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.
Like Joseph, we need to realize that God—not ourselves—is the Creator, engineering events that form us into what He wants us to become.
John Ritenbaugh demonstrates the relationship of God's will, predestination, and choice (or free moral agency). Using the analogy of a child summoned by a parent to clean up his room, he points out that the dawdling, complaining, and other acts of disobedi. . .
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.
Unless we acknowledge God's sovereign authority in our lives, following through with the things we learn from scripture, we, like atheists, will not see God.
John Ritenbaugh emphasizes that works are not the cause of salvation, but instead are the effect of God's creative efforts at bringing us into His image—a new creation. We are created in Christ Jesus, given a tiny spark of His nature from which to dr. . .
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.
God's solution to mankind's separation was sending a second Adam, Jesus Christ, to make reconciliation possible. Fasting shows our dependence on God.
John Ritenbaugh warns that if we are not moving forward, we will be swept back into the world. The warnings given to the people addressed by Amos and Isaiah were people (like us) who had already made a covenant with Him. Despite their having made the coven. . .
The Laodiceans fail to reciprocate Christ's love for them. The comfort of prosperity blinded them to their spiritual condition, especially their need for Christ.
Correct actions become a sign—a witness—even without any preaching, which is why God's words are symbolically bound to the hand rather than the tongue.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that Deuteronomy (the Old Covenant in its fullest form) constitutes instruction for the Israel of God, serving as a compass and guide, preparing God's people to enter the Promised Land. None of Deuteronomy is done away. The singu. . .
Beyond the fact that our Savior Jesus Christ was crucified on a cross of some sort, He used its imagery to instruct His followers: He bids us to take us our cross and follow Him. David Grabbe analyzes what Jesus' command would have meant to those who heard. . .
David Grabbe, claiming that the command to take up the cross has been sullied, tainted, and moreover smeared by Protestant heretical syrup, insists that the venerating of the cross (explicitly violating the Second Commandment) pre-dated Christianity by sev. . .
The ultimate shame for a covenant people is to be found disloyal. God will be faithful to His purpose for humankind and will pursue it to its glorious end.
The primary function of a priest is to assist people in accessing God so that there can be unity with God. A priest is a bridge-builder between man and God.
We all tend to allow familiarity to lure us into carelessly taking something for granted. This is particularly dangerous regarding God and His purpose for us.
Even though a Christian's potential is so wonderful, it is still necessary for God to motivate His children to reach it. This begins with the fear of God.
Richard Ritenbaugh, commenting on the dry and hard clay in South Carolina, a real challenge to cultivate, identifies some grounds of comparison Christ cites between ourselves and clay (soil). In the Parable of the Sower, Christ describes 1.0) hard, impenet. . .
Like its physical counterpart, spiritual growth happens slowly. A newly baptized Christian will not produce the fruit of the spirit as easily as a mature one.
The Ten Commandments open with the most important, the one that puts our relationship with God in its proper perspective. It is a simple but vital command.
God has blessed us with the Sabbath, a period of holy time, when He redeems us from the clutches of our carnality and this evil world.
John Ritenbaugh, continuing his comparison of the timid, insignificant sparrow with the virtually unnoticed, timid Church, reiterates that God has complete oversight over the awesome plan of creating offspring in His image. Consequently, we should not fear. . .
John Ritenbaugh reflects that God, through His sovereignty, has personally placed each of us in the organization in which we can grow the most. We have a solemn responsibility to exercise our free moral agency, having authority and dominion over animals, a. . .
The true understanding of Elohim dismantles the entire trinity argument. God is reproducing Himself; we are being prepared to become a part of Elohim.
John Ritenbaugh assures us that God is involved in the minute details of every converted person's life just as much as He is in the major historical world events. As a new creation of God (II Corinthians 5:17) we receive continuous, meticulous, detailed at. . .
John Ritenbaugh stresses that the day-to-day choices we make have far-reaching spiritual consequences. When we incrementally learn to fear God, we make a choice to preserve our eternal life. God initiated our calling as an expression of His love and grace.. . .
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on Solomon's ruminations about life being seemingly futile and purposeless, reiterates that a relationship with God is the only factor which prevents life from becoming useless. As many celebrities and public figures withdraw to. . .
John Ritenbaugh uses an analogy of a 1910 automobile as opposed to a modern one. Obsolete doesn't mean, as Protestant understanding would have it, "done away." The fault of the Old Covenant was with the hearts of the people. Christ took it upon H. . .
John Ritenbaugh, reminding us that Jesus handpicked the twelve apostles for a specific work, notes that there is a strong possibility that God has also handpicked each one of us to fulfill a particular role in the Body. Like an engineer on a building proje. . .
John Ritenbaugh affirms that faith and love require reciprocal works on our part, even though God has made the initial step, providing His only Son as a substitutionary sacrifice for our sins. As God calls us, He provides the power both to will and to do. . . .
God spreads His Word liberally among the world's people. Besides God's direct involvement in converting people, the difference between one growing in it and another "dying on the vine" is the soil in which the Word is planted, explained in Jesus' Parable o. . .
Once we accept God's sovereignty, it begins to produce certain virtues in us. John Ritenbaugh explains four of these byproducts of total submission to God.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates the dominant themes, including (1) Preparing to receive our inheritance (2) Learning to fear God (3) God's grace and (4) God's faithfulness. We will not be prepared to execute judgment in the Millennium unless we are experiential. . .
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that what a person believes is a major driving force of his conduct, determining the outcome of his life. At the time of the end, iniquity is going to be so pervasive and so compelling a force that our only resource for enduring . . .
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