MICHAEL (mi’ kihl)
Personal name meaning, “Who is like God?”. 1. Father
of one of the twelve Israelite spies (Num. 13:13). 2-3.Two Gadites (1 Chron. 5:13-14). 4. Ancestor of Asaph (1 Chron.
6:40). 5. Leader of the tribe of Issachar (1 Chron.
7:3) perhaps identical to the father of Omri (1 Chron. 27:18). 6. Leader of the tribe of Benjamin (1 Chron.
8:16); 7. Manassite who defected to David’s army (1 Chron. 12:20). 8. Son of King Jehoshaphat (2 Chron.
21:2). 9. Ancestor of one of those who returned from Exile with Ezra (Ezra 8:8). 10. Archangel
who served as the guardian of the national of Israel
with Gabriel, Michael fought for Israel
against the prince (angelic patron) of Persia.
This angelic Michael figures in much extra-biblical
literature in the intertestamental period. In Revelation 12:7
Michael commands the forces of God against the forces of the dragon in a war in
heaven. Jude 9
refers to a dispute between the devil and Michael over Moses’ body. According
to Origin (A.D. 185? to 254?), this account formed part of the extra-biblical
work, The Assumption of Moses. The incident is not mentioned in the
surviving fragments of this work. See Angel
JULIA (jyoo’ lih uh) Common Roman
name. In Romans
16:15, a Christian woman to whom Paul the apostle extended a greeting. Her
name suggests she may have had some association with the imperial household.
She may have been sister or wife to Philologus and a
slave of the emperor.
KINGDOM OF GOD God’s kingly rule or sovereignty. The Old Testament
contains no references to the kingdom
of God. However, in the Old
Testament God is spoken of as ruling (for example, Pss.
Dan. 4:17,25-37). The Old
Testament emphasis on God’s sovereign power over all kings and kingdoms sets
the stage for the New Testament teaching. Jesus made the kingdom
of God central in His preaching.
More than a hundred references to the kingdom appear in the Gospels, many in
Jesus’ parables. See Parable.
of God was the central image in
Jesus’ preaching as clearly seen in Mark 1:14-15, a
summary of the preaching of Jesus. The kingdom
of God is the heart of the summary.
In His parables Jesus spoke of the kingdom in many
different ways. He said that the kingdom is like a farmer (Matt. 13:24), a
seed (Matt. 13:31),
a yeast (Matt.
13:33), a treasure (Matt. 13:44), a
pearl merchant (Matt.
13:45), a fishnet (Matt. 13:47), an
20:1), a king inviting people to a marriage feast (Matt. 22:2), and
ten young women (Matt.
25:1). He spoke also of the glad tidings of the kingdom (Luke 8:1) and of
the mystery of the kingdom of God
Jesus spoke Aramaic; the Gospel writers translated
Jesus’ sermons and parables into Greek. Mark, Luke, and John translated Jesus’
words as “kingdom of God.”
Matthew sometimes used this phrase too, but often he preferred to translate
Jesus’ Aramaic words as “kingdom of heaven.” The two phrases mean exactly the
same thing, because they are translations of the same Aramaic words of Jesus.
What did Jesus mean when he spoke of the kingdom
of God? He meant, quite simply, the
rule of God. The kingdom of God
is the reign of God.
This is best understood if it is distinguished from
what Jesus did not mean. He was not speaking of a geographical area such as the
Holy Land or the Temple.
He was not speaking of a political entity such as the nation of Israel
or the Sanhedrin. He was not speaking of a group of people such as His
disciples or the church.
Rather, the kingdom
of God is God’s ruling. It is the
sovereign reign of God. This rule is independent of all geographical areas or
political entities. It is true that the rule of God implies a people to be
ruled, and Jesus called upon people to enter the kingdom. The kingdom itself
should be distinguished from the people who enter it.
Jesus taught that the kingdom
of God looks unimpressive, but it
is going to grow into something tremendous. The kingdom is like a tiny mustard
seed which grows into a bush large enough to provide shelter for God’s
Jesus never said that people are to build the kingdom
of God. On the contrary, the
establishment of the kingdom is a work of God. God will reign, and people can
contribute nothing to that reigning of God.
When will God establish his kingdom? In one sense, the
kingdom will not come until some unspecified time in the future (see, for
25:1-46). There is a sense in which modern Christians may still look
forward to the coming of the kingdom
On the other hand, Jesus also said that there is a
sense in which the kingdom of God
had come in His own time. “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom
of God is at hand” (Mark 1:15). He said
in an even more explicit way: “But if I with the finger of God cast out devils,
no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you” (Luke 11:20).
So the kingdom
of God was the rule of God which He
extended over human lives through the ministry of Jesus; and it also is His
rule which will be consummated or made complete in the future. See Eschatology;
Since people cannot build the kingdom
of God, what response are they to
make to Jesus’ message about the kingdom? First, they can make the kingdom their
priority and seek it ahead of everything else (Matt. 6:33). It is
a pearl of such value that they should sell everything else they have in order
to be able to purchase it (Matt. 13:44-46).
Second, they can repent and believe the good news of the kingdom (Mark 1:14-15),
and so enter the kingdom like little children (Mark 10:14).
Third, they can pray for the rule of God to come soon: “Thy kingdom come” (Matt. 6:10;
compare 1 Cor. 16:22). Finally, they can be ready when the
kingdom does finally come (Matt. 25:1-46).
The Lord’s Prayer contains three requests, as follows:
“Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be
done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:9-10).
These three phrases mean just about the same thing, and they tell us a lot
about the kingdom of God.
“Hallowed be thy name” means: “Let Your name be
hallowed, or honored”; or, “Bring all people to respect and reverence You.”
“Thy kingdom come” means: “Extend Your rule over human
lives.” “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” means: “Extend Your rule over human lives here and now so that they will
reverence and respect You.” See Lord’s
In His preaching Jesus regularly invited people to
enter the kingdom of God,
that is, to open their lives to the ruling of God. It is important to notice
whom He invited.
He invited everyone. That is the great surprise. He
did not restrict the invitation to the respectable people, or the religious, or
the wealthy or powerful (in Jesus’ day wealth and power were often thought to
be signs of God’s blessing). Jesus included everyone without distinction. He
spoke of God sending His servants out to highways and hedges to urge people to
come in to the kingdom. He even said that it is more difficult for the rich to
enter the kingdom than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle (Matt. 19:24). He
said that the tax-collectors and prostitutes would go into the kingdom before
the moral and religious people (Matt. 21:31). In
brief, God is very gracious and loving toward all people,
and His kingdom is offered to everyone.
After Jesus had returned to heaven, the apostles did
not continue to make the kingdom the central theme of their preaching. Instead,
they began to speak of eternal life, salvation, forgiveness, and other themes.
In doing this, they were not deserting Jesus’ concern for the kingdom
of God. They were simply expressing
the same idea in their way. To speak of salvation is to speak of the kingdom.
We might express it as follows: God is graciously giving salvation as a free
gift (extending His kingdom) to anyone who will receive it (enter the kingdom)
through His Son Jesus Christ, and this salvation begins now (the kingdom is in
the midst of you) and will be completed in the future (the kingdom will come
like a thief in the night). As Paul put it, the kingdom
of God is righteousness and peace
and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17). See Jesus;
From the Latin levir meaning “husband’s brother.”
A widespread practice in the ancient Near East assigning
family responsibility to the husband’s brother in case of disaster. The
Mosaic law provided for the continuation of a man’s name should he die before
fathering a male child. According to Deuteronomy 25:5-10,
the deceased’s brother was to marry the widow. The first male child born to
this union was to carry the name of the dead man.
LIFE, BOOK OF A heavenly document mentioned in Psalm 139:16 and
further defined in the New Testament (Luke 10:20; Rev. 13:8). In it
are recorded by God the names and deeds of righteous people. The main
theological teaching behind the concept is predestination. Many works of
apocalyptic literature not preserved in the Bible speak of a counterpart, a
book of destruction. According to this literature one’s name can be removed
from the book of life for certain sins against God. The Bible speaks only of
the Book of Life showing God’s power to know His own.
TINKLING ORNAMENTS Anklets making a tinkling noise as one walked.
Part of the finery of the affluent women of Jerusalem
TONGUES, GIFT OF Spiritual gift involving ability to speak in
foreign language(s) not previously studied or to respond to experience of the
Holy Spirit by uttering sounds which those without the gift of interpretation
could not understand. At Pentecost the church received the gift to communicate
the gospel in foreign languages (Acts 2; compare 10:44-46; 19:6). God gave
His Spirit to all His people to witness and prophesy. See Pentecost.
In Corinth some members of the
church uttered sounds the rest of the congregation did not understand (1 Cor.
12-14). This led to controversy and division. Paul tried to unite the
church, assuring the church that there are different gifts but only one Spirit
(1 Cor. 12:4-11).—Holman Bible Dictionary