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

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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

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

Satan’s Dominion And God’s Sovereignty

Q. I listened to your audio study on Daniel 10-11 last night and came away with two questions for you:
1. Why was Isaiah killed?
2. As far as your discussion of and references to 1
John 5:19 (“the whole world is under the control of
the evil one”) and Matthew 4:8, where Jesus did not
dispute Satan’s claim to the kingdoms of the earth,
how do you square that with God’s sovereignty? Satan
had to ask God’s permission to afflict Job. Romans
8:28 says that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, and 1 Thes. 5:18 says that in all things, we are to give thanks.
 

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The Lazarus Phenomenon

Q. I just watched a program on (a major Christian cable network), called the Lazarus Phenomenon, I know that scripture says absent from the body present with the Lord, but could you explain what this is all about? Is it just an end times deception?

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Why Did God Do These Things?

Q. Why would God want to have someone killed in order to let everyone else get into heaven? Why such a brutal death? And where did the people from the Old Testament go when they died before Jesus came down to earth? How could they get into heaven? And how was there such a misunderstanding among the Jews about Jesus being their Messiah? Where did it say how they would be able to recognize Him? How could God allow so many people to go to Hell? How do we know for certain that all of these things that were written so long ago are even reliable, truthful sources?

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A Confusing Verse

Q. I was reading “The End Times According To Ezekiel, Part 1” , and came upon something that you had written. I wanted to get your opinion on this because not only is it confusing for me but possibly for many others who may have read this article. Below I have listed the verse and then after that I have pasted your comment.
And they built the high places of Baal that are in the valley of Ben-hinnom to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I had not commanded them nor had it entered My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin. (Jer. 32:35).
“Here’s a reminder of the cause of Israel’s judgment. The shedding of blood refers to their practice of child sacrifice, a form of idol worship so abhorrent to God that He said it never entered His mind that they would do such a detestable thing.” (Jere. 32:35)
I know that God knows everything and that verse confused me. Thank you for taking the time to explain this.

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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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