John Ritenbaugh observed that ancient Israel had regarded Bethel (as well as Gilgal and Beer Sheba) as a sacred shrine (a place where Jacob had been transformed —his name changed to Israel) but were not becoming spiritually transformed as a result of. . .
How can we evaluate whether our Feast is 'good' or not? God's criticism of Israel's feasts in Amos 5 teaches what God wants us to learn from His feasts.
If we go to the Feast with the goal of physically enjoying, we may lose out on both the spiritual and physical benefits. 'Going through the motions' defiles it.
John Ritenbaugh warns the greater Church of God that since we constitute the Israel of God, the book of Amos directly applies to us. The pilgrimages to Gilgal made by the people of ancient Israel were repulsive to God because no permanent change (in terms . . .
John Ritenbaugh points out that Amos severely chides Israel for exalting symbolism over substance, superstitiously trusting in locations where significant historical events occurred: Bethel- the location of Jacob's pillar stone and Jacob's conversion; Gilg. . .
John Ritenbaugh begins by explaining that Amos means "burden bearer," characterizing the message he delivered. Like a hawk circling around in tightening circles, Amos gives a series of dire warnings beginning with Israel's arch-enemies but conclu. . .
John Ritenbaugh, acknowledging that sometimes the pace of the Feast of Tabernacles can be wearying, reminds us that God has commanded His people to rejoice and to develop a beneficial fear and respect for Him. Enjoying the feast to the hilt physically does. . .
Sometimes, we get down because we think that all our labors for God have gone unnoticed. Elijah did, and his story points out a major lesson we all would do well to heed today.
Kim Myers, reflecting on Amos's prophecy to ancient Israel in Amos 5:11, castigating the leaders for their shabby treatment to the poor and destitute in society, draws a parallel to America's leaders today, allowing or creating situations in which the rich. . .
An entire chapter of Genesis is devoted to the sexual violation of Dinah and its consequences. Who bears the responsibility for this grievous crime?
The book of Amos is an astounding prophecy, closely paralleling the conditions in the Western world today. Amos reveals how unrighteousness undermines society.
Rather than having an apathetic relationship toward God, we must ardently, earnestly, and fervently seek God in order to imitate His behavior in our lives.
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&mdash. . .
John Ritenbaugh observes that the people to whom Amos addresses have the mistaken assumption that because they have made the covenant with God that they complacently bask in a kind of divine favoritism—God's country, God's people, God's church. God's. . .
Israel had every opportunity that the Gentiles did not have. God gave the Israelites gifts to live a better way, but they completely failed to reflect Him.
Jeroboam, pragmatic and fearful, established a more convenient idolatrous festival to prevent his people from keeping the real Feast of Tabernacles in Judah.
John Ritenbaugh observes that ancient Israel had at the core of its religion (as well as its dominant cultural norm) an obsession to serve or please the self at the expense of justice and truth and the best interests of the socially disadvantaged. Because . . .
John Ritenbaugh, expanding on God's swearing by His Holiness, adds that when God looks upon people who call themselves by His name, He expects to see certain family characteristics- exemplified by holiness, purity, and morality. Amos indicated that God cou. . .
John Ritenbaugh discusses the limited window of opportunity recipients of a dire prophecy have to take action. The one who hears the warnings does not have an abundance of time to repent and return to God. A lion's threat is not idle. If no action is taken. . .
Martin Collins, alarmed about vacuous emotionalism in religion, producing emotional feelers for Jesus rather than followers of Christ, warns us that we must take the bad with the good, enduring suffering and consolation. "Feeling good" all the ti. . .
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the book Final Exit by Derek Humphry, a work exploring the prevalence of suicide and its impact on the survivors, warns us that this is the time to get our ducks in a row, making the most of what we have experienced, establis. . .
John Ritenbaugh, discussing our journey to perfection or sanctification, asserts that even though everything we need in this quest has been given to us, our spiritual growth is largely dependent to the extent that we believe (and act upon this belief) in t. . .
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