The Temple Mount gates

JP: The article is very worthwhile. Very cool graphic with the article.

The Temple Mount gates

The original names of the gates of the Herodian Temple Mount walls are not known. They possibly never had names.

Today we refer to the gates in the Western Wall (from north to south) as Warren’s Gate, Wilson’s Arch (which was part of a bridge and led to a gate which was built into the western portico), Barclay’s Gate and Robinson’s Arch – which supported a stairway leading to a gate, which was also built into the western portico. Warren, Wilson, Barclay and Robinson were explorers, who worked in Jerusalem in the late 1800’s.

There are two Herodian gates in the Southern Wall, the Double Gate and the Triple Gate. These gates are sometimes erroneously called the Huldah Gates, for these were located on the Temple Mount and were not part of the Herodian retaining walls.

There were two gates in the Eastern Wall, a small gate near the south-east corner, which led into what is now called the Solomon’s Stables and the main eastern gate, which was located where the Golden Gate now stands. Inside this gate are two monolithic gate posts which belonged to the earlier Shushan Gate.

There may have been another Herodian gate in the northern wall, but no remains have been found and it is only once mentioned by Josephus.

The earlier square Temple Mount, which was originally constructed by King Hezekiah, had five gates and their names are known. In the west was the Coponius Gate, the two gates in the southern wall were called the Huldah Gates. We have already mentioned the Shushan Gate in the eastern wall and the gate in the northern wall was called the Tadi Gate. This gate may have been buried underground by the Herodian expansion to the north.


Make a covenant with your eyes

David and Bathsheba by Artemisia Gentileschi

Exhibited in Ohio (USA), Columbus Museum of Art

JP: Worthwhile short read.

You Aren’t Safe from Adultery

Seeing Bathsheba bathing led to David’s adultery with her (2 Samuel 11:2-3).

Job 31:1, “I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman?”

Kumbaya culture

JP: Good read from Pastor Doug Roman.

Who Is A Child Of God?

In our Kumbaya culture, we are quick to embrace the idea that we are all God’s children. John, as well as the other writers in the New Testament, show evidence to the contrary.

So, who is a child of God? Anyone who is born of God, or regenerated, is a child of God (1 John 2:29; 3:9). Let’s not be carried about by the sentimental theology of our culture. Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:3 that he must be “born again,” referring to a spiritual birth, not a physical one (Nicodemus thought Jesus meant this [John 3:4] and Jesus rebuked him for it [John 3:10]). Faith in Christ is the only way to the Father (John 14:6). It is by trusting Christ and Christ alone that we become a child of God and are adopted into God’s family. Until then, we are children of wrath. God is not our Father. He is our Judge. God has made it possible for you to become His child. If you have not, would you place your faith in Christ alone? Just as Ananias welcomed Saul, who just days before was persecuting the church, with the words “Brother Saul” (Acts 9:17), so I hope I can call you my brother or sister in the Lord and thus we can magnify the grace of God together.

Pastor Roman cites “fives lines of evidence”:

  1. Proponents of the view that we are all the children of God by birth may point to Acts 17:28 where Paul cites “Phainomena” a poem by the Greek poet Aratus: “For we are indeed his offspring.” One might argue that since we are all God’s offspring that would allow us to conclude that we are all God’s children. However, because we are God’s offspring, i.e. His creation, He is our Creator but not by necessity our Father.
  2. Jesus tells the Jews in John 8:44 “you are of your father the devil.” Notice the correlation between action and relationship. They do what their father does, the same truth that John is teaching in his letter. 1 John 3:10 “By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.” Our actions reveal our parentage.
  3. Paul says that we “were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind” (Ephesians 2:3). Notice the past tense verb of being ‘were’. It reveals that a change took place at a point in time, following one’s physical birth. How does this status change take place? Legally. It is called justification. Romans 5:1 “Therefore, since we have been justified [counted righteous] by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:9 “Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.” Galatians 2:16 “yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.” Who’s righteousness? Not ours (Romans 3:10) but God’s (Romans 1:17; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21). (cf. Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3, 5-6, 9). So, by birth we are all children of wrath. Something had to occur to change this, namely justification.
  4. Paul reminds about the vital role of the Holy Spirit in sonship in Romans 8:14-16. In the same passage, he uses the significant word “adoption” (uioqesia). The word “indicates a total break w. the old family and a new family relation with all its rights, privileges, and responsibilities” (Rogers and Rogers, Exegetical Key, 330). We all understand the concept of adoption. An adopted child was not naturally born into one’s family. It is actually a precious picture of being chosen. So we’re reminded that we are adopted children into God’s family; thus we are not naturally children of God.
  5. The distinction between “being” and “becoming” in John 1 is significant, especially in John 1:12-13. ”In the beginning was the Word [Jesus]“ (John 1:1). The verb “was” in 1:1 is the verb of being eimi in Greek. God the Son always was, is, and will be; without beginning or end. John the Baptist on the other hand “was” (ginomai). This verb of being suggests a point in time when he came into being. It is the same verb of being used for creation in v. 3: “All things were made (ginomai) through him.” It is even used of the incarnation of Jesus, when the Word became (ginomai) flesh and dwelt among us! Jesus didn’t always possess a body, he received one just like you and me at His conception (though His conception was one-of-a-kind). In this way, Jesus became flesh. So noting the distinction between always being (eimi, e.g., God the Son) and becoming (ginomai, e.g., creation, John the Baptist, and the Incarnated Christ). John says this in 1:12-13: “But to all who did receive him, who believed on his name, he gave the right to become (ginomai) children of God, [13] who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” Thus showing that one is not a child of God by birth, but rather one must become a child of God by being born again which comes through receiving and believing in Christ.

JP: More on Kumbaya.

Ben Fugate’s parents

Kathee and I worshiped at Ben Fugate’s folks’ church in Neillsville, Wisconsin this morning.

Sarah and Mark Fugate

Kathee w. Sarah Fugate

Weekend weddings

David and Anita

Jeremiah and Verity

More pics from Jeremiah’s and Verity’s wedding. We connected with Deb and Joe Cable there!

Cohabitation always comes with a moral and spiritual cost

JP: A good article by Albert Mohler, Jr. See my brief comments below the quote.

“Part of the Life Course?” Cohabitation in Contemporary America


The number of opposite-sex couples who live together, less than a million 30 years, hit 6.4 million in 2007, show federal data released Monday. Cohabiting couples now make up almost 10% of all opposite-sex U.S. couples, married and unmarried.

Just thirty years ago cohabitation was rare and marriage was the norm for heterosexual couples. All that has seemingly changed.

Even as marriage is still the norm, increasing numbers of heterosexual couples are cohabitating before, if not instead of, marrying. The Census Bureau reports statistics, but the more urgent dimension of this development is moral. The subversion of marriage comes at great cost, even if couples do not experience what they describe as trauma or trouble. The reality of sexual intimacy outside of marriage always comes with a moral and spiritual cost, but this is rejected by a culture in denial.

Comments: I’ll add no more than what the Scriptures teach:

  • Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge”
  • Galatians 6:7,8: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”
  • Ephesians 5:3, “But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints”

Lest We Forget

JP: Worthwhile read by Chris Anderson.

Lest We Forget

Scripture’s description of Christ’s establishment of the Lord’s Table on the night before His crucifixion is full of dramatic truths. By tying the ordinance to the Old Testament Passover (Matt 26:17, 26), He signified His redemption of mankind from sin’s bondage and equated Himself with the Passover’s sacrificial lamb, demonstrating that His death would turn away the wrath of God and effectively end the need for animal sacrifice. By stating that the cup was the New Covenant inaugurated with His blood (Matt 26:27–28), He fulfilled Old Testament prophecies and marked a distinct change in the way in which God would deal with sinful men (Jer 31:31–34). Finally, He set up a perpetual memorial of Himself, giving us symbols representing His body and blood to remind us of Him until He returns (Matt 26:26–29; 1 Cor 11:23–26).

The last of those lessons is probably the best understood: Christ established the Lord’s Table as a “remembrance.” What we often miss, however, is the startling fact that Christ found it necessary to institute a reminder of His suffering on our behalf. What a devastating indictment Christ made of even saved men! Might we forget that Christ lived a perfect life on our behalf? Forget that He bore our sin on His body on the cross? Forget that He suffered the undiluted and infinite wrath of God that we might enjoy His favor? Forget that He was forsaken by His Father so we might be received? Is it possible we could be so ungrateful and distracted?

Indeed it is. Christ knew the frailty and folly of human hearts. He knew we would forget His saving work, and we have proven Him right countless times. Certainly we don’t forget that these events happened in history, but we suffer a practical amnesia when we act as though Christ’s sacrifice for our sins is irrelevant for real life. Even more amazing than our neglect of Christ is that He saved us although He knew we would so easily forget Him. Knowing that we are “prone to wander,” Jesus set up a beautiful reminder to direct our thoughts toward His saving work, past, present and future. The Lord’s Table is a unique gift to the body of Christ. It is an important part of our sanctification—not because there is any particular power in the elements or in the ritual (the error promoted by the Roman Catholic Church), but because the Lord’s Table seizes the attention of a distracted church and makes us “behold the Lamb of God” anew. And gazing on Christ is indeed a sanctifying practice (2 Cor 3:18)!

The gathering of Christ’s church in remembrance of Christ’s work and anticipation of Christ’s return is precious to God—so precious that He commanded its regular observance: “Do this in remembrance of me.” It should be equally precious to us, lest we forget.