Mystery Parables
    Mysteries of the Kingdom: The Course of the Church Age (Mat. 13:1-52)
   Jesus got into a fishing boat and preached to the people who were on the shore. A likely location is a cove near Tabgha that forms a natural amphitheater. For photos of this place see “Christ’s Ministry on the Sea of Galilee” in
Bible Times & Ancient Kingdoms, June 2016 edition.
   1. The background of the parables
   a. Jesus came and presented Himself to Israel as the promised Messiah and King (Mat. 1-10). We know that Jesus did not come to establish the Messianic kingdom; He came to die for man’s sin; but He did present.
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Christ as Reprover
   Christlikeness is compassion and gentleness and patience, but it is also firmness, even toughness, in regard to God’s holy laws. The Lord said, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent” (Revelation 3:19).
reprove copy
   Consider how forceful Christ can be in reproof to His own people (not to speak of His millennial rod of iron and the issue of eternal judgment for the unbeliever):
   “But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, GET THEE BEHIND ME, SATAN: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men” (Mark 8:33).
   “Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and
UPBRAIDED THEM with their unbelief and hardness of heart.Read More
Redeem the Time
    “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16).
   Don’t waste the precious time God has given you (Ecc. 12:1). Using one’s time wisely is an important part of spiritual victory and fruitfulness.
   The book of Proverbs warns frequently about being a sluggard (Prov. 6:6-11). We deal with this in the Way of Life Literature Advanced Bible Studies Series course on Proverbs.
   Consider some of the greatest time wasters today:
Video games. We have looked at the danger of video games, but here we consider its role in wasting time. The average gamer spends eight hours per week playing video games. This equates to 416 hours per year. Last year, a teen told me he wanted to learn to study the Bible on his phone, but when I asked to look at his phone, I found that it was filled with games. I challenged him to get rid of them and to spend that time on Bible study and other profitable things. I told him that until he was willing to put aside wasteful things, he wouldn’t make much progress in his spiritual life. One young Christian lady we know became concerned about how much time she was spending on video games, and she decided to figure it up. She concluded....Read More
Worship in Christ's Kingdom
   Christ will rule in the midst of worship.
   “And he shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba: prayer also shall be made for him continually; and daily shall he be praised” (Psa. 72:15).
 The continual praise that will characterize Christ’s kingdom is a major theme of prophecy.
   “All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah” (Psa. 66:4).
   “Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee” (Psa. 67:3).
   “Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord; Selah” (Psa. 68:32).
   “A Psalm of praise. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. 2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and....Read More
Friday Church New Notes
    DAWKINS: THE BLIND BOOKMAKER (Friday Church News Notes, October 14, 2016,, 866-295-4143) - Richard Dawkins, author of The Blind Watchmaker, claims that there is no evidence for intelligent design in nature. He ridicules the argument from design, claiming that design, though “apparent,” is not real, because Darwinian naturalism can explain everything. He says that atheists should be proud of their position because it is superior to and more reasonable than belief in a Creator God. The Bible says, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world ARE CLEARLY SEEN, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). If the invisible things of God are clearly seen in creation, why can’t Richard Dawkins see them? The answer is that he is spiritually blind. I have a blind preacher friend who lives in the Himalayan mountains and has preached in our church in Kathmandu. If he were to say to me, “Brother Cloud, I have heard that there are beautiful snow-covered mountains nearby, but I don’t believe it because I haven’t seen them,” I would say to him, “Prem, you can’t see them because you are blind. I can describe them to you, but you still won’t be able to see them.” Prem won’t be able to see until he has his resurrection body, and Dawkins won’t be able to see as long as he is spiritually blind. To obtain spiritual sight would require that he humble himself before the Almighty Creator God, admit his fallen condition and rebellion against... Read More
The Prayer That Changed History
“And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation. And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which...Read More
Christ's Model Prayer
Christ’s Model Prayer
“And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will...Read More
The Sword of the Lord and the Carl Hatch Squeeze
[Pictured: Shelton Smith, Editor, Sword of the Lord]
This is an abbreviated edition of a report that was published July 11, 2011. See the full report here.
“Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance” (Luke 3:8).
“I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32).
“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3, 5).
“And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47).
“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent” (Acts 17:30).
“Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21)..Read More
Friday Church News
Ancient Gardens Found in Petra
    ANCIENT GARDENS FOUND IN PETRA (Friday Church News Notes, October 7, 2016,,, 866-295-4143) - Archaeologists have discovered the ancient gardens of Petra with its amazing aqueduct system. “Recent excavations at Petra have revealed a startlingly advanced irrigation system and water storage system that enabled the desert city’s people to survive--and to maintain a magnificent garden featuring fountains, ponds and a huge swimming pool. The engineering feats and other luxuries attest to... Read More
computer game
Be Careful About Video Games
    We read in Ephesians: “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5:15-17).
   Video games are very addictive and they are great time wasters. Also many of them have very wicked content. Even the more innocent games use rock music as a background, thus addicting young people to the sensual rock rhythms.
   If young people are allowed to play video games, they must be carefully chosen and the play time must be strictly limited by the parents...
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The Wife as the Heart of the Home
    The following is excerpted from John Phillip’s commentary on 1 Peter:
    “Likewise, ye wives,
be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet..Read More

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