20-Jul-18

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. ...

13-Jul-18

Challenges

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 ...

29-Jun-18

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 ...

22-Jun-18

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. ...

15-Jun-18

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 ...

08-Jun-18

'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.

01-Jun-18

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 ...

25-May-18

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 ...

18-May-18

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. ...

11-May-18

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. ...

04-May-18

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 ...

27-Apr-18

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: ...

20-Apr-18

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, ...

13-Apr-18

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” ...

05-Apr-18

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: ...

28-Mar-18

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, ...

23-Mar-18

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. ...

16-Mar-18

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 ...

09-Mar-18

Are You Zealous? (Part Four)

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
At the end of the previous essay, we considered the zeal of Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry, showing that His enthusiasm for God and His way of life fueled all of His efforts. ...

02-Mar-18

Are You Zealous? (Part Three)

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
As we have seen in Parts One and Two, Christian zeal is an interest, an earnest desire, and a pursuit of all that pertains to God, His way, and His Kingdom. ...

23-Feb-18

Are You Zealous? (Part Two)

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
In Jesus Christ’s letter to the congregation at Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22), He pulls no punches in His evaluation of their works, essentially saying that they sickened Him with their lukewarm attitude ...

16-Feb-18

Are You Zealous? (Part One)

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
On a physical, secular level, Theodore Roosevelt embodied the virtue that we call “zeal.” He expressed a passionate enthusiasm for the things he believed in, and he pursued them with all the energy at his disposal....

09-Feb-18

The Surety of Our Salvation

by John Reiss
The churches of God do not believe that the Bible teaches the Doctrine of Eternal Security, the idea that once we profess belief in Christ, our salvation is irrevocable, regardless of any future conduct. ...

02-Feb-18

Did God Know You Before Your Birth?

by Pat Higgins
Notice this remarkable statement from the apostle Paul in Ephesians 1:4: "Even as [in His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy" ...

26-Jan-18

Appearing Before God (Part Three)

by David C. Grabbe
The specific instruction in Deuteronomy 16:16 is that, during the three holy day seasons of the year, we should not appear before God “in vain” or “with futility. ...

19-Jan-18

Appearing Before God (Part Two)

by David C. Grabbe
As Part One closed, we considered what God says in Isaiah 55:10-11: "For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud ..."

12-Jan-18

Appearing Before God (Part One)

by David C. Grabbe
In Psalm 92:4-5, the psalmist proclaims: For You, LORD, have made me glad through Your work; I will triumph in the works of Your hands. O LORD, how great are Your works! ...

05-Jan-18

The Pursuit of Unity

by Levi W. Graham
New and old, North and South, black and white, Republican and Democrat, left and right. The vast array of differences that make up our world are an ever-present reality. ...

29-Dec-17

A God of Many Dimensions

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Perhaps the most critical question in every nation and every era is “Who is the true God?” In his final book, Mystery of the Ages, Herbert W. Armstrong titled the chapter explaining the first mystery ...

22-Dec-17

Time to Repent (Part Three)

by David C. Grabbe
As explained previously, God gives His people time to repent, but He is in no way idle during that time. Because He desires sons and daughters in His image, He is always working (John 5:17) to bring about ...

15-Dec-17

Time to Repent (Part Two)

by David C. Grabbe
Part One explained that God’s general pattern is to allow people time to repent rather than instantly executing the death penalty. ...

08-Dec-17

Time to Repent (Part One)

by David C. Grabbe
In Jesus Christ’s letter to the congregation in Thyatira, one small statement illustrates an aspect of God’s nature that is crucial for us to understand: “And I gave her time to repent of her ...

01-Dec-17

Be Happy (Part Two)

by Gary Montgomery
We serve a God who is positive, working toward a glorious future for Himself and the multitudes of sons and daughters He is preparing for that wonderful world tomorrow. ...

24-Nov-17

Be Happy (Part One)

by Gary Montgomery
At one time or another in our lives, we have all watched small children at play. Perhaps we saw them playing in a park or in a school playground. Most likely, they were carefree and happy. ...

17-Nov-17

What Makes a True Disciple? (Part Two)

by Clyde Finklea
We saw in Part One that the defining, identifying trait of Christ’s disciples is that they show love for each other just as Christ loved His disciples (John 13:34-35). ...

10-Nov-17

What Makes a True Disciple? (Part One)

by Clyde Finklea
Among the world’s more than seven billion people are upwards of two billion who identify themselves as Christians. Self-identification is fine for what it is worth, but we know that professed Christians ...

03-Nov-17

Consider Before You Speak

by John O. Reid (1930-2016)
In Hebrews 6:1, the author tells us to put the discussion of basic Christian tenets behind us and move forward to perfection. As he had just written in Hebrews 5:14, ...

27-Oct-17

The Golden Rule (Part Two)

by John Reiss
Converted members of God’s church have a blessing that absolutely no one else in the world has: Christians have a true understanding of living as God Himself lives. ...

20-Oct-17

The Golden Rule (Part One)

by John Reiss
Paul admonishes us in Ephesians 4:32 to “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. As Christians, we have a responsibility to be kind ...

29-Sep-17

Hope and Refuge (Part Three)

by Mike Ford
The author of Hebrews writes in Hebrews 6:17-18: "Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things ..."

22-Sep-17

Hope and Refuge (Part Two)

by Mike Ford
The author of Hebrews writes in Hebrews 6:17-18: "Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things ..."

15-Sep-17

Hope and Refuge (Part One)

by Mike Ford
How many times have we said something like, “I hope you’re feeling better” or “I certainly hope you’ve had a good week”? We have probably also said something similar to, “I sure hope I pass this test." ...

08-Sep-17

Fearing God at the Feast (Part Three)

by David C. Grabbe
In Part Two, we considered the first two of the four elements found in God’s instructions on the Feast of Tabernacles, particularly in Leviticus 23:40-43. ...

01-Sep-17

Fearing God at the Feast (Part Two)

by David C. Grabbe
As Part One closed, we saw that Leviticus 23 contains another command to rejoice at the Feast: “And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees ....”

25-Aug-17

Fearing God at the Feast (Part One)

by David C. Grabbe
To those who observe it, the Feast of Tabernacles is typically the most anticipated event of the year, the peak of enjoyment for Christians on both a physical and a spiritual level. ...

18-Aug-17

As He Is Holy (Part Two)

by Ronny H. Graham
In Part One, we briefly examined what holiness is—“morally and spiritually excellent or perfect, to be revered; belonging to, devoted to, or empowered by God” (The Reader’s Digest Oxford Complete Wordfinder)—and found that ...

11-Aug-17

As He Is Holy (Part One)

by Ronny H. Graham
What comes to mind when we hear the word “holy”? What does it mean for something to be holy? What is our attitude toward holy things? How do we react to hearing that something is holy? Years ago, ...

04-Aug-17

The Role of the Outcasts (Part Three)

by David F. Maas
In the first two essays of this series, we have seen that God has a special role for the outcasts of society—rejects, castaways, and exiles. We have learned that such people ...

28-Jul-17

The Role of the Outcasts (Part Two)

by David F. Maas
In the previous essay, we learned that God, in His supreme wisdom and sovereignty, carves out a singular role for rejects, off-scourings, and castaways. ...

21-Jul-17

The Role of the Outcasts (Part One)

by David F. Maas
Have we ever wondered why God seems to delight in choosing the weak and base things of the world to demonstrate His work? In our reflective moments, do we ponder the significance ...

14-Jul-17

Is the Symbol of the Cross Idolatry? (Part Two)

by Mike Ford
In Part One, we saw that the New Testament authors say Jesus was crucified on a stauros, which is a pole or stake. However, the “traditional” cross is a stake with a cross-member ...

07-Jul-17

Is the Symbol of the Cross Idolatry? (Part One)

by Mike Ford
Most of us have watched a baseball game. Chances are we have all seen a batter about to enter the batter's box make the sign of the cross. Or perhaps we are basketball fans. We have seen it there too ...