Feature Article

Wrestling with God

Wrestling With God

A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

How a simple wresting match foretold the history of the nation Israel.

That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man.

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The Way It Was Meant To Be

The Way It Was Meant To Be

Commentary by Jack Kelley

The Prosperity Gospel teachers are right when they say the Lord intended for us to live abundant lives.  The problem is, they have misrepresented the Lord’s  promise of abundance, turning it into a false teaching where the motive is greed and not gratitude.  Because of this only the teachers themselves are awash in material wealth, while as a group their followers rank 2nd lowest of all American Christians in average income.  (Source: Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life)  The Lord intended for us to be financially secure so we could be generous to a fault, not so we could live a life of excess while ignoring the needs of others.

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Popular Posts from the Past

The Covenant Relationship

The Covenant Relationship

A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt. (1 Samuel 18:3-4)

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Previous Feature Articles

The Seven “I AM” Statements In John

A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

Recently I completely re-vamped a study I had originally written in 2003, entitled “The Seven Miracles In John.”  In it I showed how John selected these seven miracles specifically for their ability to help us believe that Jesus is who He claimed to be, and that by believing we might have eternal life.

In addition to these seven miracles John’s gospel contains seven “I am” statements.  Their focus is on what happens after we become believers.  You can call them part 2 of John’s underlying message to the Church.   In this study, we’ll  look at these seven “I am” statements to see what they’ll tell us.  Here’s the first one.

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Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

Right from the beginning, most informed commentators have predicted that the only logical conclusion to the so-called Middle East Peace process would be war.  Contrary to what our leaders have told us, the Palestinian goal has never been to accept a two state solution.  They’ve already turned that deal down at least twice.  No, the goal has been to eliminate the Jewish state altogether.  As long as they could win concessions at the bargaining table war could be avoided, but the day would obviously come when no more concessions could be given, and the only option would be to go to war for the rest.  That day may have come, and of course the stumbling block is  Jerusalem.

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The Great Pyramid of Giza

A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

The Great Pyramid’s builder knew all the dimensions of Earth and had a command of engineering, astronomy, and mathematics that would be impressive even today. If this guy didn’t have supernatural capability himself, he was certainly assisted by Someone who does. (Note: I first posted this article on Jan 23, 2005. I offer it again as a follow up to the recent article entitled “What’s To Become Of Egypt.”)

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Happy New Year

Commentary by Jack Kelley

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:4-7).

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A Shepherd’s Story

A Christmas Story by Jack Kelley

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.

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Names of Jesus: Immanuel

 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:23)

It defies logic that the eternal, Son of God stepped down off His Heavenly throne and became the Son of Man, entering our world as a helpless infant. He became flesh and dwelt among us to save us from our sins and allow us to become children of God and dwell with Him forever. (Psalm 23:6) He is Immanuel, God with us. He is with us always, (Matthew 28:20) He will never leave us nor forsake us, (Hebrews 13:5) and we can never flee from His presence. (Psalm 139:7-12)

In the midst of our growing to do lists and our anxieties, God is with us. In our loneliness, God is with us. In our pain and suffering, God is with us. He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4) He comforts us in all our troubles. (2 Corinthians 1:4) He is our refuge, our strength and our ever present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1) He is forgiving and faithful and delights to show mercy. (Micah 7:18) Our God truly is an awesome God. He is great beyond our comprehension. We put our lives into His hands knowing that He will do a much better job with it than we ever could.

Today as we go about our last minute tasks, let us keep in mind that our God is with us. Instead of anxiety over all there is to do, let’s remember that the only work He requires is to believe in the one He has sent. Once we have entered His rest  everything we do from then on, we do in gratitude. We can do nothing to earn this unmerited favor, and nothing we do can take it away. He is with us. Immanuel. Let us keep this immeasurable truth in our minds today and always, that the creator of the universe, our Savior, is for us and is always with us. Praise be to God! Amen and Amen!

Names of Jesus: The Gate

A Bible Study by Jack Kelley 

Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. (John 10:7-9)

There is no way around it, through Jesus only can we be saved.

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Names of Jesus: The Good Shepherd

A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.” (John 10:11-15)

No one expects sheep to be responsible for themselves. Owners hire shepherds for that purpose. A shepherd’s job is to accept responsibility for the safety and well being of his flock.

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Ask A Bible Teacher

The Restrainer

Q. Grace mercy and peace from God our father and Lord Jesus Christ.
In a question , you said the restrainer is the Holy Spirit. I beg to differ there , there isn’t anywhere where the restrainer is called or even referred to as the Holy Spirit or for that matter the church.
Please show me anywhere where this is. Cause I’ve been reading and studying it for 12 years and I’ve never read one time where the Holy Spirit is referred to as the restrainer . Please explain

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When Were Adam And Eve Created?

Q. I’m hoping you can help with a discussion my wife and I are having regarding creation. I know that some parts of Genesis can be “proven” date wise based on written information and compared with the time frame that societies existed ie, Pharoah and Egypt etc.
Our question is though is there any way to figure out approximately when man (Adam and Eve) first appeared on Earth? There are so many shows on the subject of the age of the earth as well as mankind that it gets very confusing. It seems that most of the media is untrustworthy when it comes to these issues, and I don’t know if they are intentionally trying to deceive people into doubting the Bible or are they just mistaken? our Pastor has the same opinion that you do that information should be tested against the Bible but some things are not given full explanation.
Also have you heard the opinion or idea of “earth ages”? I have heard a minister speak of separate earth ages (we are in the 2nd) where in the 1st earth (I know you have mentioned this in other letters) that Satan interefered in Gods original creation and God began creation again where Genesis begins.
One last question, I know that the Bible speaks of the war in Heaven between God and Satan and his army but are there books available that expand on this topic and its time frame? It seems that different translations of the Bible offer insight into this but without a degree in Hebrew or Greek we are left without much info. Thanks for your response to my long letter.

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A Question about John’s Baptism

Q. Re: Acts 19:1-7. This has long been a concern for me. My Sunday School teacher teaches that water baptism is not relevant today.
And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”
So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”
And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.”
Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”
When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. Now the men were about twelve in all. Acts 19:1-7
This is the scripture that I don’t understand. These people already believed in Jesus but they didn’t receive the Holy Spirit until they were baptized in His name. Please explain.

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Christ In The Psalms

Q. Just now I was reading Psalm 18 and was struck by something. In some Psalms the writer seems to be prophesying Jesus hundreds of years later, for example his punishment, torment, piercing, and death.
Psalm 18 seems to me to be more reflective of the life and future reign of Jesus than that of David. The cords of death entangling him, his blamelessness, crushing his enemies, and ruling over the nations.
I am obviously no Bible expert, so that’s why I’m asking you, but to me this Psalm tells the story of Jesus from his time as a man until whenever he comes again (which is “soon”). If I’m retreading old ground it’s no big deal, but I was surprised how clearly this all jumped out at me, and would like your opinion. Thanks, for everything you do on this site.

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John The Baptist And Elijah

Q. I was just curious why it is that when John the Baptist identifies himself in the Gospel of John as the one who was a voice crying out in the desert he attributed the scripture to Isaiah and not Malachi?

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Did Jesus Visit Hell?

Q. Love your website, I don’t know if this question has been asked before, sorry if it has.
After Jesus was crucified and before he was resurrected, did He go down and visit Hell?
I have heard that in the past and wondered if you could explain to me where Jesus was (his spirit) at the time between burial and resurrection.
Thank you so much and God Bless your ministry.

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Two Cups Of Wine

Q. My son and I were swapping bible verses when we came upon an apparent discrepancy. In John 19:30 it appears Jesus drank what the soldiers offered. However, in Mark 15:23 it appears He didn’t and the other two gospels don’t mention anything about it. I’m sure there is a good reason why there appears a discrepancy but can’t think what! Could it be that both the verses were referring to two different drinks. We would appreciate your help in understanding this matter.

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Is A Believer Marrying An Unbeliever A Sin?

Q. My question is on 2 Corinthians 6:14 which states “Do not be unequally yoked together with an unbeliever.” Does that mean, if believer does marry unbeliever, he or she is committing a sin? Or is this just a recommendation?

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Who Are The Ungodly?

Q. You have talked previously about Hades being the place where people wait to be judged.
Who exactly are the ungodly? Are they all non-Jews or just people who were disobedient to God?
My question to you is, what happens to people who were followers of God but not part of the covenant relationship between God and His chosen people?
Also where do non-believers go today – do they also await judgment with those from the past.

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Judging The Church

Q. Jack, what is your take on 1 Peter 4:17? This sounds to me like judgment is going to begin with the church. Where and how is this judgment going to take place? Thanks for your time!

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