Presentation on theme: "A new perspective interpreting God’s Holy Word in light of historical, archeological, and theological support."— Presentation transcript:
A new perspective interpreting God’s Holy Word in light of historical, archeological, and theological support.
1. Biblical authority: absolute 2. You will learn something new every session 3. History & archeology will inform and enhance Bible interpretation 4. No previous knowledge necessary Guidelines
5. Traditional untested assumptions will be fair game for scrutiny 6. Questioning & challenging of teacher are encouraged 7. Classes will reveal different things to different people, however ideas will be presented in the spirit of Guideline #1 Guidelines, continued.
1.Do you think it is impossible or even blasphemous to believe that the Bible takes up the topic of America in prophecy? 2.Do you think it can only be on a personal and not a national level that the Bible speaks to Americans? 3.Do you think passages relating to America are in the Bible, but are obscure and difficult to discern?
4.Are you baffled or confused as to the role of Israel in Bible history and prophecy? 5.Do you believe that it is possible that recent research may have discovered new evidence to support interpreting an American “presence” in the Bible? 6.Do you find it hard to understand why America should be such a great Christian nation and yet go unmentioned in Bible prophecy?
Historical chronicle of ancient history; detailed and accurate! Stirrings of Mesopotamian civilization (Genesis 9, 10, 14) “Insider” view of events of the ancient world: Mesopotamia (Sumer, Akkad, Syria, Edom, Elam, Ammon, Moab), Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, Philistines, Hittites, Persia, Greece, and Rome
To glorify him To proclaim His love, mercy, authority and pre- eminence To bestow justice and mercy As a scourge, instrument of destruction How does God use nations?
National leaders were included in God’s narrative from the very beginning of history Nimrod, Sargon, Sennacherib, Nebuchadnezzar, Hammurabi, Darius, Cyrus, Pontius Pilate, Augustus Caesar, Tiberius Caesar etc.
God’s men are often placed in international and national positions of leadership Joseph, Moses, Mordecai, Nehemiah, Daniel, Obadiah, Saul, David God’s men are often called to confront national leaders and policies: Moses, Samuel, Nathan, Elijah, Jeremiah, Jonah, John the Baptist, Paul & Jesus
Special case of Israel: Genesis 12:2 “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing, 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. Prophecies Regarding Nations are Prominent in the Bible Rise and fall of Assyria, Babylonia, Persia, Greece, and Rome Nations in the tribulation age: victims & those under control of anti-Christ (Daniel & Revelations)
Matthew 12:18 “Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. 21 In his name the nations will put their hope.” Matthew 21:43 “Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” Matthew 24:7 “For nation will rise against nation…9 Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake.”
Matthew 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory, 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats, 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Philippians 2:15 “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.”
Primacy of Bible message is personal; without it all else is insignificant. John 11: 25: “…I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.” Isn’t that all I need to know?
Add to our total comprehension and integration of Biblical concepts; become more complete Christians Comprehend unfolding world and national events Suggest venues for our Christian outreach, life’s calling God emphasized it; it must be important. Do all we can to make America into a Godly nation Why should we try to understand God’s national message?
Personal Unique relationship between you and Jesus Christian callings and styles are diverse Life of upward spiritual growth & improvement Bound by secular laws Bound by Christian conscience No secular rewards or punishments based on our faith Differences between national and personal messages in the Bible:
National God’s natural laws are applied equally to all God’s judgment on the nation affects everyone - good and bad alike, e.g. fiscal irresponsibility hurts everyone Nations evolve from good to bad, vice versa; requires eternal vigilance National policies are not equivalent to personal, (e.g. forgiveness of our enemies, the killing of others) National powers deal internationally with other powers and nations Differences between national and personal messages in the Bible:
John Locke 1700: Based his concept of the social contract (between the people and the government) upon: “…that pact which God made with Noah after the Deluge.” Jonathan Mayhew : 1760 “Why then should not those parts of Scripture which relate to civil government be examined and explained…” Patrick Henry 1775: “…we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations…” George Mason 1787: The laws of nature are the laws of God whose authority can be superseded by no power on earth…By an inevitable chain of causes and effects, Providence punishes national sins by national calamities.”
Thomas Jefferson 1781: “God who gave us life, gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis…a conviction that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his Wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.” 1816: Religion is deemed in other countries incompatible with good government and yet proved by our experience to be its best support.” President Madison 1809: “We have all been encouraged to feel in the guardianship and guidance of that Almighty Being, whose power regulates the destiny of nations.” Francis Scott Key 1812: “The patriot will seek to establish for his country in the eyes of the world, such a character as shall make her not unworthy of the name of a Christian nation…” 1814 “Blest with vic’try and peace, may the Heav’n-rescued land, Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserved us a nation.”
President Andrew Jackson 1837: “Providence has showered on this favored land blessings without number, and has chosen you as the guardians of freedom…May He who holds in his hands the destinies of nations, make you worthy of the favors He has bestowed and enable you with pure hearts and hands and sleepless vigilance to guard and defend, to the end of time, the great charge He has committed to your keeping.”
President John Quincy Adams, 1837: “The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.” “…in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior…the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact based on the Redeemer’s mission upon earth…it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity and gave to the world the first irrevocable pledge of the fulfillment of the prophecies announced directly from Heaven at the birth of the Savior and predicted by the greatest of the Hebrew prophets 600 years before.”
President Lincoln 1861: “Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity and a firm reliance upon Him who has never forgotten this favored land…” 1862: “God has destroyed nations from the map of history for their sins.” President Andrew Johnson 1870: “Let us look forward to the time when we can take the flag of our country and nail it below the Cross…and let us gather around it and inscribe for our motto: ‘Liberty and Union, one and inseparable, now and forever, Christ first, our country next.” President McKinley 1900: “The more profoundly we study this wonderful Book, and the more closely we divine its precepts, the better citizens we will become and the higher will be our destiny as a nation.”
Peter Marshall 1947: The choice before us is plain: Christ or chaos. I am rather tired of hearing about our rights and privileges as American citizens….we ought to hear about the duties and responsibilities of our citizenship. America’s future depends upon her accepting and demonstrating God’s government. President Herbert Hoover, 1950: “What the world needs today is a definite, spiritual mobilization of the nations who believe in God against the tide of Red agnosticism…against the hideous ideas of the police state and human slavery…” Douglas MacArthur 1962: “History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has either been a spiritual awakening…or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster.”
Messages to nations are pervasive in the Bible; historical and prophetic; Old Testament and the New Testament God uses nations to implement His plans: servant, supporting actor, scourge, or enemy. Nations are often categorized as proponents or opponents or of God (sheep vs goat nations) God raises up men both to serve the nation in a holy manner and to confront national leaders who are not. Takeaways:
American leaders have (until recently?) consistently accepted a proponent and proactive Christian role for America. American Presidents and illlustrious forebears have cautioned us to: 1. Vigorously exercise our Christianity in regard to the state 2. Be vigilant against the “goat” nations 3. Reinforce our Christian and patriotic beliefs; Christianity is not a competitor, nor a distractor to government, but an essential element of it Takeaways:
While it isn’t necessary for a Christian to understand national issues, it helps him/her grow into more complete and effective Believers. National guidance in the Bible is complementary, but not identical to the personal message. America may or may not be “in the Bible,” however: 1. We will search out possible Biblical identifications OF America based on best evidence 2. We will endeavor to discover the Bible’s message TO America in light of interpretation and prophecy. Takeaways:
Understanding America’s Biblical Imperative America’s Historical, Cultural, & Theological Lineage Biblical Allusions, History, Symbols, & Prophecies Dual strategy to discover America’s place in the Bible
I.The American Trajectory: Our Biblical Heritage What is Western Culture? The Greek Way The Roman World The Early Church The Settlement of Europe The Age of Kings The Reformation & Exploration The Birth of America American Roles & Achievements
Dual strategy to discover America’s place in the Bible II.National Roles in the Bible The Case of Israel Who are the Jews? What happened to Israel? Biblical symbols related to The West & America Biblical events & prophecies related to America Who are God’s Chosen People; What is their role?