Fix your eyes on Jesus
You asked, 'Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?' Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.
Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.
Did you know that from the time the Israelites left Mount Sinai until the time they crossed the Jordan River and entered the Promised Land was exactly 14,000 days? Yes, it's true. That's a fun fact the Lord led me to. It took many hours of study to find this, but now I can show you in about a minute. Or you can go to dozens of websites around the world that use the very calculation the Lord led me to:
Go to Numbers 10:11 - On the twentieth day of the second month of the second year, the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle of the Testimony.
Using the biblical 360 day year, you can now do your calculation:
20 + 30 + 360 = 410
Now to Joshua 4:19 - On the tenth day of the first month the people went up from the Jordan and camped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho.
(This was the beginning of the 41st year) 40 X 360 = 14400 + 10 = 14410
Subtract: 14410 - 410 = 14000 days exactly - What precision in God's Word.
If you want to read more on this, go to the page 14000 days.
Below are my Questions of the Week from my Home Page for you to enjoy. I don't pretend that I know all about the Word of God, but these are fun items that I hope will edify you. Charlie.
Why do Christians celebrate the Sabbath on Sunday? The answer is found in the book of Hebrews - Now we who have believed enter that rest.... Hebrews 4:3. Christ is our Sabbath Rest. Prior to Christ, the people of God worked 6 days and then rested (a picture of earning your salvation). We acknowledge Christ's work, finished at the Cross of Calvary. As he is our Sabbath Rest, we realize that it is faith, plus nothing, that brings us close to him. We honor his work on the first day of the week and then go about our lives. This is a picture of our salvation, accomplished by His own mighty right arm!
What happend to the Bronze Snake which Moses held up in the Desert? The answer is found in 2 Kings 18:4 - He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan). Unfortunately, we humans will put our faith in anything except the One True God. This snake had a prophetic significance though. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. John 3:14, 15. Jesus himself said that he would be lifted up (crucified) and all who look to the cross would be saved. But just as the passage in 2 Kings makes note, the name of the snake was Nehushtan. This sounds like the Hebrew for "unclean thing." Jesus became sin for us. He absorbed our uncleanness at the cross and made us righteous in God's sight through his blood. What an incredible trade....something of no value for something of absolute worth. Free.
How powerful are angels? Well, according to Holy Scripture, there are different kinds of heavenly beings, but the following account shows the power of a single angel. Then the angel of the LORD went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning-there were all the dead bodies! Isaiah 37:36
An angel is a created being, and yet it can do this. Just imagine the unlimited power of our Creator! With his mouth he spoke the universe into existence, and on a rough night in Galilee he stilled a storm with no more than a few words! He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples. Luke 8:24, 25
Was Jesus really born on 25 December? All indications are that He was not. There are several clues as to the approximate time. First, in Luke 2:8 it says the shepherds were in the field. December is generally too late in the year for this. However, regardless of this, we can go back to Luke 1 and get a very good indication of when Christ was born. Zechariah was on duty at the time and he belonged to the priestly division of Abijah. This division's time of service can be inferred from its placement in 1 Chronicles 24:10. Following this train of thought through the account given in Luke1, we can trace John the Baptist's birth, which in turn gives us an approximate date for Christ Jesus' birth. It would be in early to mid October. I would personally like to think it was on the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot). This would be appropriate as Jesus came and "dwelt" literally "tabernacled" amongst us. This then would be the first fulfillment of this prophetic feast. The final fulfillment will be when Christ dwells with man again as the King of kings.
Why did the Israelites have a New Moon rather than a Full Moon celebration? The New Moon festival is first mentioned in Numbers 10:10. The New Moon was chosen to prevent idolatry. Pagan peoples have always worshipped heavenly bodies. Even today people read Horoscopes and practice other cultic activities. As a means of preventing this, New Moon festivals were held. Just so you know, the Temple faced the West. Again, to prevent the idolatry of sun-worship they prayed with the sun at their backs. However in Ezekiel 8:16, God accused the people because of this detestable practice. “With their backs toward the temple of the LORD and their faces toward the east, they were bowing down to the sun in the east.” What we as humans need is a deep-injection of Christ! Put away all your detestable practices and worship the One true God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
According to the Bible, what actions are required for salvation? Simply put, there is one act alone required for salvation: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8, 9. To confirm this: The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved-you and your household." Acts 16:29-31. It couldn't be any clearer. You are saved by faith, plus nothing. A wonderful example of this is: Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." Luke 23:42, 43. This man died shortly after Jesus, on the cross right next to the Lord. He was neither baptized, nor did he hand out religious tracks at Wal-Mart. It is grace alone through faith in Christ and what he did, plus nothing. Adding anything to this would mean the cross was an insufficient sacrifice. A final note: grace is not license. Christ must be the Lord of our lives once we have been given grace.
Why are people saying Christ is returning soon? Two thousand years ago, Jesus gave us specifics concerning the time before his return. These are listed in: Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. Here is one verse and a chart from a secular source to back up this account: Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains. Mark 13:8. Jesus equated these with “birth pains.” When a woman is getting close to having her child, the contractions get closer together and increase in intensity. Jesus used this terminology, because every generation and every culture on earth would understand it. And, clearly we have begun the birth pains. He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. Revelation 22:20
Can you explain Grace and Mercy in simple terms for me? Grace is getting what we don’t deserve, whereas mercy is not getting what we do deserve. Ultimately, we have all sinned against God. We deserve to be beaten, ripped, and nailed to a cross for our sins, but instead Christ took our punishment on his own body for us. By faith in this act, we are restored to righteousness. But because of his great love for us, God who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:5, 6 No wonder Paul wrote: Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4 That’s Grace & Mercy 101
The minister said I was stealing from God if I didn't give 10% to my church. Is that true? The verse he was quoting is Malachi 3:8-10. He is not telling the whole story which either means he hasn't read his bible or is personally deceiving you. Old Testament tithing is laid out in Deuteronomy 14:22-29 which says you are to pay (to others) 10% every three years. This is reiterated in Deuteronomy 26:12 and Amos 4:4. Having said this, it is still appropriate to give your best for the sake of Christ. This means the first and not the last; the best and not the rest. Ten percent is a good place to start...more as your are blessed. For an analysis of all this (my opinions) you can go to the page "Mini Sermons" and scroll down to "On Tithing.
Is the story about Jonah and the whale true? There's no doubt it's true. Nowhere is it indicated that the story is merely allegorical. Secondly, Jesus himself referenced this story: The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here. Matthew 12:41. Therefore, it is obviously true. And lastly, it was not a whale that swallowed Jonah. The bible says: Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. Jonah 1:17. Because it says the LORD had "prepared" a great fish, we can speculate (without knowing for sure) that this was a unique creation of God made especially for Jonah. Maybe it had a sofa and satellite TV!
You have several pages on your site referencing dates in the bible. Do all the dates in the bible have significance? Yes, but even more - every word of the Holy Bible has significance. It all fits together like an intricate puzzle. Just a few weeks ago, I figured the dates in 1 Kings 6 and was astonished to find that Solomon's Temple was completed in 2701 days. That may not sound too exciting, but this number is intricately woven throughout Holy Scripture. To see some really fascinating points concerning the number 2701, please click here. This link is full of mathematical truths coded numerically in the bible. All of the details of King Solomon's Temple were divinely inspired as attested to in 1 Chronicles 28:11 - He gave him the plans of all that the Spirit had put in his mind for the courts of the temple of the LORD and all the surrounding rooms, for the treasuries of the temple of God and for the treasuries for the dedicated things. And again in 1 Chronicles 28:19 "All this," David said, "I have in writing from the hand of the LORD upon me, and he gave me understanding in all the details of the plan."
In Revelation 20:16 it says "On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords." Why is this on his thigh? This is really interesting and you'd never get it unless you studied the Jewish roots of our faith. Jesus as fully man, was born a Jew, lived a Jew, and will come back to rule in Zion. As fully God, he fulfills the title King of kings and Lord of lords. The Jewish people were told to put tassels on the corners of their garments (Deuteronomy 22:12). These tassels are known as tzitzit. Names and or titles are embroidered into these and pressing them into clay could actually substitute for a signature. When He returns riding a white horse, he will wear his talit with the tzitzit resting on his thigh. It will be written in Hebrew so the remnant will immediately recognize him - Melech-ha' melechim Adonai-ha' adonaim. Come Lord Jesus!
Who do you think the Whore of Babylon is? Actually, I try to stay away from questions like these, but you asked and I do have an opinion. The Vatican was established as its own country in 1929. Since that time, there have been 6 Popes (kings as they rule their own country.) Pius XI, Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II. We read this in Revelation 17:9-11. This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while. The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction. Clearly, Rome is the City of Seven Hills. The Vatican sits right there. We will know real soon if I'm wrong or not, because John Paul II won't last much longer. The rapture will have to take place very near to the time of his death, or my guess will have been a bad one. If it is a correct guess, the next Pope will not fill the position for very long and then will come the final Pope who will be either the Antichrist or the False Prophet. I'm not really concerned as to whether I'm correct or not, because ultimately it makes no difference in my relationship with Christ. He is my focus, not an apostate church.
You say that the prophecies in Revelation are still to be fulfilled. If it pertains to now, then why does it say "the time is near" and "these things must shortly come to pass." That was written 2000 years ago! Your question actually contains part of the answer. Revelation 1:10 says: "On the Lord's Day I was in the Spirit..." If you closely follow the Biblical plan of redemption, you will see it is on a 7000 year time-frame. Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8 both indicate that a day to the Lord is like a thousand years and a thousand years are like a day. The 7th day then would be the year 6001-7000. We are now at the beginning of this 7000th year. This is the Lord's Day as prophesied throughout Holy Scripture. John was clearly saying that he was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, not meaning a Sunday 2000 years ago, but he was spiritually transported to the beginning of the 7th millenium - the Lord's Day - in this vision. As we are now at this point, we can confidently say "...the time is near." Revelation 1:3. To confirm this, Cardinal James Ussher, in his classic "The Annals of the World" clearly records history from Day1. Christ's birth is documented as 4000a Anno Mundi, 4709 JP, 5 BC.
Your Faith and Testimony page says you attend an independent fundamental Baptist church. I always heard they were nuts, but you sound ok. What’s up with that? Thanks for the nice thoughts about me, but if there’s any good, it’s because of Christ! He is my righteousness. Independent - means accountable to Christ not an external hierarchy, and the property is owned by the local body – not doing either leads to compromise in doctrine – a classic example is the blasphemous practice of the catholic church moving homosexual perverts from one parish to another to hide them. Fundamental - belief that the bible is the final authority; it is inspired and needs no addition or catechism as Appendix 1. Baptist – full immersion baptism shows obedience to the Lord’s command. However, it IS NOT a requirement for salvation but is a sign of obedience and a picture of participation in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Romans 6:4. There are nuts everywhere and there are true believers even in bad churches. Christ will judge each man’s heart.
You talk about the rapture like it's really going to happen. That's crazy. Actually, it's as right as rain. Scripture says: For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17. The word for "caught up" in Greek is "harpazo." This means literally "to seize, to catch away, to take by force." Either you take the bible as written or you don't. It says what it says - what it says can mean nothing else. So don't call me crazy....Crazy-schmazy, loop di loo, blah, blah (tee hee!)
I was reading your page "My Bible Hall of Fame" and when I got to the book of Nehemiah, I got a little puzzled. Why is this your favorite verse in this book? It just doesn't make any sense to me? All in all, I just love Nehemiah - actually I love the whole Bible - but, O this one verse! What a statement! Nehemiah 3:20 - Next to him, Baruch son of Zabbai zealously repaired another section, from the angle to the entrance of the house of Eliashib the high priest. This caught my eye from the first. Just imagine you were to be remembered in God's Holy Word. If you were to be mentioned only one time and your name was to be transmitted down through the ages to every nation, tribe, and tongue - how would you want to be remembered? There are many, many names in the Bible and they are remembered for varying ways, but Baruch son of Zabbai was given the distinction of being remembered for zealously completing his task for the Lord. I can't possibly think of anything outside of being known as a follower of Christ which would make me feel more honored by God than the way Baruch is.
You said Terri Schaivo was murdered. What can we do about it? I haven't always had the convictions I have today, and I find myself astonished at the coldness of my heart even now, but I've grown to know the sanctity of human life by knowing that Christ died for all. If He was willing to give his life for us, who are we to excuse the murder of unborn children or those such as Terri? It's our responsibility to protest such acts. The same people that scream about the execution of murderers and perverts are those who cry the loudest for the protection of their "rights" to murder the helpless. Our society has turned upside-down and become almost completely pagan. I can't say at what point we should again pick up arms and fight to reinstate what our founding fathers died for, but I will say we are nearing that point. Our duty as Christians is to follow the laws of the government under which we live until they violate God's laws. We are very quickly reaching that point in all our judicial decisions. I have hope that God will act first and usher in His righteous judgment though. As in the case of King David's sin recorded in 1 Chronicles, he was given three choices of judgment, but he chose most wisely: "I am in deep distress. Let me fall into the hands of the LORD, for his mercy is very great; but do not let me fall into the hands of men." 1 Chronicles 21:13. If we rebel and execute the judges who murdered Terri and those in agreement with this, ultimately we would certainly all be swept away.
How can the Davidic line have continued past Jehoiachin if God removed him as his signet ring in Jeremiah 22:24? The answer can be found in Haggai 2:23: On that day, declares the LORD Almighty, I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, declares the LORD , and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you, declares the LORD Almighty. And then in Zechariah 3:8 we read: Listen, O high priest Joshua and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch. Here, Zechariah addresses Joshua and Zerubbabel and indicates in 3:8 the prophetic nature of his writing. At this time we see the signet reinstated in the Davidic line through Zerubbabel indicating Christ's Kingly status and Joshua indicates his High Priestly status. It is most interesting to note that Zerubbabel is the first name mentioned in both the lineage of Jesus through Joseph in Matthew 3:12 and through Mary in Luke 3:27.
Does the Old Testament give any indication of the rapture? Yes, many times. I'll give you a few: First is Genesis 5:24 - Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away. This was not death as attested to in Hebrews 11:5. Jewish tradition indicates he was translated on Rosh Hoshanna. Next is 2 Kings 2:11 - And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. The interesting thing about these two occurrences is that one is a Gentile (Abraham was the first Hebrew Genesis 14:13) and Elijah is an Israeli. Lastly well go to Jeremiah 8:20 - The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved. This is a reference to those left behind. The harvest is those believers taken in the rapture. Notice the summer has ended - could it be the rapture will happen at Rosh Hoshanna which is September or October each year? It all points to that, particularly when this is the next feast to be prophetically fulfilled from Leviticus 23
Why don't you think it's possible that the preterist view about prophecy is correct? Because it's wrong. I know, I know - this isn't a very good explanation, but two points - (1) I have to go to Tennessee this week and I don't have time to give a lengthy answer. (2) Preterists are wrong.
You said in one of your previous Questions of the Week that you thought Jesus was born on the Feast of Tabernacles. Couldn't it have been on Rosh Hoshanna like some other people claim? Actually, what I said was that it was in early to mid October. And that I would personally like to think it was on the Feast of Tabernacles. However, it could just as easily have been Rosh Hoshanna. This is quite plausible too, because Jewish tradition says Adam was created on this day and Enoch was raptured on this day. In 1 Corinthians 15:44-46, Paul explains: If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. Here we have a pattern where Christ replaces Adam. If Enoch was raptured on Rosh Hoshanna, we would expect to have a similar pattern the physical becoming spiritual - in the rapture of the church on Rosh Hoshanna.
I heard a Methodist say on the news recently that he preferred to focus on the loving God of the New Testament, not on the wrathful God of the Old Testament. What is he talking about? That's a great question! People that say this have absolutely no understanding of the Holy Bible - this doesn't belong to one denomination though. People from all denominations base their whole doctrine on cliches. We are dealing with the same God. Throughout Scripture, God is full of mercy and yet righteous. He must judge sin. This is just as clear in the New Testament as it is in the Old. I the LORD do not change. Malachi 3:6. From the first pages of Genesis, until the end of Revelation, it's God who reaches out to man and covers our sin. It's also God who judges the wicked. Don't let these people upset you with their uninformed small talk.
The minister said she believed in a female God because of how wisdom is portrayed in the bible. What do you think? First of all, Paul said in 1 Corinthians 14:33-35 - As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. She should resign and sit down. Also, you should find a more biblical church to attend. Concerning your question - she's referring to several passages which combine to form nonsense...cults often start this way. Proverbs 1:20 says: Wisdom calls aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the public squares. Later in Proverbs 8 there's discussion about the characteristics of wisdom. By combining these statements, she's come up with her own fantasy. There's an old but good saying "A text out of context is a pretext." Tell her to grow up.
How do you feel about the recent news concerning the desecration of the koran? Well, to accurately answer you, I will start with the main MSN Encarta Dictionary definition: Desecrate - to insult something holy. Now we need to define "holy." There are five main definitions: Holy - sacred, saintly, pure, consecrated, awe-inspiring. As God has clearly revealed himself through the Old and New Testaments of the Christian Canon, and as the koran contradicts the Holy Bible (e.g. 1 John 4:2), the koran cannot be defined as holy. As it is not holy and God-breathed, it cannot be desecrated. In effect, it is no different than a newspaper, a dog-bowl, or an office-lamp. Each of these may have value in a personal sense, but none in the sense of holiness. Therefore, from a Christian perspective, no desecration has taken place. Finally, I truly don't believe our service men did this, but rather I think it was a lie perpetrated by muslims and carried willingly by our liberal press.
Can you tell me why it says in Genesis 2 that Adam was told he would die the day he ate the forbidden fruit and yet he lived to be 930 years old? The bible is complete and has no contradictions. This is one of those passages that doesn't really seem right, but it is correct and problem-free. In Genesis 2:16, 17 it says: And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (KJV) Now read 2 Peter 3:8: But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. This is the same as stated in Psalm 90:4. As I've said elsewhere, from Genesis to Revelation, there is a 7-day (7 thousand year) plan of Redemption for mankind. Adam actually died 70 years short of his "second day" just as God promised.
Why was a sandal exchanged at the end of the book of Ruth? Well as it says: Now in earlier times in Israel, for the redemption and transfer of property to become final, one party took off his sandal and gave it to the other. This was the method of legalizing transactions in Israel. Ruth 4:7. As you can see, this made it a legal contract, just as if we signed a document. The witnesses were like our notary of today. All of this was a picture of Christ to come. The nearest kinsman was a picture of Adam. Boaz was a picture of Christ. The ten witnesses pictured the Ten Commandments (the Law). Our Adamic nature cannot redeem us from our guilt before the Law. Instead it is through Christ alone that we find redemption. The sandal signifies Christ filling our shoes -taking our place in punishment and guilt that we may be redeemed by His precious blood. Thanks be to God for indescribable gift. 2 Corinthians 9:15
I read your page, Its Greek to Me. My question is Do you know why the New Testament was written in Greek rather than Hebrew? I have several opinions that come to mind, but the answer is going to be too long for leaving here on the home page. Therefore, go back to the page, Its Greek to Me and I'll make it a permanent part of the essay.
A few weeks ago, you talked about the book of Ruth. That is just my favorite book. Can you tell me anything other interesting tidbit? Yes, this book talks a lot about the kinsman-redeemer. The Hebrew is for this is "gawal" and is also translated elsewhere as "avenger of blood." How beautifully this corresponds with Christ. He is our Redeemer, but also as evidenced in Revelation 18 the avenger of the blood of the saints. Its all about Him!
I've heard conflicting information. Can you tell me what day Christ rose? Yes, clearly Christ rose on Sunday morning. First, this is evidenced in Mark 16:9 - When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. The word "early" is Strong #4404 - proi - literally "at dawn." However, even if you reject this passage as some do, you can go back to the Old Testament for clarity. The Lord's Feasts in Leviticus 23 give a clear picture of the redemption calendar. The resurrection was prophesied through the Feast of Firstfruits - Hebrew Bikkurim. Here it is: He is to wave the sheaf before the LORD so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath. Note - the Jewish Sabbath was Saturday. Even if you reject what the New Testament says, the Old Testament pointed to a Sunday resurrection 1500 years before it happened.
I've tried to faithfully answer one Question a Week for you. This week, I'd like to ask you a question. Please respond with a short answer and I'll give my thoughts on the best answer next week. While walking along recently I picked up a shark tooth (these are very common here in Sunny Sarasota) and it got me thinking about man's achievements compared to God's creation. My question for you is - Out of all the things man has done and achieved, which single creation of man has been the most important? And, why do you feel that way?
I kind of pulled a fast one last week. But one person figured it out. Thank you all for the answers you gave and as far as achievements go, you had wonderful answers. I asked what single creation of man is the most important. I will quote part of an answer from a friend named Kim, whom I met through this site "...the definition of create. Create; to cause to come into existence; bring into being. Man does not create anything with the exception of maybe children... /...God also imparts a soul into the infant at conception. So all we really are the techs that assist our Lord. And we receive the blessing of the child. Truly, God is the source of all creation." Anything we have attained in the physical sense was created by Him, not us. Her analysis of a child is interesting and bears resemblance to the words of Eve when she bore Adam. In the Hebrew, you can infer the sense that she "acquired a man with God." Other than this, we may be co-creators in praise, love, adoration, etc. God provided the ability for us to exercise ourselves in these ways. However, we can use the same abilities to curse, hate, and despise. Surely, we were not created for such, but have been given the free-will to so exercise our will. May you use your talents and lips be used to glorify God
What do you think is the most important sign before Jesus returns? We all know about the signs which Christ said would precede His second coming earthquakes, famines, pestilences and so on. But I think there is one thing which is absolutely essential. In Matthew 23:37-39 we read - O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord." Jesus was born a Jew, lived a Jew, and will return only when His chosen people acknowledge him on a national basis. When we hear the streets of Jerusalem shouting "Baruch haBa b'Shem Adonai" we can expect His glorious return.
My church says we should not support Israel in any way. What do you think? I think you shouldn't just walk, but you should run from this totally apostate body. Israel is on the verge of again taking the world's stage. This couldn't be any clearer in Scripture or in the news. The fact that you've asked this question indicates you understand this and just need reassurance. Not only will our Lord, who came as a Jew and will return to Israel, judge the nations who come against Israel, but He will reward those who stand behind His people. This isn't confusing it's as white as milk. Further, we are right at that day. The Sanhedrin is back in place, the Temple implements are ready, archaeologist Vendyl Jones is on the verge of a major find - probably this month. Has God kept the Jewish nation, resurrected the ancient tongue, and secured His Word these thousands of years just to reject them? The answer is clearly No!
Am I right that you're against the Gaza withdrawal of settlers? You bet. This is a terrible thing and I believe America will be judged for forcing Israel's hand in this. I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgment against them concerning my inheritance, my people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land. Joel 3:2. We couldn't protect Rhode Island without God so willing it. How much less can we protect our whole country plus Israel? However, we dont need to worry about Israel. When America is a footnote in history, Israel will still exist. God made this promise: I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them, says the LORD your God. Amos 9:15. I'd say they are secure as a nation.
I've heard it said that Israel is God's timepiece. What do you think? I've heard this many times, but I disagree. Rather, Israel is proof God has a timepiece. If we say the former, it limits His sovereign actions to Israel. The latter subordinates Israel to Him, and yet shows that Israel is the key to world prophetic events. My recommendation to you is "keep your eyes on Israel."
I saw your picture on your site. Dont you know the bible says: Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man has long hair, it is a shame unto him? Ooooh - you've read part of your bible. I'm impressed. As the old saying goes, a verse taken out of context is a pretext. With your single-minded logic, the bible contradicts itself. In Leviticus 19:27, Jews (including our Lord) were told: Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard. Jesus would have worn the long curly hair on his temples which you see on the orthodox Jews of today. And in the instructions to Nazirites it says: During the entire period of his vow of separation no razor may be used on his head. He must be holy until the period of his separation to the LORD is over; he must let the hair of his head grow long. Numbers 6:5. Samson, Samuel, John the Baptist, etc., were devoted to the Lord from birth and would have never cut their hair. Are you saying they were a shame in the eyes of the Lord? No. Rather this letter was written to those in Corinth. In that society, long hair on a man was a sign of being a male shrine-prostitute. I suggest if you read your bible to take into consideration who each letter was written to and the specific cultural aspects of the society, you'll then be able to properly apply what you are reading without getting all bunched up over minutiae. As Paul said - Stop thinking like children. 1 Corinthians 14:20
My pastor said the behemoth mentioned in the Old Testament was an elephant. That just doesn't sound right. Elephants are found from Africa to Thailand, but this was not an elephant. You're right to trust your instincts. This is the passage: Look now at the behemoth, which I made along with you; He eats grass like an ox. See now, his strength is in his hips, And his power is in his stomach muscles. He moves his tail like a cedar; The sinews of his thighs are tightly knit. His bones are like beams of bronze, His ribs like bars of iron. He is the first of the ways of God; Only He who made him can bring near His sword. Job 40:15-19. (NKJV) Have you ever seen an elephant's tail? It's puny like my little arms! To even suggest that a tail moves like a cedar is comparable to an elephant tail would be to compare a cashew to a coconut! This is nothing other than a dinosaur whether you accept it or not. Archaeological evidence clearly shows man and dinosaurs dwelt together. Elephants are magnificent, but not nearly "the first of the ways of God." You do well to trust your instincts and not your pastor in this!
Can you make any connection between the first chapter of Genesis and the last chapter of Revelation? The whole bible is complete and perfect. From the first sentence it proclaims God’s majesty and points to our Great Redeemer – Jesus. The first sentence of the bible says: Bereshit bara elohim eth ha’shemayim v’eth ha’eretz. The middle word “eth” is composed of Hebrew Aleph/Tav. The ancient Hebrew symbol for Tav is a cross. Aleph backwards is Pela (Wonderful). How interesting to think that in 1707 Isaac Watts penned When I Survey The Wonderous Cross! Additionally, the equivalent to Aleph/Tav in Greek is Alpha/Omega. Revelation 22:13clearly designates Jesus as the Alpha and the Omega. As it says in Colossians 1:19: For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. From the first to the last, it’s all about redemption through our Precious Lord and Savior – Jesus Christ.
I've heard of three different versions of the rapture - one before, one at the middle, and one at the end of the tribulation. What do you believe and why? I believe in a Pre-Tribulation rapture. Even if you ignore all that Paul teaches and the pattern in Revelation, the Old Testament is very clear that not a drop of rain fell before Noah was safe and not a burning ash had fallen before Lot was safe. The OT is a pattern, or picture, of the future in these cases. Yes, there were troubles in the world before these rescues, but the judgment didnt start until they were safe. Therefore, the most logical expectation is a pre-judgment rapture the judgment is a 7-year tribulation, hence Pre-Trib. Looking at it this way, its as certain as sunrise.
I heard that “nothing comes from nothing” on the radio–equating this with religion somehow. What was he talking about? This is from the Latin term “Ex Nihio Nihil Fit.” Actually, I did a search on this and there are people, a lot smarter than me, who have great explanations for this. All I can say is that if nothing can come from nothing….our God must really be something! Why don't you take a moment and comtemplate His glory, thank Him for His goodness, and read Psalm 24 - what a beautiful Psalm!
What do you think about faith-healers? I've heard of people going to them and not being healed. When this happens, they are told it was because they were lacking faith. Please understand this first, I believe in faith-healing. The Word of God teaches it and God will answer prayer to His glory. However, I do not believe in faith-healers. It is not they, but God who heals. When someone is not healed at a faith-healing rally, it is because of the lack of faith of the "so called" healer, not the person who is looking for healing. If we are to take Jesus at His word, this must be the case. Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, "Why couldn't we drive it out?" He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17:19, 20. Clearly Jesus set the standard for His disciples - their lack of faith hindered them. If one of todays "faith-healers" fails to deliver, the burden rests on him.
What do you think heaven will be like? It'll be more than we can imagine. Remember that God made the heavens and the earth in 6 days - wow! He spoke and it stood firm - everything we know in 6 days! Now read this: And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. John 14:3. Jesus said this about 2000 years ago....two thousand years! That's about 730,000 days. If he made all we see in 6 days......just imagine what's been prepared.
Do we have all the resources to do miraculous things as Christ did, like walk on water, if only we have the faith? We are promised His Spirit when we put our trust in Him as Savior. We can ask for wisdom (Colossians 1:9 & James 1:5), more of His Spirit (Luke 11:13), greater gifts (1 Cor 12:31), etc. When it comes to extra-physical or extra-natural gifts such as calming the winds, walking on water, or even miracle healing - I'm hesitant to make such claims. I don't discount that anything is possible, but I believe such marvelous occurrences happened to establish the church and the faith of early believers. In essence, I believe they were apostolic gifts. I do believe that God will answer prayer as He sees fit, but when people start claiming and expecting gifts in this manner they turn their perception of God into a cosmic miracle worker on their behalf. It is we who are the created and subject to Him in all matters. When people claim gifts of healing - such as some of our televangelists - they are showing they believe God will do what they want Him to do rather than them being obedient servants of Him. I saw Benny Hinn flick his hand backwards at a person as if he was throwing a rag and the person fell to the ground in a spasm. I DO NOT believe God would ever allow His Holy Spirit to be flicked like a rag in such a demeaning manner. In all things we are subject to Him and only by true faith, prayer, and humility do I believe God will answer prayer - and only so that He may be glorified.
What is the genealogy at the end of the book of Ruth doing there? This was placed there to prove King David met the requirements as outlined in Deuteronomy 23:2: No one born of a forbidden marriage nor any of his descendants may enter the assembly of the LORD, even down to the tenth generation. If you go back to Genesis 38 and read the account of Judah and Tamar, you will see that this was a forbidden union. Because of this, there needed to be 10 generations after it in order to meet this requirement. This was inserted to prove the requirements were met and David was an acceptable choice for King.
I read your previous answer about Jesus rising on Sunday. I've read good evidence elsewhere it was on Saturday. Which is correct? Sunday is. The other evidences you read were speculation and without biblical or extra-biblical support. In addition to the biblical evidences, there is also the noted Jewish historian Flavius Josephus who further confirms the timing. He was an eyewitness and participant in the feasts which picture Christ:
on the fourteenth day of the lunar month....called the Passover; The feast of unleavened bread succeeds that of the passover, and falls on the fifteenth day of the month.....on the second day of unleavened bread, which is the sixteenth day of the month, they first partake of the fruits of the earth, for before that day they do not touch them. And while they suppose it proper to honor God, from whom they obtain this plentiful provision, in the first place, they offer the first-fruits of their barley And after this it is that they may publicly or privately reap their harvest.
If the bible clearly states that the first-fruits are presented on a Sunday and the Passover is two full days (the third day) before that, then tradition that this Passover was Friday and the Resurrection was Sunday is correct. The way you come up with a Saturday resurrection is to reject the biblical and extra-biblical evidence - other than that I'm sure the analysis is fine!
If absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, then how can all who are in their graves hear his voice? I think the most plausible explanation is that our spiritual being - our soul - is kept safe "in the Lord" - Read this in Colossians 3:3: For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Even now, when a person puts their faith in Christ, we are "dead" to sin and our lives are hidden in Christ. Just because our physical body dies, this wouldn't change the fact that we are "hid" in Christ and, hence, present with him. However, until that Day - that glorious Day promised in Scripture - we will not receive a resurrected body. When Christ returns with those souls which are "hid" in Him, those left will be transformed physically and the souls will receive an eternal, physical body. I can't say this with certainty as it is a mystery we'll have to wait on, but it makes sense to me.
Do I need to say my prayers out loud or can I say them to myself? This will be just my opinion only. We read in Genesis 24:45 - Before I finished praying in my heart, Rebekah came out, with her jar on her shoulder. She went down to the spring and drew water, and I said to her, 'Please give me a drink.' And again in 1 Samuel 1:13 - Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. In both occasions, no vocalization occurred yet God heard and answered prayer. The 17th letter of the Hebrew Aleph-bet is the letter Pe. It is drawn in 2 ways, one with a closed mouth at the beginning or in a word, and with an open mouth (Pe soffit) at the end of a word. It is believed the closed mouth refers to speech in this world, and the open mouth, to speech in the world to come. The word for mouth is also pronounced Peh. As believers are already crucified with Christ and dead to this world, I will be so bold to state that true believers need not vocalize their prayers to be heard, but non-believers must vocalize a pray. This goes along with the verse: That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9. A prayer of confession must be audible.
Idon’t understand how the people in the OT could be so stupid. Every page they go between praising God and worshiping idols. Why is that? You need to understand that each page may represent a very long period of time. We read it as if it was really one thing after another, but it wasn’t that way at all. Think of us here in America… We were founded by Christians as a Christian nation. Within just a short time, we had a civil war. By 1940 we had started to reject God in our court decisions. By the 1960s, He was kicked out of public schools. Now, only the faithful even say Jesus’ holy name in public. All this in 200 years – now who’s stupid!
I don't understand why God was mad at David for taking a census in 2 Samuel 24. As with all things, God looks at the intent of our hearts. In this case, David was puffed up with pride. By conducting a census he was relying on and boasting in his own strength. Despite the punishment which followed, this account can be one of great comfort for the believer in Christ. David, because he was repentant and admitted his faults, was remembered hundreds of years later by God: And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my sake and for the sake of my servant David. 2 Kings 20:6 We are all sure to err and stray while in this life, but through confession and repentance, our right relationship is restored in Christ.
I understand the Passover ceremony points to Christ. Is that true? Yes, pretty much everything they do during Passover points to Him. Here’s an interesting part of it. They have three pieces of Matsah bread. One of them, the middle, is called the Afikomen. They take this piece and hide it in a white cloth and later the youngest child goes looking for it. When it is found, it’s broken and eaten. Afikomen is not a Hebrew word – it comes from the Greek epikomenos – He is Coming, but in the past tense – He Came. Jesus (the middle of the Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) did come, he died and was buried in a white cloth; broken for our transgressions. And in order to come to him, you must do so as a little child – Mark 10:15.
I really enjoy football. Do you suppose there'll be sports in Heaven? At first, I thought this was like the DUMBEST (no offense) question, but then it got me thinking. So here's my guess. No....no sports. Imagine both sides are perfect - no mistakes. That means the offense would play a perfect game and be able to score every play. But imagine the same for the defense....ooops! They're able to stop every offensive play. How can both sides possibly be perfect and play against each other? Nothing would ever get done and the first play would go on for eternity - but then maybe that's what sports fans want....uggh.
I read your page about Israel and you seem to make a distinction between Israel and the Church. The bible says there is no difference between the Jew and the Gentile and yet you say there is. Here is the quote you mentioned: There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28. It is true, in Christ the dividing wall has been broken down between the Jews and the Gentiles as well as between males and females. We are all accepted by Christ in the position we are in. However, it is quite clear that males are different from females and each has a particular position within the body. The Jewish people and the nation of Israel did not cease to be what they are just as females don't cease to be females when they come to Christ (whew, at least in this lifethank goodness!)
Why do you think the Israelites were required to stay 2000 cubits behind the Ark when they crossed into Canaan? Heres the passage: Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Joshua 3:4 (KJV) I'll give three possible reasons. (1) As indicated elsewhere, the Israelites wandered under punishment exactly 14000 days until the generation that rebelled had all died. This could be a pictorial reminder of this 7 cubits for each week of punishment or 2000 weeks/Sabbaths (2) To keep someone from getting overexcited and coming near the Ark and dying. (3) So that the Ark would be visible, upstream of the people, as they crossed. This way they could clearly see that is was a miracle of God and not some "natural" explanation.
Last week you talked about the Ark. Tell me more! If you read my page A Sign in the Desert, you'll see the Ark is a picture of Jesus. When you see illustrations of the Israelites carrying the Ark around, they always show the Ark on its poles in view for all to see. This is inaccurate. Whenever it was moved it was covered. When the camp is to move, Aaron and his sons are to go in and take down the shielding curtain and cover the ark of the Testimony with it. Then they are to cover this with hides of sea cows, spread a cloth of solid blue over that and put the poles in place. Numbers 4:5, 6. Notice that the "shielding curtain" is the veil hiding the Holy of Holies. So much for all the dramatic pictures of the Ark you remember from Indiana Jones. It was totally out of sight, except the carrying poles.
Would you explain more about the veil? The Hebrew word for veil is "poreketh." This is from the same root as "perek" meaning to "break apart" or "fracture." Our relationship with God was fractured at the fall and unrestricted access to Him became impossible...that is until Jesus shed His precious blood and the veil in the temple was rent! This rending was a picture of a restored relationship with God for those who by faith put their trust in Christ alone for their salvation.
When I read what you explained about the veil being torn last week, I checked and that was right. How wonderful! First, you did well to check for yourself. Here is something from the book of Acts: Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11. Don't trust anything you read without checking. Secondly, yes! It is Wonderful. Thirdly, you probably noticed the veil was torn from top to bottom. This Temple veil was HUGE. Ancient writings indicate it was over 30 feet high and a hand-breath in thickness. This couldn't have been torn in two by even a couple large trucks of today. The fact that it was ripped in half (and that, from top to bottom) clearly indicates God's Divine power was involved.
Although I've read the parable of putting new wine into old wineskins many times, I still don't think I quite understand it completely. Could you give your insights into this parable? In the version you’re reading the terminology is correct – these are wineskins made from animal skins, not bottles as stated in some versions. When you use the term “bottles” the whole meaning gets lost. When wine ferments, it expands. If you put new wine into an old wineskin (one already stretched out from previous use), it can’t stretch anymore and will split or sometimes burst! Then … well, there goes both the wineskin and the wine. The hidden meaning is that it isn’t possible to retain the old legalistic system and also introduce the New Covenant which is by faith – the two are incompatible. Luke adds onto this parable: No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says, 'The old is better.' Luke 5:38, 39. Here Jesus is saying that the Jewish nation would be reluctant to change and accept the New Covenant, saying what most say to this day… “the old is better.” All believers in Christ are the “new wineskins," and we can consider the wine as representing God's truth through His Word and the Holy Spirit.
Why does touching a dead person (even a relative) make people unclean in the Old Testament? Death is the final penalty for sin. As God is Holy and cannot look upon sin, it is an indication of the very seriousness of our sin and the need for cleansing when we are in the presence of its result.
When I pray, do I talk to God the Father, or Jesus, or does it matter? Here is a good verse on this - And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17 So, you pray to God the Father through Jesus. A good way to do this is to first praise Him, then thank Him for the blessings of the day, and then remember others needs, and finally remember your own needs. Then at the end, ask that your request be given in Jesus' Name. For the model prayer though, see the Lords prayer in Luke 11.
How do you justify a young-earth stand when modern science points to the earth being billions of years old? Not being a specialist in the area, I simply go by faith. Hebrews 11:6 says: And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. I take the Word of God at face value, but I also believe God has rewarded that faith. Searching the internet will provide many sites which point to a young (Biblically-created) earth. Here is one - www.halos.com. I admit, other sites have come to different conclusions over the same evidence -which this site also acknowledges, but all these evidences are refuted with additional, and I believe, more reliable evidences. Ultimately, it is the job of the Holy Spirit to convict one of sin and of the truth - without faith in this, all the head knowledge in the world will be of no value.
Last week a person who's contacted me occasionally over the past couple years disagreed with me on the young/old earth account. Concerning the evidence I gave - I'm NO specialist in the area, but it's published so I used it. My thoughts have simplified since I first met Christ. At first, I believed in an old earth and even evolution (why not - it's what I was taught in school.) However, if man evolved, then sin evolved with man. Hence - no original sin and no need for a Redeemer. Additionally, since I've learned Hebrew (in a limited way!) I know that the account in Genesis gives no room for anything other than a 6-day literal creation. My question is - could God have created everything in 3 seconds? My answer is - YES! (He's a Great God!) Therefore I'm convinced (and Scripture bears out) that the six days were a pattern of the 6000 years of man's redemption - see Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8. The seventh day is a picture of the millenium. Christ came at the dawn of the middle day (year 4000.) Just as the middle candle on the Menorah is called the Shammash - the Servant candle, so Christ the Suffering Servant came at this time. Now we are at the dawn of the 7th Day and Christ will be back directly! Amen and Amen. P.S. I love you Jeff!
I heard a minister say that all people will be saved because Christ reconciled everything at the cross. This is an ultra-liberal stand and is based on this passage: For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Colossians 1:19, 20. This fails to take into account the passage which shortly follows: ....-if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. Colossians 1:23. "If" is a small word with a huge meaning and actually has significance. However, even without this, the Bible is very clear about who will and won't be saved. I certainly agree that all things are reconciled at the cross - some things to eternal salvation, others to eternal destruction. But what this minister is teaching is heresy.
Where did Cain get his wife? As Adam lived 930 years, he had lots of opportunity to have plenty of children. After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. Genesis 5:4. Plus, those sons and daughters had lots of sons and daughters during this time. There is no problem here at all.
I was told I couldn't be a deacon because Ive been married before. Is this in the bible? Well, not as I read the passage they're using: A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well. 1 Timothy 3:12 (also repeated in Titus 1:6.) I'm pretty sure Paul was talking about "one wife" at a time - not being married once in your life. In biblical times, it was not unusual to have more than one wife (one's enough for me!) and Paul said this practice was incompatible with being an overseer or a deacon. I'm not saying anything about divorce here in this analysis, so don't read anything extra into this. Other verses clearly discuss divorce.
Rather than Question of the Week, I'll comment concerning Bible versions. Richard McGough's book is out The Bible Wheel. I recommend it highly and it can be obtained throughwww.BibleWheel.com. His book provides (to me) convincing proofs that the New Testament text on which the King James Version is based is superior to that of other versions. Of particular interest to me is the "Johanine Comma" of 1 John 5:7, 8. This was dropped or footnoted as spurious by most modern versions for what seems compelling reasons. Mr McGough's book, however, demonstrates that this is an intricate part of Scripture and should be considered as such. I'm not a translator or historian, but it seems to me that using the best text is commendable. For this reason, I now recommend use of a version based on the Textus Receptus as a principle source for obtaining God's Word. This site has traditionally used the NIV, however, I now consider it to be a secondary choice for my use both personally and for future articles. Im not a finger-pointer to those who prefer another version like some nuts, but ultimately I must make this as a personal decision. Anyway I've never recommended a book on this site before but I believe The Bible Wheel is a must for the serious student of Holy Scripture.
I read in my Bible's commentary that Daniel was written after most of what was supposedly predicted actually occurred. Is this true? Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 The person who wrote this is lacking faith in what God has presented. I suppose you can believe a liberal scholar or God. You decide.
What do you think about joke emails that are a bit racy? Before I met Christ, I used to send on every email, thinking it was fun and harmless. However, Paul's writings changed my thoughts on this: But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. Ephesians 5:3, 4. Much of what is sent on in joke emails are certainly foolish and course. If you have any doubt at all, simply hit "delete" and be done with it. I still love to send on fun emails, but there is no need to diminish perceptions of our Lord by sending on that which is coarse to both Christian and non-Christian friends.
Is it true Jews are saved without Jesus? No. Despite what some televangelists have claimed, this is untrue. Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6 There are things that none of us will fully know until they are revealed to us, however, the Holy Bible makes no exception concerning a relationship with the Father.
I've been desperately trying to quit smoking. I've tried and tried, but I can't seem to do it. Do you have any Biblical advice? I took the liberty of editing the question by adding underlining where I think the root of the problem lies. Please read this from Psalm 107:16: For He has broken the gates of bronze, And cut the bars of iron in two. Notice the underlining here which I added also. It is by the Lord's strength that you will overcome this or any obstacle. Here are a few practical suggestions. Pray for His strengthening. Ask your friends or congregation to pray for this in your life as well. Trust that what you have asked for will be accomplished. And, through the entire process, praise Him! Remember the admonition of Hebrews 12:2 - ... looking unto Jesus... When you put your eyes on Him, you'll have them in the right direction!
My grandmother who lives in Peru prays to God every day, but not as a Christian. I have a hard time believing God would send her to hell. The Bible says that Jesus is the only way to God. The problem with your grandmother's relationship is not with God as the recipient of her prayers, but with your grandmother who must first deal with the sin in her life. Isaiah 59:2 says: But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear. Until the sin is dealt with, God will not hear our pray. Jesus came to deal with the sin problem for all of us. Through Jesus, our relationship is restored - without Jesus, our condemnation remains.
Catholics pray to Mary. What do you think about this? What I think hardly matters – what matters is what the Holy Bible as God’s Word says: I am the LORD, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images. Isaiah 42:8. Catholicism errs on both points as they worship Mary – giving her glory due only to God, and they condone the worship of metal, stone, and wood.
Will we have memories of this life in heaven? Yes! To think otherwise diminishes the whole reason for eternal praise of our Lord. He bought us back from a life of sin and death, and for this we give Him thanks. When we are brought into the kingdom of heaven we will ever sing His praises - ....and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:6, 7
Although I accept the Trinity by faith, sometimes I still have a hard time with it. I read your page on it and it helped a lot. Do you have any other passages which will help me when I get frustrated? Heres' a very good one: Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. Acts 20:28 In this case it states that God purchased the church with His blood. Various versions may read differently in this passage, but the most reliable texts clearly indicate that God stepped out of eternity in the person of Jesus and, with His own precious blood, bought us back from sin.
I was told that the two separate accounts of feeding a multitude in Matthew are actually the same account they say its an old Hebrew technique for showing emphasis. What do you think? I've read the same analysis, which was in a liberal Bible commentary. I've read others which confidently state they are two separate accounts. I agree with this. There is a moral and a prophetic lesson included in the two accounts (which would take up too much space here) that clearly indicates they are separate accounts. Please feel confident when you read the Holy Bible that you are reading an accurate account of God's Word.
I really like your page with all the names and titles for God. What is your favorite one? The name Wonderful. To me, this describes so much about our God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. If you think on this title and let it pass your lips often, it will lift you up and put your focus on Him. Truly He is Wonderful. The word wonderful is used 22 times in Scripture and the two examples of this used as a name are Judges 13:18 and Isaiah 9:6.
Why do you think the book of acts has so much about Paul’s trial and the voyage at sea, but not as much about the work of evangelizing? I believe this is purposeful and necessary to understanding the church and its overwhelming gentile nature. Luke, under inspiration, penned these words to clearly show the rejection of the message by the Jewish nation. When you read Romans 11 and think on it, you will find the mercy of God shown toward the gentiles and the blinding in part of the Jewish nation. However, the entire Old Testament and the four Gospel accounts deal almost entirely with the Jewish people. Luke needed to clearly document their rejection of the Lord and the message of the Gospel to show why the gentiles are now receiving God’s grace and acceptance.
In Joshua 7, why was Achans whole family destroyed? This is a continuous theme in Scripture. Korah's whole family was destroyed in Exodus 16, and in Hebrews 7 it says Levi paid tithes to Melchizedek about 200 years before his birth, through Abraham. All this points to family solidarity and is the reason why we bear Adam's sin and guilt. The only way to have that removed is coming to Christ to be born again in order to receive the true life and restored fellowship with God. This concept is explained very well in Romans 5. If you have not been born again through Christ, I ask you to carefully consider what this means - death and eternal separation from God.
Would you tell me what you think about Revelation 20:11? Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. What an awesome scene! Here is the place of final judgment for the souls of lost men. Here is the place where the created comes face to face with the Creator. His majesty is so beyond the created order that creation disappears before Him leaving only those to be judged. At that point they will understand why they needed a Redeemer and why, without Him, they can never stand uncondemned in the presence of His Glory. Destruction is the only possibility for their nakedness. I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. Revelation 3:18
What do you think about abortion in the case of rape or incest? There is nothing in Scripture which says it's ok to murder a child regardless of how they were conceived. In the end, committing one sin in an attempt to cover another results in a second sin and nothing covered over.
How can we, as submitted and obedient servants of our Lord Jesus, maintain a healthy interest in prophetic events with a commitment to everyday discipleship? This is a question that I've needed to think about over the past couple years. At times, I've been so caught up in world changes that I expect the Lord to descend at any moment. Because of this, I tend to get short-sighted and put long-term matters on hold (silly, eh?) The fact is though, we're called to be effective witnesses for the Lord Jesus - the Great Commission was not optional. At the same time, John's final prayer in Revelation 22:20 was Even so, come, Lord Jesus! My personal recommendation is that we take a long-term view concerning our life decisions - go to college, get married, plan for retirement, etc., and yet live every single moment as if the Lord is in the process of descending to give the command. As it says in Jeremiah 29:28 - For he has sent to us in Babylon, saying, "This captivity is long; build houses and dwell in them, and plant gardens and eat their fruit." Those in Babylon didn't know when they would return to Zion and neither do we.
I’ve heard that Jeremiah 10:3, 4 is about Christmas trees and so we shouldn’t have them. Is that true? No. Although anything can become an idol if it takes our eyes off Jesus, this passage is not talking about Christmas trees. We don’t chisel faces in our Christmas trees and bow down to them. However, Christmas has become waaaay to commercialized and our attention is no longer on the celebration of the birth of our Lord, but on anything but that. If you feel you’re sinning by having a Christmas tree, then don’t have one. But again, no – this passage is not about Christmas trees.
Does it make a difference between me praying alone and having others pray with me? Yes. According to 2 Corinthians 1:11, group prayer has a profound effect: you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the gift granted to us through many. This question reminds me of prayers that I could use assistance with.
Can you tell me what you think about Paul? I know the whole Bible is inspired, but the Catholic Church always talks about Peter and seems to discount Paul. Paul wrote 14 books of the New Testament (if you include the unsigned book of Hebrews) and was “the apostle to the Gentiles.” He was called by Jesus “my chosen instrument.” In 2Corinthians 13:3 Paul says …… since you are demanding proof that Christ is speaking through me. Here the Greek literally says “of the in-me-speaking-Christ." This passage is an absolute affirmation of the apostle's inspiration and authority. Rejection of him means rejection of Christ.
In Exodus 33:20 it says - But He said, "You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me and live." However, it says that the LORD appeard to Moses in the flames of a burning bush. How can both be correct? Consider the fact that the very fire from which the LORD spoke, in itself, hid the LORD from Moses' sight. Moses heard the voice from the flames, but this does not mean he saw God - who was hidden by the fire. Make the commitment today and come to the one who died for you!
Before the Resurrection, Jesus “took captivity captive.” Some preachers say that Jesus took on all of our sins, and that He even took our judgment for those sins, and was condemned to Hell. The question is “Did Jesus go to Hell?” I agree with the preachers who say Jesus took on all of our sins as this passage confirms it: For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21. As for a descent into hell - the Bible gives very little information on what actually occurred during this period so I will defer to the Apostles Creed – which I affirm - which states with certainty that our Lord descended into hell. This dates from the earliest church times – even to within a half century of the last writing of the New Testament. I can't argue with such antiquity when the Bible is quiet on the subject and there is nothing contradictory or heretical in this ancient document. Further, the Apostles Creed has been a standard since its introduction. A well thought out exposition on this matter by John Calvin can be read in its entirety here.
Why was it ok for someone to have more than one wife in the OT and not now? The first person we know of with more than one wife is Lamech in Genesis 4:19. He is the Lamech descended from ungodly Cain, not Seth. But in the OT, great men had more than one wife - Moses, King David, Samuel's father, etc. Scholars say these were allowed, but not sanctioned by God. However, the Pentatehch allowed it - see Leviticus 18:18. In the NT, more than one wife disqualifies a person from a being an overseer or deacon as indicated in 1 Timothy 3:2, 3:12and Titus 1:6. It doesn't say anything about others having more than one wife. When Jesus quotes the OT in Matthew 19:5 he says the "two will become one flesh" but this doesn't disallow a second wife - it merely makes the point that a husband and wife are one. HOWEVER - it is against the law of our nation to have more than one wife, and we are obligated to follow the laws of the nation in which we live unless they violate God's law. So guys - line up, take your number and a lady, one lady, will be along for you anon.
Can you please explain Luke 23:31 to me? This is a comparison to Ezekiel 17:24 and 20:47 where Ezekiel mentions the green and dry trees. Throughout Scripture, trees are symbols of nations. A green tree would be a flourishing nation and a dry tree is one that is either dying or dead. Jesus was stating to these women that if when Israel was flourishing such horror could occur, then how much worse when God's favor was withdrawn and it was "every man for himself." If you wonder what the situation in Israel actually degraded into, go to the account as rendered by Josephus and read about the final days before the Diaspora - it was unimaginable. As Jesus' words echo through the ages, remember them and look around this nation with the murder of unborn children, perversion in the pulpits, strife, conflict, etc., and imagine what it will be like after the rapture when this tree is dry.
When were the verses numbered in the Bible? The Holy Bible was written by many different people over more than fifteen hundred years. Then the books were chosen for the Christian Canon after they were written - give or take 350 A.D. Then each book was broken into individual chapters by Cardinal Hugo de Sancto Caro in about A.D. 1250. In 1550 Robert Stevens divided the chapters into individual verses. Finally, it was published in 1560 with all these divisions in the Geneva Bible.
In the King James Version, it says "the burden" instead of "the oracle" or "the message." Why do they call it a burden? They use the word burden because its translated from the Hebrew word "massa," the word "massaah," or as in Lamentations, the word "maseth." These can indicate a load, such as on a donkey, or something lifted up. A prophetic oracle then, is something of weight or something being lifted up. If you think of Jeremiah, often his prophecies literally were a burden. If he spoke it, his life was in jeopardy, but if he didn't speak it, he would not be fulfilling his divinely ordained mission - real jeopardy there!
I read on a King James Version only site that the Septuagint didn’t really exist but was invented by the Catholic Church. Is that true? No. If this person read the Translator’s Note to the Reader in the original King James Version, they would see they didn’t believe this either. Here is a portion of their comments: The translation of the Seventy dissenteth from the Original in many places, neither doth it come near it, for perspicuity, gravity, majesty; yet which of the Apostles did condemn it? Condemn it? Nay, they used it, (as it is apparent, and as Saint Jerome and most learned men do confess) which they would not have done, nor by their example of using it, so grace and commend it to the Church, if it had been unworthy of the appellation and name of the word of God. These people say the Septuagint (the translation of the Seventy) not only exists, but that it existed in the very hands of the Apostles, and that further, it is worthy of the appellation and name of the word of God!
Is it true that the word “virgin” in Isaiah 7:14 doesn’t really mean “virgin?” The word in Hebrew is “almah” and can mean an unmarried female. A more specific word “bethulah” means only “virgin.” However, in each case that “almah” is used in the Old Testament, it is always translated correctly as virgin. Furthermore, when the Hebrew was translated into the Greek Septuagint, the Jewish translators used the word “parthenos” meaning a virgin. Finally, when the New Testament was written, Matthew, writing in Greek, also used the word “parthenos” to clearly indicate that Mary was a virgin in fulfillment of Isaiah. The matter of the Virgin Birth is not even close to being up in the air, it is sure.
It says in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 that the anti-Christ will stand in the temple of God and claim to be God. I've been taught this was the temple to be built in Jerusalem, but someone else says that it is the temple in Ephesians 2:21, 22 meaning the church. What do you think? I suppose in most cases your opinion will depend on how you were originally instructed. However, regardless of whether we are talking of a physical temple or a spiritual one, it doesn't really matter to you as a saved, born-again believer, as what this anti-Christ does will make no difference to you. Read on in 2 Thessalonians 2:11, 12 - And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. Those who are saved will not be sent a delusion. In other words, they will be safely away from this evil person. If they are away, and they are the true "spiritual" temple of God, then it makes sense to me that the "temple of God" being referred to in your question is a physical temple in Jerusalem.
I don't quite understand why David killed the Amalekite in 2 Samuel 1. David had his own chances to take Saul's life, and even though he was given the kingship and anointed by Samuel, he did not do so. He understood that God would remove Saul in his own timing. David was protecting the office ordained by God when he killed the person who claimed responsibility for killing Saul.
InActs 17:26, it seems to indicate that everything is already decided. What about freewill? I look at this in just the opposite way. Here's the passage: And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; Acts 17:26, 27. As I see it, this is confirming freewill. God chose when and where we would live so that we would be given the best opportunity to seek Him. More than just freewill, I look at this as a wonderful example of God's grace - He actually sets us in the position best suited for each of us to find Him!
In Psalm 137 it says, "Happy the one who takes and dashes your little ones against the rock!" Why would something so horrible be allowed in the Psalms? I think God has given man such a wonderful gift in the words of Scripture. We, as humans, have been allowed to show our deepest emotions love, joy, anguish, bitterness, etc., in their entirety in this Book. Nothing is hidden and nothing is overlooked. This Psalmist was venting his absolute frustration at the treatment he had received during the Babylonian exile. But this is just a picture of coming judgment. Remember, Romans 12:19 says, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. Yes, God is loving and merciful, but He is also just, righteous, and holy. At some point, all who have not called on Jesus will be swept away. We need to remember this and put the results of sin and hatred in their proper perspective.
Can you explain what Zephaniah 1:9 is talking about? Yes, followers of the cult of Dagon would not step on the threshold of the temple of Dagon because of what happened waaay back in 1 Samuel 5:1-5. Read that and you'll understand the reason. However, the motive is unfathomable. Someone whips together a wooden idol to pray to. Then it gets knocked over by the true God and breaks, and yet they continue praying to it. Hello......can anyone say, "peanut-head?"
Can you tell your thoughts on Rev 22:17? Eternal life - offered freely. This is a completion of the passages Isaiah 55:1 and John 4:14. We are human - created from the dust. Because of the sin of our first father Adam, we shall return to the dust. The idea of dust indicates a complete lack of hydration. However, through the perfect obedience of our Lord Jesus, we can now hope for eternal life - and that without cost! The price was paid for us by the Wonderful One!
“Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price. Isaiah 55:1
...but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:14
And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. Revelation 22:17
Cardinal Hugo Sancto asks: Although I am aware of the interpretation that all of our deeds will be tested to see their value when we meet the Lord at the Bema seat of Christ, do you feel that one interpretation of 2 Corinthians 3:11-13 could directly apply to the Roman Catholic church and their stock piling of exorbitant riches and idols of gold and silver? My thoughts are that this is referring to our deeds only because of the subsequent comments: If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 2 Corinthians 3:14, 15. However, your interpretation is a good one in the sense that they have, in many, many circumstances gone to build on a foundation other than Jesus Christ. They worship Mary, pray to idols, and consecrate naturally occurring phenomena, such as trees, Nacho chips, etc., because they resemble Mary or some other supposed "holy" figure. Also, the wealth and glamour of the RCC is really distasteful. Can you imagine our Lord driving around in a "popemobile?"
With the Internet accessible everywhere, how do you feel about continued support of field missionaries? Nothing replaces the precious few who sacrifice home, comfort, and even life for physical preaching of the Gospel of our Lord in remote or hostile areas. As Paul writes, quoting Isaiah and Nahum: And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" Romans 10:15. With certainty, they are actively proclaiming the gift beyond price which is entirely free. We dare not stop funding our missionaries lest we grow in complacency over technology, or allow false missionaries such as the mormons a greater foot-hold, and fail to do the very thing which we are commanded - spread the Gospel. Please - do it with your person, or do it with your purse in support of these saints.
What do you think about the difference between Luke's account and that of Matthew and Mark concerning the sprouting of the fig leaves and "all the trees" mentioned in Luke. I've heard the fig tree is Israel, so why is it mentioned differently in Luke? This is a lengthy study, but for brevity, I'll say that even from early church times the fig tree was associated with Israel. An ancient non-canonical document specifically states this. However, for clear reference to Luke's account, we need to go back to Ezekiel 31 where "all the trees" is symbolic of nations. Because of this, I think we can infer that, yes, Israel may be symbolized as the fig and when it became a nation again, the end time is near - this in Matthew and Mark from a Jewish perspective. But Luke's account includes the gentile nations surrounding Israel - most of which came into modern existence with the breakup of the Ottoman Empire - many around the same time. All these modern states have "sprouted leaves" and all are opposed to Israel. The scenario seems to fit an end times picture as portrayed in the account of Luke very well.
Cardinal Hugo Sancto asks: In the parable of the Wedding in Matthew 22, do you feel the reason the person without wedding garments on is cast into darkness is because he was religious, but he didn't know Jesus? Or do you feel like he's a person who believes that Jesus died on the cross with his head but hasn't made a commitment in his heart and hasn't been filled by the Holy Spirit? I had to really think about this, and I'll say this answer is speculation on my part. However, if you look at this parable and also the parable of the weeds in Matthew 13, it may provide us a clue. In the weeds parable, Jesus says the weeds and the wheat grow up together. This type of weeds looked very similar, but provided no wheat. It also says the weeds are gathered first for burning (but it doesnt say they are immediately burned.) If this is talking about the church - and I believe it is - then the weeds are those who sit in churches but are not of any value - they may have a head-knowledge, but no heart for the Lord. When the rapture occurs, they will have been marked for destruction first but they won't be taken. The wheat will be harvested (raptured) and brought in to Christ's glorious presence. The tribulation will see the end of the weeds which had been marked for burning.
Liz asks - is there anything about Hannukah in the Bible? Yes, In John 10:22 it says: Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. This feast is also known as Hannukah and confirms this is not just a "made up" Jewish feast, but has historical authority. To this day, Jews celebrate this Festival of Lights and yet the true Light is the Lord Jesus who proclaimed Himself the Light of the World at this Feast. To know our history as Christians, we do well to learn the history from which our faith stems and therefore we should study the roots handed down to us through the Jewish people. Thanks Liz for the Q & A!
For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! 1 Corinthians 9:16. Wow..."woe is me if I do not preach the gospel?" What did Paul mean by that? Did he have such joy from his preaching that he was unwilling to risk it? When Paul said "woe to me," I really believe he meant it - just like that. If he didn't preach, he would simply explode from withholding the Good News. Jeremiah preached repentance and destruction at his peril, but he simply had no choice:
Then I said, "I will not make mention of Him,
Nor speak anymore in His name."
But His word was in my heart like a burning fire
Shut up in my bones;
I was weary of holding it back,
And I could not. Jeremiah 20:9.
Paul heard the Good News and had no choice but to pass it on lest his life be short of the "high calling." There are times I have felt this - where I simply had to walk up to someone and tell them of Jesus, and if I didn't I would boil over. Unfortunately, I fall short of that more than often... maybe someday you'll see a blob on the sidewalk and say "Gee, Charlie shouldn't have held that in..." Woe to us if we don't tell others of the only hope of Salvation!
With all the roles Jesus has performed, what one work explains why He came in flesh the most accurately? No one description could ever possibly describe our Wonderful One He is our Creator, Redeemer, Savior, Friend, and so many more things to us. But because you asked specifically why He came in the flesh I think the answer I need to give is from 1 John 3:8 - The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. The devil muddied the waters and Jesus Christ came to right the wrong. Thank you, Lord Jesus.
Is it true some of the Bible wasn't written in either Hebrew or Greek? Yes, the Aramaic language is used in scattered words, verses, and passages of the Bible. In the Old Testament, there are one or two words of it in Genesis, some in verses or even passages in Ezra, Jeremiah, and Daniel and maybe a few others I'm forgetting. Then in the New Testament there are some references in Greek which are derived from Aramaic. Aramaic is one of the 5 Semitic languages, and was the commonly spoken language in Judea at the time of our Lord's first advent.
I attended a church where they told me I needed to speak in tongues to prove I had the Holy Spirit. That sounds a little bizarre. What do you think? Yes, a little bizarre and totally unscriptural. People standing around making a lot of nonsensical noises has NO basis in Scripture. This is just another example of taking a verse out of context. 1 Corinthians 14 give the most instruction in this area, but particularly read14:27, 28 - If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God. In addition to this, the Bible NEVER says tongues are a requirement. In fact Paul says: yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue. (14:19)
I have a real hard time reading parts of the Bible. Do you have that problem too? Yes, there are two parts of Scripture that I find exceptionally hard to read Proverbs chapters 10-29 and Ezekiel chapters 40-48. Because of the structure of the passages, I find myself occasionally needing to stop and reread in these areas more than any others in the Bible. Also, I find it easier to read the Bible with music playing, except when reading the books of Wisdom - Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. When I read any of these, I find it almost impossible to read them with music playing. Keep plugging along and pray before you read. I think this is an excellent idea to get yourself into the proper mood. If necessary, reread the difficult passages several times and always look to see how each passage points to Jesus Christ.
Rather than a question this week, an observation. Unlike the Old Testament of the Christian canon, in the Hebrew canon Chronicles is the last book. Therefore, the last person to be martyred was Zechariah the priest - this is even confirmed by Jesus in Matthew 23:35. Here is the account and his comment: So they conspired against him, and at the command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the LORD. Thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but killed his son; and as he died, he said, "The LORD look on it, and repay!" 2 Chronicles 24:21, 22
In the New Testament after the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, Stephen is the first martyr. Here is the account and his comment: And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not charge them with this sin." And when he had said this, he fell asleep. Acts 7:59, 60
What a marked difference. Without Christ's grace and the Holy Spirit we demand blood. However, with this filling, we can - even in the worst circumstances - be empowered to pray for those who persecute us. If you're having trouble with others and find it hard to forgive, ask Jesus to give you strength and a renewed filling of His Holy Spirit to help you.
Cardinal Hugo Sancto asks: In Genesis 6:4, do you believe that the "sons of God" are angels or do you hold to the view that they are men in the lineage of Seth? Some scholars feel that Mark 12:25 disqualifies the possibility that Genesis is referring to angels. Before I answer, I have to tell you something that really bugs me. There are books galore and countless articles and discussion boards that dwell exclusively on this one subject, a subject that covers what - about 10 or so verses in the whole Bible. Having said that, I think this is a great question. The verse in Mark never says these angels were capable nor incapable of sex. It simply says they neither marry nor are given in marriage. We can infer there is an entirely different order of things, and we are not privy to it. The book of Job uses the same Hebrew term for "sons of God." The term is "bene haElohim," and these are therefore angels because Satan was included in their number. Is this type of activity going on today? I dont know. Scripture doesn't dwell on it and neither will I.
Our inquisitive Cardinal asks - In reference to a misguided Christian named Hank, is God through with Israel? Arent Zionists a bunch of nuts? I'm sure you're talking about Hank Hanegraaf, the Bible Answer Man. Hank is very knowledgeable, but I'm as sure as I can be that he's wrong about this. God not only is not through with Israel for His future purposes, He is and has been moving through history using Israel as proof of His purposes. It is Israel by which we can determine where we are as Christians living in the Dispensation of Grace in relation to God's timetable. As modern Israel has moved back to her promised homeland, grown, developed, and thus far rejected the God who has done all this for them, we can determine in a general sense the signs of the times. These signs, as clearly laid out in the Bible, cannot be determined at all without using the Jewish people as a referent. Therefore, Zionism and Christian Zionists are at the forefront of understanding the days in which we live as no others can. Yes, Christian Zionists are nuts....nuts for Jesus!
I've been having a lot of financial troubles and have even considered filing for bankruptcy, but I know that Christians are supposed to be responsible and pay their debts. What do I do? Listen and understand that being a Christian does not mean abundant financial blessing despite what the "personalities" on Christian TV say. These people become abundantly wealthy by preaching such a message at the expense of the people they suck the life from. Financial responsibility should be the goal of every Christian, and yes we need to pay our debts. However, the bankruptcy laws in the United States are based on the Bible. Deuteronomy 15 details the year for canceling debts. "At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release of debts. Deuteronomy 15:1 Bankruptcy in America, although conducted a little differently is based on this chapter. We are freed from our debts for seven years. This compassionate offer should never be abused by Christians, but it also should not be refused when taken out of true need. Lastly, if you ever hear a TV evangelist tell you you will be blessed by "sowing a seed" - sending them money - don't believe it and don't send them a penny.
Clint asks - There are three different days I've heard people believe to be the day "no one knows, but the Father only" - The day of the rapture; the day of Christ's physical return to the earth to set up His kingdom; the day the heavens and earth pass away. My question is why do people when reading this verse go to Thessalonians, and Corinthians (rapture verses), or to the verses in Revelation about His physical return, for the context of what they are reading? IMHO, the context shows the answer to what day is being spoken of is identified in Matthew 24:35 "The day the heavens and earth pass away." Can you share your thoughts here? I'm in agreement with you that what Jesus was saying is about an occurrence entirely different than the rapture. This because everything Jesus taught was to the Jewish people of His time and under the Old Testament economy. By applying this statement to the rapture, people are mixing the bag. I feel His comments were directed toward a future occurrence which applies to national Israel - after the Church is already out of the picture. However, I think we can apply the concept of "not knowing" to both the rapture and His physical return as well. I say this because people have been setting dates for 2000 years, and even Paul's early writings seem to show he thought the Lord's coming would be real soon. I myself felt signs pointed to 2005 and we're all still here waiting for that glorious Day. Since then, I determined to look and ponder, but to stay away from getting people over-excited. Thanks Clint!
I read on a website that Caesar Nero perfectly fit the description of the anti-Christ and that he must be who Revelation was talking about. Is this true? No. One of the proofs concerning Nero is that his name equals 666 and John knew this. Well, this is true if you spell his name wrong. All the other clues which confirm Nero as the anti-Christ are equally as valid. If you omit some of his predecessors, then you have another good pattern to work with concerning the number of rulers. The way they figured Nero into fitting the mold is about as good as saying he is also Marilyn Monroe. Change his sex, add a nice figure, change his date of birth by a couple thousand years to 1926, and change his birthplace to Los Angeles, and then you'd have a match there too. Did I tell you Nero is also Ronald McDonald? Here's how.....
Why did the muslims get the Temple Mount back when Israel won it in battle in 1967? Because the nation of Israel is still lacking faith in God. In order to appease their enemies they handed control back, but their gesture didn't appease anyone. Instead, it's just been another area that muslims can attack the Jews about. Someday all this will be rectified, but for now Israel will continue to suffer many troubles because of their lack of faith in the God who has for so long stretched out His hands to them. I have a question for you all now - Who do you say rightfully owns the Temple Mount and why? Next week's answer will be the best answer to this question.
Last week I asked you who rightfully owns the Temple Mount. The answer is right in the Bible: First, the obvious truth - The earth is the LORDs, and all its fullness,The world and those who dwell therein. Psalm 24:1 And specifically, there is a title grant which remains to this day:
1. Then the king said to Araunah, "No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God with that which costs me nothing." So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. And David built there an altar to the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD heeded the prayers for the land, and the plague was withdrawn from Israel. 2 Samuel 24, 25
2. And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ. Matthew 1:16
3. Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli, Luke 3:23
4. But one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals." Revelation 5:5
All records of Jewish lineage were destroyed with the Temple in AD70. Because of this and because of the Bible maintaining Jesus' ancestry, Jesus can be the ONLY person who qualifies as a known descendant of David. Therefore, as fully God He owns the earth and all its fullness but also as fully man, He is the only rightful descendant of David and also the one who bought back man's right to the earth - what was lost at the fall was regained at the cross for man. The opening of the seven seals of the deed to the earth proves this.
Kim asks - In Genesis 2:25, it says the earth was divided. Does this mean physically or by clan division? There are at least two camps on this. One theory is that the earth was divided into the camps of humanity at this time. Somewhat like saying, "The blacks will go here, the yellows here, white guys over there, etc.," but more on a familial rather than racial division (at least to start.) Eventually, based on the few letter-codes for pigmentation in our genes (jeans?) we eventually became more polarized by our color. The other view is held by most creationists - not so much because it's any better, but people generally try to fit preconceived notions into Scripture. This theory states that it is a literal land division - a giant rending of the plates of the earth to bring it to the state it's now in. This is possible too, but I'd think this type of thing would have happened at the flood when the great deep burst forth and literally split the lands. Something this huge would have become the subject of myths and traditions, just like the flood itself came to be by most cultures. I think people would tend to this view if they felt the passage to the Americas, Australia, etc., were too much for our ancient brethren. However, they were intelligent and had all the means necessary to go a-sailing on the sea to find other lands. I don't believe in a slow migration over an "ice age land bridge." The first theory is, if I remember, part of Jewish tradition and therefore more probable.
Guido asks, I was reading in my Bible this morning in Ezekiel Chapter 8. Do you think that Ezekiel might have had a visit with the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ? After all in verse 2 it describes a man who has the appearance of brightness and we know our Lord Jesus is the Light of the World! I think yes, and I have no reason to believe differently. Certainly it was the Lord who met Abraham at the great trees of Mamre, who appeared as a pillar of fire before the multitude in the desert, and who met Joshua before the conquest of Canaan. It was the Lord who appeared to Gideon and to Manoah the father of Samson. Later, He appeared to Daniel in a splendid way, similar to this account in Ezekiel but with differences. The account in Daniel very closely resembles the description of the Lord in Revelation, but the difference in appearance to Ezekiel is no different than that in the other accounts. As it says in Exodus 3:14 - I AM WHO I AM. Believe it or not, God also chose to die on a tree in the sight of all nations in the Person of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God and how he presents Himself is up to Him alone!
I heard a preacher say that Jesus could have sinned and then later someone was upset and said He couldn't have. Which is correct? There are theologians who are a lot smarter than me on both sides of the isle. About 50% will say "yes" and the others "no." However, the best answer is, "Could have, could not have - the fact is, He didn't!"
Why Do Christians Have Trials? I was going to answer this, but Cardinal Sancto stepped in and answered before I could. His insights are far better than what I could have given: I think that there are different reasons for them. Just like there are different trials. There are the trials of physical ailments, diseases, broken bones, paralysis, third degree burns, cancer, etc. There are the trials of extreme grief of the lost over a dear, loved one. There are the trials of separation and isolation from those you love. There are the trials of false accusation, job loss, and worldly persecution. There are the trials of family not doing what they should be doing and family not trusting in the Lord like they should. I think that often it brings us continually to the foot of the throne of God in desperation for that outpouring of His living water. In tears sometimes we are broken to the point that all we know is that we passionately love Jesus. This morning I was thinking of the passage that says my sins were crucified on the Cross with our Lord or the passage that says that we are crucified with Him. This life is so tough sometimes. Sometimes all we are hanging on to is the fact that we know Jesus took that dreaded walk down the boulevard of Jerusalem with all the strength He had to get Him there. And He was hurting so badly from the beating He had to take from men that He had created. All that carried Him through to Golgotha was the strength of the Father. But His love for us dictated that He do it. I have even read that He may have even been crucified without clothes for our shameful sins.
Cardinal Hugo Sancto asks: Who do you think the two witnesses are in Revelation 11:3? There are as many theories about these two as there are about who killed JFK. Most of them don't hold water. One is that it is Moses and Elijah. However, this can't be the case as Moses died - So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. Deut 34:5. The Bible says elsewhere: And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, Hebrews 9:27. In Revelation 11:7 it says: When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. These two men will die. As Moses died once he will not die again according to Scripture. My personal guess is that it is Enoch and Elijah. Neither died and one is a Gentile (Enoch) and one a Hebrew (Elijah). Also, these are more than likely the same two mentioned in Zechariah 4:14. So he said, "These are the two anointed ones, who stand beside the Lord of the whole earth." And in Revelation 11:4 it says: These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. Therefore, it must be the same two people who are from Old Testament times. Finally, Daniel 12:5 says: Then I, Daniel, looked; and there stood two others, one on this riverbank and the other on that riverbank. These men show up again and again in Scripture (assuming they are the same men) and here it gives a clue to their identity - one is on one side of the river and one on the other. One possible translation of the word "Hebrew" is "to cross over." Therefore, I'm assuming one is a Hebrew and one is not. Enoch and Elijah fit this perfectly.
Kim asks: ConcerningMatthew 16:28 - Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” As I understand it, the people with Christ that day were apostles. We know that every one of them died. So why does he say some of them shall not taste death? My personal belief is that He was specifically talking about the Transfiguration on the Mount. In all three of the synoptic Gospels this happened directly after Jesus said this. The order and timing of many events in these three Gospels differs, but in this case they are all the same. These three men – Peter, James, and John - got a foretaste of the coming kingdom at that time. Then, about 60 years later, John received Revelation which gives each of us our own foretaste of the great Glory to come.
Can you tell me why Jesus has a name written on His thigh in Revelation 19? If you refer all the way back to Genesis 32, you'll read that Jacob's hip was wrenched by God as he struggled with Him. In verse 32, it says: Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob's hip was touched near the tendon. We also read in Revelation 19 a description of Jesus' face and that He has a name written on Him that no one knows but He himself. These also go back to Genesis 32 it says that there that Jacob saw God's face and asked His name, but He would not give it to him. Here the Bible describes that face. The giant difference is that in Genesis, Israel saw God's face and lived hence the name Peniel (face of God) but the armies gathered against Him in Revelation will be destroyed - The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse Rev 19:21. Have you yet looked on the face of the humble Servant and received salvation? If not, you will meet the Lord Who Judges and be condemned. Receive the gift now, while you can.
Why Did God Create The Devil? We can ask the same question about man. God created because He is love and in that love He made beings which could, in turn, love Him back. The only way something can love is by being give the choice to love - free will. If there is no free will there can be no true love, only mechanical devotion. Through free will, the devil decided against love and obedience to his Creator. Man did likewise and accepted the devil's leadership. So why the difference in how God handled the two acts of rebellion? I believe the logic behind this verse may explain it - For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more. Luke 12:48. The angels stand in the presence of God and experience Him in a greater way than man. Therefore there is no indication in Scripture for the redemption of angels, only man. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8
I don’t understand how the promise to King David in 1 Chronicles 22 can pertain to Jesus. It says Solomon would build the house for LORD God of Israel, but my Bible indicates this is a prophecy about Jesus. This, like much of Scripture, has both an immediate and a future fulfillment. Notice how it says in verse 5 the house will be glorious throughout all countries. The New Testament says that Jesus is building a spiritual house and it is comprised of people from every tribe, nation, and tongue. Again, in verse 9, it says the son would be a man of rest. Jesus also fulfilled this - Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28. In fact, the whole Bible points to Jesus in one way or another.How can I love a God who is so strict? This is a common sentiment when people are taught all the do's and don'ts in the Bible. It's even worse when, after being given all these instructions, pastors and teachers add on to them - cut your hair, wear a suit, no dancing, no musical instruments in church, read only the King James Version of the Bible, etc., ad nauseam. Such legalism - totally outside the confines of Scripture - can only cause detriment to young believers or the instillation of "holier than thou" attitudes. It can end no other way. However, the vast majority of the do's and don'ts in Scripture fall under the law. We are taught in several places in the New Testament that if we are in Christ Jesus, we are no longer under the law, but under grace. If this is true (and it is) and Jesus Christ fulfilled the law for us, then how strict is God towards the objects of His affection? Much less than He was on His only begotten Son! If we don't come to Christ Jesus for our salvation, then yes God is extremely strict on us. But if we do, then it was His Son who received the punishment that set us free from His strict hand. The question then really should be, "How could I not love a God who is so gracious and merciful?"
How Do You Answer an Atheist? I've talked to several supposed atheists. However, I don't believe anyone truly believes there is no God. Their denials are simply a way of attempting to get around their accountability to God. Romans 1:21 tells us that our knowledge of God is clearly known - therefore true atheism is not possible. However, the human mind can be most stubborn. My best answer to this problem is to give a professing atheist the same Good News as you would to anyone else. It is not by our efforts that a person is converted, but by the Holy Spirit of God. Therefore, if this person is destined for salvation, it will come to pass.
I can tell from your site that you believe Jesus is the only way to eternal life, but isn't it possible He is working behind the scenes in the other religions of the world in a way we don't know about? First off, its not that I believe Jesus is the only way that's important. What the Bible says is all that matters - in John 14:6, Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Jesus gave no other path to eternal life and to know the Father, but through Him. Secondly, no! Jesus is not doing something "behind the scenes" as evidenced by Luke 8:16, No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. This is not taking a verse out of context here. Rather it is an affirmation of the fact that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not something to be worked behind the scenes but in the open. If you're asking me to tell you that muslims, buddhists, or whatever people of other faiths may get to God because they've never heard of Jesus, then you're asking the wrong person. The Bible teaches Jesus is the way and I can do nothing other than proclaim its words.
I can't find any place where you mention heaven on your site. Why not? Isn't that the goal were working for? No, our reward is not heaven, our reward is Jesus. Unless she's a gold-digger, a bride isn't looking toward the home she's going to live in; she's looking forward to the husband of her dreams. The house is merely what the husband makes for their life together. In our case, we know it will be splendid - ...I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:2, 3 We read in Hebrews 12:2 that we are to "look to Jesus." In the account of the transfiguration, God the Father tells us to "hear Jesus." When Peter took his eyes off Jesus while walking on the water, he began to sink. I implore you to take your eyes off heaven and fix them on the true Reward, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I read your question last week, but I’m still wanting your opinion. Will heaven be like the Garden of Eden? We just can’t know for sure what eternity with God will be like, but I can tell you it will be far better than the Garden of Eden. In the garden they saw the LORD and spoke with Him, but we will see Him in a far more intimate way – we will behold His scars. They could not grasp the depth of the love of God, but in eternity it will be ever-apparent.
Could we with ink the ocean fill, and were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above, would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole, though stretched from sky to sky.
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing! Revelation 5:12
Isaiah 53:3says He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Why is the Lord referred to in this passage as: "a man of sorrows"? He was without sin and had an intimate relationship with His Father. So why the sorrow? Jesus came into the world in human flesh. He learned as he grew - Luke 2:52. Jesus' human nature meant that He in all ways was human - and yet divine. Before Jesus was a man, He was not yet a man. He was a part of the eternal Godhead, but His humanity only came about at His birth. With birth, He experienced what we as humans experience including all the things we grieve over. We, as born again Christians now have an intimate relationship with the Father - albeit assuredly different from what our Lord experienced - and yet we continue to have sorrows and troubles. Additionally though, even as divine, Jesus saw those around Him who would die apart from a relationship with Him. This alone must have brought Him great sorrow, just as it sorrows the Father. But because of His great love for us, He gave up His life to change this for those who accept His gift. One more point - His sorrows truly must have been great as He looked forward in time to the multitudes who would reject His offer, even after He went to the cross for them. Despite His sinless state, both as a man and as God, His sorrows must have been, and must still be, immense.
I was recently told the universe has always existed and wasn't created. Is there a response to this? Yes, if time always existed, then there would be no tomorrow. If you can go back infinitely in days, then you can never go forward from any given point. Therefore, you couldn't really go forward in time. Time however is permanently fixed to space and matter as proven by Einstein. If there is no matter there is no space and no time. As time had a beginning, then matter - of which the universe is constructed - also had a beginning.
Last week I was asked about whether the universe always existed. In order to help with this argument, should the occasion arise in your witnessing, another point proving the universe had a beginning is the Second law of Thermodynamics. This law - of which there are no exceptions - says that the amount of usable energy in a closed system is always running down. As the universe is a closed system and as it still has usable energy, we can know with complete certainty that it is not without a beginning. If it had no beginning, the energy would have run down an infinite time ago.
Cardinal Hugo Sancto said: I was reading in the NIV translation of the Gospel of Johnrecently and became aware of the Lord Jesus mentioning the phrase "not yet my time" or "my time has not yet come" or something similar several times including: 2:4, 7:6, 7:30. Do you think that this "right time" or "time that has not yet come" was referring to His crucifixion? And did Jesus come to die? Here are the verses:
Jesus said to her, "Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come." John 2:4
Then Jesus said to them, "My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready. John 7:6
Therefore they sought to take Him; but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come. John 7:30
Each one of these seems to point to a different "yet." The first, I believe is the initiation of His ministry as proven by the miraculous and therefore to His claim to the Messiah-ship. The second instance points to an open claim to the leaders and people of Jerusalem that He was the Messiah. This is evident in John 7:37, 38 and hearkens back to Isaiah 55:1. The third, to the crucifixion, which proved He was the long awaited suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 the Messiah. It seems that our Lord understood there was a necessary timetable to follow. By telling others "yet," He was ensuring they knew He was going to follow it despite their influence. And yes, I believe that He came to die. Our Lord is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world!
My dad isn't a Christian and he makes me so angry sometimes. Can you tell me how I should vent around him? There are two verses in particular that Id like you to consider: Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you. Exodus 20:12 & In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Psalm 4:4. Paul quotes both of these in the New Testament book of Ephesians, confirming their importance to each of us. Remember, you father is not perfect but he raised you and you are a product of his efforts. The best thing for you to do is to pray for him and his salvation and not beat Christianity over his head. Discuss it openly, but leave room for the Holy Spirit to work in his life. Your duty is to honor him just as you would want your children to honor you. When you have strife, it's ok to be angry, but don't let your anger lead you to sin. Ok! Onward Christian soldier.
Michael asks, "If we all came from Adam and Eve/Noah where did the different races of people come from?" This seems like a difficult proposition, but even if only evolution were true (which it ain't), the result would be the same - there had to be inter-family unions. The laws against such occurrences didn't come about until after the Exodus, but before this, it was accepted. Even Abraham married his half-sister. The gene pool at that time was much purer than it is now and the odd side-effects we now see from these sort of shenanigans wouldn't have occurred. In the Genesis account of Adam it says a couple points to back this up. First, he lived to 930 years old. Second, it says he had "other sons and daughters." In the many years after Seth, he could have whipped up a bunch of them - a quiver full of arrows. While reflecting on this, remember that abortion is a sin. Pray that this wicked institution will be ended in our country.
I had a really unusual dream and I'm sure its prophetic. If I email it to you, can you tell me what you think? I'm sorry, but the Bible says God no longer works that way - God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; Hebrews 1:1, 2. The "various ways" include what is proclaimed in Job 33:14, 15 -
For God does speak now one way, now another
though man may not perceive it.
In a dream, in a vision of the night,
when deep sleep falls on men
as they slumber in their beds,
The Hebrews passage cited above says God now speaks to us by His Son. What is the way in which we know His Son? It is through the words of the Holy Bible and the testimony of the Holy Spirit - not through dreams. If you've been taught that Acts 2:17 means we'll all have prophetic dreams, then you need to re-evaluate that verse. It does not say this, and never again in the New Testament is the word "dream" used to indicate something gifted to us by the Holy Spirit. After the Apostles pens fell silent, Gods Word was complete.
Last week I gave my thoughts on prophetic dreams and got some comments on it. I may have been misunderstood. Im not saying God doesn't speak to us now, but there is nothing that will happen in a dream, vision, or visitation which will add to or contradict Scripture. There is no prophetic vision coming; only that which confirms what has been penned in the Bible can be considered a valid dream or vision. If you hear of someone having coffee with Gabriel in his office and is told the rapture will happen on a certain date, you are not to believe this. If the Bible has not confirmed something, then we will have to wait it out. If this were not the case, then every vision by every cultist and nut job would be as equally valid as any other. There must be a standard by which we gauge our faith and that standard was, is, and will be the Holy Bible.
Cardinal Hugo Sancto asks - The New Testament has numerous accounts of the Lord Jesus driving out demons. Do you think there are demons present in the world today? Where do you think they came from? I’m sure they’re in the world today. Paul let us know that this is an on-going struggle - The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 1 Timothy 4:1. From the time of the resurrection and ascension of Christ, we’ve been living in the “later times.” These demons are fallen angels and seek homes among the sons of men. Demons can and do still occupy people, but I want to clarify a totally unscriptural stance held by many Christians – this is that a believer can have a demon. This is not true. If a person comes to Christ, it is the Holy Spirit which indwells him. There is no room for God’s Spirit and demons in the same person. If you haven’t yet accepted Jesus Christ, do so today. Although the devil and his demons can still give believers a difficult time, they have no authority to occupy what has been redeemed by His precious blood.
Liz asks - Hi Charlie, Can you please expound on Hebrews 12:12? Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, This paragraph, starting in verse 3, tells us that when we're corrected – either by God or our parents - we don’t enjoy it as it’s happening. But with time and reflection, what we thought really blew turned out to be what was best for us. We strayed and our father or (Father) corrected us to learn a better way. At the time we were chastened, we didn’t have much strength left in us, hence the hands hanging down and our knees feeling weak. When we have correction from our Heavenly Father, it seems as if our world is turned upside down and that we couldn’t be more miserable. However, the good news is that when we look back on those times, they are the moments which truly strengthened us in our very souls, making us better Christians and preparing us for greater glory in the time when we live in His presence. A good example of this comes from Joshua 7. Israel was defeated by a small town because of the sins of Aachen. At the time, Joshua didn't know the reason and he only felt the heavy hand of God upon him. However, God's answer to his pitiful condition - The LORD said to Joshua, "Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? (v. 10/NIV)
In other words - "strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees..."
I read the NIV and there are several large and many small passages which they offset saying that they aren’t in the most reliable manuscripts. What do you think? I would much rather accept them than reject them and I have every reason to believe that the divisions of chapters and verses were divinely set when they were decided upon (I’ve addressed this in past questions) and all these questioned passages were in the Bible at the time these divisions were made. Secondly, there is plenty of evidence to show that the manuscripts they reference are not the “most reliable” – anyway, “most reliable” is up to the personal interpretation of these people and obviously not everyone agrees with their deep insights! Thirdly, despite some of these passages not being in Greek versions, they are in earlier Latin versions. The Latin goes back into antiquity and had to have been translated from an even earlier Greek source. Therefore, we can indirectly say that they were in Greek manuscripts from the earliest times.
Sometimes I read two different comments on the same passage and they are completely different. How do I know which is correct? There is a rule in interpreting Scripture - context, context, context. A verse must be looked at from the immediate context, the remote context, and its historical context, etc. A verse can’t be taken out of its intended context without introducing invalid interpretation. Once invalid interpretation is accepted and taught, it becomes increasingly difficult to get it out of people’s heads. No wonder James said, My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. James 3:1. A teacher must be well versed in Scripture or erroneous doctrine and even heresy will result.