Category Archives: Bible study

Two sticks

If you are a Mormon or have ever talked to Mormon missionaries you probably know about this passage in the Bible:

The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, take a stick of wood and write on it, ‘Belonging to Judah and the Israelites associated with him.’ Then take another stick of wood, and write on it, ‘Belonging to Joseph (that is, to Ephraim) and all the Israelites associated with him.’Join them together into one stick so that they will become one in your hand.”  (Ezekiel 37:15-17)

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Prophecy is being fulfilled now

The Bible contains many prophecies that have been fulfilled in the past.  It contains many that will be fulfilled in the future.  But there is one which is in the process of fulfillment right now.

The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

And I answered, “O Lord GOD, you know.”

Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the LORD.”  (Ezekiel 37:1-6)

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Are the words of Jesus enough?

Most Christians believe that the entire Bible, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21, is the inspired word of God.  It is all we need to understand and serve  God and we need all of it.  I have encountered some who believe that all we need are the words Jesus spoke while he was on earth.  They believe that the words of Paul and the other writers of the New Testament are of no value whatever.  Which view is correct? Read the rest of this entry

Why did God let bad things happen to the good person?

“Why does God let bad things happen to good people?”  Have you ever heard anyone ask that question?  Perhaps you have asked it.  We know that God is just and yet we see good people undergoing bad experiences.  How could a just God allow this to happen? Read the rest of this entry

Past or future?

The book of Revelation can be hard to understand and there are a lot of interpretations of it.  One area of disagreement is whether some parts of it have been fulfilled already or whether all of it still lies in the future.  The answer to this question can be found within the book itself. Read the rest of this entry

Songs of Ascent

Psalms 120 to 134 are called Songs of Ascent.  They were sung by pilgrims going to Jerusalem for the three annual feasts they were required to attend.  They also present a picture of the pilgrimage each believer must experience in this life. Read the rest of this entry

Were you born in Jerusalem?

Psalm 87 describes Jerusalem during the Millennium, when Christ is reigning on the earth.

On the holy mount stands the city he founded;
the LORD loves the gates of Zion
more than all the dwelling places of Jacob.
Glorious things of you are spoken,
O city of God. Selah

Among those who know me I mention Rahab and Babylon;
behold, Philistia and Tyre, with Cush—
This one was born there,” they say.
And of Zion it shall be said,
This one and that one were born in her”;
for the Most High himself will establish her.
The LORD records as he registers the peoples,
This one was born there.” Selah

Singers and dancers alike say,
“All my springs are in you.”

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A hymn about the Second Coming

We sing Christmas carols to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  At Easter we sing songs about his resurrection.  Some time in the future Jesus will return to Earth as ruler and usher in a thousand years of peace and prosperity.  Isn’t that worth singing about too?  But it seems that there are very few songs about this subject.

Actually there is a very famous song that celebrates Christ’s return.  It is called Joy to the World.  But isn’t Joy to the World a Christmas carol?  It is usually sung during the Christmas season.  Perhaps we should examine it a little more closely. Read the rest of this entry

The Virgin Mary

When people speak of Mary, the mother of Jesus, they often refer to her as the Virgin Mary.  Is this designation accurate?  She was certainly a virgin when Jesus was born.

When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife,but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.  (Matthew 1:24,25)

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Are you blind?

Israel and Syria were at war.  Elisha frequently warned the king of Israel about Syria’s plans.

Once when the king of Syria was warring against Israel, he took counsel with his servants, saying, “At such and such a place shall be my camp.” But the man of God sent word to the king of Israel, “Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Syrians are going down there.”And the king of Israel sent to the place about which the man of God told him. Thus he used to warn him, so that he saved himself there more than once or twice.  (2 Kings 6:8-10)

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The lost years of Jesus

When Jesus was 12 years old Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover.  When they returned home he stayed behind but they didn’t notice at first because they thought he was somewhere among the group they have traveled with.  It took them three days to discover he was gone and then return to Jerusalem to find him.

After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.  And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.  (Luke 2:46,47)

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Love, Hate, the Hebrew language, and Idioms

Jesus said that in order to follow him we must hate our parents, our spouses, our children, and our siblings.  How can this be reconciled with the Bible’s commands that we must love these people?  Here is a post from a forum called christforums.com that explains what the Bible means when it speaks of hate.

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Love, Hate, the Hebrew language, and Idioms

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Spiritual climate change

There is a wide range of opinions on the subject of climate change.  Some believe we are on the verge of an ecological catastrophe while others think climate change presents no danger at all.  Some think our use of fossil fuels is the primary cause while others think that nothing we do has any effect on it.

A lot of people are concerned about changes in our physical climate, but how many care as much about our spiritual climate?   I am 78 years old and in my lifetime I have seen drastic changes in the spiritual climate and they have not been for the better. Read the rest of this entry

Unequally yoked

The Bible warns Christians about becoming yoked with unbelievers.

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?  (2 Corinthians 6:14)

A good king of Judah yoked himself with unbelievers and brought disaster on his country. Read the rest of this entry

Don’t do something! Just stand there!

Have you ever had someone say to you, “Don’t just stand there!  Do something!”?  Or have you ever said that to someone else?  Making such a statement is often justified when someone is faced with a situation requiring action and hesitates.  But what if the problem you are facing is something that is totally beyond your ability to solve?

King Jehoshaphat of Judah once faced such a problem.  He was a good king who not only obeyed God but appointed godly teachers and judges for Judah to help the rest of the country obey.  He once faced a problem which he could do nothing about. Read the rest of this entry

Bucket lists

Some people have a bucket list of things they want to do before they die. If you are a Christian you don’t need to make a bucket list because God has already made one for you.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10 Read the rest of this entry

One thing God can’t do

God is omnipotent.  That means he has the power to do whatever he wants.  But the Bible tells us there is one thing he can’t do which you or I or any other human can do easily.

So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath,so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.  (Hebrews 6:17,18)

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Praying against our enemies

Jesus commanded that we pray for our enemies.

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.  (Matthew 5:44)

King David once prayed against one of his enemies.

 It was told David, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” And David said, “O LORD, please turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.”  (2 Samuel 15:31)

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Praying for the dead

The Bible tells us that after death everyone will exist for eternity in one of two places, Heaven or Hell.  Some believe that those destined for Heaven will first spend time in a place called Purgatory.  Here is the Catholic Dictionary’s definition of Purgatory:  “a place or condition of temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in God’s grace, are, not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions.”  Those who believe in purgatory also believe that the living can help those in purgatory by praying for them. Read the rest of this entry

Eternal punishment or annihilation?

The Bible tells us that we are all sinners.  Jesus Christ died and rose from the dead to atone for our sins, and anyone who repents and puts his faith in him will be forgiven and receive eternal life.  After this life is over we will be with Christ for all eternity.  But this is the fate of all who fail to do this.

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done.

Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.  (Revelation 20:11-15)

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