What We Believe
Ken's Commentaries
Association for
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Ken Ryland's Commentaries

Longtime writer, editor, and translator, Ken Ryland, comments on cultural and religious issues of the day. We hope you find these commentaries enlightening and thought-provoking. If you have any comments concerning the topics presented on this page, please don't hesitate to send them to us. We would love to hear from you.

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Israelites, Gentiles, and the New Covenant

It occurred to me the other day that I have been taking this matter of the Old and New Testaments all wrong... I had for too long been locked into the belief that we have Israel in the Old Testament and the Church in the New -- a sort of divine schizophrenia.

Finally, I realized that it is not that there is no difference between the Old and New Testaments or the Old and New Covenants. Differences abound. The problem is that we have separated the Church of Jesus Christ from Israel. What I failed to see is that the Church is the promised faithful remnant of the nation of Israel -- complete with gentiles grafted in. The apostle Paul did a wonderful job explaining how all this works, but it seems that when we read Romans, chapters 9 through 11, the veil is over our eyes.

On the Cusp of Extreme Evil

I have always assumed that Jesus was probably speaking of nuclear warfare when He said in Matthew 24:22 that, at the time of his second coming, unless God were to intervene in the affairs of men, there would be no flesh saved alive. However, after reading the feature article by Bill Joy in the April 2000 (8.04) edition of Wired magazine, I have come to realize that my assumptions were premature and simplistic. It seems that some of our newest technology - nanotechnology, genetic engineering, and robotics - is bringing us into a whole new era of weaponry that could far supersede the terror of nuclear weapons.

Prophecy Basics -- The AntiChrist

Anticipation is in the air. Everywhere Christians are thinking that ours could be the age that ushers in the return of the King of kings, the Lord Jesus Christ. Well, that's not such a bad expectation. The sense of expectancy generates urgency, and urgency beckons us to preparation.

Unfortunately, such expectancy also generates lunacy and groundless speculation. I am just as curious as the next guy (maybe even more curious than most) when it comes to wanting to know the signs of the return of Christ. That's why I'm willing to look at and consider just about any prophetic scribbling or utterance regarding the times and season of the Lord's return. And, believe me, the speculations surrounding the prophetic timetable, the antichrist, the temple, the tribulation, and on and on, are almost endless.

Let's take the subject of the antichrist for starters.

The Great Thanksgiving Day Disappearing Act

As we passed that last week in November, I was lamenting the loss of Thanksgiving from our national calendar. To be sure, the day is still listed in the month of November every year, but its importance as a national day of recognition of the blessings and protection of Almighty God over our nation and over our personal lives is all but gone. We still get together as families; the family is the last bastion of "thanksgiving" to God in our great country. However, in the malls and public squares, there is not even a shadow of remembrance of our need of gratitude for the Lord's giving us such favor among nations.

Great Joy in Tribulation

Have you ever heard of the Hmong people of Vietnam? Many of them are Christians and daily face privation and persecution. Yet, undaunted these refugees in their own country have learned to put their trust in the Lord and drink in of His joy, even in the midst of tribulation. Read their inspiring story.

Is "Babylon the great" of Revelation 17 New York City?

There are many theories about who the Babylon of Revelation 17 and 18 is. Some contend that Babylon the great of Revelation represents New York City and the United States in the broader sense. Is that possible?

Recapturing Excellence

We have heard many times the scripture that refers to "the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus." Have you ever thought about what that means? Excellency has to do with surpassing the current standard, exceeding the norm. But, how does God's work of excellence translate itself into our character?

Does God Still Shape the Affairs of Nations?

Throughout the Bible we see God acting in and shaping the affairs of nation states as well as individual lives. In spite of the scepticism of modern man, it is easy to see how God has intervened in specific historical events to shape the order of history. What I want to know is whether God is still directing the affairs of nations the same way He did in "Bible times." What do you think? Is God arranging the outcome of events here in the United States?

When Will the Tribulation Begin? 

One of the most commonly asked questions among Christians these days is "When will the tribulation begin?" I, like many others, believe that the return of Christ is imminent, which means that the tribulation (or "the great tribulation" as some refer to it) is even nearer. This is a legitimate question for Christians to ask, but in this land of plenty what is often meant is "When will my way of life begin to be upset?" I ran across a story the other day that should shape our perspective on the nearness of the tribulation.

Why Study Prophecy?

Recently I had the opportunity to participate in a prophecy roundtable via the miracle of modern telecommunications. While preparing for this discussion, the thought occurred to me that we were not just participating in an academic exercise.

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