To Everything There Is A Season | Ecclesiastes 3:3

by William J. Stewart

Our study through Solomon’s “…a time to…” statements continues.

A Time To Kill, And A Time To Heal
As we consider the first clause of this statement, it is noteworthy that the word “kill” here (Heb. harag) is not the same Hebrew word used in Exodus 20:13 (Heb. rasach), where God commanded, “Thou shalt not kill” (KJV). Solomon is not advocating murder. Murder is never condoned in the Bible. Though harag is sometimes used to refer to murderous action (ie. Genesis 4:8), it is often used to refer to deaths resulting from wars (Numbers 31:7-8) or capital punishment (Deuteronomy 13:6-11). It is likely that in this text, Solomon has in mind these times of war. Continue reading

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To Everything There Is A Season | Ecclesiastes 3:2

by William J. Stewart

The “…a time to…” statements of Ecclesiastes 3 are simple, relatable tidbits, but they carry within them the wonderful insights which Solomon received from God regarding the affairs of the world. Much thought can be provoked in each case. This week, we will consider Ecclesiastes 3:2. Continue reading

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To Everything There Is A Season | Ecclesiastes 3:1

by William J. Stewart

Did you know Solomon had a #1 hit? In 1965, The Byrds, an American rock band, released the song “Turn, Turn, Turn.” The lyrics have been attributed to Peter Seeger, however, all but the title and the first two lines of the song come from Ecclesiastes 3, which was written by Solomon. The words were popularized by The Byrds, but it was God’s Spirit that inspired the wise king of Israel to write it. We will focus on this simple yet profound text over the next several weeks. Continue reading

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Remember

by William J. Stewart

Since WWI, November 11 has been used to commemorate those who gave their lives in times of war. The day is titled differently, depending upon your country of origin. In the USA, it is called Veteran’s Day. For the Polish, it is Independence Day. Folks in France and New Zealand call it Armistice Day; on Malta and in South Africa, Poppy Day. In the United Kingdom and it’s commonwealth countries (Canada included), it is generally referred to as Remembrance Day.

It is certainly a good thing to remember those who gave themselves to preserve the temporal freedoms which we enjoy. However, we ought to remember also that the Lord Jesus gave Himself, not for our temporal pleasures, but for our eternal benefit. Let us consider a few things the Bible says regarding remembrance. Continue reading

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A Contrast Between Two Men

by Sunday Ayandare | Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria

The Book of Proverbs presents to us a contrast between two women. On one hand is an immoral, seductress type who “flatters with her words; … of a crafty heart, who is loud and rebellious…” (Proverbs 7:5, 10-11). On the other hand is the virtuous type whose worth “is far above rubies” (Proverbs 31:10-29). Continue reading

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Thanksgiving

by William J. Stewart

Happy Thanksgiving! While looking at the history of Thanksgiving, I was intrigued to find the following:

On Thursday, January 31, 1957, the Parliament of Canada proclaimed: A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed— to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October.  (wikipedia.org)

Many are more than ready for the family gatherings, the turkey dinners, the football games, the festivals and other such things, but are we focused on giving thanks to Almighty God? Continue reading

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Show Me Your Faith

by William J. Stewart | James 2:18

The doctrine of salvation by faith alone is exceptionally common in today’s religious world. One modern day proponent of the doctrine has admitted James 2:14-26 “…definitely seems to cause serious problems for the ‘salvation by faith alone’ concept.” Undeterred, he tries to explain away James 2 by redefining the word “justified,” citing marginal translations, and then falsely claiming, “…any verse that ascribes salvation to faith/belief, with no other requirement mentioned, is a declaration that salvation is by faith alone.”1 Two things to note: 1) the only way this works is for the Bible student to ignore every verse ascribing salvation to something other than faith; but wait, 2) the writer just acknowledged in his statement that there are verses which ascribe salvation to faith, but also mention other requirements. The sad fact is, many today simply do not believe what James wrote. Continue reading

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The Process Of Revival

by William J. Stewart

Last week, looking at the words of Isaiah the prophet as recorded in Isaiah 1:10-15, we saw through the example of Israel that wickedness among God’s people will:

  • Remind the Lord of Sodom and Gomorrah (v 10);
  • Cause the Lord to not want our sacrifices (v 11);
  • Render the assemblies of God’s people without glory to God (v 12);
  • Make our worship wearisome to the Lord (v 13-14), &
  • Result in the disdain and disregard of God toward our prayers (v 15).

When such things are the case with God’s people, then it ought to be evident that revival is needed. Thus, let us consider the Lord’s plan to bring those who are dead back to life as revealed in Isaiah’s prophesy. Continue reading

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The Need For Revival

by William J. Stewart

The apostle Paul, after using Israel as an example, wrote to the Corinthians, “Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor 10:12). Sadly, sometimes we get too comfortable with the idea that we are God’s people, and thus fail to give due diligence to our conduct. We do not have sufficient time or space to consider the numerous occasions where this was the case among God’s people of old, however, it would do us well to consider the word of the Lord as revealed through Isaiah against His people, lest we forget the manner of conduct and sincere devotion which we must give our great God.

Notice the accusation against Israel: “I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against Me; the ox knows its owner and the donkey it’s master’s crib; but Israel does not know, My people do not consider” (v 2-3). They are described as “…a sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a brood of evildoers, children who are corrupters!” (v 4). They are a nation of sickness and disease, a barren land with cities afire, with only a remnant left by the Lord. Continue reading

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“Shine before men,” but “not to be seen by them”

by William J. Stewart

In His teaching from the sermon on the mount, among other things, Jesus addressed our conduct before men. At first glance, the two statements which are in our article title today might appear to be opposed to one another. The Lord expects that we “shine” before men, but at the same time warns us “not to be seen” by them. Huh?? We will use our time today to look at these words carefully, and to see how we are to accomplish this in our lives day by day.

In Matthew 5:14-16, we find the words of Jesus: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” There is no doubt, we are called to be a visible example before the world. Solomon penned, “…the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day” (Proverbs 4:18). The apostle Paul spoke of Christians as “…blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world…” (Philippians 2:15). Continue reading

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