When God was bringing Israel out of Egypt, He instituted the Passover, which was to be observed by the Jews annually on the fourteenth day of the first month (Ex. 12:18). When Hezekiah was king over Judah, the Jews once observed the Passover in the second month instead of the first month, “because the priests had not sanctified themselves sufficiently, neither had the people gathered themselves to Jerusalem” (2 Chr. 30:1-3). Some claim that since God had specified the first month, not the second month, they must have been allowed to do something differently than God specified.… Read more
Throughout the Bible, God has shown that in any group of people there is a need for leadership. A system of authority can bring order instead of chaos, and peace instead of strife. Even in a group of only two people, such as the husband and wife, God has placed one in authority over the other, giving the husband the leadership of the household (Eph. 5:22-24). There is also a type of leadership among the Godhead Members themselves, with God the Father being “the Head,” “above all” (Jn.… Read more
Current events are not signs that the return of Christ is imminent. Paul clearly said there are no signs for the Lord’s return: “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (1 Thess.… Read more
Do you know how John prepared people for the Savior? He was “preaching the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Mk. 1:5; cf. Lk. 24:47; Acts 2:38). People were being baptized “to flee the wrath to come…unquenchable fire” (Mt. 3:7-12). John was getting people ready for the Great Commission of Jesus, who had come to save people from their sins and would thus command the whole world to be baptized in water for the forgiveness of sins.… Read more
What is meant by the words above recorded in John 20:22? Did the apostles “receive the Holy Spirit” when Jesus was speaking to them on earth, or did that happen after Jesus returned to Heaven, on the day of Pentecost, as recorded in Acts chapter two?
The context of John 20:22 should first be considered. On the day Christ was resurrected, the first day of the week, He appeared to His disciples and said:
…Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.… Read more
Revelation 3:20 records encouraging words from Jesus to His church at Laodicea, urging them to repent. It is sad that many have taken His words and twisted them into a false plan of salvation that Jesus never authorized. Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). Some have used this passage to teach that all one must do to become a Christian is to believe and pray a prayer to Jesus.… Read more
- Make sure you are faithful to God if you want His favor and greatest blessings. This involves repenting of all sins, doing what He commanded for forgiveness, living a life of obedience, and prioritizing spiritual things over material things every day (Prov. 28:9; Isa. 59:1, 2; Mt. 6:19-21; 33; 6:25-34; 7:21-27; 10:32-39; Lk. 9:23; Jn. 4:24; 9:31; Acts 2:36-42; 20:7; 22:16; Rom. 3:23; 6:3-6; 12:1, 2, 9-21; 2 Cor. 4:16-18; Eph. 1:3; Php. 2:12; Col. 3:1-4; Heb.
Those who have had bad experiences with “religious people” or a certain church should not use such experiences as an excuse to totally reject religion in general. Some say they reject “organized religion” and do not “attend church” but still follow Christ. Is that possible? The word “religion” is not a bad word, as many people seem to think. James used the word in a positive way (Jam. 1:26, 27). Christ Himself was a religious person who had a “custom” of regularly assembling with others of like faith (Lk.… Read more
Deuteronomy chapter six, verses four and five, are often called the Shema, from the Hebrew word meaning “to hear” (Strong), (e.g., “Hear, O Israel…”). They are considered some of the most important words revealed in Deuteronomy and the entire Bible. The Shema begins with this statement: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD [Yahweh] our God [Elohim] is one LORD [Yahweh].” Some believe this verse could be better translated as “Hear, O Israel: ‘Yahweh (is) our God, Yahweh (is) one’” (Cloud 482).… Read more
Does John 14:2 teach that every individual child of God will have his own mansion in Heaven? Could it be that Jesus was referring to something even better than that?
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also (John 14:1-3).… Read more
True or False?
1. Even though I do not believe Christians must drink alcoholic beverages to be saved, I will fervently defend the use of beverage alcohol—even if it causes serious problems for the church or for individuals (cf. Psa. 133:1; Prov. 6:19; 20:1; Rom. 13:10; 1 Cor. 10:32-33; Eph. 4:3; 1 Jn. 2:10). True or False?
2. I honestly believe one can convert people to Christ with a beer in his hand (cf. Mt. 5:13-16). True or False?… Read more
Some who claim to believe the Bible is God’s Word deny the Deity of Christ. They are asked to please consider the following:
1. It was against God’s Law to worship anyone but God (Exo. 20:3-5; Deut. 6:13-14; 2 Kings 17:35; Matt. 4:10); therefore, either Christ is divine, or Christ sinned by accepting worship on many occasions (Matt. 2:11; 8:2; 9:18; 28:9, 17; cf. Acts 12:23; Heb. 4:15; Rev. 22:8, 9). We know Christ never sinned (Heb.… Read more
Just because someone calls himself a Christian, that does not mean he is truly following Christ (1 John 1:6; 2:4), and just because a church claims to be a Biblical church, that does not mean they are truly following Christ. In fact, they may have never even done what God commanded to be added to Christ’s church in the first place (Acts 2:36-41, 47).
Christ promised to build only one church, and it belongs to Him: “…I will build my church…” (Matt.… Read more
Today there is a widespread belief that no person is allowed to question or “condemn” the actions or teachings of anyone else. Perhaps you have heard someone say, “Who are you to judge?,” or “Only Christ can judge.” Does the Bible teach that it is always wrong to judge, or has the Bible been mishandled to lead people to the wrong conclusion on this subject?
First of all, what exactly does it mean to “judge”? Some assume that to judge always means to condemn, but to judge simply means “to discern; to distinguish; to consider accurately for the purpose of forming an opinion or conclusion” (Webster).… Read more
Today there are a lot of people in “the Bible belt” of the USA and many other places in the world who would be described by most as good people—good religious-minded people who believe in Jesus, but are they all saved? Are they truly honest about what God’s Word requires for man’s salvation, or have many chosen to believe what seems convenient and comfortable? In religious discussions, whether online or in person, it is common to see many known as “good religious people” being dishonest, denying what the Scriptures plainly say.… Read more