About the Election

This is not a political blog, but Christians do vote, and we should consider Biblical truth when we vote.  Here in Glenrothes, there are five candidates on the ballot.

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Dear Mormon, Why Isn’t Jesus’ Baptism Good Enough?

This came up in our Bible study tonight.  Mormons believe that baptism is required to enter the kingdom of God, and that you can be baptised for someone else by proxy.  So it raises the question, why wasn’t the baptism of Jesus sufficient?

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Isaiah’s Amazing Cyrus Prophecy — “Not for Price nor Reward”

I’ve saved this for the last in this series on the Cyrus prophecy because it has become my favourite part of the prophecy.

Isaiah 45:13

I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the LORD of hosts.

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Isaiah’s Amazing Cyrus Prophecy — The One True God Against “the gods”

Sometime around the year 700 BC, the prophet Isaiah gave an amazing prophecy, in which he stated that God would use someone named Cyrus to deliver His people from captivity.  This was fulfilled in 536 BC, perhaps 150-160 years later, when Cyrus the Great of Persia invaded Babylon, took the city, and released the Jews who had been taken captive by the Babylonians, with instructions to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple.

I’ve been writing on this prophecy for a couple of weeks (and the series of articles is already longer than I’d planned), but I’d like to take time for two more articles.  This one isn’t so much about the fulfillment but just to emphasise why this prophecy was given.

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Genesis and the Seven-Day Week

The seven-day week is almost universal, across diverse cultures.  It has no basis in astronomy (or anything else) that anyone can identify.

Different cultures vary on almost everything.  What people eat (and how), standards of dress, etiquette, hospitality, all of these things can differ.  But somehow, a week of seven days is found across the world, and has been for as long as anyone knows.

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Isaiah’s Amazing Cyrus Prophecy — Not THOSE Gates!

The Bible in the British Museum

Balawat Gate Gallery

© The Trustees of the British Museum

Welcome to Room 6 of the British Museum!  This picture appears to be taken at a time when the Museum was not open, with the Black Obelisk moved to where it could be in the picture in front of the Balawat Gate, with the winged lions of Ashurnasirpal II on each side.  The gate is a reconstruction of gates on a palace in northern Iraq.  Obviously, the original gates are decayed, but the brass bands, some 2800 years old, are still with us.

I’ve been writing about the famous Cyrus prophecy of Isaiah.  The Balawat Gate actually has nothing to do with the Cyrus prophecy, but I’d like to write about the two of them in this article anyway.  This article, then, is dual purpose — it’s part of the Bible in the British Museum series, and part of the Cyrus prophecy series.  Two for the price of one!

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Isaiah’s Amazing Cyrus Prophecy — Summary

This is a summary (for the sidebar menu) of a series of posts on some of the details of the prophecies in Isaiah related to Cyrus the Great, the Persian emperor who would be used by God to return the Jews from captivity, and his part in the rebuilding of the temple.

Isaiah’s Amazing Cyrus Prophecy — Cyrus Named — Some 150 years before he rose to power, God through Isaiah named Cyrus as the conqueror of Babylon who would free the Jews from captivity.

Isaiah’s Amazing Cyrus Prophecy — The Context in Isaiah — The deliverance from Babylon is actually the focus of 9 chapters in Isaiah, from 40-48, and thus we should not be surprised other references to Cyrus in these chapters.

Isaiah’s Amazing Cyrus Prophecy — “The Gates Shall Not Be Shut” — Isaiah 44 and 45 prophesied several fascinating details about way Cyrus’ army was able to take Babylon.

Isaiah’s Amazing Cyrus Prophecy — “A Ravenous Bird From The East” — The one who will deliver the Jews from captivity is mentioned as coming from the east and from the north, fulfilled in the Median-Persian invasion.  Isaiah spoke of “a ravenous bird” and the battle flag of Cyrus was an eagle with spread wings.

Isaiah’s Amazing Cyrus Prophecy — “The Hidden Treasures” — Isaiah prophesied that Cyrus, when he took the city, would capture immense treasures, and so it was in Babylon.

Isaiah’s Amazing Cyrus Prophecy — Not THOSE Gates! — Isaiah prophesied that the gates of brass would be broken.  It’s not the famous Balawat Gates, whose brass bands are in the British Museum.  It’s the gates of solid brass of Babylon.

Isaiah’s Amazing Cyrus Prophecy — The One True God Against “the gods” — God tells us repeatedly in this section of Isaiah His reason for giving this prophecy.  He wants to show that He alone can pre-declare history, that He is the One true God.

Isaiah’s Amazing Cyrus Prophecy — “Not For Price Nor Reward” — The best part of the whole thing — it’s not just an amazing, wonderful prophecy, it’s also a wonderful picture or illustration of what Christ has done for us.

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