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

Whose Wife Is She?

Q. The Pharisees or Sadducees asked Jesus if a woman marries seven brothers after each one of them dies, who will she be with in heaven? He told them they would be in the spirit. Where is that story in the Bible?

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Who Wrote The Revelation?

Q. First I wanted to say thank you for the informative site. I visit daily and enjoy your prophecy studies as well as your other topics.
I had a quick question for you. I’ve heard conflicting stories about the Apostle John from the book of John, and the John that wrote Revelation as to the fact that they where not the same guy! Have you heard this before and is there any truth behind this, if not is there anything in the Bible to tie these books together and to solidify that this is the same person. Thanks for any insight you can give. God Bless you and your family.

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Missing The Point On Tithing

Q. You said in article on the tithe: The Lord views 10% of our increase as belonging to Him. (Leviticus 27:30) Just want to point out that ‘increase’ means what it says, and it doesn’t mean giving 10% of ones entire earnings! Also, God was addressing the bad attitudes of the priests  and it was the priests who with held some of the tithes from the storehouse.
A possible rendering of ‘and this whole nation’, could refer to the tithes that were with held ‘from the whole nation’ –meaning from the people who were intended to benefit from them. I know that tithes in the storehouse were not there just for the benefit of the priests, but also for the poor & destitute who needed a meal, etc.!
So, how can you and so many other preachers/teachers abuse this word by saying the NT demands a tenth of all ones’ earnings, and not just the ‘increase’ as God’s word states? And, how can you say the NT believers are commaned to tithe? Show me one verse in the NT that clearly says so; and don’t send me verses tat I know speak only about offerings! IN fact there’s only 1 NT verse that makes reference to the tithe in Hebrews, about Melchizedek and how Abraham paid tithes through him.

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Knowing God’s Will

Q. I read your site daily and highly respect your opinions and answers. You have given me insights I have not found elsewhere. May God continue to bless your ministry.
I am struggling with knowing God’s will for my life. I was raised a Roman Catholic and fell away from the Lord for most of my life. I blamed God for all the bad things that happened in my life and wasted 30 years not knowing Him. I have been studying the bible for almost two years on my own and recently joined a church (not Roman Catholic) and got baptized. The preacher preaches salvation through Christ.
I have accepted Jesus as my personal Savior and have peace in my life for the first time. I feel guilty because I don’t think I’m doing anything for Him. He said we need to be His hands and feet, but I do not know what He wants me to do with my life.
How do I know what He wants me to do? How do I find my purpose in life? Where can I go to learn what I need to do in order to hear Him? Any information you can give me will be greatly appreciated.
 

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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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