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.
If we hold fast to principles, though it may seem initially uncomfortable and fearful, we will eventually receive respect and even admiration.
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.
Not all waiting is actually waiting on God. We might convince ourselves that we are waiting on God, when He is really waiting for us to move forward.
Jesus and Abraham rose above their emotional pulls by exercising living faith—a faith built on acts of obedience. Faith can never be separated from works.
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.
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 faithfulness, learned to work through fearful catch-22 dilemmas, walking by …
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-necked like our forebears on the Sinai, even though God Almighty supplied …
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.
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 Abraham and that Abraham could fathom them only by calculating within his …
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.
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.
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.
Like Jesus and other heroes of faith, we need to look beyond the present to the long term effects of the trials and tests we go though, seeing their value.
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 pattern that God's called-out ones are obligated to follow. Interestingly, …
I John 4:17 reveals 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.
Even though the way God exercises His sovereignty is inscrutable to us , calling the foolish to confound the wise, all He does fits perfectly into His plan.
When Joseph gave the command regarding his bones, he was contemplating the resurrection! Significantly, there is no record of a resurrection before this.
Many people have experienced separation from friends and family due to their beliefs. From start to finish, the Bible is full of such stories.
As God found it necessary to test our forbears, He allows us to go through grueling experiences (trials, tests, and temptations) for maximum growth.
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. Nevertheless, God will provide the power to get through all this difficulty and …
As a biblical motif, the third day indicates a colossal turn-around from hopelessness to victory. The third day revival motif recurs throughout Scripture.
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.