October 24th, 2020

Religion

Immanuel: God with us

By Submitted Article on October 24th, 2020

House of God Last of three parts Jacob M. Van Zyl The coronavirus closed places of assembly: schools, churches, stadiums, restaurants and auditoriums. We had to adapt to virtual church via YouTube. In a way, we returned to the home-church situation of the first centuries. It may also be a trial run for the end-time ... Read More »

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Church: people or building?

By Submitted Article on October 17th, 2020

House of God Second of three parts Jacob M. Van Zyl Solomon’s temple was a much larger, stone-built replica of the Tabernacle. The furnishings of the Tabernacle were placed in the temple, but Solomon increased the bread tables and lampstands tenfold. In the Most Holy part, he placed two large statues of cherubim, covering the ... Read More »

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In their midst but separate

By Submitted Article on October 10th, 2020

House of God First of three parts Jacob M. Van Zyl The first thing toddlers learn to draw is a house: a square for the walls, a triangle for the roof, and maybe a door and window. As their skill with pencil or crayon grows, they may add a yellow sun, a green tree and ... Read More »

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Serving a worthy cause

By Submitted Article on October 3rd, 2020

Belonging Last of three parts Jacob M. Van Zyl On top of its social and cultural aspects, belonging includes dedication to a cause. Generating funds to battle poverty or disease at a specific place, spreading the gospel near and far away, being part of a family enterprise, or lifelong service in nursing or policing may ... Read More »

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Identifying with cultural values

By Submitted Article on September 26th, 2020

Belonging Second of three parts Jacob M. Van Zyl In addition to its social aspect, belonging can be connected to values, culture, places and belief systems. It has been said that a person can leave his/her country, but it is hard to get that country out of the person. Ancient Israel was glad to get ... Read More »

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Loved by the Father

By Submitted Article on September 12th, 2020

Children and teenagers in the Bible Last of three parts Jacob M. Van Zyl The inspiring good news of the New Testament – Baby Jesus in a manger, Mary, Joseph, angels, shepherds, and wise men – was soon followed by the bad news of King Herod’s massacre of the babies in Bethlehem, and the flight ... Read More »

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Prepared for victory

By Submitted Article on September 5th, 2020

Children and teenagers in the Bible Second of three parts Jacob M. Van Zyl In western democracies, we are proud of our freedom of choice, opinion, speech, association and religion. However, about the most important influence in our lives we have no choice: our genes. We did not choose our parents, the Giver of life ... Read More »

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Chosen for a purpose

By Submitted Article on August 29th, 2020

Children and teenagers in the Bible First of three parts Jacob M. Van Zyl Children and teens will be in the limelight for the immediate future. Let us study some of them in the Bible. In today’s value system, what Abraham did to his son Isaac (Gen. 22) would be considered cruel abuse. Abraham bound ... Read More »

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The believer’s privilege

By Submitted Article on August 22nd, 2020

THE BRANCHES Last of four parts Jacob M. Van Zyl The apostle John jubilated, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God” (1 John 3:1). In the context of John 15, we may rephrase it: “Look what privilege the triune God bestowed on us ... Read More »

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The Spirit’s indwelling

By Submitted Article on August 15th, 2020

The sap Third of four parts Jacob M. Van Zyl The Holy Spirit is likened to the oil of the olive tree, dripping into the lampstand (Zech. 4:1-6, 11-14). The menorah in the Tabernacle was filled with special olive oil every day, enabling it to give endless light (Ex. 27:20-21), symbolizing that believers are the ... Read More »

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The Son’s sacrifice

By Submitted Article on August 8th, 2020

The vine Second of four parts Jacob M. Van Zyl In John 15:1-8, Jesus used farmer, vine, sap and branches to depict Father, Son, Spirit and believers, respectively. We have looked at the Father’s role as farmer; today, we study Jesus, the vine. The vine is the stem of the plant. It is not visually ... Read More »

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