Group Number 42

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I guess my question is, how would you suggest getting rid of these things, too? Or do you celebrate Christmas in your house? Doesn't God tell us not to in Deuteronomy 12:31-31?

You are in the area of conscience, not Law. It is never wrong to honor Jesus, and it is never right to let another take His place. Paul intently kept a Jewish feast in Jerusalem that could not be bound on others (Acts 18:21). He even condescended to take a temple vow so as not to offend other weaker believers (Acts 21:23-24). In another place, the Spirit speaks of weaker brethren who thought they could not eat meat. They were technically wrong, for Jesus had cleansed all meats. Yet, because they refrained from meat as unto the Lord, the Spirit admonished the stronger not to offend such an one, "for God has received him" (Rom 14:3-4).

In our own family, there are matters our conscience will not let us do--but that does not mean the deed is wrong of itself. That is precisely what Paul meant when he said, "I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean" (Rom 14:14). He is not speaking of morality, as defined by the law, but of matters of conscience, where some leniency is given to the believer, lest they be brought under a yoke of bondage that itself will drive them from God.

The proscription of Deuteronomy referred to serving false gods. It did not mean a Jew could not serve in the court like Daniel, or be a cupbearer like Nehemiah, or go to a government school like the three Hebrew children, or Egyptian schools like Moses. 

Each person is responsible for ordering their life in such a manner as contributes to their sensitivity to God. If the matters you mention are such things, then you must seek a resolution that will not cause others to stumble. But whatever you do, it is to be done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ. That has far more latitude than we are prone to believe. Know also, that God has not demanded that you eliminate the observance of what they call Christmas and Easter. He does not commend men for keeping them, nor does He condemn them for refusing them. 

You can sanctify something to God that was formerly used by the heathen. The tabernacle was built gold and silver than came from the Egyptians. The temple of Jesus' day was built by wicked Herod. Jacob and his sons were sustained in Egypt. The early church continued with one accord in the Temple. We cannot make laws out of any of these, for God did not. However, the sanctifying elements are faith and purity of heart. "To the pure, all things are pure" (Tit 1:15). That, as you must know, is no license for indulgence. You do not have to get rid of anything you can heartily do as unto the Lord.

That is how God approaches this subject. I cannot outline to you how to get rid of these things, for I would be speaking on my own--which God forbids. I can only tell you God has not demanded you get rid of them. He has, however, admonished you to do everything unto Him. You must take it from there. God will bless you in your efforts. There is no reason why you cannot be innovative in your faith, and bring a blessing out of something that would otherwise be a curse. 

I know that God is forgiving. People say if you get married twice that is your ex-spouse is still alive and you will lose your rewards and still be saved. But people say that homosexuals cannot be saved? Why is that? I know they are doing what is wrong, they can't be saved? 

The Word of God does not say a person married twice, whose former spouse remains alive, will lose rewards, yet still be saved. That is a bit of human tradition, and men must take the responsibility for saying it, because God did not say it. God has no where said any person preferring sin and choosing to ignore His Word will be saved--nowhere. He has further allowed a legitimate reason for divorce, which is fornication (Matt 5:32; 19:8-9). The purpose of Christ's instruction is not to declare who will be saved or lost in this matter. That depends upon one's faith. His teaching is intended to discourage people from resorting to divorce, and to view marriage as coming from God, and to be honored.

Homosexuals cannot be saved in their homosexuality, any more than murderers can be saved if they continue murdering. Repentance, or turning from sin, is a requisite for salvation, and men cannot be saved without it (Lk 13:3,5; Acts 2:38; 3:19). There were some people in Corinth who were formerly homosexuals (1 Cor 6:9-11). But they were no longer that after they came into Christ. They were washed from their sins, sanctified, or set apart to God, and justified, or pronounced guiltless before God. That can still happen today. But there is no such thing as a Christian homosexual, any more than there is a Christian murderer, Christian thief, of Christian fornicator.

My questions concerns with suing a company that had a gas leak in Radford, Va. My brother was killed in that. Is it wrong to sue this New River Castings company? We are supposed to be forgiving. I know that my brother will not be back, but he has been saved. I will see him again. The issued that I am not clear about is suing. Wouldn't that be unforgiving? People say that this company needs to be punished for not correcting the gas leak that had been going on for 18 months. Help me with this. Thanks.

The Scriptures say a brother in Christ is not to sue another brother in Christ before the law--or unchristian courts (1 Cor 6:6-8). That is not allowed because of the bad testimony it brings before the world. Such disputes were not to be ignored, however, but settled with Christian judges or evaluators (1 Cor 6:1-5). 

Jesus spoke a parable of a woman who went to a judge to grant her justice against her adversary (Lk 18:3). He gave no indication that such a procedure was wrong. Under the Law of Moses, there were trials in which people who had been treated unjustly were vindicated. There were courts of law, ordained by God, for such settlements (Deut 21:19-22:15; Zech 8:16). 

As to suing a company for neglect, the motive for doing so must be evaluated. If it is done out of malice, or in a spirit of hatred, it is wrong. If it is to recover costs incurred that imposed hardship upon the family, and if the law provides for such recovery, it is not wrong. In such a case, forgiveness is not the issue. To begin with, the company surely did not take the life of your brother on purpose. It was probably a matter of neglect, or could have been something they did not know about. 

God has ordained government for the "punishment of evil doers" (Rom 13:1-4). When such things are right, the child of God must make sure his heart is also right. He is not to seek vengeance on his own. God has told us not to take matters in our own hands, avenging ourselves. Vengeance belongs to Him, not us (Rom 12:19). If the law provides for the type of legal action you describe, and if the motives for seeking a judgment and honorable and in keeping with the Spirit of Christ, there is nothing wrong with it. Paul, after all, did appeal to Caesar to settle a dispute the Jews had with him (Acts 25:21-25).

I am a Baptist. Are you?

I prefer to be known simply as a child of God, Christian, or believer. Many years ago I recognized I would have to drop all denominational names when I left this world, as none of them were given by, or are honored by God. I therefore chose to drop them now, receiving wholeheartedly all who have received Christ Jesus. I do have many close friends and fellow workers who are Baptists. But our closeness is in Christ Jesus, not that particular name.

Which church does not believe in the Virgin birth? I was told it's the Catholics? Where do they get this?

The Catholics hold very strongly to the virgin birth of Jesus. They even take it further than the Bible, saying that Mary remained a virgin all of her life. This, of course, denies the revealed fact that she had several sons and daughters after the birth of Jesus (John 2:12; 7:3-10; Matt 13:55-56).

Generally, those denying the virgin birth are what they call "liberal" churches. They deny any miraculous thing in God's word, and view Jesus (if they even acknowledge Him at all) as an earthly teacher. Their reason for denying the virgin birth is the implication of that fact. They know if Jesus really is born of a virgin, He was sent here by God, and they are responsible to honor and obey Him. They are not willing to do this, so they deny what has been revealed of His birth.

I was asked about the book "Lost books of the Bible" What do you know about this? I stated if God wanted to give us more information we would find it in his word. More than likely it is someone adding or taking away for his word!

Your answer was correct. "Lost books of the Bible" are a thought created by fallen man. If true, it would mean God lost them, not us. It would mean He was not in control of His Word, which He is. If God holds the universe together by His Word of His power (Heb 1:3; Col 1:17), and even a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His approval (Matt 10:29), you know He will keep His holy Word in tact.

The Mormons claim there are many precious truths lost to us in "the lost books of the Bible." They, of course, make claim to having provided much of these lost truths. 

The following   
  link will give you access to additional information on this subject.


The full link is as follows

I would like to know your thoughts on Leviticus 16 with the two goats-one a the sacrifice and the other as the goat of departure. Do you think they relate to two distinct features of Christ's sacrifice performed both by Christ? I have heard it said that one represents Christ's sacrifice and the other is the charging of Satan with the believers sins. If that were true, how could you cast lots for either goat (even though they both had to be spotless)? This casting of lots seems to me that it wouldn't matter which was chosen for either phase. This would show to me that they could only be performed by Christ.

First, there are no Old Covenant ceremonies that portray Satan, or that are meaningless. All of them were figures or types of Christ, signifying the nature and effectiveness of His sacrifice.

The casting of lots was a means of leaving the choice up to God. Men were not to arbitrarily make the selection. In the casting of lots they admitted they did not know, and therefore the act was an appeal for God to make the selection through what appeared to be something of chance. This is also how Judas' replacement was chosen (Acts 1:26). Solomon referred to this procedure in Proverbs 16:33. "The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD." This was one of the means God used to make HIS choice known.

In the Leviticus text, the casting of lots determined which goat died (was presented to the Lord), and which one lived to have the sins of Israel confessed over it. It obviously made a difference, because the directions were given by the Lord. The point being made was that only God could determine what was to be sacrificed to Him or let go. That was not a choice men could make. Even in the ordinary sacrifices, men could not use their own standards to select an offering, but had to follow Divine instructions, selecting a pure male lamb.

In this rather detailed offering, a ram, bullock, and two goats were involved. The picture found in this offering is the remarkable fullness of Christ's sacrifice. It could not all be portrayed in a single offering. The goat that was killed depicted the death of Christ, and the shedding of His blood for the remission of sins. The live goat depicted God laying the sins of the world upon Christ. The High Priest put his hands on the head of the goat, confessing the sins of Israel over it. That portrayed the sins of the world being laid upon Christ, or imputed unto Him (Isa 53:6). Peter says Jesus bore our sins in His body on the tree (1 Per 2:24). That was seen in the transferring of the sins of the people to the live goat. 

When the goat was carried into an uninhabited wilderness and let go, it depicted Jesus taking away the sins of the world--removing them from the face of God. The goat being let go in that wilderness, revealed these sins would never be brought back before the face of God. The qualified man who took the goat into the wilderness also revealed an aspect of Christ, for He alone was capable of taking our sins away.

The whole elaborate atonement revealed Jesus. He is at once the bullock, the ram, the goat that was sacrificed, and the goat that was let go. He is also the High Priest that offered the sacrifice, the man who took the goat into the wilderness, and the man who burned the residue of the sacrifices outside the camp. Jesus did it all.

The removal of the sins of the world was not a simplistic thing. I fear it is often viewed to simplistically by believers. It required not only the love of God, but His inscrutable wisdom as well, All of that is revealed in this, and other, offerings made under the Law.

As to the thought that the living goat depicted Satan being charged with our sins, it is too foolish to even answer. I would consider such a thought a reproach to God, and a reflection upon the atonement accomplished by Jesus. One must remember that the means of removing our sins and reconciling us to God is not only Christ's death, but His life as well. the Scriptures declare, "For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!" (Rom 5:10). While the living goat does not thoroughly fulfill this picture, it does reveal that the one upon whom the sins were conferred did remain alive, thereby vaguely portraying our Lord's life.

Do you believe in speaking in tongues, if so please show me scriptures. If not please show me scripture.
First, I believe in God and Christ, not doctrines of any sort. While that is quite elementary, it is necessary for us to speak about believing like the Spirit does. Second, God is the one who grants the ability to speak in tongues, so it is not a matter of whether any of us believe in it or not. We really have no say in the matter. God never did give everyone the ability to speak in tongues, and never told believers to expect Him to give them the ability, or to withhold it. The gift comes from God (1 Cor 12:28-30). There is no word of Scripture that says tongues are to be found everywhere believers are found. Nor, indeed, is there one that states they are not to be found anywhere believers are found. I am content to leave the matter with God, knowing full well that will not be enough for some people.

Why do Pentecostals do it, and not the Christian church's? 

One might as we well ask why the church at Corinth is the only church in all of the Bible where it is said people spoke in tongues. Why was no reference made to them in Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, or Thessalonians. Why didn't Peter refer to them, or John, or Jude, or James? The reason is because this is something within God's jurisdiction, not man's. Whatever men may say about the subject is purely an opinion. There are, of course, quite a few people in the Christian Church who do say they speak in tongues. They are not generally considered to be representative of the common doctrines held among them, but they are there. But whether they are or are not is not the real issue.

The people in Corinth did speak in tongues, but they were certainly not commended for it. They had miserably failed in a number of other areas, and were soundly rebuked for their conduct. So whether or not people speak in tongues is really not the issue. The Scriptures say "forbid not to speak with tongues" (1 Cor 14:39). However, if men do speak with them among God's people, there are certain guidelines to be followed (1 Cor 14:26-28). Apart from that, men are at liberty to follow the dictates of their conscience. They are, of course, to also "try the spirits, whether they are of God" (1 John 4:1) I am content to let the matter rest there.

Can you help me with some ideas and principles concerning the husbands love for his wife. I know there is 1 Corinthians 13. I understand that the man is the head of the home, leader and responsible. 

First, there is a lot of religious folklore surrounding the use of "agape" love in Scripture, as compared with the "phileo." Neither of them are exclusive to a certain setting. For example, when the Scriptures speak of those who "love the praise of men more than the praise of God," the word "agapao" is used (John 12:43). On one occasion, when Jesus said "The Father loves the Son," He used the word "phileo" (John 5:20). Too, when Jesus told His disciples the Father Himself loved them because they loved Him, he used "phileo" (John 16:27). 

AGape love is an outflowing love, which seeks the betterment of the one loved. Phileo love is companionship love that enjoys the fellowship of another. Both words are used in Scripture because of the largeness of the concept of love. A single word is not big enough to contain all that is involved.

As to husbands loving their wives, the emphasis is not on affection, but on care, provision, support, and maintenance. In this regard, the Bible nowhere says that man is the "head of the home" or "house." It does say he is the "head of the wife" (Eph 5:23). As such, he is responsible for her care and provision, just as Christ is responsible for the church. To be sure, there is affection and preference involved in this. 

You may recall that married women are exhorted to "manage the house" (1 Tim 5:14). Other versions read, "manage their homes" (NIV), "manage their households" (NRSV), and "rule their households" (RSV). If you care to look the word "manage" up, it is from oikodespoteo, which means "to be the head of." While this is a little upsetting to some views, it is what the Word says, and perfectly correlates with the description of a virtuous woman in Proverbs 31. In this regard, the husband, in loving his wife, is to be sure her responsibilities are not a burden to her, fully supporting and caring for her in them. In return, her submission to him will be more pleasant and profitable to them both. This does not conflict with the qualification that a spiritual leader "rule his own house" (1 Tim 3:5). Rather, the godly wife carries out the will of her husband in an atmosphere of love and liberty, just as Christ carries out the will of His Father in His care and rule over the church.

In your teaching on this matter, take care not to leave the wives thinking they are inferior, or are somehow confined to their husbands for spiritual leadership. Timothy's mother and grandmother brought him up in the faith, without the apparent advantage of a godly father (2 Tim 1:5). Too, husbands must not conclude they are bosses over their wives. There is a vast difference between a "head" and a "boss." 

In the last analysis, the concrete examples of a husband are found in the Father and the Son. The Father refers to Himself as a "husband" to Israel (Jer 31:32; Hos 2:7). Jesus is also the one to whom the church is presently betrothed, and will be joined to her as her "husband" (Rev 21:2). Their examples must drive the view of a husband rather than a set of rules. That will become evident to you as you search the Scriptures.

What does the bible say about a patient that is incurable and associated with severe pain, unrelenting suffering, and request for a physician-assisted Suicide? How should Christian respond to this mater?

The Bible does not approach the matter of death in this way. It rather reminds us that our times are in the hands of God (Psa 31:15), and that He is working everything together for our ultimate good, bad things included (Rom 8:28). Our bodies also do not belong to us, and we cannot do with them what we like (1 Cor 6:19). 

Suffering is never pleasant, and some suffering is unusually hard to bear. However, we must believe God will not permit us to be tested beyond our ability (1 Cor 10:13). That should forbid us from taking matters into our own hands.

Also, the words "incurable" and "severe pain" are relative terms. God can give grace to recover from incurable diseases, and bear pain that is thought to be too severe to bear. I do not say these things philosophically, as I have been near death and have experienced unspeakable pain myself. I also experienced the loss of my wife and one of my daughters to Lou Gherig's disease, which is characterized by utter helplessness and a different dimension of suffering. One of my sons also suffered from brain cancer and brain surgery. By the grace of God, he did recover, but not without considerable difficulty. Of themselves, these personal experiences are not proof of what I am saying. I only share them to confirm I have gone through these things, and know faith is superior to them.

In the last analysis, one must ask if Jesus could have reasoned as some do about suffering, when He was upon the cross. Or, how about Stephen when he was stoned (Acts 7), or those who were sawn in two (Heb 11:37), or Paul when he was severely beaten, shipwrecked, and stranded in the sea for a day and a night (2 Cor 11:23-27). Then there is the woman who severed for twelve years from a flow of blood (Matt 9:20). What would have happened if she would have sought some form of assisted suicide? The answer should be obvious.

The believer must cling to the fact that God is in control of our lives, not the physician. Suicide is self-murder, and is an act of unbelief. It is an attempt to take matters out of God's hands, and put them in man's hands. It also is an act that is done just as though there was no God at all.

This does not mean we should be heartless toward suffering people, or those who have been pronounced incurable by men. It does mean we must encourage them to call upon the name of the Lord and trust in Him. God can give them blessings and insights that will more than compensate for their sufferings, and is fully capable of raising them up again.

I am a widow (twice) I was recently seeing a man who was divorced, he asked me to marry and I turned him down and broke off the relationship, due to the bibles teaching. Where do I stand, am i sinning by seeing or marrying a married man?

Jesus provided for divorce and remarriage in the case of fornication (Matt 5:32). As a widow, you are free to marry "only in the Lord," as stated in 1 Cor 7:39). When you ask about "seeing or marrying a married man," I assume you mean a man who WAS married. A Christian widower is certainly honorable, or a man who was divorced because of the infidelity of his wife. In both cases, they are to be believers in Christ--members of His body. The Scriptures also speak of a man or woman being freed from bondage if they were married to an unbeliever, and the unbeliever refused to dwell with them (1 Cor 7:15).

In whatever decision you make, it is important that you maintain a good and pure conscience. The Lord is able to direct you to a proper mate. Do not be hasty in your choice. I speak as a former widower, and know the Lord can bless you with a good husband.

My Boy wants a divorce. The bible teaches only infidelity is allowed for a divorce, right? What if he divorces, is he sinning? Will he still have a right to salvation? After the divorce. 

Jesus Himself taught the wrongness of divorce if it was not for fornication. Yes, your son would be sinning in becoming divorced--particularly when he is the one seeking it. Where there are marriages that are less than ideal, a ray of hope is held out to believers (I assume your son is a believer). "For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?" (1 Cor 7:16). Again husbands are told, "And a husband is not to divorce his wife" (1 Cor 7:11).

This matter is in your son's hand, and he is to make his decision in view of what the Lord has said. No person can speak with finality on whether or not
this means your son can never be saved. That is something only God can determine. But seeking an unlawful divorce will certainly not contribute to his salvation. 

There have been people who were divorced. and even living out of wedlock, who were offered salvation by Jesus (the woman at the well, John 4:7-29). But no person of sound mind will hold such a promise out to a person seeking an unjustified divorce. There is a word from God for him while he is married, and he is to have the courage to accept it. "And a husband is not to divorce his wife."

Please send me Footprints In the Sand. I have friends who are in need of the Lord..please help


One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. 
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky. 
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. 
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints. 
Other times there were one set of footprints. 
This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life 
When I was suffering from anguish, sorrow, or defeat, 
I could see only one set of footprints. 
So I said to the Lord, "You promised me, Lord, 
That if I followed you, you would walk with me always. 
But I noticed that during the most trying periods of my life 
There have only been one set of prints in the sand. 
Why, When I have needed you most, you have not been there for me?"
The Lord replied, 
"The times when you have seen only one set of footprints 
Is when I carried you." 

What does the word "amen" mean ?

The word "Amen" means "So be it." It is like saying, "I agree with what is said," or "Don't change a word of that -- I accept it fully." In the Bible is means "That is the last word on the subject, and will not changed."

When Christians say "Amen" to something that is said, they mean they agree with it and accept it. They are saying "That is the truth."



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