All Articles For Ophoff, George

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The people of Israel, after their victory on the east of the Jordan, fell back to the plains of Moab, opposite Jericho. And here the journeyings of the Israelites may be said to have terminated. From this point, in the following spring, they crossed the Jordan and entered the promised land. The near approach of the people of Israel to Moab and Midian greatly alarmed the kings of these peoples, and, not daring to engage them in battle, they sent messengers to Balaam, a celebrated Chaldean diviner, begging that he would come and curse Israel for them. Balaam took counsel...

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(The Spread of the Gospel in the First Three Centuries) Wrote Paul in his epistle to the Galatians: “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: . . . that the blessings of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles.” The last clause of this scripture is the statement of a purpose, which began to be achieved shortly after the ascension of the resurrected Christ. It is the coming of these blessings on the elect of God among the gentiles in the first three centuries of our Christian era that forms the subject...

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Balaam knew God. He had insight into God’s character. As appears from his prophetic ebullitions, he was aware that Jehovah is the God, unchangeable, almighty, wise, just and good, that, in Balaam’s own words, God is not a man, that He should lie, neither the son of man that He should repent: that, hath He said, He shall do it. Nu. 23:19. There was present to Balaam’s consciousness the election of God’s people, its blessed and immeasurable extension, and the salvation in life and in death prepared for the righteous, Yet Balaam did not belong to the Israelitish people. His...

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Failing in his attempt to induce the Lord to instruct him to curse Israel, Balaam rises up and goes and returns to his place, Num. 24:25. The loss of the gold after which he lusts inflames his anger. He is burning with hostility toward Jehovah and His people. As he passes through the country of the Midianites, who dwell on Moab’s border, the thought occurs to his dark mind to counsel the heads of these peoples to call the children of Israel to the sacrifice of their gods and this in the consideration that, if the call is heeded, Jehovah...

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When Christ sent out His disciples to preach God’s gospel, He said to them, “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.” This prediction has been going into fulfillment through the ages without interruption and from the day that it was uttered by the Savior. Always have the true followers of Christ been hated of all men, of the world that lieth in darkness for the sake of the Word of God. Now hatred is the will to destroy, so that, according to this saying of Christ, the world is always bent on destroying God’s believing...

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Having passed in review the history of this martyrdom, let us now attend to the “why” of it and to its significance. To begin and to end with this hostility of the heathen world toward the primitive church in the men of this world, in their wickedness, more particular, in their native hatred of the truth or of God’s gospel, or in the various other motives by which they were driven in troubling God’s people, is to be at a loss how to explain the reception of the gospel on the part of the others unless one wants to take...

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In the previous issue of this magazine there appeared an article from my pen that bore the title “Israel’s Sins.” The title should have been the one appearing above this writing. The subject dealt with was the whoredoms and idolatry of the people of Israel in the plains of Moab, their joining themselves to Baal-peor and the subsequent death of twenty four thousand of their number by the fire of God’s anger that flamed against them. We must now state and explain the significance of this event. The people of Israel, as the army of God, were about to address...

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Having passed in review this martyrdom and having noticed its causes, let us now regard its significance. Before occupying ourselves with this last phase of our subject, it may be well at this juncture to confront the question whether there are available a sufficient amount of reliable materials out of which to construct the lay of the story of this early martyrdom and of Christianity in general in the first, second, and third centuries. These materials are at hand. For the earlier years, that is, from A.D. 33 to circa A.D. 100 they are the New Testament Scriptures—the gospels of...

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After the plague in which 24,000 perished on account of Israel’s whoredoms and idolatry with Moab, (Nu. 25.), Moses and Eleazar, the high priest, received from the Lord the command to number the people from 20 years old and upward “throughout their fathers’ house” (Nu. 26). This was to be the second numbering, the first having taken place some 39 years previous in the beginning of the second year of Israel’s sojourn in the wilderness. In treating this subject I arrange my materials under the two points: 1)  The numbering as such; 2)  Its purpose. The method of numbering to...

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This enumeration does indeed represent an interest in numbers. But it is plain that its purpose was not to learn, through determination of numbers, the numerical strength of the nation as a fighting force. Nor does the command, “Take the sum of all the congregation. . . from twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go to war in Israel,” lend support to this view. It can be shown from the context that the meaning of this instruction is: “Enumerate all of twenty years old andabove, those in this class disqualified for combat service by sickness and...

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