April 30, 2017

Don’t Twist the Scriptures

Thomas Overmiller Many claim to be Bible teachers. They claim to teach the Word of God accurately. But before you believe them, ask whether they are twisting the scriptures to their own advantage. That’s what Peter says at the close of his last letter to the churches.

“Avoiding All Appearance of Evil” 1 Thessalonians 5:22

Kevin Schaal This verse is used commonly to provide a Biblical foundation for condemnation of people and deeds of all kinds. The idea is that this passage forbids not only doing those things that the Bible specifically condemns as sin, but also doing anything that looks like it might be sinful or associated with something […]

Straight Cuts: Just How Friendly Should We Be? (Proverbs 18:24)

Randy Jaeggli Perhaps you have had an experience like mine. I listened as the preacher announced his text and read Proverbs 18:24 from the Authorized Version: “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” The ensuing message stressed the necessity of the believer […]

What We Can Learn from “Vanity” in Ecclesiastes

Jonathan Threlfall When interpreting this “vanity of vanities” mantra, it is important to keep in mind both the scope of “vanity” (everything “under the sun”) as well as the final point of the whole book: “fear God and keep his commandments.” By relentlessly emphasizing that nothing in life will yield certain meaning or ultimate satisfaction […]

At a Glance: Pauline Paradigms for Prayer

Layton Talbert Prayer is a very personal spiritual exercise. Perhaps “exercise” sounds like something we do out of duty, whether we want to or not, because of perceived benefits. Prayer is conversation with God and, as such, is a vital dimension of our personal relationship to the Lord. Why, then, would the Bible record the […]

What Made Elijah Run: Fear or Frustration? (1 Kings 19:3)

Randy Fox When we look at the story of Elijah’s flight and subsequent prayer for death, we wonder at his sudden reversal from power and boldness to fear and panic. It is startling to think of someone so strong as Elijah frightened away by the threat of Jezebel. Some would translate 1 Kings 19:3, “he […]

Straight Cuts: Good Principle, Wrong Text

Layton Talbert “But he knoweth the way that I take; when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). Job 23:10 has traditionally been used to express a Scriptural truth that has comforted and encouraged countless believers: God knows all we are going through and intends it only to strengthen and […]

Prophets, Priests, & Kings: The History of Israel’s Monarchy – Part 4

Layton Talbert Previously in this series: Part 1 – Transition to Monarchy (1 Sam 1-8) Part 2 – The United Monarchy (1 Samuel 9–1 Kings 11) Part 3-The Northern Kingdom (1 Kings 12-2 Kings 17) This article is Part 4 – The Southern Kingdom In her 345-year history (931-586 B.C.), Judah saw 20 kings (well, […]

At a Glance: Prophets, Priests, & Kings: The History Of Israel’s Monarchy – Part 3

Layton Talbert Part 1 – Transition to Monarchy (1 Sam 1-8) Part 2 – The United Monarchy (1 Samuel 9–1 Kings 11) This article is Part 3-The Northern Kingdom (1 Kings 12-2 Kings 17) In her 210-year history (931-722 B.C.), the northern kingdom of Israel went through 20 kings representing 9 different dynasties (ruling families). […]

Prophets, Priests, & Kings: The History of Israel’s Monarchy – Part 2

Part 1 – Transition to Monarchy (1 Sam 1-8) Part 2 – The United Monarchy (1 Samuel 9–1 Kings 11) Layton Talbert SAUL: Birth of the Monarchy (1 Samuel 9–31) Clearly displeased with the timing, motive, and attitude of Israel’s demand to have a king so “that we also may be like all the nations” […]