THEOLOGY

Yes, Zuzu, There Is a Heaven

Each December my family and I look forward to the beautiful decorations, wonderful Christmas carols, and the many…

Life After This Life

Few subjects pique our interest more than the afterlife. What happens to us when we die? Many people speculate they’ll have a more fulfilling existence beyond…

Home to Eden

When you arrive in heaven, Saint Peter will greet you at the pearly gates with your eternal itinerary. You’ll receive your wings and a halo, take a seat on your white fluffy cloud…

From the Editor Sep/Oct 2019

Over the years I’ve had many people tell me doctrine isn’t important. What matters, they say, is that you love Jesus. I’ll never dispute the importance of loving Jesus. But the apostle Paul spent…

Inside View Sep/Oct 2019

As long as we believe Jesus is the Savior of the world, does it really matter what else we believe? After all, didn’t Jesus come to save mankind from its sins, and isn’t that fact the basic essence of the Bible?…

Where Was God When…?

Why doesn’t God always intervene to prevent terrible tragedies? If you’ve ever found yourself asking, “Where were You, Lord?” you’re in good company…

God & Creation

We believe God is one being in three coequal, coeternal persons. This short statement expresses the Christian definition of the Trinity, or the triunity of the Godhead…

Jesus & the Word

We believe Jesus was conceived through the power of the Holy Spirit and was born to a virgin. The virgin birth is a crucial doctrine of the Christian faith…

Leave the Light On for Me

For more than 30 years, a motel chain in the United States has offered a warm welcome to its customers by telling them, “We’ll leave the light on for you”…

The Restrainer of Evil

While establishing the church in Thessalonica, the apostle Paul personally instructed believers concerning future prophecy…

The Battle for Biblical Truth

Modern Israel is a miracle. When Mark Twain visited there in the 1800s, he left thinking it was the most miserable place on the face of the earth…

Q: What is the sin leading to death?

The apostle John told Christians, “If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him…

What’s in a Name?

When Moses encountered God for the first time, he asked Him, “When I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you..

The Great Deception

It’s easy to become discouraged and misled by false reports. That’s why it is so important to be able to discern between truth and error…

An Appeal for Spontaneity

In the short, handwritten note from the apostle Paul to his friend Philemon, we step into a captivating story of grace and divine providence…

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…

Comforting the Persecuted

The apostle Paul made a practice of visiting churches he had planted and providing pastoral care and counsel. But sometimes opposition to him and his ministry made the task impossible…

From Bitterness to Joy

Everybody loves a good story. God made us that way so He could instruct us in truth and illustrate it through the people whose lives are recorded in the Bible. Their stories show us, rather than tell us, how to live…

The Gold-Box Idol

During the closing period of the judges, the Israelites embraced wicked beliefs in their worship and view of God. God had confirmed Samuel as His spokesman and true prophet, but the Israelites refused to obey….

A Hearing Heart

I have many fond memories of my mother from my childhood, but there is one memory that is far from fond. I still get a knot in the pit of my stomach when I think about it. When I was around 11 years old, we were…

‘Bring Up Samuel for Me’

Disobedience to God can drastically change a person’s life. King Saul’s disobedience dramatically altered both his life and his kingship. As a consequence for transgressing into the priestly office…

Samuel’s Big Disappointment

The expectation of great potential can be exciting. It certainly is for athletes and professional sports teams, as each new season dawns. Many a manager has left training camp saying to himself…

Samuel & David

Much is written about David in the Bible. At the mention of his name, some people immediately think of the courageous teenager who slew Goliath using a slingshot and a stone. Others remember a tender young shepherd who penned Psalm 23…

Why Would God Harden a Heart?

Exodus 4:21 records a statement God made to Moses: “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand. But I will harden his heart, so that he will…”

O Jewish Town of Bethlehem

This Christmas season, as we gather in our churches to worship our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and sing the carols of Christmas, we no doubt will sing “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” one of the most beloved hymns of all time…

A Night in the Fields

Birth announcements are exciting. Parents share the news first with family, then with close friends, and later with the community. In the first century, however, it was unthinkable to send birth announcements to the poor and to those who held lower-class occupations, like shepherds…

The Incredible Incarnation

I have some Christian friends who do not celebrate Christmas. They object to the many pagan traditions that have crept into the holiday and argue that Jesus was not even born on December 25. I don’t disagree. They are quite correct…

Q: What is the Unpardonable Sin?

According to Jesus, the unpardonable sin is “blasphemy against the [Holy] Spirit” (Mt. 12:31). However, it is important to study the context of Matthew 12:22–32 to understand what this means…

Our Wonderful God of Christmas

For more than 50 years, Charles M. Schulz’s animated classic, A Charlie Brown Christmas, has touched millions of television viewers. In it, Charlie complains, “I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming, but I’m not happy…

The Tyrant Who Tried to Kill Jesus

King Herod was a complex man. He was a brilliant builder and politician, yet a ruthless and brutal tyrant. He makes a brief appearance in Scripture as the cold-blooded killer of baby boys in Bethlehem and surrounding areas…

Divine Affirmation

“Who were those people? What just happened?” Mary and Joseph may have asked themselves these questions following their brief encounter with Simeon and Anna at the Temple in Jerusalem. They had gone there to…

The Men from the East

The story of the wise men, or magi, is one of the most interesting and captivating accounts recorded in the Bible. Countless Christmas cards, carols, and plays present the story of their journey to see Jesus, the one “born King of the Jews” (Mt. 2:2)…

How Do We Know the Exodus Happened?

“The actual evidence concerning the Exodus resembles the evidence for the unicorn,” declared Pennsylvania State University Jewish Studies Professor Baruch Halpern.1 The ancient Israelites created…

God is Faithful

Paul’s concluding words in this epistle are extremely important. He revisited prominent themes of prayer, sanctification, the Lord’s faithfulness, spiritual commitment, and preparedness for the Rapture of the church…

Villain of the Ages

Many people want to know about leaders on the world scene—the men and women whose faces they see regularly online and on television. What are these people really like? Are they kind, caring, and patriotic? Or are they cold, calculating, and self-serving?

The Ultimate Con

If you had visited “Dr.” Malachi Love-Robinson in his medical offices in Florida a few years ago, you would have met a nice-looking young man sporting a white lab coat, stethoscope draped around his neck, who would have examined you with…

The Final War Against Israel

Horrifying pictures of the Holocaust of World War II continue to shock people even today. After 75 years, film footage still reminds us of Satan’s relentless and barbaric attempts to eradicate world Jewry. Throughout history, demonically inspired, hate-filled fanatics…

Consumed and Destroyed

Years ago, my boss at the office where I worked asked me about the Antichrist: “Does the Bible teach that the Antichrist will be destroyed? Or does he win in the end?” His question came following the release of The Omen in 1976, a movie that revolves around…

Church Life

The apostle Paul often addressed the church as a family. He called members brothers and sisters and encouraged them to love one another. To function properly, a church—like a family—must have structure, order, respect for its members…

The Divine Distribution

When God confirmed a covenant with Abraham (Gen. 12:1), He issued a divine proclamation: He vowed to give all the land He was promising Abraham to both Abraham and his descendants forever (13:15). God bequeathed the land through…

The Best is Yet to Come

Leon Uris’s novel Exodus, about the founding of the State of Israel, captivated the world when it came out in 1958. It became an international sensation, rising quickly to number one on The New York Times best-seller list and staying there for eight months…

The Power Behind the Throne

From the time God created the world, Satan has wanted to rule it. In ancient days, one of Satan’s strongholds was the Phoenician city-state of Tyre, which dates back to around 2700 BC…

Q: Who are the “sons of God” in Genesis 6:2?

“Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose” (vv. 1–2)…

The Christian’s Life

“At the Rapture,” wrote Bible scholar John F. Walvoord, “Christians will see their loved ones who died and preceded them to heaven. It will also end their earthly problems, and they will be forever with the Lord.”1 For these reasons, the Rapture has been a…

Inside View May/Jun 2018

Nowadays, trying to discern between truth and fake news is a full-time job. Such is also the case with the distinction between Israel and the church. I believe God’s Word clearly teaches Israel is not the church, and the church is not Israel…

Five Facts You Should Know About Israel

Have you ever wondered why the Jewish people have been scattered throughout the nations of the world more consistently than any other people? Why anti–Semitism persists in rearing its ugly head repeatedly throughout history? Why Nazism specifically targeted the Jewish people for genocide in the…

The Day of the Lord

1 Thessalonians 5:1–3: In 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18, we saw that Christians (both dead and living) will be raptured to be with Christ when He appears to receive His church. But what about those left behind?…

From the Editor Mar/Apr 2018

A minister once told me about a church that was having difficulty finding a pastor. Its doctrine was identical to that of The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry. The church used…

Errant or Inerrant? That is the Question.

For centuries conservative biblical scholars have believed in the inerrancy of Scripture. Such theologians as Augustine (354–430), Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274), Martin Luther (1483–1546)…

The Changing Face of Dispensationalism

A student recently came to my office and told me he had been to a conference with pastors from mainline churches. When he mentioned he was taking a course on Dispensationalism…

Redefining the Gospel

When our children were young, my wife and I would take them every October 31 to the storage shed behind our house. They each brought a sheet of paper on which they had written…

Navigating the Current Theological Fog

As a child, I loved to play with silly putty. I would make putty pancakes and press them onto newspapers so the words would appear on the putty. Then I’d remove the putty…

Our Blessed Hope

1 Thessalonians 4:13–18: When Paul established the Thessalonian church, he taught believers there about Jesus Christ’s imminent return. They were told, “wait for His Son from heaven…

The Rapture

When the word Rapture is mentioned, responses differ. Some people know it refers to Christ coming to take the church to heaven. Others incorrectly associate the rapture with Christ’s Second Coming. Still others have no idea…

Gone?

Rapture, Antichrist, and Tribulation are words Josiah Hesse associates with his apocalyptic upbringing—an upbringing he says was built on “the urgency of avoiding hell.” In his article “Apocalyptic upbringing: how I recovered from…

When Is It?

Christ’s premillennial Second Coming to Earth is evident even from a casual reading of the Scriptures. The Bible, taken at face value, clearly states the Messiah will return to establish His worldwide, earthly Kingdom, headquartered in Jerusalem .

Q: What does the phrase Israel of God mean?

Israel of God refers to Jewish people who received Christ as their Savior and consequently belong to the church. It does not refer to the entire church. The phrase appears in Galatians 6: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision…

What We’re Spared

Think of the worst disasters in history. They’re nothing compared to what lies ahead—but not for the bride of Christ. “Husband Charged With Domestic Violence.” It’s an all-too-familiar headline. Sometimes the offender is a celebrity…

Coming for His Bride

Townspeople lined the street as the handsome young bridegroom rode slowly by on a donkey. He looked like a king—dressed all in white, with a gold cloth wrapped around his waist. A white, Bedouin-style cloth covered his head; and he wore sandals (more like slippers) decorated in splendid, ornamental lace.

A Life That Pleases God

1 Thessalonians 4:9–12: How to live a life that pleases God is the overriding theme of the first 12 verses of 1 Thessalonians 4. Verses 1–8 speak about sexual purity, and verses 9–12 provide practical instruction on how to maintain right relationships with…

The Unbroken Line

Even the most unlikely situation can become a vehicle for God’s grace, as it did with Tamar. The story of Tamar as recorded in Genesis 38 is both sordid and tragic. Many readers consider the narrative indecent, and some even suggest it should never…

Redeemed

How the great faith of a Canaanite woman saved both her and her entire family. Few people hang skeletons on their front doors. But that’s exactly what the New Testament does. The book of Matthew opens with the genealogy of Jesus, which includes…

On the Judah Road

Sometimes we make one decision that changes our lives forever. That’s what Ruth did, and God blessed her. I’d like to tell you about a girl who grew up 30 centuries ago and made a decision so momentous it not only secured her place in history but…

What Grace Can Do

God is the author of history; it’s His story. In God’s sovereign plan, He “works all things according to the counsel of His will” (Eph. 1:11). That’s why some call God’s providence “the hand of God in the glove of history.”

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.

Noah’s Ark—Fact or Fiction?

About 20 years ago, the news media reported on the search for the remains of Noah’s ark. In an interview on the subject, a professor of Old Testament at a liberal Christian university quipped that…

Living in Moral Purity

1 Thessalonians 4:1–8: Some people find it difficult to live for Christ. But God has given us the Holy Spirit to help us, and we need to learn how to yield our lives to His control. In the final two chapters of 1 Thessalonians, the apostle Paul…

The New Testament and the Kinsmen of Jesus

Is the New Testament anti-Semitic? Unfortunately, many Gentiles have used it to vent their ingrained hatred and unholy wrath on the Jewish people. But if we read it…

How Long is Wrong?

Secularists and Bible critics often attack the Bible’s credibility due to its record of long lives before the Noahic flood. They claim such life spans are unrealistic and result from the incorporation of mythology into the biblical record.

Paul’s Encouraging Word

1 Thessalonians 3:6–13: Greatly relieved by Timothy’s encouraging report that the young Thessalonian church was not wavering in its faith despite persecution, the apostle Paul penned this letter to the Thessalonians.

Satisfying God’s Wrath

The biblical doctrine of propitiation is under attack in our culture. Adherents of postmodernism and even some people within the church have rejected biblical teachings they perceive to be too harsh—such as judgment, hell, and the doctrine of propitiation.

God’s Guardians

Biblical cherubim are heavenly creatures that act as God’s guardians. Archaeologists have discovered in Ancient Near Eastern (ANE) iconography and architecture cherubim-like figures that mirror their biblical function and help us visualize what they may look like.

A Minister’s Encouragement

1 Thessalonians 3:1–5: Birthing is not easy. That’s why it’s called labor. Paul felt personally responsible for the Thessalonian church, which he had birthed through his ministry. He cared for the babes in Christ there with the gentle love…

The Fall: Mythology or History?

The book of Genesis records the fall of man—the event where humanity rebelled against God and thus exchanged an innocent nature for a sinful nature, immortality for mortality. Archaeology reveals that…

A Minister’s Heart

1 Thessalonians 2:13–20: The testimony of a new believer in Christ causes other believers to rejoice. Imagine how overjoyed the apostle Paul was to learn of the Thessalonians’ steadfast faith despite their persecution. He rejoiced over them and longed to see them again.

Of Whom Does The Prophet Speak? Isaiah 53

For almost two millennia, Jewish and Christian scholars have debated the question whether the prophet was speaking of himself or of Israel who suffers innocently for the nations of the world. The Ethiopian eunuch…

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…

Sweet Beulah Land Isaiah 62

For centuries the Jewish people have waited for their Messiah to come and set up His Kingdom in Israel. At that time, Israel will receive the Land God promised them in perpetuity. That is when redeemed Israel will experience the fulfillment of…

Thy Kingdom Come Isaiah 65

In an age when Jesus is marginalized and the Bible grows more despised each day, it’s remarkable that anyone would know the Lord’s Prayer. But know it they do. It’s recited frequently at funerals—even at

Creation Calling

The people of Israel bequeathed to the world the revelation of God through the Bible. In this revelation, the creation account in Genesis takes center stage and is recorded as a matter of protohistory. It was an accepted fact…

Ministering With Affection

1 Thessalonians 2:7–12The church is a family. People enter it by being born into it spiritually. And, as in a family, all members have responsibilities; and their commitment to and love for one another are necessary to create…

Still Dreaming

To some, it may have seemed like an odd pairing. But not to Natan Sharansky. As he sat with Martin Luther King III on a Sunday morning in Jerusalem, he felt like they were colleagues sharing the same goals Being with King in Israel…

A Little Math Helps a Lot

It is often interesting to know the age of individuals at significant points in their lives. The Bible is not written in chronological order, and ferreting out that information often requires doing a little math. But the results can be fascinating.

Troubled Twins

Struggle defined Jacob and Esau’s relationship. It began in the womb, continued when Esau sold his birthright to Jacob, and culminated when Jacob stole Esau’s blessing. Though they were twins, the men were…

Tapestry of Grace

Why did so many people in the Bible do such bad things? Was it okay that God’s people had multiple wives?” a newly saved young mom asked me. I told her the Bible portrays humanity’s sinfulness honestly, but its record of such behavior does not…

Family Feud

God uses all types of circumstances to shape people. Sometimes they are favorable; other times they involve trouble, heartache, and grief. In the case of the patriarch Jacob, the Lord used 20 difficult years in Padan Aram, when Jacob worked for…

From Bethel to Bethel

Many people struggle through life. Every day brings them something new to worry about. Some have illnesses. Others have grief. The list of troubles that shape a person is endless. The patriarch Jacob knew all about trouble…

Jacob’s Goodbye

People often approach their so-called golden years with an unrealistic view of the future. They envision themselves healthy and enjoying carefree living and financial security. Often, however, the opposite is true. And they are unprepared for…

The Man Whom God Knighted

There is no other biblical personality that has been made more the butt of harsh and unfair criticism than that of the patriarch Jacob, one of the ancestors of the Jewish race. He is depicted as the cunning supplanter…

Worship in the New World

For most people, the world of the Bible is an unfamiliar, alien realm. But for Bible-believing Christians, it is like the pleasant home of well-known friends. Beginning where the Bible begins, with the book of Genesis, I’d like to take you…