Practical Insights

"When Jehovah says, 'FEAR NOT,' he, in almost every instance, accompanies the injunction with a reason: and we may be sure, that a divinely assigned reason cannot fail to be a satisfactory one. For instance, 'Fear not; for I am with thee.' Can there be a better reason for banishing fear than that? Again, 'Fear not; for I have redeemed thee; I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.' Again, 'He it is that shall go with thee: he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee; fear not nor be discouraged.' Who could fear, believing this?" Ralph Wardlaw (1869)

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Scripture of the Day (Excerpts from Genesis)

Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of Yahweh called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." He said, "Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me." Genesis 22:9-12

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"He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep." Psalm 121:4

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

"I will give to you and to your seed after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God."
Genesis 17:8

"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

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Jewish Holidays

(Feast of Booths)

September 27, 2015

Sukkot is the plural of sukkah, the Hebrew word booth. Thus Sukkot, as the name of this holiday, is short for Feast of Booths, or as usually translated in Christian circles, Feast of Tabernacles. However, "tabernacle" is an unfortunate translation because it makes one think of the dwelling place of the Lord in the wilderness. But that word is Mishkan, not sukkah. Sukkot is one of the five feasts in Leviticus 23 and the third of the three pilgrimage festivals in which all males in Israel were to appear before the Lord in Jerusalem (Deut. 16:16). (The first was Passover/Unleavened Bread, the second Shavuot, or Feast of Weeks.) Sukkot has a dual significance. Historically, it commemorates the forty years of wandering in the desert, "booths" referring to the temporary dwellings the Israelites lived in (Lev. 23:33-43). Agriculturally, it celebrates the end of harvest time in Eretz Yisrael (the land of Israel; Exod. 34:22-24). Today, many devout Jewish people obey the command in Leviticus 23:42-43 by building and living in booths for seven days "so that your generations may know that I had the sons of Israel live in booths when I brought them out from the land of Egypt. I am Yahweh your God" (Lev. 23:42-43). Sukkot is one of the most joyous holidays, and during the services branches are waved and fruit is eaten. It is very likely that the holiday of Thanksgiving, begun by the American pilgrims, was based on Sukkot, because the Pilgrims looked to the Bible for an appropriate way to give thanks to the Lord for their survival and for the harvest. In 2015 Sukkot begins sunset September 27 and ends sunset October 4. (Read our notes on the other biblical and post-biblical Jewish holidays.)

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  • Euopean caliphate? In Germany alone over 400,000 Muslim refuges have entered. What about the 10-nation confederation in Daniel and Revelation? Will the "revived Roman Empire" expected by most premillenarians be a European caliphate? Read Appendix 6 on our Book of Revelation page. (September 14, 2015)
  • The Messiah: Was Jesus the Messiah (the Christ)? Was he also God? The arguments for his messiahship and deity are fundamental to our faith. On our sister Web site, Messiah Studies,we have just posted Volume II of Joseph and Benjamin by Hebrew and Rabbinic scholar Joseph Frey. These two volumes cover virtually every aspect of these questions. They are must reading. (Sept. 4, 2015)
  • Infant Salvation: If an infant dies, does he go to heaven? Does the Bible address this issue? Find out here. (August 31, 2015)
  • Election: A new devotional entry. Click here. (August 31, 2015)
  • Prayer: Here is an extremely helpful excerpt by Joseph Frey on prayer. Rarely, if ever, do we realize that Christ is interceding for us when we pray. And, sad to say, we're not really surprised when our prayers seem to go unanswered and our faith flounders. Read this article, read it twice. Get a firm grasp on what it means that Christ is interceding for you! Click here; or for all our articles on prayer--our prayer page. (August 18, 2015)

Important Topics

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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?

We hope that the Bible study material posted at this Web site will both increase your knowledge of the Bible and theology and also encourage you to buy and read books by great Christian theologians and preachers. The full contents of this site can be seen at a glance on our Site Map; there are over 1000 items.

Our Sister Web Site:
Messiah Studies

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 (Israeli National Anthem), 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.

Judaism and Christianity

What common belief forms the fundamental foundation of both Judaism and Christianity? For the answer, read this encouraging article by Orthodox Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, "Growing in Our Understanding of God."

Jon Voight on Israel

Do You Love Israel?

Israel is God's chosen people and covenant nation. How often does your church pray for the safety of Israel and the peace of Jerusalem? If it doesn't, ask your pastor why not. God promised in the covenant he made with Abraham that he will bless those who bless Israel (Gen. 12:3). Please listen to legendary actor Jon Voight as he gives us an urgent message about Israel.

Nicky's Children Youtube Video

For a 4-minute version taking you back to Sir Nicholas in 1938, see this Youtube video.

The "British Schindler"

Beginning in 1938, Nicholas Winton organized the rescue of over 600 Jewish children from German-occupied Czechoslovakia. Here is a very touching video from a BBC television program reuniting Sir Nicholas with many of these children, now adults. How cold our own hearts must be if we cannot thank Jesus 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.

NIV Translation Unreliable

In many ways, we are living in a dangerous age. Some dangers are where you would least expect them, as for example the degree to which feminism has infected even evangelicalism. What translation of the Bible are you using? The NIV has become an unreliable translation. Read "An Evaluation of Gender Language in the 2011 Edition of the NIV Bible" produced by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

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 have posted a number of lectures from 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. See the the McCaul page . The Messiah Studies site also has a short paper written by me "The Messiah: An Overview," which summarizes what the prophets indeed predict for national Israel--God's chosen, covenant people, the apple of his eye (Zech. 2:8) and the nation written on the palms of his hands (Isa. 49:15-16). You might also be interested in a short paper here on Rediscovering the Bible, "Does Eschatology Matter in Jewish Evangelism?"

Psalm 107

Ship In Storm

"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.

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