Throughout our summer sessions we opened our classes with a short Hebrew lesson, with special attention being paid to the ancient 'pictographic' form of the Hebrew letters. If you recall, there were many times where the pictographs added an additional level of understanding to the surface text, revealing things that were not available through a conventional study. So over the next few weeks we'll post several times on what the original pictographic Hebrew reveals about the very first sentence of the Bible;
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1)
In our English translations, the meaning is simple; God created the heavens and the earth. We can gain additional insight into this verse by cross-referencing it with other verses that deal with the creation, such as John 1, but in the end we are generally limited to one layer of meaning. But when we examine this verse in the Hebrew language there is MUCH MORE that God reveals to us.
Over the next week I'll be posting the last 6 Sunday school lessons from our fall series on the Revelation. They've been delayed due to some difficulties I've had in learning how to administer this 'html' system, which doesn't seem to like the pictures I've tried to import into lessons 6 and 7. But I'll get the hang of it soon, and the rest of the lessons should be posted in short order, since they have already been written. In the meantime, I thought this study on the names of the patriarchs and the tribes would be quite interesting.
The 10 Patriarchs
If you've ever studied the names of the patriarchs and/or the twelve tribes, you'll know that the meanings of their names generally reflected something about their life, or something that was significant to the biblical record. In certain cases they were even prophetic. For instance, Adam was the first man that God created, so it's no coincidence that his name simply means 'man'. But for prophetic content a good example is Jared, the 6th from Adam, whose name meant 'will come down'. That name was prophetic since the Nephilim indeed 'came down' to earth during the "days of Jared", according to 1Enoch. Another name with prophetic implications would be Methuselah, the 8th from Adam, whose name meant 'his death will bring'. And true to form, Methusalah's death did bring the great flood in that same year, just as his name would suggest.
Finally the moment everyone has been waiting for! After months of preparation and set-up regarding the structure and essence of the Revelation, we'll begin to examine the Revelation itself, verse by verse. And as we proceed in this study, you will begin to see how the Festivals, the Menorah-shaped 'Tree of Life', and the Betrothal process are interwoven into the text, each revealing something dynamic about the Revelation that cannot be revealed through a conventional study.
Throughout the 404 verses of the Revelation, we find many references to New Testament teachings, and that should be no surprise since Jesus and several disciples commented rather extensively about the end times. However, we also find hundreds of references to Old Testament teachings, which occasionally surprises people. The truth is, you have to understand and properly apply text from the entire Old Testament in order to properly understand the New Testament and/or the Revelation. The New Testament does not CANCEL the Old Testament, it is built UPON the Old Testament. So without further adieu, let's jump right in.
Every once in awhile you see a video that really brings a smile to your face. For me, this was one of them, occurring on November 13th of this year with a 'flash mob' of about 100 singers. Enjoy.
In last week's lesson we described the Revelation's 'master menorah' that was built on the foundation of the Festival menorah, and we also showed how this formed the structure of the 'Tree of Life'. In this week's lesson, we'll explore how this divine structure supports the 4 Cups/Covenants that were cited in the 'Passover Seder' and also the 'Betrothal' process. For the purposes of review, those 4 Cups/Covenants were;
1) Cup of Sanctification - Blood Covenant
2) Cup of Dedication - Salt Covenant
3) Cup of Inheritance - Sandal Covenant
4) Cup of Praise - Marriage Covenant
These four progressive covenants played a critical role in our understanding of the betrothal process that we studied this fall, and also the Passover Seder that we studied this past summer. Now we can apply what we learned there to the Revelation, and some of it's mysterious nature will begin to fall away.