Take My Yoke Upon You
The Bible makes frequent use of the yoke as a symbol of work, servitude, and union, but we moderns are unfamiliar with yokes due to our non-agrarian lifestyles. Ronny Graham describes the various kinds of yokes—including human yokes—and shows how they are relevant to our Christian lives.
Taking Care With the Tares
Jesus' Parable of the Wheat and the Tares in Matthew 13 warns us that there will be false brethren within the church. Using the example of Christ Himself, Ted Bowling shows that the Bible also tells us how to interact with them in a godly manner.
Taking It Through the Grave
As Christians, we have to live life with the thought that some things will stick with us through the grave. Bill Gray explains that we will take nothing out of this life except our character.
Taking Our Lead From God
In the world, it is common practice to use whatever means necessary to grasp the brass ring, but such selfish ambition should be absent from the church. Rod Keesee ponders the example of Korah, asking, "Have we Christians allowed ourselves to be led by men or are we really following God?"
Fourteenth-century conqueror Tamerlane learned a valuable lesson from a tiny ant, motivating him to turn defeat into victory. Mike Ford explores Proverbs' admonition to observe the ant, concentrating on the qualities of initiative.
Americans and Canadians enjoy their Thanksgiving celebrations—maybe too much in some cases! This article explores why we should be thankful, how much we have to be thankful for, and how we can give God our thanks.
Thanksgiving or Self-Indulgence?
Should Christians celebrate Thanksgiving Day? Are all this world's holidays off limits? John Ritenbaugh shows the proper balance Christians should have in determining their propriety.
The Agrippas: The End of Ancient Judea
Two Herod Agrippas, father and son, ruled parts of Palestine during the period of the early church, touching the ministries of James, Peter, and Paul. While they won over many first-century Jews, they had far less success with Christians, whom they persecuted from time to time to curry favor. Their history fills gaps in the Bible's depiction of this critical period.
The All-Important Introduction to Revelation
Oftentimes, in our haste to get to the "good stuff," we skip the introductions of books and articles. Richard Ritenbaugh explores the first chapter of Revelation and shows that skipping it deprives us of vital information necessary for understanding the rest of the book.
The Art of Tact and Diplomacy
Much of a Christian's judgment will be based on his interactions with people—many different kinds of people. Enter tact and diplomacy, two necessary tools in the task of getting along. Rod Keesee explains that we need to use them like seasoned diplomats.
The Audacity to Hope
During the 2008 Presidential campaign, Americans have heard a great deal about hope. Yet, "hope" means different things to different people. Mike Ford explains that the political hope held out by politicians does not compare with the hope found in Scripture.
The Awesome Cost of Love
We assess costs and values all the time in our daily lives: Is it better to buy used or new? Should we prefer traditional or contemporary? Paper or plastic? John Ritenbaugh employs the same process to God's love for us in giving His Son as the sacrifice for sin. What costs have been paid for our redemption?
The Bear Looks Eastward
Richard Ritenbaugh surveys the situation in Russia in 1993 and sees a movement away from the West and toward Asia.
The Beast and Babylon (Part Eight): God, Israel, and the Bible
Though she transgressed every commandment in multiple ways, the spiritual sin through which Israel's unfaithfulness is most frequently demonstrated is gross idolatry. John Ritenbaugh explains that this and other identifying marks—even her persecution of the saints—prove that Israel is the Great Harlot of Revelation 17 and 18.
The Beast and Babylon (Part Five): The Great Harlot
Who is the Woman of Revelation 17 and 18? John Ritenbaugh explains that this fallen Woman displays no religious characteristics but instead acts as a city or nation involved in the politics, economics, and culture of its time. What nation fits the symbolism?
The Beast and Babylon (Part Four): Where Is the Woman of Revelation 17?
The Great Harlot of Revelation 17 has intrigued Bible students for centuries. John Ritenbaugh explains her peculiar characteristics and tackles the questions, "Is she a church?" and "What does it mean that she is a 'mother of harlots'?"
The Beast and Babylon (Part Nine): Babylon the Great
For being such a religious book, the Bible contains an unusual number of references to harlotry! John Ritenbaugh uses this information to provide understanding of the motivations of Babylon the Great, the Great Harlot of Revelation 17 and 18.
The Beast and Babylon (Part One)
Currently, some of the more important prophetic events we have been trained to watch for are just not happening. John Ritenbaugh explains, for instance, that Europe is not uniting as we once thought it would. How does this affect our interpretation of the prophecies?
The Beast and Babylon (Part Seven): How Can Israel Be the Great Whore?
Many longtime students of the Bible have trouble accepting that the Great Harlot of Revelation 17 could be God's people, Israel. However, John Ritenbaugh shows that God's Word frequently paints unfaithful Israel in this light because she has consistently played the harlot in her relationship with God.
The Beast and Babylon (Part Six): The Woman's Character
Most of us are living in the midst of the end-time manifestation of Babylon the Great. We can resist its influence if we understand what makes it so attractive to human nature. John Ritenbaugh explains what makes the Mystery Woman tick and why God judges her so severely.
The Beast and Babylon (Part Ten): Babylon the Great Is a Nation
Most commentators identify Babylon the Great, the Harlot of Revelation 17 and 18, as either a church specifically or a broader cultural system. John Ritenbaugh, however, produces biblical evidence that the Harlot is overwhelmingly portrayed as a powerful nation that dominates the world at the end time.
The Beast and Babylon (Part Three): Who Is the Woman?
After showing that today's Europe is far from "Beastly," John Ritenbaugh speculates on the identity of the Woman depicted in Revelation 12. Is she, as the church has dogmatically taught in the past, the church itself—or is she another prophetic entity that we can see active in the world today?
The Beast and Babylon (Part Two)
Currently, Europe is not looking very Beastly. John Ritenbaugh continues his look at history and current events to show that Babylon is the world's anti-God system and that Roman institutions inspire Israelite culture even today.
The Beasts Among Us
Prophecy tells us that one of the plagues of the end time concerns attacks by wild beasts. Ronny Graham, an avid sportsman, relates how this may be coming to pass.
The Beast's Militarism
Scattered within the Bible's pages are clues about the Beast, but one stands out: his frequent connection with war. Richard Ritenbaugh analyzes types of the coming Beast to build a composite picture of what we can expect of the coming world ruler.
The Beatitudes, Part 5: Blessed Are the Merciful
Mercy is a virtue that has gone out of vogue lately, though it is much admired. Jesus, however, places it among the most vital His followers should possess. John Ritenbaugh explains this often misunderstood beatitude.
The Beatitudes, Part 6: The Pure in Heart
Purity before God is far more than just being clean. John Ritenbaugh explains that to Jesus being pure in heart touches on the very holiness of God!
The Beatitudes, Part 7: Blessed Are the Peacemakers
This world lauds warmakers, but God says that peacemakers are blessed. John Ritenbaugh explains the beatitude in Matthew 5:9.
The Beatitudes, Part 8: Blessed Are the Persecuted
Persecution is not a subject we normally like to think about, but it is a fact of life for a Christian. John Ritenbaugh explains why Jesus says we are blessed if we are persecuted for righteousness' sake.
The Beatitudes, Part Four: Hungering and Thirsting After Righteousness
It is quite rare to see a person who truly hungers and thirsts after God's way, but this is the kind of desire God wants us to have. John Ritenbaugh explains what Jesus means in this fourth beatitude.
The Beatitudes, Part One: The Sermon on the Mount
The Sermon on the Mount is as vitally important to us today as it was when Christ preached it. It contains within it the very way we are to conduct our lives as God's representatives on this earth. How well are we following what Christ taught?
The Beatitudes, Part Three: Mourning
Blessedness and mourning seem contradictory to our way of thinking, but obviously Jesus saw spiritual benefits to sorrow. John Ritenbaugh shows why true, godly mourning gets such high marks from God.
The Beatitudes, Part Two: Poor in Spirit
What is it to be poor in spirit? John Ritenbaugh describes this attribute in its biblical usage. Those who are truly poor in spirit are on the road to true spiritual riches!
The Berean Example
The ancient Bereans have a wonderful biblical reputation. Rod Keesee explains just how special these Macedonian Christians really were.
The Bible and the Environment
Is God an environmentalist? Should Christians care about the ecological health of the earth and its inhabitants, human or otherwise? Richard Ritenbaugh explains the Bible's position on the environmental issue.
The Birth of Jesus Christ (Part One): Annunciation
We rarely think about the birth of Jesus except during the Christmas season, when it is abused by traditional notions found nowhere in Scripture. To remedy this, Richard Ritenbaugh delves into the Gospel accounts of the annunciation of His coming to Mary and Joseph.
The Birth of Jesus Christ (Part Two): Nativity
When the Son of God was born into the world, one of the greatest events of all history occurred. Richard Ritenbaugh describes the birth of Jesus and the angel's announcement to the 'shepherds abiding in the fields,' perhaps the first preaching of the gospel to mankind.
The Blood Libel and the Holocaust: The Cost of Wrong Doctrine
For centuries across Europe, Catholicism taught that the Jews were guilty of deicide—the murder of Jesus Christ. At various times in its history, the Church felt no compunction to ghettoize the Jews, ostracize them, confiscate their goods, and murder them. Charles Whitaker shows how false teaching like this can lead to horrible results.
The Branch is a well-known Old Testament prophetic figure, identified as the Messiah by most people. Yet, is there more to it than that? Why is the Branch not mentioned in the New Testament? What does it mean to us?
The Buck Stops Here
Do we tend to shirk responsibility by 'passing the buck'? David Maas explores why we do this and proposes a solution for shouldering our responsibilities—and growing in character.
The Cancerous Calendar Controversy
An exhaustive explanation of the Church of the Great God's belief concerning the Hebrew Calendar and its fitness for our use in the church of God. It also discusses observation versus calculation, new moons and postponements.
The Century of the Child
Though experts proclaimed the twentieth century the Century of the Child in 1899, from a biblical perspective our social advancements have made life worse for our children. Martin Collins shows how the Bible predicted this of the end-time generations. (Also includes the inset "America's Lost Children.")
The Christian Fight (Part Five)
What many religious people do not seem to understand is that justification before God is just the beginning of something far more involved—and that is living by faith. John Ritenbaugh covers the faithful life and work of Noah, illustrating that walking by faith with God is a practical responsibility.
The Christian Fight (Part Four)
While we must express some of our own faith as we come to salvation, the great bulk of "saving faith" is a gift of God, given graciously and miraculously as part of God's creative process in us. In particular, John Ritenbaugh uses the examples of Abel and Enoch to illustrate the pattern of faith through which God walks His people.
The Christian Fight (Part One)
Despite the many blessings God bestows upon His saints, real Christianity more resembles a running battle against persistent, hostile forces than a leisurely stroll down the path of life. John Ritenbaugh uses the example of ancient Israel in the wilderness to illustrate that God prepares us for spiritual war against the enemies that would keep us from His Kingdom.
The Christian Fight (Part Seven)
Most Christians realize that I Corinthians 13:13 lists faith, hope, and love as the three great Christian virtues, and love, as "the greatest of these," seems to get all the attention. However, through the life of Abraham, John Ritenbaugh illustrates how foundational faith—belief and trust in God—is to love and salvation itself.
The Christian Fight (Part Six)
Far more than on any other hero of faith in Hebrews 11, the apostle Paul concentrates on Abraham as the father of the faithful, the Bible's premier example of a human being's walk with God. John Ritenbaugh illustrates how Abraham's faithfulness to God sets a clear pattern for us to follow.
The Christian Fight (Part Three)
With all the military metaphors in the Bible, there can be no doubt that God likens the Christian life to a fight, a war, against the evils and temptations we face daily. In this light, John Ritenbaugh begins to examine Hebrews 11, the Faith Chapter, showing that the patterns revealed in it provide deep instruction for us in our Christian fight.
The Christian Fight (Part Two)
Contrary to the common idea that the Christian life is one of peace and contentment, John Ritenbaugh explains that it is really a constant, grueling battle against enemy forces such as our own human natures, this evil world, and 'principalities and powers' that do not want to see us inherit the Kingdom of God. Even so, if we are steadfast in the faith, we can prevail.
The Cold Culture of Silence (Part One)
Present-day America is suffering a plague of dysfunctional families as it never has experienced before. Charles Whitaker documents not only the crisis but also the costs to individuals and society at large when children fail to receive the loving instruction and stability of whole families.
The Cold Culture of Silence (Part Two)
Sadly, our culture has deteriorated into one of cold, unloving silence on the subject of the dysfunctional famility and the frequent delinquency of its children. Charles Whitaker proposes what many social scientists might consider a 'novel' solution: speaking the truth.
The Cross: Christian Banner or Pagan Relic?
Is it alright to wear a crucifix? Earl Henn reveals the origins of the cross and shows why it is NOT a Christian symbol!
The Crown of Life
We do not think much of crowns these days, but one awaits us if we continue in the faith! Martin Collins researches the kind of crown we will receive when we enter God's Kingdom.
The Cursed Tree
Jesus' cursing of the fig tree just days before His crucifixion has puzzled and even disturbed Bible readers for centuries, as it just does not seem to be something our Savior would do. However, Dan Elmore resolves this seeming contradiction by framing Christ's actions as a pointed object lesson that we would do well to take to heart.
The Defense Against Offense
The Bible states that offenses will come. John Ritenbaugh explains how to handle offenses and how to keep minor irritations from growing into bitterness.
The Dew of Heaven
Dew is a creation of God that He uses several times in His Word. Ronny Graham illustrates how this symbolism applies to us today.
The Duality of Prophecy
Many biblical prophecies have a type and an antitype, a former fulfillment and a latter one. If we really want to understand prophecy, we need to understand this concept.
The Economics of an Offering
Members of God's church are required to give offerings during God's holy days (Deuteronomy 16:16), and we are told to give as we are able (verse 17). Both we and God will get more out of our offerings, especially spiritually, when we plan our giving.
The Eighth Commandment
The eighth commandment seems so simple: "You shall not steal." Yet, it seems that just about everyone on earth has his hand in someone else's pocket! John Ritenbaugh documents the ubiquity of thievery, particularly in the U.S., explaining that the solution is equally simple: honest, hard work.
The Eighth Commandment (1997)
In this article on the Eighth Commandment, John Ritenbaugh discusses stealing and the devastating effect it has on our society.
The Elements of Motivation (Part Five): Who We Are
God the Father has summoned us to a unique position among all the other people of the earth. As saints, we have the responsibility to work toward the Kingdom of God and become holy—things only we can do! This should motivate us to please God by doing all that He requires of us.
The Elements of Motivation (Part Four): Obligation
Understanding our obligation to Christ leads to a deeply held, personal loyalty to Him. John Ritenbaugh explains that our redemption by means of Christ's sacrifice should make us strive to please Him in every facet of life.
The Elements of Motivation (Part One): Fear
Even though a Christian's potential in God's Kingdom is so wonderful, it is still necessary for God to motivate His children to reach it. John Ritenbaugh begins his series on Christian motivation by expounding the fear of God.
The Elements of Motivation (Part Seven): Fear of Judgment
The first six element of motivation were positive, but the last in negative. John Ritenbaugh explains that our fear of being judged negatively by our Judge should spur us to greater obedience and growth toward godliness.
The Elements of Motivation (Part Six): Eternal Life
If you knew you would live forever, how would you live? John Ritenbaugh explains that, biblically, eternal life is much more than living forever: It is living as God lives!
The Elements of Motivation (Part Three): Hope
Hope conveys the idea of absolute certainty of future good, and that is exactly what the Bible tells us we have upon our calling and acceptance of God's way. John Ritenbaugh shows that, because the Father and Son are alive and active in their creation, our hope is sure!
The Elements of Motivation (Part Two): Vision
If we don't know where we're going, we aren't going to get there! John Ritenbaugh illustrates that our vision of our goal—the Kingdom of God—is a compelling motivation to overcome, grow, and bear fruit in preparation for eternal life.
The Enduring Results of Compromise
Compromise usually begins small and can grow to encompass once strongly held beliefs. Martin Collins uses the story of Solomon to illustrate how this process works.
The Feast Is Over . . . Now What?
The Feast is always the highlight of our year. But what do we do afterward? How can we sustain the high level of zeal that began at the Feast?
The Fifth Commandment
The fifth commandment stands at the head of the second tablet of the Decalogue, the section defining our relationships with other people. John Ritenbaugh examines why this commandment is so necessary for our families, for our societies, and even ultimately for our and our children's relationships with God Himself.
The Fifth Commandment (1997)
The fifth commandment begins the section of six commands regarding our relationships with other people. God begins with the family, the foundation of society, where children should learn proper honor and respect.
The Fifth Seal (Part One)
Following the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse is the Fifth Seal, depicting souls under the altar crying out to God for vengeance. Richard Ritenbaugh goes into the details of this prophecy of persecution and martyrdom of the saints.
The Fifth Seal (Part Two)
Persecution and martyrdom are not popular topics among Christians today, but they are facts of Christian life. Richard Ritenbaugh explains the fifth seal's cry of the martyrs and God's response.
The Final Harvest
Are the unconverted dead lost? John Ritenbaugh answers that there is hope for them! This part of God's plan is typified in the meaning of the Last Great Day.
The First Commandment
Idolatry is probably the sin that the Bible most often warns us against. John Ritenbaugh explains the first commandment, showing that we worship the source of our values and standards. God, of course, wants our values and standards to come from Him and Him only, for there is no higher Source in all the universe!
The First Commandment (1997)
The Ten Commandments open with the most important, the one puts our relationship with God in its proper perspective. John Ritenbaugh explains this simple but vital command.
The First Prophecy (Part One)
Genesis is a book of beginnings, and in that theme, it also contains the first prophecy. In the first part of this three-part series, Richard Ritenbaugh explains God's curse on the serpent in Genesis 3:14-15.
The First Prophecy (Part Three)
In the conclusion to this series, Richard Ritenbaugh explains the extent of God's curse on Adam—and thus mankind—in the Garden of Eden. He is promised great toil and suffering throughout his life, but just as in all things God does, a silver lining appears amidst the woe!
The First Prophecy (Part Two)
The second part in this series of three deals with God's curse on Eve for her part in the sin in the Garden of Eden. In this curse lies the beginnings of both women's difficulties in childbearing and the battle of the sexes. The effects of this curse are still being felt daily!
The Five Ws of Deleavening
Why do we deleaven our homes? When should we do it? Who should do it? This article answers all these questions and more!
The Flood Is Upon Us!
In Matthew Christ likens end-time events to the time of Noah's Flood. John Ritenbaugh gives insight into how this end time flood might manifest itself and what we can do to avoid being swept up in it.
The Formula for Overcoming
Want an easy, proven formula for getting rid of sin and growing in God's character? Dr. David Maas can provide it!
The Four Horsemen (Part Five): The Pale Horse
The last of the Four Horsemen, named Death, rides a ghastly pale horse and is accompanied by Hades. In this concluding installment, Richard Ritenbaugh explains these symbols, reiterating that the horsemen picture God's judgment due to man's rejection of His way of life.
The Four Horsemen (Part Four): The Black Horse
On the heels of the red horse of conflict gallops the black horse and its rider, commonly interpreted as famine. Richard Ritenbaugh expands this idea to include scarcity resulting from oppression.
The Four Horsemen (Part One): In the Saddle?
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are a terrifying image of impending doom. Richard Ritenbaugh searches out the details of these fearsome, yet enigmatic figures, whose hoofbeats can already be heard on the earth!
The Four Horsemen (Part Three): The Red Horse
Of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the red horse may be the most easily interpreted. Richard Ritenbaugh shows, however, that while war is predominantly contemplated, the rider of the red horse is also responsible for the escalating violence on the homefront.
The Four Horsemen (Part Two): The White Horse
At God's command, the white horse and its rider gallop over the earth 'conquering and to conquer.' Richard Ritenbaugh analyzes the symbolism of this horseman, a precursor of the destruction that is wrought by its fellows.
The Fourth Commandment
At creation, God sanctified only one day, the seventh, as a day of rest. At Sinai, He once again sanctified it as a holy day, connecting it with creation and freedom. John Ritenbaugh expands on these concepts, showing that God wants us to keep the Sabbath to support our continuing spiritual creation and freedom.
The Fourth Commandment (Part One) (1997)
The fourth commandment is the one that most people think is least important, but in reality it may be one of the most important! John Ritenbaugh explains the Sabbath commandment and its vital teaching.
The Fourth Commandment (Part Two): Christ's Attitude Toward the Sabbath
Most are not aware that in the Gospels, questions about the Sabbath center on how to keep it, not whether it should be kept. John Ritenbaugh explains how Jesus approached the Sabbath as an example to us.
The Fruit of the Spirit
In this introductory article to a series on the fruit of the Spirit, John Ritenbaugh explains how the Bible approaches fruit symbolically, what it means to bear fruit, and the work of the Holy Spirit in us.
The Fruit of the Spirit: Faithfulness
Faithlessness is the essence of mankind's general character at the end of the age. However, faithfulness is to be a hallmark of a true Christian. How can we become more faithful? How can we be true to the course God has laid out for us?
The Fruit of the Spirit: Goodness
Commonly, goodness is a nebulous concept, used to describe everything from a tasty confection to God's sublime character. However, it is God's character that defines what goodness is! John Ritenbaugh explains this enigmatic trait of God's Spirit.
The Fruit of the Spirit: Joy
Joy, the second fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22, is more than just happiness. There is a joy that God gives that far exceeds mere human cheerfulness. John Ritenbaugh shows how the Holy Spirit produces it in us.
The Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness
Kindness, the fifth fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5, goes hand-in-hand with love. It is an active expression of love toward God and fellow man. As we come out of this calloused world, we must develop kindness through the power of God's Spirit.
The Fruit of the Spirit: Love
Love is the first of the fruit of the Spirit, the one trait of God that exemplifies His character. John Ritenbaugh explains what love is and what love does.
The Fruit of the Spirit: Meekness
Meekness is not a virtue that people consider valuable or even desirable. But Jesus lists it as a primary virtue of one who will inherit His Kingdom, and Paul numbers it among the fruits of God's Spirit. Is there something to meekness that we have failed to grasp?
The Fruit of the Spirit: Patience
From the Bible's perspective, patience is far more than simple endurance or longsuffering. The patience that God has shown man collectively and individually gives us an example of what true, godly patience is. It is this kind of patience that Paul urges us to put on as part of the new man.
The Fruit of the Spirit: Peace
We live in a world that has little or no idea what true peace is or how it is achieved. John Ritenbaugh shows how we can produce godly peace even in the midst of turmoil and why it is such an important virtue.
The Fruit of the Spirit: Self-Control
Of all the fruit of the Spirit, God may have left the most difficult for last! Has anyone, other than Jesus Christ, really exhibited self-control? In the end, however, this is the ultimate aim of growing in the character of Almighty God!
The Garden of God
The Bible uses agriculture to provide many lessons for us. Rod Keesee asks, "Are we learning them—or are we repeating history as Israel did?"
The 'Gaying' of America
The 1990s has seen the rise of militant homosexuality and government sponsorship of the gay agenda. What are God's views on the subject? What does this mean for America?
The Gift of a Leper
Leprosy is a gruesome disease, in which an infected person progressively rots and falls to pieces before his eyes. The leper's healing by Jesus teaches that, while Jesus freely healed the man, his cleansing was not really free, and the gift he was told to present to the priests contains vital instruction for all.
The Gift of Discerning Spirits
God grants His chosen people many gifts through His Holy Spirit, one of which is the gift of discerning spirits, the ability to determine the source of a spiritual manifestation. David Maas explains that this gift must be used in conjunction with a thorough knowledge and understanding of God's Word.
The Godly Purpose for Music
Believe it or not, music in religion is a contentious subject! David Maas, a talented musician in his own right, considers the Bible's approach to music, concluding that it is a blessing from God and an appropriate vehicle for praise and worship.
The Great Conspiracy
There is a conspiracy to bring this world under one government! However, Earl Henn shows that its real, "behind the scenes" leaders are Satan and his demons. Humans involved in it do not realize they are being influenced to fulfill Satan's desires!
The Gun Lap
Over the years, we have been told many times that we are on the gun lap. What is this gun lap? Using his track experience, Mike Ford shows how we must give our all to reach our finish line!
The Harvesting of the Firstfruits
The church of God has long acknowledged the biblical analogy of a harvest representing the gathering and eventual resurrection of the saints. Bill Keesee speculates that we can perhaps expand our understanding of the harvest analogy to include other aspects of our preparation for God's Kingdom.
The Importance of Dating
Historical dating is not as easy as it may sound. Currently, several chronological systems are vying for predominance among scholars. What impact might this have on our biblical understanding of prophecy?
The Importance of Follow-Through
Just as important as follow-through is in an athletic motion, its spiritual counterpart is vital to our life in Christ. We must have the will and commitment to carry our devotion to God through to the very end.
The Innumerable Multitude
Following the 144,000, Revelation 7 reveals another group known as the innumerable multitude. Who comprises this vast group of people? When do they appear? This article gives the Bible's interpretation of this often-misunderstood prophecy.
The Israel of God
In Galatians 6, verse 16, the apostle Paul refers to the church as "the Israel of God." Why? Why not "the Judah of God," or "the Ephraim of God" or "the Galilee of God?" Why did God not inspire Paul to call the church by Israel's original name, Jacob—"the Jacob of God?" Charles Whitaker explains.
The Jealousy of God
Deuteronomy 4:24 may strike an astute reader as somewhat controversial, if not contradictory. How can our holy and perfect God be jealous? Knowing that the Bible is consistent in its revelation of God, Ronny Graham reasons that since God's Word is not at fault, it is our limited understanding of godly jealousy that must be expanded.
The Law of the Firstborn
It is a strange fact that the subjects of God's spring holy days and firstborns appear in the same contexts. John Plunkett ponders what this means to us.
The Letters to the Seven Churches: Attitudes, Eras or Both?
What do Christ's messages to the seven churches of Revelation 2 and 3 describe? Are these churches eras between the church's founding and Christ's return? Are they dominant attitudes within the church? Could they be both?
The Marriage of the Lamb
Many people tend to feel excited and become involved in plans for an upcoming wedding, especially when the bride or groom is part of the family. The most important wedding in world history is the Marriage Supper of the Lamb to His bride, the church of God. Are we getting ready for it?
The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth
Meekness is not the most sought after of character traits, but it is a necessary one for Christians. Edwin Pope defines meekness, giving three steps to developing it in our lives.
The Ministry of Angels
One can hardly turn around without seeing something about angels; the subject has recently become popular in the media. Martin Collins explains angels biblically: their true purpose and function within God's plan.
The Mixed Multitude
When the mixed multitude came out of Egypt with Israel, God gave them an opportunity to join His chosen people. Charles Whitaker weaves together some vital lessons for us from this.
The Names of God
The name of God is important—so important that He included its proper use among His Ten Commandments. What is His name? Martin Collins shows how God's names reveal His character to us. Includes the inset, "A Sampling of the Names of God."
The New Moons
A concise explanation of what the Bible says about New Moons and what that means to us today. This article gives the CGG position on the observance of New Moons.
The Ninth Commandment
The world is so full of lying and other forms of deceit that "bearing false witness" has become a way of life for the vast majority of humanity. In discussing the ninth commandment, John Ritenbaugh reveals the relationship between telling the truth and faithfulness, virtues that are necessary parts of an effective witness.
The Ninth Commandment (1997)
The Ninth Commandment: You Shall Not Bear False Witness.
The Offerings of Leviticus (Part Eight): Conclusion (Part One)
As he begins concluding his series, John Ritenbaugh writes that the offerings have a great deal to do with our relationship with God. How closely do we identify with Christ? Are we walking in His footsteps? Are we being transformed into His image?
The Offerings of Leviticus (Part Five): The Peace Offering, Sacrifice, and Love
The peace offering teaches many things, but one of its main symbols is fellowship. John Ritenbaugh explains that our communion with the Father and the Son obligates us to pursue peace, follow the example of Christ, and be pure.
The Offerings of Leviticus (Part Four): The Peace Offering
The peace, fellowship, praise, or thank offering was the most commonly given in ancient Israel. John Ritenbaugh explains that the represents God, the priest, and the offerer in satisfying fellowship.
The Offerings of Leviticus (Part Nine): Conclusion (Part Two)
There must be something to prove we are one with Christ, engrafted as part of Him and in union with the Father and the Son. John Ritenbaugh asserts that that something is the manner in which we conduct our life, and we must be living in conformity to the sacrificial life of Jesus Christ.
The Offerings of Leviticus (Part One): Introduction
The Bible is full of symbols and types. The offerings of Leviticus, though they are no longer necessary under the New Covenant, are wonderful for teaching us about Christ in His roles as sacrifice, offerer, and priest. And they even instruct us in our roles before God too!
The Offerings of Leviticus (Part Seven): The Sin and Trespass Offerings
Leviticus 4 and 5 contain the instructions for the sin and trespass offerings. John Ritenbaugh explains that sin and human nature affect everyone in society—from king to commoner—but God has covered sin from every angle in the sacrifice of His Son.
The Offerings of Leviticus (Part Six): The Sin Offering
The sin offering is the first of the non-sweet-savor offerings in Leviticus. John Ritenbaugh explains the atonement made through Jesus' perfect offering of Himself for us—and our obligations to Him as a result.
The Offerings of Leviticus (Part Three): The Meal Offering
The meal offering represents another aspect of the perfect offering of Jesus Christ. John Ritenbaugh shows that it symbolizes the perfect fulfillment of the second great commandment, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
The Offerings of Leviticus (Part Two): The Burnt Offering
The first of the offerings of Leviticus is the burnt offering, a sacrifice that is completely consumed on the altar. John Ritenbaugh shows how this type teaches us about Christ's total dedication to God—and how we should emulate it.
The Oracles of God
Just what are the oracles of God mentioned in Romans 3:2? Charles Whitaker delves into both Testaments to show that they are the revelation of God to mankind. These oracles are the message that gives us instruction for salvation.
The Other Great Tribulation
For centuries, Christians have anticipated the coming of the end-time Great Tribulation, prophesied by Jesus in Matthew 24. However, Charles Whitaker describes a historical great tribulation, comparing it to what has happened in the United States since the 1930s.
The Pentecost Witness
Pentecost is known for its stupendous signs, particularly the display of power in Acts 2. David Grabbe shows that Pentecost teaches us of another, more personal witness: our own display of Christ's way of life in us.
The Promise in the Fifth Commandment (Part One)
In Ephesians 6:2, the apostle Paul designates the fifth commandment as "the first commandment with promise." What is the connection between honoring our parents and long life? David Maas, observing the declining family in America, reveals a vital link between honoring parents and wisdom that can lead to "length of days."
The Promise in the Fifth Commandment (Part Two)
As our society continues to crumble around us, most analysts of the situation point the finger of blame at the destruction of the family. When the fifth commandment is neglected, David Maas insists, respect for leadership and authority erodes, lowering quality of life, and ultimately, length of life too.
The Prophecies of Balaam (Part One)
Many have wondered why God would allow the oracles of a pagan Mesopotamian soothsayer to be included in His Word. Richard Ritenbaugh shows that, notwithstanding the source, Balaam's prophecies are significant to understanding God's purpose.
The Prophecies of Balaam (Part Two)
Balaam, a Mesopotamian soothsayer, has four oracles in God's Word. These four even include a prophecy of Jesus Christ's coming! Richard Ritenbaugh explains that, despite coming from the mouth of an enemy of God's people, these oracles are true and worth our study.
Who is the Prophet of Deuteronomy 18? This article takes an in-depth look at this prophecy, showing that its greatest fulfillment is in our Savior, Jesus Christ.
The Rape of Dinah
An entire chapter of Genesis is devoted to the sexual violation of Jacob's daughter Dinah and its consequences. Many commentators pin the blame on Dinah herself. Mike Ford analyzes the details of this unfortunate incident and reaches some broad conclusions about who was responsible for this grievous crime and its aftermath.
The Refuser of Festivities
Have you ever observed someone acting churlishly, throwing a wet blanket on an otherwise enjoyable time? Ronny Graham discovers that the Bible confronts such party-poopers, condemning their killjoy attitudes and commanding us to rejoice appropriately.
The subject of a remnant occurs 540 times in the Bible! What is a remnant? How does it apply in this end time? How does it apply to the church?
The Rich Young Ruler and the Needle's Eye
In the rich young ruler, we see a very polite, respectful, and eager young man who leaves Christ and goes away sorrowful. Why? Mike Ford explores this encounter, pondering the lessons God wants us to learn from it.
The Road Less Traveled
The road that leads to salvation has ditches on either side: legalism and liberalism. God's way perfectly balances and blends law and grace, producing the "new man" within us.
The Road to the Kingdom
In many places in Scripture, God promises to guide us along the godly path. Also within the pages of the Bible—our main source of information about spiritual matters—are the details about the way we are to conduct our lives. Mike Ford shows the steps we should take when faced with trials, problems and decisions.
The Sacredness of Marriage
Marriage and progressive forms of "marriage" are in the news a great deal these days. From its earliest chapters, Scripture holds the divinely ordained institution of marriage in high regard. James Beaubelle provides the reasons why God considers marriage to be so important to us, society, and His purpose.
The Sacrifice of Praise
I Peter 2:5 says that we are to offer up spritual sacrifices. Martin Collins tells what that means and how to do it acceptably before God.
The Scourge of AIDS and the Sacrifice of Christ
AIDS and all its ramifications on society impacts the church too. John Ritenbaugh discusses what he has learned about this dreaded disease, as well as showing us how Christ's sacrifice applies in this situation.
The Second Commandment
Most people consider the second commandment to deal with making or falling down before a pagan idol, but it has far greater scope. John Ritenbaugh shows that it covers all aspects of the way we worship, including setting ourselves up in God's place by becoming enslaved to our own desires.
The Second Commandment (1997)
Many fail to perceive the difference between the first and second commandments. John Ritenbaugh explains that the second defines the way we are to worship the true God.
The Second Exodus (Part One)
The Bible tells us that the time is coming when God will regather His people Israel to the Land of Promise, a greater Exodus than that from the Land of Egypt. David Grabbe gathers the prophecies of this momentous future event, focusing on when it will occur.
The Second Exodus (Part Three)
At some point in the near future, the modern descendants of Israel will learn of their true identity—and have to face the consequences of that knowledge. Using the prophecies of the Second Exodus, David Grabbe reveals that God will do what is necessary to bring Israel to the spiritual condition and the physical location that He has purposed for her.
The Second Exodus (Part Two)
The fact of a Second Exodus that will far eclipse the Exodus from Egypt is generally understood by Bible students. The timing of this great migration, however, is more elusive. David Grabbe points out the Scriptural markers that narrow the time frame to a specific, significant prophetic event.
The Seventh Commandment
Of all of the Ten Commandments, the seventh, "You shall not commit adultery," most clearly covers the subject of faithfulness. The prophet Amos exposes Israel as a people who have a particular problem with this sin and with faithfulness in general. John Ritenbaugh reveals how unfaithfulness in marriage and other areas of life devastates family and society.
The Seventh Commandment (1997)
For the past 40 years sexual sins have topped the list of social issues in America. Divorce is at an all-time high. John Ritenbaugh examines the seventh commandment, the penalties paid for breaking it and how to become faithful to God in the keeping of it.
The Shepherd's Voice
God's people are often compared to sheep. Lately, however, some have begun to question whether they need a human shepherd. How does one know whether a minister is a true shepherd of God?
The Sin of Partiality
We all have many biases—toward the food we eat, the cars we drive, the clothes we wear, and even the detergent we use in our washing machines! However, not all biases are good. Dan Elmore provides biblical examples of partiality that caused no end of troubles. More importantly, we need to avoid partiality for the problems it can cause in the church.
The Sixth Commandment
The sixth commandment, forbidding murder, is rare among the Ten Commandments in that a clear and short line can be drawn between its commission and its horrible consequences. Yet, as John Ritenbaugh shows, some people—even nominal Christians—find ways to justify killing their fellow human beings, as well as themselves.
The Sixth Commandment (Part 2): War! (1997)
A reason lies behind the devastating wars that have plagued mankind since the beginning. John Ritenbaugh gives the uncomplicated solution: Men have broken the sixth commandment!
The Sixth Commandment (Part One) (1997)
Our society is becoming increasingly violent. John Ritenbaugh shows how the sixth commandment covers crime, capital punishment, murder, hatred, revenge and war.
The Sixth Seal
Sometime in the not-too-distant future, the sixth seal foretells of the sun turning black and the moon turning red, stars falling, the sky rolling back, and a terrible earthquake moving mountains and islands. Richard Ritenbaugh examines this final judgment that announces the imminent Day of the Lord.
The Sovereignty of God and Human Responsibility: Part Eleven
God's sovereignty and free moral agency set up a seeming paradox. John Ritenbaugh shows just how much choice we have under God's sovereign rule.
The Sovereignty of God: Introduction
God's sovereignty is one of the most important issues a Christian must consider. Is God supreme in all things? Have we acknowledged that He has total authority over us in particular?
The Sovereignty of God: Part Eight
If God is manipulating everything in His sovereignty, why pray? What does prayer teach us? John Ritenbaugh explains why the sovereign God commands us to come before Him in prayer.
The Sovereignty of God: Part Five
Is God sovereign over angels? mankind? John Ritenbaugh explains that God's sovereignty is absolute as He directs events toward the culmination of His plan.
The Sovereignty of God: Part Four
God not only rules in heaven, but He is also sovereign on earth! He is not an absentee landlord, but One who is actively involved in administering His creation.
The Sovereignty of God: Part Nine
God's sovereignty seems to imply that prayer is a fruitless exercise—that God has everything already planned. John Ritenbaugh explains, however, that we must change our ideas about the function of prayer: It is not to change God's mind but ours!
The Sovereignty of God: Part Seven
One aspect of sovereignty that causes some confusion is predestination. John Ritenbaugh explains how God's sovereignty does not remove a person's free moral agency.
The Sovereignty of God: Part Six
By this point, it should be clear that God is sovereign in everything! In this installment, John Ritenbaugh shows God's sovereignty in whom He calls to salvation.
The Sovereignty of God: Part Three
In the third part of this series, John Ritenbaugh uses the Beast power of Revelation 13 to compare with God's sovereignty. Who will we yield to in the coming years?
The Sovereignty of God: Part Two
That God is sovereign means that He IS God, the absolute governor of all things. This has profound implications for us—it means He chooses goodness or severity, according to His will and purpose.
The Spiritual Hard Hat Zone
We may not realize it, but our Christian lives are constantly under construction. It is this point of view that will make it easier for us to deal with both spiritual setbacks and progress.
The Tenth Commandment
We live in a world based on the "get" principle; everyone is out to acquire as much as possible for himself. The tenth commandment, however, is intended to govern this proclivity of human nature, striking at man's heart. John Ritenbaugh exposes the essence of covetousness and its marked link to the first commandment.
The Tenth Commandment (1998)
The Tenth Commandment: You Shall Not Covet
The Third Commandment
The third commandment seems greatly overshadowed by "bigger" ones like the first, second, and fourth. Yet, despite the common understanding that it merely prohibits profane speech, John Ritenbaugh contends that it is far more—to the point that it regulates the purity and quality of our worship of the great God.
The Third Commandment (1997)
Many people think the third commandment deals only with euphemisms and swearing, but it actually goes much deeper than that! John Ritenbaugh explains that this commandment regulates the quality of our worship and involves glorifying God in every aspect of life.
The Third Resurrection: What Is Its Value?
What purpose does the Third Resurrection serve? Is it just so God can punish the incorrigible? Does it play a part in OUR salvation?
The Tongue: Our Tool of Power
Remember "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me"? In most cases, this is a lie. Mark Baker contends that the hurtful words that we speak can create scars that last longer than any physical scar that sticks and stones may cause. Christians need to learn to harness the power of the tongue.
The Torment of the Godly (Part One)
God's prophets have a difficult job. They see the world around them through God's eyes, and they are tormented by the rising tide of sin and the coming destruction it will bring. Charles Whitaker focuses on a few of Ezekiel's visions to reveal what is really happening behind the scenes and how God's people should respond to it.
The Torment of the Godly (Part Two)
To be a prophet of God is no easy task, and it is one that tends to be mentally and emotionally burdensome to the prophet. As Charles Whitaker explains, God desires His people to have an emotional yet entirely rational response—to sigh and cry—to the lawlessness and idolatry increasing around them in the world.
The Ultimate Father's Day
Father's Day is a time we honor our human fathers, but a time is coming, after the day of the Lord, when our ultimate Father in heaven will be honored for all eternity!
The Voice of God
Would it not be wonderful to hear God's voice? Has anyone ever heard God's voice? Indeed, we should be hearing God's voice even now—and responding!
The Wavesheaf Offering
We in God's church generally know very little about the wavesheaf offering, even though it represents one of the most significant acts of God's Plan: the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ! John Ritenbaugh explains its relevance to us today.
The Weightier Matters (Part 1): Introduction
Jesus blasts the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23, and He tells them they had ignored the "weightier matters." This article begins a series that explains why we should focus on certain virtues as we keep God's law.
The Weightier Matters (Part 2): Judgment
Jesus lists judgment as the first of the weightier matters in Matthew 23, verse. This article explains this term and shows why judgment is a major part of Christianity.
The Weightier Matters (Part 3): Mercy
Men have a love-hate relationship with mercy: They love to receive it, but hate to give it! Mercy, though, is one of the most important virtues, according to our Savior Jesus Christ. This article provides reasons why we should lean toward mercy in all our judgments.
The Weightier Matters (Part 4) : Faith and Fidelity
Faith and fidelity to God and His way of life should be a major part of our character. In this fourth article on the weightier matters, it details what faith and fidelity are, how to recognize a lack of them in our lives and how to develop them so we can grow into the image of Jesus Christ.
The Whirlpool of War
John Reid, a veteran of the Korean war, knows the horrors of war. We are in a spiritual war right now, and it will only become hotter as we near the end!
The Whole Truth
Most of us have heard the courtroom mantra, "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." John Reid, however, applies these criteria to our behavior, showing that many of us shy away from "nothing but the truth"!
The Wholeness of God
God is a multidimensional personality who always acts in accordance with His perfect character. John Ritenbaugh explains that God is a whole Being whose wonderful, perfect attributes work together—and whose traits we are to come to know and reflect.
The Woman Atop the Beast (Part 1)
Revelation 17 depicts a fallen woman astride a beast, drunk with the blood of God's saints. Whom does this image represent? "Christian" history makes the answer plain!
The Woman Atop the Beast (Part 2)
In this second and final installment in a series on the great harlot of Revelation 17, Richard Ritenbaugh focuses on her wealth and her bloodthirsty persecution of God's people. A Christians we must watch world events and come out of her ways!
The Writing of Prostitutes
What is pornography? Is nudity wrong? Discover the attittudes behind pornography and why Christians must strive for purity. This article also includes the insets, 'Government Research and Conclusions on Pornography' and 'Modesty in Clothing.'
The Zeitgeist of Suicide (Part Four): A Soup Tureen of Trouble
With populations around the world in decline, how will governments and businesses maintain the present standard of living? Charles Whitaker reveals that their solution, hinted at in the sudden surge in biotechnology, resides in technology discovering a brave new world.
The Zeitgeist of Suicide (Part One): Weeping for the Children Who Are Not
It seems counter-intuitive to think that the world's population is shrinking, but trend lines show the possibility of a 95% reduction in population over the next 500 years. Charles Whitaker examines the reasons for this precipitous decline, asserting that God's Word prophesies an altogether different scenario.
The Zeitgeist of Suicide (Part Three): Answers That Miss the Mark
The numbers do not lie—birthrates are declining. But what are governments planning to do about this imminent problem? Charles Whitaker examines the two main proposals, concluding that both are wrongheaded. Sidebars address why demography is important and the work of two famous demographers, Thomas Malthus and Paul Ehrlich.
The Zeitgeist of Suicide (Part Two): Causes and Results of Rejecting True Values
What are the causes—moral, social, and technological—behind the new demographic realities? Perhaps more importantly, what will be their consequences? Charles Whitaker spotlights the value of children to society—one that is increasingly ignored in this age of materialism.
This Is Not God's World
The Amish and Mennonite peoples have built a way of life around coming out of this world. Although we commend their zeal, the proper emphasis consists of avoiding the religious, psychological and philosophical systems of this world. God promises to destroy them when Christ returns.
Thy Kingdom Come! (Part One)
We understand that the Kingdom of God stands at the center of the gospel message Jesus Christ brought, but while we are well aware of its future rule over mankind, many do not realize it also has past and present aspects. This article explores the ancient history of God's Kingdom, as well as its current reality to His people.
Thy Kingdom Come! (Part Two)
We must always remember one important fact: If God says a thing will happen, it will happen! God's Kingdom will come, whether or not we as individuals inherit it when the time comes. Despite so-called evidences to the contrary generated by the Deceiver, this age will end to be succeeded by the glorious reign of Jesus Christ.
Time and Life
The way men and God look at time and life are very different. But if we come to understand God's perspective, we have a greater chance of living His way!
Time for Self-Evaluation
Prior to the Days of Unleavened Bread, we are told to examine ourselves. How can we do that? John Reid gives a few pointers on doing a thorough, honest once over.
Timing Is Everything
Time is an ever-present reality that we often ignore. Timing is a related issue that we ignore at our peril. Dan Elmore illustrates from nature, human society, and God's Word how important timing can be—and sometimes it can mean the difference between living and dying!
Tithing: God's Financial System
God has set in place a wonderful system to pay for the promulgation of His truth. John Reid discusses tithing in general, the different tithes and what income is titheable, and answers several common questions on the subject.
To Answer a Fool—or Not
It can pose quite a quandry: Do we answer a foolish question in an attempt to help, or do we refrain from answering, not wanting to legitimize the fool and his foolishness? David Maas demonstrates that Proverbs 26:4-5 is not a biblical contradiction, providing advice on how we can apply its wisdom.
To Live, We Must Die
How many of us go through life with our noses to the grindstone, as it were, always trying to get ahead and never really appreciating what God has given us? Using Mitch Albom's book, Tuesdays With Morrie, Bill Onisick focuses on a major lesson of Christianity: Real life comes as a result of giving our own.
To Watch and Keep
The Bible is well known as a Book of prophecy, but what is the true purpose of prophecy? Is it merely to enlighten us about the future, so that the "wise" will have an advantage over everyone else when the time comes? Charles Whitaker suggests that God's spiritual purposes for prophecy concern the subjects of warning and keeping.
Today's Christianity (Part One): Christianity Goes Global
Americans and Europeans once provided the driving force behind Christianity, but Charles Whitaker informs us that Asians, Africans, and Latin Americans are re-energizing Christianity—and creating conflict with declining Western churches in the process.
Today's Christianity (Part Three): Southern Christianity's Impact on America
Though secularists tried to use immigration policy to force Christianity out of the American mainstream, it backfired. Charles Whitaker explains how God has used their scheme to accomplish His own end-time purposes.
Today's Christianity (Part Two): Southern Christianity Moves North
The Immigration Reform Act of 1965 opened the floodgates to immigrants from Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Charles Whitaker asserts that, contrary to the liberal secularists intention to marginalize Christianity through it, the Act instead facilitated the rise of a new strain of conservative Christianity in America.
Touched by the 'Spirit'?
In recent years Pentecostalism has surged in popularity, a symptom of a greater interest in "spiritual" things. How does its sudden popularity relate to prophecy? Richard Ritenbaugh shows that the Bible foretells the rise of a deceptive spirituality at the end time.
Toys as Tools
We often take our children's toys for granted, but they are actually tools that can teach either right or wrong. John Reid gives some guidelines for choosing proper toys for our kids.
Trends in Global Religion
Ron Sellers, a religious trend watcher, sees great instability in world religion, and it is mirrored in God's church. Richard Ritenbaugh shows how this dovetails with Bible prophecy of the end time.
Truth or Unity?
We all want to be known as seekers of the truth. None of us would want to follow a lie! Yet oftentimes, searching for the truth brings us into conflict with others' beliefs, causing separations between brethren in the church of God. How do we tell truth from lie?