Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,
says Yahweh of Hosts.
Lift up your heads, O gates, and be lifted up, O ancient doors, That the King of Glory may come in ! Who is this King of Glory? Yahweh of Hosts: He is the King of Glory.
"This hearing of the Word of God, hearing what the Lord of the church wants to say to his church in its actual situation, is the primary task of the church, the basic human action in worship. It is the task not just of the clergy but of the people of God as a whole...and, as a task of tremendous urgency, is meant to be engaged in eagerly, seriously, and resolutely....[Scripture reading is] not a time for relaxation between the more serious activities of hymns and anthems, as is sometimes foolishly imagined, but the time for the greatest attentiveness....If a congregation is serious about its business of hearing the Word of God, it will tend to prefer the lessons to represent a consecutive reading of the Bible rather than selection of the minister's favorite passages, and the sermon texts similarly to be determined by something other than the preacher's whim (for instance, the preacher might well preach through a book of the Bible, as was Calvin's practice...). The custom...of the congregation standing during the reading of the sermon-text can be a salutary reminder of the fact that here above all the church expects to hear the voice of its Lord and therefore here above all its full attention is required." --C. E. B. Cranfield
How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in Yahweh his God, Who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them; Who keeps faith forever. Psalm 146:5-6
"He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep." Psalm 121:4
"He has remembered His covenant forever...the covenant which He made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac. He confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant, saying, 'To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion of your inheritance.' " Psalm 105:8-11
The "sign of the fish" was an early Christian symbol during the persecutions under the Roman Empire. It was often used to distinguish friend from foe. A Christian might draw an arc in the dirt to represent a simple fish. If a stranger responded accordingly, both knew the other was a Christian.
Why was the fish chosen as the symbol? The Greek word for fish is ιχθυς. Christians created an acronym based on this word.
ι: first letter in Ιησους Greek for "Jesus"
χ: first letter in Χριστος Greek for "Christ"
θ: first letter in θεου Greek for "God's"
υ: first letter in υιος Greek for "son"
σ: first letter in σωτηρ Greek for "savior"
Thus: "Jesus Christ, God's Son, our Savior."
May 7-8, 2013
If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. (Psalm 137:5)
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing! (Luke 13:34)
Purim is one of the most joyous holidays in the Jewish calendar. It celebrates how the Jewish people in the Persian Empire were saved from extinction during the reign of Xerxes (486-465 B.C). The telling of this whole event is the subject of the Book of Esther. The hero and heroine in the story are Mordecai and his younger cousin, Esther, a beautiful young girl whom he had raised as his own daughter. Through a fascinating series of events, Esther becomes Xerxes' queen, her identity as a Jewess unknown. The villain in the story is Haman, who hated Mordecai and therefore plots to destroy all the Jews throughout the empire. Mordecai tells Esther of the plot, and she tells the king. The result is that the Jewish people are saved, and this "vile Haman" was hung on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai. "Purim" is plural for pur, meaning lot. Haman had cast a lot to pick the day for the destruction of the Jews (Esther 3:7), and Esther 9:18-28 directs that the day the Jews gained victory over Haman's plot should be called Purim and celebrated yearly as a joyous feast. This year Purim begins sundown, March 15; it lasts one day.
I have published a book on Peter's confession and related topics:
Upon This Rock: A New Look Catholicism, Israel, and the Church
This is a technical, exegetical study of Matthew 16:13-20; John 20:21-23; 21:15-19; Romans 11; and Ephesians 2. Dr. Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., President Emeritus of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, wrote the Foreword. For more information, see our Web site, PetersConfession.org.
How cold our hearts must be if we cannot thank Christ for saving us from eternal death with the same emotion that Vera Gissing shows in this video when she meets Sir Nicholas Winton, who saved her as a young girl from the Nazi death camps.
Infant Baptism: Too often, I'm afraid, we stubbornly hold to a doctrine without really knowing the evidence--or lack of evidence--for it. And sadder still is the tendency to outright dismiss any contrary view as if it were some sort of heresy. This applies to a number of issues, such as charismatic gifts, the millennium, and baptism. Why is it that we cannot pursue the subject with an open mind? Those wishing to increase their knowledge about infant baptism will find the following article by Robert Saucy most helpful. (March 1, 2014)
Replacement Theology and Amillennialism: Anyone at all familiar with this Web site knows that we are at the opposite end of the theological spectrum from replacement theology and amillennialism. At our sister Web site, Messiah Studies, we are posting perhaps the best book on Messianic prophecy that I have read: The Messiahship of Jesus by Alexander McCaul (1852). He does argue that the Messianic prophecies point to fulfillment by Yeshua (Jesus), but in his discussions he gives considerable attention to the Jewish objections to Christian interpretations of these prophecies. However, the point I would like to emphasize here is that he also argues for a literal fulfillment of the prophecies dealing with the future of national Israel and forcefully critiques replacement theology and amillennialism, which sees no future for Israel in an ethnic and national sense. I suggest that those who hold to replacement theology and amillennialism should examine this book carefully. The McCaul page is under the main menu item, "Messiah in the Tanakh." Under the menu selection "Summary Papers," there is a link, "The Messiah: An Overview," which is a short paper written by me summarizing what the prophets indeed predict for national Israel--God's chosen, covenant people, the apple of his eye and the nation written on the palms of his hands. You might also be interested in a short paper, "Does Eschatology Matter in Jewish Evangelism?" (February 18, 2014)
Great Empires: What great empire destroyed the Northern Kingdom of Israel? What great empire was responsible for the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple? How and why did all this come about? What took place in Judah and the Near East as a whole between Malachi and Matthew? Yes--the rise and fall of mighty empires! Indeed, the days of these empires -- Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome -- represent perhaps the most exciting period in Old Testament history. The articles we have just posted are not so much a history of Israel, king-by-king, but a survey of the larger picture of what was going on around Israel in the ancient Near East and how it affected Israel. Expect some fascinating reading on our new Great Empires page. (February 10, 2014)
John Murray was a teacher, writer, exegete, and theologian of the highest order. His two-volume commentary on Romans is a classic example of scholarship and clarity. In addition, we was a devout man of God, utterly devoted to his Lord. We have posted a short biography of Professor Murray written by Iain Murray. The biography also includes memories and reflections of John Murray contributed by other academicians and pastors. See our new John Murray page. (February 23, 2014)
Prayer: Up to now, we had six articles on prayer appearing in various places on the Web site. We have now added six additional sermons and articles. We think that the authors of these studies offer some extremely helpful and insightful observations on prayer and how to pray. All the items, old and new, are now grouped together and accessible on our new Prayer page. We hope they will help and encourage you in your own prayer life. (January 31, 2014)
Book of Revelation: I have just finished reading a very good commentary on Revelation by Alan Johnson, and this means that I have added some great excerpts to my study on the Book of Revelation. Also, in order to make the paper easier to read, it has now been broken down from four parts to 22 individual chapters with an itemization of what is covered in each one. So now you can readily find a specific topic in which you are interested. However, it is hoped that you will seriously considering reading from the Introduction through to the end. The Book of Revelation is essential to understanding these "last days." Click here to go directly to the new menu. (January 16, 2014)
Cults: We've just created a page on the cults and posted several articles dealing with Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, and Seventh-Day Adventists. The articles deal with subjects such as the deity of Christ, soul sleep, conditional immortality (or annihilationism), and the Book of Mormon. Take a look at our page and be prepared the next time they come knocking on your door. (December 15, 2013)
We have long lamented the lack of depth in the preaching within Evangelical churches today. Many Christians possess only a shallow knowledge of both the Bible and theology. Check yourself with two questions that should be very simple to any Christian who attends a Bible-believing church.
Bible knowledge: The Psalmist wrote, "Sing the glory of his name" (Ps. 66:2). What is his name? What is the name of the God of the Bible, the God you worship?
Theological knowledge: What is the meaning of the word propitiation, which is used, for example, in 1 John 2:2?
The answer to the first question is Yahweh (often misspelled "Jehovah," based on an error made by European scholars of the Renaissance period). Why doesn't every Christian know the name of God? Part of the reason, no doubt, is that even though it is used about 6000 times in the Old Testament, our English translations foolishly render the Hebrew name Yahweh as "LORD" (all capital letters). However, every minister should be using God's name as he preaches and should also be explaining to his congregation how to recognize when the divine writers of Scripture are using it. For more information, read my paper, Who Is the King of Glory?"
The answer to the second question is appeasement of wrath. That the death of Christ appeased the wrath of God on us is central to the theology of salvation. Why doesn't every Christian know the definition of propitiation?
We hope that the Bible study material posted at this site will both increase your knowledge of the Bible and theology and also encourage you to buy and read books by great Christian preachers and theologians. On this Web site we've posted a number of condensations of classical works as well as full-length books by various scholars and theologians. There are also a number of sermons by the "Prince of Preachers," Charles Spurgeon. In addition, you'll find several original, in-depth Bible-study papers written by us. The Site Map shows you everything on this Web site at a glance.
We hope you enjoy this Web site and that the Lord will use it to stimulate your interest in the Bible and the theology it teaches. Comments and questions are always welcome.
Daily Devotions from the Classics
Carol's "Daily Devotions from the Classics" contains 365 short, insightful excerpts from great Christian scholars and preachers of long ago as well as the recent past. You will be blessed by the writings of these godly men, among them Matthew Henry, Thomas Watson, Charles Spurgeon, and J. C. Ryle. Click here for your "daily devotions from the classics"!
We have another Web site, Messiah Studies, that is devoted to a detailed study of Messianic prophecy. However, it is a new Web site, and so far there are only a few papers posted. It is our goal, however, to develop a series of papers dealing with the Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament in historical order. The site is designed for Jewish inquirers, but Christians can gain much from these studies as well. There is also some Jewish music you can listen to, including HaTikvah, Hava Nagila, Jerusalem of Gold, and the Yigdal, on which the Christian hymn, "The God of Abraham Praise," is based. Please take a look and send us your suggestions. (January 27, 2012)
The star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. Matthew 2:9
Islam: We have posted a review of a new and extremely important book: The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent: An Informed Response to Islam's War with Christianity by Erwin W. Lutzer, senior pastor of The Moody Church, Chicago. The topic of the book is critical today, and the review itself, by Rev. Norman De Jong, a minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, is very well written. It's crisp, powerful, and has its own climactic conclusion in the last few sentences of the review. Be sure to read this review on our Book Review Page--and then buy the book! (November 25, 2013)
Tongues and healing: Ever wonder about the claim to have the gift of "speaking in tongues"? We just added a page to this site that has three excellent articles on this question as well as the broader issue of whether God gives any of the miraculous gifts from the Apostolic age today. See "The Miraculous Gifts of the Spirit". (November 2, 2013)
"He that cannot pray, let him go to sea, and there he will learn."
John Trapp on Ps. 107:23-29, cited by Charles Spurgeon, The Treasury of David.