Seeds and Seasons (Part Two)

by David C. Grabbe
In Part One, we learned that God teaches His children important lessons through the seasons of the year, particularly in the harvest seasons during which He has placed His appointed times . . .


Seeds and Seasons (Part One)

by David C. Grabbe
One of the tragedies of modern life is how far removed we are from the splendor and intricacies of the natural world. God’s physical creation, a traditional source of insight, is steadily disappearing—if not in actuality, ...


Are We Laodiceans?

by Pat Higgins
Most would agree that we live in the fullness of the Laodicean attitude of God’s church, and because we are alive now, it is safe to assume that we all have strong Laodicean proclivities. ...


Faith and Contentment (Part Two)

by John Reiss
In Part One, we began to consider an aspect of God’s purpose by using a metaphor of a tree in a forest. We saw that faith is the trunk of our figurative tree, and one of its attributes is ...


Faith and Contentment (Part One)

by John Reiss
Romans 1:20 tells us that we can learn a lot about God by what He has created. Nature, Paul tells us, testifies of the attributes and character of God, and a metaphor from nature—a tree in a forest ...


A Peaceful Spirit

by Gary Montgomery
We live in a world that is constantly changing. One day things are chaotic, and the next, things seem peaceful. Sometimes people are cordial and pleasant, but before you know it, they are angry and hostile. Such animosity ...


Coveting and the Roots of Sin

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Watching toddlers play together in a room full of toys can be instructive. For a short while, the children check out the toys strewn about the room, noting the bright colors, touching them, putting ...


The Lack of Love in Lying

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
A vein of dishonesty runs at the heart of the world’s recent troubles. We can easily spot this malignancy in modern journalism, which no longer reports news but publishes opinion pieces disguised ...


The Way of Get

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
It is in no way shocking to claim that people own things. It is a fact of human existence. People possess money, land, homes, businesses, vehicles, jewelry, stocks and bonds, precious metals, collectibles, ...


Purifying the Heart

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
To talk about adultery these days is to risk ridicule. Back in 1976, then-presidential candidate Jimmy Carter faced public scorn when - in a Playboy magazine interview no less - he agreed with Jesus ...


The Value of Life

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
God’s command in Exodus 20:13 and Deuteronomy 5:17, “You shall not murder,” seems to be a universal tenet in every nation’s code of law. Does any culture not have some kind of rule regulating ...


The Honor Due to Parents

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Honor is a word that often fails to receive its due in this casual age. Its modern sense tends to lean toward “recognition” and “celebration”—for instance, the Kennedy Center Honors or even the ...


Remember the Sabbath Day

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The fourth commandment is not only the longest of the Ten Commandments, but it also begins differently from the other nine. The other nine start with “You shall” or “You shall not.” ...


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 ...