Feature Article

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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Last Week's Feature Article

Seven I AM Statements in John

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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Popular Posts from the Past

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The Magog Persia Alliance

A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

“Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; prophesy against him and say; ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army—your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords.  Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops—the many nations with you.’ (Ezekiel 38:3-6)

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Previous Feature Articles

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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Names of Jesus: Light of the World Part 2

A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

We read last time that Jesus is the Light of the World:

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

Jesus is the Light of the World, and by the grace of God, so are we:

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Ask A Bible Teacher

Is Our Life Span Pre-Determined?

Q. Thanks for your work in giving Biblical answers to so many questions. Does the Bible ever state That a mans life span is established at birth? Does ones life style have any affect on how long one lives? Thanks

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Evangelizing Bitter Relatives

Q. We recently had a revival at our church, and it got me to thinking about several family members who wouldn’t set foot in a church if their life depended on it. I am very concerned about a member of my family (my husband’s ailing grandfather). To my knowledge, he has not been inside a church since he was a young child (he is currently 70). He has a muddled world view that all religions lead to God, and stubbornly refuses to accept the need of a Savior. In my experience, most people tend to draw closer to the Lord in sickness and as they get older–but not him.
I also have a cousin who is currently in college. He was brought up in a secular home by two inattentive parents who just let the kids run wild. I think this environment may have contributed to the fact that he is now a very angry young man who struggles with depression and suicidal tendencies. He has relayed to me on several occasions that he believes there is “something” out there, but he is not sure what.
Religion is a very touchy subject because as a Christian, I don’t want to come off sounding like some pious “turn or burn” legalist because I want my unbelieving family members to feel comfortable confiding in me. I always hope that perhaps through discussions, I can bring up the subject of religion–and sometimes I do. But, it seems some are steadfastly unwilling to accept the fact that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.
I apologize for the lengthy illustrations, but my main question is, is there an effective way to evangelize to someone who is extremely bitter, angry, and set in their ways? I pray daily that their ears and eyes will be opened, but sometimes I wonder if I am doing enough.

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Hardship As Training

Q. In Hebrews 12:12-14, it says that unless you live the right way you will never be saved. Verse 14 adds that unless your lives are Holy you will never see the Lord. What do you make of this teaching in light of Grace, Justification and OSAS?

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Opposing Prayers

Q. Thank you so much for your site. Your insight and teaching are invaluable to me.
My question regards the concept of that which any two men agree upon will be done in heaven–what if two men agree on one thing and two other men agree on the opposite? Lots of people believe lots of things and most don’t match up, I’ve noticed.

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Proving Eden … Follow-Up

Q. I greatly respect your ministry and gift as a teacher and recognize your growing influence in the community of believers and I happily support that. Your recent response to the 17 year old regarding Eden requires me to again raise this issue.
If oil is formed in the manner you describe, how could a single generation of plant debris be converted into the thousands of tons of oil, gas, and coal that we consume each day? I am not trying to say that Genesis is inaccurate. But the way in which you are interpreting it is. Features like the Grand Canyon cannot be explained by Noah’s flood. Our community is doing itself damage by pseudo scientific explanations that are obviously false. If the oil and gas industry spends 100s of millions of dollars each year for geologist’s salaries to aid in the search for new deposits, it is because those principles work, and they work because the are based on fact. The 17 year old is going to face real problems trying to defend the movement of continents during the flood. We need to be open to the possibility that our understanding can be flawed and not dogmatic when the evidence is contrary to our understanding.
I spent seven years working in the oilfields as a geologist and seeing 1st hand subsurface evidence from the floors of drilling rigs, I taught geology in college. I believe that God has demonstrated his existence in the creation so that no one has excuse. The very same things that make non-belief inexcusable, testify to a more complex creation model. The fossil record exists and testifies to a creation before Adam which had death in it. We know that Satan existed before Adam and that he was fallen. If he existed as a sinful creation, wouldn’t death also exist?
Please don’t be offended. I really do value your ministry and that is why I feel I have to address this issue.

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Churches Or Church Buildings?

Q. I found this site by accident, but I have found it to be very helpful in my studies. My questions are: Since we the people are called the Church, why are buildings that are made of brick and mortar also called Churches. I hear so many people say “I am going to Church” how can you go to what you are called to be?

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What Should I Do?

Q. First, I was wondering about Bible college. I feel that maybe the Lord is calling me to full time ministry, but I have had an interview already at this college and they wanted me to work on finances for another year even though they were not real bad. So I am doing that and just not feeling like going. I am well aware that Satan does not want me to go, though. My thinking can be a little fatalistic at times and I just get caught up in believing that the Lord is so close to rapturing the church that I will not make it through before He comes, so why go? My Pastor and the couple that lead me to the Lord are the biggest pushers for me to go. But I will add that I have a strong desire to serve the Lord full time. What should I do?
Also, I was wondering about money. I have a 401K that I cannot use unless I quit my job. I don’t want to quit, but I would like to use that money to further the Lord’s kingdom. I have quit contributing to it for now but was wondering what I should do with it? If the Lord caught us away this year, what would become of that money? Would He commend me for saving or ask me why I did not do something with it while I had the chance since I had a good idea He was coming before long?
Is it wrong for me to just stay where I am and witness to as many people as possible? I do have a strong burden for souls that the Lord gave me right after I got saved. Or is this just what my flesh wants? I am also getting married in 3 months so that I may have further ministry options. I do know without a doubt that the Lord has allowed this. I praise Him for that! My life is very busy and I do worry too much. What advice can you give me?

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Saul And The Witch At Endor

Q. My question is about the encounter between Saul and the Witch of Endor in 1 Samuel. Was Samuel actually reached by the witch or was this a demonic manifestation designed to trick or intimidate Saul? I’ve never really heard any good or convincing teaching on this subject, but I’m well aware that necromancy is prohibited under pains and penalty of death and that anything that is not of God is (by default?) from the devil. That logic would seem to suggest that it was not the actual spirit of Samuel (I’m assuming here that the passage of scripture that says “to be out of the body is to be present with the Lord” doesn’t apply until after the Resurrection?) But if it was a demonic manifestation wouldn’t it have done more to disrupt the path of Saul/God’s chosen people?

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