a husband.

Paul applies Israel’s joyful promise to exiled Jerusalem (in her exile “barren” of children) to the ingathering of believers through the gospel, by which “Jerusalem’s” children have become many.

28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.

29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.

30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.

“Cast out the bondwoman” – Sarah’s words in Gen 21:10 were used by Paul as the Scriptural basis for teaching the Galatians to put the Judaizers out of the church.

31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

“We are not children of the bondwoman” – the believer is not enslaved to the law but is a child of Promise and lives by faith.


…magic in the Greco-Roman World.


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