Wheat or Tares?

Sea of Galilee

KEY FEATURES

The Sea of Galilee is also called the Sea of Tiberias or Lake of Gennesaret. It was commonly known in the Old Testament as the Sea of Kinnereth. Nearly 700 feet below sea level, “the lake” is the largest freshwater bank in the region.
Geographically, the sea is 8 miles wide and about 12 miles long, north to south. Located near the Golan Heights, it is Israel’s primary source of drinking water. The heart-shaped feature forms a circular arc which connects the flow of the Jordan River and provides much of the water supply and a well-stocked variety of fish.
Some major towns at its shores include Bethsaida, Capernaum, and Tiberias.

THE TIME OF CHRIST

During the first century, Christ spent much of His time around the Sea of Galilee. He healed the sick and cast out demons near the Sea of Galilee. He also ate breakfast with His disciples on the shore of the Sea of Galilee after His resurrection. The Sea of Galilee played a pivotal role in the 3 1/2 year ministry of Jesus Christ.

Sabbath Day’s Journey

From Acts of the Apostles: The Church Begins (Unit 1) – Learn More

jur’-ni (sabbatou hodos):

Used only in Acts 1:12, where it designates the distance from Jerusalem to the Mount of Olives, to which Jesus led His disciples on the day of His ascension. The expression comes from rabbinical usage to indicate the distance a Jew might travel on the Sabbath without transgressing the Law, the command against working on that day being interpreted as including travel (see Exodus 16:27-30). The limit set by the rabbis to the Sabbath day’s journey was 2,000 cubits from one’s house or domicile, which was derived from the statement found in Joshua 3:4 that this was the distance between the ark and the people on their march, this being assumed to be the distance between the tents of the people and the tabernacle during the sojourn in the wilderness. Hence, it must have been allowable to travel thus far to attend the worship of the tabernacle. We do not know when this assumption in regard to the Sabbath day’s journey was made, but it seems to have been in force in the time of Christ. The distance of the Mount of Olives from Jerusalem is stated in Josephus (Ant., XX, viii, 6) to have been five stadia or furlongs and in BJ, V, ii, 3, six stadia, the discrepancy being explained by supposing a different point of departure. This would make the distance of the Sabbath day’s journey from 1,000 to 1,200 yards, the first agreeing very closely with the 2,000 cubits. The rabbis, however, invented a way of increasing this distance without technically infringing the Law, by depositing some food at the 2,000-cubit limit, before the Sabbath, and declaring that spot a temporary domicile. They might then proceed 2,000 cubits from this point without transgressing the Law.

And in some cases even this intricacy of preparation was unnecessary. If, for instance, the approach of the Sabbath found one on his journey, the traveler might select some tree or some stone wall at a distance of 2,000 paces and mentally declare this to be his residence for the Sabbath, in which case he was permitted to go the 2,000 paces to the selected tree or wall and also 2,000 paces beyond, but in such a case he must do the work thoroughly and must say:

“Let my Sabbath residence be at the trunk of that tree,” for if he merely said: “Let my Sabbath residence be under that tree,” this would not be sufficient, because the, expression would be too general and indefinite (Tractate `Erubhin 4:7).

Other schemes for extending the distance have been devised, such as regarding the quarter of the town in which one dwells, or the whole town itself, as the domicile, thus allowing one to proceed from any part of the town to a point 2,000 cubits beyond its utmost limits. This was most probably the case with walled towns, at least, and boundary stones have been found in the vicinity of Gaza with inscriptions supposed to mark these limits. The 2,000-cubit limits around the Levitical cities (Numbers 35:5) may have suggested the limit of the Sabbath day’s journey also. The term came to be used as a designation of distance which must have been more or less definite.

H. Porter

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. “Entry for ‘SABBATH DAY’S JOURNEY'”. “International Standard Bible Encyclopedia”. 1915.  

Acts Challenge

The Feast of Trumpets

Welcome to the Feast of Trumpets Focus Study! In this Focus Study, we will explore the historical observance and significance of this Holy Day. The Feast of Trumpets, one of God’s seven annual Holy Days, pictures a time of catastrophic and amazing events prophesied to happen at the end of the age. Students will take this opportunity to learn about the symbolism and usage of trumpets in the Bible, the meaning of each of the trumpet blasts in Revelation, and the subsequent events foretold to take place. At the seventh and final trumpet blast, Jesus Christ will return to the earth, overthrow Satan as ruler, and claim the title and role as the King of kings over all nations. With final the trumpet sound the announcement will be made, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever” (Revelation 11:15). 

 This Focus Study will serve as a guide for students who would like to engage in an in-depth study on the Feast of Trumpets. The seven final trumpet blasts signify a time when God will establish the reign of Jesus Christ as supreme ruler over the earth. His resurrected saints will help govern and transform a devastated world, which will require much-needed healing and guidance, by teaching all nations the true way to peace through God’s perfect law of liberty. The Feast of trumpets reminds us to look forward to the sound of the last trump when the saints will be raised incorruptible and Satan will be dethroned, in preparation for the millennial reign of Christ, and the establishment of the Kingdom of God.


Introduction

The Symbolism

The Day of the Feast

The Prophetic Meaning

Conclusion

Paul’s Imprisonment

“You see, brother, how many myriads of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law; but they have been informed about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs. What then? The assembly must certainly meet, for they will hear that you have come. Therefore do what we tell you: We have four men who have taken a vow. Take them and be purified with them, and pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads, and that all may know that those things of which they were informed concerning you are nothing, but that you yourself also walk orderly and keep the law. But concerning the Gentiles who believe, we have written and decided that they should observe no such thing, except that they should keep themselves from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality” (Acts 21:20-25).

When the Apostle Paul and his traveling companions arrived in Jerusalem in 57 CE for Pentecost, with the gifts from the churches of Greece and Asia Minor, the brethren “welcomed them gladly” (Acts 21:17). The next day he and his companions met with James, the presiding apostle at Jerusalem, and the headquarters elders. The sense of it is that this was a private meeting. Paul gave a full report telling “in detail those things which God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry” (Acts 21:19). The response by James and all the elders as recorded in Acts 21:20-25 deserves some thoughtful analysis. Luke appears to have summarized various comments and advice into a single overall statement as follows:

Introduction

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Lecture

  1. Second Apostolic Tour
  2. Ancient Corinth
  3. Third Apostolic Tour
  4. Arrest at Jerusalem
  5. Herod Agrippa II

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Conclusion

Apostolic Tour

When the Apostle Paul and his traveling companions arrived in Jerusalem in 57 CE for Pentecost, with the gifts from the churches of Greece and Asia Minor, the brethren “welcomed them gladly” (Acts 21:17). The next day he and his companions met with James, the presiding apostle at Jerusalem, and the headquarters elders. The sense of it is that this was a private meeting. Paul gave a full report telling “in detail those things which God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry” (Acts 21:19). The response by James and all the elders as recorded in Acts 21:20-25 deserves some thoughtful analysis. Luke appears to have summarized various comments and advice into a single overall statement as follows:

“You see, brother, how many myriads of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law; but they have been informed about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs. What then? The assembly must certainly meet, for they will hear that you have come. Therefore do what we tell you: We have four men who have taken a vow. Take them and be purified with them, and pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads, and that all may know that those things of which they were informed concerning you are nothing, but that you yourself also walk orderly and keep the law. But concerning the Gentiles who believe, we have written and decided that they should observe no such thing, except that they should keep themselves from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality” (Acts 21:20-25).

Introduction

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Lecture

  1. Travels of Philip
  2. Saul’s Conversion
  3. First Apostolic Tour
  4. Apostolic Council

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Conclusion

The Church Begins

God gave the Holy Spirit to His Church on the Day of Pentecost in 31 CE. It had been an unforgettable 50 days for Christ’s disciples. Their Teacher had come back from the dead after a brutal execution, and had taught them for 40 days. More than 500 at one time had seen Him (1 Corinthians 15:6). The disciples ate with Him, talked with Him and even touched the wounds where His body had been pierced. But that was not all. After 40 dramatic days of instruction, the Savior ascended into the clouds, while His disciples watched with wonder and amazement. But He did not leave them alone—He promised to give them something that would empower them with spiritual vitality they had never before experienced (Luke 24:49).

Luke describes Christ’s encouraging words. “And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, ‘which,’ He said, ‘you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now’” (Acts 1:4–5). This momentous 50th day was the day of Pentecost—the day of miracles—the day the New Testament Church began! What happened on that amazing Day of Pentecost in 31 CE?

On the day of Pentecost Jesus’ followers were seated (Acts 2:2) in a building. The notion of them meeting in the “Upper Room” where Jesus instituted the Christian Passover is a myth. The Temple Court, a single structure about one quarter of a mile in circumference, was a massive complex with hundreds of rooms. The colonnade at the southern wall, known as the Royal Stoa or Solomon’s Portico, was its probable venue as it was open toward the Temple court. Its exposed access allowed for people in the Royal Stoa to be easily seen and heard from the outside the colonnade. The apostles then were immediately accessible to Jews and proselytes gathered for the festival.

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Lectures

  1. The Great Commission
  2. Equipping the Disciples
  3. The Work of God Begins
  4. The Jews and Gentiles

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