QUESTIONS/ANSWERS FROM THE QUESTION FORUM

Group Number 88

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Hi!!   pliz don't curse me ok?
             Here I just want to tell you about my horrible dreams last nightand I want you to translate me in details.
             Its like this, I was with one the chairman of the freedom fighter who was shoot death in my dream,just as I was about to leaves the place the men's spirit rose and went outside,When I follow him he trough the a wall without climbing, seeing this I pray to ennable me to pass through the wall like he did.Suddenly my body and my spirit seperate and I pass through the wall like him and started following him to a strange place where he knock at the door of a small hot which is suppose to live by an old lady.There they were chatting about me,and the old women who was behind the door give him this Bible text for me.Its Psalm 125.after that we walk back flying.
            I've already read the text many times but I'm unable to reveal the real meaning of the text carried/installed for me. Pliz help me.I'll be waiting ur reply.

First, we are not to allow dreams to be a source of undue trouble to us. They are a means whereby we can be deceived as well as illuminated. What the Bible calls "imaginations" and thoughts that exalt themselves "against the knowledge of God" (2 Cor 10:5) can come to us through dreams.

 
Once Gods spoke through Jeremiah about dreams. His words are very clear. "The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD" (Jer 23:28). The New American Standard Bible reads, "The prophet who has a dream may relate his dream, but let him who has My word speak My word in truth. What does straw have in common with grain?" declares the LORD." The point is that, so far as God is concerned, dreams are like "straw" when compared to His Word, which is comparatively like nourishing grain for the soul. God can, indeed, speak to men through dreams, and has often chosen to do so (Abimelech (Gen 20:3-6), Jacob (Gen 28:12-15), Joseph (Gen 37:5-10), Gideon (Judges 7:13-15), Solomon (1 Kings 3:3-25), Daniel (Dan 7:1-28), the wise men who came to see Jesus (Matt 2:12), and Joseph the husband of Mary (Matt 1:20; 2:13,19). However, those dreams bore no resemblance to the one you related. They were very clear, and dealt with specific instruction.
 
Dreams. at their best, are an inferior means of revelation, and are never put in a high position. One time God spoke of Moses, comparing him with those who received visions and dreams. "And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?" (Num 12:6-8). It is important, therefore, that we not allow dreams to unduly trouble us, or shape how we think about the Word of God, God Himself, or our lives in this world.
 
Second, it is quite possible for Satan to throw Scripture at us, in an attempt to confuse us. He did this when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness. "And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God" (Mat 4:6-7). Here we see that Satan actually distorted the Scripture, even though he quoted it most precisely. He tempted Jesus to view the Scripture in the wrong way. He was tempting Jesus to actually test God by doing something God did not tell him to do. Jesus, who knew the Scripture in truth, confirmed the Psalm in question (Psa 91:11-12) did not allow what Satan was suggesting.
 
Third, the 125th Psalm is one of great comfort to those who are trusting in the Lord. First, those who trust in the Lord are told they cannot be moved. That is, God will protect those who rely and depend upon Him, so that no enemy can move them away from the Lord (verse 1). Second, the Lord is devoted to the protection of His people. They are not like an open target for the devil. All of their trials and testings are actually managed by the Lord, who will not allow them to be tempted above their ability (verse 2, with 1 Corinthians 10:13). Third, the rule of the wicked will not overcome the righteous, causing them to fall out of favor with God and lose what He has promised to them. The wicked, chiefly Satan, cannot rule or manage the place where God puts His people (verse 3). Fourth, the heart of the person with faith asks the Lord to do good to those who are upright in heart -- whose heart is godly, seeking the Lord, and trusting in Him for provision and protection. Therefore, not only is God inclined to bless His people, but constant prayers are being raised to Him for them by all who love the Lord (verse 4). Fifth, those who turn away from the Lord, choosing to do wickedness, will still be under the direction of God. However, He will cause them to fall into a pit with the wicked, rather than enjoy dominion over the righteous. The idea here is that God will take all of the wicked, regardless of their ambitions, and banish them from His people and His own Presence. He will, however, give peace to His own people. That peace will come by the ultimate removal of the wicked (verse 5).
 
As to the meaning of dream, here is my opinion. If this dream is from God, He is telling you He will protect you, and that you have nothing to fear from those who hate you. I am not inclined to believe, however, that this dream is from God. His protection has already been promised to you through Moses (Deut 31:8), the Prophets (Isa 43:2), the Lord Jesus (Matt 28:20), and the Apostles (Heb 13:5-6). There is no need to affirm such protection in a dream, which God Himself says is an inferior means of Divine communication.
 
First, in my judgment, this is not the kind of message God would send you unless you were under some specific threat from the enemy. Even then, God has already revealed how He cares for His people. Dreams were never used to transmit a message that was already known. Secondly, I do not believe God would send a dream to someone in Christ that dealt with a chairman of freedom fighters. While God did speak in times past about political matters in dreams (as to Nebuchadnezzar, Dan 2), His real purpose in those dreams was to declare the preeminence of the kingdom of Christ, which is now in place. In my understanding, since Jesus has been exalted to the right hand of God, God no longer speaks with any accent upon worldly kingdoms and kings, or freedom fighters, of the likes. All authority in heaven and in earth has been given to Jesus, and the government is upon His shoulder (Matt 28:18; Isa 9:6-7; 1 Pet 3:22). He is, in fact, ruling the world for the sake of His people and the glory of God the Father.
 
You will notice that your dream made no reference to the Lord Jesus Christ, or to anything He has said, or to anything He has done. That should lead you to conclude this was not a special revelation from Him. I say this because God is speaking to us in these times through His Son, as He has pointedly said (Heb 1:1-2). Quite frankly, this does not sound like something Jesus would say to you.
 
Do not allow this dream to trouble you. In my opinion, I do not believe continued efforts to correlate the 125th Psalm with this dream will yield any good fruit or advantage to you.


Your response infers I claim the text combines "spiritual" and carnal."   I did not say that the Bible combines "spiritual" and "carnal."  I just showed where the verse in I Cor 3:1 calls "Christians" "carnal" -- which spoke to your assertion in the devotional that said.. "expressions like "carnal Christians".... are nowhere found in Scripture."
 
The words "carnal Christians" may not be found adjacent to one another, but when Paul called Corinthian Christians "carnal" he was apparently referring to "carnal Christians." >>

I appreciate your interest in and commitment to the truth of God. I also desire that there be no misunderstanding between us. The point I am making is precisely what you said -- the words "carnal" and "Christian" are not found adjacent to one another. Elsewhere we learn that the carnal mind is "enmity against God," and "is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Rom 8:7). In fact, "to be carnally minded is death" (Rom 8:6). Those walking in such a frame of mind "cannot please God" (Rom 8:8).
 
It is not possible to be godly and ungodly at the same time, or carnal and spiritual at the same time. This is involved in our Lord's words concerning the impossibility of serving two masters (Matt 6:24).
 
The rest of the third chapter of First Corinthians enlarges on the differences between "carnal" and "spiritual." Real believers are likened to gold, silver, and precious stones, while those who walk in the flesh are likened to wood, hay, and stubble. The latter materials will not survive the judgment of God.
 
The indictment Paul brings against the Corinthians was a scathing one. "For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?" (1 Cor 3:3). Such a description is wholly incompatible with the life of Christ. It reveals a failure to crucify the flesh in the power of the Spirit, which is a requisite to maintaining spiritual life (Rom 8:13).
 
Paul was not saying "Christians" were carnal, but that the Corinthians were carnal -- a situagion that had to be corrected. That made their profession subject to question, which is Paul's point. The validity of their faith was not taken for granted. Men may say there are "Christians" who are "carnal" -- Paul said there were men who were carnal, and there is a vast difference. The presence of that carnality negates their profession of faith, or of being a "Christian."
 
We may assume the Corinthians were Christians, Paul did not. Coincidently, this is the very point that John is makiing in the text I am presently expounding in THOUGHT FOR THE DAY.

Are the ones he describes as "sanctified" in 1:2; "in Him enriched in every way" in 1:4; and "brothers" in 1:10 and in 3:1 the same people that he calls "brothers" and "worldly" (or "carnal") in 3:1?

When Paul says "to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord," he means precisely that -- to those, and those alone! He is not saying that everyone associated with the brethren in Corinth were in that category. The fornicator of chapter five, for example, was not in that category -- yet he was among them. There were possibly others who could be described as "covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner," even though they were "called a brother" (1 Cor 5:11). They could not appropriately be called "sanctified in Christ Jesus," even though they were among such people. Paul exhorted the Corinthians to "cast out the old leaven" among them, referring particularly to the fornicator among them, and any others in that category. Such were not "sanctified in Christ Jesus."
 
When Jesus addressed the church in Sardis, He said there were "a few" there who had "not defiled their garments," and that they would walk in Him in white (Rev 3:4). The others, though part of that church, were not "sanctified in Christ Jesus," and, unless they changed, would not walk with Him in white.
 
The salutations at the beginning of the Epistles are not intended to be a description of everyone in that congregation, nor does every description of the saints apply to everyone identified with that particular assembly. That is precisely why the Apostle is always careful to add "in Christ Jesus," "called to be," "the faithful in Christ Jesus," "the faithful brethren," and the likes. They describe those who are in Christ Jesus -- and only those.
 
Jude mentioned some in early assemblies who were "spots in their feasts of charity" (Jude 1:12). As with the Corinthians, it was (and is) the responsibility of everyone in an assembly to examine themselves to see if they are "in the faith" (2 Cor 13:5). Paul did not assume everyone in every congregation was "in Christ Jesus," and neither should we.
 
Words like "worldly" and "carnal" are always accompanied by most somber tones. Those, for example, who love the world, do not love God (1 John 2:15). Those who are carnally minded are dead, not alive to God (Rom 8:6). Such are not descriptions of those who are "in Christ Jesus." That is why Paul speaks so strongly concerning those tendencies in some that were in Corinth. There were traits among them that God simply does not accept. If those traits were not crucified, as those in Christ consistently do, (Gal 5:24) they themselves would be rejected.
 
The Scriptures are written in a manner that provokes self-examination. Those who are dabbling in the world, or reverting to carnality, are not to take comfort from salutations to those who are "in Christ Jesus" and "sanctified." Rather, such salutations are intended to awaken them from their lethargy, for God will not tolerate perpetual juvenility ("babes in Christ") as existing in Corinth. This is a matter of revelation (Heb 6:4-9).
 
Concerning those who are "carnal" and "walking as men," it is not appropriate to say they are also in Christ Jesus" and "enriched in every way." That is the very point that was in question. That is why Paul said "You are yet carnal." They were not evidencing newness of life. Theirs was a manner of life that would be condemned in the last day.
 
Paul addresses them as "brethren" because he is appealing to the "new man." He is not assuming they are in, or that they are out. Rather, he is saying their conduct does not support the claim that they are in Christ. He therefore pleads with them to correct their behavior, no longer being divided (1 Cor 3:21-23).


I cannot reconcile with what John wrote in the first chapter of the same epistle, verses 8-10. If you can briefly reconcile those verses with what you have written below, I would benefit from reading it.

Both Paul and John present two views of the people of God. First, there is the view of the new creation -- the part of us that is regenerated. Second there is the view of the total person, which is composed of both a "new man" and an "old man" (Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:9-10). Part of us is traced back to Adam. It is referred to as "my flesh" (Rom 7:18), "the flesh" (Rom 7:25), an "earthen vessel" (2 Cor 4:7), and our "members that are upon the earth" (Col 3:5). This belongs to us by association, yet is not part of our essential persons. This nature is resident in our bodies, and we will be rid of it when we leave the body. Until then, we must contend with this old nature. The Spirit strengthens us to subordinate it.

There is also the part that is renewed after the image of our Creator (Col 3:9-10). This is the "new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness" (Eph 4:24) -- that is, it is inherently righteous and holy -- another way of saying "cannot sin." This is the "new creature" (2 Cor 5:17). This is the part of us that is "in Christ," and in which Christ Himself dwells -- it is called "the inner man" (Eph 3:16-17). This is the part that "cannot sin."

When sin surfaces, it never has its origin with the "new man" or the "new creature." It always comes from the "flesh" or the "old man." We are strictly charged to mortify and crucify this part of our persons. If this is not done, it will eventually lead to death and condemnation. This is why it is written, "If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die" (Rom 8:13). Just as surely as the "new man" cannot sin, the "old man" can do nothing but sin. That is why he must be crucified.

God has graciously provided grace and forgiveness "if any man sin" (1 John 1:7,9; 2:1). If a person says he has no sin, he has denied the duality of his person, and is a liar. As long as we are in this world, we will need a Savior and forgiveness. However, that need is not because of what has been born of God. Rather, it is owing to the part of us that is "of the earth earthy" (1 Cor 15:45-47), in which the "law of sin" resides (Rom 7:23). This part of our persons is "us" in the sense of being in our house. It is "not I" because it is not part of my essential and real person -- the part that is "born of God" -- for God recognizes no other part.


QUESTIONS FROM INDIA

1. Is it right to play instrumental music during worship service ?


Yes, if they are played for the glory of God. Musical instruments are referred to in the Word of God as "musical instruments oif God" (1 Chron 16:42) and "the harps of God" (Rev 15:2). The 150th Psalm admonishes the use of instruments in the praise of God. The only prohibition of musical instruments in serving God is given when they are for self, and not for Him (Amos 6:5).

2. Is it right for all members to pray together during prayer time during worship service ?

I do not believe this is wise, although I would not say it was sinful. Prayer is represented in Scripture as a means of instruction, and is to be understood by all of the people so they can say "Amen" at the giving of thanks (1 Cor 14:16). It is also possible for everyone to pray in "one accord" (Acts 4:24). This is evidence of a special work of God and is therefore proper.

3. Can a woman preach in the assembly ?

Any one can speak in the assembly who has a word from God and has been gifted to speak it. Whatever is said is also to be judged, or evaluated, by others who have understanding (1 Cor 14:29). Women are allowed to prophesy if they speak as subordinates, not taking undue glory unto themselves (1 Cor 11:5). Of course, men are also to speak as subordinates of Christ (1 Cor 11:3).

4. Is it right to put wooden croos on the roof of the church building ?

Nothing is wrong with this, as long as it is not treated as an idol, with people bowing down to it or giving it the honor due only to Jesus.

5. Can a person speak in tongues ?

This is an ability that God alone gives. If He gives it, it may be employed in the assembly if it is done in an orderly manner, and onloy if it is interpreted to the congregation (1 Cor 14:5). Privately, it is between the individual and God.

6. Can a man be baptized in the Holy Spirit ?

The proper expression is "baptize WITH the Holy Spirit" (Matt 3:11; Mk 1:8; Lk 3:16; John 1:33). This again is something that Jesus does, and over which men have no power (Matt 3:11). This baptism was never preached by men. No one was ever commanded to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. They were commanded to be baptized with water (Acts 10:47-48).

7.Can a person give tithes ?

Yes. The Scriptures say that the One of whom it is witnessed that "He liveth" is receiving tithes now (Hebrews 7:8). They are the means by which the ministry is supported. An allusion is made to this in First Corinthians 9:13-14).


Why in Genesis 1-26 does God say let us make man in our image under our likeness. Who are they, if God is truly a single entity he wouldn't speak this way.

God is, indeed, "One." As it is written, "the Lord our God is One" (Deut 6:4; Gal 3:20). However, the word "ONE" does not mean "single entity." Husband and wife are "one flesh" (Gen 2:24; Eph 5:31), yet they are one a "single entity." The people of God are referred to as "one body" (Eph 4:4). Yet, they are not a "single entity," for it is written, "So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another" (Rom 12:5). Those who are "joined to the Lord" are referred to as being "one spirit" with Him (1 Cor 6:17). Yet, they are not a "single entity." God has used the word "one" enough times for there to be no question about this.

The "Us" of Genesis 1:26 are the Father, Word (Jesus in His preincarnate form), and the Holy Spirit. John refers to them as being "the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit" (1 John 5:7). We read that the Spirit "moved upon the face of the waters" prior to the completion of creation (Gen 1:2). Later, we read that the Lord Jesus was the One through whom everything was created (Col 1:16). The book of Ephesians affirms that God "created all things by Christ Jesus" (Eph 3:9).

The Father, the Lord Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are all called "God." The Father is called "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" in 1 Peter 1:3. Jesus is referred to as "the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ" in Titus 2:13. The Father also called Him "God" in Hebrews 1:8. The Holy Spirit is referred to as "God" in Acts 5:3-4.

Some have assumed that the Father, Son, and Spirit are three different titles for the same Person -- like one Person doing three different things. However, this is not so. The Father "sent the Son" (1 John 4:14), and the Son sent the Spirit (John 15:26). The Son will give the kingdom back to God (1 Cor 15:24), and the Spirit glorifies the Son (John 16:14-15). They are three different personalities, and are all God, without beginning or ending of days.


In Genesis after Cain kills Abel and he is cursed he goes to nod and finds his wife. Where did she come from I thought Adam, Eve and their children were the first and only people how could he find a wife outside of his family.

Adam and Eve were the first and only people -- created by God. All other people came from them, with the single exception of the Lord Jesus, who was the "only begotten of the Father." The whole human race came from Adam, as declared in Acts 17:26, and Eve is "the mother of all living" Gen 3:20.

Adam lived 930 years and begat many sons and daughters (Gen 5:3-4). We do not know how old Cain was when he went into the land of Nod, but several hundred years may well have passed before that time. The rapid proliferation of human race during the first 100-300 years should be easy for us to comprehend. Cain's wife came from some of the offspring of Adam. We do not know who it was, or precisely when it occurred.


Being a 19 year old man I am sexually attracted to other men. I want to overcome this feeling and be heterosexual rather than a homosexual. Can you help me. What actually is happening that I watch nude male pics and masturbate and looking at sexy men around me makes me want to look at their body. I want to overcome all these feelings, so can you suggest a treatment.

First, you are being tempted, and your responsibility is to NOT yield to the temptation. God speaks harshly about men being attracted to other men in the manner you describe, and you must take His words seriously. Here is what He says. "In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion" (Rom 1:27).

Once this word is taken seriously, and if you are in Christ Jesus, God will give you strength to resist the temptation -- to say "NO!!" to it. Temptations are likened to flaming, or poisonous, arrows shot at us by the devil. Here is what God's Word says: "In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one" (Eph 6:16).

I recommend you eliminate "heterosexual" and "homosexual" from your vocabulary. They are terms invented by the psychologists and sociologists, and tend to distort our understanding. Second, immediately stop watching nude male pictures. Every time you do this, you are giving the advantage to the devil. If this is difficult to do, do it anyway. Every time you do this, it is like walking into a room filled with viruses that cause death.

I assume you are honest in saying you want to overcome these feelings -- properly called "temptations" and "lusts." Are you a Christian? Have you been "baptized into Christ?" If not, then that is the first thing you must do, for there is no genuine help available to you until you are in Christ, and Christ is in you. If you are in Christ, then He has provided an escape from all temptations (1 Corinthians 10:13). You do not have to yield to them.

Stay away from people and things that feed this weakness. Remove from your home and possession anything and everything that appeals to this weakness. Cut off any and all friendships that culture this kind of appetite. Make friends of people who hate sin and love righteousness. Feed your mind on the Word of God. Start with the Gospels that will give you a better understanding of Jesus.

If you are serious about this, and will call on the Lord to help you, in due time, you will overcome this sin.


If an individual was let's say "brainwashed" in an early stage of life in what many would consider a "cult," would they ever be able to really know what the real truth is--or are they never going to be able to get a clear mind to understand the real God?

Satan is inferior to God, and thus even his most strong and delusive devices can be overcome. The best Satan can do is "brainwash" (another word for deceive) a person. God, however, can give us a new mind -- called being "renewed in the spirit of our mind" (Ephesians 4:23). If men allow him to do so, Satan can put erroneous thoughts into our minds. However, God can write His laws into our mind, and put them in our hearts, thereby enabling us to think properly (Hebrews 10:16). He can and does free us from the worst delusions. The length of time that they dominated us is completely without significance with God Almighty.

There is no such thing as a person who wants free from Satan's devices who will not be given power to obtain a new mind. In answer to your question, a person who was once brainwashed at an early stage of life CAN come to really know the truth of God, being totally freed from delusion.

Ponder how the past lives of Christians are described -- a condition from which Jesus has freed them. "At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another" (Titus 3:3). That condition was dramatically changed by the mercy of God. "But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life" (Titus 3:4-7). That is the way it really is.


I have come to believe, through the patient teaching of many, that I am made righteous by my Lord's death on the cross, and that righteousness is nothing more than right standing with Jehovah God. So, when I read the text of your present lesson, I became confused on how I can DO righteousness. I could be wrong---that is entirely possible, but I think I'd want to hear it from a Saint such as yourself. But if I'm right, what is DOING RIGHTEOUSNESS talking about? How can I, on my own, have enough right standing with God to DO RIGHTEOUSNESS?

Righteous is NOT properly described as "nothing more than right standing with Jehovah God." Such a standing must not contradict the character of God. He must be "just" and well as the "Justifier," as affirmed in Romans 3:26.

In order for us to be in a right standing with God, several things had to be accomplished. Our sins had to be taken away (John 1:29; Heb 9:26). We had to be redeemed (Gal 3:13-14). We had to be reconciled to God (Col 1:21). It was necessary for Jesus to be "made sin for us" (2 Cor 5:21). Jesus had to be made a curse (Gal 3:13). The devil had to be destroyed (Heb 2:14). Principalities and powers had to be plundered (Col 2:15). The law had to be ended as a means to righteousness (Rom 10:4).

These were all accomplished in order that something might be done in us. We had to be changed. Thus we were made a "new creation" in Christ Jesus (2 Cor 5:17). We were "born again" -- something that changed our essential nature (John 3:3-5). The law of God was written upon our minds and put into our hearts (Heb 10:16). The Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made us free from the law of sin and death (Rom 8:2). We were "made the righteousness of God (2 Cor 5:21). We were raised in baptism to "walk in newness of life" (Rom 6:4). We were given a new heart and a new spirit (Ezek 36:26).

In fact, we were created "unto good works," in which God has determined we should walk (Eph 2:10). Through Christ God has brought us to a point where "the righteousness of the Law is fulfilled in us" (Rom 8:4). That is another way of saying "doing righteousness."

DOING righteous is precisely what the words infer. It is expressing the newness of life in godly words and deeds. We were really made righteous in Christ Jesus, and righteousness expresses itself. Doing righteousness is bearing the fruit of the Spirit: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law" (Gal 5:22-23). These are all expressed in the lives of believers. They are things that are DONE.

These things are not done "on our own," but through the power of the Holy Spirit. But they are DONE. John's point about DOING righteousness is that genuine righteousness is evidenced in its expression. A person who does not DO righteousness is NOT righteous. Thus John reasons, "every one that DOETH righteousness is born of Him" (1 John 2:29). "Little children, let no man deceive you: he that DOETH righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous" (1 John 3:7). "In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever DOETH NOT righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother" (1 John 3:10).

Thrust from yourself any teaching that suggests what God accomplishes in you through Jesus is not evidenced in expressed righteousness. God has said too much on this subject to believe anything else.


Matthew's account of Joseph's "marriage" to Mary. What steps were really necessary to for a valid marriage?

The Scriptures do not outline a specific procedure that validates marriage. A betrothal was a commitment to be married to the individual. Chastity was also an apparent requirement. The marriage of Boaz and Ruth was attested by witnesses (Ruth 4:1-11), as well as the marriage of Isaiah (Isa 8:1-3). It is generally understood that the marriage was consummated in intimacy.


Which denomination are you a part of? What are your beliefs on Jesus second coming?
What are your beliefs on when/how you receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit? What are your belief on water baptism? (how to administer/purpose)


1. I am not affiliated with any particular denomination. I am satisfied with being associated with the Lord Jesus, and all who joined to Him. Whatever religious name must be dropped when I die, I choose to drop while I remain alive.

2. Jesus will come the second time concluding history itself. The heavens and earth will flee from before His face (Rev 20:11). He will come in all of His own glory, the glory of the Father, and the glory of the holy angels (Matt 16:27). At that time, He will raise all of the dead (1 Cor 15:52; John 5:28-29). The judgment will follow, including the final separation of the ungodly from the godly (Matt 25:31-33). This is the blessed hope of the church (Tit 2:13) for which all true believers are waiting (1 Thess 1:10).

3. The Scriptures affirm that Jesus Himself is the One who baptizes WITH the Holy Spirit (Matt 3:11; Mk 1:8) -- the expression "baptism of the Holy Spirit" is not a Scriptural expression, but one reflecting a human understanding. Jesus is the one making the determinations mentioned in your question. He foretold the Apostles that they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit shortly after His ascension (Acts 1:2-5). When the household of Cornelius was given "the like gift," Peter recalled how this event had previously occurred on the day Pentecost (Acts 11:16). Some have inferred that the Ephesians disciples also were baptized in the Spirit, although the Scriptures do not say so. There is not so much as a syllable of Apostolic instruction on receiving this baptism. We have a prophecy from John the baptist that Jesus would do this. Jesus told His Apostles they would receive it. We have the record of Cornelius' household connected with this baptism, which is said to have originally taken place on Pentecost. That is the sum total of what the Spirit has specifically said on the subject. I find that wholly inadequate to make pronouncements about "when/how you receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit." I believe them all, and am quite willing to leave this matter in the hands of Jesus.

4. Baptism in water is the "form of the doctrine," which is Christ's death, burial, and resurrection (Rom 6:17). Hence, it involves a burial in, and being raised from, water. The purpose of baptism is identified with the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16), and the receiving of the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). It is the means by which we are buried with Christ and raised with Him, becoming associated with His death, burial, and resurrection (Rom 6:3-5). It is also the occasion in which we experience the "circumcision of Christ," in which the "body of the sins of the flesh" is cut away from us (Col 2:11-12). It is also an appeal to God for a good conscience (1 Pet 3:21). It is to be administered in such a way as make all of these realities more clear. The Word of God provides no stereotyped procedure in which baptism is carried out. There are a number of incidents of baptism recorded in Scripture (Acts 2:41; 8:12,13, 38; 9:18; 10:48; 16:15,33; 18:8; 19:5). None of them record the iteration of a formula said when the people were being baptized, and none of them provide a regimen associated with baptism. Neither do I.


What passages in the King James Bible can I use to help a Jehovah witness believe that God the Father and God the Son are one and not two separate beings? They believe that Jesus was created, the master builder, and a god. I'm a Christian and need something from you that maybe can help save these people.

First, God the Father and God the Son are not one Being. The Father "sent the Son" (1 John 4:14), and the Son will give the kingdom back to God (1 Cor 15:24). Both are God, but they are two different personalities. The Father called the Lord Jesus "God" in Hebrews 1:8. Isaiah prophesied the name of the Savior would be "Mighty God" (Isaiah 9:6). Jesus is called "the great God and Savior Jesus Christ" (Tit 2:13). When Jesus was here, He received worship (Matt 2:11; 8:2; 9:18; 14:33; 15:25; 18:26; 28:9,17). This is something no created personality can receive. A mighty angel refused worship from John (Rev 19:10; 22:9), telling him to "worship God."


Why do the Jehovah's want to stay on earth? Do they believe in the translation of the church? I'm praying for these lost souls as I need your help in helping me supply Spirit filled insight information so they will have a change of heart.

The religion of the Jehovah's Witnesses has made earth more important to them then heaven. They believe only 144,000 will be in heaven, and that it is already populated. Thus, everyone else who is finally "saved" will remain in the world. They do teach some change will take place, but the new earth will largely be this world optimized. They do not believe in the gathering of the saved to the Lord, and ever being with the Lord (1 Thess 4:17).


I don't agree with your interpretation of Hebrews 7:3 - if Christ has no beginning, then why is Jesus called the "first born of all creation?" "why does Jesus say "the Father is greater than I?" Why does Jesus say not to worship him, but only God? These problems don't occur with people who speak Hebrew, Greek, and the other languages in which the Bible was originally written. The translation into English has butchered many meanings throughout the Bible. You say that Jesus didn't pray to himself, but if he was God, then he was praying to himself all the time. Why would he pray at all if he was God? There would be no point. Your explanations don't make sense with the scriptures you have used.

Your words fail to take Christ's condescension into account, when He came to do the will of God, as outlined in Hebrews 10:5-10 and Philippians 2:6-8. The Father Himself refers to the Son as "God" (Heb 1:8). The prophets foretold His name would be "Mighty God" (Isa 9:6).

You are not correct in saying Jesus told people not to worship Him. When God brought Him into the world, He commanded all of the angels to worship the Son (Heb 1:6). There are also numerous accounts of Him receiving worship (Matt 8:2; 9:18; 14:33; 15:25; 18:26; 20:20; 28:9,17; John 9:38). Jesus did not rebuke any of these people for worshiping Him. other hand, refused worship from men (Rev 19:10; 22:9). You do well to worship Him also. Eventually you will bow your knee to Him and confess He is Lord, just as God has appointed (Phil 2:10-11). Angels, on the other hand, refuse worship from men (Rev 19:10; 22:9).

As a man, Jesus was "God manifest in the flesh" (1 Tim 3:16), and "God with us" (Matt 1:23). He is called "the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ" (Tit 2:13). These represent the manner in which the Spirit spoke of the Son. You do well to conform your manner of speaking to this standard. Your view of the Son will determine how God assesses you, and whether or not He accepts you.

Jesus "partook of flesh and blood" in order that He, as a Savior and Intercessor, might bring us to God. This is taught in great detail in the second chapter of Hebrews.

God has appointed a day when He will unveil "the Lord Jesus Christ" as He really is. What He is right now will then be clearly displayed: "our Lord Jesus Christ, which in His times He shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen" (1 Tim 6:14-16). It is to your advantage to grow accustomed to comprehending Him in this capacity now.


Why doe's all of humanity have to pay for original sin?

Because the tendency to sin was passed on to all of Adam's progeny. That is why it is written, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Rom 5:12). The fact that "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Rom 3:23) confirms that sin entered the world through Adam, but was not confined to Adam. A clean thing cannot come from an unclean thing, as stated in Job 14:4.


Why are we to be forgiving for Adam and Eveís sins?

We are not guilty of Adam and Eve's sin, and are not forgiven for it. We are guilty of our own sin. The concept of being forgiven of "original sin" is not taught in Scripture. This is a tradition of mern, not a word from God. We received a sinful nature from Adam, but our sin is our own.

The teaching that infants are forgiven of the sin of Adam and Eve is not correct. Jesus said children were like the kingdom of God. "Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these" (Matthew 19:14). When dealing with the matter of sin the Lord consistently said "your sin," not Adam's sin" (Psalms 103:3; Isaiah 1:18; Acts 22:16; 1 John 2:12).


What, besides pray and maintain a solid relationship with her husband can and should we as individuals and a group? She has not left herself open to any kind of accountability. We are hurt, angry, annoyed and scared for her all at once.

This is a case where prayer will be your most powerful weapon. You are dealing with an individual who is in the snare of the wicked one, and obviously wants to sin. I suggest that you take your cue from First John 5:16-17. The phrase "sin unto death" refers to a transgression that leads to death, and cannot be averted -- such as was seen in Judas and Ananias and Saphirra. Their sin led to their death. Your assumption must be that this woman has not committed such a sin, else she would be dying or dead.

The promise is that God will grant life upon the basis of the prayer of those who see the situation as it is. This is the kind of prayer to which James referred when he said, "the fervent effectual prayer of a righteous man avails much" (James 5:16). If the woman can be retrieved, and if those who are praying are righteous, God will honor their prayers. God can give a person repentance, as affirmed in Second Timothy 2:25-26.

Be encouraged to do your best, but do not allow yourself to become too involved in this matter. Ponder Galatians 6:1, and proceed with caution. You are dealing with an obstinate and deceived person. One of the penalties transgression brings with it is having to bear ones own burden.


The problem: one individual who has disrupted the tranquility of the church over the years, has gotten two other men in the church to appoint themselves as elders of the congregation, I have suggested to the two elected elders that they bring these three men before the congregation to begin a process of disfellowshiping them. Do you have any advise for them through me.

I am sorry to hear of the presumptive action of the would-be elders. They must not be allowed to force their way into this position. We are reminded in Scripture that elders are overseers appointed by the Holy Spirit to "feed the church of God which He has purchased with His own blood" (Acts 20:28). A "self-appointed" elder is a contradiction to that word, and is a competitor against the Spirit of God. Also, elders, self-appointed or otherwise are sternly warned not to be "lord's over God's heritage but being examples to the flock" (1 Pet 5:3). These men must be confronted, demanding that they tell the people how they propose to "feed the church of God."

God put the members in the body where He pleases (1 Cor 12:18), and does not allow for any person to impose his will upon His people. Those who seek the make themselves leaders of God's people must be treated like the Judaizer's the Galatians confronted. Paul said of them, "To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you" (Gal 2:5).

God has affirmed that He will "destroy" those who defile His church, disrupting and harming it (1 Cor 3:17). He is serious about this word. Also, such men have thought more of themselves than they ought to think -- something strictly forbidden by God (Rom 12:3).

Although the following account does not concern elders, it does provide an example of how godly men were chosen for leading functions in the church. You will remember that when difficulty arose in the early church over the daily distribution to widows, the Apostles gave this counsel: "Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business" (Acts 6:3). It is generally understood that these men were deacons. They were required to have a good reputation, be filled with the Holy Spirit, and be filled with wisdom. The Apostles did not appoint these men, but asked the brethren to choose them, using this criteria. It is obvious that men appointing themselves to be elders sharply conflicts with such an approach. They have assumed prerogatives that even Apostles did not take.

The people must stand together on this matter. Someone should speak for them affirming they will not submit to such choices, or to the person who suggested they be made. They will not be honored, and such men are not welcome among the saints -- they cause division (Rom 16:17). I would issue a public call for them to repent. Perhaps the Lord will "give them repentance" to the acknowledging of the truth (2 Tim 2:25-26). That would bring great glory to God.

This will not be a pleasant occasion. However, it will bring great blessing to the congregation, and glory to God as well.


"Whoever has been born of God does not sin" (NKJV). This quote pulled from yesterdays devotion is a powerful translation. Are people afraid to grasp this by faith or is it difficult to admit that there are competing natures within our members? Is this a product of a society that has to put a psychosis label on everything? Is this thought process difficult because of the theology and dogma of church leadership? For some reason I feel the need to understand the perspective of the people that are not able to grasp this so that I can better connect and explain the situation to them.

The thing that has not been grasped by these people is that they those in Christ are really two people in one body -- one new, one old. They have not perceived there is such a thing as a "new creation" (2 Cor 5:17). They think of the new birth as a kind of starting over -- going back to the starting line again. The "begotten of God" part has eluded them. Time is well spent teaching these poor souls of the inward struggle of Romans 7:15-25. There is a part of our being that is really not us ("it is not I"). Our real persons is the part that has been "born of God" -- that is, that is the part God receives and that we acknowledge as expressing our real selves. Once this is seen, the fact that what is born of God "cannot sin" can be more easily received.

Also, they have equated temptation with sin. When they struggle with vile thoughts, they own them for their own, and thus it is easier to yield to them. Such thoughts must be seen as flaming arrows hurled at us by the devil (Eph 6:16). Struggling with thoughts is the point Paul is dealing with in Romans 7:15-25. He did not have trouble with committing lying, adultery, and the likes, before he was in Christ (Phil 3:6). It was "lust" that was the point of conviction for him (Rom 7:7). The Law, of course, soundly condemned him in that lust. However, once the new birth occurred, lust was not found in that new creation. It was a part of the "old man," or the "flesh" (Gal 5:24). Because he did not welcome the lusts, seeking to fulfill them, they were not actually his, and were not imputed to him by God. That is why he said, "But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me" (Rom 7:17, NKJV). The NIV reads, "As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me" (Rom 7:17).

Paul could say "it is no longer I myself" because of the new creation, or the "new man." If there was not a part of him that could not sin, every deviate thought would actually have come from him, and he would have had to own it as his own.


This element is referred to as his heart or soul and itís condition will be effected by the choices he makes, priorities he sets, values he develops, actions he takes, etc.

Concerning the above, consider that there are four invisible parts of man delineated in Scripture: heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27). Generally speaking, the heart is the inmost part of man, and is the essential person. The soul is the expressive part of man, including the intellect, emotion, and will. The mind of man is the capacity to understand, or be rational. The strength of man is his ability.

The condition of the heart will, indeed, determine the destiny of man. However, the heart itself is what effects one's choices, priorities, values, and actions (Matt 15:19; Mark 7:21-23; Prov 4:23; 23:7).


I am having a hard time knowing what exactly it means to be spirit lead. It seems that I am constantly fighting my flesh and losing the battle continually. I sin and know it and sometimes chose to, I always hate it and wish I could change. I would love nothing more than to walk with the Lord always and to know His real presence in my life. I guess that my prayer request is "pray that I am shown the practical 'how to' so that I can serve Him well."

The expression "led by the Spirit" is not used often in Scripture. However, its use does provide some understanding of what is involved in that leading.

Jesus, for example, was "led by the Spirit" into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil (Matt 4:1; Lk 4:1). Mark says the Spirit "drove" Him into the wilderness (Mark 1:12) -- that is, through the Spirit he was moved by a compelling desire to go into the wilderness. In delineating the work of subduing the flesh, Paul brings in the matter of the Spirit's leading. "For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God" (Rom 8:13-14). As you can see, in both cases, the matter of temptation is addressed.

In your own case, note your expressions "I am constantly fighting my flesh . . . I always hate it and wish I could change . . . I would love nothing more to walk with the Lord always and to know the His real presence in my life." These are themselves evidence of the leading of the Spirit. Such attitudes certainly did not come from Satan. And they surely are not the expression the flesh, in which dwells no good thing (Rom 7:18). These are holy responses, not mere expressions of frustration.

There is no secret routine or "how to" involved in overcoming sin. It cannot be done through a procedure, or certain way of doing things. Overcoming sin through the Spirit involves hating it, being repulsed by it, and desiring the better things of God. All of these are in you right now. On a temptation-by-temptation basis, and by means of your personal faith, the grace of God will teach you to say "NO to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age" (Tit 2:11-12, NIV).

There are two parts to you -- "the old man" and "the new man" (Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:9-10). When you were born again, you received a new nature, becoming a "new creation" in Christ Jesus (2 Cor 5:17). However, the residue, as it were, of your old self remains as an integral part of your body. That residue is "the old man" of Ephesians and Colossians, and "the flesh" of Romans 8.

The struggle you are experiencing is that of the flesh and the Spirit, or the old man and the new man. Galatians 5:17 states it this way: "For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law" (Gal 5:17-18). The 18th verse is the language of grace. The Law provided no strength to say "No!" to corrupt thoughts, and even condemned the person for having them. In Christ, however, when we yield to the leading of the Spirit and refuse to give expression to temptation, the temptation, or inward thought, is not credited to us as sin, and therefore the Law cannot condemn us.

As a practical measure, be sure you are not willingly around corrupting influences that make it easy to yield to the flesh and its corrupt lusts. It is still true, "Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits" (1 Cor 15:33). A lot of failure is directly related to being around corrupting influences. This, of course, is something you yourself will have to work out. In fact, it is part of working out your own salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12). As you throw yourself into the work, God will come to your aid, and work within you. That is why the next verse reads, "for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure" (Phil 2:13). It is like the man with a withered hand, and the impotent man who had never walked. Jesus told the man with the withered hand to stretch his withered hand out (Matt 12:13). He told the lame man to stand up, take up his bed and walk (John 5:8). For both men, and from the human point of view, the command of the Lord was an impossibility. Yet when they extended themselves to do what the Lord commanded, the strength to do it was imparted to them.

The same is true for you. When you extend yourself to resist the devil, refuse to sin, say "No!" to ungodliness and worldly lusts, etc., the Lord will enable you to do it. It will not be without a fight, however. It is something like Israel having to drive the heathen out of the promised land -- "seven nation greater and mightier" than the Israelites (Deut 7:1). Yet, when they took the word of the Lord seriously, and set out to do precisely that, the Lord empowered them to get the work done (Josh 21:43-45). The Lord will do no less for you.

Now, be strong and courageous. You can win this battle.


Second Marriages: Are They Blessed By God??? Does God bless second marriages? Why or Why not?

It depends upon the circumstances. If a widow marries in the Lord, the marriage is certainly blessed by God (1 Cor 7:39). The issue in Scripture is not whether or not God blesses second marriages, but whether or not marriage itself is honorable. That is why it is written, "Marriage IS honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge" (Heb 13:4). That is the overview of the situation.

The general rule is that a person is married but once, to one spouse. However, there are also exceptions that are specified (Matt 19:9; 1 Cor 7:15). There are also some marriages God does not bless, whether they are the first or the second. Herod being married to his brother's wife is an example (Matt 14:3-4). The unequal yoke of a believer with an unbeliever is another (2 Cor 6:14; 1 Cor 7:39).

There is not single answer to your question. The answer will be based upon the situation.


Every single solitary human being ever born is born in God's kingdom.

It is surely true that "the kingdom is the Lord's, and He is the Governor among the anginose" (Psa 22:28). However, the word "kingdom" is also used in a more narrow sense -- one that is related to God's eternal purpose. Jesus spoke of entering the Kingdom? (Matt 5:20; 7:21; 18:3; 19:23-24; Mk 9:47; John 3:5). The Scriptures also speak of inheriting and failing to inherit the kingdom (Matt 25:34; 1 Cor 6:9-10; 1 Cor 15:50; Gal 5:21; Eph 5:5), as well as being "counted worthy of the kingdom" (2 Thess 1:5), and being "heirs of the kingdom" (James 2:5). This latter sense has to do with profitable participation in the Kingdom. It is the subject of Gospel proclamation and Apostolic teaching and exhortation.


 

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