The Peter Principle (Part Two)

by Mike Ford (1955-2021)
In Part One, we differentiated between the two Peter Principles: The Physical Peter Principle posits a person rises to his or her level of incompetence. ...


The Peter Principle (Part One)

by Mike Ford (1955-2021)
We have all been in a restaurant, a store, or a bank, and the employee serving us—perhaps newly hired or in training—just cannot complete the task. We ask to see the manager, and ...


Friends of the Friendless (Part Two)

by John Reiss
As we saw in Part One, friendship is a constant theme throughout God’s Word. We could even say that His plan of salvation is to restore friendship between Himself and humanity ...


Friends of the Friendless (Part One)

by John Reiss
Recently, an old I Love Lucy show came to mind. After a bit of research, I found that the episode I had recalled was titled, “Lucy’s Last Birthday.” Thinking that everyone has forgotten ...


The Spirit of Babylon (Part Three)

by David C. Grabbe
In Parts One and Two, using the writings of Enheduanna, an ancient Babylonian priestess of the goddess Inanna, we have seen that today’s progressive thought mirrors its ancient counterpart ...


The Spirit of Babylon (Part Two)

by David C. Grabbe
As we saw in Part One, what seems to be modern and progressive now is simply another iteration of something that began long ago. Even before the time of Abraham, the Babylonian priestess Enheduanna taught ...


The Spirit of Babylon (Part One)

by David C. Grabbe
Genesis is the book of beginnings. In a well-known passage early within its pages, we find the beginning, not only of humanity, but also the source of humankind’s separation from its benevolent Creator ...


A Pattern of Persecution

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Wise Solomon comments in Ecclesiastes 1:9, “That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” ...


Who Is Your Adversary?

by Levi W. Graham
The many ages of man parallel the continuous rise and fall of nations and empires, advancing and receding like the tides of the sea. As one empire sinks, another rises. We, whenever and wherever we live, are subject ...


Refuting a False Proverb

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Every culture creates and passes on bits of common wisdom. These sayings—whether they are called proverbs, adages, aphorisms, maxims, or even saws—concentrate prudent thought and behavior ...


Iron Sharpens Iron (Part Three)

by Ryan McClure
In Part Two, we broached the subject of how we can sharpen the countenance of a friend, as Proverbs 27:17 recommends in its illustration of iron sharpening iron. ...


Iron Sharpens Iron (Part Two)

by Ryan McClure
In Part One, we began to study into the wording of Proverbs 27:17: “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend." . . . Most of it is simple and self-explanatory, but how does one sharpen the countenance of a friend?


Iron Sharpens Iron (Part One)

by Ryan McClure
A few months ago, I had the opportunity to catch up with an old friend after work. We talked in general about how things were going and also touched on a few spiritual items ...


Reasons for Not Celebrating Christmas

by John Reiss
When someone at work asked me why I do not celebrate the holidays, I did not have what I thought was a good response to give her, but this essay will provide a handful of valid reasons. ...


What Do You Fear? (Part Three)

by David C. Grabbe
In Part Two, we began to consider the antidotes to the wrong kinds of fear by parsing Paul’s instruction to Timothy in II Timothy 1:6-7: “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God ..."


What Do You Fear? (Part Two)

by David C. Grabbe
Theologian Richard Halverson is quoted as saying, “Men who fear God face life fearlessly. Men who do not fear God end up fearing everything.” To put it another way, fear can be broken down into two broad categories ...


What Do You Fear? (Part One)

by David C. Grabbe
According to The National Institute of Mental Health, between 5 and 12.5 percent of Americans have at least one phobia. Phobias are the most common mental illness among ...


Knowledge and Wisdom (Part Three)

by Mike Ford (1955-2021)
After distinguishing godly knowledge from wisdom in Parts One and Two, and realizing our need for both, we need to look more closely at a detail in Proverbs 2:4: "If you seek her [wisdom] as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures." ...


Knowledge and Wisdom (Part Two)

by Mike Ford (1955-2021)
In the previous essay, we noted the difference between knowledge (having information, knowing facts, possessing skills acquired through experience or education) and wisdom (knowledge of what is true ...


Knowledge and Wisdom (Part One)

by Mike Ford (1955-2021)
Author Sandra Carey writes, “Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life.” Put another way, knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.


How Can We Trust the Bible?

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
One of the buzzwords of this generation is “authentic." Young people, especially, want to live authentic lives, eat authentic foods, travel to authentic places, enjoy authentic music ...


Building on a Perfect Foundation

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
As we all know, a foundation plays an essential role in the construction and preservation of a building. One look at the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the freestanding bell tower of the Pisa Cathedral, ...


A God Near at Hand (Part Three)

by Ryan McClure
In Parts One and Two, we examined examples of the great God of heaven and earth interacting with His creation, particularly with human beings like Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Hagar, and Jacob. ...


A God Near at Hand (Part Two)

by Ryan McClure
As we saw in Part One, people have different ideas about God’s involvement in the lives of people on Planet Earth. Deists believe that a Creator God exists but that He is disinterested in humanity ...


A God Near at Hand (Part One)

by Ryan McClure
As we begin, we will jump aboard a metaphorical spaceship to take a speed-of-light journey through the cosmos. Our journey starts on the first day of January, and we exit Earth’s atmosphere ...


The Three Witnesses of Christ (Part Three)

by David C. Grabbe
The Trinitarian controversy surrounding I John 5:7-8 overshadows the record of who Jesus Christ was and what He did. It also hides key characteristics of God's called children and what they should be doing ...


Why Two Goats on Atonement? (Part Two)

by David C. Grabbe
Blood provides symbolic cleansing and purification. However, Hebrews 10:4 states that "It is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins." One goat was used to cleanse the altar of accumulated sins, while the azazel goat bore them away.


Why Two Goats on Atonement? (Part One)

by David C. Grabbe
"And he shall take from the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats as a [singular] sin offering." This instruction is unusual, for the ordinary sin offering consisted of a single animal. Why did God command two animals as the sin offering for the nation on the Day of Atonement?


The Three Witnesses of Christ (Part Two)

by David C. Grabbe
As we saw in Part One, the apostle John was the only gospel writer to record John the Baptist’s threefold testimony—of the water (covered in the last essay), the blood, and the Spirit. ...


The Three Witnesses of Christ (Part One)

by David C. Grabbe
Years ago, I had a discussion with a man whom I had known for quite some time, so we generally knew where the other stood on various religious topics. ...


Strangers to the Truth (Part Three)

by Mike Ford (1955-2021)
As Part Two concluded, we began to look into the apostle Paul’s prophetic warning in II Thessalonians 2:1-4 about the deceptions of the Man of Sin: "Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus ...


Strangers to the Truth (Part Two)

by Mike Ford (1955-2021)
In John 8:40, Jesus points out that, even though they were physically descended from righteous Abraham, the members of His Jewish audience acted as if Satan were their real father: “But now you seek ...


Strangers to the Truth (Part One)

by Mike Ford (1955-2021)
The June 2017 issue of National Geographic Magazine contains a story, “Why We Lie: The Science Behind Our Deceptive Ways,” which begins like this: In the fall of 1989 Princeton University welcomed ...


Missing the Mark (Part Two)

by Mike Fuhrer
In Part One, we saw that sin is not necessarily the breaking of a law—although that is often what we do when we sin—but in relation to the Greek word’s meaning ...


Missing the Mark (Part One)

by Mike Fuhrer
Way back in the third century, a Jewish rabbi named Simlai mentioned in a sermon that the commandments (mitzvot, “commands,” “orders,” “precepts”) found in the Old Testament number 613. ...



by Gary Montgomery
Throughout our lives, we have all confronted challenges and difficulties—from learning to walk as toddlers and learning to read as children to becoming adults and facing all the ...


The Fifth Teacher (Part Three)

by David C. Grabbe
As explained in Part One and Part Two, even though the Corinthian congregation had four exceptional teachers—including Jesus Christ Himself—their manifest carnality demonstrated that they were paying more heed to a fifth teacher ...


The Fifth Teacher (Part Two)

by David C. Grabbe
Part One showed that Jesus Christ’s iron-clad rule for recognizing false prophets and teachers was to evaluate their fruit (Matthew 7:15-20)—what is produced not only in their lives but especially by their messages. ...


The Fifth Teacher (Part One)

by David C. Grabbe
Near the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warns about false prophets, who appear one way yet conceal something spiritually deadly (Matthew 7:15-20). Despite not providing many specifics ...


'Let Brotherly Love Continue'

by John Reiss
The author of Hebrews writes in Hebrews 13:1, “Let brotherly love continue." Brotherly love should be a significant part of a Christian’s life, and the Bible instructs us how we can show this love for one another.


Invisible Algorithms

by Steven Skidmore
In 2011, Eli Pariser, CEO of viral content website Upworthy, gave a TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Talk discussing what he called “filter bubbles” and their impact ...


A Virtuous Woman

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Ruth the Moabitess had done everything her mother-in-law, Naomi, had instructed her to do. Waiting until Boaz had eaten and drunk enough to feel relaxed and sleepy, she had noted precisely ...


God's Entourage

by Ronny H. Graham
Have we ever wanted to be a part of an entourage? According to the Random House Dictionary, an entourage is “a group of attendants or associates, as of a person of rank or importance. ...


The Endurance of the Firstfruits (Part Three)

by David C. Grabbe
“Hardness of heart” is used several ways in Scripture, but a person can develop this sinful attitude toward both God and man. ...


The Endurance of the Firstfruits (Part Two)

by David C. Grabbe
Even though in general God’s harvest of His sons and daughters in the resurrection will be a success, we should consider that, individually, it may not be. We do not care to think about it, but we can ...


The Endurance of the Firstfruits (Part One)

by David C. Grabbe
The day of Pentecost, also known as the Feast of the Firstfruits and the Feast of Weeks, is unique among the annual holy days because God requires us to count to determine when it falls each year: ...


From Dust to Dust

by John Reiss
A friend of mine lost her father about a year ago. She loved him very much, and his sudden death distressed her. Mary (not her real name) is pretty religious, ...


The Anointed Cloth and Healing

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Despite the many millions who profess to be Christians in this world, throughout most of its existence, the church of God has been small and scattered. Jesus calls His disciples a “little flock” ...


Baptism and the Last Day of Unleavened Bread

by Ronny H. Graham
Before Jesus Christ’s ministry began, John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness about repentance from sin and baptism. In Matthew 3:11, he speaks of three different types of baptism: ...


Keeping Godly Traditions (Part Two)

by Mark Schindler
In Part One, we saw that godly tradition is an essential facet of life for a Christian. While Jesus rebuked the Pharisees in Matthew 15 and Mark 7 for exalting their manmade traditions over God’s commandments, ...


Keeping Godly Traditions (Part One)

by Mark Schindler
As the play Fiddler on the Roof opens, the audience sees a solitary figure, barely visible in the shadows of dawn, sitting and playing his violin on a steep roof overlooking a pre-1917 Russian village. ...


Are You Zealous? (Part Five)

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
As Part Four demonstrates, the apostle Paul was so grateful for God’s calling—despite his having persecuted the newly formed church—that he spent his life zealously serving God by preaching ...