In loving memory of my wonderful grandparents, Elbert Lee "Pat" Fortenberry and his wife, Bobbie Jean Davis
♡ TO ANYONE OUT THERE WHO MAY NEED THIS ♡
Please don't give up. It hurts your loved ones to see you cry. Their hearts ache when they see you slowly losing faith. I want you to know that there's so much more to your life than what you're currently going through. Your prayers are NOT pointless. God hears your silent pain and He loves you SO much that He got up off of His throne in Heaven itself and came to Earth just to die for you so that you could be saved. It doesn't matter how empty you may feel. You're still worth more than the pain you're feeling. Please keep living and don't let your struggle take your life. Click on the deviation above for a message of hope and if you need to talk to someone about anything at all, I'm always available any time you see me on deviantART and you will find no judgment here. I know that a lot of Christians judge others, but God taught me sweet grace.
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This sermon was presented not long after the fatal shooting of Keith Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina, where Elevation Church is based. I think its message is one we need to hear and remember every single day.
"You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven."
(Matthew 5:13-18 NIV)
The Gospel of Matthew tells us that Jesus Christ was born in the final years of the tyrant known as Herod the Great. He tells us that when Jesus was born, Herod panicked and had all of the baby boys in Bethlehem killed. Fortunately, the Holy Family was warned by an angel of the LORD in a dream and escaped to Egypt, remaining there until Herod had died. They didn't have to stay long, however.
Setting Aside a Common Mistake
For just over a hundred years, the question of when Herod the Great died has been dominated by a proposal by the German scholar, Emil Schurer. He suggested that Herod died in 4 BC and this view took off in scholarly circles, but in recent decades, it's been challenged and the arguments for this position are exceptionally weak. So, when did Herod actually die?
The Length of Herod's Reign
Here is how the Jewish historian Josephus describes the timing of Herod's death:
"So Herod, having survived the slaughter of his son, Antipater, five days earlier, died, having reigned thirty-four years since he had caused Antigonus to be slain and obtained his kingdom, but thirty-seven years since he had been made king by the Romans."
In this place, Josephus dates Herod's death by three events:
1) He died five days after the execution of his son, Antipater.
2)He reigned for thirty-four years after he "obtained his kingdom (conquered Jerusalem and had its Hasmonean king, Antigonus, killed)."
3) His reign lasted thirty-seven years after "he had been made king by the Romans, which means he was named king 37 years before his death and conquered the kingdom he was to rule 3 years after that.
The death of Antipater isn't a particularly helpful clue, but the two ways of reckoning the length of Herod's reign are. First, though, we need to answer one question.
How Is Josephus Counting Years?
Kings don't tend to come into office on New Year's Day, so they often serve a partial year before the next calendar year begins regardless of which calendar is used. They also don't typically die on the last day of the year, so they also serve a partial year at the end of their reigns. This creates complications for historians because ancient authors sometimes count these additional partial years (especially the one at the beginning of the reign) as a full year. Alternatively, they simply ignore the calendar year and treat the time that a king came into office as a kind of birthday and reckon his reign in years from that point. What scheme was Josephus using? Advocates of the idea that Herod died in 4 BC argue that he was named king in 40 BC. To square that with a 37-year reign ending in 4 BC, they must count the partial year at the beginning of his reign and the part year at the end of it as full years, as that's the only way the math will work out. The problem is that this is not how Josephus would have reckoned the years. Biblical chronology scholar Andrew E. Steinmann comments:
"There is no evidence for this inclusive way of reckoning the partial years and every other reign in this period, including those of the Jewish high priests, are reckoned non-inclusively by Josephus."
In other words, Josephus does not count the partial first year when dating reigns in this period. Knowing that, what would we make of Josephus's two ways of dating Herod's reign?
Herod Appointed King
Josephus gave an impossible date (one that did not exist) for Herod's appointment as king. He said that it was in the 184th Olympiad, which ended in mid-year of 40 BC and that it was in the consulship of Calvinus and Pollio, which began in late 40 and extended into 39. Those can't both be correct, but one of them could be on its own. Which one, though? The evidence points to 39 BC, because we have another source on this— the Roman historians Appian and Dio Cassius. Appian wrote a history of the Roman civil wars in which he discusses the appointment of Herod in the midst of other events. By comparing this set of events to how they are dated in Dio Cassius's Roman History, it can be shown that the events in question, including the appointment of Herod, took place in 39 BC. Given how Josephus dates reigns in this period, he would not have counted Herod's partial first year in 39 BC but would have started his count with 38 BC. Count 37 years forward from that and you have 1 BC.
Herod Conquers Jerusalem
In his writings, Josephus gives contradictory dating information for Herod's conquest of Jerusalem. Some of the dating information he provides points to 37 BC and some points to 36 BC. Josephus said Herod died 34 years after the event and bearing in mind that he wasn't counting partial first years, that would put Herod's death either in 2 BC (if he conquered Jerusalem in 37) or in 1 BC (if he conquered the city in 36). There are various ways to try to resolve which year it was, but some are rather complex. At least one, however, is quite straightforward.
Herod's Lunar Eclipse
Also in his writings, Josephus said that Herod died between a lunar eclipse and Passover. While there was a partial lunar eclipse before Passover in 4 BC, there was a total lunar eclipse before Passover in 1 BC. Further, the lunar eclipse in 1 BC better fits the situation Josephus describes. Since 4 BC is outside the range indicated above and since the 1 BC lunar eclipse fits the situation better, that lets us decide between 2 BC and 1 BC in favor of the latter. There was no lunar eclipse in 2 BC, pointing us toward 1 BC. Putting together the pieces above, we have:
● Reason to think Herod died in either 2 or 1 BC based on the amount of time he served after conquering Jerusalem.
● Reason to think Herod died in 1 BC based on the amount of time he served after being appointed king by the Romans.
● Reason to confirm that Herod died in 1 BC because of the lunar eclipse that occurred before Passover.
More specifically, he would have died between January 10, 1 BC (the date of the lunar eclipse) and April 11, 1 BC (the date of Passover) and because sources indicate that Jesus was born in 2 BC, Herod would have died in early 1 BC between January and April because the Holy Family was commanded by God to escape to Egypt before this occurred since Herod sought to murder the threat to his reign (Matthew 2:13-18), we can place the birth of our Lord in December of 2 BC with somewhat certainty.
This coincides with the date on which we celebrate Christmas despite all of the opinions otherwise.
Hi, everyone! I love so much to be a voice for Jesus on dA and to be here for people to approach in order to learn about my Lord, to ask questions regarding faith in general, to request prayer, or to request Christian counsel. The most effective way for me to draw people to my page is, of course, my art, so I've set this donation widget up. If you would like to, you can donate a few points to help me purchase premium stock. I give these!
MY ART STATUS:
I pledge allegiance to the Christian Flag and to the One for Whose Kingdom
it stands. One Savior, crucified, risen, and coming again with life
and liberty to all who believe. Amen.
I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the
Republic for which it stands. One nation, under God, indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all.
Thank you in advance for every and ! I will reply to comments.
PRINTS OF THE ANGELS OF VIRTUE, FALLEN ANGELS OF SIN, AND THE HORSEMEN ARE NOW AVAILABLE. THE FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT ARE BEING REDONE TO CORRECT THE HEBREW.
ALSO IN PROGRESS: THE CIRCLES OF DANTE ALIGHIERI'S HELL
Regarding ExaltGod, my official statement on such preaching is here.
MAKE YOUR CHOICE. THERE IS NO GRAY.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is
eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 KJV)
As two of the stamps above and some of the stamps in the section lower on my profile indicate, I often preach against judging others. However, there IS such a thing as righteous judgment and it is very different from the hypocritical judgment that I preach against. Click here to read about the differences.
Read serial killer David Berkowitz (formerly known as Son of Sam)'s testimony about his salvation through Jesus Christ after his capture and incarceration and how God has changed his life here.
We should NEVER judge others based on outward appearance.
Are you familiar with Alice Cooper, who is also known as the "biggest villain in rock music?" Did you know that a great many of his songs are about faith in God/Christ?
Catch my 32,000th pageview for a free Facebook cover photo!
TALK TO ME! I CAN SPEAK THESE LANGUAGES!
Never be sad about growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.
President Trump is doing an amazing job.
Neo-Nazis and other Anti-Semitics need not apply.
Feel free to send me your PSN. I do not play XBOX.
In the darkest night, we are the flame.
Hi! My name is Kristen Danielle Carrier and I was born and raised in a small country town. As such, my heroes generally wear cowboy hats (except for two; one of which wore a crown of thorns and the other being someone that I'm convinced has invisible angel wings). I am from deep south Louisiana and will soon be going back to college at Delgado Community College to earn my certificates in the various Adobe graphic design programs and to earn associate's degrees in homeschool education and culinary arts. During my free time, I play video games, write fiction and/or fan-fiction novels, swim for leisure and for mermaid performance training, shop, and manage an ocean advocacy page as my environmentalist alter ego, Mermaid Kallai, on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I am straight edge and have never had a cigarette, an alcoholic beverage, or a non-prescription drug in my life save for one tiny sip of wine during the Holy Communion at church when I was little (and before I knew better). I'm 29 years old and my birthday is Valentine's Day.
I would like to make a note about the art you see on this account. Many of the graphics were made a very long time ago (when I was in my teens and just starting to practice graphic design) and I cannot for the life of me recall whose stock I used for most of them because there were so many pieces and because I naïvely did not write it down. I am working on finding the owners of the pieces I used, but I have not found them all yet. So, if you see your stock in any of my graphics and it is not listed in the credit section of my artist's comments, I humbly request that you please note me and let me know so that I may add the proper credit immediately. Now, speaking of giving credit where it is due, my gallery CSS was made by CypherVisor, caybeach made my journal CSS, RoslynnSommers made my icon, and Lill-Devil-Melii made my custom box background, but all of them have slight modifications done by myself.
To my brothers and sisters in Christ all across deviantART:
I’m sure you have at least one person that you'd love to dismiss or defame because you disagree with them and if so, you should take a moment to recognize that this person is still someone Jesus loves just as much as He loves you and He died for them, as well. His sacrifice wasn’t for select sinners. It was for us ALL and as a Christian, your job is not to judge someone because they don't have the same beliefs as you do. If a Christian acts like a pompous jerk, they shouldn't be surprised if people aren't keen on joining the Jesus train. God loves everyone regardless of what sins they commit and Christians should reflect this image of truth and love, not judgment and pride. So, break out those love glasses and see the world through HIS eyes.
TO ALL THE SINGLE CHRISTIAN GIRLS OUT THERE:
Be done with players and nice "Christian" boys. Wait for a Godly man. Don't settle. If you're following Christ, then you're not about that life, so join hands and demand that the standard be raised across the board. You are the daughters of God and you are grown enough to know that you will get the treatment that you expect from men. Having high standards attracts men who have high standards for themselves. This applies to the single guys as well in the opposite respect.
This is Mel Gibson talking to the actor who played Jesus in the movie The Passion of the Christ. Mel was the director of that movie. I'm sure he is giving him advice on what to do in a scene or something, but it honestly makes me think something totally different. Just imagine sitting next to Jesus like this and talking to Him about how hard your life is or asking Him to take the pain away because you can't stand it. You're doing this while you look right at Him, bloody and beaten. He looks that way because He made the ultimate sacrifice— for you. Even after that, He still loves you. He wants us to talk to Him. He wants to help us. He loves us. He died on that cross for us so that we could be forgiven. When we talk to Him, we can't see Him sitting next to us like this, but He is surely there and He listens to us just like this.
Because of the very prominent display of my Christian faith on my profile, I tend to get a decent amount of traffic (nothing like 'famous' deviants, but a good deal) and it has therefore become necessary to set a few guidelines for commenting on my page. I do often get genuine, polite questions about faith and the Bible as well as sincere requests for advice, prayer, and Christian counsel and these questions are the most important ones that I will ever answer. I try to check in with deviantART several times per day to get to these questions and requests and I need to be able to recognize them immediately, so I have therefore set three very simple rules about commenting on my page. These rules also apply to noting me and they are as follows.
● Everyone on deviantART is welcome on my profile. My profile's comment section is always open to people of all faiths or lack thereof. This means that if you believe differently than I do in any way either by having faith in a different religion, by being atheistic or agnostic, or simply having a different belief as to the way Christianity should be practiced, you are still welcome here if you'd like to receive kind and genuine counsel or have serious Bible and belief questions. I discriminate against NO ONE and I would also like to specifically note that I also welcome members of the LGBT community with open arms. I say this not to single LGBT out, but rather to convey that you'll find no judgment here.
● Please kindly inform me of your intentions right away when you comment. What I mean by this is that if you have a need, a question, or a prayer request, please place that information into your first comment rather than allowing the comment to seem like idle chit-chat. For example, since I am so focused on answering vital questions, a comment saying "Hi! How are you? May I ask a question/for prayer about *insert subject here,* please?" will be answered as quickly as possible whereas a comment that tries to get a conversation going before asking the question such as "Hi! I haven’t commented to you in a while. How have you been?" may end up getting ignored or pushed aside because it does not immediately allow me to recognize that there is a need. Note that follow-up questions asked after my answering your first one are NOT idle chit-chat and I will respond to you in replies until I have addressed your need to your absolute satisfaction.
● PLEASE DO NOT TROLL. This is that icky rule that I only mention out of necessity because some people are rude. Everyone is welcome here no matter what their beliefs are, so if all you can think of to comment with is something nasty directed towards my faith and feelings and/or the faith and feelings of another commenter on my page, kindly see yourself out and don’t let the door hit you when you leave. Things that are considered trolling/disrespectful on my page are taking the LORD’s name in vain on purpose, using profanity, being in any way vulgar, praising the devil, and attacking me or other people here. I also do not appreciate spam. Each cruel trolling comment of any kind as well as actual spam will be reported as such and the commenter blocked. I will also respond by asking all of my watchers to pray for each troll by way of posting a status about their need.
Thank you for your consideration and God bless.