FIRST COMING

The Other-Worldly War

Being a Christian has never been easy. We find ourselves at odds with the world. More often than not, our values, ethics, and morals directly conflict with those held by the majority. The reality is that…

Incontestable

Jesus Christ’s resurrection is the heartbeat of Christianity. Though most denominations have theological differences, one core truth binds the whole lot together: the belief in the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ…

Because He Lives

Without the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, believers have not been forgiven, believing loved ones who died are lost forever, and Christians live miserable lives. In fact, Christians live…

The Truth About Who Killed Christ

A few months ago, I met with a high-profile Jewish leader who was giving a talk about his journey from poverty to entrepreneurial success. As a boy growing up in the slums of Boston…

The Woman God Chose

While waiting to check out at the grocery store recently, a publication caught my eye. It was a reissue of LIFE magazine on Mary, the mother of Jesus. I began to peruse it, more out of curiosity than interest, until I read…

The Making of a Miracle

My wife made a casual remark last Christmas that has stuck with me. We were thinking about all of the family members we were expecting on Christmas day and all of the presents we needed…

A Christmas Message

More than 19 centuries have passed since the memorable night when an angel of the Lord brought the heavenly message to the shepherds tending their sheep upon the hills of Judea.

Christmas Bedlam

For many of us, Christmas is far from the “silent night” and “peace on earth” we sing about. Copious community events, school concerts, and church programs fill the season.

Blessings Upon Blessings Isaiah 60

Famous 20th-century preacher and theologian Harry Ironside long ago noted that the book of Isaiah evokes glad anticipation in the hearts of believers who cherish “the coming day when Immanuel, of whom this prophet speaks, will take…

Isaiah’s Good News Isaiah 61

Good news comes in all shapes and sizes, and when it arrives—particularly in the midst of trying times—it is usually like the soothing balm of Gilead. The words of Isaiah 61 may have affected the Israelites of the prophet Isaiah’s day…

Apples of Gold Jan/Feb 2017

Here in Israel, most people know the Hebrew song “Ani Ma’amin,” or “I Believe.” In English, the lyrics read, “I believe with complete faith in the coming of the Messiah. I believe.” Recently I visited an ultra-Orthodox synagogue…

The Sense of Plain Sense

Another way in which I was subjected to the attitude of Replacement Theology was through the teaching that all of the Old Testament had been nailed to the…

When the Time Was Right

The Hebrew Scriptures provide inklings of God’s special preparations for His Son. Abraham and his descendants were to live in a specifi c place, the “Promised Land” (Gen. 12:1).

The Roman Effect

It is difficult today to imagine life in the ancient Roman Empire. We are far removed from the first century, and the motion picture industry has molded the way we perceive…

Beyond the Manger

Even at this time of year, when we celebrate Jesus’ birth, most people don’t know who Jesus is. The Bible has much to say about the One who was born in a manger in Bethlehem.

No Room at the Kataluma

When it comes to the account of Jesus’ birth, it seems like the villain was the poor innkeeper. After all, he was the one who turned Mary and Joseph away…

Waiting for His Shout

It is not difficult to picture the scene Jesus’ disciples witnessed when the resurrected Lord ascended from the surface of the earth, rising higher and higher. Their squinting gaze no doubt focused…

More Than a Man

Deeply rooted within the consciousness of the Jewish people is the belief in the coming of a Messiah. However, time, traditionalism, and tribulation have clouded…

Jerusalem in Prophecy

Jerusalem occupies a chosen place in the divine plan of the ages, being distinguished as such in the praise of the psalmist: “The Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of…

Messiah

As we teach the Bible, we’re always surprised to learn how many people don’t realize that Jesus’ name is not “Jesus Christ.” The word Christ is English for the Greek word Christós.

If That Isn’t Love

It doesn’t take long for people to realize how much I love my little dog, Herbie. If I could, I’d take him with me everywhere. Herbie helped me understand how difficult it is for families to lose…

While We Were Still Sinners

I will never forget the day I visited the infamous Dandora Dump on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya. The stench overwhelmed me as I witnessed young children scouring smoking mountains of toxic…

The Greatest Gift of All

I still can’t believe I overslept on Christmas morning. I can’t believe any 8-year-old would oversleep on Christmas morning. I saw my father sitting near the Christmas tree, beaming with anticipation.

Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh

In 1857 Rev. John Henry Hopkins, Jr., popularized the wise men who brought their gifts to Jesus when he composed the well-known carol “We Three Kings of Orient Are” for a Christmas pageant…

We Beheld His Glory

At Christmas we celebrate what may be the single most remarkable and mysterious event in all of history—the incarnation of Jesus Christ. God sent his Son to be born of a virgin, that He…

The Greatest Mystery of All

Consciousness, black holes, “rare antimatter.” These are considered some of the world’s greatest mysteries. But one mystery surpasses them all.

The Messiah of Daniel 9

It’s a ritual of mine always to purchase a program when I go to a baseball game. A program is vital to the serious sports enthusiast because it provides information that helps…

The Peace Only Jesus Brings

Inner peace, outer peace. Peace in this world, peace in the next. Everyone talks about it, but few understand what true peace is all about—and how Jesus will change the world.

What Christmas Is Really About

More and more people today fail to understand the meaning of Christmas. It isn’t about presents, cards, carols, warm family gatherings, or lots of good food. Christmas is about the Incarnation…

A Lifestyle of Faith Hebrews 10:19–25

To this point, the book of Hebrews has been doctrinal in nature. Using comparison, the author has shown Christ’s superiority over angels, Moses, and the Levitical priesthood. He has also shown…

The Birth that Changed the World

Hymns, tinsel, decorations, and good cheer used to flood America’s public schools at Christmastime. Though these have all disappeared, one thing will never be erased.

Joseph of Nazareth

He was a carpenter with no aspirations to greatness. Yet he became great. This excellent article takes a deeper look at Joseph and the qualities that made him a man of God.

The One and Only Christ

Seven hours north of Tokyo is a small town called Shingo where you can buy biscuits, chopsticks, and postcards to commemorate your visit to the place where Jesus is buried…

The Future Roman Empire

One of the more intriguing prophecies in the book of Daniel concerns the final of the four Gentile kingdoms that will rule the world. It is represented in Scripture by legs…

A Kingdom Made Without Hands

King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had a dream of an image made of various metals, representing different periods of Gentile world rule (Dan. 2:34–35, 44–45). In the dream, a stone cut without…

What If There Had Been No Easter?

As Christians, we rejoice because Christ arose. But what if He had not? The world would be a different place indeed. And it’s not a pretty picture.

Actual or Absurd?

Cynical journalist H. L. Mencken (1880–1956) once said, “What I got in Sunday school…was simply a firm conviction that the Christian faith was full of palpable absurdities.” No doubt many today…

The Resurrection Wrangle

As Jesus taught in the Temple in Jerusalem, representatives from various religious sects came to hear Him. Their intent was to find fault with His responses to their questions. For one…

The Jerusalem Road

The Romans Road is a familiar term to evangelicals. It refers to a series of verses in the New Testament book of Romans that many use to teach the gospel. Although it is efficient…

Jesus the God-Man

Soliciting is common in our neighborhood, especially on weekends. Answering the doorbell recently, I greeted a couple standing on our front porch. Their clothes and literature in hand identified them immediately…

The Greatest High Priest

Hebrews 4:4–16: The importance of what you are about to study on the high priesthood of Jesus Christ cannot be overstated. Christ’s high priesthood is mentioned briefly in Hebrews 2:17 and 3:1; but the subject…

Merry Christmas 2008

Gone are the days of Studebakers, five- and-dimes, and the much-anticipated gifts of sweet, juicy oranges stuffed into Christmas stockings. But two important facets of the holiday will remain forever.

The Herald Cometh

Most people are familiar with Luke 2 as the beginning of the Christmas story. But the wondrous account actually begins earlier, with an elderly priest who enters the Temple to burn incense.

For Unto You

In Jesus’ day, herdsmen were held in low esteem. Their honesty and integrity were often questioned, and apparently they could not always observe the rituals or keep the ceremonial laws.

The Message and the Maiden

A backwater town called Nazareth. A common Jewish girl called Mary. An angelic messenger called Gabriel. And a promise of God. These all converged to change history for all time in something called the Incarnation.

Is Anything Too Hard for the Lord?

So you don’t believe a virgin can bear a child? You’re not alone. But you should believe it, particularly if you’re Jewish. Read this article and learn why.

In the Fullness of Time

Many secular people mistakenly believe that, except for the story of Jesus in the Gospels, there is no historical record of the man Jesus Christ. This is not true. Jewish sources…

For You and For Me

It was worse than a nightmare. There Mary stood as her son Jesus hung on a Roman cross between two criminals. With her sister Salome, Mary the wife of Clopas (probably her sister-in-law)…

Behold the Lamb

The great theologian Lewis Sperry Chafer wrote, “There is no point in human history where the divine sovereignty and human responsibility, or free will, come into more vivid juxtaposition than they do in the crucifixion…

Matthew 1: Certificate of Authenticity

For 132 years the Westminster Kennel Club (WKC) Dog Show has been held in New York City. Broadcast on cable television from Madison Square Garden, this fierce competition is considered one of the most prestigious…

No Other Name

As Christmas approaches, many people concentrate on gifts and decorations and enjoying the season. Fewer think about who Jesus is and what it meant for Him to come to Earth. But without the Incarnation…

A Star in the Heavens

The Magi were an old, powerful priestly caste that practiced astronomy as well as astrology. Naturally, they would have been familiar with the writings of Balaam the Mesopotamian (Dt. 23:4).

Israel: Still the Apple of God’s Eye Part Two

Many people who become Christians still struggle in their faith and have an inability to trust God earnestly. Mankind in general has a problem trusting God. Israel is no different.

Drama Around the Triclinium

Reasonable, educated speculation based on an understanding of the Jewish seating custom can help us appreciate the drama in the Upper Room at Jesus’ final Passover more than 2,000 years ago.

Isaiah 53 and the Messiah of Israel Part Three

In Isaiah 53:8 the prophet spoke of the distorted trial held for the Servant of the Lord and of His death: “He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who will declare His generation?

Isaiah 53 and the Messiah of Israel Part Two

Who is the Servant of the Lord presented in Isaiah 53? The answer is critical to understanding the great price God paid for our redemption. Some believe Isaiah 53 does…

Israel’s True Tikvah

They looked for Him throughout all their agonies and heartaches, through centuries of oppression and persecution. The Hebrew Scriptures clearly told of His coming. So what happened?

Christ: The Hope of Nations

America’s Founding Fathers placed their hope for this nation on the truth of Christianity. But as important as the American historical record is, something else is even more important.

Tidings of Comfort and Joy

At this Christmas season, do you have joy? True joy comes from something you might not associate with it. But once found, it lasts forever.

Isaiah 53 and the Messiah of Israel Part One

Editor’s Note: Seven hundred years before Jesus was born, God led the Jewish prophet Isaiah to describe Him so clearly that the people of Israel—and the world—would recognize the Messiah. The incontestable…

Pulling the Plug on Christian TV in Israel

When Israelis turn on their televisions, they can choose from a sophisticated array of programming: educational, live political debate, ESPN and FOX sports, the History Channel, home shopping, and much more. But if one…

At the Beginning

Some people don’t believe the church began at Pentecost. But it certainly did. And its birth is the result of a single, major event that changed history forever.

Building on the ‘ROCK’

In 1866 Samuel J. Stone penned the words to the great hymn of the faith “The Church’s One Foundation.” The opening words make a powerful statement about the church and its mission: “The church’s…

The Importance of a Literal Interpretation

Hermeneutics is the art and science of interpretation. When most readers open a newspaper or book, they assume the author intends for them to understand what he is saying. They also instinctively…

Why Study Biblical Prophecy?

Many people have negative attitudes toward the study of biblical prophecy. Some say, “I’m only concerned about the present, so don’t bother me with ideas about the future.” Or, “Nobody…

The Treasures of the Season

Tis the season when our forefathers bowed their heads and gave thanks. Oh how things have changed.

Great Cities of Jesus’ Day

With Christmas around the corner, we invite you to tour four cities in firstcentury Israel that testify to the Savior’s power. Two of them are still there today.

What Christmas is All About

Is there anyone who can tell me what is Christmas all about?” asks a beloved cartoon character. His friend quickly recites from Luke’s Gospel: “For there is born to you this day in the city…

The Yom Kippur Scapegoat

The ancient Israelites must have stood in awe when they observed the first ever, God-ordained celebration of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. This ritual was different from all others the Lord had given…

What’s So Special About Christmas?

When it comes to the holidays, and I’m asked to name a favorite, it’s not difficult. Thanksgiving is the day. It’s a time when the air is crisp and clear…

Israel’s Messianic King

Zechariah 9:9–17: When Alexander the Great conquered the Middle East, he did not lay siege to Jerusalem. The Jewish people survived his conquest because God kept His promise to protect the city (9:8).

Zvi Nov/Dec 2005

This time of year Christians think about the birth of the Messiah. We know what the Bible teaches, and we understand who He is. But in Israel there is great confusion about the Messiah.

From Bill Sutter’s Desk Jul/Aug 2004

The release of The Passion of the Christ earlier this year evoked much discussion and controversy within both Christian and Jewish communities. For the most part, Christians responded to the representation of Christ’s suffering…

A Literal Kingdom on Earth

Evangelicals often use the phrase One Messiah, two appearances. Although most of the world acknowledges the first appearance—a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger—few realize that this same Jesus will come again…

The Shepherd’s Love

Some people think Jesus criticized the Jewish people because He did not love them. But they have gotten things all wrong.

Bait for Hate

For millennia Gentiles have used the New Testament as an excuse to hate Jewish people. Furthermore, many of them misin- terpret the Bible.

The Messianic King and His Kingdom

Micah 5:1–15: For centuries, Jewish people have looked for the Messiah to deliver them from Gentile oppression, secure for them the land of Israel…

Is the New Testament Anti-Semitic?

If I had been asked, “Is the New Testament anti-Semitic?” during my university years, I would not have hesitated a moment before answering, “Yes!” My formative years were spent surrounded by people whose perception…

Israel’s Ultimate Triumph

Many people say God is finished
with Israel and that He has given
all Israel’s blessings to the church. But the Bible tells a different story.

Art Thou He That Should Come?

Some waited for years and were sure when they saw Him. Others are still waiting. Can we truly identify “he that should come”? Yes!

Confirmation of Jesus’ Messiahship

How can we know that Jesus’ claims about Himself are true? Examine
man’s twofold dilemma and God’s gracious, twofold solution.

Coming Again

Many great doctrines of Christianity appeared first in the Old Testament. Come to the Psalms for a look at Jesus’ resurrection, ascension, and return.

Peace–Present and Promised

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men (Lk. 2:13–14).

The Virgin Mary

Christmas is approaching. And as people the world over look forward to the gifts, decorations, and tinsel of the season, those of us who love the traditional carols anticipate with joy the sweet strains…

Jesus the Son of God

Do Christians read more into the words Son of God than the Bible intends? Examine the origin of the title and how it applies to Jesus.

The Son of Man

The term Son of man is used no fewer than 192 times throughout the Word of God. And it means more than you might expect.

Caught Up With Christ

Gone in an instant! How can that be? But it can be, and it has happened before.

Jesus Christ and the Future Kingdom of God Part Nine

The gospel of the Kingdom contained nothing about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, the gospel defined in 1 Corinthians 15 focused on His death, burial, and resurrection and said nothing about…

Ruth: A Trophy of His Grace

How could a Moabite woman end up
in the line of the Jewish Messiah? Read this timeless testimony to God’s love and grace.

The Genealogies of Jesus

Examine the intricacies of the genealogies of Jesus and the precision of God in bringing His Messiah into the world.

Jesus Christ and the Future Kingdom of God Part Six

In the previous article, we noted that Jesus Christ (Mt. 19:28) and the apostles Peter (Acts 3:19-21) and Paul (Rom. 8:19-22) foretold that nature will be restored to its original pre-fall condition when Christ…

The Messiah’s Birth

On November 19, 1997, something extraordinary happened. Bobbi McCaughey of Carlisle, Iowa, gave birth to seven healthy babies. With the news of the successful septuple deliveries, the world seemed to pause and reflect in…

The Messiah’s Life

The Jewish writings have much to say about the Messiah. Very little, however, is written about His identifying characteristics, aside from His being from the family of David and bringing peace. Gershom Scholem agreed with this when he wrote…

The Messiah’s Death

The clearest declaration about the historical facts of the Christian gospel is found in 1 Corinthians 15:3–4: “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures…

The Messiah’s Reign

In this well-known carol, “Joy to the World,” Isaac Watts expressed the thrill of the Messiah’s birth by describing events that just don’t seem to exist. I still weed garden beds and prick myself on thorns. The curse has not been lifted. The nations of…

The Great White Throne Judgment

Revelation 20:11–15: On July 8, 1741, Jonathan Edwards preached his famous sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” Edwards held the manuscript so close to his face that the congregation was unable to see his expression as…

Who Killed Jesus?

Picture this: A Jewish family spending quality time decorating a Christmas tree. Does this sound odd to you? When I was 17, I was invited to a Christmas tree decorating party at the home of a Jewish acquaintance. Confusion would best describe my initial reaction…