QUESTIONS/ANSWERS FROM THE QUESTION FORUM
Group Number 53
This was sent to me by a Jewish friend along with other animal activist information. I don't know how to respond and I respect your input as to how I shall react to this. If you cannot answer, I certainly will understand. (This article referred to the killing of animals as murder and a serious moral evil.)
There is absolutely no Scriptural basis for saying killing animals is "a moral evil." Solomon did say that a righteous man cared for the needs of his animals (Prov 12:10). But animal life is never approached as though it was on par with human life, for men were made in the image of God -- beasts were not. The prohibition against murder specifically relates to man, not beasts. The reason for the prohibition is spelled out in God's word. "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man" (Gen 9:6, NIV). Nothing remotely similar to that is ever said of killing animals.
Upon the basis of principle, it is obvious that the pointless slaughter of animals is not right, but the subject itself is never approached in Scripture.
It is ironic that a Jewish person would adopt the erroneous view espoused by the writer of the article you forwarded. Perhaps he had forgotten the activities associated with the dedication of the Temple. In his peace offerings to God, on that solitary occasion, Solomon killed and offered 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep to God (1 Kings 8:63). I suppose the animal activists would surely have marched with their banners on that day! For that matter, God Himself provided "garments of skin" to cloth Adam and Eve, at the expense of one or more animals (Gen 3:21). Will the activists sit in judgment upon God -- particularly Jewish activists?
The animal activists are simply wrong. They have placed the brute creation on the same par as those made in the Divine image. While we cannot condone the pointless slaughter of animals, we cannot agree with those who make this a primary point of condemnation. They have taken too much upon themselves. God does not support them, nor does His Word, nor do we.
Do you believe a person can lose their salvation?
This language is never used in Scripture: i.e., "lose your salvation." If the expression suggests a person can inadvertently become lost after being put into Christ, the answer is "NO!" If it is asking if someone can snatch us out of Jesus' hand or the Father's hand, the answer is "NO!" If it suggests that the devil may be more powerful that the Spirit who is within us, and can actually overcome the person living by faith, the answer is "NO!"
No one who IS trusting the Lord or believing on Jesus can, in that condition, be lost. However, Jesus spoke of those who "believed for a while" (Luke 8;13). Peter spoke of a believer returning to a state that was worse than before they believed (2 Pet 2:20). The Spirit speaks of the dreadful condition of those who "fall away" (Heb 4:6-8).
Nowhere do the Scriptures suggest that no danger, jeopardy, or liabilities exist for the person in Jesus who is living in this world. To suggest such a thing emits a spirit of dishonesty and ignorance that is absolutely inexcusable. Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden into which God Himself put them. Israel was driven out of the land of Canaan into which God placed them. Judas was thrust out of the Apostleship into which Jesus Himself called him.
I respectfully suggest that your question is not even a proper question. It is, in fact, a wrong question. The real question is this: "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?" (Heb 2:3). Surely you know that the answer to that question is intended to be obvious. Further, you cannot "neglect" what you do not have. Believers should be admonished to "fight the good fight of faith and lay hold on eternal life" (1 Tim 6:12)--not lulled into complacency by theological nonsense.
When you have done something wrong-and have not fully understood the wrong-then wanted to go to the other person and tell them about this-and they have in the past, made themselves unavailable to the explanation you have come to regarding this situation-what should you do-to have a closure on this problem-that plagues you day after day-I have given it to God-but I guess I take it back??
When you have whole-heartedly repented and asked forgiveness from an individual, you are released from the situation. It is then in the hands of the person against whom you sinned. You cannot force them to forgive you or respond graciously to you. What is more, God does not expect you to. You are actually powerless to "have a closure" on responsibilities that involve other people beside you. You can only resolve your part. God will honor your efforts, whether they are honored by the other individual or not.
All of this, of course, is not simplistic. Your spirit must be right, and your relationship to God right. You must also make no attempts to salvage a relationship that puts you at a distance from God, or demands that you go further than God has prescribed.
A wrong relationship-that could've had a good ending that I have messed up-should I just grieve over this and have it be like a learning experience in my life, or how do I know God wants me to go forward and re-rite the wrongness of all this and try to make the other person know I know it was wrong and ask for forgiveness in all of this? (he did big time wrong things too)
You cannot spend your time immersed in distracting grief about the past. If you appropriate forgiveness from the Lord, you must pick up your spirits and move ahead, "forgetting the things that are past" (Phil 3:13). There will always be recollections of such wrongs, just as Paul remembered how he once persecuted the church (Gal 1:13; 1 Tim 1:15). You cannot rewrite wrongs. If that was possible, Paul would have done it. The remembrance of past failures should now be occasions to run to the Lord and thank Him for forgiveness, asking for grace to avoid such failures in the future.
The primary thing is not reestablishing a past relationship, but making sure you are in fellowship with the Lord. It is within that fellowship that you will be personally directed in the best and most God-honoring way. That is precisely what Psalms 37:23-24 means. "If the LORD delights in a man's way, He makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand." I am sure you realize that "a man's way" is not limited to males. It rather refers to mankind--both male and female.
(Mat 27:3) "Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders." As you know, brother, many people use this passage to present the possibility of Judas being accepted of the Lord having "repented himself." Could you explain this event. My particular question has to do with the phrase "when he saw he was condemned." Does this mean Judas saw that he, himself was condemned by God, having betrayed the Son, giving reasonable evidence for why he killed himself? Or is it that he saw that Jesus was condemned?
The language of the Spirit is very precise here. Note, the Scriptures say Judas "repented HIMSELF." This was a response that came from "himself," as opposed to God "giving" him repentance, as in Acts 5:31 and 2 Timothy 2:25. Other versions read Judas was "filled with remorse"--a sort of fleshly sorrow that really brought no Divine benefits -- like Esau's sorrow (Heb 12:17).
The text does not mean Judas saw he himself was condemned, but that he saw Jesus was condemned to death. He was sorry in the flesh he had done his dastardly deed, and made an attempt to reverse it.
In my understanding, there is no possibility that Judas was saved. Nothing in Scripture remotely suggests this. In fact, just before he went out to betray Jesus, it is said "Satan entered into him" (John 13:27). There is no record that Satan ever left him. Too, Peter said of the whole event, "Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place" (Acts 1:25). That place was certainly not like the thief going to be with Jesus in paradise. If Judas was saved, he never would have been replaced, for death was no occasion for replacing an Apostle. James was killed early in the history of the church, but was not replaced (Acts 12:2). That fact that Judas was replaced confirms he was rejected by God.
Lastly, if Judas was saved, we have someone in whom Satan resided being saved--someone who took his own life, and concerning which no good word is ever said. You have to admit, that requires a prolific imagination.
Are there specific passages in the Bible that indicate that gambling is a sin?
There are no direct passages that deal with gambling. Of course, there are differing views of what constitutes gambling. The Scriptures do speak of making investments--like gaining interest on money (Matt 25:27). Some feel that is gambling. The principle that deals with this matter is stewardship. The possessions we have, including our money, actually belong to God. Our money is not to be handled frivolously, or thrown into the wind as though it was ours to waste. Those with more than the average amount of money are exhorted to "use" it for "good works" (1 Tim 6:18-19). In my judgment, gambling violates that principle.
Are there any references in the Bible that indicates that interracial marriages is wrong?
There are no references in Scripture prohibiting interracial marriages. Moses was married to an Ethiopian woman, whom we understand to have been black. You may recall Moses' sister criticized him for the marriage, and God struck her with leprosy (Numbers 12:1-14).
The Scriptures deal with the unlawfulness of believers marrying unbelievers, not marriages between races (1 Cor 7:39; 2 Cor 6:14).
What is your conviction as to the worshiping of God through Christ with instruments of music?
If there is such a thing as "the musical instruments of God" (1 Chron 16:42), "the harps of God" (rev 15:2), en evil spirit departing at the sound of a godly person playing instrumental music (1 Sam 16:23), and the hand of the Lord coming upon a prophet at the sound of a musical instrument (2 Kings 3:15), then God is not offended by godly people employing musical instruments -- and He does not change. If it does not offend Him, I must not allow it to offend me -- and it does not.
What is your understanding of James 1:27 and Galatians 6:10?
JAMES 1:27: The outward manifestation of a profession of identity with God requires a forwardness to show mercy to those deprived of the normalities of life. It also forbids the manners of the world being found in those who say they are in Christ Jesus. Their thoughts and deeds are to be expressed out of a fellowship with God and Christ. To the degree that a person is in harmony with this world, he is out of harmony with God. That condition can become so pronounced the person actually becomes "the enemy of God" (James 4:4).
GALATIANS 6:10: The child of God has been reconciled to God, and therefore conducts his life in harmony with the Divine nature. Opportunities to do good come from God, and are therefore to be honored as a Divine stewardship (Heb 13:2; 1 Tim 6:18-19). Just as the Lord sends general mercies upon the just and the unjust (Matt 5:45), so His children are to be considerate toward all men. By saying "especially unto them who are of the household of faith," the Spirit means our deepest and most extensive considerations are given to the people of God. That is, of course, precisely how the Lord is. He provides rich and eternal benefits for the saints that are not given to the ungodly. It is our business to live close enough to God to know how to apply these things.
Compare the verse in Judges 18:7 in the KJV,NKJV, Amplified, and NAS it seems to say one thing and the NIV, TLT, and Catholic translation something else. I am asking about the "B" part of the verse. "And there was magistrate in the land, that might put them to shame in any thing. The NIV And since their land lacked nothing, they were prosperous.
This verse has caused unnecessary consternation among some Bible students. There is really no conflict in the different versions. The KJV, NKJV, Amplified, and NAS view the circumstances from an objective point of view. The safety and prosperity of the people was considered to be the result of no adversarial rulers, who could cause disruptions at will. The NIV, TLT, and Catholic translations show the circumstance from a subjective, or experiential, point of view. They had safety, not lacking anything--that is, there was no need for the interposition of rulers, who could also bring disruption. The idea was that they were wealthy and prosperous, and without agitating opponents. The word-for-word translations provide the details of that situation, while the other translations present the overall thought.
I WOULD LIKE SOME INFORMATION ON EASTER AND WHY CHRISTIANS SHOULDN'T OBSERVE THIS HOLIDAY ALONG WITH CHRISTMAS. THANK YOU
First, I know of no reason why Christians are prohibited from observing Easter and Christmas. God does not forbid it, either by statement of by principle. Man, therefore, is out of order in doing so. Such observances are in the area of conscience because God has not spoken on the subject. No believer can be forced to observe these days, but none can be condemned for observing them. The principle of this is taught in Romans 14:1-8.
There are a lot of statements being made concerning the origin of Easter and Christmas. However, the issue is not their origin, but how the individual regards them. In the words of Scripture, "One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it" (Rom 14:5-6, NKJV). That is where the Lord leaves it. So should we.
Did Daniel spend all three years in training (Daniel 5) or because of God's blessing in verse 17 He entered the Kings service after the first 10 days of schooling?
It seems that in chapter 2 Daniel was in the kings service one year after he was captured.
My question is, Did Daniel spend three years in training or was his time shortened because of God's blessing in verse 17.
The text appears to indicate that Daniel's interpretation occurred before the end of the three years. Some conclude this is the case, because he was not called with the rest of the wise men when Nebuchadnezzar had his dream (2:1-12). We do not know how long it took to carry out the decree of the king against all of the Assyrian wise men. It could have taken a while.
As you might expect, there has been considerable conjecture about the time frames mentioned in the second chapter. I consider all of them to be pointless, as no positive answer is given in the Scripture. Sufficient time had elapsed for Daniel to become recognized as a wise young man. That is why he was sought in an effort to carry out the king's edict. Earlier, when he was presented before the king, his wisdom had surfaced. The three years, were not intended to be a prelude to Daniel becoming a part of the king's court, but to him and his three companions being brought before the king for testing.
The exaltation of Daniel appeared to be long before procedure allowed. Further, it was because of the wisdom he had received, and not because he had completed the Babylonian training.
It does not appear Daniel and his fellows entered into the king's service after ten days. Daniel 1:17 should be taken, in my judgment, to refer to the appointment for their learning. The ten days was the testing period requested by Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah relative to their diet. That period of time was not set by the king, but by the prince of the eunuchs (1:11-14). When they were officially presented to the king, he found them ten times better than all of the magicians and astrologers in the land (1:19-20). That testing occurred at the end of the period determined by the king, which I assume was the three years (1:18).
Chapter one of Daniel does involve some chronology, but is more general in nature. You will notice that Daniel's prominence through the reign of king Cyrus is mentioned in 1:21.
As to the second year of the king being a problem, it is only so if we view the time between Nebuchadnezzar's dream and Daniel's interpretation as a brief period. Nothing in the text, however, suggests this is the case. It is quite possible that sufficient time elapsed to fulfill the three years. A period of time could have passed after the dream. Another period while the astrologers were trying to get their act together. Another while the decree to kill all of the wise men was being carried out. And yet another when Daniel asked for time to obtain the interpretation of the dream. During this time, he also told the matter to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (2:16-18). Some time may very well have passed before Daniel actually received the interpretation. Still more time could have elapsed while Daniel was thanking God for the answer (2:19), There may very well have been more than a short period pass while Daniel was thanking God for the interpretation (2:20-23). Nothing suggests that Daniel called for Arioch the next day in order to give the king the message (2:24), or that Arioch brought him immediately into the king's presence (2:25).
While there are some sections of Scripture that deal with strict chronology, covering events in detail (i.e., Matt 27), this is not the consistent manner of Scripture. Generally, the Spirit moves from mountain peak to mountain peak, sometimes leaping over significant periods of time in order to accentuate the eternal purpose of God. Because of this, I see no reason why we cannot take the text as it stands, allowing for the fulfillment of all of the circumstances mentioned by the Spirit.
A Pastor that believes Psychology is a gift from God uses John 21:25 to help support his claim. Why did God share this verse with us? How should we apply this verse to our lives?
I am astounded at the position espoused by this pastor! The very contemplation that God would give and define a gift through a perverted and corrupt deviate like Sigmund Freud boggles my mind. To base the conclusion on John 21:25 reveals a level of corruption that is inexcusable.
In order for John 21:25 to apply to the imagination perpetrated by this pastor, Psychology would have to bring us to "believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name" (John 20:31), which is the declared intent of Scripture. But there is not a syllable of Jesus in Psychology itself. Further, this false science does not focus on believing on Christ, but upon men. Additionally, it is not a sure approach to men, relying upon supposition and conjecture. To call such an approach a gift from God is ludicrous.
Psychology has no interest in heaven or hell, reconciliation to God, the resistance of the devil, or the development and maintenance of faith. Further, it does not focus upon the edification of the saints, which is the revealed intent of all spiritual gifts (Eph 4:11-16).
The verse in John 21:25 is intended to show us that Christ's earthly ministry is not His primary ministry. Sufficient details of His life are provided in order to substantiate that He is the Son of God, and to induce faith within us. Christ's primary ministry is going on right now, and His death and resurrection were the required prelude to that ministry. He is bringing us to God (1 Pet 3:18), bringing many sons to glory (Heb 2:10), giving repentance and remission of sins (Acts 5:31), ever living to intercede for us (Heb 7:25; Rom 8:34), and reigning until His enemies become His obvious footstool (Heb 10:12-13). Psychology has no part in any of those things.
I wonder if you have done any study on the unique position of Messianic Jewish believers living in Israel at this time.
I have only considered this subject from the Scriptural point of view. First, although there is a group called Messianic Jews, for which have the highest regard, the term itself is a sort of contradiction. In Christ there is "neither Jew nor Greek," as you already know (Gal 3:28).
having said that, I know the Deliverer will come out of Zion, turning away ungodliness from Jacob (Rom 11:25). I see this as occurring in the land of the Jews. What part, if any, the Messianic Jews will play in this, I do not know. I am of the persuasion it will largely be that of spectators, not initiators, but reserve the right to be wrong on that. Genuine Jewish believers will doubtless become involved in the rapid spread of the Gospel when the veil has been lifted from their kindred. I understand that Christianity as we know it now, will collapse at that time, having been presently neutralized with the wisdom of this world (particularly the Western world), and being largely spurious.
How long was Paul in Arabia before he returned to Damascus and where can I find that information?
We do not know how long Paul was in Arabia. His reference to the Arabian excursion is found in Galatians 1:17-18. "Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days."
This virginity of Mary, before, during and after the birth of Our Divine Savior, Jesus Christ was for the Glory of God.
I appreciate the spirit in which you wrote, and your obvious desire for the truth. I too have some questions, and they are also asked in a gentle spirit.
Precisely where does God refer to Mary's "perpetual virginity." Is this not a human opinion, or more specifically tradition, imposed upon the text of Scripture? And did not Christ's enemies refer to His brothers and sisters (Matt 13:55-56) -- and why were several of them named. How can specific identities be applied to people sharing merely a "common association?" Where did the enemies of Christ refer to anyone merely associated with Jesus as His brothers and sisters -- or even cousins? And how is it that the Spirit refers to Joseph refraining from knowing Mary in an intimate way until after Jesus was born (Matt 1:25)?
One must take care not to be overly zealous for traditions that impact upon the meaning of Scripture, Better to give deference to Scripture, allowing it to modify the tradition.
According to the bible, there has been about 6000 yrs of human history. That doesn't jive with science. What's your spin?
Why not ask the question, "According to science the world is millions of years old. That does not jib with the Bible? What about that?"
In determining the age of things, science depends upon a humanly contrived method of testing. The carbonic testing mode is based upon seven strata of earth, all of which are speculated. There is not a place on earth where the seven strata are found.
The burden of proof rests with the scientists who deny the Biblical record. This, of course, is an argument that has been going on for years. I choose to side with the Scriptural record of creation. It is referred to as "the foundation of the world," and is a key point of doctrine in Scripture (Matt 13:35; 25:34; Lk 11:50; John 17:24; Eph 1:4; Heb 4:3; 9:26; 1 Pet 1:20; Rev 13:8). The Bible also refers to "the creation" (Mk 10:6; 13:19; Rom 1:20; 2 Pet 3:4; Rev 3:14). Scripture also specifically states this creation took place in six solar days, each one consisting of an "evening and a morning" (Gen 1:5,8,13,19,23,31). This is also confirmed in later Scriptures (Ex 20:11; 31:17).
All of this declares there was a Divine purpose for the universe in all of its vastness. That is why there is remarkable complexity and precision throughout its far reaching expanse, from the most massive heavenly body to the tiny atom.
Science has developed the theory of the earth's lengthy existence to account for its development. Evolution, for example, cannot be seen in any observable period of time, and thus ages have been developed to account for the complexity, diversity, and precision of creation. At the root of their supposition is a denial of God and His creation.
What some scientists say required millions of years is fully accounted for by the creation of the world. A creating God removes the necessity for lengthy periods of time. Of course, the postulate of God also introduces the idea of moral responsibility to Him. That is where the "rub" comes, for many do not wish to be responsible to Him.
The remarkable uniformity, precision, and diversity of the creation cannot be accounted for by chance or happenstance. No arbitrary period of time, however lengthy, can bring order out of chaos. Only God can do that -- and He did. One might as well assume a prolonged explosion in a print factory could result in an unabridged dictionary, as that long periods of time could bring precision from disorder.
Does education clash with one's salvation?
Of itself, education does not clash with salvation. It is when there is conflict with either the Word of God or the faith of the individual that the clash occurs. Education is not synonymous with the wisdom of this world. A person can be learned in mathematics, like Newton. One can also be an astute scientist, like George Washington Carver. Or, even a physician like Luke (Col 4:14). All of these men were Christians, and all had some form of education. Their faith, however, was maintained. They never allowed their education to overshadow their persuasion of the truth of God.
A person should determine to have as much education as he had handle. At the point faith begins to suffer, or the word of God begins to be neglected, education should be brought to a grinding halt. In this matter, every person must be guided by their own conscience.
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