Why Hebrews Was Written (Part Three) (May-August 2018)
The book of Hebrews was written to fulfill several needs of the first-century church. One of the most critical needs was to explain God's opening of eternal life to the Gentiles, as He did through Peter's visit to the house of Cornelius in Acts 10. John Ritenbaugh explains that Jewish converts, especially, faced pressure and even persecution from their own people - even from their own families - for their belief in Christ.
Unity and Division: The Blessing and the Curse (Part One) (May-August 2018)
Those who read the Bible regularly come to realize that it speaks a great deal about the opposing subjects of unity and division. Unity seems to be "godly," while division is "ungodly." However, Charles Whitaker cautions that, while they are irreconciliable conditions, unity and division are not as black and white as we typically think of them.
Eternal Torment? (May-August 2018)
Many nominal Christians believe in an ever-burning hell where the wicked are tormented forever. Though they might point to Revelation's Lake of Fire or to Jesus' mention of Gehenna fire as support for such an idea, the Bible does not teach the pervasive doctrine of hell as a place of eternal torment. Richard Ritenbaugh contends that, instead, God will eradicate all sin and wickedness, not punish for it forever.
Hollywood Horror: Promoting the Spirit of Fear (May-August 2018)
The horror movie genre is no longer the home of B-movies and cheap scares but a burgeoning and critically acclaimed sector of Hollywood's film industry. The past two years have seen it attract A-list talent and even awards attention. Joseph Baity connects horror's upswing at the box office with the general culture's state of fear.
The Fruit of Justification (May-August 2018)
The heavily theological subject of justification confuses a great many people. In fact, much of nominal Christianity, even theologians, do not understand the Bible's teaching on it. Martin Collins, focusing on what justification produces, provides clarity on a few points of this challenging doctrine.
Why Hebrews Was Written (Part Two) (January-April 2018)
Among Catholics and Protestants exists the erroneous belief that the New Covenant abolishes the law rather than the truth that the epistle to the Hebrews provides: that Jesus Christ perfectly fulfilled His spiritual responsibilities and can now aid us in fulfilling ours, which includes keeping God's commandments. John Ritenbaugh continues to explain the background to the book of Hebrews, showing why the early church needed its singular message.
The God of the Old Testament (January-April 2018)
In the professing-Christian world, an insidious, false belief exists: that the God of the Old Testament was a cruel, angry God, while Jesus, the God of the New Testament, is kind and loving. Pat Higgins, using the Bible's own testimony, shows that nothing could be farther from the truth! In fact, Scripture plainly shows that the same God has always communicated and interacted with humanity throughout its history.
The "Open Door" of Philadelphia (January-April 2018)
The modern church of God, particularly a few of its splinter organizations, have made a big deal out of Revelation's letters to the seven churches. Often highlighted is the "open door" promised in the letter to Philadelphia. David Grabbe provides proof from Isaiah 22 that our understanding of this image should be revised to reflect the insight given in this neglected Old Testament prophecy.
The Politicization of Motherhood (Part Two) (January-April 2018)
The feminist movement has taken a heavy toll on the importance of motherhood to our society. For instance, feminists encourage mother to return to work as soon after childbirth as possible, leaving the baby in the care of a daycare center. Mike Ford focuses on the politically charged rhetoric of leading feminists that demonizes traditional marriage and motherhood, painting stay-at-home moms as domestic slaves.
Are You Justified? (January-April 2018)
"Justification" is a theological term that many people do not understand, thinking that it is a complex point of biblical doctrine. However, it is not as difficult as it may seem on the surface. Martin Collins explains what justification is and how it works in the life of the individual whom God calls to salvation.
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 (Part One) (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 no biblical support. David Grabbe concludes the 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.