We read in Leviticus 23:42 that ancient Israel was commanded to “dwell in booths for seven days.” God commanded Israel to build temporary huts or booths out of tree branches and live in them during the Feast of Tabernacles (compare Nehemiah 8:14-18).
What is a booth? In the Hebrew, the word is “sukkah.” It means, literally, a “covering or a booth,” but as we will see, it conveys more than that.
The word “sukkah” is translated 12 times as “tabernacle” in the Authorized Version. In most cases, it refers to the Feast of Tabernacles (compare Leviticus 23:34; Deuteronomy 16:13, 16; 31:10; 2 Chronicles 8:13; Ezra 3:4; and Zechariah 14:16, 18-19).
The story of Eli is recorded in the first four chapters of 1 Samuel. Eli served as priest; in fact, as High Priest in the house of the LORD in Shiloh (compare 1 Samuel 1:9, 24). Eli was also a judge over Israel (1 Samuel 4:18). Eli was a descendant of Ithamar, the fourth and youngest son of Aaron the High Priest (compare Exodus 6:23).
The account in 1 Samuel also introduces the story of Samuel—the one who replaced Eli as judge over Israel (compare 1 Samuel 7:6).
For Eli, serving as both priest and judge to Israel, a great sense of responsibility and accountability to God was required. Turning to a later account, consider what God said as it is recorded in the second chapter of the Book of Malachi concerning His priests:
Beginning with verse 11, Revelation 20 describes the Great White Throne Judgment period, which is also referred to in Scripture as the “Second Resurrection.” It will follow the First Resurrection (of all those true Christians who will have been resurrected to immortal life, at the time of Christ’s return). The Second Resurrection will also follow the Millennium of 1,000 years of Christ’s rule here on earth (compare Revelation 20:1-4).
The Bible teaches us that we must be willing to forgive and forget, upon repentance. The Bible does not teach us that we must overlook and ignore ungodly conduct of those who reject God and persecute His people; especially, when it has relevance and important bearing on other Christians. The Bible even tells us that sometimes, some need to be admonished—even in public, if necessary—to prevent that others follow their wrong example.
For instance, in Titus 1:10-14, Paul warns Titus not to tolerate those in a certain nation who oppose him:
During one of the early encounters of Moses and Aaron with Pharaoh, “Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh and before his servants, and it became a serpent. But Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers (or soothsayers); so the magicians of Egypt, they ALSO DID IN LIKE MANNER with their enchantments. For every man threw down his rod, and they became serpents. But Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods” (Exodus 7:10-12).
The Bible teaches us that Christ will return after the Great Tribulation has commenced, and within approximately a year after the beginning of the Day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord will not end when Christ returns, but it will continue throughout the Millennium and beyond—it describes the time when God will rule in the affairs of men. After the Millennium and the Great White Throne Judgment, also known as the Second Resurrection, lasting perhaps 100 years, there will be a third resurrection for those who have committed the unpardonable sin. They will be cast in the Gehenna or “hell” fire—the “lake of fire”--to be burned up and destroyed.
When we think of the word “church,” we need to understand that it is not a reference to a building, but rather to a group of people—the “called-out-ones”--who were given a specific purpose or commission to accomplish. This task can only be achieved with the help of God, who opens doors and provides opportunities to the church as a group of zealous and dedicated people.
Rightly understood, there is not only one purpose or even one main purpose of the church, but there are quite a few reasons for the existence of the church of God.
One main purpose can be derived from Matthew 24:14, which explains that the gospel of the Kingdom of God is to be and will be preached and published to the world as a witness.
In the Q&A in Update 234 of March 10, 2006, the question of the first two verses in 1 Corinthians was discussed, and the conclusion was that “1 Corinthians 11:1 can, and must be taken at face value: We are to follow Paul or any other servant of God ONLY to the extent that he follows Christ.”
In this Q&A, let us look specifically at the meaning of “imitate”. “Mimetes” (pronounced mim-ay-tace) is the Greek noun to be translated as “imitator” (see Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries). The Greek verb, which means “to mimic” or “to imitate”, is “mimeomai” (see Young’s Analytical Concordance).
Note the different translations of 1 Corinthians 11:1:
Since the Word of God is consistent in its teaching (John 10:35) and stands forever (Isaiah 40:8; Psalm 119:160; and 1 Peter 1:25), the instruction to both judge and not to judge is not a contradiction. Therefore, it is vital to understand the difference between the types of judgment that are appropriate and the types that are inappropriate. The Bible draws a distinction between righteous judgment and situations in which judgment is to be avoided. The Bible is clear in its instruction for Christians both to judge righteously and to abstain from judgment. How can we reconcile the difference? The answer is that not all judgment is the same. Reading closely in the Bible, we find that judgment requires context in order to determine if it is appropriate behavior.
The Bible teaches that it is the potential and destiny of man to enter the Kingdom and Family of God; that is, to become an immortal and eternal God being. Much information on this intriguing subject is provided in our free booklets, “The Gospel of the Kingdom of God” and “God Is a Family.” We will be quoting at length from these and other booklets throughout this Q&A.
Those who are called and chosen in this day and age, are to qualify for entrance into God’s Kingdom, when Jesus Christ returns to this earth. But what, exactly, will they be? And what powers will they have?
"You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden."-Matthew 5:14