To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. Interestingly, God also revealed through Isaiah how Christ would be able to come back to life after being crucified. Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust; For your dew is like the dew of herbs, And the earth shall cast out the dead. The first 11 chapters describe many social, moral and religious sins that are similar to the sins that the modern descendants of Israel and Judah are presently committing.
As the waters cover the sea. The warnings to Israel and Judah of their national sins continue throughout chapters 41 to The difference is that in these chapters God gives them encouragement that He will eventually redeem them. Here are some examples:. In chapters 56 to 59 God continues to give correction and warning to Israel and Judah for their sins. In these chapters Israel and Judah are chastised for their hypocrisy in how they worship God.
There are two chapters in particular that touch on this religious hypocrisy. You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, And in their glory you shall boast.
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Therefore in their land they shall possess double; Everlasting joy shall be theirs. All who see them shall acknowledge them, That they are the posterity whom the Lord has blessed. Prophecies about the coming Day of the Lord can be found in the writings of many of the Old Testament prophets, and Isaiah is no exception. This subject is covered from chapters 2 to Unlike the dualism of the prophecies to Israel and Judah, most prophecies about the Day of the Lord are for an event yet to come. These foretell a time of awesome and frightening events leading to the return of Christ.
The principle of a day for a year in prophecy also applies to the Day of the Lord 34 According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for each day you shall bear your guilt one year, namely forty years, and you shall know My rejection.
I have laid on you a day for each year. Men will hide in caves in terror 19 They shall go into the holes of the rocks, And into the caves of the earth, From the terror of the Lord And the glory of His majesty, When He arises to shake the earth mightily. Isaiah also speaks of the Day of the Lord as a time of war Isaiah These events are also described in the seven trumpets of Revelation These verses are almost identical to those of Revelation , , There are numerous prophecies about the Kingdom of God throughout chapters 44 to It is a very important theme in this book.
Aside from the four major themes, there are a few other important subjects covered in the book of Isaiah. These include:. The prophecies of Isaiah are relevant in all generations, but they primarily point to the end of the age when Jesus Christ will return and set up the Kingdom of God. The warnings of the Day of the Lord and warnings to Israel and Judah are relevant for us today. If we will heed these warnings from God, then we can be assured of the promises of mercy and salvation through Jesus Christ that are explained in the book of Isaiah. He has served in the ministry of the Church of God for over 46 years.
During those years he and his wife, Lois, have served congregations from Portland, Oregon, where he grew up, to Utah, Ohio, North Carolina, and now Florida. Continue Reading. Was his message only historical, or is it a message for today?
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The primary understanding of Hinduism is that there is an order to the universe and every individual has a specific place in that order. Each person on the planet has a duty dharma which only they can perform. If one acts rightly karma in the performance of that duty, then one is rewarded by moving closer to the supreme being and eventually becoming one with god; if one does not, then one is reincarnated as many times as it takes to finally understand how to live and draw closer to union with the supreme soul.
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This belief was carried over by Siddhartha Gautama when he became the Buddha and founded the religion known as Buddhism. In Buddhism, however, one is not seeking union with a god but with one's higher nature as one leaves behind the illusions of the world which generate suffering and cloud the mind with the fear of loss and death. Buddhism became so popular that it traveled from India to China where it enjoyed equal success.
In ancient China, religion is thought to have developed as early as c. This early belief structure may have been a mix of animism and mythology as these images include recognizable animals and pig-dragons, precursors to the famous Chinese dragon. By the time of the Xia Dynasty BCE , there were many anthropomorphic gods worshiped with a chief god, Shangti, presiding over all. This belief continued, with modifications, during the period of the Shang Dynasty BCE which developed the practice of ancestor worship.
The people believed that Shangti had so many responsibilities that he had become too busy to handle their needs. It was thought that, when a person died, they went to live with the gods and became intermediaries between the people and those gods. Ancestor worship influenced the two great Chinese belief systems of Confucianism and Taoism , both of which made ancestor worship core tenets of their practices.
In time, Shangti was replaced with the concept of Tian heaven , a paradise where the dead would reside eternally in peace. At the bridge, one was either judged worthy of heaven - and so passed on - or unworthy - and slipped from the bridge into the abyss to be swallowed up in hell. Other versions of this same scenario claim the soul was reincarnated after drinking from the cup. Either way, the living were expected to remember the dead who had passed over the bridge to the other side and to honor their memory.
The gods were involved in every aspect of the life of the Maya. As with other cultures, there were many different deities over , all of whom had their own special sphere of influence. The Mayan afterlife was similar to the Mesopotamian in that it was a dark and dreary place, but the Maya imagined an even worse fate where one was constantly under threat of attack or deception by the demon lords who inhabited the underworld known as Xibalba or Metnal. The dread of the journey through Xibalba was such a potent cultural force that the Maya are the only known ancient culture to honor a goddess of suicide Ixtab because suicides were thought to bypass Xibalba and go straight to paradise as did those who died in childbirth or in battle.
The Maya believed in the cyclical nature of life, that all things which seem to die simply are transformed, and considered human life just another part of the kind of pattern they saw all around them in nature. They felt death was a natural progression after life and feared the very unnatural possibility that the dead could return to haunt the living. It was possible that a person would hang on to life for any of a number of reasons the chief being improper burial , and so ceremonies were performed to remember the dead and honor their spirit.
This belief was also held by Mesoamerican cultures other than the Maya such as the Aztec and Tarascan. In time, it developed into the holiday known today as The Day of the Dead El Dia de los Muertos , in which people celebrate the lives of those who have passed on and remember their names. It was not only people who were to be remembered and honored, however, but also a very important deity scholars refer to as the Maize God. He is always pictured as eternally young and handsome with an elongated head like a corncob, long, flowing hair like corn silk , and ornamented with jade to symbolize the corn stalk.
He was considered so important by the Maya that mothers would bind the heads of their young sons to flatten the forehead and elongate their heads to resemble him. The Maize God remained an important deity to the Maya even when eclipsed by the greatest and most popular of the gods Gucumatz also known as Kukulcan and Quetzalcoatl whose great pyramid at Chichen Itza is still visited by millions of people every year in the present day.
On the twin equinoxes of every year, the sun casts a shadow on the stairs of the pyramid structure which seems to resemble a great serpent descending from the top to the bottom; this is thought to be the great Kukulcan returning from the heavens to earth to impart his blessings. Even today, people gather at Chichen Itza to witness this event at the equinoxes and to remember the past and hope for the future.
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The importance of remembrance of the dead as part of one's religious devotions was integral to the beliefs of the Greeks as well. Continued remembrance of the dead by the living kept the soul of the deceased alive in the afterlife. The Greeks, like the other cultures mentioned, believed in many gods who often cared for their human charges but, just as often, pursued their own pleasure. The capricious nature of the gods may have contributed to the development of philosophy in Greece as philosophy can only develop in a culture where religion is not providing for the people's spiritual needs.
Plato consistently criticized the Greek concept of the gods and Critias claimed they were simply created by men to control other men. Xenophanes, as noted above, claimed the Greek view was completely wrong and God was unimaginable. Just because a person was no longer living on earth did not mean that person was to be forgotten any more than one would forget to honor the invisible gods.
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As with other ancient cultures, religion in Greece was fully integrated into one's daily life and routine. The Greeks consulted the gods on matters ranging from affairs of state to personal decisions regarding love, marriage, or one's job. An ancient story tells of how the writer Xenophon - c. Socrates sent him to ask the question of the god at Delphi. Instead of asking his original question, Xenophon asked the god of Delphi which of the many gods was best to court favor with to ensure a successful venture and safe return.
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He appears to have gotten the correct answer since he survived the disastrous campaign of Cyrus and not only returned to Athens but saved the bulk of the army. The religion of Rome followed the same paradigm as that of Greece. The Roman religion most likely began as a kind of animism and developed as they came into contact with other cultures.
The Greeks had the most significant impact on Roman religion, and many of the Roman gods are simply Greek deities with Roman names and slightly altered attributes. In Rome, the worship of the gods was intimately tied to affairs of state and the stability of the society was thought to rest on how well the people revered the gods and participated in the rituals which honored them. The Vestal Virgins are one famous example of this belief in that these women were counted on to maintain the vows they had taken and perform their duties responsibly in order to continually honor Vesta and all the goddess gave to the people.
Although the Romans had imported their primary gods from Greece, once the Roman religion was established and linked to the welfare of the state, no foreign gods were welcomed. When worship of the popular Egyptian goddess Isis was brought to Rome, Emperor Augustus forbade any temples to be built in her honor or public rites observed in her worship because he felt such attention paid to a foreign deity would undermine the authority of the government and established religious beliefs. To the Romans, the gods had created everything according to their will and maintained the universe in the best way possible and a human being was obligated to show them honor for their gifts.
This was true not only for the 'major' gods of the Roman pantheon but also for the spirits of the home.
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