Practical Insights

"God's knowledge of our afflictions and adversities is more than theoretic; it is personal, warm, and compassionate. Whatever may befall us, God knows and cares as no one else can." A. W. Tozer

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Scripture of the Day (Through 1 Samuel)

When David came to the two hundred men who were too exhausted to follow David, who had also been left at the brook Besor, and they went out to meet David and to meet the people who were with him, then David approached the people and greeted them. Then all the wicked and worthless men among those who went with David said, "Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered, except to every man his wife and his children, that they may lead them away and depart." 1 Samuel 30:21-22

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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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Sunset December 2

Hanukkah Menorah

Hanukkah and Christmas are often thought of together. What is Hanukkah? Is it simply a Jewish substitute for Christmas? Hardly! Hanukkah (Hebrew, "dedication") is a post-biblical Jewish feast mentioned in the New Testament (John 10:22). The Second Temple had been completed in 516 B.C. after the return from the Babylonian captivity. Many years later, however, it was desecrated in 167 B.C. by the Greek king, Antiochus IV ("Epiphanes"). Led by Mattathias and his sons, called the Maccabees, a small group of Jews revolted against Antiochus and prevailed against overwhelming odds. Thus Hanukkah, or the Feast of Dedication, celebrates the cleansing and eight-day rededication of the Second Temple in 165 B.C. According to Jewish tradition recorded in the Talmud, at the rededication there was only enough oil for the lampstand to burn one day, but by a miracle from God it burned for eight days. Thus Hanukkah is also called the Festival of Lights. Part of the celebration today involves lighting a nine-branch Menorah. Hanukkah is a feast that celebrates God's protection and provision. We can all reflect on the ways in which the Lord continues to protect and provide not only for his people Israel but for Christians as well. This year Hanukkah runs from sunset December 2 to sunset December 10, 2018. (Read our notes on other biblical and post-biblical Jewish holidays.)

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  • Revelation: Should we interpret all the seals, trumpets, and vials as future to us? I have just finished reading Ethan Smith's Key to the Revelation and have added a number of his observations to my Short Study on the Book of Revelation, to chapters 15 through 18 in particular. You may also read Smith's hrmonization and summary of the events in Revelation by clicking here for Appendix 10. (12-1-2018)
  • Apostasy: Some helpful reading for living in a time of apostasy by John I. Paton. (11-24-2018)
  • Revelation: "Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it . . ." An insightful sermon by Thomas Hamilton. (10-24-2018)
  • Revelation ch. 20: I have found a 4th interpretation of verses 4-6 and have incorporated it into the Study on Revelation. Click here for chapter 20 and scroll down to page 11 to read Edward Greswell's view. (10-21-2018)
  • Prayer: Andrew Thomson: perhaps the most encouraging sermon on prayer I've read! (9-25-2018)
  • Sins of the Fathers: Paley enlightens us on that seemingly harsh verse wherein it is stated that God visits the sins of the fathers upon the children. Click here. (9-22-2018)

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 1200 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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