Because my Questions and Answers page has been getting too long, I'm continuing it here on a new page. These are my questions of the week starting from 17 October 2008.
I was reading about the red heifer in Numbers 19. I don’t quite understand this passage. This is a passage which has been discussed for thousands of years and its significance is not completely understood, but the important thing to take away from reading this is the severity of sin and our need for cleansing. As death comes about because of sin, and death is the ultimate punishment for it, we must be cleansed from the stain of death and sin. The remarkable part of this account is that in the process of obtaining the ashes from the red heifer for use in cleansing, everyone who touched the heifer or its ashes was unclean, and yet it was these very ashes which cleansed those on whom the mixture was sprinkled. This is similar to what happened when Jesus died. When He was crucified, the law said that anyone who touched His dead body would be unclean – and yet it was His precious blood which cleansed them (and us today) from all sin and the pain of death!
My question is has everyone heard the gospel? This is a very good question because many teach that Colossians 1:23 indicates this - ….if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister. However, there is no reason to accept the word “every” in this instance is anything more than hyperbole. We’ve all heard a child say something like, “Moooom, everyone else has a turbo nitrix pellet pistol – why can’t I have one too?” This is stated in hyperbolic form to make a point. This also occurs in the Bible and not “every” means “every” nor does every “all” mean “all” in the absolute sense. The context must be looked at to determine what a term really means. Having said that, the truth of God has been seen by all - ….because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, Romans 1:19-20. But, not all have heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the reason for the Great Commission - Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:19, 20. We, as Christians, are told to proclaim this good news to the world. It is instilled in all men that there is a God and his divine attributes are evident in the created order. Therefore, it is every man’s duty to actively seek a relationship with God despite hearing the Gospel. By doing so, they will be receptive if and when it is proclaimed to them.
Is it true Jesus wasn’t born on December 25? I had this as a question of the week a couple years ago, but it’s a fun subject and December is coming soon. So this week I typed a new page – When Jesus Was Born. Click on the button at the top of the page for all the exciting details!
Mr. Muss asked – I’ve heard that Moses didn't really write the first 5 books of the Bible. What do you think about that? This kind of thing pops up from time to time. First, if he didn’t then what would be the point of saying he did? Secondly, one of the reasons for this claim is that there are different names for God used intermittently throughout these books. That’s not a real solid reason to disbelieve Mosaic authorship, as there are probably 500-1000 titles for God in the Bible, each describes a part of His character. Thirdly, there are patterns throughout these books which clearly demonstrate a unified composition and therefore a single author. Some of these patterns include chiasms, personal parallels, numerical patterns which go waaaaay beyond random chance, stylistic similarities, etc. The books are a single unit as the Jewish people and, later, the church has maintained.
I was told that if I were a true Christian I would speak in new tongues, but I feel stupid trying to make the garbly noises they’re making. Can you explain all this to me? Sure, they’re basing this on Mark 16:17, 18. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover. The next time someone tells you this, hand him a bottle of bleach and tell him to drink up. I’ll bet they won’t. If they're going to stick to their stand, then they need to be able to defend it and this is the best way to prove their faithfulness in the matter. The sad part is that this isn't just a doctrine of fringe churches, but there are even Bible colleges teaching this stuff. They’re taking a few verses in the Bible entirely out of context and making up silly doctrine based on them. You are not required to make goofy noises to impress Jesus Christ, you are required to put your full trust and faith in him and never rely on works of any kind. Cheers!
I recently heard that the Garden of Eden was where
Jerusalem is now and the guy said that the third river in Genesis still flows through there. Is this true? I’m going to direct you to the following verses to read: 1 Kings 1:33-35, 2 Chronicles 32:30, and 2 Chronicles 33:14. All of these mention the Gihon spring. This is the same name as the third river in the Garden of Eden in Genesis. Additionally, although not specifically identified by name, this would also have been the water shaft by which King David conquered Jebus (the Fortress of Zion, the City of David) in 2 Samuel 5:7 and 1 Chronicles 11:5. However, it is only an assumption that it is the same river. As neither the Euphrates nor the Tigris flows through
Jerusalem, so this is a weak theory at best. Additionally, in the Bible we are implored not to go beyond what is written. Therefore, to state as fact, that which we can only speculated on - that
Jerusalem is location of the original Garden of Eden - is both misleading to others and irresponsible. It would be acceptable to say, “I think...” or “it cold be…” when stating this, but nothing more.
Is it true that King David will be resurrected to reign from
Jerusalem in the millennial kingdom? This is the passage which indicates this: I will establish one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them - My servant David. He shall feed them and be their shepherd. Ezekiel 34:23 However, I think it’s incorrect to state this is literally a resurrected David as some teach. Instead, we need to refer to a few other passages to know who this is referring to:
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. Isaiah 9:7
"Behold, the days are coming," says the LORD,
"That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness;
A King shall reign and prosper,
And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth." Jeremiah 23:5
Personally, I believe the passage in Ezekiel is speaking of the “greater David,” our Lord Jesus. I see no reason to believe that this will be some type of co regency where Jesus will share His throne with King David.
I heard John Hagee say that Jesus never claimed to
Israel to be their Messiah. Is this true? Absolutely not! This isn’t just an honest mistake, but is heresy. Jesus clearly proclaimed that he was the Messiah in John 4:26. He also made Messianic claims throughout His ministry. Further, He proved His Messiah-ship through signs, wonders, and miracles. Another point which is indisputable is that His apostles claimed He was
Israel’s Messiah after the Ascension at Pentecost in Acts 2:36 (and elsewhere). This was in the presence of
Israel’s leaders. Finally, the Gospel accounts – with the exception of John – were all written before
Israel’s destruction and were available to the nation.
Israel rejected their Messiah and they were placed under the curses of Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28. However, there is good news for
Israel. The curses and judgment will end and they will be brought into the New Covenant in the future. Mr. Hagee, in his zeal to receive the promised blessings for supporting
Israel, has departed from the truth of sound Biblical doctrine.
I don’t understand why I keep having so much trouble in my life. The lady on TV keeps saying that Jesus wants to bless me, but no matter what I just keep having big troubles. What am I doing wrong? First, don’t believe everyone who tells you how you will be blessed and prosperous – particularly if they solicit money on their show. The only prosperity in the transaction is when they receive your money. Here is a sure promise from the Bible - In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. John 16:33 If you’re a faithful follower of Jesus Christ, you can expect trouble and trials, but through them you will have His comfort and sure promises of a better future when He comes for His people. One verse that you’ve probably been mislead with is this - Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the LORD of hosts, “ If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it. Malachi 3:10. Talk about an abused and misused verse! God is talking to the nation of
Israel collectively, not individuals. How modern televangelists get away with equating this to individuals is perplexing at best and is bad doctrine to boot. Please don’t look for prosperity for your faithfulness. Instead, be honored in your humility that Christ may exalt you in the future.
Sometimes I just feel so blue and out of touch with Christ. What can I do about it? Probably the most helpful thing to me is to have good Christian friends that I can rely on for a good hug. Several of them are spread around the country, but they faithfully give me an email-hug when I most need it. It’s God’s word that usually is the best part of such a gesture too. When my friends sense I’m down, they’ll send uplifting verses and their thoughts to me. They may never know how much I cherish their friendship – and I’ve never even met some of them personally! Along the same lines, I have a daily Bible verse that I send out too. If you or anyone else wishes to be on the list, all you have to do is send me an email address and I’ll add you on. It comes with a picture (hopefully matching the verse) in Word format as an attachment. I also send out the same verse in Korean, so if you read Korean and your computer accepts Hangul font, I can add you onto that email list. Maybe this will be uplifting to you each day. I follow one book of the Bible at a time and am currently sending verses from Galatians. Let me know if you’re interested – email@example.com.
What do you think about a literal 6-day creation? I agree with it 100%.
How do I know what God’s will is in a matter? How do I know He’s speaking to me? Conversation is a two-way street, so we need to talk to God – this is done through prayer. There are several types of prayer including praise, confession, thanks, and petition. Prayer is the appropriate way to convey our side of the conversation – in a respectful and humble manner. However, in order to hear God speak, we need to actively read His Word, the Holy Bible. It is through the Bible and the illumination of it by the Holy Spirit that we can know and understand God’s will for us. It seems a little dishonest to me to go before God and present our petitions without listening to Him also. How annoying it is to sit with someone that just talks on and on but won’t allow us to speak. Isn’t it possible that we are doing the same thing by neglecting to read the Holy Bible everyday but presenting a shopping list of complaints, desires, and requests? Be a listener! Read God’s Word everyday. Whoo hoo! Illumination from the Creator.
What do you think is the greatest threat to Christianity in the world today? Is it Islam? No, Islam is certainly filled with wickedness and is a real problem in the world, but I believe the single greatest threat Christianity faces is the spread of liberalism in the church, particularly concerning the inerrancy of the Word of God – the Holy Bible. There must be both education in the Bible’s inerrancy and conviction of this by Christians or there can be no sure foundation for the truth of the Gospel. The liberal infection which denies the truth of the Bible has permeated our Bible schools, churches, and missions fields and Christians must work to reduce these damaging effects. I can assure you that both Testaments are absolutely true and edifying for spiritual growth. Please don’t listen to any professor, pastor, or evangelist who teaches that the Bible is not 100% true!
Last week you said that liberal teaching is a bigger threat to Christianity than Islam. No way! This isn’t really a question, but it should be answered! The whole world is a slave to sin and unrighteousness, including Islam (read Romans 6). The only light in this world is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When liberals water down the core principles of the message, there is no longer any hope. Without Christ’s atoning death, we are still in our sin; without a real resurrection, there is no hope for our resurrection and we are still in our sins (see 1 Corinthians 15:12-19); without the Virgin Birth, the stain of Adam entered Christ Jesus too and his death was meaningless – and we are still in our sins; without the inerrancy of Scripture, then there is no way to know what is and what isn’t true in the Bible and any teaching becomes acceptable and we are left with a social gospel, lacking power – and we remain dead in our sins. Islam is passing away as is all untruth, but the Word of God remains. Ensure you get your doctrine straight so that you can also properly communicate its timeless truths to this sin filled world.
In the Old Testament, it mentions worship at the "high places." What does that mean? This was a place designated for worship, just as using a tree or a temple is a designated place, the "high places" were set probably because they brought a worshipper closer to God. There then, they would offer sacrifices and prayers.
I recently read someone who said that
Israel would have never made a mental link between the Passover lamb and the Messiah and that the Old Testament never referred to the Messiah as a lamb. Is this right? I would disagree based on Isaiah 53:7 - …He was led as a lamb to the slaughter. The entire passage is certainly talking about something unimaginable to most, but not because it was cryptic. Rather, it was just easier to reject that a suffering Messiah is what was coming – wouldn’t a king or warrior be so much better? But this doesn’t mean it wasn’t a reasonable assumption. The nation of
Israel had all kinds of Messianic expectations and all of them were based on their culture and the Scriptures. The Passover, along with the Day of Atonement are the highlights of the Jewish people to this day. If they could look at David, Moses, water poured out at the Feast of Tabernacles, or a host of other symbols from their society as pre-figuring the Messiah, why not the Passover Lamb? But God knew what they wanted and pre-empted their disbelief - Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? Isaiah 53:1. John the Baptist was the last of the Old Testament Prophets and he had it figured out - The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29
Cardinal Sancto de Caro asks, “Charlie, in your opinion, was Norman Vincent Peale a heretic?” Here's the Wikipedia on entry on Dr. Peale, which I hope you'll take the time to read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Vincent_Peale One statement really smacks of cult - "Peale’s readers were instructed to never doubt or question a statement Peale made or this would cut off the “power flow.” Any negative doubting of Peale or whether his techniques worked were to be immediately canceled, and the reader was instructed to immediately repeat the Peale phrases." Although I could probably study him in detail, I recommend you read the Wikipedia article and decide for yourself. In the end, it’s far better for a preacher to stick to the Gospel and not get all caught up in “Positive Thinking” or other side tracks. If we look to Jesus, why bother with this stuff!
Is it true that I shouldn't ask for a receipt from church for my donations for tax deductions because it would negate Jesus' words not to let others know what I've donated? No. This is a complete misunderstanding of the passage. Jesus looks on the heart and the intention of giving. If we claim taxes on our donations, we are being wise stewards of what He has given us. Our intention for donating should be personal and Christ honoring and not sounded with trumpets. Filing taxes does not violate this in any way.
I heard a Bible Scholar on the History International Channel say that the Bible never called the serpent in the Garden of Eden “Satan” and that this was an ancient myth started by a snake-cult. I checked and he was right, it never called the serpent Satan. How can I trust the Bible and what I’ve been told all along? If this person were a Bible scholar of any understanding, he’d simply read on - He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; Revelation 20:2. It is one of the fundamental principles of proper Biblical interpretation to “let the Bible interpret itself.” This person just failed to read to the end. You can trust the Bible and if you watch these programs, which are often really interesting, take everything with a grain of salt. You see, they usually have an agenda to disprove the Bible, the truth that God exists, or that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation. Naturally, such programs will hire “scholars” who are the most liberal or incompetent possible.
I’m not entirely happy with McCain, Clinton, or Obama. Any comments? I’m not over-excited about our options either, but one thing is for sure – if you don’t want a president who supports bringing in ultra-liberal judges to further degrade our society, then you’d better seriously consider McCain. He may or may not be a great president, but both Clinton and Obama will be terrible – absolutely terrible – on social issues, appointing liberal judges, and allowing the further degradation of our morals. If you’re not sure of their true position on social matters, check their own past stances at www.ontheissues.org. Every four years, we’re given the opportunity to voice our opinion on the direction we as a nation will take. If you sit back and don’t vote, you only have yourself to blame when things don’t go as you wish.
My friend who is a 7th Day Adventist says there is no eternal punishment in hell. Is that right? First, I think eternity is something we can’t fully grasp regardless of our doctrine. Secondly, people who look at eternity and then think about a loving God oftentimes can’t imagine Him eternally punishing someone – especially if they never heard of Jesus. Thirdly, most people don’t understand the concept of “holiness.” God is infinitely holy – so holy in fact that our fallen nature demands separation from Him. This then means eternal, irreconcilable separation. As the separation is caused by disobedience, and as disobedience requires punishment, then the punishment must be eternal. Yes, there is a hell and yes, there is eternal punishment for sin. The way to avoid God’s wrath is to trust Christ Jesus who already received it in your place. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever./// If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:10 and 20:15
I recently heard someone say George Bush isn’t a Christian because he said Islam is a religion of peace and they worship the same God. What do you think? I think what President Bush said is about as appalling as anything a professing Christian could say. Because of his words, I’ve given up any support of him. HOWEVER! I think it’s most inappropriate to say someone is or isn’t a Christian or to say someone is or isn’t saved. That is a right reserved for God alone. Many times in the Bible, it says that God is the only One who searches hearts and minds. Bad doctrine needs correction but is not a disqualifying factor for being a Christian. When I accepted Jesus Christ, I didn’t know anything about religion except that Jesus had saved me. It was a confession of faith and a belief that God had raised Him from the dead which saved me (Romans 10:9). If Bush has not been properly briefed on the details of Scripture, it is the fault of his preachers and they need to pull him aside and correct his doctrine. But if he has confessed Christ as Lord and truly believes Jesus is the only way he can be saved, that is a matter which God alone knows. Please remember that liberal theologians and Muslims tell people they also believe in Jesus. Bush may or may not understand that the Jesus they proclaim is not the same as the true Jesus of the Bible.
Hey, I was reading your page about chiasms, and I'm wondering how you find those? Actually, I can't really tell you how it happens, I just try to keep a mental note of what's going on in my head and look for patterns. Another thing I do is pray alot. I thank God for His Word each night, I ask Him to open it up to me, and sometimes when I feel spiritually dry, I ask God to show me something new and exciting. All of the chiasms that I've come across were put there as part of His Word and so it's the Holy Spirit who will illuminate them for you - ultimately, we can't take credit for what He gives us. Just so you know, there are two new ones in there as of this week and they came right from the first chapters of Genesis. If you haven't been to the page in the past few days, check them out.
Can you explain Ephesians 3:2 to me? I’m not sure what he’s talking about. Paul is referring to the Jewish people who insisted that the Gentile Christians needed to be circumcised in order to be right with God and to be saved. Paul was so upset with this that he actually says they are “the mutilation” and “evil workers.” What Christ wants from His followers is circumcision of the heart. This means a crushed heart at sin and a willingness to turn from sin and follow Him. This is nothing new as even King David understood this - The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:17. It's not through works of any kind, including circumcision, that we please God, but through faith in Jesus Christ and His works.
Can you tell me why
Jerusalem is called the valley of vision in Isaiah 22? First,
Jerusalem is located on hills in the middle of valleys which are surrounded by entire mountain ranges. Second, throughout the Bible,
Jerusalem is the focal point of God’s revelations from Him and to His people - the place of visions. Although some of the Old and much of the New Testaments were not written in
Jerusalem, the larger portion of Scripture has its source there. Interestingly to me though is that whenever someone is going to Jerusalem, regardless of direction or elevation of where they are, the Bible will say they are going “up to Jerusalem.” Despite Jerusalem often being at a lower elevation, the fact that Jerusalem is highly exalted as the city of God means wherever you are outside of the city, you still have to go up to get there. Maybe this is a foreshadowing of believers someday going to the New Jerusalem!
Mr. Anony Muss: Do you think the Jewish people will all be saved without having to accept Christ? After all, Romans 11 says “All Israel will be saved!” I like your name, it’s very mysterious! The answer is that all
Israel who come to Jesus Christ as their personal Savior will be saved. Zechariah 12:10 says - And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of
Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. There is a time when the nation of
Israel will corporately see that Jesus was their Messiah all along and they will all be saved because they will accept Him for who He is. Each individual in the corporate body will make the choice because it will be so obvious and overwhelming to them. However, to teach – as John Hagee does – that Jews don’t need to accept Christ personally is heretical and shows a deep fault in his theology. I’d rank his stand on this to be as detrimental to the Christian faith as denying the Trinity, the Deity of Christ, or that Satan is really our enemy. My recommendation is that if this is where you learned this that you run – don’t walk – from him and his teaching.
I’ve been a Christian for a long time, but have been miserable lately. I wish I wasn’t alive. Can you tell me if thinking like this is sin? I’m really sorry about the difficulties you’re facing, but to put your despair into perspective, listen to the words of Jeremiah:
Cursed be the day in which I was born!
Let the day not be blessed in which my mother bore me!
Let the man be cursed
Who brought news to my father, saying,
“A male child has been born to you!”
Making him very glad.
And let that man be like the cities
Which the LORD overthrew, and did not relent;
Let him hear the cry in the morning
And the shouting at noon,
Because he did not kill me from the womb,
That my mother might have been my grave,
And her womb always enlarged with me.
Why did I come forth from the womb to see labor and sorrow,
That my days should be consumed with shame? Jeremiah 20:14-18
In Acts 16:31, it says, So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Does this mean if I’m saved my family will be saved too? No. This means that the salvation is also available to his family. Paul does say elsewhere that the children of a believing parent are holy (1 Corinthians 7:14), so I assume they fall under an umbrella of the believing parent until they reach an age of accountability. However, there is no specific age given in Scripture, so I recommend you not depend on that, but rather teach your children the truth of Jesus Christ early that they may make the right choice before those rebellious and troubling teenage years come!
Is it true that the 10 lost tribes of
Israel became the Mormon church? No, Mormonism is a cult which significantly departs from the message of the Bible. Further, it adds to Scripture with the “book of Mormon” which significantly plagiarizes the King James Version of the Bible. Secondly, there are no ten “lost tribes.” Israel was deported to
Assyria in 722 BC, but a remnant from all the tribes remained. The Bible specifically mentions these tribes after the exile – Asher, Manasseh, Zebulon, Ephraim, Issachar, Naphtali,
Benjamin, Judah, Levi, and Simeon. Further, Paul says in Acts 26:7 - To this promise our twelve tribes, earnestly serving God night and day, hope to attain. For this hope’s sake, King Agrippa, I am accused by the Jews. Notice the present tense of the verse. Paul was indicating that the 12 tribes were intact and awaiting the hope of the Messiah. There are no lost tribes and any teaching which states there are is untrue. God has promised to preserve His people
Israel and he has done just that.
I read your page on the King James Controversy. I agree that it’s not a valid stand, but the KJV-only people can be pretty mean. What do you think? I think this is as close to a cult as you can get and for some it has taken over sound reasoning and has become a cult. I suppose you could call it “Bible idolatry.” If you take an obvious mistranslation in the KJV such as Deuteronomy 8:9 and present it to a KJVist, rather than acknowledge the discrepancy, they will find a reason to justify it. This sets aside reason and leads to that “Bible idolatry” I mentioned. Don’t be intimidated by bad doctrine, but stick to more pertinent issues while remembering that there are translations which should be stayed away from too. Be discerning and keep your eyes fixed on Jesus!
Can you tell me what is being said in Colossians 2:16, 17? Here is the verse - So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. Paul is telling the gentile believers at
Colossae that they need not let Judaizers intimidate them by telling them they need to observe any of the Leviticus 23 feast days, including the Sabbath or the other festival days, nor are they to worry about the dietary laws that the Jewish nation observed. Paul says that all of these things only pointed to the work accomplished by Jesus Christ. In Jesus, we have the reality which they were only looking forward to. We, as Christians, have been set free from the requirements of the law and worship in Spirit and in truth. My daily Bible verse is currently going through the book of Colossians and if you’d like to be included just send me an email and I’ll add you to the list.
I’ve been attending what is called a “Spirit-filled” church, but they don’t really teach the Bible. Can you tell me what you think? If you do a study on the words, “filled with the Spirit” in the book of Acts and the epistles, you’ll see that it's always used in conjunction with witnessing, serving, or speaking the truth of Scripture. Being filled with the Spirit has come to mean almost anything but this - a host of other things which have nothing to do with the truth in the Bible. If the church you attend is focusing only on the Holy Spirit and not on Jesus, then there is a serious doctrinal problem. Jesus specifically said, But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. John 15:26 Today, the Spirit is used to mark a Christian for salvation and to steer us toward the truth of Jesus Christ. If you are filled with the Spirit, you will be either witnessing, serving, or speaking the truth of Scripture.
My friend is absolutely sure he is visited by angels and they tell him all kinds of things. What do you think about this? Personally, I think your friend is delusional. Here’s what the book of Colossians says about people like this. Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. Colossians 2:18. Do angels visit us? Sure, but the Bible never says anything like what your friend is claiming. Here’s a verse about angel visitations - Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. Hebrews 13:2. Angelic visits are done without our even knowing about it until afterwards. Tell your friend to grow up or get a check-up.
Can you explain this verse to me? Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where it falls, there will it lie. Ecclesiastes 11:3 Yes, it means that when you die, the position you’re in is the position you’ll remain in. If you haven’t settled it with Christ Jesus, I’d recommend you do so pronto. You don’t know when you’re time is up, but when it is – well, either heaven or hell awaits. The choice is yours – don’t blow it.
I’ve been told that the rapture I learned about isn’t true and that the prophecies in the Bible were all fulfilled a long time ago. Is that true? No, this isn’t only false, it has been considered a heresy in the church since its inception to deny Christ’s physical return to earth, which is what this doctrine teaches. Jesus Christ will return and the whole world will see it and there will be no need to either speculate what it was like or make up fun tales about how it happened. People who hold to this doctrine have entered into the biblical text with a presupposition based on what they believe the words should say rather than what they actually do say. As John Calvin once said, “So great is the influence of preconceived opinion, that it brings darkness over the mind in the midst of the clearest light.” Don’t listen to people who fail to qualify concerning the basic tenets of the Christian faith, but rather teach heresy. Instead, read the Bible as it is written and accept it for the truth it contains.
In 1 Samuel 19:24 Saul stripped off his clothes and prophesied. What is the significance of stripping off his clothes? Saul wore the robes of a king. These were inappropriate for the prophetic office. Instead the prophets wore clothes which identified their position. Zechariah 13:4 gives us a clue of what the prophets looked like - And it shall be in that day that every prophet will be ashamed of his vision when he prophesies; they will not wear a robe of coarse hair to deceive.
I’m reading a book right now about proper Bible interpretation and one of their points says that we shouldn’t insist that we will obey only after a seeming contradiction in commandments is resolved. What do you think? How can you obey something you think contradicts something else that you’re supposed to obey? The problem lies not in an apparent contradiction, but in the reader’s misunderstanding of a rule. This is evident as there are no contradictions in the Bible. I hope the whole book you’re reading isn’t this illogical!
What is your opinion on the canonicity of the Apocrypha? My opinion doesn't hardly matter. There real opinion that counts is the Lord's. In Luke 11:49-51, it says, "Therefore the wisdom of God also said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and persecute,’ that the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the temple. Yes, I say to you, it shall be required of this generation." This identifies all those who were martyred between Genesis 1 and 2 Chronicles 24 which is the entire Old Testament canon as it was laid out in Jesus' day. Of course there were martyrs in the Apocrypha, but they are excluded from Jesus' statement. The Apocrypha is not canon and the Roman Catholic church has unnecessary baggage in its Bible. Their decision to insert these was unwise was and simply a knee-jerk reaction to the sound doctrine coming out of the Reformation.
How could a person as stupid as Obama have gotten nominated to become the President of the US? When will it end? This isn't really a Bible question, but two things come to mind - 1) Whoever is elected will have been ordained by God to suit His purposes - see Romans 13:4. 2) Be careful how far you take your criticisms of another person. James 3:9 says, "With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God." It's not a good thing to curse others because all men (even someone as dubious as Obama) were created in God's image. To curse them then is to indirectly attack God in whose image we are created. Be at peace, God will handle this show to His honor and glory.
The church I go to says, “God is love” and so there is no hell. Can you tell me why you mention hell for people on your website? Sure I can! It’s because the Bible teaches that hell is real and judgment is coming. 1 John 4: 8 says, “God is love.” However, there is a definite article before “God” so it says “o Theos agape estin” or “the God is love.” Therefore, you can't turn the phrase around and say, “Love is God.” Yes, there is a hell; yes, there is judgment coming; and yes, you need to find a better church. These things are important.
Your site says you believe in a literal6-day creation. But the Bible says - So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27 And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Genesis 2:18 How could Adam have named all the animals and done all these other things in one day? First, this was in the garden. The animals would have all been there. Secondly, there were certainly few species due to adaptation which increases species within a kind. Third, the Bible states these two verses:
Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Genesis 1:31
And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Genesis 2:18
If it was “not good” before Eve was created, and at the end of the 6th day everything was “very good” then Eve must have been created on the sixth (literal) day.
We had a discussion in Bible study as to whether Jesus could have sinned. Both sides seemed right – one said no and the other said yes. Both had good reasons too. What do you think? This will be an oversimplification of the situation, but the answer is that when you speak of Jesus, you must ask the question expecting two answers. Because He is fully God, the answer is “no, He could not have sinned.” Because He is fully man, the answer is “yes, He could have sinned – but He did not.” The same is true as to whether He got tired, died, or grew in knowledge. Always remember that Jesus is unique – the God/Man. Therefore, the question needs to be asked expecting two answers.
I hear that Israel is celebrating Yom Kippur this week. Can you tell me about that day? Yes, the easiest way for me to tell you is to direct you to the page on this site entitled Day of Atonement. It will tell you all about this holiest of days and its fulfillment in Jesus Christ.
Which candidate do you think has the best economic plan to run the government? Who cares? Without a moral foundation, we will soon perish as a nation. Should we continue down the road we’re heading, America will be completely bankrupt morally. Forget the economics and look at who will appoint the more conservative judges to the Supreme Court. Unless you’re looking for a country with homosexual marriages, continued abortions, and all other perversions being not only legal but forced on us, you need to vote for John McCain. Should Obama become president, the perversion we see now will seem saintly.
I was told that the “world” in Matthew 24:14 is from a Greek word that means only the Roman Empire and that because of this the prophecy must have been fulfilled in the destruction of the Jewish Temple in AD 70. Is this true? The word which is translated “world” is oikoumene and can mean the known world or Roman Empire. However, it can also mean the entire world as in this verse - Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” Acts 17:30, 31. Unless Jesus is coming back to judge just the Roman Empire I’d say that the person who told you this is either lying or failed to check what he was told. Don’t be misled by Preterists. Jesus has not yet returned and Israel still has 7 years left to fulfill the requirements of Daniel 9:24-27.
I read your article on the King James Controversy and I want to know why this is such a divisive issue. To tell you the truth, I wonder the same thing. I think it's because people are simply scared to acknowledge when they're wrong after having been misled by others. The debate is no different than whether we have to go through the pope to be saved, which is Roman Catholic doctrine. If you grow up believing that, it's hard to acknowledge you're wrong - even if you know deep down inside you are. When the KJV was published, the same debate revolved around the Latin versions of the Bible. Everyone wants to have the upper hand and be perceived as more understanding or holier than others I guess. All I know is that it's a real mess!
Exodus 24:10 says the leaders saw the God of Israel. The New Testament says no one has seen God. How is this reconciled? The New Testament verse you are citing is John 1:18 - No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. This clearly tells us that Jesus Christ makes the Father known to us. What the leaders of Israel saw is known as a theophany. In this, as in all Old Testament theophanies, Jesus Christ is seen in a pre-incarnate state – thus revealing God to mortal eyes. What we cannot perceive in the invisible Creator is made known through the visible Creator – our Lord Jesus Christ. This may seem difficult to comprehend, but unless you have a sound understanding of the Trinity such matters really are difficult. Take time today to read up on the Trinity and thereby improve your understanding of the God of the universe and beyond.
I want to start reading the Bible. What version do you think I should read? I would buy the Bible that is easiest for you to read. Almost all versions are very, very close in meaning, but there are times that a Bible will paraphrase something. The more paraphrasing, the less literal. Here's an example -"David killed his enemies with the mouth of the sword." We would never say "mouth of the sword" but that's what the Hebrew would say. Even a very literal Bible like the KJV will say "edge of the sword."
Differences like these are what people fight over. Should it be understandable to the person or should it be a literal translation down to the last word. After you select a version, the next thing you should do is look at all the different Bibles produced in that version - there are LARGE LETTER and GIANT LETTER Bibles (which are really nice), compact Bibles, Women's Bibles, Bibles for Children - etc., etc., etc. They all say the same thing, but the comments are geared towards individual readers. I would buy a large print, easy to read Bible and if you have the money I would buy it in leather back as it will last longer and be more comfortable to hold. However, you can get a nice hardback for much less.
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