Taking God's Name in Vain

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Mother gave Jimmy a hard look. ...


Does God Forbid All Images?

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Years ago, the church received a question about idolatry from a pious American woman of uncertain religious affiliation. She asked about our understanding of the second commandment, particularly ...


Identifying Our Idols

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Idolatry. It is not a subject that we think about a great deal in this secular world. The word itself suffers abuse in the modern vernacular, referring not to the premier sin of the Ten Commandments ...


Pentecost's Two Leavened Loaves (Part Five)

by David C. Grabbe
In terms of differences that affect service and labor, the New Testament mentions numerous pairs of diverse types of people. In his epistles, the apostle Paul addresses barbarians and Scythians, ...


Pentecost's Two Leavened Loaves (Part Four)

by David C. Grabbe
We can readily find the themes of the Pentecost offering in the church, going all the way back to Christ’s ministry. ...


Pentecost's Two Leavened Loaves (Part Three)

by David C. Grabbe
The Pentecost grain offering contains leavening, while the typical grain offering does not. ...


Pentecost's Two Leavened Loaves (Part Two)

by David C. Grabbe
Part One introduced the unique offering on the Feast of Weeks that had, as its centerpiece, two loaves. In Scripture, the number two signals a difference, often one with incomplete harmony or ...


Pentecost's Two Leavened Loaves (Part One)

by David C. Grabbe
In the preface to his book, The Law of the Offerings, Andrew Jukes refers to the Bible’s sacrifices as “the inspired parables of the Old Testament. ...


Appeasement (Part Two)

by John Reiss
Part One introduced the concept of appeasement—“granting concessions to potential enemies to maintain peace”—and provided a few examples of the policy at work before World War II and during the more recent Antifa riots in Portland, Oregon. ...


Appeasement (Part One)

by John Reiss
The Free Dictionary gives us a definition of appeasement: “The policy of granting concessions to potential enemies to maintain peace.” An Internet search for examples of political appeasement ...


Pentecost: A Test?

by Pat Higgins
For doctrine, who is your authority? For some, it is Herbert W. Armstrong. But he warned us, “Don’t believe me—BELIEVE YOUR BIBLE—BELIEVE GOD!” Yes, rather than any man or church, the authority for ...


Joshua and the Gibeonites (Part Three)

by David C. Grabbe
Parts One and Two examined the deception of the Gibeonites in securing their place in Israelite society. They also touched on some of the later effects of the Gibeonites’ continued presence ...


Joshua and the Gibeonites (Part Two)

by David C. Grabbe
In Part One, we began considering the Gibeonites, the people of a large city in what would become the land of Benjamin, who misrepresented themselves to Joshua and the Israelites for the sake of a covenant of peace. ...


Joshua and the Gibeonites (Part One)

by David C. Grabbe
In Ecclesiastes 7:29, Solomon observes, “God made human beings straightforward, but they have devised many schemes” (New Revised Standard Version). One such scheme, recorded in Scripture for our admonition, ...


Forgiveness and Hope

by John Reiss
Passover is an annual renewal of the covenant we made with our heavenly Father and a remembrance of what His Son has done for us so our sins can be forgiven. ...


Entrance Exam

by Mike Fuhrer
The popular belief is “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). While this is true enough in its own right, it leaves out a great deal of biblical instruction about what God ...


Catastrophe to Blessing

by John Reiss
The apostle Paul writes in Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” His words presuppose a ...


Remember Me (Part Two)

by Ronny H. Graham
As we saw in Part One, the apostle Paul teaches Christians in I Corinthians 11:27-29 to appraise themselves carefully before partaking of the bread and the wine in the Passover service: "So if anyone eats ...


Remember Me (Part One)

by Ronny H. Graham
In I Corinthians 11:23-30, the apostle Paul reiterates what took place the night our Savior was betrayed and His instruction regarding the proper observance of Passover: "For I received ...


The Same Mind, Judgment, and Speech (Part Three)

by David C. Grabbe
As we saw in Part Two, the apostle Paul pleads with the divided congregation in Corinth—and with us—to “all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined ...


The Same Mind, Judgment, and Speech (Part Two)

by David C. Grabbe
More knowledge does not always improve a person’s or society’s condition if that knowledge is not properly ordered — that is, if it is not conformed to or constrained by the knowledge of God and all it entails. ...


The Same Mind, Judgment, and Speech (Part One)

by David C. Grabbe
Back in late-2001, my wife Mikele and I took advantage of the cheap airfares that followed the events of September 11 that year, spending several weeks in England, Scotland, and Wales. While in ...


The Crowns of Success (Part Two)

by John Reiss
In Part One, we began examining the biblical idea of five heavenly crowns and what these rewards mean for Christians. We will continue our examination by considering the fourth of these, the ...


The Crowns of Success (Part One)

by John Reiss
In the New Testament, the Bible speaks of five crowns God promises to faithful Christians that He will give them after Christ’s return as King of kings. Some who advocate for this idea view these ...


"Unto Us a Son Is Given"

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The above title comes from the words of Isaiah 9:6, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, ...


What Is This "Advent"?

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The world around us is celebrating what many call Advent, the month-long buildup to Christmas that the more devout among them treat as a period of more intense prayer and fasting. ...


Why Was God So Angry With Israel? (Part Two)

by Mike Fuhrer
In Part One, we saw the children of Israel stalled in fear at the border of the Promised Land in Kadesh, unwilling to cross over into their inheritance (Numbers 14:1-5). Not even the faithful testimony of ...


Why Was God So Angry With Israel? (Part One)

by Mike Fuhrer
When the Israelites, camped at Kadesh in the wilderness, refused to enter the Promised Land, God’s anger flared at them, saying, “I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them” ...


Thanks for Everything

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Thanksgiving Day is already a day in the rearview mirror, perhaps even all but forgotten in the annual Black Friday frenzy. We should not confine the giving of thanks to a single day of the year, but express it ...


The Importance of Appreciation

by John Reiss
Driving down the street near work several years ago, I saw something that really made an impression on me. Three bicyclists stood near the crosswalk, so I stopped and let them cross in front of my car. ...


Conditions of Discipleship (Part Two)

by Mike Fuhrer
In Part One, we saw that Jesus did not just pick anyone off the street as a disciple. Instead, He looked for people who would fulfill certain conditions that He placed on true discipleship. ...


Conditions of Discipleship (Part One)

by Mike Fuhrer
When Jesus Christ gathered His core disciples as He began His ministry, He knew who and what kind of men they were. He needed principled and devout worshippers of God to teach and prepare for the ...


Why 153 Fish? (Part Three)

by David C. Grabbe
The eighth sign of Christ’s Messiahship in John’s gospel contains the curious feature of 153 fish, which Jesus miraculously provided. As a symbol, fish typically represent people, such as when Jesus initially ...


Why 153 Fish? (Part Two)

by David C. Grabbe
As Part One detailed, the apostle John structured his gospel around eight signs that reveal Jesus Christ as the Messiah. He arranged these signs so that the first sign corresponds to the eighth, the second ...


Why 153 Fish? (Part One)

by David C. Grabbe
In Psalm 12:6, David compares God’s Word to silver that has been purified seven times. His revelation contains nothing superfluous, and thus each detail, no matter how seemingly insignificant, holds ...


The Forgotten Promises

by Mike Fuhrer
In casual conversations with brethren, fasting has occasionally come up for discussion, and it turns out that it is the rare individual who fasts regularly. Years ago, church members were encouraged ...


Devil in the Details?

by David C. Grabbe
In II Timothy 3:16, Paul tells the young pastor that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. ...


Jihad in Our Streets

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Today is the nineteenth anniversary of what we now call just “9/11." Islamic terrorists hijacked four planes in the early morning of September 11, 2001, and flew two of them into New York City’s World Trade ...


Reciprocity (Part Two)

by John Reiss
Part One explained the principle of reciprocity, in which kindness and service are rewarded with blessings, especially when the person expects nothing in return. In fact, God seems to have ...


Reciprocity (Part One)

by John Reiss
The notes on Luke 6:38 in the New Spirit-Filled Life Study Bible read: There is a universal law of divine reciprocity. You give; God gives in return. When you plant a seed, the ground yields a harvest. ...


Is God Fair?

by Mike Fuhrer
The church has long taught, and rightly so, that God is fair. When meting out punishments, He expects us to be fair also. Under the Old Covenant, He set out the principle of "life for life ..."


Has Humanity Reached Total Depravity? (Part Three)

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Remember the old Lay’s Potato Chips commercials on American television with the slogan, “Betcha can’t eat just one”? We could use a similar slogan to describe human sin: “Betcha can’t commit just one!” ...


Has Humanity Reached Total Depravity? (Part Two)

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
In Part One, we exhaustively covered God’s declaration in Genesis 6:5 that the humans of Noah’s day were altogether evil, from their innermost intentions to their most public behaviors. ...


Has Humanity Reached Total Depravity? (Part One)

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Just before the Noachian Flood, God declares His assessment of the moral state of humanity, and He pulls no punches: “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and ..."


The Sacred Name Movement

by John Reiss
God says to Moses in Exodus 6:2-3, “I am the LORD. ...


God's Enduring Mercy

by Ronny H. Graham
The greatest example of mercy in the Bible is, of course, found in the life of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He walked in mercy every day, healing multitudes, feeding thousands, and casting out many demons. ...


Led Outside the Gate

by David C. Grabbe
Meekness, we should understand, is not weakness. Though scoffed at by an assertive and bruising world, meekness demonstrates tremendous strength, for it is power under internal restraint. ...


Why Preach the Gospel to the World?

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
On a street corner of a crowded city, a young man in threadbare clothes stands on a pine box, a worn Bible clutched in one hand. He shouts at the hustling passersby, "God is not mocked! We will reap what we have sown!" ...


Did Eve Really Speak to a Snake?

by Mike Fuhrer
In Revelation 20:2, the apostle John relates what he saw in a vision: “[An angel] laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years." ...


Our Way Forward

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
As God’s instruction manual for His people, the Bible contains the answers and guidance Christians need in times of trouble. Scripture reflects His mind more than any other resource on earth ...


Soldier On! (Part Two)

by John Reiss
We all face trials in life, some of them quite difficult. A few of them may be so devastating that our first reaction is to curl up in a ball and give up. God, though, does not want us to allow ...


Soldier On! (Part One)

by John Reiss
As sunset neared in the Persian Gulf on February 16, 1991, American forces, engaged in a skirmish with Iraqi forces, shot a single TOW anti-tank missile at one of the enemy’s tanks, damaging but not destroying it. ...