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Milk and Meat, part 1

Date: 05/01/2023 Issue Number: 418

In Heb. 5:1-10, the author (Paul, I believe) spoke about Melchizedek and how Jesus Christ became the high priest of the Melchizedek Order. Then he continues in Heb. 5:11, 11 Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. Paul then interrupts his discussion of deeper things (meat) to chide his audience for still needing the “milk” of the word. In Heb. 5:12 he calls this milk “the elementary principles of the oracles of God.” In Heb. 6:1 he calls them “elementa

Who is Your Covering? Part 2

Date: 04/01/2023 Issue Number: 417

Coverings are for minors. Parents cover their children in order to protect them and care for them. Children remain under the authority of their parents until they come of age. Of course, this does not address the problem of abusive parents who do not know how to fulfill their responsibilities properly. Our present study is designed to instruct parents in the exercise of authority (Eph. 6:4), as well as children in learning to submit to proper authority (Eph. 6:1). All authority must be subject to love, and our def

Who is Your Covering? Part 1

Date: 03/01/2023 Issue Number: 416

Occasionally, when someone hears that I am in the ministry, they will ask, “Who is your covering?” When I tell them, “Jesus is my covering,” they reply, “And who?” In other words, they do not think that Jesus’ covering is sufficient. Everyone must be accountable to a man other than Jesus, and this is referred to as a “covering.” This is, in fact, a primary requirement in most Christian denominations today, which prefer to be ruled by men rather than by God (directly). King Saul and the Rule of Men This was well

Prophetic Time Measures

Date: 02/01/2023 Issue Number: 415

Lev. 19:35, 36 says, 35 You shall do no wrong in judgment, in measurement of weight or capacity. 36 You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin; I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from the land of Egypt. A just balance establishes the principle that the judgment must always fit the crime (“eye for eye,” Exodus 21:24) and that we will be judged according to the standard by which we judge others (Matt. 7:2). The “eye for eye” principle establishes justice; the latter modifies t

Your Heavenly Calling

Date: 01/01/2023 Issue Number: 414

Heb. 3:1 says, 1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession. Who are these “partakers of a heavenly calling”? The context shows that they are the sons (children) of God, those who are part of His household. The author tells us that Christ is “counted worthy of more glory than Moses” (Heb. 3:3). Though “Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant” (Heb. 3:5), “Christ was faithful as a Son over His house” (Heb. 3:6). Moses and Chris

Habakkuk: Prophet of Faith, Final

Date: 12/01/2022 Issue Number: 413

In Hab. 3:6, the prophet foresaw “the ancient hills” collapsing. Verse 7 names them: 7 I saw the tents of Cushan under distress, the tent curtains of the land of Midian were trembling. These two are, no doubt, representative of a longer list of collapsing nations. Cushan is derived from Cush, “black,” and Midian means “strife, contention.” Perhaps Midian may represent the Mideast, as their territory was in the northwest part of Arabia. Cush was in two locations, originally in Arabia, next to the land of Midian.

Habakkuk: Prophet of Faith, part 5

Date: 11/01/2022 Issue Number: 412

The third chapter of Habakkuk is the prophet’s prayer for national deliverance. Some scholars have questioned its authorship, partly because it differs from the previous two chapters, and partly because it is omitted in the Qumran Commentary that was discovered in 1947 near the Dead Sea. (The Habakkuk Commentary was one of the 7 original scrolls found in 1947.) If the third chapter was not written by Habakkuk himself, then the text itself is incorrect in ascribing it to the prophet. The fact that the chapter is om

Habakkuk: Prophet of Faith, part 4

Date: 10/01/2022 Issue Number: 411

In Habakkuk 2:12, 13 we read, 12 Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed and founds a town with violence. 13 Is it not indeed from the Lord of hosts that peoples toil for fire, and nations grow weary for nothing? It was common practice in those days, when dedicating a new house, to sacrifice one’s firstborn son and bury him within its walls. Cities too were always dedicated to the gods of the land with sacrifices, often human sacrifices. The years of labor going into the construction of a city are wasted in

Habakkuk: Prophet of Faith, part 3

Date: 09/01/2022 Issue Number: 410

In Habakkuk 2:4, the prophet sets forth the principle of New Covenant faith. 4 Behold, as for the proud one, his soul is not right within him. But the righteous will live by his faith. Though he never uses the term New Covenant, his description roots it in the promise of God to men, rather than the promise of men to God. In fact, among the Old Testament writers, only Jeremiah calls it a “New Covenant” (Jer. 31:31). All others just refer to it as a “covenant.” Habakkuk shows a contrast between “the proud one” wit

Habakkuk: Prophet of Faith, part 2

Date: 08/01/2022 Issue Number: 409

In Habakkuk 1:1-11, the prophet raises old questions about God’s justice. The prophet has the boldness to ask the tough questions from a position of faith. He is therefore not a doubter, nor even an honest doubter. He boldly raises the questions that trouble most people, but he is also willing to wait for God’s answers. It does not shake his faith when the answers are delayed, because his faith has been “tested by fire” (1 Pet. 1:7) in the purgatory of time. How could a just God raise up ungodly nations to judge

Habakkuk: Prophet of Faith, part 1

Date: 07/01/2022 Issue Number: 408

Habakkuk was a prophet who is dated traditionally about 625 B.C. If that is correct, he was a witness to Josiah’s Great Passover (623 B.C.) that was held on the 16th Jubilee from Israel’s Jordan crossing. The story is told in 2 Chron. 35. He was also a contemporary of Jeremiah. No doubt they knew each other. Jeremiah was a priest and moved in priestly circles. Little is known about Habakkuk, except what he says about himself. Later Jewish traditions were too fanciful to take seriously, and it is clear that even th

The Promise of God, Final

Date: 06/01/2022 Issue Number: 407

In order to understand the promise of God, we have to know the meaning of grace. The Greek word in the New Testament is charis, which has a numeric value of 911. Our emergency telephone number in America is 911, so one might say that a 911 call is a call for grace. On a prophetic level, this is what occurred on September 11, 2001, which we write as 9/11. It was America’s emergency call for grace. The Hebrew word in the Old Testament is khane (or hen), which is defined as “grace, gracious, favor, acceptance.” It

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