The identical actions of the Lord and the Angel of the Lord show they are the same Being. The God known by Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses was Jesus Christ.
The first commandment sets the stage for understanding Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac. God wanted to know: Would Abraham put Him first and have no other god?
Based on his long friendship with God, Abraham could systematically calculate the reliability of God's promises even in the lack of visual evidence.
The name Isaac—'laughter'—suggests his optimistic disposition, someone not afflicted by fear and doubt. Isaac serves as a type of Christ, honoring his father.
We learn from Abraham's experience to trust God even when we have incomplete information. When we attempt to take the expedient way out, we will run into trouble.
Selfishness in any form turns Christianity on its head, making a mockery of the many sacrifices that form its foundation and the grace of God that makes it possible.
John Ritenbaugh focuses upon the typology suggested by Abraham's concealing from Abimelech his true relationship with Sarah. The incident symbolizes Abraham's temptation to compromise his spiritual principles to acquire worldly knowledge (typified by the u. . .
On the Day of Atonement, we are to afflict our souls by fasting. We do no work, signifying that we did absolutely no work to attain our salvation.
Sometimes we make things a bit too theological, wanting to know all the details of a doctrine, but simple faith is trusting God and believing His word.
Waiting is a foundational aspect of faith, hope, and love, and is sometimes one of the hardest works of all. ...
John Ritenbaugh emphasizes that both Jesus and Abraham rose above their emotional pulls by exercising living faith- a faith built on a foundation of incremental acts of obedience. Living faith can never be separated from works, nor can it ever stand indepe. . .
Faith is simple in concept; it is believing what God says. Yet it is difficult to display in our lives, and it is often tested. Here is some evidence of faith.
At times we exhibit some faithlessness, perhaps because we have viewed faith just in terms of what we do rather than what God does through His gifting to us.
Using assumptions, some have concocted some nine conflicting calendars. The preservation of the oracles has not been entrusted to the church but to the Jews.
John Ritenbaugh emphasizes that a spiritual Israelite, following Jacob's example, undergoes a metamorphosis in which his own stubborn, self-centered will is broken so that God's creative work can be completed within him. Abraham, whose very name connotes f. . .
Americans (indeed most of the industrialized world) tend to be skeptical, cynical, and jaded, demanding mountains of evidence before becoming convinced of anything. We run the risk of losing our childlike credulity, becoming calloused, hardened, and stiff-. . .
Abraham, the father of the faithful, did not have a blind faith; it was based upon observation of God's proven track record of faithfulness.
John Ritenbaugh asserts that the seven "I will" promises given to our forefather Abraham in Genesis 12:2-3 were truly "big deal" foundational promises impacting the lives of multiple billions of lives up to the present day and that Abra. . .
Where is Israel today? God's ironclad promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob give ample clues for identifying Israel—and the answer is surprising.
Trials define who we are by placing choices before us, forcing us to have faith in God. Character is built by making right, though difficult, choices.
Far from being blind, faith is based on analyzing, comparing, adding up from evidence in God's Word, our own experience, and our calling by God's Holy Spirit.
The Passover is a beacon of hope in an otherwise hopeless milieu. Jesus provided hope at His last Passover, exuding confidence despite what lay ahead.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11 did not have a blind naïve faith, but one built incrementally by careful examination of the evidence- adding things up or calculating- from cumulative life experiences. From this acquired fa. . .
In this keynote address of the 2007 Feast of Tabernacles, John Ritenbaugh, focusing on Abraham's pattern of life, answers the question, 'Why is the Church of the Great God doing what it is doing at this time?' Abraham and Sarah's life of faith is the patte. . .
John Ritenbaugh claims that millions of people who believe they are in contact with God are hopelessly deceived about Him in five essential ways: They do not understand (1) what causes estrangement between God and mankind, (2) that God under no circumstanc. . .
When Joseph gave the command regarding his bones, he was contemplating the resurrection! Significantly, there is no record of a resurrection before this.
We all have stories of people we know or have known who experienced separation from friends and family due to their beliefs. ...
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on I John 4:17, marvels at the depth of love God the Father has for us as unique, special components of His creation, loving each of us as much as He loved Christ. The Father and the Son have worked cooperatively, harmoniously s. . .
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting upon the admonition of Christ that we must take the straight gate or the narrow way (symbols of grave difficulty), indicates that our experience in overcoming and developing character will be fraught with difficulties. Neverthel. . .
Richard Ritenbaugh, focusing on the significance of the third day as a biblical motif, reiterates that the third day indicates a colossal turn-around from hopelessness and despair to victory and jubilation. The motif is also displayed in a secular event, t. . .
As God found it necessary to test our forbears, He allows us to go through grueling experiences (trials, tests, and temptations) for maximum growth.
Because Abraham trusted God, his descendants have received unprecedented blessings. If the Israelites would have kept God's law, they would have served as a model.
The Kingdom of God is our goal, and our vision of what it means gives us compelling motivation to overcome, grow, and bear fruit in preparation for eternal life.
John Ritenbaugh focuses upon vision - an especially vivid picture in the mind's eye (undergirded by faith, scriptural revelation, and prompted by God's Holy Spirit) to anticipate and plan for events and results which have not yet occurred. This foresight o. . .
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