Every year at Thanksgiving I’m reminded of the holiday’s origin, the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles. It was the crowning event in Israel’s cycle of fall feasts that also included Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. It was a celebration of the harvest, of God’s mercy in forgiving their sins for another year, and a remembrance of the time when He lived among them in the wilderness, setting them apart as His people.
I get a lot of questions about the relationship between God and Satan. Most of them are from people who want to know how God can tolerate Satan in His presence, and as far as I can tell the Bible offers no explanation for this. All we know is that Satan regularly comes before the Lord to accuse us and will continue to do so until he’s finally expelled from Heaven at the beginning of the Great Tribulation (Rev. 12:10-11).
Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. (Psalm 100)
Note: This is one of my very favorite articles Jack has written! And it means something new to me now. I thank the God of all comfort, for the words I have received from those of you who have also lost a spouse/partner/best friend (for Jack was all three, and more, to me). I will treasure them always. There is something powerful in knowing and feeling you are not alone in your sorrows.
Site update: Words cannot express how much your comments here and on Facebook, and your emails have meant to me this past week. From the beginning, the Lord has brought us the most amazing and supportive readers. And I am so very grateful for you all.
Update: Last night after a beautiful time of prayer and worship over him, Jack went home to meet his Savior. It wasn’t the healing I, and so many others, had asked and believed for. But it is, in Jack’s words, the ultimate healing. Below are the words that he wrote in 2006 that bring me comfort in this while my heart is broken. I pray they give you comfort as well.
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley
The following question was emailed to our “Ask a Bible Teacher” column this week. Since it’s such an important question, I’m responding in our feature article format so as to provide greater detail. This will also allow more people to see it, because it’s a question we’ve all asked. Continue reading…
As you go, preach this message: “The kingdom of heaven is near.” Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. (Matthew 10:7, 8)
This isn’t a usual post from us. This is an urgent call to PRAY and FAST.
In Mathew 21:22-23 it says, “And Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen. “And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
I first wrote an article by this name in October of 2014. The level of fear among pre trib evangelicals was on the rise even then. From the number of emails I have received lately, I’ve concluded that if anything, the spirit of fear has gotten worse.
Q. There is some confusion among my husband and me and some of our close friends over the meaning of 2 Cor 9:8-9. All of us believe in tithing and practice it, plus we all give above the tithe to other ministries. Some of us believe it says we should give to everyone who ask us for money no matter what. Others say we should try to be discerning in who we give money to. We all want to be generous. If we do not give to everyone who ask us for money or financial support, are we being disobedient to this scripture?
Q. Something has been weighing heavy on my mind for some time now. It seems that no one is preaching ‘preparation’. I believe there will be a rapture of the Church soon. As things are winding down and we see prophecy coming to fruition it is time for true women and men of God, I believe, to focus on being prepared for His coming. What are your thoughts on this?
Q. I really don’t know how to word this question. I accidentally came across your website while searching for facts on a movie. I was surfing around, I came across this website, and maybe there was a reason, who knows. My question is this. I was raised Catholic but I like the way Christianity goes about preaching the Word of God to its followers better. It makes sense to me the few times I have been to a Christian church and I can apply it to my everyday life easier. I am 37, married with a beautiful 10 month old son. When I see people or hear of people who are “born again” it seems they all have turning points in their life that helped them establish their commitment to God. What if you don’t have anything tragic going on in your life? I am happy with my life and my family and would never change a thing, but I have this desperate feeling that I need God in my life in a deeper way and I feel kinda helpless because I don’t know how to accomplish it. I know that may sound strange, but is it as simple as saying to God that you put your faith in him as your savior and that’s all their is to it? Seems like that is too easy. Not like I am expecting some feeling of self cleansing or something, but after reading all these tragic pivotal moments in people’s lives who have been born again, I wondered what if you don’t have tragedy in your life as a pivotal decision making point? I cannot explain this in words, but I honestly feel I have an ability to touch people in ways that most people cannot. I have always felt that I am supposed to do something in my life that affects many people in a positive way. I haven’t discovered it yet, but I know the day will come. A part of me feels very connected to God, but another part feels like I am on the outside looking in. What happens to someone that is different when they finally make the commitment to accept the Lord as their Savior? All these people with these pivotal moments in their life, what changes the day after they put their faith in God? How did they do it? Just say it? Maybe I am looking for something more than is necessary, who knows. This message might not make sense, it is hard to put into words, but if nothing else it helps put my thoughts and feeling in writing. Thanks for giving me that chance.
Q. Hi, great site and may the Lord provide for you. My faith and my walk with God has been good. I just got saved this year and I am very thankful for that. Praise our Lord. What do you think about lifting weights? Do you think that if I focus too much on sculpting and chiseling my body, I am not glorifying the Lord, but instead I am glorifying my flesh? I’ve been struggling with this. I believe the Lord has already given me an answer to this, but being human, I can be stubborn and need second opinions from brothers and sisters in Christ. Am I serving two masters? When one decides to work out and get in shape, it becomes a lifestyle. There is much needed dedication as far as diet, sleep schedule, and physics that go into building new muscles. Can it be possible to work out and serve the Lord at the same time? Thanks.
Q. I remember being told that in Jerusalem there was a passage between two walls of the city that was referred to as the eye of the needle. It was very difficult for a camel to go thru and hence the words from Christ that it was easier for a camel to go thru the eye of a needle then for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. This was a reference to that area in between the walls and the people understood that it would be difficult but certainly not impossible. Have you heard of this?
Q. I need your help to refute a charge an atheist has brought against the Bible. He claims the Bible says we “think with our hearts.” He claims approximately 920 verses say that we think with our hearts. Is he right? Does the Bible claim we think with our hearts? Isn’t it our soul that guides our actions?
Q. During recent discussions with members of the Church regarding the end-times events which are unfolding on the world scene, I have been surprised by the negative comments regarding the rapidly approaching return of Jesus. Several professing Christians have expressed their desire that there be enough time remaining which would allow them to “experience a full life.” Some of the most common comments are as follow: “I want to see my kids grow up.” “I have some things that I want to do first.” “I want to serve God longer.” Most of these people would agree that they are tired of the evil we face every day and that things are getting worse. I am baffled by their desire to remain in our current state of existence. Do their reasons for wanting to continue in this life conflict with the sentiment of 1 John 2:15-17?
Q. I have two questions. My first question is about the Pharisees. Throughout he gospels we see that the Pharisees just about hated Jesus. My question is, why? Why did they hate him? I mean, he was healing the sick and giving sight to the blind. Why weren’t they compelled to follow Him? My second question is: why did Jesus teach in parables? When I was reading the gospel of Mark recently, it seemed like He didn’t want the people to understand His message. Why is that?
Q. I have a burning question that you answered for another person, but I need examples please. When we are doing our good works for the Kingdom, how do we know if we are working in God’s power and not just our own? Is there any way to tell the difference besides waiting for the Bema judgment?