And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud. (Exodus 24:16)
Throughout the Bible we read of God’s glory, and it must have been an amazing sight to those who were privileged to see it. In the verse above it was visible atop Mt. Sinai while Moses communed with the Almighty. Later it filled the tabernacle upon its completion (Exodus 40:34), and the temple upon its completion (2 Chronicles 7:1). After this latter manifestation the Israelites, “bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the Lord, saying, ‘For He is good; for His mercy endureth for ever’” (vs. 3).
Peter tells us that God has invited us into His glory.
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you (1 Peter 5:10).
We need this invitation and a way to access His glory because, on our own, we all fall short of it (Romans 3:23). A theme of Paul’s letters is his call for Christians to behave in a manner worthy of God’s glory (1 Thessalonians 2:14-15). And though we face fiery trials here, we have His promise that, if we hold fast to our faith in Him, we will have access to God’s glory in the after-while.
1 Peter 4:12-13 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: (13) But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
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Rainbows are visually beautiful and technically amazing. As sunlight refracts through water in the atmosphere it separates into component colors which always appear in the same order; red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet.
As its creator God has the right to signify whatever He wishes with this beautiful, ephemeral apparition. He purposed that rainbows should remind us that He will never again destroy the earth with a whole-earth flood.
Genesis 9:12-17 God said, "This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations; (13) I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. (14) "It shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow will be seen in the cloud, (15) and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh. (16) "When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth." (17) And God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth."
Many individuals and organizations now use the rainbow as their emblem. The goals of some of these organizations stand in direct opposition to the Lord’s will. None of their symbolisms are as significant as the Lord’s.
Next time you see a rainbow recall the Lord’s message, not the messages of men.
The Bible is a gift from God to man. The words in the Bible are God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Written by about 40 authors over a span of 1400 years it is a cohesive collection of revelation. The mind of God has been revealed to the mind of man in such a way that man can understand it (Ephesians 3:3-4). Amazing.
But Bible study is not easy. And if you think it’s easy you’re doing it wrong. The branch of theology that deals with how we study the Bible is called Hermeneutics. The term comes from the mythological figure, Hermes, who was the messenger of the “gods.” His work was to take what the “gods” said, bring it down to man, and interpret it for them. If you recall, when Paul and Barnabas visited Lystra, the locals called Paul “Hermes” because he did all the talking (Acts 14:12). Case in point, Peter said that difficult things Paul wrote were twisted and misapplied by those who were unstable and untaught (2 Pet 3:16).
The point is that if we must be careful how we study the Bible. It is not enough to simply read it. We need to understand it correctly then rightly apply it. As Paul told Timothy, Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15). Another way to say that is, develop a proper hermeneutic. Our Bible Study classes are designed to help you do just that.
As the Apostle Paul closed his epistle to the church in Colossae he gave instructions for sharing it (Colossians 4:16). After the church in Colossae read the letter they were to give it to the church in Laodicea so that they might also read it. Paul then told the church in Colossae to read the letter written to the Laodiceans. That is, letters from inspired writers were to be shared. The result was a reliable transmission of God’s word.
Consider the security of this process. If each church made copies of letters it received from an inspired writer then shared them with other churches, there is no way any entity could supervise the process, edit a letter, or substitute a counterfeit. Individual congregations were doing the sharing.
This refutes the Roman Catholic claim that, "It is only by the divine authority of the Catholic Church that Christians know that the scripture is the word of God, and what books certainly belong to the Bible." (The Question Box, p. 46). The Roman Catholic church would not exist for centuries after this and could not have been part of this process. Understanding this reliable transmission of the scriptures helps us esteem God’s word highly and trust that it is from Him.