Dating Christ's Birth

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Despite the continuing secularization of our society, people remain fascinated and curious about the historical basis for the life of Jesus Christ. ...


'Like Father, Like Son'

by John Reiss
The first chapter of Genesis narrates about how God created the birds after the bird kind, the cattle after the cattle kind, and so forth—and even plants reproducing after their own kinds. ...


The Shepherd's Guidance (Part Three)

by David C. Grabbe
Sometimes, circumstances conspire to scatter Christians into small groups or even from all contact with other believers and from the ministry that Jesus Christ gives to the church to equip them and encourage their growth (Ephesians 4:11-16)—in the biblical metaphor, leaving the sheep without a shepherd. ...


The Shepherd's Guidance (Part Two)

by David C. Grabbe
Although Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd and the Chief Shepherd, He is not the church’s only shepherd. From the days of ancient Israel up through the New Covenant church era, He has also appointed under-shepherds to watch over His physical or spiritual flock.


The Shepherd's Guidance (Part One)

by David C. Grabbe
A significant title of Jesus Christ is “the Good Shepherd” (John 10:11, 14), and it is a perfect description for what He does in personally knowing and caring for His sheep. ...


Fear Not (Part Two)

by John Reiss
As Part One concluded, we were considering the fact that, despite our society’s general squeamishness about executing cowardly deserters, God has declared that He will cast the cowardly into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 21:7-8). ...


Fear Not (Part One)

by John Reiss
Last year, my wife and I went to Shipshewana, Indiana, a town with a large Amish population, and while there, we took a tour of the Menno-Hof museum, which recounts Mennonite/Amish history. ...


Listen Carefully (Part Two)

by Clyde Finklea
In Part One, we saw how important listening is in God’s Word and therefore how vital it is for Christians to establish an attitude and habit of hearing. ...


Listen Carefully (Part One)

by Clyde Finklea
Challenging his wife with a riddle, the man began, “You’re the engineer of a train. There are 36 people on board. At the first stop, ..."


How Jesus Reacts to Sin

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The episode in John 8 of the women caught in adultery offers a stark contrast between the scribes and Pharisees and Jesus Christ in terms of their reactions to sin.


Baruch and His Wrong Priorities

by Charles Whitaker
... To Baruch, who served as the prophet Jeremiah's scribe at the time of Judah's fall to the Babylonians, God had something far different to say: "But as for you, do you seek great things for yourself? Stop seeking!" ...


Are You Blind? (Part Two)

by Dan Elmore
In last week’s essay, we considered that most of us know less than we think we know, that we carry around a lot of misconceptions, and that we have little idea about what it is like to be blind. ...


Are You Blind? (Part One)

by Dan Elmore
Radio conversationalist Rush Limbaugh has coined a term for the people that seem to comprise most of the electorate these days. He calls them “low-information voters.” ...


No Meeting of the Minds

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Have you ever done something and almost immediately regretted doing it? It is easy to do such things from our computers, whether it is sending an email critical of the boss or a coworker to the whole company ...


A Look at Christian Suffering (Part Three)

by David C. Grabbe
The apostle Peter provides valuable insight on the place of Christian suffering: "For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. . . ."


A Look at Christian Suffering (Part Two)

by David C. Grabbe
The word “suffering” probably means something a little different to each of us, based on our own experiences and perhaps on our fears. Most likely, somewhere in our minds is the thought of ...


A Look at Christian Suffering (Part One)

by David C. Grabbe
When we partake of the Passover each spring, part of that observance is for us each to drink from a cup of wine. The wine is symbolic of the blood of Jesus Christ, shed on our behalf, which accomplishes a number of tremendous things that we cannot do for ourselves. ...


Truth Revealed to Babes

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The Bible has been the world’s bestselling book for many years; billions of people have ready access to God’s Word—as close as their own bookshelf or computer. Yet, while the words of God’s Book ...


How Revelation Enters the Church

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
...Only a little more than a generation had passed since the founding of the church, yet false gospels, perversions of the truth, were making serious trouble for those early Christians ...


Hold Tightly to Revelation

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The Bible is not against what we might call scholarship or intellectual pursuit. From all that history can tell us, the apostle Paul may have been one of the most intellectual men who have ever lived. ...


Are Our Daily Habits Productive?

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The economic woes the world has experienced over the past half-decade or so have exacerbated the perceived—and often real—gulf between the haves and the have-nots. The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement focused ...


The Truth About Deception (Part Three)

by David C. Grabbe
How are we different from those who have fallen away from the truth? How do we know that at some point in the future we will not also follow a path of deception and eventual apostasy? How can we be confident that we will not be deceived?


The Truth About Deception (Part Two)

by David C. Grabbe
The New Testament is replete with warnings about converted members of God's church being deceived. If one of the elect leaves himself open to deception--a possibility for us all--the father of lies will begin to lead him astray. We may not be fully ignorant of his devices, but we are still susceptible to them. ...


The Truth About Deception (Part One)

by David C. Grabbe
As part of Jesus Christ’s prophecy regarding “the sign of [His] coming, and of the end of the age” (Matthew 24:3), He gives a prediction and a warning that requires careful consideration. ...


The Scepter of the Kingdom of God (Part Two)

by Martin G. Collins
In Part One, we saw that God’s scepter promise, given to the tribe of Judah in Genesis 49:10, descended from monarch to monarch of the royal house of David. ...


The Scepter of the Kingdom of God (Part One)

by Martin G. Collins
From early times, a staff or scepter has indicated secular or religious authority. Scepters were used in Egypt as early as the fifteenth century BC and in Cyprus as early as the twelfth century BC. ...


Like a Growing Seed (Part Two)

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Like its physical counterpart, spiritual growth happens slowly and incrementally. We should not expect a newly baptized Christian to be able to produce self-control as easily and to the same degree as one who has been in the church of God for several decades. ...


Like a Growing Seed (Part One)

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Mark 4 contains a parable that is not often discussed, probably because it does not appear in Matthew 13 or among those well-known parables that Luke alone records, like the Parable of the Good Samaritan. ...


Necessary Strength

by Gary Montgomery
Many times in our lives, we undergo periods of extreme pressure and stress. Circumstances occur that seem completely out of our control. We can become frustrated and feel that the whole world is coming down on us. ...


A Sign of Moral Decline

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
As the week ground to a close, one of America’s last bastions of nominally Christian morality succumbed to the forces of tolerance and liberalism. On Thursday, during the Boy Scouts of America’s ...


The Harvest Is Almost In!

by John O. Reid (1930-2016)
I used to work with a man named Bill. He was a good salesman and, as I recall, a good pilot as well. He liked to sell, and he seemed pretty well-adjusted ...


Whom Do We Trust?

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
This past week, Reader’s Digest released a nationwide, 1,000+-respondent poll managed by a marketing research firm called The Wagner Group. The poll’s purpose was to find out which people and ideals ...


Souls Knit Together (Part Two)

by Ronny H. Graham
Not only was Jonathan a capable leader who inspired confidence and loyalty in his men, but he also had a strong faith in God that those around him recognized. As Saul's heir, Jonathan had qualities that would have made him an excellent king. God, though, had other plans. ...


Souls Knit Together (Part One)

by Ronny H. Graham
Spending the first twenty-four years of my life in the same area in South Georgia, I had quite a few long-time friends and acquaintances. There always seemed to be someone to turn to for help ...


How Did They Overcome? (Part Three)

by David C. Grabbe
We all know the titanic struggle Paul describes in Romans 7, where he talks about wanting to do what is right yet doing what is wrong instead. He cries out, “O wretched man that I am! . . .”


How Did They Overcome? (Part Two)

by David C. Grabbe
God is keenly interested in whether His people overcome Satan, including this world, which the Devil has shaped, and our own human nature, which he has corrupted and continues to influence. ...


How Did They Overcome? (Part One)

by David C. Grabbe
Those whom God has called understand the importance of overcoming, but how do we overcome? In Revelation 12:10-11, God describes in advance those who will overcome: ...


Do Not Confuse the Lessons (Part Two)

by Mark Schindler
In Part One, we saw that it is to our benefit if we keep the feasts of God in the way He instructs us in His Word. Even so, deleavening our homes and then traveling to a designated location to spend the entire Feast ...


Do Not Confuse the Lessons (Part One)

by Mark Schindler
Over the years, some have firmly stood by the idea that the church should observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the same manner as it does the Feast of Tabernacles: by leaving our homes and observing all the days together isolated from the world. ...


Hidden Anger (Part Three)

by David C. Grabbe
Secular sociologists and psychologists have done extensive research and observation on most human behaviors, and anger in its various forms is no exception. During World War II, military psychologists first used the term “passive-aggressive” ...


Hidden Anger (Part Two)

by David C. Grabbe
Anger can be outwardly visible, but it can also show up in ways that are subtle, indirect, and deceptive. Proverbs 26:24-26 provides an example of this...


Hidden Anger (Part One)

by David C. Grabbe
In his book Wishful Thinking Transformed by Thorns, Presbyterian minister Frederick Buechner makes this colorful observation: "Of the seven deadly sins, anger is possibly the most fun...."


Sackcloth: A Spiritual Tool

by Gary Montgomery
At this time of year, religious people around the world look at their individual decisions and choices of the past. Some choose to go to special mid-day services ...


A Pope Resigns

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
On Monday of this week, February 11, 2013, the world was shocked to learn that Pope Benedict XVI had announced his resignation from the papacy, effective February 28. ...


Whither the Holy Spirit?

by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Most Bible students realize that most of the New Testament books are letters—epistolé in Greek and our “epistle,” which is a written communication between parties. ...


Breakfast by the Sea (Part Two)

by David C. Grabbe
Most translations fail to bring out that two different words are translated as "love" in John 21:15-17. Twice, Jesus asks Peter if he had agape love for Him, and both times ...


Breakfast by the Sea (Part One)

by David C. Grabbe
An incident in John 21 contains a powerful lesson that must be kept in mind when considering our part of our Father's business. The first half of John 21 contains a significant miracle, the eighth and last of the Messianic signs found in the book of John. The miracle--a great catch of fish--is a strong echo of the time when Jesus called these fishermen three and a half years before. ...


God's Orchestra

by John Reiss
Last June, my wife Mariela and I were treated to an orchestral performance at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where we had some nice seats in the balcony. ...


Cleansing the Temple and Economics

by Charles Whitaker
In John 2:13-17, the apostle John records Christ's cleansing of the Temple near the commencement of His ministry: "Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem...."


Controlling the Gap (Part Two)

by Bill Onisick
In Part One, we saw that true Christians must learn to control the momentary gap between stimulus and response. We need to recognize its existence and learn to utilize this time properly. ...