Practical Insights

"There never can be full confidence in a government in which its officers are destitute of principle in their private deportment. Principle in personal character will alone resist temptation to corrupt behavior in public office." Ralph Wardlaw on Proverbs 16:12

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Scripture of the Day (Through Numbers)

Now the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad had an exceedingly large number of livestock. So when they saw the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead, that it was indeed a place suitable for livestock, the sons of Gad and the sons of Reuben came and spoke to Moses and to Eleazar the priest and to the leaders of the congregation, saying, "...the land which Yahweh conquered before the congregation of Israel, is a land for livestock, and your servants have livestock." They said, "If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants as a possession; do not take us across the Jordan." Numbers 32:1-5

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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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Biblical and Post-Biblical
Jewish Holidays

Rosh Hashanah

Sunset, September 20

Shofar

Rosh Hashanah is Hebrew for head of the year and is the beginning of the High Holy Days. It is the Rabbinic name for the beginning of the new year on the Jewish calendar. However, this name is not used in the Bible for this holiday. Also, it is easy for confusion to enter here. In the Bible (Ex. 12:2), the first month of the year is Abib, or using the Babylonian name, Nisan (a Spring month, running roughly from the middle of March to the middle of April). Also according to the Bible (Lev. 23:23-25; Num. 29:1-6), the holiday which is now called Rosh Hashanah (often Feast of Trumpets in Christian circles) occurs on the first day of the seventh month - - Tishri (a Fall month, from the middle of September to the middle of October). Judaism thus maintains a distinction between the civil or fiscal year, beginning with Tishri, and the religious year, beginning with Nisan. Many Jewish writers trace this use of two new years to the Babylonian captivity. By the time of Christ, the identification of Tishri and Rosh Hashanah as the beginning of the fiscal year and Nisan and the Passover as the beginning of the religious year was well established. Also by that time the blowing of the shofar had become central to Rosh Hashanah, its haunting sound stirring the hearts of the faithful to introspection and repentance. The Ten Days of Awe begin with Rosh Hashanah and end with Yom Kippur, during which this repentance occurs. The common greeting for Rosh Hashanah is L'shanah tovah ("for a good year"). In 2017 Rosh Hashanah begins sunset September 20 and ends sunset September 22. (Read our notes on the other biblical and post-biblical Jewish holidays.)

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  • Salvation: The following links will give you a solid grasp of God's plan of salvation. Joseph and Benjamin Volume I and Joseph and Benjamin Volume II. (9-20-17)

  • Envy: Read why envy is one of the basest passions of the human heart. (8-27-2017)
  • Prayer: Being distracted during the worship service is all too common. Many of these distractions are caused by the behavior of other people, such as whispering, fussing with papers, glancing around, half-heartedly trying to keep kids quiet but essentially coddling them. These distractions are a great insult to the pastor, for not only do they divert the attention of the attentive worshiper from the message, but they cannot help but be a distraction to the pastor himself. How much greater is the offense to God when we ourselves are distracted by our own wandering thoughts during worship or prayer. This short essay by Bickersteth, "On Distractions in Prayer," is must reading for us all. (8-20-2017)
  • Self-Denial: Here's a helpful essay by Jacob Catlin. (8-18-2017)
  • Mode of Baptism: Immersion? Sprinkling? Leonard Woods has a good study on this controversial subject. (8-8-2017)

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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