Temple. The "abode" of God and/or the place where God is worshiped. Several temples are to be identified in Scripture.
Temple in Heaven. There are, in the Book of Revelation, at least four references to the temple of God in heaven.
Revelation 3:12. "The temple of my God," apparently a reference to the temple up in heaven.
Revelation 11:19. The temple in heaven evidently houses the ark of the covenant.
Revelation 14:15-18. Two angels emerged separately from the temple in heaven, one of them carrying a sickle. A third angel came out from the altar.
Revelation 15:5-8. The temple in heaven contains the "tabernacle of testimony." The temple is customarily closed, but when the occasion arises, it is opened, and angels emerge from it. In this case seven angels who emerge are given seven bowls of the wrath of God to pour out upon the earth during the Tribulation period. On this occasion "the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power; and no one was able to enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished."
Solomon's Temple. The First Temple. The antecedent of Solomon's Temple was the Tabernacle (Tent of Meeting), whose plans were given to Moses by God. King David had it in his heart to build God a permanent dwelling place, but he was prevented from doing so (2 Sam. 7). But he made detailed plans and great preparations for the Temple, commissioning his son Solomon to build it (1 Chron. 22-26). This was a fabulously costly temple, much of it being overlaid with gold (1 Kings 5:1-7:51). The glory of God filled the temple at its dedication (1 Kings 8:10-11). In a vision, Ezekiel saw the glory of God departing from the Temple as God prepared the city and the Temple for devastation because of Judah's idolatry (Ezekiel 10:1-11:25). God judged idolatrous Judah with two invasions by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in 606 and 597 B.C. In a third invasion in 586 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the Temple and burned it with fire (2 Kings 25:1-21; Ezra 5:12). By the end of the third invasion, most Israelis had been deported either to Assyria (722 B.C.) or Babylon.
Second Temple. The Second Temple was rebuilt by Jewish exiles returning to Israel from Babylon and Persia. Reconstruction of the foundation of the Second Temple was begun in 536 B.C., seventy years after the first Jewish exiles were deported to Babylon in 606 B.C. The laying of the foundation is recorded in Ezra 3:7-13. Many years later, King Herod expanded the Temple Mount and took great pains to beautify the Temple. This spectacular edifice was the one that so impressed the disciples (Matt. 24:1). However, Jesus predicted that not one stone would be left upon another (Matt. 24:2). This prophecy was fulfilled when the Roman army destroyed both the city of Jerusalem and the Temple in A.D. 70. This Temple has never been rebuilt, and today the Temple Mount is defiled by the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. No Jewish people are even permitted to pray on their own Temple Mount. This, in part, fulfills Jesus' prediction (Luke 21:24).
Third Temple. This Temple is also to be known as the Tribulation Temple. Both the prophet Daniel and Paul the Apostle predict a third Jewish Temple. It will be defiled by the Antichrist, who will promote himself as being God-come-in-the-flesh. He will also apparently set up an image of himself in the temple, commanding all to worship it on pain of death (Dan. 9:27; 2 Thess. 2:3-4; Rev. 13:11-15). This defilement of the Temple is called the Abomination of Desolation (Dan. 9:27; 11:31; 12:31; Matt. 24:15-16). This temple is yet to be rebuilt. It will exist in and be defiled during the Tribulation period.
Fourth Temple. This Temple is also to be known as Ezekiel's Temple, or the Millennial Temple. The prophet Ezekiel predicted in exhaustive detail a temple that has never been built (Ezek. 40:1-47:2). Amillennial and other non-literal scholars relegate this lengthy text to a metaphorical depiction of Christ, of the Church, and of the eschatological oneness of the people of God in fellowship with God and Christ in eternity. But their arguments are, to me, singularly unpersuasive. Why would God devote such intricate detail if it is merely metaphorical? This temple, it seems most logical to believe, will be built during the Millennial reign of Christ upon earth. The sacrifices offered will be memorial, just as our observance of a portion of the Passover Meal - bread and wine - is today memorial of Christ's death (Luke 22:19; 1 Cor. 11:24-25). See also Millennial Temple.
New Jerusalem. There will be no temple in New Jerusalem, for God and the Lamb are the temple (Rev. 21:22). For this reason it is unlikely that Ezekiel's temple symbolizes conditions existing during the Eternal State.
Textus Receptus. The Greek text of the New Testament as published by Desiderius Erasmus, a 16th century Roman Catholic priest. Textus Receptus (TR) is Latin for "received text," derived from a republication of the text in 1633. The TR performed a marvelous service for the world. It became the dominant edition of the Greek text of the New Testament for the next 350 years. Both the King James and the New King James versions are based on the Textus Receptus.
A brief history of the TR
Hastily assembled, the first edition of the Textus Receptus (TR) was published on March 1, 1516 with a great many errors. Subsequent editions appeared in 1519, 1522, 1527, and 1535. Erasmus used only six manuscripts in his preparation of the TR, most of them late.
Erasmus' first and second editions did not include the "Comma Johanneum," the Trinitarian formula. At 1 John 5:7-8, his early editions read, “there are three witnesses in heaven, the Spirit and the water and the blood." An uproar ensued in Roman Catholic circles because his text did not read, “there are three witnesses in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit,” as did the Latin Vulgate. When asked why he did not include the Trinitarian formula, he replied that he could find no manuscripts that included the text. In 1520 an Oxford scribe created such a manuscript (Codex 61, now preserved in Dublin). Erasmus' third edition contained the Trinitarian formula. To date, only a handful of Greek manuscripts contain the formula, no sure manuscript dating earlier than the sixteenth century. Most textual critics today reject the Comma Johanneum as the insertion of an overzealous scribe.
A challenge to the TR
The Textus Receptus is a narrower stream of the Byzantine or Syrian family of manuscripts. The TR was never seriously challenged for many decades, even though it was based on only a half dozen manuscripts, none earlier than the 12th Century. But something happened that changed scholarly consensus. On May 12, 1881, Brook Foss Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort published The New Testament in the Original Greek. They also published an explanatory volume. They argued that the Greek text behind the KJV New Testament, including the broader Byzantine (Majority) Text itself, was inferior and late. According to Daniel B. Wallace, in The Conspiracy Behind the New Bible Translations, they argued as follows:
1) The Byzantine text (i.e., the group of Greek MSS behind the Textus Receptus) was not quoted by any church father before AD 325, while the Alexandrian text was amply represented before that period.
(2) The Byzantine text was shown to depend on two earlier traditions, the Alexandrian and Western, in several places. The early editors of the Byzantine text combined (or conflated) the wording of the Alexandrian and Western traditions on occasion, while nowhere could it be shown that the Alexandrian combined Western and Byzantine readings or that the Western combined readings of the Alexandrian and Byzantine.
(3) The Byzantine text, upon closer examination, proved to be inferior in its wording, either by not conforming to the author’s wording or moving in a predictable direction (such as by adding clarifying words).
Hence, Wallace concluded,
Thus, with these three arguments, WH [Westcott and Hort] demonstrated that the Byzantine text was late (the patristic argument), secondary (the conflation argument), and inferior (the internal evidence argument). Although some of the particulars of their overall view have been questioned today, most NT scholars find this general scheme to be a compelling argument against Byzantine superiority. Hence, the overthrow of the Textus Receptus.
What was it that convinced the vast majority of NT scholars to give more credence to other textual families and jettison the Majority Text as the most accurate? It was not a conspiracy. It was solid evidence. Westcott and Hort's argument was convincing. In their day there was only one NT papyrus fragment that was known. By now almost a hundred have been found. These antedate the great uncial manuscripts by as much as two hundred years. And not a single one is of the Byzantine text family!
Is the TR infallible?
King James Only advocates (those who portray the KJV as being the only valid translation in the world today) insist that the TR is inerrant and infallible. But that is a dogmatic assertion unproven by the facts. Supporters of the TR argue for its validity in part in that the great bulk of its text falls within the mainstream of the Byzantine Text, the text of the vast majority of extant Greek manuscripts. There are, however, some serious difficulties in attempting to ally the TR with the Majority Text (MT). In the Preface of The New Testament in the Original Greek: Byzantine Textform, 2005, by Maurice A. Robinson and William G. Pierpont [the entire text can be viewed online in .pdf format], the initial footnote appears on p. i:
Early printed Textus Receptus (or "Received Text") editions closely resemble the Byzantine Textform but often diverge from it in significant readings. Such editions primarily derive from the limited selection of a small number of late manuscripts, as utilized by Erasmus, Ximenes, or their immediate historical successors. The overall text of these early printed editions differs from the Byzantine Textform in over 1800 instances, generally due to the inclusion of weakly supported non-Byzantine readings. Since the Receptus form of text does not provide an accurate reproduction of the common Greek manuscript tradition, the present edition strives to rectify that situation by presenting the readings of the Byzantine Textform in a more precise manner.
Robinson and Pierpont state, "In four instances (Luke 17:36, Acts 8:37, Acts 15:34, Acts 24:7) a verse number appears alone in the main text [of their Byzantine Greek text], immediately followed by the next sequential verse number. These indicate lengthy portions of text that were included in some early Textus Receptus printed editions but which have never been part of the primary Byzantine Textform. The verse number is retained solely for reference, in order to preserve the traditional numbering of the remaining verses within the affected chapters" (Preface, p. xxi).
Furthermore, Erasmus' exemplar containing the book of Revelation was missing the last six verses. To compensate, he back-translated from the Latin Vulgate into Greek, and consequently created seventeen variants which have never been found in any other edition of the Greek text of Revelation!
It is far easier to make a defensible case that the Majority Text is to be preferred over the Alexandrian text than it is to attempt to defend the infallibility of the TR. In either case, the arguments made by proponents of the modern eclectic texts are, in my judgment, superior to the arguments made by defenders of the Majority Text, and certainly of the Textus Receptus.
The doctrines of Inspiration and Preservation do not require the existence of flawless handwritten copies of Greek manuscripts. There are some 5800 manuscripts and no two of them agree precisely in every detail. Nor do the doctrines demand infallible translations in any language, whether it be English or otherwise. There is certainly no Scripture in either testament that identifies the Textus Receptus or the King James Version as the sole repositories of God's truth.
Thayer. Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. According to Logos, Thayer's is one of the greatest achievements in biblical scholarship at the turn of the twentieth century. As the culmination of nearly three decades of work, it contains more than 5,000 entries, references to hundreds of grammatical and exegetical works, detailed etymology, and complete summaries of both biblical and extra-biblical word usage. The publication of the revised edition of Thayer’s Greek–English Lexicon in 1889 represents a watershed event in nineteenth-century Greek lexicography, and it remains an important tool for students and scholars of the Greek New Testament more than a century after its first appearance.
Thayer’s Greek–English Lexicon is a revised and translated edition of C.G. Wilke’s Clavis Novi Testamenti, which was first published in 1841. After numerous revisions by both Wilke and his successor, C.L. Wilibald Grimm, Joseph Henry Thayer took over the project. Thayer devoted nearly thirty years to the translation—making thousands of revisions based on the latest Greek scholarship. The first publication of Thayer’s Greek–English Lexicon appeared in 1885, and an updated edition was published in 1889—the edition available from Logos Bible Software.
Theistic Evolution. That view of origins which holds to the theory of evolution as the mechanism by which God created everything. Theistic Evolution is an oxymoron, for it satisfies neither Biblical Creationism nor Evolutionary theory. The order of God's creation in Genesis 1:1-2:3 is incompatible with the dictates of evolution. For example, according to the Biblical record God created earth, light, and vegetation before He created sun, moon and stars. This is unthinkable in evolutionary philosophy. Denis O. Lamoureaux is a Theistic Evolutionist. He does not take Genesis 1 literally, but places it in the genre of poetry, a view that is statistically indefensible. He prefers to be called an Evolutionary Creationist. See also Old Earth Creationism.
Theology. The study of God, often known as Theology proper. Theology proper includes such subjects as the nature of God (the Trinity); the attributes or characteristics of God, including His powerful attributes and His moral attributes. God’s powerful attributes include His infinity, immutability, omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence, and sovereignty. His moral attributes include His holiness, love, justice, and truth. Theology proper also discusses the Kingdom of God, His rule over His creation.
Theophany. Instances in which God has appeared to man in the form of an angel, human, or other entity. The word "theophany" is an English adaptation of two Greek words, theós (2316), God, and the root syllable phan, representing such Greek words as the adjective phanerós (5318) (visible, evident, clearly seen, apparent); the verb phaneróō (5319) (to make known, cause to be seen, make manifest); the adverb phanerōs (5320) (openly, publicly, plainly, clearly, distinctly); and the noun phanérōsis (5321) (manifestation, making known). So a very simple definition of "theophany" is "God- manifestation."
God is essentially spirit (John 4:24), and has no body. He rarely has come into contact with humans. But from time to time He has done so. On these occasions He has accommodated Himself to the person or people with whom He was interacting by showing Himself in a visible form. Here are some examples:
As the Angel (Messenger) of Yahweh (the LORD): to Hagar (Gen.16:7-14; 21:15-19); to Abraham (Gen. 22:11-18); to Jacob (Gen. 31:10-13); to Moses (Ex. 3:1-10); to Gideon (Judges 6:11-27); to Manoah and his wife, parents of Samson (Judges 13:2-22); to Zechariah in some sort of vision (Zech. 3:1-7). It is worth noting that Manoah and his wife described the angel (messenger) as a man (îysh, 376) (Judges 13:6, 8, 10, 11).
As a "consuming fire" displaying "the glory of the LORD" on Mt. Sinai (Ex. 24:16-18); as a "pillar of cloud" by day and a "pillar of fire" by night to guide Israel through the wilderness (Ex. 13:21).
Isaiah "...saw the LORD sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of his robe filling the temple...," attended by six six-winged seraphim (Isa. 6:1-3).
Ezekiel saw the heavens opened in visions of God. He saw four living beings accompanied by enormous wheels, all enveloped in a brightly lit great cloud with fire flashing back and forth continually. Over the heads of the living beings was stretched out something like an expanse appearing as crystal. Over the expanse there appeared to be a sapphire throne, upon which sat a figure with the appearance of a man. From his waist upwards, he looked like glowing metal appearing like fire; from his waist downwards he appeared to be fire, and he was surrounded with a radiance that appeared like a rainbow on a rainy day. Such was the appearance of the glory of God (Ezekiel 1:1-28).
Paul saw the risen Christ, who is God-come-in-the-flesh, in the form of a blinding light from heaven that flashed around him (Acts 9:3-4). He also heard the voice of Christ (Acts 9:4-6).
The Apostle John, in a vision, saw the resurrected Christ (Rev. 1:12-16). John fell at His feet like a dead man (Rev. 1:17-18).
John was also escorted up into heaven, where he apparently saw a representation of God. There was a throne standing in heaven (Rev. 4:2). The One sitting thereupon had the appearance of a jasper stone and a sardius stone (Rev. 4:3). There was an emerald-hued rainbow around the throne (Rev. 4:3). The One sitting upon the throne held a seven-sealed scroll in His right hand (Rev. 5:1).
Such are a few examples of theophanies. It is my opinion that the theophanies of God in the Old Testament were pre-incarnate appearance of the Messiah. That would especially be true of those in which God had the form of a man, or was termed as "the Angel of the Lord." If that is true, and I think it is, these Theophanies were also Christophanies, pre-incarnate manifestations of the Messiah.
The Times of the Gentiles. The time of Gentile domination of Jerusalem. It is difficult to say precisely when Gentile domination began, but the Babylonians' destruction of Jerusalem and Solomon's Temple in 586 B.C. is probably a good starting point. Even though Jewish people returned from Babylonian captivity at the decree of Cyrus, King of Persia, their independence was muted. In the decades before Roman domination, Israel was a political football kicked about by the Ptolemies of Egypt and the Seleucids of Syria. In Jesus' day, Rome occupied Israel. Jesus predicted the destruction of Jerusalem in Luke 21:20-24. Jesus' prophecy came true when the Romans laid siege to Jerusalem and ultimately destroyed both the city and the sanctuary, Herod's Temple, in A.D. 70, just as the angel Gabriel had predicted to the statesman Daniel in the sixth century B.C. (Dan. 9:24-26). Jesus' prediction has been precisely fulfilled to this point. Jewish people were scattered all over the world, and Israel ceased to exist as a state until 1948. Even though Israel Defense Forces recaptured Jerusalem from Arab control in the Six Day War of 1967, much of Jerusalem and much of Israel's land remains occupied, "trampled under foot by the Gentiles" (Luke 21:24). Every time Israel resumes building homes in East Jerusalem, howls of protest break out around the world, including in America. Because Arabs have built a shrine and a mosque on the Temple Mount, Israel is unable even to rebuild its own temple. "The Times of the Gentiles" will be fulfilled, or completed, when Jesus returns in power and great glory to defeat all His enemies and establish His Kingdom of Peace and Plenty, headquartered in Jerusalem. That will not happen until the close of the Great Tribulation. Jesus' initial Kingdom on earth will last one thousand years (Rev. 20:1-6). That is why we call it the Millennium. When "The Times of the Gentiles" have been completed, Israeli supremacy will ensue (Isaiah 60:1-22), and the world will be blessed as long as its nations cooperate with Israel and her Messiah (Zech. 14:16-21).
Throne of David. God promised Israel's greatest (merely human) king, David, that his throne, kingdom, and dynasty would be eternal (2 Sam. 7:16). The angel Gabriel repeated virtually the same words to Mary about her son, Jesus (Luke 1:30-33). The obvious conclusion is that Jesus, the Messiah, would fulfill the promise (later reinforced as a covenant) made to David.
Most of Christendom, whether Roman Catholic or mainline Protestant, interpret this promise metaphorically. They hold that, with Jesus' resurrection and ascension to the right hand of the Father, He is now seated on David's throne. Christ's Kingdom has begun. In some way, shape, or form we are now in the Millennial Kingdom spoken of in Rev. 20:1-7. This is called "realized millennialism." Here is a good example of this thinking. There follows the first statement in the Presbyterian Church of America's Preface to the Book of Church Order under the heading I. The King and Head of the Church:
Jesus Christ, upon whose shoulders the government rests, whose name is called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace; of the increase of whose government and peace there shall be no end; who sits upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom to order it and to establish it with judgment and justice from henceforth, even forever (Isaiah 9:6-7) ....
WordExplain maintains that this is an incorrect view of the present state of affairs. This is the Church Age, not the Kingdom. Jesus is not presently seated at His Father's right hand as King, but rather as High Priest, as the Book of Hebrews makes abundantly clear. Jesus Himself said that He would go to far country to receive His kingdom and then to return. Inasmuch as the King has not returned to Jerusalem and to Mount Zion here upon earth, where David's throne was located, He cannot possibly now be sitting on David's throne. When He sits on David's throne, He will rule from Zion over all the nations. He will rule them with an iron sceptre, and He will dash them in pieces like broken pottery. The nations are presently in a state of revolt against the Messiah (Psa. 2:1-3). And even the nation of Israel itself largely repudiates Jesus of Nazareth as its Anointed King. How, then, can anyone credibly claim that Jesus is presently seated on David's throne?
Torah. The Law God gave to Israel through Moses. The Hebrew word is tōráh (8451). In various contexts it means "law," "commandment," "statute." Collectively, the laws God gave Moses, which he wrote in "the book of the law" came to be called "The Law" or, in Hebrew terms, "the Torah." Since the laws God gave to Israel are contained specifically in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy (the second giving of the Law to the new generation entering Canaan), we refer to the entire corpus written by Moses as "The Law," or "the Torah." The five books of the Law, or the Pentateuch, must be looked at as a whole. Moses authored each of them. In Hebrew understanding these five books are conceived of as a whole. There is a Torah scroll, for example that rabbis read from even today. There are not five separate scrolls.
Here are some specific uses of the word tōráh (8451) in the Old Testament.
(1) Torah is equivalent to statutes, ordinances, laws (Lev. 26:46).
(2) There are specific laws / regulations pertaining to offerings: Lev. 6:9, 14, 25; 7:1, 7, 11, 37; Num. 19:2 (law concerning the red heifer.
(3) There are specific laws pertaining to diet and sanitation and the protection of God's cleanness, living amidst an unclean and defiled people: Lev. 11:46 (dietary); Lev. 12:7 (child-birth); Lev. 13:59; 14:2, 32, 54, 57 (leprosy); Num. 19:14 (defilement by death).
(4) There are laws pertaining to special status: Law of the Nazirite (Num. 6:13, 21).
(5) There are allusions to the fact that the Law / laws were written down
(a) "Words of this law" Deut. 17:19; 27:3, 8, 26, 58; 31:12, 24; 32:46
(b) "book of this law" Deut. 28:61
(c) "this book of the law" Deut. 29:21; 30:10; 31:26
(d) Moses gave an exposition, or explanation of the law (Deut. 1:5; 4:8, 44)
(e) copies of the laws were to be written on stones once the nation arrived in the land of Canaan (Deut. 27:3, 8)
(f) The king was to write out an keep his own personal copy of the law (Deut. 17:18-19).
Total Depravity. The first of five basic tenets of Calvinism, designated by the letter T. Total depravity does not mean that all men are as evil as they could be or that all men are equally bad. It means rather that, because of imputed sin, inherited sin, and acts of personal sin, every man is so disastrously damaged in body, soul, and spirit that he has absolutely nothing within himself that commends himself to God. Here is God’s verdict on the dearth of righteousness in unsaved humans: “For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; and all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away” (Isa. 64:6). Isaiah added, “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way” … (Isa. 53:6). Paul quoted from the Old Testament, assessing man’s spiritual ineptitude: “There is none righteous, no not one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one” (Rom. 3:10-12). Since there is nothing man can do to commend himself to God, and since man, left to his own devices, is even incapable of seeking God, the initiative for man’s salvation rests entirely with God (John 6:44).
Transjordan. The land along the east bank of the Jordan River. According to Biblical history, the land from the Arnon River in the south to the Jabbok River in the north alongside the Jordan River was originally the possession of the sons of Ammon. However, before the sons of Israel arrived to possess the Promised Land, the Amorites had invaded and seized land on the east side of the Jordan River / Dead Sea corridor that belonged both to the sons of Ammon in the central area, and to the descendants of Moab in the south. The modern day Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is the current occupant of Transjordan. Its capital Amman, preserves the much earlier name Ammon. The actual site of Amman was, in OT times, identified as Rabbah (Rabbah, "great," 7237) of Ammon (Deut. 3:11;2 Sam. 11:1; 12:26, 27, 29; 17:27; 1 Chron. 20:1; Jer. 49:2, 3; Ezek. 21:20; 25:5; Amos 1:14). Some day the sons of Israel will possess the land presently occupied by Jordan (Zeph. 2:8-9). This will take place in Christ's Millennial Kingdom.
Tree of Life. The tree in the Garden of Eden and in New Jerusalem whose fruit enhances and helps perpetuate physical life. We are told "Then the LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed" (Gen. 2:8). We are told, moreover, "Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" (Gen. 2:9). Evidently the Tree of Life (literally, in Hebrew, "tree of the life") had special powers. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil did not, other than that God's forbidding the man to eat from from it on pain of death marked it out as the sole test of man's trust in and allegiance to God (Gen. 2:16-17).
That the "Tree of the Life" had special, physical life-giving powers is demonstrated after man's disobedience (Gen. 3:1-7). The LORD God took special pains to prevent man, in his fallen condition, from partaking from the "Tree of the Life" (Gen. 3:22-24). God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and live forever" – (Gen. 3:22). The prospect was so horrible God did not even finish the sentence. I can only surmise that what God was determined to prevent was man trapped in and living forever in a gradually decaying body contaminated by sin and decay and disease and death, but never able to die nor be redeemed in resurrection! How horrible! To prevent that awful outcome God drove man out of the garden, and "He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life" (Gen. 3:23, 24).
The next reference in the Bible to the Tree of Life is in Rev. 2:7. To the messenger of the church in Ephesus (Rev. 2:1), Jesus Christ promised, "To him who overcomes [conquers], I will give to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise (parádeisos, 3857) of God." It next appears in Rev. 22:2. As John saw it, It was situated in a broad area on either side of the river of the water of life (Rev. 22:1, 2). It apparently was bearing a different kind of fruit each of the twelve months (Rev. 22:2). Even its leaves are beneficial. They contribute to the well-being (therapeía, 2322) of the nations who live on New Earth, but have ready access to New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:24-26). The final reference to the Tree of Life is in Rev. 22:19.
Is the Tree of Life in New Jerusalem the same tree as that in the Garden of Eden? Scripture does not say. It certainly has the same name. The answer to that question probably awaits us believers in Christ when we arrive in New Jerusalem.
Tribulation. The period of unprecedented trouble "which is about to come upon the entire world, to test those who dwell on the earth" (Rev. 3:10). Jesus characterized this event as "great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will" (Matt. 24:21). Transported to heaven in his vision, the Apostle John saw, in the future, an innumerable multitude from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues" (Rev. 7:9). He is told by one of heaven's elders that the white-robed members of this incalculable assembly have "come out of the great tribulation" (Rev. 7:13-14). During this time of trouble, God will unleash on earth a series of horrific plagues, described in graphic terms in Rev. 6-16. The Tribulation is the exhibition of the wrath of God and the Lamb, Jesus (Rev. 6:16-17; 11:18; 14:10, 19; 15:1, 7; 16:1, 19; 19:15). The Rapture will precede the Tribulation, and the Second Coming of Christ will end it. Go here for a more extensive discussion of the Tribulation.
Tribulation Saints. People who become believers in Jesus as the Messiah during the Tribulation. All living Church-Age Christians will be raptured (snatched up, harpazô, 726) to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thess. 4:17). They will be joined by resurrected Church-Age believers (1 Thess. 4:16-17). We call this event the Rapture.
The Church began on the Day of Pentecost. It will be completed at the Rapture. With the Church having departed from earth, the stage will be set for a time of terrible trouble. The seven-year Tribulation period will be inaugurated when the sinister leader of a Revived Roman Empire signs a peace treaty with Israel (Dan. 9:27). He is described as "the prince who is to come" (Dan. 9:26). With the Church removed from earth, there will be no one to stop this evil, anti-God, anti-Christ ruler. In a relatively short period of time, he and his subordinates will take over the world. During that time many people will decide to place their faith in Jesus as the Messiah, in opposition to the malevolent Antichrist. Most of these believers will pay for their faith with their own lives.
There are various descriptions of these Tribulation Saints. In the portion of the Book of Revelation which describes the Tribulation, there is not one single mention of the Church using that term (Rev. 6:1-Rev. 18:24). The word ekklêsia is never used in that section. Examples of Tribulation Saints include the martyrs underneath the altar (Rev. 6:9-11), the 144,000 (Rev. 7:1-8; 14:1-5), the innumerable crowd up in heaven (Rev. 7:9-16), the Two Witnesses (Rev. 11:1-14), the saints who are persecuted by the Beast (Rev. 13:7-10), the victors over the Beast (Rev. 15:1-4), the martyred saints and prophets (Rev. 16:6), the saints and witnesses killed by the Great Prostitute, the religion of Babylon (Rev. 17:6; 18:24; 19:2), and those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the Word of God -- those who had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand (Rev. 20:4-5).
Elsewhere, Jesus describes a believer who survives the Tribulation as "the one who endures to the end" (Matt. 24:13). He further describes Tribulation Saints as "the elect" (Matt. 24:22, 31); as those who will be left alive (to inherit the kingdom) (Matt. 24:40-41), as the "faithful slave" (Rev. 24:45-47), as the five wise virgins who were admitted into the wedding feast (Matt. 25:1-13), as the slaves who faithfully invested their master's money (Matt. 25:14-30), as the people among the nations on His right, termed "sheep" (Matt. 25:34-40), and those to whom Jesus refers as His "brothers" (Matt. 25:39, 45), probably meaning Messianic Jews who had survived the Tribulation.
It is a mistake to describe believers in the Tribulation as part of the Church. Those who do so assume that the Church will go through the Tribulation period. A close examination of the facts leads one to the conclusion that assumption lacks credibility.
Trinity. The understanding that the One True God exists in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Perhaps a better word would be Tri-Unity. The Scriptures are emphatic that God is one (Deut. 6:4). Yet why should it surprise us that God, the Sovereign, Eternal Creator of the Universe should exist as the most complex Being in the entire universe and outside it? It is asserted in Scripture that the Father is God (John 6:27; Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:3; 8:6; Eph. 4:6). Moreover in Scripture the Son is identified as God (John 1:8; 8:58; 20:26-29; Col. 1:15-20; Titus 2:13; Heb. 1:8; 1 John 5:20). Furthermore the Holy Spirit is identified as God (Gen. 1:1-2; Psalm 139:7; Acts 5:3-4; Rom. 8:14). We conclude then, that though the word "Trinity" is never used in Scripture, the evidence demonstrates that the One God exists in three Persons. Actually, the fact that multiple persons comprise the one essence, God, can be easily demonstrated from the first chapter in the Bible. "In the beginning, God (Elohim, 430) created the heavens and the earth" (Gen. 1:1). The name Elohim, the generic name for God, appears in the plural. So the very name of God in the OT allows for the existence of multiple persons, even though He is but one essence (Deut. 6:4). Furthermore, plural pronouns in the narrative of Genesis indicate that multiple Divine Beings participate in the discussion – "Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, according to Our likeness ..." (Gen. 1:26). The next verse, Gen. 1:27, resumes the singular pronouns in reference to God. Several Scriptures allude to the Trinity. For example, when Jesus was baptized, there was a voice from heaven (God) expressing His approval of His Son at the same time that the Spirit of God, in the form of a dove, descended upon Jesus (Matt. 3:16-17). The three persons of the Trinity appear in such passages as 2 Cor. 13:14 and 2 Pet. 1:2. See the article "The Trinity" for a further, graphic discussion of the topic.
TULIP. The acronym listing the five pillars of Reformed Theology. These five pillars are actually a summation of the Canons of Dort. They are a response to objections raised in the Presbyterian Church of Holland in the seventeenth century by Jacobus Harmenszoon (whose surname in Latin is Arminius, hence the designation Arminian to those who espouse his views). These five points of Presbyterianism to which Harmensen (another variation of Harmenszoon) objected were reaffirmed in opposition to his views by the Synod of Dordt in 1618-1619. For a presentation of Presbyterian theology in response to Harmensen written by R. L. Dabney, click here. (Dabney was a Presbyterian theologian, pastor, and chaplain and chief of staff to Stonewall Jackson. He lived from 1820-1898.) WordExplain adheres to four-point Calvinism, not five.
T – Total Depravity. All men are born depraved, without any good within by which they may commend themselves to God. Man is unable to save himself from the deadly consequences of his sin and stands in need of God’s initiative in salvation (Rom. 3:10-12). Total depravity does not mean that each man is as bad as he could be, or that all men are equally bad. It does mean that each person is irretrievably contaminated with evil and doomed to a Christless eternity in the Lake of Fire apart from saving faith in Jesus Christ (John 3:36; Rev. 20:11-15).
U – Unconditional Election. Without respect to any merit on man’s part, for he has none, God from eternity past graciously chose certain ones to be the recipients of His eternal salvation (Acts 13:48; Eph. 1:4; 2 Thess. 2:13). It is because God chooses someone that that one in turn is able to choose God (John 1:11-13; 6:44; 15:16). Salvation is completely by grace through faith, apart from any works or effort, which are rather the result of salvation rather than its cause (Eph. 2:8-10). For a more complete Glossary definition see Election. For a more complete discussion, see God's Part in Salvation - Election, Part 1 - The Proof of Election.
L – Limited Atonement. The belief that, since God always achieves His purposes, Christ died for the sins of the elect in a way in which He did not die for the sins of the world. This is the only point of TULIP that WordExplain rejects, for it is a doctrine derived from Reformed Theology, and not explicitly from any text of Scripture. The Scriptures state the following: God loved the world, on whose behalf He gave His only begotten Son (John 3:16). It is true that Jesus is the propitiation (legal satisfaction) for the sins of believers, but His death was valuable enough to pay for the sins of the entire world, regardless of whether all would trust in Him or not (Matt. 1:21; John 1:29; 3:17; 4:42; 1 John 2:2; 4:14). His death is effective, however, only for those who place their faith in Him (John 3:16-18; 3:36; 5:24). The failure of some to trust in Jesus does not either thwart God’s purposes or logically limit the extent of the coverage of Christ’s blood. Jesus died for the sins of all.
I – Irresistible Grace. God’s grace toward the elect is completely efficacious. None whom God has chosen will fail to respond in faith. All whom God has chosen will respond positively to His gracious choice (John 1:11-13; 6:44; 15:16; Rom. 8:29-30; Eph. 2:10).
P – Perseverance of the Saints. All the elect will persevere in their walk with Christ. They will not depart from the faith (John 5:24; 10:27-29; Rom. 8:1, 29-30), for they are predestined to be conformed to the image of God’s Son (Rom. 8:29). God’s elect are eternally secure, for their salvation, though accessed by faith (John 3:16), nonetheless depends on God’s unconditional election, not man’s flawed performance. Jesus told a parable of the sower and the four soils (Matt. 13:2-9; Mark 4:3-9; Luke 8:5-8). Three of the four soils illustrate a positive response to the Word of God (Matt. 13:18-23; Mark 4:13-20; Luke 8:11-15). The difficulty is that the second and third kinds of soil, the rocky ground and the thorny ground do not possess saving faith. In other words they do not persevere in their walk with God and Jesus. In Luke 8:13, Jesus even says those who are represented by rocky soil “believe for a while.” Whatever faith they possessed, it was not saving faith in Jesus, for those who believe in Jesus pass from death to life (John 3:36; 5:24). Believers experience many ups and downs in their lives. They may be carnal, or fleshly at times (1 Cor. 3:1-4); they may commit sins that earn them physical death (not spiritual death – Acts 5:1-11; 1 Cor. 5:1-5; 11:26-30; 1 John 5:16-17); but they will persevere by the grace of God (John 8:31; Acts 14:22; Rom. 11:22; Phil. 2:12-13; Col. 1:23; Heb. 6:9-12; Heb. 10:32-39).
Two Witnesses. Two unnamed "Witnesses" (mártys, 3144) of God who will prophesy (prophēteúō, 4395) on behalf of God 1260 days during the Tribulation period, clothed in sackcloth (Rev. 11:3). The context seems to indicate that this will take place during the last half of the Tribulation period, the time when the nations will trample Jerusalem under foot for forty-two months (Rev. 11:1-2). Some observations are in order: (1) These two witnesses are said to be "the two olive trees" and "the two lampstands" that stand before the Lord of the earth (Rev. 11:4). (2) This appears to refer to a vision shown to Zechariah (Zech. 4:1-6). There, Zechariah saw a golden lampstand with seven lamps thereupon (Zech. 4:1-2). There were also two olive trees on either side of the lampstand which seemed to provide an inexhaustible supply of olive oil to the lampstand (Zech. 4:3). (3) An angel informed Zechariah that the lampstand symbolized the Word of the Lord to Zerubbabel, saying, "Not by might or power, but by My Spirit," says the LORD of Armies (Zech. 4:4-6). (4) Zechariah was told further that Zerubbabel would complete the construction of the Post-Exile Temple by the power of God's Spirit (Zech. 4:8-10). (5) Zechariah's curiosity was not satisfied. Twice he asked the meaning of the two olive trees (Zech. 4:11-12). He was told, "These are the two anointed ones who are standing by the Lord of the whole earth" (Zech. 4:13-14). (6) This, it seems, is a prediction of the Two Witnesses whom God appointed to prophesy on His behalf for 1260 days during the Tribulation (Rev. 11:3-4).
(7) These two prophets apparently station themselves in or near the Israeli Temple that will be built during the Tribulation. Undoubtedly their message will be a highly politically-incorrect indictment of the evil of the people of the world, who have resumed oppressing Jerusalem and the nation of Israel (Rev. 11:1-2). Moreover, their opponents will be the same people who have been seduced into following and worshiping the Beast and his image, constructed by the False Prophet (Rev. 13:1-18). (8) These furious opponents will try to destroy these two prophets to censor and silence them. But if anyone tries to harm them, fire will come from their mouths and will consume their adversaries (Rev. 11:5). So their would-be censors will be permanently canceled! Cancel Culture in reverse! (9) These two prophets will have enormous supernatural power. They will have power to stop rain from falling during the days of their prophesying (Rev. 11:6). Additionally, they will have the power to duplicate the plague of Moses in Egypt (Ex. 7:12-25) and the plague of the Third Bowl of Wrath (Rev. 16:4-7) (Rev. 11:6). Moreover, they will the power to strike the earth with every sort of plague as often as they wish (Rev. 11:6)! It is no wonder these prophets will be utterly despised by the unbelieving people of the world!
(10) When these two prophets have completed their testimony (martyría, 3141), the Beast that comes out of the Abyss will wage war against them and conquer them and kill them (Rev. 11:7-8). (11) Their dead bodies will lie in the street of Jerusalem for 3 1/2 days, unburied. People from all over the world (the unbelieving "earth-dwellers") will view their dead bodies and will gloat over and celebrate their demise (Rev. 11:9-10).