The Feast of Tabernacles takes place each year beginning five days after Yom Kippur and lasts for over a week. Adherents to tradition make a shelter in their back yard of branches and leaves decorating it with fruit and vegetables to commemorate the time when the Lord dwelt with them in the wilderness. Then they at least take their meals in the shelter and perhaps spend a night or two as well. For this reason Tabernacles is sometimes called the Feast of Booths.
Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. You will be true to Jacob, and show mercy to Abraham, as you pledged on oath to our fathers in days long ago. (Micah 7:18-20)
Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year.Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the Lord your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the Lord your God always.But if that place is too distant and you have been blessed by the Lord your God and cannot carry your tithe (because the place where the Lord will choose to put his Name is so far away),then exchange your tithe for silver, and take the silver with you and go to the place the Lord your God will choose.Use the silver to buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, or anything you wish. Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice. (Deuteronomy 14:22-26)
This is the time of year when Jews everywhere celebrate Rosh Hashanah, literally “head of the year.” Although just before the Exodus the Lord changed the calendar so that the year would begin in the spring (Exodus 12:1) the Israelites continued to celebrate the New Year in the fall since Rosh Hashanah is an important date for other reasons. Continue reading…
I’ve received a number of questions about a recent series of online articles disputing the idea that Jesus died for all our sins, past, present, and future on the cross. The articles make the claim that the Bible teaches no such thing. So let’s find out. Does the Bible teach that all the sins of our life were forgiven at the cross or doesn’t it?
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6-7).
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matt. 6:31-33).
A guest speaker came to our church with an interesting insight on the Lord’s Prayer. Taking line by line, he showed us how to turn it from something we know by heart and can recite without thinking into an impassioned personal discussion with the Lord that can last as long as we want. You do it like this.
Q. Thank you for your wonderful site. I attempt to lead an adult SS class and there are questions we have about 1 John 5:16,17. When John says that we should pray for those committing a sin that does not lead to death, (what is that sin? – I thought all sin lead to death) and then he is saying that we should not pray for our ‘brother’ who commits the sin that is leading to death – (what is that sin?).
Q. I always thought of the first 2 verses of Genesis as describing Earth in its early stages of development. But you say they don’t, that a gap of time between the first two verses hints that the Earth was created much earlier, that Satan and the angels came to be then, and that there was a great judgment that destroyed the Earth. How can this be? And what about all the fossils? Did they happen back before Genesis? Doesn’t Romans 5 say that sin and death entered the Earth with Adam?
Q. My entire life, I have never cheated on anyone. Not a girlfriend, not anyone. I have been married for a little over 3 years, and now I constantly wrestle with wanting to cheat. Even though the sex has declined in my marriage over the past year, I am still very happy with my wife. I am, however, getting sick of always having the thought of cheating enter my head, whether I am awake or asleep.
I just want it to stop. My second problem is related to the first. I find that since the sex has declined, I view pornography more. I feel bad sometimes, but when I do view it, it seems to quench the cheating urge for a little while. Am I just fooling myself with this idea?
Q. God has created people who are deaf, dumb, blind, crippled, etc. Why? I can not understand, why he created these people, what is the real message behind this creation and what does God want from us? What is the logic behind this whole thing?
Could you please explain why war, sickness pain and misery?
Q. My question is, how were Gentiles saved before Christ? and how did they receive the message of who God is if God worked through the Jews? In Eph 2:13 what is it referring to? It confused me because it appears to indicate that the Gentiles were not offered salvation previously.
Q. Here is my question to you. We are all sinners, and though I thank God every day for all he has provided me, and beg him to not leave me, how do I know when all is said and done and I am standing before God he will not say to me, “Be gone! I know you not.” Several of us were talking about this and I thought I would ask you. We do believe that Jesus is the son of God made man that came to earth and died for our sins that we may know everlasting life in heaven. It is only by the blood of Jesus washing us clean that we can ever hope to stand before God the father and hope and pray he tells us welcome. So there you have it. Can you help?
Q. A Pastor spoke today on having images in the house like birds, fish, and of course, statues. He said they are to be removed so as not to defile the house and ourselves.
I can understand that if one has images of dragons or anything satanic for sure as that opens up the doors to the occult. I don’t have any of those. I do have gifts given me for decoration i.e. ceramic angels, cats etc. Needless to say I don’t ‘worship’ them. But the fact they are here, should they be removed?
Q. I have recently quit my job because I was lusting over a married woman there. I have never in my life had such a strong sexual desire for a woman – it was driving me crazy, I couldn’t hardly think of anything else. She had suggested that her marriage was all but over and I had hoped that we would be together when they divorced. Also I had hoped her husband would die while alternately being guilt ridden and telling the woman we must stop and that I would pray for her marriage. Long story short: I became obsessed with this woman and it consumed my whole life. Finally I quit the job and told her not to ever contact me again – and I meant it.
But during all this affair, I have entered into a spiritual darkness that I cannot even begin to describe. I wonder if I have quit the job so that I will not sin or so I will not be miserable with frustration.
My whole life has been marked with seasons of sin and turning from sin. So now I am here in this deep anguish of soul wondering why, if I am a believer, have I lived such a life with so many episodes of blatant, willful sin? Am I now just heartbroken over my circumstance and running to God? Is that what I have always done? I wonder if I am just a big fraud.
Q. I read an article with the theme “Not Everyone Will Have the Same Status in Heaven”. It said that although God loves each of us without end, some will be given positions of higher status, authority, and responsibility than others, citing Matt 5:19 and 19:30 (NLT).
It also said, “All who trust in Jesus Christ will experience eternity in His presence. In heaven, there will be no sorrow, death, crying, or pain. However, there is no guarantee that we will not experience regret.”
Do you agree with the writer of the article? The quoted verses backing the writer’s opinion? I know I asked a similar question before about a preacher’s idea about hierarchy in the church in heaven and you said it’s pure guessing. But what do these verses truly mean then?