- Its Addressees
- Its Purpose
- Its Theme
- Its Divisions
- Its Characteristics
- Its Value
- Its Writer
Before taking up the study of this important Epistle let writer and reader humbly bow before its Divine Inspirer, and earnestly seek from Him that preparation of heart which is needed to bring us into fellowship with that One whose person, offices, and glories are here so sublimely displayed. Let us personally and definitely seek the help of that blessed Spirit who has been given to the holy ones of God for the purpose of guiding them into all truth, and taking of the things of Christ to show unto them. In Luke 24:45 we learn that Christ opened the understanding of the disciples “that they might understand the Scriptures.” May He graciously do so with us, then the entrance of His words will “give light” (Ps. 119:130), and in His light we shall “see light.”
In this opening article we shall confine ourselves to things of an introductory character, things which it is necessary to weigh ere we take up the details of the Epistle. We shall consider its addressees, its purpose, its theme, its divisions, its characteristics, its value, and its writer. Before doing so, let us say that we expect to quote freely from other expositors, and where possible name them. In some cases we shall not be able to do so owing to the fact that extensive and long-distance traveling has obliged the writer to break up five libraries during the last twenty years. During those years he has read (and owned most of them) between thirty and forty commentaries on Hebrews, from which he has made notes in his Bible and taken helpful extracts for his own use when lecturing on this Epistle. As most of these commentaries have been disposed of, we can now do no more than make a general acknowledgement of help received from those written by Drs. John Owen, John Gill, Moses Stewart, Andrew Bonar, Griffith-Thomas, and Messrs. Pridham, Ridout, and Tucker. Let us now consider:—
- Its Addressees
In our English Bibles we find the words “The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews” as the address. Perhaps some of our readers are not aware that the titles found at the head of the different books of the Bible are not Divinely inspired, and therefore are not accounted canonical as are the contents. No doubt these titles were originated by the early scribes, when making copies of the original manuscripts—manuscripts, all traces of which have long since disappeared. In some instances these titles are unsatisfactory; in a few, grossly erroneous. As an example of the latter, we may refer to the final book of Scripture. Here the title is “The Revelation of St. John the Divine,” whereas the opening sentence of the book itself designates it “The Revelation of Jesus Christ!”
While treating in general with the titles of the books of Scripture, we may note that in almost all of the Epistles there is a Divinely-named addressee in the opening verses. But we may add, the contents of each Epistle are not to be restricted to those immediately and locally addressed. It is important that the young Christian should grasp this firmly, so that he may be fortified against ultra-dispensational teaching. There are some, claiming to have great light, who would rob the saints today of the Epistle of James because it is addressed to “the Twelve Tribes which are scattered abroad.” With equal propriety they might take from us the Epistles to the Philippians and Colossians because they were addressed only to the saints in those cities! The truth is that what Christ said to the apostles in Mark 13:37—“What I say unto you, I say unto all”—may well be applied to the whole of the Bible. All Scripture is needed by us (2 Tim. 3:16, 17), and all Scripture is God’s word to us. Note carefully that while at the beginning of his Epistle to Titus Paul only addresses Titus himself (Titus 1:4), yet at the close of this letter he expressly says, “Grace be with you all!” (Titus 3:15)
Ignoring then the man-made title at the head of our Epistle, we are at once struck by the absence of any Divinely-given one in the opening verses. Nevertheless, its first sentence enables us to identify at once those to whom the Epistle was originally sent: see Hebrews 1:1, 2. They to whom God spake through the prophets were the children of Israel, and it was also unto them He had spoken through His Son. In Hebrews 3:1, we find a word which, however, narrows the circle to which this Epistle was first sent. It was not the Jewish nation at large which was addressed, but the “holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling” among them. Clear confirmation of this is supplied in the Epistles of Peter. His first was addressed, locally, to “the elect sojourners of the Dispersion (Heb. 1:1—Gk., “eklektois parepidenois diasporas”). His second Epistle (see Hebrews 3:1) was addressed, locally and immediately, to the same company. Now in 2 Peter 3:15 the apostle makes specific reference to “our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you.” Thus all doubt is removed as to whom our Epistle was first sent.
The Epistle itself contains further details which serve to identify the addressees. That it was written to saints who were by no means young in the faith is clear from Hebrews 5:12. That it was sent to those who had suffered severe persecutions (cf. Acts 8:1) is plain from what we read in Hebrews 10:32. That it was addressed to a Christian community of considerable size is evident from Hebrews 13:24. From this last reference we are inclined to conclude that this Epistle was first delivered to the church in Jerusalem (Acts 11:22), or to the churches in Judea (Acts 9:31), copies of which would be made and forwarded to Jewish Christians in foreign lands. Thus, our Epistle was first addressed to those descendants of Abraham who, by grace, had believed on their Savior-Messiah.
- Its Purpose
This, in a word, was to instruct Jewish believers that Judaism had been superceded by Christianity. It must be borne in mind that a very considerable proportion of the earliest converts to Christ were Jews by natural birth, who continued to labor under Jewish prejudices. In his early Epistles the apostle had touched several times on this point, and sought to wean them from an undue and now untimely attachment to the Mosaic institutions. But only in this Epistle does he deal fully and systematically with the subject.
It is difficult for us to appreciate the position, at the time this Epistle was written, of those in Israel who had believed on the Lord Jesus. Unlike the Gentiles, who, for long centuries past, had lost all knowledge of the true God, and, in consequence, worshipped idols, the Jews had a Divine religion, and a Divinely-appointed place of worship. To be called upon to forsake these, which had been venerated by their fathers for over a thousand years, was to make a big demand upon them. It was natural that even those among them who had savingly believed on Christ should want to retain the forms and ceremonies amid which they had been brought up; the more so, seeing that the Temple still stood and the Levitical priesthood still functioned. An endeavor had been made to link Christianity on to Judaism, and as Acts 21:20 tells us there were many thousands of the early Jewish Christians who were “zealous of the law”—as the next verses clearly show, the ceremonial law.
“Instead of perceiving that under the new economy of things, there was neither Jew nor Gentile, but, that, without reference to external distinctions, all believers in Christ Jesus were now to live together in the closest bonds of spiritual attachment in holy society, they dreamed of the Gentiles being admitted to the participation of the Jewish Church through means of the Messiah, and, that its external economy was to remain unaltered to the end of the world” (Dr. J. Brown).
In addition to their natural prejudices, the temporal circumstances of the believing Jews became increasingly discouraging, yea, presented a sore temptation for them to abandon the profession of Christianity. Following the persecution spoken of in Acts 8:1, that eminent scholar, Adolph Saphir—himself a converted Jew—tells us: “Then arose another persecution of the believers, especially directed against the apostle Paul. Festus died about the year 63, and under the high priest Ananias, who favored the Sadducees, the Christian Hebrews were persecuted as transgressors of the law. Some of them were stoned to death; and though this extreme punishment could not be frequently inflicted by the Sanhedrim, they were able to subject their brethren to sufferings and reproaches which they felt keenly. It was a small thing that they confiscated their goods; but they banished them from the holy places. Hitherto they had enjoyed the privileges of devout Israelites: they could take part in the beautiful and God-appointed services of the sanctuary; but now they were treated as unclean and apostates. Unless they gave up faith in Jesus, and forsook the assembling of themselves together, they were not allowed to enter the Temple, they were banished from the altar, the sacrifice, the high priest, the house of Jehovah.
“We can scarcely realize the piercing sword which thus wounded their inmost heart. That by clinging to the Messiah they were to be severed from Messiah’s people, was, indeed, a great and perplexing trial; that for the hope of Israel’s glory they were banished from the place which God had chosen, and where the divine Presence was revealed, and the symbols and ordinances had been the joy and strength of their fathers; that they were to be no longer children of the covenant and of the house, but worse than Gentiles, excluded from the outer court, cut off from the commonwealth of Israel. This was indeed a sore and mysterious trial. Cleaving to the promises made unto their fathers, cherishing the hope in constant prayer that their nation would yet accept the Messiah, it was the severest test to which their faith could be put, when their loyalty to Jesus involved separation from all the sacred rights and privileges of Jerusalem.”
Thus the need for an authoritative, lucid, and systematic setting forth of the real relation of Christianity to Judaism was a pressing one. Satan would not miss the opportunity of seeking to persuade these Hebrews that their faith in Jesus of Nazareth was a mistake, a delusion, a sin. Were they right, while the vast majority of their brethren, according to the flesh, among whom were almost all the respected members of the Sanhedrim and the priesthood, wrong? Had God prospered them since they had become followers of the crucified One? or, did not their temporal circumstances evidence that He was most displeased with them? Moreover, the believing remnant of Israel had looked for a speedy return of Christ to the earth, but thirty years had now passed and He had not come! Yes, their situation was critical, and there was an urgent need that their faith should be strengthened, their understanding enlightened, and a fuller explanation be given them of Christianity in the light of the Old Testament. It was to meet this need that God, in His tender mercy, moved His servant to write this Epistle to them.
- Its Theme
This is, the super-abounding excellence of Christianity over Judaism. The sum and substance, the center and circumference, the light and life of Christianity, is Christ. Therefore, the method followed by the Holy Spirit in this Epistle, in developing its dominant theme, is to show the immeasurable superiority of Christ over all that had gone before. One by one the various objects in which the Jews boasted are taken up, and in the presence of the superlative glory of the Son of God they pale into utter insignificance. We are shown First, His superiority over the prophets, Hebrews 1:1–3. Second, His superiority over angels in Hebrews 1:4 to Hebrews 2:18. Third, His superiority over Moses in Hebrews 3:1–19. Fourth, His superiority over Joshua, Hebrews 4:1–13. Fifth, His superiority over Aaron in 5:14 to 7:18. Sixth, His superiority over the whole ritual of Judaism, which is developed by showing the surpassing excellency of the new covenant over the old, in Hebrews 7:19 to Hebrews 10:39. Seventh, His superiority over each and all of the Old Testament saints, in 11:1 to 12:3. In the Lord Jesus, Christians have the substance and reality, of which Judaism contained but the shadows and figures.
If the Lord permits us to go through this Epistle—Oh that He may come for us before—many illustrations and exemplifications of our definition of its theme will come before us. At the moment, we may note how frequently the comparative term “better” is used, thus showing the superiority of what we have in Christianity over what the saints of old had in Judaism. In Hebrews 1:4, Christ is “better than angels;” in Hebrews 7:19, mention is made of a “better hope;” in Hebrews 7:22, of a “better testament” or “covenant; in Hebrews 8:6, of “better promises;” in Hebrews 9:23, of “better sacrifices;” in Hebrews 10:34 of a “better substance;” in Hebrews 11:16, of a “better country;” in Hebrews 11:35, of a “better resurrection,” and in Hebrews 11:40, of the “better thing.” So, too, we may observe the seven great things mentioned therein, namely: the “great salvation” (Heb. 2:3), the “great High Priest” (Heb. 4:14), the “great Tabernacle” (Heb. 9:11), the “great fight of afflictions” (Heb. 10:32), the “great recompense” (Heb. 10:35), the “great cloud of witnesses” (Heb. 12:1), the “great Shepherd of the sheep” (Heb. 13:20).
Again; in contrast from what the believing Hebrews were called upon to give up, they were reminded of what they had gained. Note how frequently occurs the “we have”—a great High Priest (Heb. 4:14, 8:1), an anchor of the soul (Heb. 6:19), a better and enduring substance (Heb. 10:34), an altar (Heb. 13:10). Once more, we may note how these Hebrews were encouraged to forget the things which were behind and to press toward those which were before. All through this Epistle the forward look is prominent. In Hebrews 1:6 and Hebrews 2:5, mention is made of a “world (or ‘habitable earth’) to come;” in Hebrews 6:5, of an “age to come;” in Hebrews 8:10, of a “new covenant,” yet to be made with the house of Israel; in Hebrews 9:11 and Hebrews 10:1, of “good things” to come; in Hebrews 9:28, of a “salvation” to be revealed; in Hebrews 10:37, of the coming Redeemer, in Hebrews 11:14 and Hebrews 13:14, of a “city” yet to be manifested.
Throughout this Epistle great prominence is given to the Priesthood of Christ. The center of Judaism was its temple and the priesthood. Hence the Holy Spirit has here shown at length how that believers now have in Christ the substance of which these supplied but the shadows. The following passages should be carefully weighed:—Hebrews 2:17; 3:1; 4:14, 15; 5:6, 10; 6:20; 7:26; 8:1; 9:11; 10:21. “Though deprived of the temple, with its priesthood and altar and sacrifice, the apostle reminds the Hebrews, ‘we have’ the real and substantial temple, the great High Priest, the true altar, the one sacrifice, and with it all offerings, the true access into the very presence of the Most Holy” (Adolph Saphir).
- Its Divisions
These have been set forth so simply by Dr. J. Brown we cannot do better than quote from him: “The Epistle divides itself into two parts—the first, doctrinal; the second, practice—though the division is not so accurately (closely, A.W.P.) observed, that there are no duties enjoined or urged in the first part, and no doctrines stated in the second. The first is by far the larger division, reaching from the beginning of the Epistle down to the 18th verse of the 10th chapter. The second commences with the 19th verse of the 10th chapter, and extends to the end of the Epistle. The superiority of Christianity to Judaism is the great doctrine which the Epistle teaches; and constancy in the faith and profession of that religion, is the great duty which it enjoins.”
- Its Characteristics
In several noticeable respects Hebrews differs from all the other Epistles of the New Testament. The name of the writer is omitted, there is no opening salutation, the ones to whom it was first specifically and locally sent are not mentioned. On the positive side we may note, that the typical teachings of the Old Testament are expounded here at greater length than elsewhere; the priesthood of Christ is opened up, fully, only in this Epistle; the warnings against apostasy are more frequent and more solemn, and the calls to steadfastness and perseverance are more emphatic and numerous than in any other New Testament book. All of these things are accounted for by the fleshly nationality of those addressed, and the circumstances they were then in. Unless we keep these features steadily in mind, not a little in this Epistle will necessarily remain obscure and dark. Much of the language used, the figures employed, the references made, are only intelligible in the light of the Old Testament Scriptures, on which Judaism was based. Except this be kept before us, such expressions as “purged our sins” (Heb. 1:3), “there remaineth therefore a Sabbath-keeping to the people of God” (Heb. 4:9), “leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection” (Heb. 6:1), “our bodies washed with pure water” (Heb. 10:22), “we have an altar” (Heb. 13:10), etc., will remain unintelligible.
The first time that Christ is referred to in this Epistle it is as seated at “the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:3), for it is with a heavenly Christ that Christianity has to ‘do: note the other reference in this Epistle to the same fact—Hebrews 1:13, 8:1, 10:12, 12:2. In perfect accord with Hebrews 1:3, which strikes the keynote of the Epistle, in addition to the heavenly Christ, reference is made to “the heavenly calling” (Heb. 3:1), to “the heavenly gift” (Heb. 6:4), to “heavenly things” (Heb. 8:5), to “the heavenly Country” (Heb. 11:16), to the “heavenly Jerusalem” (Heb. 12:22), and to “the church of the First-born, whose names are written in Heaven” (Heb. 12:23). This emphasis is easily understood when we remember that our Epistle is addressed to those whose inheritance, religious relationships, and hopes, had been all earthly.
In Hebrews 13:22 there is a striking word which defines the character of this Epistle: “And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation, for I have written a letter unto you in few words.” Upon this verse Saphir has well said, “The central idea of the Epistle is the glory of the New Covenant, contrasted with and excelling the glory of the old covenant; and while this idea is developed in a systematic manner, yet the aim of the writer throughout is eminently and directly practical. Everywhere his object is exhortation. He never loses sight of the dangers and wants of his brethren. The application to conscience and life is never forgotten. It is rather a sermon than an exposition.… In all his arguments, in every doctrine, in every illustration, the central aim of the Epistle is kept prominent—the exhortation to steadfastness.” This is, indeed, a peculiarity about Hebrews. In his other Epistles, the apostle rarely breaks in on an argument to utter an admonition or exhortation; instead, his well-nigh uniform method was to open with doctrinal exposition, and then base upon this a series of practical exhortations. But the unusual situation which the Hebrews were in, and the peculiar love that the writer bore to them (cf. Romans 9:3) explains this exception.
What has just been said above accounts for what we find in Hebrews 11. Nowhere else in the Bible do we find such a lengthy and complete description of the life of faith. But here a whole chapter, the longest in the Epistle, is devoted to it. The reason for this is not far to seek. Brought up in a system with an elaborate ritual, whose worship was primarily a matter of outward symbols and ceremonies; tempted as few ever have been to walk by sight, there was a special and most pressing need for a clear and detailed analysis and description of what it means to “walk by faith.” Inasmuch as “example is better than precept,” better because more easily grasped and because making a more powerful appeal to the heart, the Holy Spirit saw well to develop this important theme by an appeal to the history of saints recorded in the Scriptures of the Hebrews.
But it is most important that we recognize the fullness of the term faith. As Saphir well said, “Throughout Scripture faith means more than trust in Jesus for personal safety. This is the central point, but we must take care that we understand it in a true and deep manner. Faith, as the apostle explains in the Epistle to the Corinthians, is looking at the things which are not seen and temporal: it is preferring spiritual and eternal realities to the things of time, sense, and sin; it is leaning on God and realizing His Word; it is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Thus every doctrine and illustration of this Epistle goes straight to the heart and conscience, appeals to life, addresses itself to faith. It is one continued and sustained fervent and intense appeal to cleave to Jesus, the High Priest; to the substantial, true, and real worship. A most urgent and loving exhortation to be steadfast, patient, hopeful, in the presence of God, in the love and sympathy of the Lord Jesus, in the fellowship of the great cloud of witnesses.”
Another prominent characteristic, concerning which there is no need for us now to enlarge upon, is the repeated warnings in this Epistle against apostasy. The most solemn and searching exhortations against the danger of falling away to be found anywhere in Holy Writ were given to these, Hebrews 2:1–3, most of the third and fourth chapters, Hebrews 6:4–6, 10:26–29, 12:15–17, will at once occur to all who are familiar with the contents of this Epistle. The occasion for and the need of them has already been pointed out: the disappointing of the hopes the Hebrews had cherished, the persecutions they were then enduring, and the Divine judgment which was on the very eve of falling on Jerusalem (in a.d. 70) made them imperative.
- Its Value
Let us mention first its evidential value. The Epistle is particularly rich in proofs of the verbal inspiration of Scripture. This is seen in the way the apostle refers to the Old Testament, and the use he makes of it. Mark how in Hebrews 1:5–9 when quoting from the Psalms, 2nd Samuel, Deuteronomy, he refers these utterances to God Himself—“He saith,” Hebrews 10:6–8. So in Hebrews 3:7 “the Holy Spirit saith.” Observe how when quoting from the Old Testament the apostle attentively weighs every word, and often builds a fundamental truth on a single expression. Let us cite a few from the many examples of this:
See how in Hebrews 2:8 the apostle argues from the authority of the word “all.” In Hebrews 2:11, when quoting from Psalm 22, he deduces the conclusion from the expression “My brethren” that the Son of God took to Himself human nature. Observe that in Hebrews 3:7–19 and Hebrews 4:2–11, when quoting from Psalm 95, he builds on the words “Today,” “I have sworn.” and “My rest;” also in Hebrews 3:2–6 how his conclusions there are drawn from the words “servant,” and “My house” in Numbers 12:7. His whole argument in chapter 8 is based on the word “new” found in Jeremiah 31:31. How blessedly he makes use of the words “My son” from Proverbs 3:11 in Hebrews 12:5–9! How emphatically he appeals in Hebrews 12:26, 27 to the words “once more” in Haggai 2:6, 7. Is it not abundantly clear that in the judgment of the apostle Paul the Scriptures were Divinely inspired even to the most minute expression?
The evangelical value of this Epistle has been recognized by Christians of all schools of thought. Here is set forth with sunlight clearness the preciousness, design, efficacy and effects of the great Sacrifice offered once and for all. Christ has Himself purged our sins (Heb. 1:3); He is able to save “to the uttermost” (Heb. 7:25); by His one offering He has “perfected forever the sanctified” (Heb. 10:14); by His blood a new and living way has been opened for His people into the Holiest (Heb. 10:19, 20): such are some of its wondrous declarations. Emphasizing the inestimable worth of His redemptive work, it is here that we read of an “eternal salvation” (Heb. 5:9), “eternal redemption” (Heb. 9:12), and of the “eternal inheritance” (Heb. 9:15).
The doctrinal importance of this book is exceeded by none, not even by the Roman Epistle. Where its teachings are believed, understood, and embodied in the life, ritualism and legalism (the two chief enemies of Christianity) receive their death blow. In no other book of Scripture are the sophistries and deceptions of Romanism so clearly and systematically exposed. So fully and pointedly are the errors of Popery refuted, it might well have been written since that satanic system became established. Well did one of the Puritans say, “God foreseeing what poisonous heresies would be hatched by the Papacy, prepared this antidote against them.”
But perhaps its chief distinctive value lies in its exposition of the Old Testament types. It is here we are taught that the Tabernacle and its furniture, the priesthood and their service, the various sacrifices and offerings, all pointed to the person, offices, and glories of the Lord Jesus. Of Israel’s priests it is said, “who served unto the example and shadow of heavenly things” (Heb. 8:5); the first tabernacle was “a figure for the time then present” (Heb. 9:9); the ceremonial law had “a shadow of good things to come” (Heb. 10:1). Melchizedec was a type of Christ (Heb. 7:15), Isaac was a figure of Him (Heb. 11:9), and so on. The details of these will be considered, D.V., in due course.
- Its Writer
This, we are fully assured, was the apostle Paul. Though he was distinctively and essentially the “apostle of the Gentiles” (Rom. 11:13), yet his ministry was by no means confined to them, as the book of Acts clearly shows. At the time of his apprehension the Lord said, “He is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My Name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel” (Acts 9:15). It is significant that Israel is there mentioned last, in harmony with the fact that his Epistle to the Hebrews was written after most of his others to Gentile saints. That this Epistle was written by Paul is clear from 2 Peter 3:15. Peter was writing to saved Jews as the opening verses of his first Epistle intimates; 2 Peter 3:1 informs us that this letter was addressed to the same people as his former one had been. Then, in Hebrews 10:15, he declares that his beloved brother Paul “also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you.” If the Epistle to the Hebrews be not that writing, where is it?
Before taking up the study of the opening verses of our Epistle, let us adduce further evidence that the apostle Paul was the writer of it. To begin with, note its Pauline characteristics. First, a numerical one. There is a striking parallel between his enumeration in Romans 8:35–39 and in Hebrews 12:18–24. In the former he draws up a list of the things which shall not separate the saint from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. If the reader will count them, he will find they are seventeen in number, but divided into a seven and a ten. The first seven are given in verse 35, the second ten in 8:38, 39. In Hebrews 12:18–23 he draws a contrast between Mount Sinai and Mount Sion, and he mentions seventeen details, and again the seventeen is divided into a seven and a ten. In Hebrews 10:18, 19, he names seven things which the saints are not “come unto”; while in Hebrews 10:22–24 he mentions ten things they have “come unto,” viz., to Mount Sion, the City of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, an innumerable company of angels, the general Assembly, the Church of the Firstborn, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator, to the Blood of sprinkling. Compare also Galatians 5:19–21, where the apostle, when describing the “works of the flesh,” enumerates seventeen. So far as we are aware, no other Epistle writer of the New Testament used this number seventeen in such a manner.
Again; the terms which he used. We single out one only. In Hebrews 2:10 he speaks of the many sons which Christ is bringing to glory. Now Paul is the only New Testament writer that employs the term “sons.” The others used a different Greek word meaning “children.”
For doctrinal parallelisms compare Romans 8:16, with Hebrews 10:15, and 1 Corinthians 3:13 with Hebrews 5:12–14, and who can doubt that the Holy Spirit used the same penman in both cases?
Note a devotional correspondency. In Hebrews 13:18, the writer of this Epistle says, “Pray for us.” In his other Epistles we find Paul, more than once, making a similar request; but no other Epistle-writer is placed on record as soliciting prayer!
Finally, it is to be noted that Timothy was the companion of the writer of this Epistle, see Hebrews 13:23. We know of no hint anywhere that Timothy was the fellow-worker of anyone else but the apostle Paul: that he companied with him is clear from 2 Corinthians 1:1, Colossians 1:1, 1 Thessalonians 3:1, 2.
In addition to the many Pauline characteristics stamped on this Epistle, we may further observe that it was written by one who had been in “bonds” (see Hebrews 10:34); by one who was now sundered from Jewish believers (Heb. 13:19)—would not this indicate that Paul wrote this Epistle while in his hired house in Rome (Acts 28:30)? Again; here is a striking fact, which will have more force with some readers than others: if the Epistle to the Hebrews was not written by the apostle Paul, then the New Testament contains only thirteen Epistles from his pen—a number which, in Scripture, is ever associated with evil! But if Hebrews was also written by him, this brings the total number of his Epistles to fourteen, i.e., 7 × 2—seven being the number of perfection and two of witness. Thus, a perfect witness was given by this beloved servant of the Lord to Jew and Gentile!
In the last place, there is one other evidence that the apostle Paul penned the Hebrews’ Epistle which is still more conclusive. In 2 Thessalonians 3:17, 18 we read, “The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every Epistle, so I write, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.” Now, if the reader will turn to the closing verse of each of the first thirteen Epistles of this apostle, it will be found that this “token” is given in each one. Then, if he will refer to the close of the Epistles of James, Peter, John and Jude, he will discover a noticeable absence of it. Thus it was a distinctive “token” of the apostle Paul. It served to identify his writings. When, then at the close of Hebrews we read “grace be with you all” the proof is conclusive and complete that none other than Paul’s hand originally wrote this Epistle.
Ere passing from this point a word should be added concerning the distinctive suitability of Paul as the penman of this Epistle. In our little work “Why Four Gospels” (pages 20–22), we have called attention to the wisdom of God displayed in the selection of the four men He employed to write the Gospels. In each one we may clearly perceive a special personal fitness for the task before him. Thus it is here. All through the Epistle of Hebrews Christ is presented as the glorified One in Heaven. Now, it was there the apostle Paul first saw the Lord (Acts 26:19); who, then, was so well suited, so experimentally equipped, to present to the Hebrews the rejected Messiah at God’s right hand! He had seen Him there; and with the exceptions of Stephen, and later, John of Patmos, he was the only one who had or has!
Should it be asked, Why is the apostle Paul’s name omitted from the preface to this Epistle? a threefold answer may be suggested. First, it is addressed, primarily, to converted “Hebrews,” and Paul was not characteristically or essentially an apostle to them: he was the apostle to the Gentiles. Second, the inscribing of his name at the beginning of this Epistle would, probably, have prejudiced many Jewish readers against it (cf. Acts 21:27, 28; 22:17–22). Third, the supreme purpose of the Epistle is to exalt Christ, and in this Epistle He is the “Apostle,” see Hebrews 3:1. Therefore the impropriety of Paul making mention of his own apostleship. But let us now turn to the contents of the Epistle:
Vv. 1–3. These verses are not only a preface, but they contain a summary of the doctrinal section of the Epistle. The keynote is struck at once. Here we are shown, briefly but conclusively, the superiority of Christianity over Judaism. The apostle introduces his theme in a manner least calculated to provoke the antipathy of his Jewish readers. He begins by acknowledging that Judaism was of Divine authority: it was God who had spoken to their fathers. “He confirms and seals the doctrine which was held by the Hebrews, that unto them had been committed the oracles of God; and that in the writings of Moses and the prophets they possessed the Scripture which could not be broken, in which God had displayed unto them His will” (Adolph Saphir). It is worthy of note that the Gospels open with a summary of Old Testament history from Abraham to David, from David to the Captivity, and from the Captivity to Jesus, the Immanuel predicted by Isaiah (see Matthew 1), and that the Epistles also begin by telling us that the Gospel expounded by the prophets had been “promised afore by God’s prophets in the Holy Scriptures” (Rom. 1:1–3).
Having affirmed that God had spoken to the fathers by the prophets, the apostle at once points out that God has now spoken to us by His Son. “The great object of the Epistle is to describe the contrast between the old and new covenants. But this contrast is based upon their unity. It is impossible for us rightly to understand the contrast unless we know first the resemblance. The new covenant is contrasted with the old covenant, not in the way in which the light of the knowledge of God is contrasted with the darkness and ignorance of heathenism, for the old covenant is also of God, and is therefore possessed of Divine glory. Beautiful is the night in which the moon and the stars of prophecy and types are shining; but when the sun arises then we forget the hours of watchfulness and expectancy, and in the clear and joyous light of day there is revealed to us the reality and substance of the eternal and heavenly sanctuary” (Adolph Saphir). Let us now examine these opening verses word by word.
“God” (v. 1). The particular reference is to the Father, as the words “by (His) Son” in v. 2 intimate. Yet the other Persons of the Trinity are not excluded. In Old Testament times the Godhead spoke by the Son, see Exodus 3:2, 5; 1 Corinthians 10:9; and by the Holy Spirit, see Acts 28:26, Hebrews 3:7, etc. Being a Trinity in Unity, one Person is often said to work by Another. A striking example of this is found in Genesis 19:24, where Jehovah the Son is said to have rained down fire from Jehovah the Father.
“God … spake.” (v. 1). Deity is not speechless. The true and living God, unlike the idols of the heathen, is no dumb Being. The God of Scripture, unlike that absolute and impersonal “first Cause” of philosophers and evolutionists, is not silent. At the beginning of earth’s history we find Him speaking: “God said, Let there be light: and there was light” (Genesis 1:4). “He spake and it was done, He commanded and it stood fast” (Psalm 33:9). To men He spake, and still speaks. For this we can never be sufficiently thankful.
“God who at sundry times … spake” (v. 1). Not once or twice, but many times, did God speak. The Greek for “at sundry times” literally means “by many parts,” which necessarily implies, some at one time, some at another. From Abraham to Malachi was a period of fifteen hundred years, and during that time God spake frequently: to some a few words, to others many. The apostle was here paving the way for making manifest the superiority of Christianity. The Divine revelation vouchsafed under the Mosaic economy was but fragmentary. The Jew desired to set Moses against Christ (John 9:28). The apostle acknowledges that God had spoken to Israel. But how? Had He communicated to them the fullness of His mind? Nay. The Old Testament revelation was but the refracted rays, not the light unbroken and complete. As illustrations of this we may refer to the gradual making known of the Divine character through His different titles, or to the prophesies concerning the coming Messiah. It was “here a little and there a little.”
“God who … in divers manner spake” (v. 1). The majority of the commentators regard these words as referring to the various ways in which God revealed Himself to the prophets—sometimes directly, at others indirectly—through an angel (Genesis 19:1, etc.); sometimes audibly, at others in dreams and visions. But, with Dr. J. Brown, we believe that the particular point here is how God spake to the fathers by the prophets, and not how He has made known His mind to the prophets themselves. “The revelation was sometimes communicated by typical representations and emblematical actions, sometimes in a continued parable, at other times by separate figures, at other times—though comparatively rarely—in plain explicit language. The revelation has sometimes the form of a narrative, at other times that of a prediction, at other times that of an argumentative discourse; sometimes it is given in prose, at other times in poetry” (Dr. J. B.). Thus we may see here an illustration of the sovereignty of God: He did not act uniformly or confine Himself to any one method of speaking to the fathers. He spake by way of promise and prediction, by types and symbols, by commandments and precepts, by warnings and exhortations.
“God … spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets” (v. 1). Thus the apostle sets his seal upon the Divine inspiration and authority of the Old Testament Scriptures. The “fathers” here goes right back to the beginning of God’s dealings with the Hebrews—cf. Luke 1:55. To “the fathers” God spake “by,” or more literally and precisely, “in” the prophets. This denotes that God possessed their hearts, controlled their minds, ordered their tongues, so that they spake not their own words, but His words—see 2 Peter 1:21. At times the prophets were themselves conscious of this, see 2 Samuel 23:2, etc. We may add that the word “prophet” signifies the mouthpiece of God: see Genesis 20:7, Exodus 7:1, John 4:19—she recognized God was speaking to her; Acts 3:21!
“God … hath in these last days spoken unto us by”—better “in (His) Son” (v. 2). “Having thus described the Jewish revelation he goes on to give an account of the Christians, and begins it in an antithetical form. The God who spake to ‘the fathers’ now speaks to ‘us.’ The God who spake in ‘times past,’ now speaks in these ‘last days.’ The God who spake ‘by the prophets,’ now speaks ‘by His Son.’ There is nothing in the description of the Gospel revelation that answers to the two phrases ‘at sundry times,’ and ‘in divers manners’; but the ideas which they necessarily suggest to the mind are, the completeness of the Gospel revelation compared with the imperfection of the Jewish, and the simplicity and clearness of the Gospel revelation compared with the multi-formity and obscurity of the Jewish” (Dr. J. Brown).
“This manifesting of God’s will by parts (‘at sundry times,’ etc.), is here (v. 1) noted by way of distinction and difference from God’s revealing His will under the Gospel; which was all at one time, viz., the times of His Son’s being on earth; for then the whole counsel of God was made known so far as was meet for the Church to know it while this world continueth. In this respect Christ said, ‘All things that I have heard of My Father, I have made known to you’ (John 15:15), and ‘the Comforter shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance whatsoever I have said unto you’ (John 14:26). The woman of Samaria understood this much: ‘When the Messiah is come, He will tell us all things’ (John 4:25). Objection: the apostles had many things revealed to them later. Answer: those were no other things than what Christ had revealed before, while He lived” (Dr. Gouge).
The central point of contrast here is between the Old Testament “prophets” and Christ “the Son.” Though the Holy Spirit has not here developed the details of this contrast, we can ourselves, by going back to the Old Testament, supply them. Mr. Saphir has strikingly summarized them under seven heads. “First, they were many: one succeeded another: they lived in different periods. Second, they gave out God’s revelation in ‘divers manners’—similitudes, visions, symbols. Each prophet had his peculiar gift and character. Their stature and capacity varied. Third, they were sinful men—Isaiah 6:5, Daniel 10:8. Fourth, they did not possess the Spirit constantly. The ‘word’ came to them, but they did not possess the Word! Fifth, they did not understand the heights and depths of their own message—1 Peter 1:10. Sixth, still less did they comprehend the whole of God’s revelation in Old Testament times. Seventh, like John the Baptist they had to testify ‘I am not the Light, I am only sent to bear witness of the Light.’ ” Now, the very opposite was the case in all these respects with the “Son.” Though the revelation which God gave the prophets is equally inspired and authoritative, yet that through His Son possesses a greater dignity and value, for He has revealed all the secrets of the Father’s heart, the fullness of His counsel, and the riches of His grace.
“In these last days” (v. 2). This expression is not to be taken absolutely, but is a contrast from “in time past.” The ministry of Christ marked “the last days.” That which the Holy Spirit was pressing upon the Hebrews was the finality of the Gospel revelation. Through the “prophets” God had given predictions and foreshadowings; in the Son, the fulfillment and substance. The “fullness of time” had come when God sent forth His Son (Gal. 4:4). He has nothing now in reserve. He has no further revelation to make. Christ is the final Spokesman of Deity. The written Word is now complete. In conclusion, note how Christ divides history: everything before pointed toward Him, everything since points back to Him; He is the Center of all God’s counsels.
“Spoken unto us” (v. 2). “The pronoun us refers directly to the Jews of that age, to which class belonged both the writer and his readers; but the statement is equally true in reference to all, in every succeeding age, to whom the word of this salvation comes. God, in the completed revelation of His will, respecting the salvation of men through Christ Jesus, is still speaking to all who have an opportunity of reading the New Testament or of hearing the Gospel” (Dr. J. Brown).
“In (His) Son” (v. 2). Christ is the “Son of God” in two respects. First, eternally so, as the second Person in the Trinity, very God of very God. Second, He is also the “Son as incarnate.” When He took upon Him sinless human nature He did not cease to be God, nor did He (as some blasphemously teach) “empty” Himself of His Divine attributes, which are inseparable from the Divine Being. “God was manifest in flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16). Before His Birth, God sent an angel to Mary, saying, “He (the Word become flesh) shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). The One born in Bethlehem’s manger was the same Divine Person as had subsisted from all eternity, though He had now taken unto Him another, an additional nature, the human. But so perfect is the union between the Divine and the human natures in Christ that, in some instances, the properties of the one are ascribed to the other: see John 3:13, Romans 5:10. It is in the second of these respects that our blessed Savior is viewed in our present passage—as the Mediator, the God-man, God “spake” in and through Him: see John 17:8, 14, etc.
Summarizing what has been said, we may note how that this opening sentence of our Epistle points a threefold contrast between the communications which God has made through Judaism and through Christianity. First, in their respective characters: the one was fragmentary and incomplete; the other perfect and final. Second, in the instruments which He employed: in the former, it was sinful men; in the latter, His holy Son. Third, in the periods selected: the one was “in time past,” the other in “these last days,” intimating that God has now fully expressed Himself, that He has nothing in reserve. But is there not here something deeper and more blessed? We believe there is. Let us endeavor to set it forth.
That which is central and vital in these opening verses is God speaking. A silent God is an unknown God: God “speaking” is God expressing, revealing Himself. All that we know or can now know of God is what He has revealed of Himself through His Word. But the opening verse of Hebrews presents a contrast between God’s “speakings.” To Israel He gave a revelation of Himself in “time past”; to them He also gave another in “these last days.” What, then, was the character of these two distinct revelations?
As we all know, God’s Word is divided into two main sections, the Old and the New Testaments. Now, it is instructive to note that the distinctive character in which God is revealed in them strikingly corresponds to those two words about Him recorded in the first Epistle of John; “God is light” (Heb. 1:5); “God is love” (Heb. 4:8). Mark attentively the order of these two statements which make known to us what God actually is in Himself.
“God is light.” It was in this character that He was revealed in Old Testament times. What is the very first thing we hear Him saying in His Word? This: “Let there be light” (Gen. 1:3). In what character does He appear to our fallen first parents in Genesis 3? As “light,” as the holy One, uncompromisingly judging sin. In what character was He revealed at the flood? As the “light,” unsparingly dealing with that which was evil. How ‘did He make Himself known to Israel at Sinai? As the One who is “light.” And so we might go on through the whole Old Testament. We do not say that His love was entirely unknown, but most assuredly it was not fully revealed. That which was characteristic of the revelation of the Divine character in the Mosaic dispensation was God as light.
“God is love.” It is in this character that He stands revealed in New Testament times. To make known His love. God sent forth the Son of His love. It is only in Christ that love is fully unveiled. Not that the light was absent; that could not be, seeing that He was and is God Himself. The love which he exercised and manifested was ever an holy love. But just as “God is light” was the characteristic revelation in Old Testament times, so “God is love” is characteristic of the New Testament revelation. In the final analysis, this is the contrast pointed to in the opening verses of Hebrews. In the prophets God “spoke” (revealed Himself) as light: the requirements, claims, demands of his holiness being insisted upon. But in the Son it is the sweet accents of love that we hear. It is the affections of God which the Son has expressed, appealing to ours; hence, it is by the heart, and not the head, that God can be known.
“God … hath in these last days spoken unto us by (His) Son.” It will be noted that the word “His” is in italics, which means there is no corresponding word in the original. But the omission of this word makes the sentence obscure; nor are we helped very much when we learn that the preposition “by” should be “in.” “God hath spoken in Son.” Yet really, this is not so obscure as at first it seems. Were a friend to tell you that he had visited a certain church, and that the preacher “spoke in Latin,” you would have no difficulty in understanding what he meant: “spoke in Latin would intimate that that particular language marked his utterance. Such is the thought here. “In Son” has reference to that which characterized God’s revelation. The thought of the contrast is that God, who of old had spoken prophet-wise, now speaks son-wise. The thought is similar to that expressed in 1 Timothy 3:16, “God was manifest in flesh,” the words “in flesh” referring to that which characterized the Divine manifestation. God was not manifested in intangible and invisible ether, nor did He appear in angelic form; but “in flesh.” So He has now spoken “in Son,” Son-wisely.
The whole revelation and manifestation of God is now in Christ; He alone reveals the Father’s heart. It is not only that Christ declared or delivered God’s message, but that He himself was and is God’s message. All that God has to say to us is in His Son: all His thoughts, counsels, promises, gifts, are to be found in the Lord Jesus. Take the perfect life of Christ, His deportment, His ways; that is God “speaking”—revealing Himself—to us. Take His miracles, revealing His tender compassion, displaying His mighty power; they are God “speaking” to us. Take His death, commending to us the love of God, in that while we were yet sinners, He died for us; that is God “speaking” to us. Take His resurrection, triumphing over the grave, vanquishing him who had the power of death, coming forth as the “first fruits of them that slept”—the “earnest” of the “harvest” to follow; that is God “speaking” to us.
That which is so blessed in this opening sentence of the Hebrews’ Epistle, and which it is so important that our hearts should lay hold of, is, that God has come out in an entirely new character—Son-wise. It is not so much that God speaks to us in the Son, but God addresses Himself to us in Son-like character, that is, in the character of love. God might have spoken “Almighty-wise,” as He did at Sinai; but that would have terrified and overwhelmed us. God might have spoken “Judge-wise,” as He will at the great white Throne; but that would have condemned us, and forever banished us from His presence. But, blessed be His name, He has spoken “Son-wise,” in the tenderest relation which He could possibly assume.
What was the announcement from Heaven as soon as the Son was revealed? “Unto you is
What was the announcement from Heaven as soon as the Son was revealed? “Unto you is born”—what? Not a “Judge,” or even a “Teacher,” but “a Savior, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). There we have the heart of God revealed.
It is the character in which God “spoke” or revealed Himself which this opening sentence of our Epistle emphasizes. He has appeared before us in the person of His beloved Son, to bring us a knowledge of the Divine affections, and this in order to engage our affections. In the very nature of the case there can be nothing higher. Through Christ, God is now fully, perfectly, finally revealed.
We lose much if we fail to keep constantly in mind the fact that Christ is God—”God manliest in flesh.” We profess to believe that He is Divine, the second person of the blessed Trinity. But it is to be feared that often we forget this when reading the record of His earthly life or when pondering the words which fell from His lips. How necessary it is when taking up a passage in the Gospels to realize that there it is God “speaking” to us “Son-wise,” God’s affections made known.
Take the familiar words of Luke 19:10, “The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which is lost.” But who was this “Son of man?” It was God “manifested in flesh”; it was God revealing Himself in His “Son” character. Thus, this well-known verse shows us the heart of God, yearning over His fallen creatures. Take, again, that precious word of Matthew 11:28, “Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” Those words were uttered by “Jesus of Nazareth,” yet they illustrate what is said in Hebrews 1:2: it was God “speaking” Son-wisely, i.e., bringing to poor sinners a knowledge of Divine affections. Let us re-read the four Gospels with this glorious truth before us.
Cannot we now discern the wondrous and blessed contrast pointed in the opening verses of Hebrews? How different are the two revelations which God has made of His character. In Old Testament times God “spoke,” revealed Himself, according to what He is as light; and this, in keeping with the fact that it was “in the prophets”—those who made known His mind. In New Testament times God has “spoken,” revealed Himself, according to what He is as love; and this, in keeping with the fact that it was “in Son” He is now made known. May we not only bow before Him in reverence and godly fear but may our hearts be drawn out to Him in fervent love and adoration.
by Arthur Walkington Pink
Please Support the Bible Translation Work for the Updated American Standard Version (UASV) http://www.uasvbible.org
THOUSANDS OF FREE BIBLE-BASED CHRISTIAN ARTICLES AND GROWING
CPH BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS
Andrews has written The Biblical Guide to Avoid the Pitfalls of Sexual Immorality. This tool is for both man and woman, husband and wife, all Christians who will marry one day and those who have been married for some time. The fallen world that we live in is fertile ground for immorality. The grass always seems greener somewhere away from one’s own spouse. Adultery is something everyone should avoid. It destroys more than just marriages, it destroys a person’s life, family and most importantly their relationship with God. Such is the danger of adultery that the Bible strongly warns every man and woman against it. The world that we currently live in is very vile, and sexual morality is no longer a quality that is valued. What can Christians do to stay safe in such an influential world that caters to the fallen flesh? What can help the husband and wife relationship to flourish as they cultivate a love that will survive the immoral world that surrounds them? We might have thought that a book, like God’s Word that is 2,000-3,500 years old would be out of date on such modern issues, but the Bible is ever applicable. The Biblical Guide to Avoid the Pitfalls of Sexual Immorality will give us the biblical answers that we need.
WHAT IS A MIRACLE? It is an event that goes beyond all known human and natural powers and is generally attributed to some supernatural power. Why should YOU be interested in miracles?
“Miracles, by definition, violate the principles of science.”—RICHARD DAWKINS.
“Belief in miracles is entirely rational. Far from being an embarrassment to religious faith, they are signs of God’s love for, and continuing involvement in, creation.”—ROBERT A. LARMER, PROFESSOR OF PHILOSOPHY.
SHOULD YOU believe in miracles? As we can see from the above quotations, opinions vary considerably. But how could you convincingly answer that question?
Some of YOU may immediately answer, “Yes, I believe.” Others might say, “No, I don’t believe.” Then, there are some who may say, “I don’t know, and I really don’t care! Miracles don’t happen in my life!” Really, why should YOU be interested in miracles? The Bible promises its readers that in the future some miracles far beyond all ever recorded or experienced is going to occur and will affect every living person on earth. Therefore, would it not be worth some of your time and energy to find out whether those promises are reliable? What does God’s Word really teach about miracles of Bible times, after that, our day, and the future?
Andrews, an author of over 100 books, has chosen the 40 most beneficial Proverbs, to give the readers an abundance of wise, inspired counsel to help them acquire understanding and safeguard their heart, “for out of it are the sources of life.” (4:23) GODLY WISDOM SPEAKS sets things straight by turning the readers to Almighty God. Each Proverb is dealt with individually, giving the readers easy to understand access to what the original language really means. This gives the readers what the inspired author meant by the words that he used. After this, the reader is given practical guidance on how those words can be applied for maneuvering through life today. GODLY WISDOM with its instruction and counsel never go out of date.
Yes, God will be pleased to give you strength. He even gives “extraordinary power” to those who are serving him. (2 Cor. 4:7) Do you not feel drawn to this powerful Almighty God, who uses his power in such kind and principled ways? God is certainly a “shield for all those who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 18:30) You understand that he does not use his power to protect you from all tragedy now. He does, however, always use his protective power to ensure the outworking of his will and purpose. In the long run, his doing so is in your best interests. Andrews shares a profound truth of how you too can have a share in the power of God. With THE POWER OF GOD as your guide, you will discover your strengths and abilities that will make you steadfast in your walk with God. You can choose to rise to a new level and invite God’s power by focusing on The Word That Will Change Your Life Today.
Herein Andrews will answer the “why.” He will address whether God is responsible for the suffering we see. He will also delve into whether God’s foreknowledge is compatible with our having free will. He will consider how we can objectively view Bible evidence, as he answers why an almighty, loving and just God would allow bad things to happen to good people. Will there ever be an end to the suffering? He will explain why life is so unfair and does God step in and solve our every problem because we are faithful? He will also discuss how the work of the Holy Spirit and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit should be understood in the light of wickedness. Lastly, Andrews will also offer biblical counsel on how we can cope when any tragedy strikes, …
GOD knows best. Nobody surpasses him in thought, word, or action. As our Creator, he is aware of our needs and supplies them abundantly. He certainly knows how to instruct us. And if we apply divine teaching, we benefit ourselves and enjoy true happiness. Centuries ago, the psalmist David petitioned God: “Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me” (Psalm 25:4-5) God did this for David, and surely He can answer such a prayer for His present-day servants.
Whom do we lean upon when facing distressing situations, making important decisions, or resisting temptations? With good reason, the Bible admonishes us: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways know him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Prov. 3:5-6) Note the expression “do not lean upon your own understanding.” It is followed by “In all your ways know him.” God is the One with a truly sound mind. Thus, it follows that whenever we are faced with a decision, we need to turn to the Bible to see what God’s view is. This is how we acquire the mind of Christ.
Yes, God will be pleased to give you strength. He even gives “extraordinary power” to those who are serving him. (2 Cor. 4:7) Do you not feel drawn to this powerful Almighty God, who uses his power in such kind and principled ways? God is certainly a “shield for all those who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 18:30) You understand that he does not use his power to protect you from all tragedy now. He does, however, always use his protective power to ensure the outworking of his will and purpose. In the long run, his doing so is in your best interests. Andrews shares a profound truth …
All of us will go through difficult times that we may not fully understand. The apostle Paul wrote, “in the last days difficult times will come.” (2 Tim. 3:1) Those difficulties are part of the human imperfection (Rom. 5:12) and living in a fallen world that is ruled by Satan (2 Cor. 4:3-4). But when we find ourselves in such a place, it’s crucial that we realize God has given us a way out. (1 Cor. 10:13) Edward Andrews writes that if we remain steadfast in our faith and apply God’s Word correctly when we go through difficult times, we will not only grow spiritually, but we will …
Why should you be interested in the prophecy recorded by Daniel in chapter 11 of the book that bears his name? The King of the North and the King of the South of Daniel are locked in an all-out conflict for domination as a world power. As the centuries pass, turning into millenniums, first one, then the other, gains domination over the other. At times, one king rules as a world power while the other suffers destruction, and there are stretches of time where there is no conflict. But then another battle abruptly erupts, and the conflict begins anew. Who is the current King of the North and the King of the South? Who are the seven kings or kingdoms of Bible history in Revelation chapter 17? We are living in the last days that the apostle Paul spoke of, when he said, “difficult times will come.” (2 Tim. 3:1-7) How close we are to the end of these last days, wherein we will enter into the Great Tribulation that Jesus Christ spoke of (Matt. 24:21), no one can know for a certainty. However, Jesus and the New Testament authors have helped to understand the signs of the times and …
The theme of Andrews’ new book is “YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.” As a Christian, you touch the lives of other people, wherein you can make a positive difference. Men and women of ancient times such as David, Nehemiah, Deborah, Esther, and the apostle Paul had a positive influence on others by caring deeply for them, maintaining courageous faith, and displaying a mild, spiritual attitude. Christians are a special people. They are also very strong and courageous for taking on such an amazingly great responsibility. But if you can make a difference, be it with ten others or just one, you will have done what Jesus asked of you, and there is no more beautiful feeling. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE with joy.
Many have successfully conquered bad habits and addictions by applying suggestions found in the Bible and by seeking help from God through prayer. You simply cannot develop good habits and kick all your bad ones overnight. See how to establish priorities. Make sure that your new habits work for you instead of your old bad habits against you. It is one thing to strip off the old habits, yet quite another to keep them off. How can we succeed in doing both, no matter how deeply we may have been involved in bad habitual practices?
It may seem to almost all of us that we are either entering into a difficult time, living in one, or just getting over one and that we face one problem after another. This difficulty may be the loss of a loved one in death or a severe marriage issue, a grave illness, the lack of a job, or simply the stress of daily life. As Christians, we need to understand that God’s Word will carry us through these times, as we maintain our integrity whether in the face of tremendous trials or the tension of everyday life. We are far better facing these hurdles of life with the help of God, who can make the worst circumstances much better and more bearable.
The world that you live in today has many real reasons to be fearful. Many are addicted to drugs, alcohol, bringing violence into even the safest communities. Terrorism has plagued the world for more than a decade now. Bullying in schools has caused many teen suicides. The divorce rate even in Christian households is on the rise. Lack of economic opportunity and unemployment is prevalent everywhere. Our safety, security, and well-being are in danger at all times. We now live in a prison of fear to even come outside the protection of our locked doors at home. Imagine living where all these things existed, but you could go about your daily life untouched by fear and anxiety. What if you could be courageous and strong through your faith in these last days? What if you could live by faith not fear? What if insight into God’s Word could remove your fear, anxiety, and dread? Imagine a life of calmness, peace, unconcern, confidence, comfort, hope, and faith. Are you able to picture a life without fear? It is possible.
John 3:16 is one of the most widely quoted verses from the Christian Bible. It has also been called the “Gospel in a nutshell,” because it is considered a summary of the central theme of traditional Christianity. Martin Luther called John 3:16 “The heart of the Bible, the Gospel in miniature.” The Father had sent his Son to earth to be born as a human baby. Doing this meant that for over three decades, his Son was susceptible to the same pains and suffering as the rest of humankind, ending in the most gruesome torture and execution imaginable. The Father watched the divine human child Jesus grow into a perfect man. He watched as John the Baptist baptized the Son, where the Father said from heaven, “This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matt. 3:17) The Father watched on as the Son faithfully carried out his will, fulfilling all of the prophecies, which certainly pleased the Father.–John 5:36; 17:4. …
This commentary volume is part of a series by Christian Publishing House (CPH) that covers all of the sixty-six books of the Bible. These volumes are a study tool for the pastor, small group biblical studies leader, or the churchgoer. The primary purpose of studying the Bible is to learn about God and his personal revelation, allowing it to change our lives by drawing closer to God. The Book of James volume is written in a style that is easy to understand. The Bible can be difficult and complex at times. Our effort herein is to make it easier to read and understand, while also accurately communicating truth. CPH New Testament Commentary will convey the meaning of the verses in the book of Philippians. In addition, we will also cover the Bible background, the custom and culture of the times, as well as Bible difficulties. …
SECTION 1 Surviving Sexual Desires and Love will cover such subjects as What Is Wrong with Flirting, The Pornography Deception, Peer Pressure to Have Sexual Relations, Coping With Constant Sexual Thoughts, Fully Understanding Sexting, Is Oral Sex Really Sex, …SECTION 2 Surviving My Friends will cover such subjects as Dealing with Loneliness, Where Do I Fit In, Why I Struggle with Having Friends, …SECTION 3 Surviving the Family will cover such subjects as Appreciating the House Rules, Getting Along with My Brothers and Sisters, How Do I Find Privacy, … SECTION 4 Surviving School will cover such subjects as How Do I Deal With Bullies, How Can I Cope With School When I Hate It, … SECTION 5 Surviving Who I Am will cover such subjects as Why Do I Procrastinate, … SECTION 6 Surviving Recreation will cover such subjects as … SECTION 7 Surviving My Health will cover such subjects as How Can I Overcome My Depression, …
Who should read THIRTEEN REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD KEEP LIVING? Anyone who is struggling in their walk as a young person. Anyone who has a friend who is having difficulty handling or coping with their young life, so you can offer them the help they need. Any parent who has young ones. And grade school, junior high or high school that wants to provide an, in touch, anti-suicide message to their students. … Many youths say that they would never dream of killing themselves. Still, they all have the deep feeling that there are no reasons for going on with their lives. Some have even hoped that some sort of accident would take their pain away for them. They view death as a release, a way out, a friend, not their enemy. …
The purpose of Waging War is to guide the youth of this program from start to finish in their therapeutic efforts to gain insight into their patterns of thinking and beliefs that have led to the current outcomes in their life thus far and enable them to change the path which they are on. Waging War is a guide to start the youth with the most basic information and work pages to the culmination of all of the facts, scripture, and their newly gained insight to offer a more clear picture of where they are and how to change their lives for the better. Every chapter will have work pages that Freeman has used and had found to be useful in therapy, but most importantly, this workbook will teach the Word to a population that does not hear it in its’ most correct form. What is the significance of controlling ones’ thoughts and how does that apply to you? Doubts, fears, and insecurities come from somewhere, especially when they are pervasive. Understanding this idea will help one to fight those thoughts and free them from the shackles their mind puts around their hearts, preventing them from achieving their dreams and the plans God had intended for them when they were created.
There are many reasons the Christian view of humanity is very important. The Christian view of humanity believes that humans were created in the image of God. We will look at the biblical view of humanity. We are going to look at the nature of man, the freedom of man, the personality of man, the fall of man, the nature of sin and death, as well as why God has allowed sin to enter into the world, as well as all of the wickedness and suffering that came with it. Andrews will answer the following questions and far more. How does the Bible explain and describe the creation of man and woman? Why is it imperative that we understand our fallen condition? What does it mean to be made in the image of God? …
In FOR AS I THINK IN MY HEART – SO I AM, Edward D. Andrews offers practical and biblical insights on a host of Christian spiritual growth struggles, from the challenge of forgiveness to eating disorders, anger, alcoholism, depression, anxiety, pornography, masturbation, same-sex attraction, and many others. Based on Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV): “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he,” Andrews’ text works from the position that if we can change the way that we think, we can alter the way we feel, which will modify the way we behave. FOR AS I THINK IN MY HEART – SO I AM offers far more than self-help to dozens of spiritual struggles, personal difficulties, and mental disorders. It will benefit Christian and non-Christian alike. The Scriptural advice and counsel coupled with cognitive behavioral therapy will be helpful even if every chapter is not one of your struggles. For As I Think in My Heart enables readers to examine the lies and half-truths …
THERE IS A GENUINE HAPPINESS, contentment, and joy, which come from reading, studying and applying God’s Word. This is true because the Scriptures offer us guidance and direction that aids us in living a life that coincides with our existence as a creation of Almighty God. For example, we have a moral law that was written on our heart. (Rom. 2:14-15) However, at the same time, we have a warring against the law of our mind and taking us captive in the law of sin, which is in our members. (Rom. 7:21-25) When we live by the moral law, it brings us joy, when we live by the law of sin; it brings about distress, anxiety, regrets to both mind and heart, creating a conflict between our two natures. In our study of the Bible, we can interact with a living God who wants a personal relationship with us. And in APPLYING GOD’S WORD MORE FULLY, we will learn how to engage His words like never before. Andrews helps his readers …
THERE IS ONE MAJOR DIFFERENCE between Christian living books by Andrews and those by others. Generally speaking, his books are filled with Scripture and offer its readers what the Bible authors meant by what they penned. In this publication, it is really God’s Word offering the counsel, which is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17) From the moment that Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, humans have been brought forth in sin, having become more and more mentally bent toward evil, having developed a heart (i.e., inner person) that is treacherous, and unknowable to them, with sin’s law dwelling within them. Sadly, many of us within the church have not been fully informed …
A clean conscience brings us inner peace, calmness, and profound joy that is seldom found in this world under the imperfection of fallen flesh that is catered to by Satan, the god of the world. Many who were formerly living in sin and have now turned their life over to God, they now know this amazing relief and are able today to hold a good and clean conscience as they carry out the will of the Father. WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD, has been written to help its readers to find that same joy, to have and maintain a good, clean conscience in their lives. Of course, it is incapable of covering every detail that one would need to consider and apply in their lives …
This book is primarily for WIVES, but husbands will greatly benefit from it as well. WIVES will learn to use God’s Word to construct a solid and happy marriage. The Creator of the family gives the very best advice. Many have been so eager to read this new publication: WIVES BE SUBJECT TO YOUR HUSBANDS. It offers wives the best insights into a happy marriage, by way of using God’s Word as the foundational guide, along with Andrews’ insights. WIVES learn that marriage is a gift from God. WIVEStake in information that will help them survive the first year of marriage. WIVES will be able to make Christian marriage a success. WIVES will maintain an honorable marriage. WIVES will see how to submit correctly to Christ’s headship. WIVES will learn how to strengthen their marriage through good communication. …
This book is primarily for HUSBANDS, but wives will greatly benefit from it as well. HUSBANDS will learn to use God’s Word to construct a solid and happy marriage. The Creator of the family gives the very best advice. Many have been so eager to read this new publication: HUSBANDS LOVE YOUR WIVES. It offers husbands the best insights into a happy marriage, by way of using God’s Word as the foundational guide, along with Andrews’ insights. HUSBANDS learn that marriage is a gift from God. HUSBANDS take in information that will help them survive the first year of marriage. HUSBANDS will be able to make Christian marriage a success. HUSBANDS will maintain an honorable marriage. …
Technological and societal change is all around us. What does the future hold? Trying to predict the future is difficult, but we can get a clue from the social and technological trends in our society. The chapters in this book provide a framework as Christians explore the uncharted territory in our world of technology and social change. Some of the questions that Anderson will answer are: What are the technological challenges of the 21st century? How should we think about the new philosophies like transhumanism? Should we be concerned about big data? What about our privacy in a world where government and corporations have some much information about us? How should we think about a world experiencing exponential growth in data and knowledge? What social trends are affecting baby boomers, baby busters, and millennials?
Government affects our daily lives, and Christians need to think about how to apply biblical principles to politics and government. This book provides an overview of the biblical principles relating to what the apostle Paul calls “governing authorities” (i.e., government) with specific chapters dealing with the founding principles of the American government. This includes an examination of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Federalist Papers. The thirteen chapters in this book not only look at the broad founding principles but also provide an in-depth look at other important political and governmental issues. One section explains the history and application of church and state issues. Another section describes aspects of political debate and discourse. A final section provides a brief overview of the Christian heritage of this nation that was important in the founding of this country and the framing of our founding documents.
Economics affects our daily lives, and Christians need to think about how to apply biblical principles to money, investment, borrowing, and spending. They also need to understand the free enterprise system and know how to defend capitalism. Chapters in this book not only look at broad economic principles, but a section of the book is devoted to the challenges we face in the 21st century from globalization and tough economic times. A section of the book also provides an in-depth look at other important social and economic issues (gambling, welfare) that we face every day …
Do you desire to follow Jesus Christ and transform the culture around you? Are you sure you know what it means to be a disciple and follow a dangerous revolutionary who often comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable? Jesus Christ is not the mild status quo rabbi you may have been taught in your local church. He is dangerous and anyone who follows him is on a dangerous journey. The demands he places upon you and the challenges you will encounter are necessary on the journey. The journey with Jesus Christ is not for the fainthearted. If you are really serious about joining Jesus Christ in the transformation of the culture around you, here is a raw outlook on what to expect on this DANGEROUS JOURNEY.
Each of the twenty-five chapters in the POWER THROUGH PRAYER provides helpful methods and suggestions for growing and improving your prayer life with God through the power of prayer. So, what can we expect if we make prayer a part of our life? Prayer can give you a peace of mind. Prayer can comfort and strength when facing trials. Prayer can help us make better life choices. The Bible says: “If any of you lacks wisdom [especially in dealing with trials], let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (James 1:5) Prayer can help to avoid temptation. Prayer is the path yo forgiveness of sins. Your prayers can help others. You will receive encouragement when your prayers are answered.
DOZENS OF QUESTIONS WILL BE ANSWERED: Why is prayer necessary? What must we do to be heard by God? How does God answer our prayers? Does God listen to all prayers? Does God hear everyone’s prayers? What may we pray about? Does the Father truly grant everything we ask for? What kind of prayers would the Father reject? How long should our prayers be? How often should we pray? Why should we say “Amen” at the end of a prayer? Must we assume a special position or posture when praying? There are far more than this asked and answered.
What forms of prayer do you personally need to offer more often? Who benefits when you pray for others? Why is it important to pray regularly? Why should true Christians pray continually? To whom should we pray, and how? What are proper subjects for prayer? When should you pray? Does God listen to all prayers? Whose prayers is God willing to hear? What could make a person’s prayers unacceptable to God? When Jesus says, “whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive if you have faith,” an absolute guarantee that we will receive it? HOW TO PRAY by Torrey and Andrews is a spiritual gem that will answer all of these questions and far more. HOW TO PRAY is a practical guidebook covers the how, when, and most importantly, the way of praying. An excellent devotional resource for any Christian library.
Christian Apologetics and Evangelism
Was the Gospel of Mark Written First? Were the Gospel Writers Plagiarists? What is the Q Document? What about Document Q? Critical Bible scholars have assumed that Matthew and Luke used the book of Mark to compile their Gospels and that they consulted a supplementary source, a document the scholars call Q from the German Quelle, or source. From the close of the first century A.D. to the 18th century, the reliability of the Gospels was never really brought into question. However, once we enter the so-called period of enlightenment, especially from the 19th century onward, some critical Bible scholars viewed the Gospels not as the inspired, inerrant Word of God but rather as the word of man, and a jumbled word at that. In addition, they determined that the Gospels were not written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, saying the Gospels were written after the apostles, denying that the writers of the Gospels had any firsthand knowledge of Jesus; therefore, for these Bible critics such men were unable to offer a record of reliable history. Moreover, these critical Bible scholars came to the conclusion that the similarities in structure and content in the synoptic (similar view) Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), suggests that the evangelists copied extensively from one other. Further, the critical Bible scholars have rejected that the miracles of Jesus and his resurrection ever occurred as recorded in the Gospels. Lastly, some have even gone so far as to reject the historicity of Jesus himself.
Inside of some Christians unbeknownst to their family, friends or the church, they are screaming, “I doubt, I doubt, I have very grave doubts!” Ours is an age of doubt. Skepticism has become fashionable. We are urged to question everything: especially the existence of God and the truthfulness of his Word, the Bible. A SUBSTANTIAL PORTION of REASONABLE FAITH is on healing for the elements of emotional doubt. However, much attention is given to more evidenced-based chapters in our pursuit of overcoming any fears or doubts that we may have or that may creep up on us in the future.
How can you improve your effectiveness as teachers? Essentially, it is by imitating JESUS CHRIST The Great Teacher You may wonder, ‘But how can we imitate Jesus?’ ‘He was the perfect, divine, Son of God.’ Admittedly, you cannot be a perfect teacher. Nevertheless, regardless of your abilities, you can do your best to imitate the way Jesus taught. JESUS CHRIST The Great Teacher will discuss how you can employ all of his teaching methods. What a privilege it is to be a teacher of God’s Word and to share spiritual values that can have long-lasting benefits!
How can you improve your effectiveness as teachers? Essentially, it is by imitating THE APOSTLE PAUL: The Preacher, Teacher, Apologist. You may wonder, ‘But how can we imitate Paul?’ ‘He was an inspired author, who served as an apostle, given miraculous powers.’ Admittedly, Paul likely accomplished more than any other imperfect human. Nevertheless, regardless of your abilities, you can do your best to imitate the way Paul taught. THE APOSTLE PAUL: The Preacher, Teacher, Apologist will discuss how you can employ all of his teaching methods. When it comes to teaching, genuine Christians have a special responsibility. We are commanded to “make disciples of all nations . . . , teaching them.” (Matt. 24:14; 28:19-20; Ac 1:8)
How true is the Old Testament? For over two centuries Biblical scholars have held to the so-called documentary hypothesis, namely, that Genesis – Deuteronomy was not authored by Moses, but rather by several writers, some of whom lived centuries after Moses’ time. How have many scholars questioned the writership of Isaiah, and are they correct? When did skepticism regarding the writership of Isaiah begin, and how did it spread? What dissecting of the book of Isaiah has taken place? When did criticism of the book of Daniel begin, and what fueled similar criticism in more recent centuries? What charges are sometimes made regarding the history in Daniel? Why is the question of the authenticity of the books of Moses, the Book of Isaiah and the Book of Daniel an important one? What evidence is there to show that the books of Moses, the Book of Isaiah and the Book of Daniel is authentic and true? Do these critics have grounds for challenging these Bible author’s authenticity and historical truthfulness? Why is it important to discuss whether Old Testament Aurhoriship is authentic and true or not?
Who wrote the first five books of the Bible? Was it Moses or was it others centuries later? If Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible, then how was his own death and burial written in Deuteronomy Chapter 34? Many mainstream Bible scholars argue that Moses could not have written the Pentateuch since he likely existed many centuries earlier than the development of the Hebrew language. When was the origin of the Hebrew language? Popular scholarship says that if Moses had written the Pentateuch, he would have written in the Egyptian language, not the Hebrew. Moreover, most of the Israelites and other people of the sixteenth century B.C.E. were illiteral, so who could have written the Torah, and for whom would it be written because the people of that period did not read?
Finally, analysis of the first five books demonstrates multiple authors, not just one, which explains the many discrepancies. Multiple authors also explain the many cases of telling of the same story twice, making the same events appear to happen more than once. The modern mainstream scholarship would argue that within the Pentateuch we see such things as preferences for certain words, differences in vocabulary, reoccurring expressions in Deuteronomy that are not found in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, all evidence for their case for multiple authors.
What does the evidence say? What does archaeology, linguistic analysis, historical studies, textual analysis, and insights from Egyptologists tell us? Again, who wrote the first five books of the Bible? Was it Moses or was it others centuries later? Andrews offers his readers an objective view of the evidence.
Agabus is a mysterious prophetic figure that appears only twice in the book of Acts. Though his role is minor, he is a significant figure in a great debate between cessationists and continualists. On one side are those who believe that the gift of prophecy is on par with the inspired Scriptures, infallible, and has ceased. On the other side are those who define it as fallible and non-revelatory speech that continues today in the life of the church. Proponents of both camps attempt to claim Agabus as an illustration of their convictions. This study defends the position that Agabus’ prophecies are true in every detail. Beginning with a survey of major figures in the debate, the author conducts an exegetical analysis of passages where Agabus appears in defense of the infallible view.
Islam is making a significant mark on our world. It is perhaps the fastest-growing religion in the world. It has become a major obstacle to Christian missions. And Muslim terrorists threaten the West and modern democracies. What is the history of Islam? What do Muslims believe? Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God? Why do we have this clash of civilizations? Is sharia law a threat to modern democratic values? How can we fight terrorists in the 21st century? These are significant questions that deserve thoughtful answers. This book provides practical, biblical answers so Christians can understand Islam, witness to their Muslim friends, and support efforts by the government to protect all of us from terrorism.
IS THE QURAN THE WORD OF GOD? Is Islam the One True Faith? This book covers the worldview, practices, and history of Islam and the Quran. This book is designed as an apologetic evangelistic tool for Christians, as they come across Muslims in their daily lives, as well as to inform them, as a protection again the misleading media. The non-Muslims need to hear these truths about Islam and the Quran so they can have an accurate understanding of the Muslim mindset that leads to their actions. Islam is the second largest religion in the world. Radical Islam has taken the world by storm, and the “fake media” has genuinely misled their audience for the sake of political correctness. This book is not a dogmatic attack on Islam and the Quran but rather an uncovering of the lies and describing of the truths. The reader will be introduced to the most helpful way of viewing the evidence objectively. We will answer the question of whether the Quran is a literary miracle, as well as is there evidence that the Quran is inspired by God, along with is the Quran harmonious and consistent, and is the Quran from God or man? We will also examine Islamic teachings, discuss the need to search for the truth, as well as identify the book of truth. We will look at how Islam views the Bible. Finally, we will take up the subjects of Shariah Law, the rise of radical Islam, Islamic eschatology, and how to effectively witness to Muslims.
The average Christian knows somewhat how dangerous radical Islam is because of the regular media coverage of beheadings of Christians, Jews, and even young little children, not to mention Muslims with which they disagree. However, the average Christian does not know their true beliefs, just how many there are, to the extent they will go to carry out these beliefs. Daily we find Islamic commentators on the TV and radio, offering up misleading information, quoting certain portions of the Quran while leaving other parts out. When considering Islamic beliefs, other Islamic writings must be considered, like the Hadith or Sunnah, and the Shariah, or canon law. While Islam, in general, does not support radical Islam, the vast majority do support radical beliefs. For example, beheadings, stoning for adultery or homosexuality, suicide bombings, turning the world into an Islamic state, and far too many other heinous things. THE GUIDE TO ISLAM provides Christians with an overview of Islamic terminology. The reader will learn about Muhammad’s calling, the history of the Quran, how Islam expanded, the death of Muhammad and the splinter groups that followed. In addition, the three sources of their teaching, six pillars of belief, five pillars of Islam, the twelfth Imam, and much more will be discussed. All of this from the mind of radical Islam. While there are several books on Islam and radical Islam, this will be the first that will prepare its readers to communicate effectively with Muslims in an effort toward sharing biblical truths. …
If you have the desire to become better equipped to reach others for the lost or to strengthen your faith, Judy Salisbury’s guide—written specifically to meet the needs of Christian women today—offers you a safe, practical, and approachable place to start. In her lively, … If you have the desire to become better equipped to reach others for the lost or to strengthen your faith, Judy Salisbury’s guide—written specifically to meet the needs of Christian women today—offers you a safe, practical, and approachable place to start. In her lively, straightforward style, Salisbury covers such issues as: Does God exist? Can I trust the Bible? Does Christianity oppress women? Can we know truth? Why would God allow evil and suffering? Was Jesus God and did He really rise from the dead? How does or should my faith guide my life?
A Time to Speak: Practical Training for the Christian Presenteris a complete guide for effective communication and presentation skills. Discuss any subject with credibility and confidence, from Christian apologetics to the sensitive moral issues of our day, when sharing a testimony, addressing a school board, a community meeting, or conference. This exceptional training is the perfect resource for Christians with any level of public speaking ability. With its easy, systematic format, A Time to Speak is also an excellent resource for home-schooled and college students. The reader, in addition to specific skills and techniques, will also learn how to construct their presentation content, diffuse hostility, guidance for a successful Q&A, effective ways to turn apathy into action, and tips on gaining their speaking invitation.
Historical Criticism of the Bible got started in earnest, known then as Higher Criticism, during the 18th and 19th centuries, it is also known as the Historical-Critical Method of biblical interpretation. Are there any weakness to the Historical-Critical Method of biblical interpretation (Historical Criticism), and why is historical criticism so popular among Bible scholars today? Its popularity is because biblical criticism is subjective, that is, based on or influenced by personal feelings or opinions and is dependent on the Bible scholar’s perception. In other words, biblical criticism allows the Bible scholar, teacher, or pastor the freedom to interpret the Scriptures, so that God’s Word it tells them things that they want to hear. Why is this book so critical for all Christians? Farnell and Andrews will inform the reader about Biblical criticism (historical criticism) and its weaknesses, helping you to defend God’s Word far better.
Biblical criticism is an umbrella term covering various techniques for applying literary historical-critical methods in analyzing and studying the Bible and its textual content. Biblical criticism is also known as higher criticism, literary criticism, and historical criticism. Biblical criticism has done nothing more than weaken and demoralize people’s assurance in the Bible as being the inspired and fully inerrant Word of God and is destructive in its very nature. Historical criticism is made up of many forms of biblical criticism that are harmful to the authoritative Word of God: historical criticism, source criticism, form criticism, redaction criticism, social-science criticism, canonical criticism, rhetorical criticism, structural criticism, narrative criticism, reader-response criticism, and feminist criticism. Not just liberal scholarship, but many moderate, even some “conservative” scholars have …
APOLOGETICS: Reaching Hearts with the Art of Persuasion by Edward D. Andrews, author of over seventy books, covers information that proves that the Bible is accurate, trustworthy, fully inerrant, and inspired by God for the benefit of humankind. The reader will be introduced to Christan apologetics and evangelism. They will learn what Christian apologetics is. They will be given a biblical answer to the most demanding Bible question: Problem of Evil. The reader will learn how to reach hearts with are the art of persuasion. They will use persuasion to help others accept Christ. They will learn to teach with insight and persuasiveness. They will learn to use persuasion to reach the heart of those who listen to them.
REVIEWING 2013 New World Translation of Jehovah’s Witnesses is going to challenge your objectivity. Being objective means that personal feelings or opinions do not influence you in considering and representing facts. Being subjective means that your understanding is based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or ideas. If the reader finds these insights offense, it might be a little mind control at work from years of being told the same misinformation repeatedly, so ponder things objectively. We can also have preconceived ideas that have been a part of our thinking for so long; we do not question them. Preconceived is an idea or opinion that is formed before having the evidence for its truth. If we are to be effective, we must season our words, so that they are received well. Then there is the term preconception, which means a preconceived idea or prejudice. Seasoned words, honesty, and accuracy are distinctive features of effective apologetic evangelism.
Use of REASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURES should help you to cultivate the ability to reason from the Scriptures and to use them effectively in assisting others to learn about “the mighty works of God.” – Acts 2:11. If Christians are going to be capable, powerful, efficient teachers of God’s Word, we must not only pay attention to what we tell those who are interested but also how we tell them. Yes, we must focus our attention on the message of God’s Word that we share but also the method in which we do so. Our message, the Gospel (i.e., the good news of the Kingdom), this does not change, but we do adjust our methods. Why? We are seeking to reach as many receptive people as possible. “You will be my witnesses … to the End of the Earth.” – ACTS 1:8.
Why should we be interested in the religion of others? The world has become a melting pot of people, cultures, and values, as well as many different religions. Religion has the most significant impact on the lives of mankind today. There are only a few of the major religions that make up billions of people throughout the earth. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world. God’s will is that “all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” (1 Tim. 2:4) God has assigned all Christians the task of proclaiming the Word of God, teaching, to make disciples. (Matt. 24:15; 28:19-20: Ac 1;8) That includes men and women who profess a non-Christian religion, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam to mention just a few. If there are Hindus, Buddhist or Muslims are in your community, why not initiate a conversation with them? Christians who take the Great Commission seriously cannot afford to ignore these religions. …
Evangelism is the work of a Christian evangelist, of which all true Christians are obligated to partake to some extent, which seeks to persuade other people to become Christian, especially by sharing the basics of the Gospel, but also the deeper message of biblical truths. Today the Gospel is almost an unknown, so what does the Christian evangelist do? Preevangelism is laying a foundation for those who have no knowledge of the Gospel, giving them background information, so that they can grasp what they are hearing. The Christian evangelist is preparing their mind and heart so that they will be receptive to the biblical truths. In many ways, this is known as apologetics. Christian apologetics [Greek: apologia, “verbal defense, speech in defense”] is a field of Christian theology which endeavors to offer a reasonable and sensible basis for the Christian faith, defending the faith against objections. It is reasoning from the Scriptures, explaining and proving, as one instructs in sound doctrine, many times having to overturn false reasoning before he can plant the seeds of truth. …
MOST Christian apologetic books help the reader know WHAT to say; THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST is HOW to communicate it effectively. The Christian apologist’s words should always be seasoned with salt as he or she shares the unadulterated truths of Scripture with gentleness and respect. Our example in helping the unbeliever to understand the Bible has been provided by Jesus Christ and his apostles. Whether dealing with Bible critics or answering questions from those genuinely interested, Jesus referred to the Scriptures and at times used appropriate illustrations, helping those with a receptive heart to accept the Word of God. The apostle Paul “reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving” what was biblically true. (Ac 17:2-3) The material in THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST can enable us to do the same. Apologist Normal L. Geisler informs us that “evangelism is planting seeds of the Gospel” and “pre-evangelism is tilling the soil of people’s minds and hearts to help them be more willing to listen to the truth (1 Cor. 3: 6).”
THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK is a practical guide (for real-life application) in aiding all Christians in sharing biblical beliefs, the Good News of the Kingdom, how to deal with Bible critics, overturning false beliefs, so as to make disciples, as commanded by Christ. (Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20; Ac 1:8) Why do Christians desire to talk about their beliefs? Jesus said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed in the whole inhabited earth for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matt 24:14) This is the assignment, which all Christians are obligated to assist in carrying out. Jesus also said, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt. 22:39) Jesus commanded that we “go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them” and “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:19-20) If one failed to be obedient to the great commission of Matthew 28:19-20, he or she could hardly claim that they have genuine faith. All true Christians have a determination to imitate God, which moves us to persist in reflecting his glory through our sharing Bible beliefs with others.
“Absorbing, instructional, insightful. Judy Salisbury’s book Divine Appointments embodies examples of truly speaking the truth in love. The stories she weaves together provide perfect examples of how to relate to others through conversational evangelism… Divine Appointments is an apt companion to any apologetics book, showing how to put principles into practice. It’s an apologetics manual wrapped in a warm blanket. Snuggle up with it.”— Julie Loos, Director, Ratio Christi Boosters
The reader will receive eight small introductory books in this one publication. Andrews’ intention is to offer his reader several chapters on eight of the most critical subject areas of understanding and defending the Word of God. This will enable the reader to lay a solid foundation for which he can build throughout his Christian life. These eight sections with multiple chapters in each cover biblical interpretation, Bible translation philosophies, textual criticism, Bible difficulties, the Holy Spirit, Christian Apologetics, Christian Evangelism, and Christian Living.
“‘Deep’ study is no guarantee that mature faith will result, but shallow study guarantees that immaturity continues.”(p. xiii)—Dr. Lee M. Fields.
The Culture War. How the West lost its greatness and was weakened from within outlines how the West lost its values, causing its current decline. It is a forceful attack on the extreme liberal, anti-religious ideology which since the 1960’s has permeated the Western culture and weakened its very core. The West is now characterized by strict elitist media censorship, hedonism, a culture of drug abuse, abortion, ethnic clashes and racial divide, a destructive feminism and the dramatic breakdown of the family. An ultra-rich elite pushes our nations into a new, authoritarian globalist structure, with no respect for Western historical values. Yet, even in the darkest hour, there is hope. This manifesto outlines the remedy for the current malaise and describes the greatness of our traditional and religious values that once made our civilization prosper. It shows how we can restore these values to bring back justice, mercy, faith, honesty, fidelity, kindness and respect for one another. Virtues that will motivate individuals to love one another, the core of what will make us great again.
EARLY CHRISTIANITY IN THE FIRST CENTURY will give its readers a thrilling account of first-century Christianity. When and how did they come to be called Christians? Who are all obligated to be Christian evangelists? In what way did Jesus set the example for our evangelism? What is the Kingdom of God? What was their worship like and why were they called the Truth and the Way? How did 120 disciples at Pentecost grow to over one million within 70-80-years? What was meant by their witness to the ends of the earth? How did Christianity in its infancy function to accomplish all it did? How was it structured? How were the early Christians, not of the world? How were they affected by persecution? How were they not to love the world, in what sense? What divisions were there in the second and third centuries? Who were the Gnostics? These questions will be answered, as well as a short overview of the division that grew out of the second and third centuries, pre-reformation, the reformation, and a summary of Catholicism and Protestantism. After a lengthy introduction to First-Century Christianity, there is a chapter on the Holy Spirit in the First Century and Today, followed by sixteen chapters that cover the most prominent Christians from the second to fourth centuries, as well as a chapter on Constantine the Great.
Inside of some Christians unbeknownst to their family, friends or congregation, they are screaming, “I doubt, I doubt, I have very grave doubts!” OURS is an age of doubt. Skepticism has become fashionable. We are urged to question everything: especially the existence of God and the truthfulness of his Word, the Bible. A half brother of Jesus warned us against doubting: “the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” (Jam. 1:6) When insidious doubts begin to creep into the mind and the heart, it is only a matter of time before a CRISIS OF FAITH gives way spiritual shipwreck. Since we have been warned that “some will fall away from the faith,” we should be ready “to save some,” even ourselves. …
The intention of this book is to investigate the biblical chronology behind Jehovah’s Witnesses most controversial doctrinal position that Jesus began to rule invisibly from heaven in October 1914. This biblical chronology of the Witnesses hinges upon their belief that the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, which they say occurred in 607 B.C.E. The Witnesses conclude that Chapter 4 of the book of Daniel prophesied a 2,520 year period that began in 607 B.C.E. and ended in 1914 C.E. They state, “Clearly, the ‘seven times’ and ‘the appointed times of the nations’ refer to the same time period.” (Lu 21:24) It is their position that When the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem, the Davidic line of kings was interrupted, God’s throne was “trampled on by the nations” until 1914, at which time Jesus began to rule invisibly from heaven. …
In order to overcome and church problems, we must first talk about the different problems of the church. Many of the church problems today stem from the isms: liberalism, humanism, modernism, Christian progressivism, theological liberalism, feminism, higher criticism, and biblical criticism. Moreover, many are simply not a biblically grounded church regardless of how much they claim to be so. The marks of a true Christian church would be like the different lines that make up a church’s fingerprint, a print that cannot belong to any other church. The true Christian church contains their own unique grouping of marks, forming a positive “fingerprint” that cannot belong to any other church. William Lange Craig wrote, “Remember that our faith is not based on emotions, but on the truth, and therefore you must hold on to it.” What truth? Jesus said to the Father in prayer, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17) Are you doing the will of the Father? Is your church doing the will of the Father? – Matthew 7:21-23; 1 John 2:15-17.
Evangelist Norman Robertson claims that “Tithing is God’s way of financing His kingdom on the earth.” He asserts that “It is His system of economics which enables the Gospel to be preached.” Not bashful about telling his followers of their duty to give, he flatly states: ‘Tithing isn’t something you do because you can afford it. It is an act of obedience. Not tithing is a clear violation of God’s commandments. It is embezzlement.’ Most likely you accept that giving should be part of Christian worship. However, do you find continuous demanding appeals for money disturbing, perhaps even offensive? FLEECING THE FLOCK by Anthony Wade is an exhaustive examination of all of the popular tithing arguments made from the pulpit today. …
DECEPTION IN THE CHURCH by Fred DeRuvo asks Does It Matter How You Worship? There are 41,000 different denominations that call themselves “Christian” and all would claim that they are the truth. Can just any Christian denomination please God? Can all be true or genuine Christianity if they all have different views on the same Bible doctrines? DeRuvo will answer. He will focus on the largest part of Christianity that has many different denominations, the charismatic, ecstatic Signs and Wonders Movements. These ecstatic worshipers claim … DeRuvo will answer all these questions and more according to the truth of God’s Word.—John 8:31-32; 17:17.
Plunkett exposes the errors corrupting the Christian church through the Word of Faith, New Apostolic Reformation, and extreme charismatic movements. LEARN TO DISCERN, by author Daniel Plunkett highlights how an encounter with a rising star in the Word of Faith / “Signs and Wonders” movement was used by God to open his eyes to the deceptions, false teachings, and spiritual abuses running rampant in the charismatic movement today. These doctrines are thoroughly explored as taught by some of today’s most prominent speakers and evangelists and contrasted with the clear teachings of Scripture. LEARN TO DISCERN is an invaluable resource …
Translation and Textual Criticism
The King James Bible was originally published in 1611. Some have estimated that the number of copies of the King James Version that have been produced in print worldwide is over one billion! There is little doubt that the King James Version is a literary masterpiece, which this author has and will appreciate and value for its unparalleled beauty of expression. This book is in no way trying to take away from what the King James Version has accomplished. The King James Version is a book to be commended for all that it has accomplished. For four centuries, when English-speaking people spoke of “the Bible,” they meant the King James Version. The question that begs to be asked of those who favor the King James Bible is, Do You Know the King James Version? What do most users of the King James Bible not know about their translation? Whether you are one who favors the King James Version or one who prefers a modern translation, Andrews will answer the questions that have long been asked for centuries about the King James Bible and far more.
THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BIBLE TRANSLATION (CGBT) is for all individuals interested in how the Bible came down to us, as well as having an insight into the Bible translation process. CGBT is also for those who are interested in which translation(s) would be the most beneficial to use. The translation of God’s Word from the original languages of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek is a task unlike any other and should never be taken lightly because it carries with it the heaviest responsibility: the translator renders God’s thoughts into a modern language. It is CGBT’s desire to take challenging and complex subjects and make them easy to understand. CGBT will communicate as clearly and powerfully as possible to all of its readers while also accurately communicating information about the Bible. …
We have come a long, long way from the time that the KJV was The Bible in English and the many translations available today. Finding the right Bible for the right person can be daunting, with almost too many choices available. However, it is still possible to divide the options into two broad categories: literal translations and dynamic equivalents. What is the difference, and why should you care? Bible publishers used to say that literal translations are good for study purposes, and dynamic equivalents are better for reading. So literal translations were advertised with terms like “accurate,” “reliable,” and, of course, “literal.” For dynamic equivalent translations, terms like “contemporary,” “easy to read,” and “written in today’s English” were used. Naturally, publishers do not advertise the negatives, so they did not point out that the literal translations might be a little harder to read, or that the dynamic equivalents might not be entirely faithful to the original languages of the Bible. However, more recently, some scholars have been taking this analysis in a new direction, assessing literal translations as less desirable than dynamic equivalents even for accuracy and reliability.
There are more than 150 different Bible translations in the English language alone. Some are what we call literal translations, which seeks to give the reader the exact English equivalent of what was written in the original language text, thus allowing the reader access to the actual Word of God. Then, there are dynamic equivalents, where the translator determines what the author meant by the original language text, and this is what they give the reader. There is also a paraphrase translation, which is an extremely interpretive translation. Exactly what are these differences? Are some translations better than others? What standards and principles can we use to determine what makes a good translation? Andrews introduces the readers to the central issues in this debate and presents several reasons why literal translations are superior to dynamic equivalent and paraphrase translations. We do not need to be a Bible scholar to understand these issues, as well as the importance of having the most accurate and faithful translation that is reflective of the original text. …
THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT (TTNT) is an introduction, intermediate and advanced level coverage of the text of the New Testament. Andrews introduces the new and relatively new reader to this subject in the first few chapters of the TTNT. Andrews deepens his handling of the material, while still making it easy to understand in the next few chapters of the TTNT, all the while being very informative in both sections. All of this prepares the reader for Wilkins’ advanced chapters. THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT was copied and recopied by hand for 1,500 years. Regardless of those scribes who had worked very hard to be faithful in their copying, errors crept into the text. How can we be confident that what we have today is the Word of God? Wilkins and Andrews offer the reader an account of the copying by hand and transmission of the Greek New Testament. They present a comprehensive survey of the manuscript history from the penning of the 27 New Testament books to the current critical texts. What did the ancient books look like and how were documents written? How were the New Testament books published? Who would use secretaries? Why was it so hard to be a secretary in the first century? How was such work done? What do we know about the early Christian copyists? What were the scribal habits and tendencies? Is it possible to establish the original text of the NewTestament? …
INTRODUCTION TO THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT is a shortened 321 pages of Andrews and Wilkins 602 page TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT without losing the value of content. The foremost thing the reader is going to learn is that the Greek New Testament that our modern translations are based on is a mirror-like reflection of the original and can be fully trusted. The reader will learn how the New Testament authors made and published their books, the secretaries in antiquity and their materials like Teritus who helped Paul pen the epistle to the Romans, and the book writing process of the New Testament authors and early copyists. The reader will also discover the reading culture of early Christianity and their view of the integrity of the Greek New Testament. The reader will also learn how textual scholars known as paleography determine the age of the manuscripts.
The reader will learn all about the different sources that go into our restoring the Greek New Testament to its original form. Then, Andrews will cover the ancient version, the era of the printed text, and the arrival of the critical text. After that, the reader will be given a lengthy chapter on examples of how the textual scholar determines the correct reading by his looking at the internal and external evidence. Finally, and most importantly, the reader will find out the truth about the supposed 400,000 textual errors within the Greek New Testament manuscripts. The last chapter will be faith-building and enable you to defend the Word of God as inerrant.
THE READING CULTURE OF EARLY CHRISTIANITY provides the reader with the production process of the New Testament books, the publication process, how they were circulated, and to what extent they were used in the early Christian church. It examines the making of the New Testament books, the New Testament secretaries and the material they used, how the early Christians viewed the New Testament books, and the literacy level of the Christians in the first three centuries. It also explores how the gospels went from an oral message to a written record, the accusation that the apostles were uneducated, the inspiration and inerrancy in the writing process of the New Testament books, the trustworthiness of the early Christian copyists, and the claim that the early scribes were predominantly amateurs. Andrews also looks into the early Christian’s use of the codex [book form], how did the spread of early Christianity affect the text of the New Testament, and how was the text impacted by the Roman Empire’s persecution of the early Christians?
Edward D. Andrews boldly answers the challenges Bart D. Ehrman alleges against the fully inerrant, Spirit-inspired, authoritative Word of God. By glimpsing into the life of Bart D. Ehrman and following along his course of academic studies, Andrews helps the reader to understand the biases, assumptions, and shortcomings supporting Ehrman’s arguments. Using sound reason, scholarly exegesis, and the Historical-Grammatical method of interpretation, as well as New Testament textual criticism, Andrews helps both churchgoer/Bible students, as well as scholars, overcome the teachings of biblical errancy that Ehrman propagates.—Easy to read and understand. …
CALVINISM VS. ARMINIANISM goes back to the early seventeenth century with a Christian theological debate between the followers of John Calvin and Jacobus Arminius, and continues today among some Protestants, particularly evangelicals. The debate is centered around soteriology, that is, the study of salvation, and includes disputes about total depravity, predestination, and atonement. While the debate has developed its Calvinist–Arminian form in the 17th century, the issues that are fundamental to the debate have been discussed in Christianity in some fashion since the days of Augustine of Hippo’s disputes with the Pelagians in the fifth century. CALVINISM VS. ARMINIANISM is taking a different approach in that the issues will be discussed as The Bible Answers being that it is the centerpiece.
A comprehensive book on HOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE by observing, interpreting, and applying, which will focus on the most basic Bible study tools, principles, and processes for moving from an in-depth reading of the Scriptures to application. What, though, if you have long felt that you are not studiously inclined? Realize that the primary difference between a serious Bible student and a less serious Bible student is usually diligence and effort, not being a gifted student. Being a gifted Bible student alone is not enough. Efficient methods of Bible study are worth learning, for those seeking to become serious Bible students. The joy missing from many Bible students is because they do not know how to study their Bible, which means they do not do it well. Perhaps you dislike Bible study because you have not developed your study skills sufficiently to make your Bible study enjoyable. Maybe you have neglected your Bible study simply because you would rather be doing something else you enjoy.
How can we find more enjoyment in studying the Bible? How can we make our study periods more productive? What circumstances contribute to effective personal study? How can we derive real benefit and pleasure from our Bible reading? From what activities can time be bought out for reading and studying the Bible? Why should we watch our spiritual feeding habits? What benefits come from reading and studying the Scriptures? There is a great and constantly growing interest in the study of the English Bible in these days. However, very much of the so-called study of the English Bible is unintelligent and not fitted to produce the most satisfactory results. The authors of this book already have a book entitled “HOW TO STUDY: Study the Bible for the Greatest Profit,” but that book is intended for those who are willing to buy out the time to put into thorough Bible study.
Why is personal and family Bible study so important in our life now? How can we apply the Word of God in our lives? How can we use the Bible to help others? How can we effectively use the Scriptures when teaching others? How can we make decisions God’s way? How can Bible principles help us to decide wisely? Why should we have faith in God and his word? The Psalmist tells us, God’s Word “is a lamp to my foot, and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105) Since the Bible is a gift from God, the time and effort that we put into our personal Bible Study is a reflection of how much we appreciate that gift. What do our personal Bible study habits reveal about the depth of our appreciation of God’s Word? Certainly, the Bible is a deep and complex book, and reading and studying are not easy at times. However, with time and effort, we can develop a spiritual appetite for personal Bible study. (1 Peter 2:2)
Correctly interpreting the Bible is paramount to understanding the Word of God. As Christians, we do not want to read our 21st-century worldview INTO the Scriptures, but rather to takeOUT OF the Scriptures what the author meant by the words that he used. The guaranteed way of arriving a correct understanding of God’s Words is to have an accurate knowledge of the historical setting, cultural background, and of the people, governments, and religious leaders, as well as the place and time of the New Testament writings. Only with the background, setting, and context can you grasp the author’s intended meaning to his original readers and …
The life of Christ is an exhaustless theme. It reveals a character of greater massiveness than the hills, of a more serene beauty than the stars, of sweeter fragrance than the flowers, higher than the heavens in sublimity and deeper than the seas in mystery. As good Jean Paul has eloquently said, “It concerns Him who, being the holiest among the mighty, and the mightiest among the holy, lifted with His pierced hands empires off their hinges, turned the stream of centuries out of its channels, and still governs the ages.” …
Stalker’s Life of St. Paul became one of the most widely read and respected biographies of the Apostle to the Gentiles. As an insightful compendium on the life of Paul, this work is of particular interest to pastors and teachers who desire to add realism and vividness to their account of one of the greatest Christians who ever lived. Stalker’s work includes a section at the back entitled “Hints for Teachers and Questions for Pupils.” This supplement contains notes and “further reading” suggestions for those teaching on the life of St. Paul, along with a number of questions over each chapter for students to discuss. In addition, seventeen extra chapters have been added that will help the reader better understand who the Apostle Paul was and what first-century Christianity was like. For example, a chapter on the conversion of Saul/Paul, Gamaliel Taught Saul of Tarsus, the Rights, and Privileges of Citizenship, the “Unknown God,” Areopagus, the Observance of Law as to Vows, and much more.
With solid scholarship and exceptional clarity, beginning in Gethsemane, Stalker and Andrews examine Jesus’ trial and crucifixion. Their work is relevant, beneficial and enjoyable because they cover this historical period of Jesus’ life in an easy to understand format. Stalker’s expressive and persuasive style provides a great resource to any Bible study of the events leading to the death of Jesus Christ. THE TRIAL AND DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST is an academicish book written with a novelish style.
Delving into the basics of biblical interpretation, Edward D. Andrews has provided a complete hands-on guide to understanding what the author meant by the words that he used from the conservative grammatical-historical perspective. He teaches how to study the Bible on a deep, scholarly level, yet making it understandable to all. He has sought to provide the very best tool for interpreting the Word of God. This includes clarification of technical terms, answers to every facet of biblical interpretation, and defense of the inerrancy and divine inspiration of Scripture. Andrews realizes that the importance of digging deeper in our understanding of the Bible, for defending our faith from modern-day misguided scholarship. Andrews gives the reader easy and memorable principles and methods to follow for producing an accurate explanation that comes out of, not what many read into the biblical text. The principal procedure within is to define, explain, offer many examples, and give illustrations, to help the reader fully grasp the grammatical-historical approach. …
Anybody who wants to study the Bible, either at a personal level or a more scholarly level needs to understand that there are certain principles that guide and govern the process. The technical word used to refer to the principles of biblical interpretation is hermeneutics, which is of immense importance in Biblical Studies and Theology. How to Interpret the Bible takes into consideration the cultural context, historical background and geographical location in which the text was originally set. This enables us to obtain clarity about the original author’s intended meaning. Linguistic and literary factors are analyzed so that the various genres of Scripture are examined for their true meaning. The importance of having sound principles of interpretation cannot be overstated as …
Once upon a time, Postmodernism was a buzzword. It pronounced Modernism dead or at least in the throes of death. It was a wave that swept over Christendom, promising to wash away sterile, dogmatic and outmoded forms of church. But whatever happened to postmodernism? It was regarded as the start of a major historical transition to something new and promising and hailed as a major paradigm shift. Is it a philosophy that has passed its “sell-by” date? No! The radical fringe has become the dominant view and has been integrated into all aspects of life, including the Christian church. With the emergence of multicultural societies comes interaction with different belief systems and religions. Values like tolerance and a dislike of dogmatism have become key operating concepts, which reflect a change in worldview. …
In an age obsessed with physical and psychological health the author emphasizes the importance of spiritual well-being as an essential element of holistic health for the individual Christian and for Christian communities. This work constitutes a template for a spiritual audit of the local church. It offers an appointment with the Great Physician that no Christian can afford to ignore. Developing Healthy Churches: A Case-Study in Revelation begins with a well-researched outline of the origins and development of the church health movement. With that background in mind the author, aware that throughout the history of the church there have been a number of diverse views about how Revelation ought to be interpreted, presents the reader with four distinct interpretive models. These are the idealist, preterist, historicist, and futurist. Beville explains these interpretive approaches simply and critiques them fairly.e …
This is a comprehensive study of euthanasia and assisted suicide. It traces the historical debate, examines the legal status of such activity in different countries and explores the political, medical and moral matters surrounding these emotive and controversial subjects in various cultural contexts. The key advocates and pioneers of this agenda-driven movement (such as the late Jack Kevorkian, popularly known as “Dr. Death” and Philip Nitschke, founder of Exit International) are profiled. Not only are the elderly and disabled becoming increasingly vulnerable but children, psychiatric patients, the depressed and those who are simply tired of life are now on a slippery slope into a dystopian nightmare. The spotlight is brought to bear on the Netherlands, in particular, where palliative care and the hospice movement are greatly underdeveloped as a result of legalization. These dubious “services” are now offered as part of “normal” medical care in Holland where it is deemed more cost-effective to be given a lethal injection. The vital role of physicians as healers in society must be preserved and the important but neglected spiritual dimension of death must be explored. Thus a biblical view of human life is presented. …
Journey with Jesus through the Message of Mark is an insightful and engaging survey of Mark’s Gospel, exploring each major section of the text along with key themes. It is a work that can be enjoyed by laypersons as well as pastors and teachers. Pastors will find the abundant use of illustrations to be helpful in preparing their own messages and as such, it will find a welcome place in the preacher’s library. Simply, powerfully, with great precision, and exegetical accuracy, Kieran Beville masterfully brings us on a life-transforming journey. Readers will be both inspired and challenged as they hear the words of Jesus speaking afresh from the page of Scripture and experience the ministry of Jesus in a spiritually captivating way. The author has a pastor’s heart, a theologian’s mind, and a writer’s gift. His style is gripping, as he beautifully explains and illustrates Mark’s Gospel. Kieran Beville has done a great service to the church, and especially to true believers, who desire to grow in grace, increase in their knowledge of truth, and experience the intimacy, joy, and underserved and unspeakable privilege of walking, as disciples, with Jesus. This book is ideal as a study companion for Mark’s Gospel. One can read a section from the gospel and then read the corresponding section to receive a fresh viewpoint and a practical application. …
What are angels & demons? Can angels help us? What does the Bible say about angels? What is the truth about angels? Can Angels affect your life? Who were the “sons of God” in Genesis 6:2? Who were the Nephilim in Genesis 6:2? Who is Michael the archangel? Can Satan the Devil control humans? How can we win our struggle against dark spiritual forces? How can you resist the demons? Do evil spirits exercise power over humankind? Is Satan really the god of this world and just what does that mean? What did Jesus mean when he said, “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one [i.e., Satan]”? Andrews using the Bible will answer all of these questions and far more. …
Donald T. Williams learned a lot about the Christian worldview from Francis Schaeffer and C. S. Lewis, but it was actually Tolkien who first showed him that such a thing exists and is an essential component of maturing faith. Not only do explicitly Christian themes underlie the plot structure of The Lord of the Rings, but in essays such as “On Fairie Stories” Tolkien shows us that he not only believed the Gospel on Sunday but treated it as true the rest of the week and used his commitment to that truth as the key to further insights in his work as a student of literature. “You can do that?” Williams thought as a young man not yet exposed to any Christian who was a serious thinker. “I want to do that!” His hope is that his readers will catch that same vision from this book. An Encouraging Thought elucidates the ways in which Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are informed by and communicate a biblical worldview. This book will help readers appreciate the ways in which a biblical worldview informs Tolkien’s work, to the end that their own faith may be confirmed in strength, focused in understanding, deepened in joy, and honed in its ability to communicate the Gospel.
The Bible describes the events that will occur before and after the destruction of Gog of Magog. Who is Gog of Magog mentioned in the book of Ezekiel? Why should we be interested in the prophecy recorded in Daniel chapter 11? Find out in a verse-by-verse explanation of Daniel Chapter 11, as you discover who the kings of the North and the South are from before Jesus’ day throughout the last days. You will benefit from paying attention to Daniel’s prophecy about the battle between the two kings? Taken together, the Bible books of Daniel and Revelation not only identify eight kings but also show the sequence in which they would appear. We can explain those prophecies.
People grow old, get sick, and die. Even some children die. Should you be afraid of death or of anybody who has died? Do you know what happens if we die? Will you ever see your dead loved ones again? “If a man dies, shall he live again?” asked the man Job long ago. (Job 14:14) Did God originally intend for humans to die? Why do you grow old and die? What is the Bible’s viewpoint of death? What is the condition of the dead? Are the dead aware of what is happening around them? What hope is there for the dead?
Herein Andrews will give the reader exactly what the Bible offers on exposing who the Antichrist and the Man of Lawlessness are. If we look at the texts that refer to the antichrist and the man of lawlessness, we will have lines of evidence that will enable us to identify them. Why is it important that we know who the antichrist and the man of lawlessness are? The antichrist and the man of lawlessness have had a greater impact on humanity and Christianity over the past centuries than many know. Moreover, the influence on the true worshipers of Christianity today has been even more significant and will only go from bad to worse as we come closer to the second coming of Christ. …
Throughout the Scriptures, God is identified as the Creator. He is the One “who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it.” (Isa 45:18) He is the One “who forms mountains and creates the wind” (Am 4:13) and is the One “who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them.” (Ac 4:24; 14:15; 17:24) “God . . . created all things.” (Eph. 3:9) Jesus Christ tells us that it is the Father who “created them [humans] from the beginning made them male and female.” (Matt. 19:4; Mark 10:6) Hence, the Father is fittingly and uniquely called “the Creator.” (Isa 40:28) It is because of God’s will that we exist, for He has ‘created all things, and because of his will they existed and were created.’―Revelations 4:11 …
Eschatology is the teaching of what is commonly called the “Last Things.” That is the subject of Andrews’ book, which will cover, Explaining Prophecy, Explaining Clean and Pure Worship, The New Testament Writers Use of the Old Testament, Explaining the Antichrist, Explaining the Man of Lawlessness, Explaining the Mark of the Beast, Explaining Signs of the End of the Age, Explaining the Rapture, Explaining the Great Tribulation, Explaining Armageddon, Explaining the Resurrection Hope, Explaining the Millennium, Explaining the Final Judgment, Explaining the Unevangelized, Explaining Hell
The information herein is based on the disciples coming to Jesus privately, saying, “Tell us, (1) when will these things be, and (2) what will be the sign of your coming, and (3) of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3) What will end? When will the end come? What comes after the end? Who will survive the end? These questions and far more will be answered as Andrews delves into The SECOND COMING of CHRIST. In chapters 1 and 2, we must address why Jesus is saying there would be an end to the Jewish age. In chapter 3, we will take a deep look at the signs that establish the great tribulation is closing in, and when is it time to flee. In chapter 4, we will go over the signs of the end of the Jewish age. In chapter 5, we will walk through the events leading up to the end of the Jewish age from 66 – 70 C.E., and how it applies to our Great Tribulation in these last days. In chapter 6, we will cover the second coming of Jesus where the reader will get the answers as to whether verses 3-28 of Matthew Chapter 24 apply to Christ’s second coming. We will close out with chapter 7, and how we should understand the signs, and how we do not want to be led astray, just as Jesus warned even some of the chosen ones would be misled. We will also address what comes after the end.
What Really Is Hell? What Kind of Place is Hell? What Really Happens at Death? What Did Jesus Teach About Hell? How Does Learning the Truth About Hell Affect You? Who Goes to Hell? What Is Hell? Is It a Place of Eternal Torment? Does God Punish People in Hellfire? Do the Wicked Suffer in Hell? What Is the Lake of Fire? Is It the Same as Hell or Gehenna? Where Do We Go When We Die? What Does the Bible Say About Hell? Andrews Shares the Truth on WHAT IS HELL From God’s Word.
Miracles were certainly a part of certain periods in Bible times. What about today? Are miracles still taking place? There are some very important subjects that surround this area of discussion that is often misunderstood. Andrews will answer such questions as does God step in and solve every problem if we are faithful? Does the Bible provide absolutes or guarantees in this age of imperfect humanity? Are miracles still happening today? Is faith healing Scriptural? Is speaking in tongues evidence of true Christianity? Is snake handling biblical? How are we to understand the indwelling of the Holy Spirit? The work of the Holy Spirit. Andrews offers his readers very straightforward, biblically accurate explanations for these difficult questions. If any have discussed such questions, without a doubt, they will be very interested in the Bible’s answers in this easy to read publication.
Today there are many questions about homosexuality as it relates to the Bible and Christians. What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Does genetics, environment, or traumatic life experiences justify homosexuality? What is God’s will for people with same-sex attractions? Does the Bible discriminate against people with same-sex attractions? Is it possible to abstain from homosexual acts? Should not Christians respect all people, regardless of their sexual orientation? Did not Jesus preach tolerance? If so, should not Christians take a permissive view of homosexuality? Does God approve of same-sex marriage? Does God disapprove of homosexuality? If so, how could God tell someone who is attracted to people of the same sex to shun homosexuality, is that not cruel? If one has same-sex attraction, is it possible to avoid homosexuality? How can I as a Christian explain the Bible’s view of homosexuality? IT IS CRUCIAL that Christians always be prepared to reason from the Scriptures, explaining and proving what the Bible does and does not say about homosexuality, yet doing it with gentleness and respect. Andrews will answer these questions and far more.
If you’ve struggled in the world of difficulties that surround you, you’re not alone. Maybe you have looked for help, and you have been given conflicting answers. 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS: Coming-of-Age In Christ, can help you. Its advice is based on answers that actually work, which are found in the Bible. God’s Word has helped billions over thousands of years to face life’s challenges successfully. Find out how it can help you! 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS includes seven sections, with several chapters in each. It includes the following sections: Sexual Desires and Love, your friends, your family, school, recreation, your health. You need advice you can trust! 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS will give you that. This author has worked with thousands of youths from around the world. The Bible-based sound advice helped them. Now you can discover how it can help you.
Young ones and teens, you are exposed to complex problems that your parents may not understand. Young Christians, you are bombarded with multiple options for solving everyday problems through social media. Where do you turn to find answers? Where can you look to find guidance from Scripture? In order to provide a Christian perspective to problem-solving, the author of this devotional book decided to take a different approach. Terry Overton was determined to find out what problems middle school children and teens were worried about the most. While visiting her grandchildren one weekend, she asked her granddaughter to send topics to her so that she could write a devotional about the topic. In a matter of weeks, not only did her granddaughter send her topics, but the other grandchildren and their friends sent topics of concern. Once the author wrote a devotional for a topic, it was sent to the teen requesting the devotional. Soon, these requests were happening in real time. Students sent text requests about problems happening in school and asked what the student should do? How should this be handled?
This devotional book follows the author’s own faith journey back to God. Significant life events can shake our world and distort our faith. Following life’s tragedies, a common reaction is to become angry with God or to reject Him altogether. Examples of tragedies or traumas include life-changing events such as physical or sexual assault, destruction of one’s home, the tragic death of a loved one, diagnoses of terminal diseases, divorce, miscarriages, or being a victim of a crime. Tragedies or traumas can cause feelings of anxiety, depression, shame, and guilt.
Throughout the book, common themes emerge to support caregivers. The reader will find interesting Bible Scriptures, offering a Christian perspective, for handling issues that may arise. These inspiring passages will assist the caregiver in finding peace and faith as they travel their journey as a caregiver. Although caregivers may not know how long they will play this role, they take on the responsibility without any question. Taking care of others is often mentioned in the Bible and, as noted in this devotional, this self-sacrificing, highly valued, and often challenging service will ultimately be rewarded.
Humans must breathe in the air of our atmosphere to survive. Many cities because of pollution face a dangerous level of contamination in their air. However, an even more deadly air affects both Christians and nonChristians. Ordinary methods or devices cannot detect this poisonous air. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, spoke of the “air,” when he said that Satan was “the ruler of the authority of the air.” (Eph. 2:2) In that, very same verse Paul said the “air” is “the spirit now working in the sons of disobedience.” If we breathe in this “air,” we will begin to adopt their attitude, thoughts, speech, and conduct.
Humans must breathe in the air of our atmosphere to survive. Many cities because of pollution face a dangerous level of contamination in their air. However, an even more deadly air affects both Christians and nonChristians. Ordinary methods or devices cannot detect this poisonous air. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, spoke of the “air,” when he said that Satan was “the ruler of the authority of the air.” (Eph. 2:2) In that, very same verse Paul said the “air” is “the spirit now working in the sons of disobedience.” If we breathe in this “air,” we will begin to adopt their attitude, thoughts, speech, and conduct.
BREAD OF HEAVEN helps the reader to have a greater understanding of the timeless truths of Scripture and a deeper appreciation of the grandeur of God. It offers meditations on selected Scriptures which will draw the reader’s attention upwards to the Savior. Kieran Beville’s daily devotional combines down-to-earth, unstuffy humanity in today’s world with a biblical and God-centered approach, and draws on rich theology in a thoroughly accessible way. He addresses not just the intellect and the will but gets to the heart, our motivational center, through the mind. If your Christian life could benefit from a short, well-written daily blast of Christ’s comfort and challenge, get this book and use it! These short Bible-based meditations are fresh and contemporary. Beville gives to the twenty-first-century reader what earlier authors have given to theirs. Here is practical wisdom that is a helpful guide to stimulate worship and set you thinking as you begin each day with God.
The Conversation: An Intimate Journal of the Emmaus Encounter is a unique and riveting reconstruction from the unnamed disciple’s account found in Luke 24 regarding his journey with Cleopas on the road to Emmaus after witnessing Jesus’s crucifixion and burial, along with hearing claims of His empty tomb. Suddenly, a Stranger begins walking with them. With their eyes “prevented” from recognizing Him as the risen Lord Jesus Christ—Yeshua the Messiah, their new, wise Traveling Companion correlates the Old Covenant Scriptures, by way of Moses and the prophets, with what they witnessed.
This “journal” is your opportunity to eavesdrop and learn what that conversation might have been like, as pertinent prophecies unfold revealing evidence that the Messiah’s suffering, death, burial, and resurrection were, in fact, specifically foretold.
Unique and life-changing, More Than Devotion, through a melding of accounts from both the Old Covenant and New, proves that our trustworthy God truly is the same yesterday, today, and forever. All fifty convicting devotions draw from a rich scriptural context, concluding with a practical, achievable call to action, plus journaling space for personal reflection. New believers and veteran followers of our Lord can grow in the innermost areas of their lives and enjoy a more intimate walk with the Savior.
Stella Mae Clark thought she had a wonderful life. She idolized her father, a military man who raised her to love Christ with all of her heart. She had a mother who loved her father and their example of true love gave her the sparkle in her eyes. That is until the unimaginable happens and her life is completely shattered. One decision at the age of sixteen would again turn her world completely upside down. Stella Mae makes the decision to leave her life and her family behind to seek refuge from her painful past. She desperately seeks solace, answers, and for something to fill the aching void within her heart. Just as she thinks she has settled into a new life with Christ, tragedy once again strikes and shatters any hope she had for a normal life. She abandons Christ and turns to a life of sin before it ultimately consumes her and breaks her down. Will it take nearly losing her life to find her way back to God or will her shame and regret keep holding her back? Join Stella Mae on her journey to find meaning and purpose in the midst of all her tragedy as she seeks to find the One her heart has been missing. The story of her past is one of loss, shame, heartbreak, and fear. With the help of those who see her for more than her past, she is able to become the person she always wanted to be and a new creature.
AN APOCALYPTIC NOVEL: As you are no doubt are aware, Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye in 1995 wrote a novel entitled “Left Behind.” Jerry and Tim had some prior success with a major publisher and were able to get their novel published. The Left Behind novel was published by Tyndale House beginning in 1995 within a multiple volumes Left Behind series resulting in sales exceeding 60 million books. In 1992 Don Alexander wrote the storyline embedded in Left Behind. He copyrighted the novel in 1992 under the title “Oren Natas” [who is the Anti-Christ in his storyline]. The entire novel is contained in a single volume. It is a novel written depicting a colorful and witty cast of characters who live through all the “end time” Bible prophecies.
A routine classified telepathic interrogation of a potential terrorist, followed by an assignment that doesn’t go as planned thrusts Tabatha – the world’s only telepathic human – into the public eye. The exposure leads an evil neuro-scientist requesting a meeting with her in hopes of luring her to his cause as well as unveiling a deadly creative work that has spanned three decades of research and development.
ONLINE REVIEW: “Very fun read. Fast paced and honest. Tons of evolution occurs during the process thru the story. Wonderful girl trying to become an adult Christian in a world that also pits her superpowers against terrorists with the help of her own special forces team. Buy this book and just enjoy!”
In June 1985, an excavation project was undertaken by The British Antiquities Volunteers (BAV) at a plot of rocky land where the Kidron and Hinnom Valleys meet near the eastern side of Old Jerusalem. That year many hundreds of (mostly redundant) ‘small finds’ were recovered in the Judean desert but none of such significance as a handful of scrolls retrieved from a buried Roman satchel (presumed stolen) at this site. The discovery has since come to be known as ‘The Diary of Judas Iscariot.’ In The Diary of Judas Iscariot Owen Batstone relates the observations and feelings of Judas, a disgruntled disciple, as he accompanies Jesus of Nazareth during His ministry, and uses this fable and allegory to explore some of the ways a person might resist becoming a Christian.
Kevin Trill struggles with the notion that he may have missed the Rapture. With nothing but the clothes on his back and a solid gold pocket watch, he sets off towards Garbor, a safe haven for those who haven’t yet taken the mark of the beast. While on his way to Garbor, he meets up with an unlikely trio who befriends him. Together, they set out towards Garbor. Unfortunately, however, they are soon faced with their first major catastrophe, which sparks debate among them as to whether or not they really are in the Great Tribulation. On their journey, the group meets up with many people, some of them good and some of them evil. …
There grew an element in the valley that did not want to be ruled by the Light of the Word. Over time, they convinced the people to reject it. As they started to reject this Light, the valley grew dim and the fog rolled in. The people craved the darkness rather than the Light because they were evil. They did not want to embrace the Light because it exposed their wickedness. They rejected the Light of the Word and ruled themselves. Those few who had embraced the Light and hated the darkness were killed. Since that time anyone who embraced the Light of the Word, pursued or talked about it were arrested. Those arrested were sentenced to death by stoning. The last prophet gave a prophecy before he was martyred. “The whisperer will come and empower three witnesses that will make manifest the works of darkness and destroy it, and deliver my people from the grip of darkness to the freedom found in the light.” All the Children of the Light were killed off or went into hiding living among the Children of Darkness in secret, not mentioning the Light for fear of death. Generations grew up being ignorant of the Light of the Word and never knowing the difference. No one ever mentioned the Light or dared to even talk about the Light. …