Gilbert House Fellowship

Gilbert House Fellowship

Weekly Bible study with authors and analysts Derek and Sharon Gilbert... Show More

Episodes

FEEDING THE dead was an integral part of the world in which Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob lived.

We’ve previously discussed Abraham’s distress at not having an heir to provide for him in the afterlife; this week, we explain why Jacob’s father-in-law, Laban, was so upset about losing his teraphim, the small idols that represented dead ancestors who had to be summoned to a meal every month with a necromancy ritual called kispum.

We also di...
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PORTALS AND contact with the spirit realm are at the heart of this week’s Bible study.

First, we discuss Jacob’s dream during his journey from the Negev to Haran in northern Mesopotamia. We’ve heard the term “Jacob’s ladder,” but the underlying Hebrew word reveals that what he saw was more likely a ziggurat—the ancient Mesopotamian pyramid that represented a stairway to heaven.

We explain the connection between Bethel, “House (or Tem...
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ISAAC IS a transitional character in the Bible, serving mainly as the bridge between Abraham and Jacob. We discuss the stories of Isaac’s adult life—his lie about Rebekah to the king of Gerar and how how Jacob received the blessing that Isaac had planned to give Esau.

While it’s hard to reconcile the deception of Rebekah and Jacob, we must remember that Esau thought so little of his birthright that he sold it to Jacob for a bowl of ...
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WE REACH the end of Abraham’s time on earth this week. We discuss the death of Sarah, Abraham’s purchase of the cave of Machpelah, the marriage of Isaac, the birth of Esau and Jacob, and the short-sightedness of Esau in selling off his birthright for a bowl of beans.
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HE SURVIVED the destruction of Sodom, but Lot didn’t seem very happy about it.

This week, we discuss the aftermath of the fiery destruction of the cities of the plain, which also leveled Jericho, according to archaeologists. Lot and his daughters retreated into the hills and lived a hermit-like existence in a cave overlooking the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. Their isolation led to the incestuous creation of the nations of Moab and...
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THE DESTRUCTION of Sodom and Gomorrah was not about alternative lifestyles—and yes, it really happened.

This week, we discuss Abraham’s encounter with God and two angels at the Oaks of Mamre near Hebron, a more likely reason for God’s judgment on Sodom, and we explain why the angels warned Lot to “escape to the hills, lest you be swept away”—and why Lot’s wife really was turned into a pillar of salt.

Links you’ll want to explore afte...
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He is not here, for he has risen, as he said.
(Matthew 28:6, ESV)

That’s the beginning of our study on the Resurrection. We look at texts from the Old and New Testaments to explain that Christ’s resurrection is the template for what is in store for all who have accepted him as Lord and Savior.

From Genesis through Revelation, history is anchored to one overarching theme: Whose children will be raised up at the last trump.

Scriptures ci...
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WE SET aside our chronological reading order this week to look at scripture relating the Passover and Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

We explain why these events were more than symbolic; they were acts of war in the spirit realm. We discuss the specific entities targeted at Passover, explain the Amorite kispum ritual, the reason Jesus rode a donkey colt into Jerusalem, why the time and place of the Transfiguration were impo...
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ABRAHAM’S DISTRESS at being childless was caused by his concept of the afterlife. In the Amorite culture that dominated his world, it was believed that one’s quality of life after death depended on your descendants performing a monthly ritual to provide your food and drink.

We explain the Amorite kispum ritual and why Abraham’s servant Eliezer was not necessarily from Damascus. According to scholar Nicolas Wyatt, the Hebrew phrase h...
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A WAR fought near the Dead Sea nearly 4,000 years ago is the focus of this week’s study.

After Abram arrived in Canaan and settled near Hebron, his nephew Lot was captured by an army from Mesopotamia that had come to put down a rebellion by the king of Sodom and his allies. We discuss the meanings of the names of the rebel kings, the possible identities of the kings of the east, and the significance of the Rephaim tribes defeated by...
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GOD BEGINS a new phase of His plan to redeem humanity in this week’s study, as Abram is called from his homeland to journey south into Canaan.

We explain again why Abram was not from Ur in Sumer, but from a town near modern Sanliurfa in southeastern Turkey. As you can see by the map (click to enlarge), travelling to Canaan by way of Harran makes no sense. And beyond that, there are other cultural reasons that point to Abram’s northe...
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BEFORE WE pick up the story of Abraham, some context: When God divided the nations after the Tower of Babel incident, He placed them under the supervision of “sons of God,” angelic beings who were charged with carrying out His will while supervising His creation.

We explain why understanding what happened at and after Babel is crucial to understanding the long supernatural war depicted in the Bible, not to mention the state of our f...
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February 16, 2020 72 min
LEVIATHAN AND BEHEMOTH are featured this week as God uses them to illustrate the difference between Him and Job. While these creatures are described as possessing almost unimaginable power, they are as pets to our Lord, who made them just as He made us.

We discuss the nature of Leviathan and Behemoth (and no, we do not believe they were a whale, giant squid, hippo, elephant, crocodile, or dinosaurs) and their parallels in pagan reli...
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February 9, 2020 63 min
GOD ARRIVES on the scene to respond to Job’s complaints, and boy, does He bring the thunder. Literally.

Speaking from a whirlwind, which is an image that had been coopted by the fallen elohim to represent the Mesopotamian storm-god called Addu or Hadad (i.e., Baal).

In fact, there are multiple references to the spirit realm and its rebellion in Job 38. God establishes His unequaled status in all Creation by reminding Job that he wasn...
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February 2, 2020 70 min
ELIHU CONTINUES his rebuke of Job, refuting the older man’s arguments and then encouraging him to repent. As Elihu concludes his discourse by describing the thunder of God’s voice and the “golden splendor” of His “awesome majesty”—a hint of what’s to come when God arrives in a whirlwind in chapter 38.
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January 26, 2020 76 min
JOB DELIVERS what is essentially his closing argument, recalling the days when his life was blessed, a respected member of the community, contrasting it with his current situation as one who’s mocked and despised. He asserts his innocence again, and issues another plea for a hearing.

And then chapter 32 opens with a new character entering the scene: Elihu, a young man who’d been listening silently to his elders, unloads on Job and h...
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January 19, 2020 70 min
A DRAGON in the Bible? Yes! And we see it here in the Book of Job. What’s more, we see a connection between this primordial enemy of God and the spirits of the Nephilim.

Even before God created the heavens and the earth, He subdued Chaos—variously called Leviathan, “the deep” (the abyss; Hebrew tehom), the sea (the Canaanite sea-god Yam), or, as here in Job 26:12, Rahab, “the fleeing serpent.”

We also discuss the creation account of ...
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January 12, 2020 70 min
JOB’S FRIENDS grow increasingly accusatory as we go through the book. This week, we hear the final speeches of Zophar and Eliphaz, who have gone from gently reminding Job that God punishes the wicked to accusing their miserable, suffering friend of mistreating the poor, widowed, and homeless!

We speculate on the role of the accuser (“the satan”) in provoking their aggressive responses to Job, discuss the title of God in these chapte...
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December 15, 2019 69 min
JOB’S UNDERSTANDING of the afterlife was a reflection of the culture around him, which was dominated by the Amorites who controlled the ancient Near East from about 2000 BC to 1400 BC. They believed that the dead depended on the living to feed them to sustain them after death.

But even with that, Job knew that his Redeemer lived, “and at the last he will stand upon the earth”—and that Job would see that day with his own eyes, a clea...
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December 8, 2019 68 min
JOB CONTINUES his lament this week, openly wishing that he could hide in Sheol until God’s anger was past. In response, Eliphaz the Temanite accuses Job of guilt, asserting that God only punishes the wicked.

We know that's true, but judgment doesn’t always happen when we want it—right now, in the physical realm, where we can see it. Furthermore, we can see with our own eyes, as Job did, that bad things happen to good people.

We a...
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