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If you believe the gifts are for today, and specifically speaking in tongues. Can you tell me if you are in a prayer group and people are praying out loud -and some one prays directively (towards someone) in tongues...are we required to have an interpreter? According to 1 Cor in a church service we are, but what about a prayer group or some other group situation other than church...and can a person interpret their own tongues? And can tongues if not interpreted, be demonically inspired? or just the flesh? 

What we "believe" about spiritual gifts really has very little to do with them. These are abilities given by God where, when, and to whom He desires. The Scriptures inform us why they are given: "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all" (1 Cor 12:7). They also make clear that profit, or edification, comes through the understanding (1 Cor 14:9-20). For this reason, tongues are always to be interpreted when spoken among God's people--wherever the assembly may be (1 Cor 14:5,13,27).

As to whether not tongues can be provoked by demonic activity, Scripture indicates this is possible. This, I understand, is the reason the statement found in First Corinthians 12:3. "Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit."

The Book of James...who wrote it? Asked several people got several answers....thanks.

It is generally understood that James, the half brother of Jesus, wrote this book. He is referred to Galatians 1:19, and was a pillar in the Jerusalem church (Gal 2:9).

Our God is a forgiving God...God is the Master Planner... therefore Judas of Iscariot..did he make it to heaven? and was he forgiven?

God is a forgiving God, but that is not all He is. He is also a God of wrath (Eph 5;6), a "consuming fire" (Heb 12:19), and will destroy all of His adversaries (Heb 10:27; 2 Thessalonians 1:9).

Regarding Judas, we are not left wondering about him. He is called "the son of perdition," or a child of hell (John 17:9). Rather than being destined to be saved, "Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place," and that was not heaven (Acts 1:27). Jesus categorically says He lost no one EXCEPT Judas (John 17:9).

I realize that God has forgiven my sins when I was baptized into Christ, but I have a hard time forgiving myself. I carry a very heavy guilt for some of the sins that I committed before I became a Christian. Can you offer any advice on this subject?

he salvation that is in Christ Jesus provides for the cleansing of the conscience, or removing the heavy load of guilt of which you speak. The statement concerning this is found in Hebrews 9:14. "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"

There are at least two things that will help you in this area. First, it is important to realize the SOURCE of self-condemnation. This is a form of temptation. It is one of the "fiery darts," or "flaming arrows," that Satan hurls at those who are in Christ Jesus (Eph 6:16). He is the "accuser of the brethren" (Rev 12:10). Since he can no longer accuse you before God, for no one can lay a charge to those in Christ (Rom 8:33-34), he charges you personally. He does this through your thoughts, and sometimes through those about you. His charges are false, for God has forgiven you "all trespasses" (Col. 2:13). 

Second, you can ask the Lord to help you in this regard. Sometimes what is true is difficult to believe, and what the devil hurls at us seems easy to believe--particularly when it is self-condemning. There is a man in Scripture that provides us a notable example of how to deal with this. In his case, he had a son that was grievously ill. Jesus told him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." It seemed too great a challenge for him, but he did not give up. He did believe, but not as strongly as he wanted. He therefore cried out, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:23-24). Jesus answered that man's request, and He will answer you also.

Be strong in faith. Your real work is not forgiving yourself, but believing God has forgiven you "for Christ's sake" (Eph 4:32). Focus on that, and it will not be long until you will have a clear conscience.

In a discussion of the book of Daniel, William Neil states (Pocket Bible Commentary) that the Book of Daniel was actually written during the Hellenistic Revolts (i.e. Macabbees, about 175 BC). He says that Daniel was a fictitious account that was actually written to exhort the Hebrew people not to obey the commands of the Greeks (eat unclean meats, worship idols, abolish sacrifice to God, etc., etc.) and to have unwavering faith in God during their trials and tribulations.
I have never heard or read of a similar interpretation of this book. Is this be true? If so, why is this not being taught ?? What is your opinion ??? 

This view is fictitious, not the book of Daniel. It was developed to justify theological views that are threatened by the book of Daniel, requiring that it be placed later in history.

Daniel is a key figure in Scripture. God mentioned him as one of the premier intercessors of all time (Ezek 14:14,20), and one of the wisest men of all ages (Ezek 28:3). His name is mentioned seventy-five times in the book of Daniel. Seven times it is mentioned in the first person: "I Daniel." Jesus referred to Daniel's prophecy of the "abomination of desolation" (Matt 24:25; Damn 9:27; 12:11). The book was written during the time of Nebuchadnezzar, and centers around his reign, as well as that of Cyrus and Darius. All three of these lived between 600-500 B.C., as is acknowledged by even worldly scholars.

The view you mentioned is spurious, and requires a discounting of Daniel himself.

Your thoughts on the Works of Josephus ?

They are to be viewed as any other uninspired historian. They are certainly not of equal value as Scripture, and cannot support or confirm the word of the Lord. They are purely of this world, and thus have only measured value. Josephus was a contemporary of Jesus, yet not a word is said concerning him by Jesus or the Apostles. That tells us where he stands in the Divine economy.

Brother Given, that was the worst thing I've ever been through. I watched her die, her last breath was painful to watch. The memory of it haunts me and brings tears to my eyes. I don't think I could every go through that again.

There is nothing pleasant about witnessing death--particularly when it is someone close to you. I held my first wife in my arms as she died from Lou Gherig's disease. I also was with my mother when during the latter part of her life, when she was debilitated by a stroke. Not long after that one of my daughters died of the same disease her mother (my first wife) had. That was particularly grievous for she bore a remarkable resemblance to her mother also leaving two small children behind.

In all of this, God granted remarkable grace. He gives us grace when we need it. The pain remains, as well as some sorrow, joined with other varied and difficult emotions and thoughts. But it is all like the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace. Praise the Lord, we come OUT of those times, and are actually the better for it.

God can help you with the memory of your sister's passing. He will not remove the memory, but will make you strong enough to bear it. Remember, the peace of God will "keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Phil 4:7). You are not bearing the load alone. Jesus is in the yoke with you, and is bearing the greater part of the burden, even though it may not seem that way.

Do you think people have visions or can see a loved one after they're gone? My younger brother said he saw her and she told him that she was fine and to take care of her children. 

When it comes to personal experiences, we cannot question what other people experience. All such things must pass the test of truth. If they do no violate the Word of God, or draw us into things forbidden by the Word of God, there is a lot of latitude. Care must be taken about being too aggressive in either accepting or opposing testimonies like that of your younger brother. What he saw indicates your sister is with the Lord. It also affirmed she presently has concern for her children that remain. Either of those would be difficult to prove. Yet, that does not mean they are not real.

You do not have to decide whether what your brother said is true or not. You can leave the matter with the Lord. When you have questions about such things, you do not need to have them answered. There are some things God simply does not make known to us. He will give you the grace to settle matters concerning your own experience, without having to sit in judgment on the experiences of others.

I know my answer is a bit nebulous, but there really is no firm answer to these things in Scripture. Yet, we have enough information to know more can be experienced by God's people than we have scarcely imagined (Eph 32:20).

I have been looking over Romans 8:13 and would appreciate your commentary on the text. To me, the text appears to have a cause and effect form of reasoning. A person who is in Christ should not think that that protects them from the dulling effects of the carnal mind and ultimate death of the life we have in Christ.

The point of the text in question is made with the dual nature in mind (Romans 7). The part of us that is in Christ, or the part that is born of God, is impervious to sin (1 John 3:9; 5:18). But that "new man" must be "put on" (Eph 4:22-24). Walking in the Spirit is the means by which we put on the new man.

Walking in the flesh is, of course, living according to the "old man," which cannot sustain spiritual life. Think of the role of our soul in this matter. Our soul is our rational and emotional makeup, or the part of us that enables expression in its varied forms. In the energy of the Holy Spirit, our soul can give heed to the new man, putting him on, and seeking the things that are above. If, however, our minds, intellect, emotion, will, etc., are given over to 'the flesh," or the unregenerate part of us, we will "surely die"--just like Adam, when he ate of the forbidden tree.

No person can violate the words of Romans 8:13 with impunity. It is a solid saying, in which God will be fully justified. You are correct in seeing it as a cause and effect form of reasoning. The carnal mind causes death--only death, and always death. It is my observation that far too many professed Christians are almost totally ignorant of this fact.

I once served the Lord, but have fallen into sin. Seeking my own interests, I became involved with another woman, and forsook my wife. I have seen the error of my way, but do not know if the Lord can forgive me. I feel like I will contaminate any congregation I attend. I have tried to reconcile with my wife, but she is not willing to forgive or forget. Please pray for Gods will in my life as I offer it as a sacrifice. Abba, father forgive me!

You are certainly in our prayers. We will be lifting up your case to our Lord tomorrow evening (Wednesday). I am sorry to hear of your experience. You already know its seriousness, so there is no need to further comment on that. You have learned first hand of the subtlety of the "old serpent." He seeks to lure us into purely self-interests. That is always disastrous, as you know.

Although your sin was of a most serious nature, it did not thrust you beyond the reach of God, His love, or His grace. Believe me when I tell you, God is not looking for a reason to condemn you. If that is how He viewed us poor mortals, we would all have sunk into hell long ago. Grace can abound "much more" that sin can (Rom 5:20). This is not just pleasant sounding doctrine, it is the truth. 

You must be familiar with king Manasseh. He began his fifty-five year reign at the age of twelve (2 Kgs 20:21). This was the most wicked king that ever reigned over Israel. It is said of him that he seduced the children of Israel "to do more evil than did the nations whom the LORD destroyed before the children of Israel" (2 Kgs 21:9). He did worse than even the Amorites, leading the people into the worship of idols (2 Kgs 21:11). He even shed innocent blood, filling Jerusalem with it from one end to another--a sin "which the LORD would not pardon" (2 Kgs 21:16). He beat down and destroyed the altars of the Lord (2 Kgs 23:12). The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, "but they would not hearken" (2 Chron 33:9). 

Finally, the Lord brought "the host of the king of Assyria" who took Manasseh captive. He put a hook in his nose, and bronze shackles upon him, then led him captive to Babylon. At this point, this wicked king, with fifty-five years of unrelenting and despicable wickedness, had a change of heart. "In his distress he sought the favor of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers." What would God do? Surely Manasseh was not deserving of any loving consideration. He had pioneered wickedness not only in himself, but among the very people of God.

God did not turn his back upon wicked Manasseh! It is written, "And when he prayed to Him, the LORD was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so He brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD is God" (2 Chron 33:12-13). 

Now, dear brother, you have not done as wickedly as Manasseh. You must allow the record of Manasseh to sink down into your heart. It was written for our learning and admonition. It acquaints us with God's nature, and with the manner in which He is touched by our desire to return to Him.

You can be forgiven and restored to Divine favor. You can again have a ministry among His people. He can restore the years the locusts have eaten, just as Joel said (Joel 2:25). You will not contaminate a congregation of godly people. A humble and contrite heart is of great price in the sight of God -- and it is also of great price in the eyes of those who walk with Him. 

I do not know how things will turn out between you and your wife, but you must not give up. God can turn the heart of even a king, to say nothing of a wife (Prov 21:1). She has been hurt, as you already know, but God can heal her heart also. Have faith in God, and continue to do the right thing, pursuing holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.

I do not know where you live, but you are certainly welcome in our small fellowship in Joplin, Missouri. If you are not able to come here, there are people of God who can help you get on your feet again, and bring confidence and joy to your heart. In your return to the Lord, He is for you, and not against you!

I am in a battle with my former wife about visitation rights with my Christian son. I have been advised to seek counsel from a non-Christian psychologist. Is their a place in the Bible where we as Christians are to seek wisdom from non Christians. What do you suggest? 

It is true that there is a kind of wisdom that can be found in those who are not Christians. In one of His matchless parables Jesus said, "for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light" (Luke 16:8). Other versions point out the lower type of wisdom referred to, using the expression "more shrewd" or "shrewdly." The idea is not that of commending the world's wisdom, but rebuking the lack of wisdom in those professing to be of God. Jesus did not suggest we should consult with these "shrewd" people. Satan is shrewd, or crafty, also. We certainly should not consult with him.

Moses, the Prophets, John the Baptist, Jesus, nor any Apostle ever suggested obtaining wisdom from the world. In fact, we are categorically told such wisdom is "foolishness with God" (1 Cor 3:19). God has "made" the wisdom of the world foolish, drying it up, and declaring it to be no resource for His children.

What is the difference between going to a "non-Christian psychologist" and an ancient Israelite going to Egypt for help? or to the false scientists of that heathen nation? (Isa 31:1).

I suggest that you go to God for help. If you are in Christ, that is really your only valid alternative. As a believer you are told, "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Heb 4:15-16). 

Is this not a "time of need?" Is there anything about the matter that would lead you to the conclusion God is not interested in it? Has Jesus not been exalted to get grace to you when you require it, and does not this case require it? Believers who lack wisdom are not told to seek counsel from some individual who wears the name of counselor, or specialist in interpersonal relations. Rather, they are admonished, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him" (James 1:5). 

I do not know what the answer is to your dilemma, and I seriously doubt that any other mortal does. It is quite possible that you might receive some practical tips here or there, but practical tips are not what you need. I assume you are in a favorable relationship with the Lord. If so, He will hear you, for His ears are open to the cries of the righteous (1 Pet 3:12). If there a breach between you and the Lord, then a relationship with your Christian son is a secondary issue, not a primary one. 

As to a specific answer to your question, NO, there is not a place in the Bible that we are admonished to seek wisdom from those who are non-Christians. Those are people who are dead in trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1-2), alienated from the life of God (Eph 4:18), and having no hope and without God in the world (Eph 2:12). The wrath of God is upon them (John 3:36), and they are condemned already (John 3:18). It should not require a lengthy discussion to determine whether or not such people should be allowed to direct our steps.

If you feel as though you have no recourse but to consult with one of your peers, choose one that knows the Lord, has access to Him, and is knowledgeable of the Scripture.

May the Lord help you to resolve this matter.


On this matter I can only give my opinion. Your problem is not addressed specifically in Scripture, so you will have to work with the principles that are affirmed by God.

Such things as "child support" and "health insurance" are all 20th century ideas. As a result, they are subject to interpretation, and thus can become the source of abuse.

I do not know why your wife "wanted out of the marriage." It seems unreasonable, however, to maintain the rights of marriage while refusing to live within its framework. I do not know what form of reasoning would support such a concept. Marriage involves infinitely more than simply living together. Support is also a part of marriage. To want out of marriage involves being away from the support that flows from it. 

The Scripture does speak of a believer and an unbeliever having such difficulty they cannot remain together. The first objective is to make every attempt to remain together. If, however, that cannot be achieved, the unbeliever may leave without further obligations being incurred by the believer. Here is how the Scriptures say it. "If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace" (1 Cor 7:12-15).

I understand the phrase "A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances" to allow for putting the unbelieving wife or husband away, and being free to marry. There are students of Scripture who disagree with this, believing "bondage" only refers to living together. I personally think that is an unreasonable view.

Your problem is one that is in the area of conscience. That means God has not addressed your specific problem in the Bible, but will work with you in its resolution. You must take care not to allow another person to dictate the answer to you. if you are in Christ, take the matter to the Lord and ask Him to show you what to so. Saturate your mind with the word of God, and spend time in prayer, pouring your soul out to the Lord. He will hear you and show you the way.

My Mother is a Christian who is telling me that Jesus is a positive person. That we should also be a positive person. Does the Bible support what she is saying? Where would she get such a notion? I see Jesus as Holy. Hope you can help. 

It all depends on what a person means by "positive." Jesus' words to the Scribes and Pharisees was certainly not positive (Matt 23:13-29). His words to those who were seeking Him and wanted His mercy were always encouraging -- but even then, he did not allow for half-hearted disciples (Matt 8:19-22; Luke 19:57-62).

Jesus always spoke in strict accord with the truth. The insincere and hypocritical were never encouraged by Him, and those with honest and humble hearts were never discouraged by Him.

I imagine your mother is speaking about not being a grump, always complaining about things. The Bible says we should speak things that will help, or build up, the people (Col 4:6; Eph 4:29).

In Gen 3:6 it states that Adam was with Eve when she ate the fruit. Does this mean that Adam was present and heard the conversation between Eve and the serpent? 

The text does not say Adam was with Eve. We assume that he was from 1 Timothy 2:14, where it says he was "not deceived."

A Mormon once told me that Josephus wrote that Jesus was fair skinned, blond and blue eyed. How can I find out if this true or not?

Josephus' most famous statement about Jesus is as follows.

"Now, there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works-a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ; (64) and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day."

Descriptions of His physical appearance are found in the following documents. They are not inspired, and may or may not be true. The Holy Spirit did not provide a description of Christ's physical appearance because they would have detracted from His purpose. -- Given O. Blakely

This is a reprinting of a letter from Pontius Pilate to Tiberius Caesar describing the physical appearance of Jesus. Copies are in the Congressional Library in Washington, D.C. 

A young man appeared in Galilee preaching with humble unction, a new law in the Name of the God that had sent Him. At first I was apprehensive that His design was to stir up the people against the Romans, but my fears were soon dispelled. Jesus of Nazareth spoke rather as a friend of the Romans than of the Jews. One day I observed in the midst of a group of people a young man who was leaning against a tree, calmly addressing the multitude. I was told it was Jesus. This I could easily have suspected so great was the difference between Him and those who were listening to Him. His golden colored hair and beard gave to his appearance a celestial aspect. He appeared to be about 30 years of age. Never have I seen a sweeter or more serene countenance. What a contrast between Him and His bearers with their black beards and tawny complexions! Unwilling to interrupt Him by my presence, I continued my walk but signified to my secretary to join the group and listen. Later, my secretary reported that never had he seen in the works of all the philosophers anything that compared to the teachings of Jesus. He told me that Jesus was neither seditious nor rebellious, so we extended to Him our protection. He was at liberty to act, to speak, to assemble and to address the people. This unlimited freedom provoked the Jews -- not the poor but the rich and powerful. 

Later, I wrote to Jesus requesting an interview with Him at the Praetorium. He came. When the Nazarene made His appearance I was having my morning walk and as I faced Him my feet seemed fastened with an iron hand to the marble pavement and I trembled in every limb as a guilty culprit, though he was calm. For some time I stood admiring this extraordinary Man. There was nothing in Him that was repelling, nor in His character, yet I felt awed in His presence. I told Him that there was a magnetic simplicity about Him and His personality that elevated Him far above the philosophers and teachers of His day. 

Now, Noble Sovereign, these are the facts concerning Jesus of Nazareth and I have taken the time to write you in detail concerning these matters. I say that such a man who could convert water into win, change death into life, disease into health; calm the stormy seas, is not guilty of any criminal offense and as others have said, we must agree -- truly this is the Son of God! 

Your most obedient servant,
Pontius Pilate 


The following description of Jesus Christ was written by Publius Lentrelus, a resident of Judea in the reign of Tiberius Caesar. It first appeared in the writings of Saint Anselm of Canterbury, 11th century: 

There lives at this time in Judea a man of singular virtue whose name is Jesus Christ, whom the barbarians esteem as a prophet, but his followers love and adore him as the offspring of the immortal God. 
He calls back the dead from the graves and heals all sorts of diseases with a word or touch. He is a tall man, well-shaped, and of an amiable and reverend aspect; his hair of a color that can hardly be matched, falling into graceful curls, waving about and very agreeable crouching upon his shoulders, parted on the crown of the head, running as a stream to the front after fashion of the Nazarites. His forehead high, large and imposing; his cheeks without spot or wrinkle, beautiful with a lovely red; his nose and mouth formed with exquisite symmetry; his beard, and of a color suitable to his hair, reaching below his chin and parted in the middle like a fork; his eyes bright blue, clear and serene. Look innocent, dignified, manly and mature. In proportion of body most perfect, and captivating; his arms and hands delectable to behold. 

He rebukes with majesty, councils with mildness, His whole address whether in word or deed, being eloquent and grave. No man has seen him laugh, yet his manners are exceedingly pleasant, but he has wept frequently in the presence of men. He is temperate, modest and wise. A man for his extraordinary beauty and perfection, surpassing the children of men in every sense. 

The previous two letters appear in E. Raymond Capt's book, 'The Resurrection Tomb', available from Artisan Sales, PO Box 1529, Muskogee, OK 74402. Cover price is $3 (add a $1.50 for postage) 
A description of Jesus Himself is found in "The Archko Volume" which contains official court documents from the days of the Messiah. This information substantiates that He came from racial lines which had blue eyes and golden hair. In a chapter entitled "Gamaliel's Interview" it states concerning Jesus (Yeshua): 
"I asked him to describe this person to me, so that I might know him if I should meet him. He said: 'If you ever meet him [Yeshua] you will know him. While he is nothing but a man, there is something about him that distinguishes him from every other man. He is the picture of his mother, only he has not her smooth, round face. His hair is a little more golden than hers, though it is as much from sunburn as anything else. He is tall, and his shoulders are a little drooped; his visage is thin and of a swarthy complexion, though this is from exposure. His eyes are large and a soft blue, and rather dull and heavy....' This Jew [Judahite] is convinced that he is the Messiah of the world. ...this was the same person that was born of the virgin in Bethlehem some twenty-six years before..." 

- The Archko Volume, translated by Drs. McIntosh and Twyman of the Antiquarian Lodge, Genoa, Italy, from manuscripts in Constantinople and the records of the Senatorial Docket taken from the Vatican of Rome (1896) 92-93 

The Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18, Chapter 3
From The Works of Josephus, 
translated by William Whiston
Hendrickson Publishers, 1987 

What does the Bible say about eating food the church? Such as having meals, kids eating candy.

The Scriptures only address this subject in the book of First Corinthians. There the people had joint meals together, but were being inconsiderate of the less fortunate among them. Some were eating like gluttons, while others had nothing. To further complicate the matter, their meal was connected with the Lord's Supper, or communion. Such inconsiderate conduct was rebuked by the Apostle. The passage is found in First Corinthians 11:20-22.

People of sensitive hearts understand that a place associated with the Living God should not be a place of casual or thoughtless deeds. During Jesus' ministry upon earth, He considered the selling of sacrificial animals and the changing of money into coins used in the Temple, to be a desecration of His Father's house (John 2:14-17; Matthew 21:12-13). On another occasion, Jesus would not permit anyone to anything through the temple and its courts (Matt 11:16).

There are no laws in the Word of God on this subject. It is a matter of personal conscience. I am for the person who leans toward giving God honor and restricting the kind of things children or others are allowed to do during times and in places devoted to the Lord. If people eat their food together with united and joyful hearts, there is nothing wrong with that (Acts 2:46). 

I don't believe in rapture. I don't believe there will be a (Second Chance) or that the 1000 years will be a time for them to come into repentance! But How do you explain the scripture of One farmer will be taken and another one left behind? This gives them reasoning to believe they will be left behind in order to have another chance doesn't it? Help me, and Thank you for most of all using Scripture in answering questions your work is truly a blessing to all. 

Once Jesus leaves heaven to come again (Acts 3:21), there will be no more changes of any sort. That will be the end of all things. Scripture tells us when Jesus returns, the heavens and the earth will pass away. Here is how Peter said it. "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?" (2 Peter 3:10-12).

When Jesus spoke of people being taken and people being left, He was not speaking of the mythical rapture. Actually, He was saying the wicked would be taken and the righteous would be left. His words are found in the 24th chapter of Matthew. He begins by saying His coming was going to be like the days of Noah, when the flood came. here is what He said. ""But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and TOOK THEM ALL AWAY, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming" (Matt 24:37-42). Earlier, in the parable of the tares of the field, Jesus said the tares were to be gathered "first." When He explained what this meant, he said, "Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together FIRST the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn . . . As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall GATHER OUT OF HIS KINGDOM ALL THINGS THAT OFFEND, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth" (Matt 13:30,41-42).

The righteous will left to inherit the earth (Matt Psa 37:11; Matt 5;5), after the wicked have been removed form it, and it is has cleansed by fire.

What will we look like when we go to Heaven. Will children who die be children? Or will they be adults that we will recognize? 

We do not know what we will look like. That is what the third chapter of First John teaches. "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and IT HAS NOT BEEN REVEALED WHAT WE SHALL BE, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is" (1 John 3:1-2).

Since there will be no imperfection in heaven (1 Cor 13:10), and we will be "conformed to the image of His Son" (Rom 8:29), there will be no children as we know of them. Childhood is a form of imperfection out of which we must grow, and is so referenced in Scripture (1 Cor 13:11; Eph 4:14-15). Everyone will be recognized and known -- not by their outward appearance, but because of their character--their real person. Peter, James, and John knew who Moses and Elijah were when they came back from the unseen world to talk with Jesus on the Mount of transfiguration (Matt 15:1-4). Both of them had been dead for over 1,000 hundred years, yet the disciples knew them. While we do not know all of the particular, we do know we will not be imperfect, but able to judge the world and angels (1 Cor 6:1-3). We will also be like Jesus.

How do we completely delight ourselves in Him and how do we completely
abide in Him? I know obedience is part of the equation .

This is a fundamental postulate of the Kingdom: GOD IS BASICALLY COMPELLING, AND SO IS JESUS. Once They are perceived correctly, we are drawn to Them, finding great delight in Them. When we draw near to Him, this is confirmed to our hearts. To put it another way, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame" (Rom 10:11). He will not find God to be less that He has declared Himself to be. He will never be put to a disadvantage by believing on Him.

As you know, God draws men to Himself, even causing them to approach to Him (John 6:44,65; Psa 65:4). He does this by showing Himself to them, or "manifesting" Himself to them, as Jesus stated in John 14:21,23. God is so great that we become preoccupied with Him, and draw close to Him.

If it is true that God "determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live," in order that men might "seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us" (acts 17:26-27), then it is also true that God must be basically attractive and compelling. Else, how could the search ever yield satisfaction. 

The Scriptures do not use the phrases "completely delight" and "completely abide." There is a reason for that. There is a part of us that CANNOT delight in the Lord, and that CANNOT abide in Him. That is our "flesh," in which no good thing resides, and in which the law of sin is found (Rom 7:18,23). That is the complicating factor in our lives. There is a certain duplicity in us that is disconcerting. "So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin" (Rom 7:25). With the flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit lusting against the flesh, we CANNOT do the things we desire (Gal 5:17), not the least of which is completely delighting in the Lord and completely abiding in Him.

The answer to this dilemma is found in walking in the Spirit (Gal 5:16) and putting to death the deeds of the body (Rom 8:13). To put it another way, we live with our affection placed on things above, NOT on things on the earth (Col 3:1-3). If our delight is in the Lord, we cannot allow our mind to be dominated by things pertaining to this world--even religious things. 

The truth of the matter is that BELIEVERS (those who ARE believing) cannot be conscious of the Lord without delighting in Him. It is not possible for them to be in fellowship with Jesus (1 Cor 1:9) and not abide, and determine to abide, in Him. 

We are to "walk in the light as He is in the light" (1 John 1:7). This is living with a dominating awareness of the presence of the Lord. It is to lift up our lives to Him as a living sacrifice, deliberately, and without regard to the earthly consequences of that action. If we do this, He takes care of the rest, even including fellowship with one another. I realize it sounds somewhat simplistic, but it is not.

The only times we are not delighting in the Lord is when we are not consciously with Him. The only time we are not abiding in Him is when we seek our own interests in this world.

The good thing about this is that God does not reckon those unwanted intrusions into our minds as belonging to us. They are eruptions of the old nature that we do not want, and thus they do not belong to us. It may appear as though they take away from our delight in the Lord, but , as we deny them prominence, they do not. That is involved in the expression, "As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me," and "Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it" (Rom 7:17,20).

I have every confidence that you will do the right thing in choosing where you will serve the Lord. You are doing it to please Him, and that is what will make it right. You will find that God's will FINDS YOU when you simply live to please and honor Him--and that is what you are doing. The steps of a good man ARE ordered by the lord---whether he is able to clearly detect that leadership or not (Psa 37:23). Jesus said this, and he meant it: "Whoever has My commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves Me. He who loves Me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and SHOW MYSELF to him" (John 14:21). The Psalmist confirmed it: "The LORD confides in those who fear Him; he makes His covenant known to them" (Psa 25;14). That is how you come to know His will.

How can the Kingdom of God be described or understood? 

Jesus specifically addressed this question in the third chapter of John. Here is what He said, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again . . . "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit" (John 3:3,5, NIV). Seeing the Kingdom of God is perceiving or comprehending it. Because it is not of this present world, it cannot be comprehended with this world's wisdom. When a person is born again, he receives a new nature (Col 3:10) that is capable of comprehending the identity and manner of this Kingdom.

In describing the Kingdom, these words remind us of its highly spiritual nature. "For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit: (Rom 14:17). Here we see the Kingdom of God involves the participation of those born into it. It is found where righteousness, peace, and joy in the Spirit are found.

Another thing, the Kingdom of God is not philosophical, and cannot be deciphered or comprehended philosophically. Thus it is written, "For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power" (1 Cor 4:20). The accomplishments of this Kingdom are the evidence of its presence.

Jesus described the nature of the Kingdom of God in several of His matchless parables. It is characterized by growth that cannot be explained by earthly wisdom (Mark 4:26-29). It is also noted for unparalleled growth and expansion (Mark 4:30-32). It involves the mingling of good and evil in this world, and the removal of evil from the world to come (Matt 13:24-31,37-43; 47-50). It has a permeating power (Matt 13:33). It is so marvelously precious, that those who find it will give all that they have to obtain it (Matt 13:44-45). The Kingdom involves strict accountability to God (Matt 18:23-35) . . . etc., etc.

The Kingdom of God must be understood in light of Divine utterances, and explained in the words of Scripture. All other sources are opinion, and will eventually be obviated by God's greater glory.

What is the Marvelous Exchange and how does this coincide with communion? 

I do not know what the "Marvelous exchange" is. No such language is used in Scripture, so I find it exceedingly difficult to believe it could represent a Scriptural concept. Any association of this term with communion is purely theoretical, and hence of little or no value.

How does God-in Christ's life, death, resurrection, ascension, and sending of the Sprit into his body, the church, save us from sin through communion?

We are not saved from sin through communion, but through faith (Acts 10:43).

We are saved by Christ's resurrection life, not His earthly life (Rom 5:10). This refers to His intercession (Heb 7:25). We are saved by His death because in it He carried our sins in His body on the tree (1 Pet 2:24). In Christ's flesh, God judged sin in its totality, condemning it (Rom 8:3). In Jesus' resurrection God attested to the validity of His death, and declared Him to be His Son "with power" (Rom 1:4). Christ's ascension was in order to His enthronement, from which position He is bringing many sons to glory (Heb 2:10). The Holy Spirit is sent into our hearts because we are sons, and to lead us in the subduing of sin, and assist us in our weaknesses (Gal 4:6; Rom 8:13,26).

The power of these realities is nowhere said to be conferred upon us during, or by means of, the communion. In the communion we participate in the blood and body of Christ (1 Cor 10;16). This means we obtain the benefits accomplished by the death of Christ.

How does the term Hypostiatic Union relate with the Kingdom of God and communion? I have look up the word "Hypostiatic Union" and found the meaning to be, The permanent union of divine and human natures in the one divine Person (hypostasis) of the Word in Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, I am not really sure if I understand what it means.

Again, "Hypostiatic Union" is a theoretical term created by men, not God. It conveys human understanding, not Divine revelation. As such, it has nothing whatsoever to do with the kingdom of God or the communion.

It is true the human and Divine natures are wed together in Jesus. Our role, however, is not to understand it, but acknowledge it (Col 2:2; 1 Tim 3:16). This is a matter so profound it extends beyond human understanding. A small glimpse of it is given to us in Philippians 2:5-8.

We must take care not to get wrapped up in humanly developed theologies. They will not bring us closer to God, and will tend to confusion.

These inquires do come from the book JC and are at the end or the book. I have read and re read several chapters but I am still having difficulty with the blending of the above terms as they relate to Communion and as stated in my first inquiry the state of three-fold alienation.

You are under no obligation to blend terms created by men with terms revealed by God. In fact, it is to be questioned that they can be blended. I suggest dropping men's terms and sticking with those God has revealed. That will require all the powers you have.



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