All posts by Peter Ditzel

The Resting Place of Faith

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This article appeared in a publication called Supplement to the British Flag published February 1, 1862. The British Flag was billed as "A Journal for Soldiers and Sailors." It was published by the United British Army Scripture Readers' and Soldiers' Friend Society. No author's name was listed with the article. The article addresses three general and very common errors: 1) "My works prove I am saved," 2) "My works prove I am not saved," and 3) "Christ has surely saved His people, but how do I know whether that includes me?" These three errors are so common, and so frequently instigated by preachers, that I believe that just about every reader can benefit from reading this article. Aside from breaking the first paragraph into four shorter ones for the sake of eye appeal, I have not edited the article; all emphases are in the original. –PD

Christ is the great and proper object of faith. My faith, therefore, should rest on Him—not on myself nor anything in myself. He that trusts in himself, or in his righteousness or holiness, is a Pharisee, not a Christian.

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Q. How did evil appear in the Garden of Eden?

A. There are only three possibilities for how evil appeared in the Garden of Eden. Either 1) God had no intention of evil appearing but it crept in accidentally anyway, 2) God knew that evil might appear but he intentionally took a neutral stance and then came up with a plan depending on what Adam and Eve chose, or 3) God intended evil to appear in the Garden because it served His purpose to glorify His Son.

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What and When Is the Millennium?

by Peter Ditzel

The word “millennium,” although not found in the Bible, has become a common term in Christianity. Verses 2-7 of Revelation 20 mention the words “thousand years” six times. The word “millennium” comes from the Latin “mille anni” found in the Latin Vulgate of Revelation 20 and means “thousand years.” Thus, the thousand years spoken of in Revelation 20 has come to be called the millennium. From these few verses in Revelation has come a controversy among Christians that has lasted for, well, millennia. There are three basic views concerning the millennium, which also happen to be views as to what will happen when Jesus Christ returns: premillennialism, postmillennialism, and amillennialism. There is also another view, full preterism, that says the return of Christ has already occurred and we are living in the aftermath. In this article, I will state what each of these positions believes, and then I will briefly point out which of these positions I believe is best supported by the Bible.

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Q. You say that Christians don’t need to tithe. But Malachi 3:7-12 says that not tithing is robbing God. How do you respond?

A. The question is whether this applies to Christians.

Malachi 3:7-12 says,

Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return? Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.

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You Have Been Born Free

by Peter Ditzel

Some of you may remember the wonderful 1960s film, Born Free. Our family has it on DVD, and it is one of our favorite family videos. It is based on the true story of George and Joy Adamson. George is a gamekeeper in Africa. The couple adopts a lioness cub after George had to kill her mother in self defense. They name the cub Elsa, and bring her up as a pet. As Elsa grows, George and Joy realize they must get rid of her. The obvious solution is to send her to a zoo, but Joy suggests that they set her free. They make several attempts to rehabilitate Elsa to the wild, all unsuccessful. Tired and discouraged, George again suggests to Joy that they send Elsa to a zoo. “Is freedom so important?” he asks. Joy’s response hits a sympathetic chord within me: “She was born free, and she has the right to live free!”

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Q. Why did Jesus tell the rich, young ruler to keep the commandments to be saved?

A. The question is based on Jesus’ statement at the end of Matthew 19:17, where Jesus says, “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” Without an understanding of the context, this can certainly sound as if Jesus is saying that the man could have been saved by keeping the commandments. So, let’s look at the surrounding verses more carefully. The dialog between Jesus and the rich, young ruler is found in Matthew 19:16-22, Mark 10:17-22, and Luke 18:18-23, with the subject continuing to be discussed in the verses that follow.

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