Practical Insights

"Vice of all kind, but vice most particularly of the licentious kind, is astonishingly infectious. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. A small number of persons, addicted to them and allowed to practice them with impunity or encouragement, will spread them through the whole mass." William Paley

Read All of Our "Practical Insights" to Date with SourcesWe now have 72 Practical Insights

Scripture of the Day (Through Exodus)

Then the Lord said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh and say to him, 'This is what Yahweh says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me. If you refuse to let them go, I will send a plague of frogs on your whole country. The Nile will teem with frogs. They will come up into your palace and your bedroom and onto your bed, into the houses of your officials and on your people, and into your ovens and kneading troughs. The frogs will come up on you and your people and all your officials.'" Exodus 8:1-4

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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

Passover

Sunset April 22

Passover Plate

Passover is the first of the three pilgrimage festivals in which all males in Israel were to appear before the Lord in Jerusalem (Exod. 23:14-17; Deut. 16:16). (The second was Shavuot or Feast of Weeks (also called Pentecost), and the third was Sukkot or Feast of Booths.) The deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage is the central redemptive act in the Old Testament, and Passover commemorates this event. That first Passover meal was eaten the night that the tenth and final plague fell upon Egypt--the death of every firstborn male. The Israelites were protected ("passed over") by the blood of the paschal lamb smeared on the lintel and side posts of their doors. "Passover" (Hebrew, Pesach) comes from the verb meaning "to pass over." The lamb was to be slain at twilight on the 14th of Nisan just before sunset and the beginning of the 15th of Nisan. Thus, the Passover meal was actually eaten then, as now, on the 15th of Nisan. Passover is followed immediately by the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread, and today both feasts are subsumed under the name Passover. It is to be "a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to Yahweh; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance" (Exod. 12; Lev. 23; Deut. 16). However, since the destruction of the Second Temple in A.D. 70, the sacrificial lamb could no longer be part of the service. The picture shows a dish for the modern Passover Seder. This year Passover begins sunset Friday, April 22 (the 15th of Nisan), 2016; it lasts eight days, ending sunset April 30. Christians should not only be aware of the Passover and its meaning; they should also know that it was the Passover that Jesus ate with his disciples just before his crucifixion and that it will be the Passover that he celebrates with them upon his return (Luke 22:7-16). (Read our notes on the other biblical and post-biblical Jewish holidays.)

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  • Daniel: We have posted major portions of Remarks on the Prophetic Visions in the Book of Daniel by Samuel Tregelles. Click here. (4-22-2016)
  • Introduction: We have now posted Paton Gloag's introduction to 2 Thessalonians. (4-17-2016)
  • Prayer: Another helpful sermon, this one by Howard Crosby. (4-9-2016)
  • Gratitude: Another new devotional reading here. (4-03-2016)
  • Prayer: Our Daily Devotional has a new entry on The Privilege of Prayer. (3-28-2016)
  • Israel: J. C. Ryle's sermon on regathering Israel is critical reading today. Not only do surrounding nations want to annihilate her, but in Christian circles, to our shame, Reformed theology teaches that "the church" has "replaced" Israel. Click here. (3-19-2016)
  • The Ideal Statesman: In light of these upcoming elections, please be sure to read this short sermon by Alexander Maclaren. (3-13-2016)
  • Naaman: Will we see Naaman in heaven? Read an uplifting sermon by Henry Blunt. (3-13-2016)
  • The Canaanites: Are we offended by their utter destruction? Read William Paley's enlightening sermon. (3-12-2016)
  • A New Creature: What happens when we become a new creature in Christ? Henry Martyn gives some insight. (3-7-2016)

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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