A Detour
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At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire.  (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.)  All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census.  And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee.  He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who […]

In My Place
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“Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His. ‘With His stripes we are healed.’ ” (E.G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 25)

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I believe those are […]

Easter? Pascha? What Is It?
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The Resurrected Christ

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“The day of resurrection –”

John Wesley sang,

“Earth, tell it out abroad!
The passover of gladness,
The passover of God!”

But that brings us no closer. What does that mean?

The answer lies far, far away. Go back in time. Back a hundred generations, to the margin of the Roman Empire, in a little province called Palestine, where a small band of people have just gone straight to hell.

Over the past few years, they had learned something wonderful. They […]

The God-forsaken God
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Friday’s section of this week’s SS lesson asks the question, “Critics of Christianity will often argue that Jesus knew beforehand that, though He would die, He would be resurrected to life. Thus, they ask, what was the big deal about His death when He knew it would be only temporary?”

My mother knows that flying in an airplane is safer than traveling by car. She knows the sad statistics that people are killed every day on the highways, while a rare […]

He Grew the Tree He Knew Would be Used to Make the Old Rugged Cross
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Around a hundred years ago, when I was a teenager, a country singer by the name of Barbara Mandrell, sang, “He grew the tree that He knew would be used to make the old rugged cross.” The song brought out, that even at creation Jesus was planning our redemption. This song could not be any truer.

In Genesis 2:17 God says, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not […]

The Messiah in Prophecy
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Several years ago, I was showing a set of Christian books to a lady. There were several hardbound books in the set, which also included beautiful art work. The lady loved the books, and asked how much they were. I told her, “Four-twenty-nine.” She was delighted, and exclaimed, “Is that all!” I said, “Yes.” I  went on to explain the payment plans, of cash, credit card, or down payment of 15% and then 12 monthly payments. She looked confused, and […]

Was the Atonement to Appease an Angry God or an Angry Race?
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“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:8

Was the atonement and sacrifice of Christ a matter of vengeance? Did God the Father send His Son to die because He needed to see someone suffer for the rebellion?  Do we serve a God that just has to see somebody suffer and pay the price for disobeying Him? Really, why did Christ have to […]

Who Will Stand True Against the Majority?
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I recently finished a biography of John Wycliffe, 14th century herald of the reformation. I learned some fascinating info I had not previously known. Like the prophet Daniel, Wycliffe left home as a teen, never to return. John Wycliffe was not merely the first to provide, with his assistants, the entire Scriptures in English, but he was really the first to seriously question the Scriptural authority for the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation and the infallibility of the pope. Wycliffe was […]

The Meaning of Christmas
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Be it admitted from the start that we do not know the day on which our Lord was born. His early biographers did not think it of sufficient importance to record. 1

We do not know why the church chose to celebrate that birth when they did. Perhaps to stay concealed from Roman sight, perhaps to assimilate converts more easily, perhaps because old traditions told them that it was the day, after all. But they chose better than they knew, when […]