Like apples of gold in settings of silver Is a word spoken in right circumstances. Proverbs 25:11
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Earth-Dwellers. Literally, "those who dwell on the earth" as found in the Book of Revelation. This term seems to be a code phrase identifying unbelievers who live upon the earth during the Tribulation. These are people who are not believers in Jesus Christ and, presumably will never become believers. They identify with the Beast who comes out of the Abyss, take his identifying mark, and worship him. They abhor God's people and God's prophets.
Here are the statements about the Earth-Dwellers in the Book of Revelation: (1) The hour of testing will come upon the whole world to test those who dwell on the earth (Rev. 3:10). According to this Scripture, Church-Age believers will be exempted from this hour of testing because they will have already been raptured to heaven. (2) People up in heaven who have been martyred during the Tribulation will plead for vengeance and judgment on those who dwell upon the earth and have shed their blood (Rev. 6:9, 10). (3) An eagle flying in midheaven shouted, "Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound" (Rev. 8:13). (4) When the two witnesses are finally killed by the Beast, those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate. They will exchange gifts with one another because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth (Rev. 11:10). (5) All who dwell on the earth will worship the Beast – everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the slain Lamb's Book of Life (Rev. 13:8). (6) He (the False Prophet) exercises all the authority of the first Beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first Beast, whose fatal wound was healed. (Rev. 13:12). (7) And he [the False Prophet] deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the miraculous signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the Beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the Beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life (Rev. 13:14). (8) An angel showed John the judgment of the Great Prostitute "who sits on many waters, (Rev. 17:1) with whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality" (Rev. 17:2). (9) "The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the Abyss and go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come" (Rev. 17:8) (emphases mine).
Ecclesiology. The study of the Church. The word "Ecclesiology" comes from two Greek words, ekklēsía (1577), meaning an "assembly of called out ones," usually translated in English, "church"; and lógos (3056), "word" or "message" or "study" about something. Ecclesiology is a division of Theology that includes such topics as a Definition of the Church, the Purpose or Mission of the Church (Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 1:8), the Distinction between a Local Church and the Universal Church, Leadership and Governance in the Church, the Ordinances of the Church (Baptism and Communion), and the Church Age (Dispensation of Grace / Church). Important subtopics include Giftedness in the Church (Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12:1-14:40), and whether such gifts as Apostleship and Prophecy still exist today. Is there such a thing as Apostolic Succession? (The study of Spiritual Gifts more properly relates to Pneumatology, the Study of the Holy Spirit. However, there is an overlap between spiritual gifts bestowed by the Holy Spirit and ministry in the local Church.) For more articles on the topic "Church" see WordExplain's division of Theology entitled "Ecclesiology." See also the off-site article, "What is Ecclesiology?"
Eden. The site of the Garden in which God first situated man in the pristine earth. The first reference to both Eden and the garden in it is found in Gen. 2:8. Eden is ‘êden (5731), and means "delight," "pleasure," or perhaps "place of abundant waters." A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden there. It was a river the likes of which we have no modern day parallel, for this river divided into four rivers – the Pishon, the Gihon, the Tigris, and the Euphrates (Gen. 2:10, 11, 13, 14). We have little idea of the location of the first two in that pre-Flood earth, although the Pishon was associated with the land of Havilah (Gen. 2:11), and the Gihon with the land of Cush (Gen. 2:13). The latter two surviving rivers presently border the land of Mesopotamia (Assyria, Gen. 2:14, modern day eastern Syria and Iraq) before they merge and flow into the Persian Gulf. About all we can say of the pre-Flood Eden is that it was probably situated somewhere in the Middle East. As we have stated, there was a garden associated with Eden (Gen. 2:8, 10, 15; 3:23), from which fallen man was banished (Gen. 3:24). Thereafter, Cain, who murdered his brother, went out from the presence of the LORD and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden (Gen. 4:16). Evidently, the anointed cherub, who later rebelled against God and degenerated into Satan, was once situated in Eden, the garden of God (Ezek. 28:13). In the Millennial kingdom God will make the desolate land of Israel like the Garden of Eden (Isa. 51:3; Ezek. 36:35).
Edom. The land that lies at the SE corner of the Dead Sea. Edom ('ĕdôm, 123) means "red." Esau came forth from the womb "red" ('aḏmōnî, 132) (Gen. 25:25), lexically closely related to the name Edom, Esau's nickname (Gen. 25:30). Esau moved to the land of Seir, which became the country of Edom (Gen. 32:3; 36:8). Idumea is a later name for Edom. Today the land of Edom is a portion of the modern day country of Jordan. The Edomites throughout their history have been antagonistic toward Israel. The same is true with the modern country of Jordan toward Israel. The Book of Obadiah expresses God's judgment upon Edom and the eventual triumph of Israel over Edom. See the author's "Analysis of Obadiah: The Downfall of Edom."
Eisegesis. Reading a meaning into the text of Scripture that is foreign to it in its context, or to the broader context of Scripture. The term is coined from the opposite of the Greek verb exêgeomai (1834), which means to "explain." We derive our transliterated English verb or adjective exegete or the noun exegesis from exêgeomai, used, for example, in John 1:18. The Greek prefix "ex" means "out of," while the Greek prefix "eis" means "into." Thus eisegesis refers to "explaining" a foreign meaning "into" the text of Scripture. Nondispensationalists, for example, are guilty of eisegesis, I believe, when they insist that the "land of Canaan" promises God made to the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are fulfilled in the Church's inheritance of the New Earth and New Jerusalem.
Elder. A leader of Israel in the Old Testament; a leader of a local church in the New Testament. In the OT elders represented the nation (Ex. 3:15-18) and individual cities (Ruth 4:1-11). In the NT, elders were appointed in fledgling churches (Acts 14:23; Tit. 1:5). The primary task of a NT elder is to shepherd the flock, or local church (Acts 20:28). Shepherding God’s flock involves guarding (Acts 20:28-31), feeding (John 21:15-17), and guiding (Rev. 7:16-17). Elders’ qualifications are listed in 1 Tim. 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. Elders’ motivation and style are described in 1 Peter 5:1-4. The NT word for elder is presbuteros (from whence comes the Presbyterian Church); the word describing the job description of elders is episkopos, bishop, which means overseer. The Episcopalian Church derives its name from this word. There are only two offices in the New Testament church, that of elder and that of deacon. See Bishop. See Biblical Eldership.
The verb "to choose" is eklegomai, (1586), the noun "chosen one(s)" or "choice" is eklogê (1589). NT examples of God or Christ choosing (verbal form, eklegomai, 1586), people for service include Luke 6:13; John 6:70; 13:18; 15:16; Acts 1:2; 15:7. NT examples of God or Christ choosing (verbal form) people for salvation include Mark 13:20; John 15:19; Eph. 1:4; James 2:5. God's choosing of the patriarchs of Israel can be seen in Acts 13:17.
Examples of those who are the "chosen one(s)" or of God's "choice" (the noun, eklogê 1589) include Saul for service (Acts 9:15), of God's choice of Jacob over Esau (Rom. 9:11); of God's choice of certain Israelis for salvation (Rom. 11:5, 17); of God's choice of the nation of Israel (Rom. 11:28); of God's choice of NT believers for salvation (1 Thess. 1:4; 2 Pet. 1:10).
The Old Testament is replete with examples of God’s choices. God chose Abraham (Gen. 12:1-7), Isaac (Gen. 17:18-21), Jacob (Gen. 25:21-23), and the nation of Israel as a whole (Ex. 19:1-6; Deut. 7:1-8). God chose Moses as deliverer and prophet (Ex. 3:1-4:31), Gideon as deliverer and judge (Judges 6:1-24), David as a king (1 Sam. 16:1-14), and Jeremiah as a prophet (Jer. 1:1-10).
In the New Testament, Jesus chose Saul (later called Paul) to bear His name before Gentiles, kings, and the sons of Israel (Acts 9:1-16). Furthermore, there are New Testament Scriptures which reveal that God has chosen some to salvation (Eph. 1:4; 2 Thess. 2:13; Tit. 1:1). It cannot be argued that God is unfair in choosing. If God were merely fair, all would be eternally damned. God has the right to be more than fair, generous, or merciful, with whomever He desires (Matt. 20:1-16; Rom. 9:6-18), and as Creator, He has the right to do whatever He wishes with His creatures (Rom. 9:19-21). Election does not violate man’s freedom to choose (Rev. 22:17). Frankly, however, inasmuch as fallen man is dead in his sins, hopelessly influenced by the ungodly world, manipulated by Satan, and strangled by the lusts of his own flesh, his freedom to choose God has been utterly compromised (Eph. 2:1-3). He is a slave to sin and inimical to God. As such, he does that which he wishes to do. Unless God works in the heart of a human, none will ever wish to choose Him (Rom. 3:9-20). So if any are to be saved, God must choose them. God’s choice is not based upon man’s merit, for as a sinner estranged from God, he has none. God’s choice is solely gracious, and for that He is to be praised (Rom. 9:11; Eph. 2:8-10). In today's America, for example, there is an ongoing battle over what constitutes fairness. Political Conservatives believe that fairness means providing equal opportunity, while political Progressives believe fairness means providing equal outcomes, at least up to a point. Let us not be guilty of imposing human "feel-good" definitions of fairness on God. God clearly issues an invitation, and thus the opportunity to all to be saved, but He imposes His invitation on no one. Every man does that which he wishes to do (Mark 10:17-23). But men are so trapped and deadened by sin that unless God chooses some, none will ever be saved. Those who have been elected, or chosen by God are calledFor a fuller discussion of these matters, see God's Part in Salvation - Election.
Elohim. The more or less generic name for
God, probably with the meaning "Strong One." The name 'ĕlôhı̂ym (430)
consistently appears in the plural. Most theologians write off the
plural as a "plural of majesty." I disagree. Its plurality reflects
that God is a most complex being: He consists of a plurality of three persons,
but together they constitute a unity (Deut. 6:4).God's special name in
relation to Israel is Yahweh,
revealed to Moses at his call at or near Mt. Sinai (Ex. 3:1-4:17).
Occasionally the name Elohim refers to human rulers and judges (Psa.
82:6; John 10:34). Sometimes it refers to false gods (Deut. 4:28; 1
Enthronement Psalms. These are psalms which celebrate God reigning as the greatest King. Eschatologically, they anticipate the return of Jesus Christ to reign over the earth in righteousness and equity in His Millennial Kingdom. Ultimately they anticipate the Co-Regency of God and Christ from New Jerusalem over the New Earth in a pristine New Universe in which only righteousness exists. Enthronement psalms include Psalm 47; 93; 95-99.
Entitlement Mentality. The frame of mind that one is entitled to possess certain things that popular culture has deemed necessary. In a political sense this mentality has asserted itself in the economic theory of Socialism. The United States was founded on a platform of hard work, earning one's own way in life, and submission to a Sovereign God. The Achilles' Heel of Americanism has been that Americans might forget God, and might vote for politicians who would give them not what was best for the country, but best for them personally. It has been a gradual journey, but when a graduated income tax was instituted by Congress in 1913, America had, perhaps unwittingly, taken a giant step towards Marxism. It was Karl Marx, after all, who promoted the mantra, "From each according to his ability; to each according to his need." This utopian dream has never worked out well over a long period of team. In America, too many Americans now believe that they should vote for politicians who will give them benefits out of the public treasury. It was Margaret Thatcher who astutelly proclaimed, "The trouble with socialism is that after a time the government runs out of other peoples' money." The point of this brief essay is that Americans increasingly have an entitlement mentality. They think they are entitled to x, y, and z. This shows itself clearly in laws that are prefixed with the word, "Title," as in Title XIX (Grants to States for Medical Assistance). The word "Title" is short for the more transparent word, "Entitlement."
theological level, there are some Christians who have developed an
Entitlement Mentality. In this context, many Americans flock to
preachers who preach a Prosperity
that Christians are entitled to Health and to Wealth. That is a
confusion of God's plan for Israeli believers, descendants of Abraham,
Isaac, and Jacob, with God's plan for Christian believers, wherein
blessings are cited as being spiritual blessings (Eph. 1:3). God did,
indeed, promise material blessings to the early patriarchs of Israel.
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob prospered economically and materially as part
of God's blessing on their lives (Gen. 12:1-3; 24:34-35; 26:12-14;
30:43). And God extended that promise of physical and material
prosperity to the people of Israel as long as they obeyed Him (Deut.
28:1-14; compare Deut. 28:15-68). But God has made no such promises to
the Church. Jesus has promised us, in this world, tribulation (John
16:33), but we are to be cheerful, and peaceful, for He has conquered
the world. See also the Glossary entry, "Health
and Wealth Gospel."
The elder twin son of Jacob and Rebekah. When
her sons were in her womb, Rebekah
felt such violence that she prayed to God for an explanation. He told
her that two nations were within her and that the elder would serve the
younger (Gen. 25:22-23). Esau came forth from the womb red (Gen.
25:25), and his nickname, Edom, the territory where he eventually
settled, means "red" (Gen. 25:30). Esau did not have a heart for
Godly values. He sold his birthright to his cunning brother Jacob
for some tasty stew (Gen. 25:29-34; Heb. 12:16-17), and he married
Godless Hittite women (Gen. 27:46-28:1-2). We read of God's election of
over Esau mirrored by the phrase, "Jacob
have I loved, but Esau I have hated (Mal. 1:2-3; Rom. 9:13). Esau
became identified with Edom (Gen. 32:3; 36:1, 8, 9), encompassed within
the modern nation of Jordan. The Edomites throughout their history have
been antagonistic toward Israel.
The same is true with the modern country of Jordan and Israel.
The Book of Obadiah
expresses God's judgment upon Edom and the eventual triumph of Israel
over Edom. See the author's "Analysis of
Obadiah: The Downfall of Edom."
Eschatological. Descriptive of that which has to do with last things or end-times yet to come. When I say that an event is eschatological, I mean that it has to do with the Rapture, or the Tribulation, or Christ’s Second Coming, or His Millennial Kingdom, or the Final Revolt, or the Destruction of the Existing Universe, or the Great White Throne Judgment, or Eternity in the New Jerusalem and on New Earth, or a combination of any or all of those events. But a great many scholars who hold to a nonliteral hermeneutic tend to dump all those ingredients into one big kettle that all comes to pass, in their view, at about the same time, and they label it "eschatological." What they mix up (the pun is deliberate) turns out to be a singular, amorphous, bland eschatological stew. For example, a great many of them do not recognize the existence of a literal 1000-year reign of Christ here upon earth because they don't take prophecy literally. Many of them believe we are already in the "nonliteral" (to them) millennium now because, in their view Christ is presently reigning as King up in heaven. (I strongly disagree with them, but that's another story. I believe Christ is presently serving as Priest, not as King. That is a major point of the book of Hebrews. His reign as King awaits His return to earth.) So they tend to mix up all the separate events to which I have referred above into one ill-differentiated, non-literal eschatological stew that will all happen at some nondescript time in the distant future. To illustrate further, passages which to me speak clearly of Christ's Millennial rule here on earth (Isa. 2:1-4; Ezek. 40:1-48:35; Zech. 14:8-11, 16-24) for a thousand years (Rev. 20:1-7) nonliteralists lump together with passages such as Rev. 21:1-22:5 that clearly describe eternity, which the Bible teaches is at least a thousand years after Christ's return to rule the earth. So the reader must distinguish what a particular writer means by the word "eschatological."
Eschatology. The study of last things. Eschatology deals with the prophetic Scriptures. WordExplain adopts a dispensational approach to prophetic Scriptures and holds that Israel has an abiding place in God’s plan for both the present and the future earth. The Church has not replaced Israel in God’s plans, but rather presently occupies God’s program of blessing and evangelism. Israel is currently in a state of temporary blindness (Rom. 11), but that will only last until the times of the Gentiles have been completed (Luke 21:24). The main events of eschatology include the present Church Age, terminated by the Rapture, followed by the Tribulation, Christ’s Second Coming and Millennial Kingdom, the Final Revolt, the Destruction of the Existing Universe, the Great White Throne Judgment, and Eternity in the New Jerusalem and on New Earth.
Eternity. Infinite existence backward and forward in time. Once man comes into existence, he exists forward in time into eternity, either in a state of life or death. For humans death is never cessation of existence, but rather separation from God and, ultimately, from all that is good. Life is union with God, and, because God is good, participation in goodness. God, as an infinite being, has always existed and always will exist. God has existed from eternity past and will exist, unchanged, into eternity future. God is truly eternal, the only One without beginning or ending.
Eternal Kingdom. Technically speaking, the reign of Jesus Christ commencing with His Second Coming in power and extending into eternity, since the angel Gabriel assured Mary her son would sit on "the throne of His father David," "reign over the house of Jacob forever" in a kingdom that would "have no end" (Luke 1:32-33). Practically speaking, however, we define the Eternal Kingdom as that portion of Christ's reign in which He "hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power, having placed "all His enemies under His feet" and having abolished the last enemy, death (1 Cor. 15:24-26).
That is why, from a practical point of view, we must limit the Eternal Kingdom to the co-regency of God and the Son from their single throne in New Jerusalem. Though Jesus begins His Millennial reign by vanquishing all his human enemies (Zech. 14:1-15; Rev. 19:11-21; Ezek. 20:33-38; Matt. 25:1-46), not all his enemies will be destroyed. His arch enemy, Satan, will be restricted for the thousand year duration of His earthly reign (Rev. 20:1-3), but then he will be released from the abyss. At the conclusion of the Millennium, he will succeed in deceiving incredible numbers of unregenerate humans, who will revolt against the King and His administration. They will be thwarted by fire, which comes down from heaven (Rev. 20:7-9). Satan will be seized and deposited in "the lake of fire and brimstone (Rev. 20:10)," the existing universe will be destroyed (2 Pet. 3:7-12; Rev. 20:11), and the wicked dead of all ages will be judged and deposited into the "lake of fire," which constitutes the Second Death (Rev. 20:11-15).
Then God will create New Heaven and New Earth, a universe in which only righteousness exists (2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1, 8, 27; 22:15). New Jerusalem will descend out of heaven, heretofore, the abode of God. From this point on both God the Father and Christ the Son will dwell with man eternally in New Jerusalem in conjunction with New Earth, inhabited by a multitude of nations, all of whom have 24-hour access to the capital city.
In the Eternal Kingdom, there will no longer be any sea, God will dwell among man. He will wipe away all tears, and He will banish forever death, mourning, and pain (Rev. 21:1-4). The capital city, New Jerusalem, will be the home of both Israel and the Church. It will be a city of prodigious size and breath-taking beauty and glory. "From the single throne of God and of the Lamb" will flow "the river of water of life," and residents of both New Jerusalem and New Earth will have ready access, not only to the fruit of the "tree of life," but also to the energizing benefit of its leaves.
God the Father and Christ the Son will be seated on their throne in a co-regency throughout eternity. His slaves will serve Him (meaning both worship Him and serve Him) in intimate fellowship with Him, and they will reign with Him forever. Evidently there will be work to do on behalf of the King throughout eternity. The word reign, basileuo, is the standard word for a king reigning. There will be no opposition to God and Christ, but there will be administrative requirements in New Jerusalem and on New Earth. Conquest, police action, detection, prosecution, judiciary action, and incarceration, no. Organization and administration, yes.
What a glorious, eternal time of fellowship between God and man and among men, and service on behalf of the King will be the lot of all the redeemed for all ages!
Eternal Life. Eternal life is union with God through Jesus Christ, and since God is good, eternal life is the experience of goodness into infinite time forward. Man, fallen sinner that he is, lives in a state of spiritual death, separated from God, and thus dying physically. If his spiritual death remains unremedied, his decaying physical life will be terminated in physical death. Then his end can only be second death, eternal separation from God in the Lake of Fire and Brimstone. Eternal life can only be obtained through faith in Jesus Christ (John 3:16). Faith in Jesus appropriates for oneself Jesus’ sacrificial death on behalf of sinners. Faith accepts Jesus’ payment, and God acquits or justifies the believing sinner, crediting him with righteousness and eternal life. Eternal life is a present possession of every believer in Jesus. The ultimate end of eternal life is eternal existence in fellowship with God and Jesus in New Jerusalem upon New Earth.
Eternal Security. The position that genuine believers in Jesus Christ are recipients of eternal life -- a condition that, by definition, cannot be terminated. This means that believers, though not perfect, are perfectly forgiven. As heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, they cannot lose their salvation. Salvation is by grace through faith, without any merits on the part of the redeemed. There is nothing we could do to earn our salvation, and there is nothing we can do to keep our salvation. That is God's business. Our eternal salvation depends not upon our faithfulness, for we are not faithful. Rather it depends on God's faithfulness.
There are some passages which, at face value, might be construed as teaching that one can lose his salvation. There are, for example, warning passages in the book of Hebrews. But understood in context, these passages do not teach that one can lose his salvation. The reader is welcome to consider the article, "Does Hebrews 10:26-31 teach that Christians can lose their salvation?" WordExplain answers that question in the negative. There is such a thing as being a carnal or flesly Christian, as distasteful as that may be (1 Cor. 3:1-3). God does discipline His children (Heb. 12:3-13). There is such a thing as Christians who die a physical death because they are so far out of fellowship with God (Acts 5:1-11; 1 Cor. 5:1-5; 11:27-31; 1 John 5:16-17). But even if a Christian builds with wood, hay, and stubble upon the foundation of Christ, and though he loses all for which he has labored and suffers loss, yet he himself will be saved (1 Cor. 3:10-15).
There are many reasons why it is accurate to state that the New Testament teaches that believers in Jesus cannot lose their salvation. Among them are the following:
(1) The nature of eternal life. The New Testament is clear that those who trust in Jesus, the Messiah, are granted eternal life, literally, "life into the ages." If the life we are given is eternal, how can it be terminated? That is a non sequitur. See, for example, John 3:15, 16, 36; 4:14, 36; 5:24; 6:40, 47, 54, 68; 10:28; 17:2-3.
(2) Those who trust in Jesus Christ, being forgiven, are under no condemnation whatever. Since Christ has fully paid the penalty for their sins, they cannot suffer double jeopardy. Jesus has fully paid the penalty for their sins. Their is no further charge against them. They stand uncondemned before God legally. John 3:18; 5:24; Rom. 5:16; 8:1, 33-34.
(3) Jesus declared that His sheep hear His voice, He knows them, and they follow Him. He gives them eternal life. They will never perish, and no one can snatch them out of His hand. Furthermore, Jesus' Father, who gave Him His sheep, is greater than all. Absolutely no one is able to snatch them out of His Father's hand. John 10:26-29.
(4) The Apostle Paul speaks of a group of people in Romans 8:29-30. From start to finish, this is the same group of people. None are added; none are subtracted. This group of people consists of those whom (a) God foreknew as His own from some time in the dateless past. (b) This same group of people God predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son. (c) This same group of people He called. (d) This same group of people God justified. (e) This same group of people God glorified. There is no leakage from this group. I know of no stronger statement anywhere in Scripture of the security of the believer than this passage in Romans.
(5) Nothing in all of creation can separate us from the love of God in Christ (Romans 8:31-39).
(6) The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable (Romans 11:29). God does not choose someone for eternal salvation and then discard them. Whomever God chooses God stands behind. God is not a disloyal God. He is the consummately loyal God to His own. He disciplines His own (Heb. 12:3-13), but He never abandons them.
(7) The permanent presence of the indwelling Spirit. To His followers Jesus revealed that the Helper, or Advocate that the Father would send them would remain with them forever (John 14:16-17). How could that possibly be true if those who believe in Jesus can lose their salvation?
(8) Every believer in Christ has been sealed with the Holy Spirit. That sealing is an inviolable, unbreakable seal. He is God's downpayment, God's guarantee of our inheritance. We are God's possession and He will redeem His possession -- the Holy Spirit is His guarantee that He will do so (Ephesians 1:13-14). We are sealed for the day of our redemption by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30). It is unthinkable that we could lose our salvation, for then God would lose His Spirit with whom He has sealed us.
State. Popularly, heaven
as it exists in eternity. More
accurately, the eternal state consists of New Heaven and
with New Jerusalem
coming down out of heaven to exist as the eternal capital city of
immortal humanity upon New Earth. The Eternal State is
coterminous with the Eternal
Kingdom of God. In this Eternal
Kingdom, God and the Lamb (Jesus Christ) are enthroned as
co-regents in New
(Rev. 22:1, 3). His slaves will serve Him (Rev. 21:3). They will see
His face, and His name (not the mark of the Beast, Rev. 13:16, 17) will
be on their foreheads (Rev. 21:4). There will no longer be any night;
yet there will be no need of the sun or any artificial light, for the
Lord God will illumine them. And they will reign forever and ever.
God's original mandate for man was to rule over the earth and its
animals (Gen. 1:26-28). When man disobeyed God (Gen. 3:1-7), he
forfeited the ability to be a benevolent ruler. He became corrupted
with sin, death, and plagued by the Devil and his sinister influence.
The ground was cursed. Man would eventually die and decay into dust
(Gen. 3:17-19). The original earth and the entire universe had been
infected by sin and had to be destroyed (2 Pet. 3:7, 10-12).
Providentially, God would then create New Heavens
and a New
in which would exist only righteousness and righteous people (2 Pet.
3:13; Rev. 21:1). In this utopian environment, God would come from
heaven to tent with man in New
Jerusalem in connection with New Earth
and live among them (Rev. 21:2-3). There would no longer be any tears,
death, mourning, crying, or pain (Rev. 21:4). Those who conquer will
inherit these things (Rev. 21:7), but evil people will be forever
excluded in the Lake of Fire and Sulfur (Rev. 21:8). The Eternal State
will feature a gigantic and splendid capital city New
Jerusalem, also designated as the bride, the wife of the Lamb (Rev.
21:9). This is in contrast to the abominable Prostitute,
Babylon (Rev. 17:1-18:24). Like Babylon,
Jerusalem consists of a literal city, a political government, and a
religion. Everything about Babylon
will be sordid and temporary. Everything about New
Jerusalem will be beauty, light, truth, and eternity. The featured
city of the Eternal State is New
Jerusalem, the capital city of Israel and
of the Church.
Its twelve gates bear the names of the twelve sons of Israel
(Rev. 21:10-13). Its twelve foundations bear the names of the Twelve Apostles
of the Lamb (Rev. 21:14), representing the Church.
The City is of a prodigious size measuring nearly 1500 miles in length,
width, and height (Rev. 21:15-16). The city is comprised of all manner
of precious minerals and metals, a city of incredible beauty. Even its
foundations are a kaleidoscope of beauty (Rev. 21:17-21). There will be
no temple in this city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb, Jesus,
are its temple (Rev. 21:22). The glory of God and of the Lamb will
illumine the city, and the redeemed Gentile nations of New Earth
will walk and work by the light of the city (Rev. 21:23-24). The
nations and kings of New Earth
will bring their produce and manufactured goods into New
as a way of bringing honor and glory to the Co-Regents and the citizens
of the city (Rev. 21:24-26). The city will never be defiled (Rev.
21:27). The city will be graced with the River of Water of Life and the
Tree of Life (Rev. 22:1-2). There will no longer exist any curse (Rev.
22:3). God's subjects will reign forever and ever. That is the Eternal
State, situated in New
Jerusalem and New Earth,
not in heaven
(Rev. 21:1, 10).
Evolution. The unproven theory, unquestioningly assumed as fact by most in the scientific, academic, and political communities, that all that exists today sprang explosively and thus miraculously by accident from disorganized matter from a point in time about 4.6 billion years ago. Evolution assumes the eternity, or at least the pre-existence of matter, with no real attempts to explain its origin. Evolution as defined here refers to macro evolution on both a cosmic and biological continuum. It refers to the development of solar, astral, and galactic bodies from random chance, as well as the miraculous emergence of life and subsequent transition from one biological specie to another, also by random chance. (Creationists freely admit the existence of micro evolution, development within a specie.) The theory of evolution requires that one believes (the word is deliberately chosen) that order proceeded by accident from disorder, that life proceeded by accident from non-life, that purpose proceeded by accident from meaninglessness, that intelligence proceeded by accident from mindlessness, and that morality proceeded by accident from amorality. Existentialist philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was at least honest about the implications of evolution. If evolution, with its law of the survival of the fittest is true, he maintained, then, hate is the noblest of virtues. The doctrine of evolution assumes (without proof) uniformitarianism, the belief that present geologic processes have always occurred at the same rate of speed. (Creationists believe that special creation followed by catastrophism is a far better explanation of the evidence we see everywhere in the world. Catastrophism is brilliantly illustrated, for example, in the rapid deposition of strata after the eruption of Mount Saint Helens in 1980.) The doctrine of evolution assumes random, yet upward mobility of life forms through the agency of mutations (information accidents), which are assumed to be beneficial. (Have you ever experienced a beneficial accident?) These accidental alterations in information advance life forms through “survival of the fittest” sorted out over vast eons of time. The whole process is said to be illustrated in the fossil record, which starts inexplicably in the “Cambrian explosion” and is astonishingly devoid of transitional life forms, if evolution were actually true. Though most evolutionists would deny it, evolution has become the essential scientific, academic, and political dogma, which to question is just cause for excommunication from public discourse. The theory of macro evolution is inimically opposed to and incompatible with the God who has revealed Himself in the Bible. The earliest evolutionists were at least honest enough to admit that the doctrine was invented in part to obviate any responsibility to a Divine Creator. Modern day evolutionists are not nearly as candid. Evolution, in my mind, is one of the biggest hoaxes ever perpetrated on mankind. The progress of evolution in the United States of America has nurtured a galloping cancer in this country. This once great and noble country is rapidly declining into a lobotomized citizenry who willfully suppress the truth and discard God, in the process reaping His wrathful judgment as outlined in Romans 1:18-32. Yet there is always hope for those who believe the Good News (Romans 1:15-17)! If you are interested in discovering reality from God's point of view and participating in the Good News that a loving God has brought to a world of desperately deluded and depraved humans, read Romans chapters 1-8. Romans 9-11 deals with the question of whether or not a faithful God can permanently set aside His special nation, Israel, even with all her faults. Romans 12-16 outlines practical ways people who have embraced God's Good News are exhorted to live as children of light in a dark and depraved world!
Exegesis. Accurate explanation of any document, but referring specifically to the Scriptures. In John 1:18 we read, “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.” Jesus has accurately explained God. The word explained is the Greek verb exegeomai, from which comes our English noun exegesis. Accurate exegesis of Scripture depends on a literal, grammatical, historical interpretation of the text in a process that accounts for figures of speech. Exegesis is concerned with the intent of the original author of the text. The opposite of exegesis is eisegesis, which means that the reader reads into Scripture a meaning he has superimposed on the text. In eisegesis, a reader can force any meaning he wishes on the text, which results in a misinterpretation. Believers in a fluid or living Constitution, for example, are guilty of eisegesis. They are guilty of subverting the purpose of the document. As serious as that is, they are guilty only of destroying a nation. Those who subvert the intent of the Biblical text are guilty, in many cases, of damning gullible souls to eternal damnation.
Exile. Judah's seventy-year captivity in Babylon. Though there were times when the nation of Israel worshiped God whole-heartedly, there were many lapses into idolatry. After the division of Israel into the Northern and Southern kingdoms as a judgment against Solomon and his late syncretism into idolatry (1 Kings 11:1-43), both kingdoms succumbed to idolatry. The Northern Kingdom, known as Israel, had nineteen kings and all were idolatrous. The Southern Kingdom, Judah, was ruled by twenty kings. Only eight were good kings. The other twelve were evil. Assyria deported the Northern Kingdom into captivity in 722 B.C. There was no return. Because there were some good kings, the deportation of Judah was delayed by many years. Babylon conquered and began deporting Jewish people from Judah in 606, 597, and 586 B.C. The Babylonians destroyed the city of Jerusalem and Solomon's Temple in 586, leaving only a handful of Jewish people in the country. In response to the decree of Persia's King Cyrus in 538 B.C. authorizing a return to their homeland, Zerubbabel led the first contingent of Jewish exiles back to Judah in 536 B.C. (Ezra 1:1-6:22). Ezra led a second wave back in 458 B.C. during the reign of Artaxerxes, a later Persian king (Ezra 7:1-10:44). (See the Outline of the Book of Ezra.) Nehemiah returned in 444 B.C. to rebuild the walls of the city of Jerusalem. This event is described in the book of Nehemiah. (See the Outline of the Book of Nehemiah.)
Ezekiel. One of the "major" writing prophets of the OT who lived in the sixth century B. C. and ministered to the exiles in the land of Chaldea (Babylon). Ezekiel is a prophet and the author of the book that bears his name.
The Prophet. Ezekiel was a prophet who was also a priest (Ezek. 1:3). His name means “God Strengthens” (RSB). He was evidently born about 623 B. C. (Constable). He was born in Judah, but taken captive to Babylon, the land of the Chaldeans, by Nebuchadnezzar in 597 B. C. at the age of 30. The reference to the thirtieth year (Ezek. 1:1) seems to be the thirtieth year of his life. His ministry as recorded in his well-dated book was from 592-570 B.C. (RSB) or possibly from 593-571 B. C. (Constable). Ezekiel lived in his own house in a village near Nippur alongside the River Chebar (Nebuchadnezzar’s royal canal) (Ezek. 3:15, 24). His wife died in 587. (RSB). We do not know when he died.
The Date of the Book. Ezekiel’s prophecy represents “one of the most complete chronological systems in any book of the Old Testament” (Ralph H. Alexander, quoted by Constable). Constable has an excellent table which spells out the various dates of Ezekiel’s prophecies. He states that the first prophecy was given in 593 and the fourteenth and final one was given in 573 B. C.
The Genre of the Book. According to Constable,
Ezekiel contains a combination of several types of literature. These include proverbs, visions, parables, symbolic acts, fables, allegories, quotations, oaths, rhetorical questions, disputation oracles, legal sayings, dreams, dramas, funeral dirges, historical narratives, ritual and priestly regulations, and apocalyptic revelations.
The Theme of the Book. The theme of Ezekiel is “Judgment and Restoration ‘Until All Know I Am Yahweh.’” Judgment is the theme of Ezekiel 1-32. Restoration is the theme of Ezekiel 33-48. An expanding series of brief outlines can be found at Brief Outlines of Ezekiel (10 pages). There is also a lengthier Analysis of Ezekiel (23 pages).
Notable Passages in the Book. Noteworthy passages in Ezekiel include (1) his vision of the four cherubim and the glory of God (Ezek. 1); (2) the commissioning of Ezekiel as a “watchman” to the rebellious sons of Israel (Ezek. 2-3); (3) Ezekiel’s vision of Yahweh’s judgment and desertion of Jerusalem (Ezek. 8-11); (4) the parable of Jerusalem as Yahweh’s bride-turned-prostitute (Ezek. 16); (5) the parable of the two sisters (Ezek. 23); (6) the lamentation over the King of Tyre as representing the original glory of Lucifer and the prideful fall of Satan (Ezek. 28:11-19); (7) the vision of the valley of dry bones – the Resurrection, Restoration, and Regeneration of Israel (Ezek. 37:1-14); (8) the prophecy against the invading Gog of the land of Magog and his allies (Ezek. 38-39); (9) The detailed prophecy of the Millennial Temple filled with the glory of God (Ezek. 40-46); (10) the prophecy of the Millennial Land of Israel (Ezek. 47-48) with its life-giving river (Ezek. 47:1-12); the boundaries of the land (Ezek. 47:13-23); and the division of the land (Ezek. 48).
Stylistic Distinctives of the Book. (1) “The clause ‘you will know that I am the Lord’ occurs about 65 times in Ezekiel, and repeatedly in the oracles about foreign nations (chs. 25-32) (Constable, citing Pearson). (2) Ezekiel writes his tome from an autobiographical perspective. “Almost all of his oracles (except 1:2-3; 24:24) appear in the first person giving the impression that they are memoirs of a true prophet of Yahweh” (Constable). (3) "There are only two voices in Ezekiel's book, the prophet's and God's. Those who consult and oppose Yahweh and Ezekiel never speak. The words of the latter are doubly framed; Ezekiel quotes Yahweh quoting them in refutation” (Constable quoting Jerome Murphy O’Connor). (4) The name by which Yahweh addressed Ezekiel is “Son of Man” (93 times) (Constable).
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Updated August 25, 2021