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 (1955-2021)
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 (1955-2021)
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 (1955-2021)
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 (1955-2021)
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 (1955-2021)
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 ...

30-Jun-17

Our Declaration of Independence (Part Two)

by John Reiss
In Part One, we learned about America’s early struggle for independence and how the founders of the United States pledged their wealth, lives, and honor to bring it to pass. ...

23-Jun-17

Our Declaration of Independence (Part One)

by John Reiss
Here in the United States, we are rapidly approaching our nation’s Independence Day. It was two hundred and forty-one years ago, on July 2, 1776—not July 4 as many people believe ...

16-Jun-17

Lessons From Roots (Part Three)

by David C. Grabbe
In Part Two, we began to consider the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree: "He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none...."

09-Jun-17

Lessons From Roots (Part Two)

by David C. Grabbe
In Part One, we began to dig into the biblical metaphor of producing fruit and the importance of the root to that process. ...

02-Jun-17

Lessons From Roots (Part One)

by David C. Grabbe
Jesus Christ declares that among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist (Matthew 11:11; Luke 7:28). John was the forerunner of the Messiah ...

26-May-17

Patterns of Resistance (Part Two)

by Joseph B. Baity
In Part One, we learned that among the patterns woven through God’s Word is a typical pattern of resistance against God, one that resides at the heart of every human sin: ...

19-May-17

Patterns of Resistance (Part One)

by Joseph B. Baity
English novelist and essayist, George Orwell wrote, “Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious.” The claim of intelligence notwithstanding, sometimes it helps ...

12-May-17

Eulogizing God

by Dan Elmore
While considering the Passover season, it occurred to me that God and His Son, Jesus Christ, deserve a eulogy! What is a eulogy? The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “a speech or ...”

05-May-17

The Law Continues

by Charles Whitaker
Deuteronomy 29:29 contains one of the final thoughts of Moses before he went up Mount Nebo to die and before Israel crossed the River Jordan into the Promised Land: “The secret things belong to the LORD ..."

28-Apr-17

Hur (Part Two)

by John Reiss
In Part One, we learned about Hur, the son of Caleb, a Jew whom Exodus 17:8-13 records as helping Aaron hold up Moses’ hands to secure a victory against the attacking Amalekites. ...

21-Apr-17

Hur (Part One)

by John Reiss
Romans 15:4 reads in the New International Version, “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures ...

14-Apr-17

Why Do We Observe Unleavened Bread? (Part Three)

by David C. Grabbe
The spiritual strength required to overcome is a result of eating the Bread of Life continually, and that Bread is available only to those whom He has delivered from spiritual Egypt. But to approach overcoming without that is to imply that we can overcome on our own—thus that we have no need of a Savior after our forgiveness. ...

07-Apr-17

Why Do We Observe Unleavened Bread? (Part Two)

by David C. Grabbe
Exodus 12:19-20 gives a third, vital aspect of this Feast: We must eat nothing leavened nor have leavening in our houses. ...

31-Mar-17

Why Do We Observe Unleavened Bread? (Part One)

by David C. Grabbe
When someone asks us why we remove leaven from our homes and eat unusual “bread” for a week, we may say something like, “Leaven is a symbol of sin, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread pictures putting sin out of our lives." ...

24-Mar-17

The Covenant of Blood (Part Two)

by Ronny H. Graham
The well-known proverb, “Blood is thicker than water,” may have come from an older one: “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb." ...

17-Mar-17

The Covenant of Blood (Part One)

by Ronny H. Graham
Most of us have heard the proverb, “Blood is thicker than water.” Many ideas have been proposed as to when and how it originated, so it seems to come down to which origin story a person likes the best. ...

10-Mar-17

Pruning and Cleansing

by Charles Whitaker
In John 15:2, Christ describes two distinct actions on the part of the Father: “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes ...

03-Mar-17

The Word of the Lord Is Good (Part Two)

by Mike Fuhrer
In Part One, we saw that, in some ways, King Hezekiah of Judah was a mixed bag spiritually. Although Scripture lists him as one of the best kings of Judah, he made significant mistakes ...