In the Lords prayer, please explain:  "Lead us not into temptation"

Would a loving God lead his children into temptation?

A petition similar to this is offered by David in Psalms 141:4: "Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with the workers of iniquity." God tempts no man (James 1:13). This phrase, then, must be used in the sense of permitting. Do not suffer us, or permit us, to be tempted to sin. In this it is implied that God has such control over the tempter as to save us from his power if we call upon him. The word temptation, however, means sometimes trial, affliction, anything that tests our virtue.  If this is the meaning here, as it may be, then the import of the prayer is,
"Do not afflict or try us." It is not wrong to pray that we may be saved from suffering if it be the will of God.

Why is purgatory believed by Catholics, since it is not in the bible?

The doctrine of Purgatory began in about the 4th Century A.D. with the sale of indulgencies (permission to commit sins) in order to raise money to build St. Peter's in Rome. They took an obscure passage from the Apocrypha to justify such doctrine. This of course allows the church to collect more funds by selling candles and prayers to get loved ones out of purgatory and into heaven. It produces a great amount of income for the church. They are not concerned with being biblically correct but rather what is upheld by church tradition.

Does is say in the Bible something about not letting your right hand know what you left had is doing?

Yes, it is found in Matthew 6:3.

Am I lost?
I was married for 10 years and we dated for 3 before that. She left me a Dear John letter and now I find she had here old boy friend living down the street for months while they had a affair and when she moved out she moved in with him. I thought our marriage was fine. I don't drink or beat her.  I never saw it coming. We are in the divorce process. I had to start this because of this action which is so unlike her. I begged for weeks for her to reconsider her actions and we would get help. And I tried to repair the damage. Love is blind I guess.

Where does this leave me now in the eyes of God. I didn't want this. I didn't ask for this. I still love her. But I can see that she is destined to live her life as she has chosen. When can I start to see a lady and it be right in the eyes of the lord. I mean I am not sure. I know it sounds stupid. But if you still love someone deeply.  Even though they hurt you. I am not sure when its morally right for me to move ahead with my life since I was cast aside.  I wanted to be married and enjoy the deep connection we had. But I too would like to have someone who is willing to dedicate themselves.  I want to once again find a partner that wants to be a team.

According to what you say she has committed fornication which allows you to divorce her and be married to someone who will be faithful to the marriage bond (Matthew 19:9). However, you would need to find someone who is eligible to marry. Some persons who have been divorced are not eligible to marry again. If they committed fornication against their former spouse, or if that person was divorced for any other reason other than unfaithfulness on the part of the former spouse they are not eligible to marry again in the sight of God. As soon as your divorce is final you could begin to keep company with other people, but it would not be proper at all until the divorce is final. Be sure the other person has a right to marry, and let the courtship be long enough until you know each other well, and be sure that that person believes in the permanence of the marriage vow. Another thing to remember, there should be no sexual involvement with anyone you date until after you are married to that person. There are many single persons who have never married and there are widows who would be eligible to marry, but be careful about any relationships or marriage to anyone who has been married and divorced. As you will notice in Matthew 19 if the divorce has been for any other cause other than fornication then that person is not eligible to marry again. And, if you marry someone who is not eligible to marry then both of you will be lost in eternity. I extend my sympathy to you in what you are experiencing, and wish you success as you pursue a future marriage.

I am a member of the church, I am conducting a weekly bible study with a group of twelve  people. I have been asked to answer questions about "demon possession" in our study of Matthew.  I could sure use some help!

If you will note, there are no verifiable accounts of demon possession since the first century, and you will recall that when the demons saw Jesus they recognized him and referred to him as the Son of God (case in point the Gadarene Demoniac (Matthew 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-20; Luke 8:26-30). Apparently the demons were the spirits of evil men that had been able to escape the Hadean world and make a forced entry into living persons and then took control of their bodies. The Christ had existed in the spirit world before coming to earth (John 1:1-4, 14) and thus they recognized Him as being the Son of God. They were powerless against Him and when he commanded them to come out of the persons they were afflicting they could not resist him.

When Christ died and re-entered the Spirit realm and rose from the dead he bound Satan and the Hadean world so that there was no more escaping the Hadean realm thus ending demon possession. In the first century when the apostles came upon anyone possessed with demons they sent them back to the Hadean realm and since none could escape that realm, demon possession has ceased to exist. Demon possession was different from epileptic seizures and other similar physical ailments so we cannot call those cases of demon possession. You will note that in Revelation 20:1-3 that Satan was cast into the bottomless pit or abyss and that a seal was set upon it meaning there was no escaping. Satan still has influence and power but such is greatly diminished. Example: A vicious dog chained is still vicious but his sphere of action is confined to the length of the chain. Satan cannot force man to do anything, but he may entice and encourage us to come close, but it is up to us. When we get within his grasp he has us. Since the abyss or bottomless pit has been sealed no evil spirits can escape to take over the bodies and minds of men.

According to Genesis 27:26 -27 who received the first kiss?

The one who received the kiss in this instance was Isaac from Jacob.

When you get to heaven, do you forget your friends and enemies?

There is no way to know how much we are going to recall if we get to heaven, however, notice in Matthew that we will give account of every idle word spoken when we get to the judgment scene. If we will be able to recall improper speech we should be able to remember other occurrences in our lives. If we have made enemies because of our own sins and we have not taken the proper steps to get forgiveness we will not get to heaven. We will certainly have no enemies in heaven. There will be no sorrows, tears, heartaches, disappointments, etc. in heaven. Our spiritual brothers and sisters will be our friends in heaven, and if our earthly friends on earth were Christians and we all get to heaven there should be no reason we should forget them. We need to remember, however, that those who get to heaven will be spirit beings and not flesh and blood, so we will not know one another in the same manner as her on earth but will recognize one another by
spiritual characteristics.

I would like to see a bible study on the mind. how to renew your mind. I have trouble in this area and I like to have a lesson about this.  I don't read the word and I would like to get started.

If you are really interested in renewing the mind you will of necessity have to begin a serious study of the Word of God (the Bible). The apostle Paul told Timothy to study to show himself approved unto God (2 Timothy 2:15).
The process of studying to be approved in the sight of God will automatically lead to a renewing of the mind. It will give you direction and lead you to a more fulfilling and rewarding life both now and in the hereafter.

The word 'Paradise' is referred to a few times in the bible. I always understood that this was a tempory waiting place for those who are saved and die. Is this true? If not, what is paradise? I also studied that we will all go into heaven together, after Christ's second coming. Please explain.

The word "paradise" is used only three times in the New Testament and in Luke 23:43 when Jesus told the thief, "This day thou shalt be with me in paradise" it was not heaven to which He was referring, but rather the place in the invisible world where those who are accepted of God await the resurrection. Jesus had not gone to heaven when He arose from the dead because he told Mary Magdalene in the Garden that he had not yet ascended to the Father. In Revelation 2:7 it clearly has reference to heaven, and in 2 Corinthians 12:4 it has reference to a place of supreme blessedness. Yes,
we will all be raised from the dead at the same time in John 5:28,29 Jesus says, the hour is coming in which all the dead will come forth from the grave, the good are raised to the resurrection of life (spiritual life in heaven) and the evil unto the resurrection of damnation. All the righteous will get there at the same time.

There is a song that I use to sing as a little girl and it said that Jesus was the blond of Galilee and I remember reading that he had blue eyes...

There are no such references in the Bible that so state that Jesus was blonde or had blue eyes. That is something man has manufactured.

Explain Adam and Eve and how their sons were able to marry - where did the other people come from? Why are there two versions of creation in Genesis

The sons of Adam and Eve married their sisters. While that is not done today close relatives married in ancient times. In fact Sarah the wife of Abraham was his own half-sister. At that time the blood line was pure and the infirmities of the flesh had not developed as they are today. Today too much intermarriage magnifies the weaknesses of the bloodline as well as the strengths. In most societies today close family kin are not allowed to marry due to the genetic weaknesses that creep in and actually destroys the bloodline eventually. As to the two accounts of creation in Genesis, the second accounting in Genesis chapter two fills in the details that were not mentioned in Genesis one.

I teach a Sunday School class for ages 15-19 and it is always fun to try to find things that will keep them interested in the lessons and wanting to know more. So I suggested that they write down some questions they have about the Bible and I would try my best to reach and find some answers for them. I have one student who has asked me a question and I am stumped. I hope you will be able to help me out. Our last Sunday School lesson was on Elijah and how he called down the fire of God on the sacrifice and not so long after, ran for the fear of his life. His question was this (after reading 1 Kings 19:5), why does the Bible always use the phrase "all at once" or "at once"? I know this sounds like a simple question, but I really don't want to steer him in the wrong direction. Is there any way you can help me or at least steer me in the right direction?

We do not see any real significance to the wording "at once" which is only found in the NIV as far as we know.  It is not so rendered in the KJV, the NKJV or the American Standard Version. The term used in those versions is "behold" then an angel touched him. It simply indicates there was little or no delay in the action of the angel. There was no forewarning but quickly in response to Elijah's request God responded so that would justify the use of "at once".

I wish to seek your clarification regarding the baptism recorded in Acts 2:41. 3,000 souls were baptized by the Apostles on the same day. There were 11 Apostles (Judas had committed suicide). If the baptismal candidates were evenly distributed among the Apostles, each Apostle would have to baptize at least 270 souls during that day. If it took about 3 or 4 minutes to baptize each person, then each Apostle would have to spend about 14 hours non-stop at his task. If there wasn't a pool large enough to baptize 11 persons at one time, then it would have taken more than 14 hours to complete the whole task. Did the Apostles baptize the 3,000 in the Pool of Siloam or Pool of Bethesda? It wasn't recorded that the Apostles & the 3,000 persons went for baptism in the river Jordan which is about 20 miles away from Jerusalem. So was the 3,000 REALLY baptized by water (completely submerged) or by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit?

There were 12 apostles at this time because one Matthias by name had been chosen you will note in Acts 1 to take Judas' place. There would have been no trouble in baptizing that many people as each person baptized could in turn have baptized someone themselves, furthermore there was more than one pool in Jerusalem that could have been utilized for the baptisms. It would not take over a minute or so for each baptism so there is only an imagined problem in baptizing that many people. Just believe what the scripture says. Having been to Jerusalem a few times and seeing the pools that were in existence and some of them still in use we see no problem in the Biblical account.

I am led to believe that  Mary Magdala was a prostitute.  Where in the bible is this?
Also in Luke 7:37-39 it states that this woman was sinful and I have been led to believe that she was a prostitute. Is this Mary Magdala

You must be talking about Mary Magdalene and there is not a shred of evidence in the scripture that she was a prostitute. We only note that she at one time had been possessed of seven evil spirits or demons. This was no fault of hers and it is stated in Luke 8:2 that she had been healed of that affliction. You will not find anything in the Bible that indicates that Mary Magdalene was an immoral woman. The passage you cite does not mention a woman by name but simply that she was known to be a sinful woman. We do the Bible an injustice when we begin to insert something in the text that is not there to begin with, in fact it is sinful. In Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 30:5,6 and Revelation 22:18,19 we are warned about adding to or subtracting from the Word of God.

Can you please explain to me the significance of the different gates that are mentioned in Nehemiah.  And how does this apply to us today Spiritually?

There is really no significance at all to the various gates mentioned in Nehemiah. Each gate was given a name so that they could easily make reference to which gate at which to meet or where danger lurked or something similar. They were given names simply as reference points. We number highways and even name some of them as well as we name bridges and other such structures primarily as reference points but at times to honor someone.  Most of the gates of Jerusalem were given names according to their function, direction, or prominent city they faced, etc. There is absolutely was no spiritual significance to them at all then or now.

Did Abraham leave his fathers home immediately when God commanded him to go.

We are not told in the scriptures how quickly Abram acted on God's command to leave his homeland and go to a country that God would show him (Genesis 12:1,2). But seeing how Abram always promptly obeyed God we should not think he delayed his departing for any length of time, but left as soon as he could.

Are dinosaurs mentioned in the Bible?  If not, why?

No, dinosaurs are not specifically mentioned, however, that does not mean they did not exist. We find multitudes of other creatures that are not mentioned. There are several winged fowl that are not called by name neither is an Armadillo. It may be listed by some other name other than dinosaur, it really doesn't matter. We know dinosaurs existed at one point
in time and eventually they became extinct as have numerous other species. Just because we do not find the word dinosaur mentioned in the Bible is no reason not to believe they never existed.

What does the Bible say about Christians suing other Christians?

In first Corinthians 6:1,2 Paul makes it plain that Christians should not go to law against a fellow Christian before unbelieving judges. Such matters should be settled before wise men in the church.

Did Jesus misbehave or pay no respect when he disappeared without the permission of his parents by staying in the temple causing them to look for him? Luke 2:41-48

No Jesus did not misbehave, Joseph and Mary erred in just taking it for granted that Jesus was with the other or with other children on the trip until evening of that first day and discovered he was not in the caravan.  Note that Jesus told Mary that he had to be about His Father's business, meaning the Father in heaven. They were amazed at his knowledge and perception at the time and there was no further scolding as it had first appeared he was going to receive. He realized at an early age what His responsibilities were on this earth.

Why does the Catholic Bible have more books than the NIV? Are these books inspired? Why or why not? Who determines which books should be in the Bible?

The Catholic Bible has more books because they decided to include the books of the apocrypha in their Bible. There are various reasons they want to include them but one of the reasons is that one of the apocryphal books is the only place they can begin to find justification for their doctrine of purgatory. The apocryphal books were rejected by Biblical scholars centuries ago because they do not meet the criteria to be included in the canon. Biblical scholars (sometimes called the "early church fathers") many centuries ago established criteria to determine inspiration of the scriptures and the apocryphal books did not measure up to those standards.  One of the measuring tools was the testimony of the churches to which many of the New Testament books had been addressed. They could testify to the geniuses of the particular book. When you study the books of the Apocrypha you can readily determine yourself that they are not the quality of work that you find in what is generally accepted in the religious world in general as the Word of God. The apocryphal books in some instances are excellent historical books, but not scripture and others are scarcely more than fairy tales.

When was the first pope elected?  Was it Peter?

No, Peter was not the first Pope. Peter was a married man, an apostle and an elder in the church in Jerusalem, but He was certainly not a Pope.  In the fifth century we have the bishop of Rome becoming the first Pope.

Has the Roman Catholic church existed since the first century?

The Roman Catholic Church is the result of apostasy of the original New Testament church. Teachers, preachers and church leaders gradually digressed from the original New Testament Church. In the New Testament we note that churches were to be independent of each other, each congregation was autonomous, and leaders in one congregation had no authority over another congregation. They gradually left the New Testament pattern and made their own rules and regulations and there arose one of the elders or bishops in a congregation that had more power or authority than the other
elders in the congregation and then eventually one elder or bishop in a given area would become the most powerful bishop or elder in a given locale until we had one person exercising almost complete control over a huge area.  This kept on spreading until finally in the fifth century we have the bishop of Rome becoming the first Pope. From that, there have been too many digressions from the Holy Scriptures to be able to count them all.

Was man created because God was lonely or was man created for God's entertainment?

Neither, apparently man was created to glorify God and one day to dwell with God eternally.

I want to know about sowing seed and the deeper meanings of it. I've just been getting general answers.

The best example of sowing seed in the scripture I can think of is the parable of the sower found in Matthew 13:1-23; Mark 4:1-20 and Luke 8: 4-15.  In this parable Jesus is likening the preaching of the word of God to that of a farmer going out into his field and sowing seed. In the parable the lesson is much on the type of soil as it is the sowing of the seed both of which are extremely important in obtaining a good harvest.

What is speaking in tongues?

Speaking in tongues has reference to speaking a language that one has not studied. God enabled the apostles most of whom had little education to speak whatever language their audience understood without having studied the language. This greatly facilitated the spreading of the word and it also was convincing to their hearers that their message indeed was from God. 

Is there anything in the Bible concerning wealth?  If you could give me a direction in the Bible to start I'd really appreciate it.

There are several references to wealth and those who had wealth. The scriptures never condemn having wealth or making all the money one can honestly make, they do, however, condemn making wealth one's main goal in life. Joseph of Arimathaea was a rich man who assisted in the burial of Jesus and gave his own hewn sepulcher for Jesus' burial and we nowhere find him condemned for his wealth (Matthew 27:57-61; Mark 15:42-47; John 19:38-42). The rich young
ruler, however, stands condemned because he loved his riches more than God (Matthew 19:16-26; Mark 10:17-27; Luke 18:18-27). In Luke 16:19-31 we find a rich man going to hell, not because he was wealthy but because he
apparently placed more importance on his wealth and what it could do for him than he did in serving God.

What does the bible say about gossiping.  Explanation with the scriptures will do.

The term "gossip" is not found in the scriptures, but other words meaning the same are found such as talebearer and tattler. The evil of talebearing is found in such passages as Leviticus 19:16; Proverbs 11:13; 18:8; 20:19; 26:20,22 and tattler is found in 1 Timothy 5:13. In all these passages the evil of such is pointed out.

What was the sign and significance of God's covenant with Abraham?

The sign of God's covenant with Abraham was circumcision of all of Abraham's male descendants through his son Isaac. This was the sign of the fleshly covenant with Abraham that through his seed all nations of the earth would be blessed. In Galatians 3:16 the apostle Paul writes, "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to thy seeds which are many; but as of one, And to thy seed which is Christ.

Where was the tabernacle located when Israel was encamped or en route?

The tabernacle was located in the middle of the camp of the Israelites wherever they were encamped on their journey to Canaan. In the forty years they were in the wilderness they encamped in many places and the tabernacle was always set up in the midst of the camp.

I know the Father Son and Holy Spirit are the same but different. We are to pray to the Father through Jesus Christ his son. He will sit on the right hand of the Father in heaven. But yet, I've been told that they are the same?  How can this be?

Also, we are made in the image of God, but he is a Spirit?  Does he have facial and bodily features as we do? When he walked in the cool of the evening in Genesis - does it  mean that he had a body?

God the Father, the Holy Spirit, and the Christ are not the same. They are three different personalities and they are not described as the same but they are described as being one. That is there is perfect unity and harmony among them, they are one in design, purpose and essence. We know that husband and wife are one yet they are two distinct personalities. While they are two individuals they are one flesh. When a marriage is consummated in the sexual relationship they become one. So think of the relationship of the Godhead as three different personalities, yet they are one and work in perfect harmony together..

To be made in the image of God did not mean that man was made to look like God. God is Spirit (John 4:24,25) and a spirit cannot not be seen by the naked eye. We are in the image of God in that we are eternal spirits and immortal souls just as God is. We have certain qualities similar to those of God but not in the same measure. We have intellect, we have creative ability for example look at all the things man has invented due to such ability, however, we cannot create something from nothing like God did, but there is creative ability. These are things in which we are in the image of God and not physical appearance because God is not physical.

As to God walking the Garden, apparently the Almighty assumed some form analogous to the human form which was made in His image. It was certainly within God's power to take the form of some creature that was visible to the human eye. We gather from the description of the occasion we assume he took the form of man but we are not told that Adam and Eve saw him but rather heard His voice as He moved through the garden. Since they realize now that they have sinned they are trying to hide from him, but try as they might they were found out and had to explain their actions. Such language is probably used in order for man to be able to more easily comprehend what has taken place.

Are there saved people in denominational churches such as the Baptists?

People get into most denominations by joining on their own volition. The saved folks are those who have heard the Word of God (Romans 10:17), they believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (Acts 8:26-40 note especially verses 36 & 37), they have repented of their sins (Acts 2:37,38) and they have been baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16). When one has done all these things the Lord adds him to the church (Acts 2:41, 47). Read also Romans 6:1-4, 16,17; Galatians 3:26,27. After one has been saved from past sins one has to continue faithfully in the Lord's service to
be saved eternally. Baptists do not baptize for the remission of sins. In fact they ask a candidate if God for Christ's sake has pardoned him of his sins and if the candidate answers in the affirmative then the church votes on the "saved" person as to whether he can join the church and if they vote in the affirmative they will then set a date on which they will baptize the individual into the Baptist church because he has already been saved from his/sins. This process is foreign to the scriptures.

To continue faithfully in the Lord's service one must live soberly, righteously and godly (Titus 2:11,12). This would include worshipping regularly, and properly according to the scriptures (John 4:24,25). There is no scriptural authority for the use of mechanical instruments of music in worship. We are told to sing , but we are not told to play and sing (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16). God desires expression from the human heart not an entertainment session. God's plan for worship does not require a skill based on talent. Scriptural worship also requires partaking of the Lord's Supper (communion) every Lord's day (Acts 20:7). Read also 1 Corinthians 11:23-29.

Study these scriptures and others and you will have no trouble determining where the true Christians are found.

I am having a hard time with the fact that my half brother married my father's niece.  My half brother was raised by my mother and father living in the same household as us. We all was very close and his last name was changed to my father's name when he was just three years old.  Is it scriptural for him to be married to our first cousin.  Even though he isn't a blood relative he was raised that way. This was very hurtful for our entire family.  We continue to talk but it is a strain.  My mother has taken the attitude that we have to just accept them now as husband and wife. The bad thing is that they have a little girl that is my niece and cousin not to mention that she is our father's granddaughter/niece. I can find peace with all this if I know it isn't against God word.

As long as the marriage does not violate your state law, then there is not a problem. Abraham was married to his half sister. There is no regulation given in the scripture about close kin marriage. The only thing even akin to such was the case where a man in Corinth had taken his father's wife (apparently his stepmother), and Paul reprimanded the church severely for apparently approving this situation and said such immorality was not even found among the heathen Gentiles (1 Corinthians 5:1-8). From what you indicate about this situation we see no violation of scripture.

We have a radio choir that perform at different singing engagements, the Labor Day Lectureship, and sometime for our congregation after worship service. This seems to send a mixed message to the world but the Church is saying that since this isn't during worship service it is ok for the choir to perform for us. My understanding is that we all should sing and that anything praising God is worship; also are ceremonies honoring the minister and other groups ok.

It is the opinion of this respondent that as long as the group singing is doing so without instrumental accompaniment there is no sin in singing for a group outside of the worship service. Such singing can go a long way in showing the public that one does not have to have instrumental music to accompany singing. In fact it speaks loudly in demonstrating the
unsurpassed beauty of the human voice. Such singing can serve to teach as well as encourage and comfort the hearer. If such is a sin it would be a sin anytime one sings a religious song in private. We often sing to ourselves when we are happy and quite often these songs are religious songs, take a look at James 5:13 which indicates a singular individual singing
which would not apparently be in the worship service.

As to having ceremonies honoring ministers or various groups, we see no problem with this if they are not a part of the worship. However, there would be nothing wrong even in the worship to commend someone for the good they have done, but as to having special ceremonies in the worship we believe this may be putting men above the Lord to whom all our worship is to be directed. Much of this is going to be determined by the manner in which such recognition is given.

Is it ok for a husband and wife to decide because the wife bring in more income than the husband for him to give up his job and take care of the home and children.

In the situation involving a man and his wife and their living arrangements, that is to be for them to decide. If they are both comfortable with the husband staying at home and managing the household while the wife works then we cannot condemn the practice. If such is going to cause a problem in their relationship then it should not be done. The family is being provided for and if there are children at home they are being cared for by a loving parent rather than being placed under someone else's care. This is a private matter for the family involved to determine whether or not it is expedient.

I need clarification of church leadership i.e. Elders and Preachers.  Does a preacher function the same as an Elder.  We have a situation where preachers are functioning in dual roles.  Members are told that if there is a church meeting and outside counsel is sought that the leadership will not sanction this, and if members attend this meeting it will be viewed as creating a division in the church.

No, preachers do not function as elders unless they have been appointed elders by the church. If they have been appointed to the Eldership then they would function in dual roles, however, as the preacher he would still have to serve in that capacity at the will of the other elders. Brethren should settle all their differences within the church and not go to court before non-believers (1 Corinthians 6:1-11).

If someone invites God into their heart, then a few years later still believes in God but does not live a life pleasing to God and doesn't claim to be a Christian anymore...would they go to hell even though they truly gave their life to God at one point in time?

One has to be faithful to God until death not just for a little while.  Revelation 2:10

Please I want to understand the meaning of 1Cor.15:1,7,29

In 1 Corinthians 15:1 Paul is simply reminding them of the gospel he had previously preached which they had believed and were presently following was indeed the truth of God. In verse 7 is referring the appearances of Jesus after he was resurrected from the dead and before he ascended into heaven.  The James referred to in this verse is apparently his half-brother (son of Mary and Joseph) the same James that wrote the Epistle of James. His brothers had not believed upon him before his death and resurrection but afterward apparently two of them became firm believers in him as the Christ.
Those two were James and Jude. Verse 29 has proven to be a difficult passage for scholars everywhere but it seems the probable interpretation is as follows: The apostle is referring to baptism as administered to all believers. This is the most common opinion and it is the most simple.  According to this, it means that they had been baptized with the hope and
expectation of a resurrection of the dead. They had received this as one of the leading doctrines of the gospel when they were baptized. It was a part of their full and firm belief that the dead would rise.

The argument according to this interpretation is that this was an essential article of the faith of a Christian; that it was embraced by all; that it constituted a part of their very profession; and that for any one to deny it was to deny that which entered into the very foundation of the Christian faith. It they embraced a different doctrine, if they denied the doctrine of the resurrection, they struck a blow at the very nature of Christianity, and dashed all the hopes which had been cherished and expressed at their baptism. And what could they do? What would become of them? What would be the destiny of all who were thus baptized? Was it to be believed that all their hopes at baptism were vain and that they would all perish? As such a belief could not be entertained, the apostle infers that, if they held to Christianity at all, they must hold to this doctrine as part of their very profession. According to this view, the phrased "for the dead" means, with reference to the dead; with direct allusion to the condition of the dead, and their hopes; with a belief that the dead will rise.

My wife has filed for legal separation because "trust" has been lost or damaged in our marriage. I have not had an affair or been unfaithful to my wife of 16 years. The separation includes decisions on child custody and division of assets therefore I plan on seeking a divorce. Assuming that a miracle does not happen and my wife and I are not reconciled am I free to re-marry from a biblical perspective?

No, neither you nor she would be permitted to marry again since fornication has not been committed by either party. Matthew 19:9. The only time one has a right to marry again after a divorce is when one's spouse has been unfaithful, then the innocent victim has a right to remarry. The guilty party never has the right to remarry. If neither party has been unfaithful then both parties in the divorce must remain single.

If a wife divorces her husband for the cause of fornication, does she have the right to remarry her former husband?

That depends. Was she scripturally divorced from the first husband? If not she did not have the right to contract a second marriage. Did the first husband marry again after the divorce? If the first marriage was dissolved because of fornication only the innocent party could have remarried. If the first marriage ended for some other cause, her first husband would be the only person to whom she could be married. If the first husband married again and had scriptural right to marry then he would not be allowed to remarry his first wife unless his second spouse had been unfaithful. So you see it is not a simple question to answer, not knowing the variables. If the first marriage was dissolved on other grounds other than fornication she could remarry the first husband because in God's sight that is her only proper spouse.

When we die, are we sleeping until Christ returns on the last day or do we go to heaven or hell immediately? I don't find where it specifically answers that.

We believe the account found in Luke 16:19-31 gives about the best concise explanation that can be found. You will note that the rich man following his death and burial was very conscious in torment. Lazarus was at rest in Abraham's bosom. Abraham's bosom is apparently the resting place of the righteous awaiting the final awarding of eternal life in heaven. You will note he is not sleeping but is enjoying good things. The rich man is not sleeping but is in torment and he is already suffering before final sentence is passed by the supreme judge. Both of these men are receiving a foretaste
of what is to be theirs for eternity. Do not be misled by the usual reference to this as a parable. We believe it is an actual occurrence.  Note it is nowhere called a parable in the scriptures, and it describes actual people and definite destinations. For obvious reasons the rich man's name is not mentioned. For a similar comparison for illustrative purposes only consider the county jail is just a foretaste of what the state penitentiary is like and the foyer of a mansion or palace is but a foretaste of the grandeur of the rest of the abode.

I have been a member of the Lord's church for almost three years now, but I still have many questions and concerns. One question is about song groups. Is it scriptural to have a singing group that sings outside of the regular worship services but at other events and programs in the church? Also, I have been concerned about the issues on which I am not clear on, or those that I have not studied about yet. If I am displeasing to God, or practicing something unscriptural but am not aware of it, am I still held accountable? What does the Bible teach about these concerns?

We see no problem with a singing group performing at some church sponsored activities outside of the worship services. For instance at a dinner honoring teachers or other faithful workers we would see no problem with a quartet or chorus performing, but they should not be performing for a worship service as all are instructed to sing and praise God. Entertainment is one thing and worship is another. The only times one might be forgiven for ignorant actions is apparently when one is walking in the light or truth of God's Word and commits some sin of which he or she is ignorant and the
blood of Christ automatically cleanses one of the sin. (1 John 1:7). On the other hand there is no mention of not being held accountable for teaching error. This is one reason that Paul told Timothy to study to show himself approved unto God as a workman that needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing ( or handling aright) the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

You stated on your website that there are errors in the NIV. Could you elaborate on that please? I'm not sending this email as a refutation of your statement, but rather out of curiosity.

There are numerous perversions of the scripture in the NIV and we do not have the time or space to do a thorough analysis of such with this e-mail.  I would recommend that you get the book, Challenging Dangers of Modern Versions by Robert R. Taylor, Jr. It can be ordered from Taylor Publications P. O. Box 464 Ripley, TN 38063

We will give just a couple of examples of some errors. In Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 the NIV says that no one should divorce his wife "except for marital unfaithfulness." In the KJV and the ASV both have fornication here. The Greek word is porneia and means "Prostitution, unchastity, fornication, of every kind of unlawful intercourse" (including sodomy). The NIV is a much weaker and less accurate rendering of the Greek original. The NIV has this untenable rendering in Acts 2:31, "Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body undergo decay." The spirit of Jesus did not go into the grave when Joseph and Nicodemus buried him late that Friday afternoon, the day of his crucifixion; it went into Hades and the very part of the Hadean realm known as Paradise or Abraham's bosom. (Luke 16:22; 23:43) There are numerous other errors you can read about in the book recommended.

I am deeply confused as to which religion I belong to. My dad is a Jew and my mother is a Roman Catholic, however I find myself drawn to the Christian religion. I feel awkward being in a catholic setting but I feel at home in a Christian setting. I believe in God and in Jesus. I just don't understand my religious beliefs yet. Is there anything wrong with having three different religions?

We can understand somewhat your confusion because of your attachment to your parents and your innate desire to be acceptable to both, however, your chief responsibility is to yourself and your own salvation. Jesus taught that we
are to love God more than family (Matthew 10:37). Your need is to search the scriptures, especially the New Testament. The application of the Old Testament scriptures came to an end with the death of Jesus on the cross (Colossians 2:14). With the end of the Law of Moses came the New Testament (Law of Christ) which applies to the present age. You will not find the Catholic church mentioned in the scriptures, but you will find the church spoken of frequently. Jesus spoke extensively about His church that would be forthcoming after His death (Matthew 16:18). Oh, by the way when Jesus
told Peter, "upon this rock I will build my church" he was not saying he would build it on Peter, rather on the truth Peter had just confessed that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God. We know He was not referring to Peter when He said, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church;..." because the word for Peter in the Greek is Petros which is masculine in gender and means a small stone. The word translated rock in this passage is from the Greek word Petra which is feminine in gender and means a ledge of rock. That ledge of rock is the fact that Jesus is the Son of the living God Peter had just confessed. We will be happy to assist you in further study of the Word of God and your pursuit of Christianity.  You are on the right track and we pray you will that you will find your home in the family of the Lord.

Taking these text into consideration Isa.65: 17, Isa.66 :22, Rev .21 :1 ,  Please explain 2 Pet.3 :13. I this a promise of a new heaven & a new earth.

All of the references cited are speaking of the new dwelling place that will be enjoyed by the saved in eternity. He has to speak to man in terms man understands. Man has always known the earth as his dwelling place and it is situated under the heavens (the sun, moon, stars, clouds, etc. Man could not conceive of any other type dwelling place so the abode of the righteous in eternity is referred to as the new heavens and the new earth. John, in Revelation 21:1 saw vision of what that abode was and thus spoke of it and he also mentions that the former abode of man existed no more and in the new
abode there was no sea as had been known before the end of time. When Peter writes in 2 Peter 3:13 he is looking forward to that new dwelling place where there will be no more sin and righteousness will reign supremely.

I am currently going through a situation where I want to join a new church where I believe God wants me. My mother has forbidden me to go. I want to know if any where in the bible does it say for parents to let go and let their child (21) live their life.

Is it anywhere in the bible that a particular church is not for everyone.

You are an adult by all standards (at least in age) and it is high time that you stand on your own feet. There is no place in the Bible telling parents to let go, but by this time in your life you should be able to make your own decisions. If you are still living at home with mother, especially if she or your parents are providing food and shelter you may have a hard time
living your own life. You need to get out on your own and learn to live independently now or you will be a social and emotional cripple the rest of your life. The moving out may be painful, but it is necessary if you have not already done so, or if you are not able to support yourself.

As to the church you choose that is entirely up to you, but I would urge you to study the scriptures to see what the New Testament teaches about the Lord's church. I would urge you to investigate the churches of Christ as their goal is to teach and practice only that which is in accord with the Word of God. They have no man made creeds or church manuals, there is no earthly hierarchy because Christ is their king and also the head of the church. If you want more information about the churches of Christ you can obtain such from this website.