Why Hebrews Was Written (Part One) (November-December 2017)
With the giving of the New Covenant to God's called and chosen people, the church, problems arose among both Jewish and Gentile converts. God inspired the writing of the epistle to the Hebrews to answer the difficult questions church members were struggling with during the tumultuous first decades of the church. John Ritenbaugh begins to unravel the reasons early Christians needed the book of Hebrews.
The Nature of God— What's Love Got To Do With It? (November-December 2017)
Christians have been known to toss about the word "love" with seeming abandon, quoting verses from Jesus' lips or the apostle John's pen as if they were talismans that can solve all problems. Joseph Baity, however, calls their bluff, suggesting that culture has so confused the common understanding of love that most people do not know what true, godly love is.
"Behold, He Is Coming With Clouds" (November-December 2017)
Jesus Himself instructs us to live by every word of God (Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4), advice that is also useful when we study the Bible. Most of the passages that describe Christ's return to earth in power and glory at the end of the age contain the same detail: that He will come in, on, or with clouds. David Grabbe provides biblical background to help us understand why this detail is significant.
The Politicization of Motherhood (November-December 2017)
Feminism has been growing in strength through Western culture for more than a century, leaving its despoiling mark on the family, the workplace, and society in general. Mike Ford, commenting on research done by author Erica Komisar, explains that the facts indicate that children - and society as a whole - function better when mothers fulfill the role of nurturers in the home.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: A Second Large Catch of Fish (Part Two) (November-December 2017)
Both Luke (Luke 5:1-11) and John (John 21:1-14) record miracles in which Jesus helps His disciples catch a great many fish in their nets. Dissecting these miracles, Martin Collins finds that they show the growth of the disciples, whom Jesus was preparing for their ministries all along.
Leadership and Covenants (Part Eleven): Signs (September-October 2017)
After Noah and his family left the ark, God set the rainbow in the sky as a sign of His covenant with all living creatures not to flood the world again. Ever since, John Ritenbaugh explains, God has been providing additional signs, particularly those that promise that He will provide a Savior and Redeemer to free mankind from its bondage to sin and death.
Who Fulfills the Azazel Goat— Satan or Christ? (Part Five) (September-October 2017)
While the church of God has long taught that the azazel goat of Leviticus 16 represents Satan bearing part of the blame for man's sins, the present series has shown that this view has little - if any - biblical support. David Grabbe concludes his series with several common questions posed by those who have desired additional clarification of some of the issues involved in the subject.
Worthy to Take the Scroll (September-October 2017)
When reading the book of Revelation, we often pass quickly through chapters 4 and 5, perhaps because very little of significance seems to happen in them. To many, they contain just a fantastic description of God's throne room. David Grabbe, however, explains that chapter 5, especially, narrates an event of tremendous magnitude for those whom God has chosen.
The Saudi Arabian Makeover (September-October 2017)
For many years, the church of God has preached that church members should keep their eyes on the Middle East. As tensions heat up there, a figure who deserves attention is the current crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad bin Salman Al-Saud, who, while only 32 years old and not yet king, has already begun to move his kingdom toward more stable and moderate political, cultural, and religious positions.
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: A Second Large Catch of Fish (Part One) (September-October 2017)
Jesus Christ performed two miracles during His ministry in which His disciples pulled in large catches of fish. The second occurrence took place after Christ's resurrection and before His ascension. Martin Collins posits that a comparison of the two miracles reveals the progress of Jesus' efforts to prepare His disciples for the next steps of their journey toward sanctification.
Leadership and Covenants (Part Ten) (July-August 2017)
Christians living at the time of the end would do well to consider the character and behavior of Noah, a paragon of virtue and devotion to God. John Ritenbaugh explains that God and Noah worked side by side to deliver the small remnant of humanity through the waters of the Flood, God supplying the sanctification and grace and Noah obeying in faith. This is the kind of relationship God desires with us.
Who Fulfills the Azazel Goat— Satan or Christ? (Part Four) (July-August 2017)
Many in God's church have believed that humanity cannot be "at one" with God until Satan has been bound at the beginning of the Millennium. This misunderstanding, David Grabbe contends, has come about due to a general failure to grasp significant truths about the completed atoning work of Jesus Christ, something that Satan has no part in.
The End Is Not Yet (July-August 2017)
Every Christian longs for the return of Jesus Christ, and we search for fulfillments of the signs signaling that wonderful prophetic event. The seemingly rapid increase in natural disasters and heavenly spectacles can excite us to a fever pitch. Richard Ritenbaugh cautions that we need make sure that our understanding and interpretation of such signs align with what the Bible says about them.
Over-Medicated (July-August 2017)
America is a nation hooked on pharmaceutical drugs, consuming half of the world's production of such medicines and pain relievers. It is so dire that the U.S. president has declared the country in the midst of a prescription-drug crisis. Joseph Baity provides the facts and figures proving that America needs deep reforms in this area of healthcare—and soon.
Does Luke 9:50 Contradict Luke 11:23? (July-August 2017)
So, some say, which is it? "He that is not against us is on our side" or "He who is not with Me is against Me"? Martin Collins examines this seeming biblical contradiction, showing that the different audiences Christ addressed and the context of each statement provide a satisfying answer, removing any perceived conflict.
Leadership and Covenants (Part Nine) (May-June 2017)
Despite its harshness, God's decision to destroy the earth and humankind by a flood was ultimately an act of great love for His creation. By it, He intervened to derail the degradation of human morality before it became permanently set in man's nature. John Ritenbaugh also explores the first mention of God's grace in Scripture, which occurs within the Flood narrative, showing that the entire episode and the subsequent covenant were effects of His grace.
Who Fulfills the Azazel Goat— Satan or Christ? (Part Three) (May-June 2017)
The offering on the Day of Atonement is unique in that it is a singular offering in two parts, each goat representing a separate aspect of Christ's sacrifice. In Part Three, David Grabbe explains why the goat of departure cannot be connected to the binding of Satan (Revelation 20:1-3), as well as how Hebrews 9 and 10 clarify the Atonement ritual's meaning through the complete—and completed—sacrifice of Christ.
Scattering and Gathering: Images of History and Prophecy (Part Two) (May-June 2017)
Biblical prophecy shows God scattering His people as a punishment for their sins against Him. During the end time, it appears He will scatter them into small fragments, perhaps even down to individuals alone. Charles Whitaker studies the primarily Hebrew words whose meanings suggest a coming, extensive fragmentation of end-time Israelites. The good news is that God will ultimately regather the humbled remnant one by one.
The Book of Life (May-June 2017)
Several times in both testaments, the Bible mentions a book or books that God uses to record the names and perhaps additional information about each person who has lived. This book is called the "Book of Life" or "the book of the living." Martin Collins examines the few scriptures that mention this intriguing book to find out what God's Word reveals about it.
Is Wide-Open Abortion Coming? (May-June 2017)
Within the past eighteen months, at least three major medical associations in the United Kingdom have voted to support liberalized abortion policies—to the extent of "opening up abortion throughout pregnancy for any reason." John Ritenbaugh gathers evidence proving that, despite the public's lack of support for loosening abortion laws, the leadership in the medical profession are weakening standards to the point that human life means nothing.