Is the fig tree mentioned in Matthew 24:32 referring to Israel's  rebirth which happened in 1948?  Was Jesus further saying that the generation that saw Israel's rebirth would be the same to see everything fulfilled?

No, the fig tree in the passage has no reference to the re-establishment of a Jewish state. When men see the tender shoot of the fig tree putting forth they know that Spring is nigh. When men see the symptoms which Jesus has described, they will recognize that changes are coming as to the nature of which they can only guess. But the Christian is informed that these changes indicate the second coming of the Son of God--a change from a worse to a better season. Jesus' statement about the generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled seems to simply indicate that Jewish family or race shall be preserved until Christ comes again. In other words they would not be swallowed up and no longer exist as a race or family until these things came to pass.


Will family members be together in heaven? and what about in Zech. I think ch. 14 talking about the Lord's feet coming down on the mount of olives and it splits?  What is the seventieth week of Daniel?

Little is said in the scriptures about earthly family members and their relationship in heaven. We do note that the scriptures teach that there is no marriage or giving in marriage in heaven. It appears that we will not be so concerned about the earthly relationships we had while alive on earth, but we will be recognizing each other in heaven according to spiritual qualities. It will be our brothers and sisters in Christ that will be so important to those who reach heaven. As to Zechariah 14 it appears that the passage cited (14:4) is a figure of speech (simile) having reference to the second coming of Christ and the deliverance of the righteous from the wicked forces of Satan. The reference in Daniel I suppose is chapter 9, verse 24. If so this appears to referring again to the coming of Christ at the end of time in likeness to the return of the exiles from Babylon after 70 years of captivity. The terms seven and ten are both used in apocalyptic writings signifying perfection and completion. Thus it appears to signify that after the completion of time Christ comes to rescue the believers and to sanctify the temple (his people as indicated in 1 Corinthians 3).

I want to know all about Psalm 67;1-5

Psalm 67 is supposed to have been written at the return from the Babylonish captivity, and to foretell the conversion of the Gentiles to Christianity. The prayer for their salvation is very energetic. Verse l. {God be merciful unto us}Show the Jewish people thy mercy, bless them in their bodies and souls and give a full evidence of thy approbation. Verse 2. {That thy way may be known} That thy will, thy gracious designs towards the children of men, thy way of reconciling them to thyself, or justifying the ungodly, and sanctifying the unholy, may be known to all the nations upon the earth! God's way is God's religion; what he walks in before men; and in which men must walk before Him. A man's religion is his way of worshipping God, and going to heaven. The whole Gospel is called this way, Acts 19:9 {Thy saving health} "thy salvation." The great work which is performed in God's way, in destroying the power, pardoning the guilt, cleansing from the infection, of all sin; and filling the soul with holiness, with the mind that was in Christ. Let all nations--the whole Gentile world, know that way, and this salvation! Verse 3. {Let the people praise thee} When this is done, the people--the Gentiles, will praise thee; all will give thanks to God for his indescribable gift. Verse 4. {Glad and sing for joy} They shall be made happy in thy salvation. Even their political state shall be greatly meliorated; for God will be acknowledged the supreme Judge; their laws shall be founded on His word; and the nations of the earth shall be governed according to judgment, justice, and equity. {Selah} This is true. There are innumerable facts to confirm it. All the nations who have received the Gospel of Christ have been benefited politically, as well as spiritually, by it. Verse 5. {Let the people praise thee} Seeing the abundance of the blessings which the Gentiles were to receive, he calls again and again upon them to magnify God for such mercies.

I know that there is a scripture that says that God will not give us more than we can bare, but I can not find it.

We believe that 1 Corinthians 10:13 is the verse you have in mind. The word temptation can mean trials or enticements to do evil. It is a promise to Christians and it simply means that God is not going to allow us to have more placed upon us than we are able to handle.


Does the practice or study of Feng Shui go against Christian beliefs?

From what we know about Feng Shui, we do not see that it contradicts Christianity, however, we see no need for it in the Christian's life.  We cannot see anything that it does for an individual that Christianity does not do.  This is something practiced my non-Christian cultures, and not cultures rooted in Christianity.

If someone claims they are a Christian and say they constantly pray and ask for forgiveness, but they do not live like Christ at all and are depressed to the point that they take medication for it. How can I, as a Christian, help this person?

You ask a good and hard question. Anytime we deal with someone being treated with medical depression we act with kid gloves. I guess my advice
would be to read 1 John. It is a great book dealing with the fact that one must continue to live for God and not continue to live in sin. Maybe you
could get your friend to agree to read it with you. I have a friend that we read the Bible together and then discuss it. This might be a great way to do
this. I usually read from the New King James or New American Standard Version but would suggest reading 1 John from the NIV they have the best
translation of this book and help making it very clear that one cannot continue in sin and say they are God's child.

What is the true understanding and meaning of Epiphany that falls on January 6? Is it the date the wise men supposedly arrived to the Christ child or the date the Eastern Orthodox celebrates Christmas or both?

The word "Epiphany" means the "manifestation" of Christ. As a festival it is not of Biblical origin. As a human tradition it has taken on various meanings including the appearance of the wise men, the birth of Christ, the baptism of Christ, the first miracle at the wedding at Cana, etc. It is generally thought that originally it celebrated both the birth and baptism of Jesus. Since the 300's more attention has been given to the meeting of the side men with the infant Jesus.

God's relationship with Moses. Knowing that he disobeyed God by hitting rock for water instead of speaking to rock, how do you explain his punishment of not going into the promised compared to Abraham, Noah, Jacob, etc. all disobeying God, too, but seemed to have received many blessings. I teach a class and it always saddens me when I read this part about Moses... It is assumed that he asked for forgiveness...I know he was a better person after having all the years of experience being God's best friend.  Just need something to help explain this...THANKS!

Moses' relationship with God remained strong and God regarded Moses as a faithful servant. Moses simply paid the physical consequence for his
disobeying God. Certainly Moses received forgiveness and his failure to enter Canaan in no way hindered his entrance into the real promised land of
heaven. He went home to be with God (a permanent rest) which is far better than entering Canaan, a temporal rest at the very best. God instructs man
in what to do, and when he fails to obey he pays a certain price for his disobedience even though he may be forgiven. If I were to kill someone in a
fit of rage, and then I later repented and got forgiveness that would not keep me from having to suffer the physical consequences of punishment in
some fashion. Receiving forgiveness simply removes the offense as a hindrance in getting into heaven. Moses appeared at the transfiguration of
Jesus and he is also described in Hebrews chapter three as being faithful unto God. All the other men you mentioned paid a price for their
transgressions, however, they went on to lead lives of obedience and went home to eternal rest. The fact that these men made mistakes and could go on
to eternal rest is a great encouragement to me as I struggle with the temptations and tribulations of life. I do not look at Moses' failure to
enter Canaan as such a great tragedy, after all he graduated to glory.

Do you think that it is ok to throw out fleeces in today's time, if so, does it question ones faith?  If not, should there be "guidelines" (so to speak) like Gideon had?

This is a rather difficult question to answer. We live in a different age and God does not communicate with us in the Christian age as he did in ancient times (Hebrews 1:1,2). God sent an angel to communicate his will to Gideon, but today he speaks to us only through His Word. Gideon was not trusting his own understanding and thus wanted reassurance that God was going to work through him to accomplish the huge task before him. God today does not work through signs and wonders as His will has been recorded in what we know as the New Testament. 

It is proper for us to ask God to guide, sustain and bless us, but he does not perform through signs and miracles today. Read 1Cor. 13:9,10 and 2 Timothy 3:16,17. The reference in 1Cor. 13 indicates that the miraculous would end when that which was perfect had come and in the 2 Timothy reference we note the scriptures furnish us completely unto every good work. Until the Word was completely revealed God proved his message through men originated with Him by empowering his messengers to speak in languages with which there were not familiar and also perform other miracles which would prove that the message they were preaching came from God. 

1) What is the Anointing?
2) What does it mean to enter God's Rest?

I may need more information in regard to the first question. Is there a specific passage of scripture that you need explained in reference to the anointing? Anointing was a common practice among the ancients and it was not always the same. Sometimes a person was anointed with oil (olive oil) usually indicating approval, the imparting of a blessing, or as a healing gesture. When the woman anointed Jesus with the precious ointment of spikenard it was an act of love and appreciation and Jesus said she had
anointed him for his burial John 12:1-9). In 1John 2:27 (King James Version) the anointing had reference to the miraculous gift of the Holy Spirit upon some early Christians such as the apostles that we find recorded in Acts chapter 2. So the anointing could mean various things at various times.

The second question, (What does it mean to enter into God's rest?) simply means to go home to dwell with God in heaven when one passes from this life.  I hope this helps you. If you need more information I will try to be of assistance.

What was David and Bathsheba’s son’s name?

Actually, Bathsheba bore five sons to David. The first one, the child born of the adulterous relationship, died shortly after birth, and we have no record of his name, 2 Samuel 11:27. The other four were Solomon, Shimea, Shobab, and Nathan, 2 Chronicles 3:5.

I'm trying to find the Bible passage where satan rebels against God and is cast out of heaven with his followers. I cannot find it, can you help?

There is no such passage in the scriptures, the only information in the scriptures concerning the fall of Satan is found in Luke 10:18; John 12:31
and 2 Peter 2:4.

Probably what you have in mind is John Milton's Paradise Lost in which theorizes that Satan rebelled against God, lusting for the power of God and
is cast out of heaven. That is possibly true but the Bible does not tell us what caused him to be cast out of heaven. We know that he was an angel of
God that encountered the wrath of God and was cast out. I hope this has proven helpful.

The Palestinians say that the land in Israel belongs to them-that they lived there before Israel.  It seems to me that it is clear in scripture that the thing that matters most is that God has given them the responsibility of the land but that the land belongs to Him alone

As far as occupancy of the land of Israel is concerned the Jews occupied the land long before the Arabs began to live there. The Arab world came into possession of the land long after Rome destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D. which marked the end of Jewish occupancy for centuries. You are right that all the earth is the Lord's and we are only temporary inhabitants. Someone else will claim it is theirs after we are gone.

Where is the scripture in the bible that talks about the fact that their would be people among us with mental retardations and that we were to accept them it really didn't talk about it in that manner but to sum it all up it if I'm not mistaken said that..

I have never heard of any such passage of scripture in the Bible. Of course we are to accept them because they are human beings and are eternal souls just like everyone else. There is no place for discrimination against such persons in the life of a Christian. They are made in the image of God just like any other human being. Being made in the image of God does not refer to what we look like, but rather to the fact that we have intellect, and our spirits or souls are eternal even as He is eternal.

How do you truly forgive someone, and move on in your spiritual life with Jesus.

First of all do question or doubt the sincerity of the one seeking forgiveness. When you can feel they are genuinely wanting forgiveness then forgive and put out of your mind as a matter of offense. You must forget it as a matter of offense and press on in your relationship with that person.  The only way that it is to be remembered in the future is as a matter that has been properly disposed of and is no longer a wall separating you and the other party.

We must do this if we expect to get forgiveness from God.  Think about how much God has to forgive you and he does not get impatient with us but keeps on forgiving as we need it. You may need to pray to God to help you in your forgiving if you are finding it difficult to forgive another. Study the Word and learn to forget the wrongs for which someone has asked forgiveness.

Who was Caleb and where can I find references to him?

There are three Caleb’s referred to in the Bible. The first and best known is Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, Numbers 13:6. He was one of the twelve spies. He believed the people could go in and take the land, Numbers 13:30. Six times it is said that he followed the Lord fully, Num. 14:24; 32:12; Deut. 1:36; Josh. 14:8, 9, 14. Caleb and Joshua were the only two of their generation who entered the Promised Land. He asked for the hill country at age 85, and he conquered it. Caleb was truly one of God’s faithful servants.

How old was sarai (Sarah) when she had Issac?

From Genesis 17:17 we see that she would be ninety years old when Isaac is born. "Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, ‘Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?’"

How long did the plagues last in Egypt?

We are not told how many days or weeks transpired during the time of the plagues, we only know there were ten plagues but no time span is given.

What do you believe the nature of the kingdom is? Based on that, do congregations have any business involving themselves in things like banquets, "interdenominational" bible bowls, etc.?

The kingdom is a spiritual entity composed of those persons who have rendered obedience to the gospel of Christ through faith, repentance, confession of faith and baptism. See Mark 16:15,16; Matthew 28:18-20; 10:32; Romans 6:3,4; Acts 2:38-41,47; Matthew 16:16-19; Colossians 1:13. The preceding passages indicate what is necessary to become a Christian and that process places one in the church which is used synonymously with the word kingdom. As to being involved with banquets yes and no; from all that we can determine by ancient writings and in 1 Corinthians 11 they did have love feasts at that time. 

The problem in 1 Corinthians 11 was that they were abusing it. If the church under the guidance of the elders has such to deepen fellowship and benefit the body (the church) as a whole I would see no problem with it. If it is to merely to entertain or to fellowship denominations we should have no part in it. If individuals in the church decide to have a banquet or feast they are at liberty to invite whomever they wish but still things should be done in keeping with Christian conduct and never to give approval to denominationalism of false doctrine. No, we should never be involved in interdenominational Bible bowls.

When is Christ coming back for his followers?

We do not know when Christ will come again. "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."  Matthew 24:36. There is a purpose for our not knowing so that we might live in a constant state of readiness for his coming whenever it occurs.

Who helped Joseph bury Jesus' body in the tomb?

Nicodemus was the one who helped Joseph of Arimathea bury Jesus. John 19:39.

Can a Christian be a policeman?

I see no problem with a Christian being a policeman. It is an honorable profession and service to all mankind. Romans chapter 13 indicates that the Christian is subject to the government and that government is ordained of God. This was written by the apostle Paul when the Roman government was oppressive but he still urged Christians to be subject to the higher powers namely government. If government is ordained of God to punish evil doers and protect the law abiding what can be wrong with a Christian serving that government in punishing crime and protecting the good. What we need is more policemen who are Christians and then we would not have so much abuse of human rights in that area of activity. 

David loved Jonathon as much as he loved what?

In 1 Samuel 18:1 The scriptures say that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. From all indications this love was reciprocated by David. When Jonathan was killed David said, "How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! O Jonathan, thou wast slain in thine high places. I am distressed for thee, by brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women." (2 Samuel 1:25,26)

What happened to the two lost tribes of Israel?

To my knowledge there are no lost tribes of Israel. The two tribes that remained after the ten northern tribes rebelled against Rehoboam were Judah and Benjamin which became known as the nation of Judah. They were carried away into Babylonian captivity over a hundred years after the ten northern tribes were over run and absorbed by Assyria. 

The Jews who desired to do so were able to return to Judea seventy years later and remained fairly well intact until Jerusalem was totally destroyed in 70 A.D. by the Romans. They ceased to exist as a nation at that time and there was no Jewish nation from that time until they were given a homeland in 1948 and the present day Israel was established. As far as two lost tribes of Israel, that is a misnomer. There is no record of such in the scriptures of reliable secular history.

Could you please explain the significance of the three gifts brought to Jesus by the magi?

The incident is found in Matthew’s record of the birth of Christ. "And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh." (Matthew 2:11) Origin said the men brought "gold, as to a king; myrrh, as to one who was mortal; and incense, as to God." Some have suggested that they speak of Jesus’ kingship, His divinity, and His suffering. 

However, it must be noted that whether there was that much significance to the gifts scripture does not reveal for us. Gold was used both in worship to God and for common things such as bracelets. Frankincense, a gum-resin from trees common to southern Arabia, was used in temple offerings, as well as for embalming, fumigation, and medicines. Myrrh, also a gum-resin, was used in cosmetics, incense, body oil, and for embalming. 

How much these men may have known of Jesus we can only surmise. Also, these were standard gifts from the east and the giving of them fit eastern practices. And, there would be a practical need for them in the upcoming journey into Egypt. Perhaps the significance is in the fact that this is the first of many offerings of worship to Jesus, and in this we are shown what our own attitude toward the Lord should be.

If Jesus died on the cross and took the Old Covenant out of the way, and the church was established on the day of Pentecost 50 days later, what law were the people under between that time? In other words, what law was in effect between the time Jesus died on the cross and the church was established?

Colossians 2:14 is the verse that states that the old law was nailed to the cross and taken out of the way, "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross." Hebrews 9:16-17 makes it clear that it is with the death of the person making a will that that will comes into effect, "For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth." 

To understand these two passages in connection with the Law of Moses one must realize that the terms and conditions of a will do not become binding until it is read when those terms and conditions are made known. Things would continue as before until that time. An individual might be left a chair in a will. But that individual could not take possession of that chair until: 

1) the person making the will died and: 

2) the will was read, making known the intentions for the chair to go to that specific person. The same would be true for the law of Christ. Jesus died on the cross and the new law, or covenant, took the place of the previous one. However, the terms and conditions were not made known until the day of Pentecost. Therefore the Law of Moses would have been in effect until that time.

How long was Absalom’s hair?

 The length of Absalom's hair is not given.  Reference to its bounteousness is made in 2 Samuel 14:25-26.  There it is said that he cut his hair once a year, weighed it, and made a record of its weight.  Estimates as to its weight have ranged from 3 and 1/2 to 4 pounds all the way up to 5 and 1/2 pounds.  Many think that it was the length of Absalom's hair that would lead to his downfall and death.  However, 2 Samuel 18:9 merely says that he was caught by his head in the thick branches of an oak tree.  It is possible, though, that it was his hair that became so entangled that he was unable to free himself, and found hanging in such a fashion Joab would kill him.  Pride and rebellion against God were his true downfall, and will still bring men and women to ruin today.

In Matthew 24:2 (as well as Mark 13:2 and Luke 21:6) the Bible says that as Jesus was leaving the temple grounds, his disciples pointed out to Him the various temple buildings.  But He told them, “Do you see all these buildings?  I assure you, they will be so completely demolished that not one stone will be left on top of another.”  My question is, what about the Wailing Wall?  Isn’t that a part of the original building?

Some commentators view Jesus' words as "prophetic hyperbole," or exaggeration to make a very strong point.  Jesus was saying that the very thing that the people had trusted in would one day be utterly destroyed; something that at one time had been totally unthinkable.  The Lord really is making a very strong point, however, His words did come true.  The Lord was not impressed with the beauty of the temple, as His disciples thought He might be.  What had unfortunately happened was that the Jews had come to trust in the temple itself, not in the God who was worshiped in the temple.  Jeremiah 7:4 alludes to this regarding the people of his day.  Their thinking was something along this line.  God is in the temple.  The temple is in Jerusalem.  Therefore nothing will ever happen to the temple or to Jerusalem.  They could live and worship any way they wanted to and would never be punished for it.  But they were wrong.  The temple was destroyed the first time in about 586 BC.  It would be destroyed again in 70 AD, which is what Jesus is referring to in Matthew 24:2, Mark 13:2 and Luke 21:6.  And, the temple was so destroyed that today scholars are not 100% sure of exactly where the temple stood on the temple mount.  What is now known as the Wailing Wall was not part of the temple itself, but a part of the temple enclosure.  So, the Lord's prophecy was totally accurate.

Is there a scripture about what people call “water witching” or “water dousing,” the practice of using peach tree limbs or wires to find water or for drilling a water well?

There is no mention of "water witching," "water dousing," or the use of a "divining rod" in the Bible.  The closest some might really stretch to try to find this practice would be Numbers 20:2-13.  The people are complaining because they have no water.  Moses is told to take his rod, go speak to the rock at Kadesh, and water will flow from it for the people.  However, instead of speaking to the rock as commanded, Moses strikes the rock twice and water gushes out.  It is because of this sin that Moses is not allowed to enter into the Promised Land.  However, in NO WAY can this be compared to the use of a divining rod.  Moses was told to speak, not strike with the rod.  How the ancients did find water is unknown to geologists today.  With the skills that we today know that they had, there may have been those who made a study of terrains, etc and were able to determine where a good place to find water would be.

Can you explain Galatians 5:22-23?

Paul is contrasting the works of the flesh with the fruit of the Spirit.  There are many works of the flesh, or sins that are very evident in the life of the person whose life is dominated by the flesh, or human desires that are allowed to go unchecked.  However, in the child of God the fruit of the Spirit, singular, is evident.  That the fruit is singular indicates that there is one Holy Spirit operating in the life of an individual, but this fruit is exhibited in various forms - love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.  Fruit, or harvest as some commentators might render the word, is what is normally produced by something.  An apple tree produces apples; and orange tree produces oranges.  These nine qualities are what will naturally be produced in the life of the individual as they feed upon, absorb and seek to live by the word of God, the means by which the Spirit works in the lives of individuals.

What is the significance of numbers used in the Bible?

 Numbers were used both conventionally and symbolically.  Some numbers, such as 3, 4, 7, 10, 12, 40, and 70, had both a sacred and a symbolic significance.  Three stood for the trinity and also gave emphasis to a thing, as in Ezekiel 21:27.  It also stood for the completeness of a thing - beginning, middle and end. 

Seven stands for the completeness of something.  The Book of Revelation is addressed to the seven churches of Asia and those churches are named.  However, there were several other churches in existence at the time Revelation was written.  One might infer from that then that the whole church needed the message of Revelation, that is, Satan is behind all of our problems in the world, both as individual Christians and as the church, but he has already lost the battle with God. 

Four was sacred perhaps because of the four cardinal directions, north, south, east and west.  Four and its multiples is used throughout the Bible. 

Six does not play as significant a role as other numbers, but its most notable occurrence is in Revelation 13:18 where it occurs as 666.  Some have tried to make this the "mark of the beats," but it is really the number of the beast. 

As seven stands for perfection, six falls short of perfection. To triple it, 666, is to raise evil to its nth degree and speaks of its ultimate doom and failure. 

One other number is 1,000.  This number has also garnered a lot of attention because of its appearance in Revelation 20:4.  It is taught by some that Christ will return to earth and reign for a literal 1,000 years with those who have been raised.  However, to take this number literally causes some problems.  In particular, this verse does not say Christ reigned on earth, and it says that those who are reigning with Christ are the ones who were beheaded for their faith.  If the number is a literal 1,000, then Jesus has to literally reign on the earth, which the verse does not say, and the only ones who can reign with Him are those who have been beheaded.  What about the faithful Christians who died in other ways, either by persecution or by natural causes?  Why are they left out of the reigning? If not, why not?  The number 1,000 here is figurative.  Psalm 50:10 says that the cattle on a thousand hills belong to God.  Does He own only the cattle on a thousand hills or does it all really belong to Him? 

Ten is a complete number; 1,000 is a high multiple of ten, signifying high completeness.  The reign of the faithful, all the faithful, is a complete one.  Their death for their faith or as a faithful one in no way diminishes the glory they will receive when Christ returns.  There are other numbers with significance but hopefully this will help you in your study.

What is or are hallel?

 The word hallel is Hebrew and means praise.  It occurs a number of times in the Old Testament.  There is also a group of psalms know as the “hallel psalms.”  They are given this designation because the word “hallelujah” occurs at the beginning and/or end and sometimes throughout the psalm.  A literal translation of this word would be hallel=praise ye, lu=the, jah=Lord, or praise ye the Lord.  There are a number of these psalms in the Book of Psalms, including Psalms 106 and 111-113.  The use of this term is a way of grouping some of the psalms as to type.  There are also several other types of psalms. 

1) There are alphabetic or acrostic psalms in which the first verse or line begins with the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet and each succeeding line or verse begins with the next letter. 

2) There are penitential psalms that express guilt and make a plea for deliverance. 

3) There are imprecatory psalms that are calls for vengeance through God’s justice on an enemy. 

4) There are psalms of degrees or ascents that were sung as Jewish worshipers made the trip up to Jerusalem for the annual feast days.  Knowing what type a psalm is can help one better understand its meaning.

What or who was Barak? 

Barak is an individual of whom we read in both the Old and New Testaments.  His name means “lightening.”   He was the son of Abinoam from the city of Kedesh, a city of refuge in the tribe of Naphtali.  Barak was called upon by the prophetess Deborah to lead the Israelite army against the Canaanite army led by Sisera.  God promised He would deliver Sisera and his army into Barak’s hands.  Barak also asked that Deborah accompany the army, which she did.  With God’s aid through the sending of a storm the Israelites attacked and soundly defeated the Canaanites.  The victory was celebrated with a song composed by both Barak and Deborah.  In the New Testament Barak’s name is found in Hebrews 11:32 where he is mentioned as being among God’s faithful whose faith moved them to obedient service to God.

What does it mean to “fear the Lord?”

 The word “fear” has two aspects to it.  On the one hand there is a reverence for God.  On the other hand there is a being afraid of God.  There are fifteen words that are used in the Old Testament that are translated fear.  There is only one in the New Testament.  1 Chronicles 16:30 is an example of the latter.  Here, as part of a psalm of thanksgiving, the people are told to fear God, the word meaning to be frightened.  Matthew 10:28 say this, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”  Proverbs 9:10, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” is an example of the former.  Living in reverence of God will eliminate being frightened of God.

Why do most folks go to church and call Sunday the day of rest?  The Bible says that God rested on the seventh day, and also that Jesus was in the tomb on the Sabbath and rose on Sunday.  When did this all change, or are the Jews the only ones who have kept the commandment to rest on the Sabbath? 

That God rested on the seventh day is true, Genesis 2:2.  God specified in the Ten Commandments that the Jews were to “remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,” Exodus 20:8-11.  Obviously because the Jews were God’s covenant people they would have been the only ones to follow such a practice.  The Sabbath was given to the Jews as a sign of their deliverance from bondage, Deuteronomy 5:12-15.  It was a sign between God and Israel, Exodus 31:12-17.  The end of the Sabbath was prophesied, Hosea 2:11.  And, with the death of Jesus on the cross the Law of Moses with its Sabbath observance did come to an end, Hebrews 8:6-9; Romans 7:1-7; 2 Corinthians 3:7-13; and Colossians 2:13-17. 

In addition, all the teachings of the New Testament point to the first day of the week, or Sunday as the day upon which Christians are to meet and worship God.  Jesus did arise from the dead on the first day of the week, Matthew 28:1-8.  Jesus appeared to the apostles on the first day of the week, John 20:19, 26.  The church was established on Pentecost, which was always on a first day of the week, Leviticus 23:15-16 and Acts 2.  The disciples met on the first day of the week, Acts 20:7 and 1 Corinthians 16:1-2.  Clearly, the Bible establishes the fact that it is the first day of the week, Sunday, and not the seventh day that Christians are to observe.

Can you give me a scripture that refers to either aliens or UFO’s?  If aliens are mentioned in the Bible, are they of God? 

Aliens and UFO’s are NOT referred to in the Bible.  There are some who claim that what Ezekiel saw when he wrote what he did in chapter 1 of his prophecy is an alien space ship, and it is one of the first visions of visitors from outer space to be recorded.  However, one has to ask what in the world would that have to do with the situation of the Jews about which Ezekiel was writing?  The book has four major sections,

1) chapters 1-24 say that Jerusalem must fall,

2) chapters 25-32 say that foreign nations must fall,

3) chapter 33 serves as a bridge between chapters 1-24 and chapters 34-48, and

4) chapters 34-48 say that Jerusalem and its people must be comforted.  To break it down more basically,

1) Jerusalem and Judah must suffer for their sins, and

2) Jerusalem and Judah may be comforted because there will be a return home.  This has nothing whatsoever to do with aliens or UFO’s.  Ezekiel very plainly says what he saw, a vision of the glory of the Lord, chapters 1:28 and 3:12, 23.  He uses apocalyptic or very highly figurative language to record that vision.  Ezekiel didn’t see aliens; he saw the glory of God!

Where in the bible does it speak of the " Priesthood " of the believer?

Those exact terms are not used to our knowledge, however in I Peter 2:5 he speaks of Christians being a holy priesthood and again in verse nine he refers to Christians as being a royal priesthood.

I want some information on the prophet Elijah and the king Ahab.

Elijah was one of the greatest of the prophets, a Tishbite who lived in Gilead (1 Kings 17:1). Little else is known of his origin. He appeared suddenly during the reign of Ahab (about 876-854 B.C.) to denounce the king and his wife, Jezebel, for their idolatry and crimes. His purpose was to save Israel from the worship of Baal. On Mount Carmel he succeeded in discrediting the 400 prophets of Baal by causing a fire to burn on a water-soaked altar (1 Kings 18:19-46). Following the scene of Mount Carmel, Elijah fled from the furious Jezebel to Mount Horeb, where, like Moses, he was divinely sustained for forty days (Ex.24:18,34:28; Deuteronomy 9:9,18; 1 Kings 19:8) The Lord rebuked him for leaving Israel and commanded him to return. When Naboth was murdered at the instigation of Jezebel, Elijah met Ahab and declared the judgments of God upon him (1Kings 21:1-29). Like Enoch, Elijah was translated to heaven without dying. this was on the east of the Jordan, Elisha was with him when he was carried away in a chariot and horses of fire (2 Kings 2:1-12).

I would like to know how long is four score and ten and any more information on the scores.

Could you please tell me also, what selah means.

A score is 20 years. 4 score and ten years is 90 years.

Selah means to pause. If reading poetry or music you would pause at these points.

It’s What does it mean to be left-handed?

 To be left-handed does not mean anything in particular.  Though in the eyes of an Israelite it was thought to be a physical defect, there is nothing to indicate it was a punishment from God or caused condemnation by God.  There are two instances mentioned in the Bible where people are spoken of as being left-handed.  Interestingly, in both instances the individuals are from the tribe of Benjamin.  The first of these is Ehud, Judges 3:15.  Then there are the 700 selected Benjamites who were extremely accurate with their slings, Judges 20:16.  There are several things in Scripture that might cause one to wonder, though.  For instance, in numerous passages Jesus is said to be at the right hand of God – Mark 14:62; 16:19; Hebrews 1:3; 8:1; 10:12; 12:2; 1 Peter 3:22; Acts 2:33; 7:55-56; Romans 8:34; Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 3:1. 

In addition, the right hand was considered to be the position of power or authority.  Also, at the judgment scene the goats who are separated from the sheep are put on the left, Matthew 25:33.  However, we must considered that this latter is merely a picture Jesus is painting for us of the judgment day and has nothing to do with a person’s being left-handed.  One should recall that when it was asked if James and John could have two prominent positions in the Lord’s kingdom, it was asked if they could be at His right hand and at His left hand, Matthew 20:23.  In addition, there are other instances in the Bible in which the left hand is mentioned in a positive way.  Thus, being left-handed is not anything of any negative consequence.

       I would like some information on the Dead Sea Scrolls.

 In 1947 an Arab was tending some goats in an area a few miles northwest of the Dead Sea.  He happened to be in a ravine known as Qumran when he discovered a cave.  As the story goes he threw a rock into the cave.  The rock hit something that sounded like a clay jar, and so he went to investigate.  What he discovered was a veritable library of ancient writings in Hebrew and Aramaic.  These “books” were leather rolls wrapped in cloth and stored in large clay jars.  Other caves in the same area were also explored and hundreds of additional documents were found.  The scrolls are believed to have belonged to a Jewish sect, probably Essenes, who lived in the area from about 100 BC to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.  Many of the writings dealt with the community, their beliefs, practices, and worship.  However, some of the writings contained quotations from the Old Testament books Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy and Judges, as well as fragments of commentaries on Micah, Nahum and Habakkuk.  These documents have been invaluable in confirming the accuracy of the translation of the Bible.  There are books available that contain additional information about the scrolls, as well as translations of the text.

What is election?

A very basic definition of election is that God has already determined, unalterably, from all eternity who will be saved and who will be lost.  This determination is made without regard to either faith and obedience or unbelief and disobedience.  This election and condemnation are irrevocable, unconditional and personal.  The word “elect” means to pick or to choose, and the verb is translated “choose” or “chose.”  There are several verses that can help one to see that the Bible teaches no such doctrine.  John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world…” – If God has already determined who will be saved He didn’t really love the world, only some in the world.  “That He gave His only begotten Son…” – Why have Jesus come into the world to die when it is already determined who will be saved and who will be lost?  That is silly, superfluous, and cruel to Christ.  “That whosoever believeth in Him…” – This is really not for “whosoever,” for that implies anyone and everyone, but only the “whosoever” God has chosen.  2 Peter 3:9 – “The Lord is…not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”  That’s not true according to the false doctrine of election.  If it has already been determined who will be saved and who will be lost, then God is willing that some should perish, and He doesn’t want all to come to repentance.  Romans 8:29 speaks of Christians being foreordained, but they are foreordained to be conformed “to the image of His son….”  If one will also carefully read 1 Peter 1:1-2 and 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 it can be seen that it is obedience that determines election, or one’s being chosen, and that is open to ALL, not just a select few.

If JESUS and his disciples/apostles quoted quite frequently from the Septuagint, why do we not use an English version of the Septuagint? Isn't it the oldest copy of the Old Testament we have, and shouldn't it be more accurate? I do see differences between the Septuagint and the versions we use based on the Masoretic text.

The English versions of the Old Testament are translations from the Septuagint. That was the only thing we had until the Dead Sea Scrolls were found which were written in Hebrew. These proved that the Septuagint was an
accurate translation from the ancient Hebrew. There are numerous English versions of the Old Testament that have been made to make it more readable to the reader. As you know the English language is a living therefore a
changing language. As words in the English change their meaning through usage it is necessary to see that the original message remains the same.

How many men did Moses send to spy on Canaan?

There were 12 spies sent into the land of Canaan.  You can read about it in the book of Numbers chapter 13.

In Hebrews, who is Melchizedek and what things did he do? Did Abraham give him 10% of his earnings?

We know very little about Melchizedek because the Bible reveals very little about him. References to Melchizedek are found in Genesis 14:18; Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 5:6, 10; Hebrews 6:20; and Hebrews 7:1, 10, 11, 15, 17, 21. In both Genesis 14:18 and Hebrews 7:1 he is described as king of Salem (Jerusalem) and a priest of the Most High God. When we first read of Melchizedek in Genesis it is the occasion of his going out to meet Abraham upon his victory over Chedorlaomer and his allies. He gave Abraham’s men bread and wine and pronounced a blessing upon them. The reference to him in Psalm 110:4 is a prophecy regarding Christ and that He would be a priest after the order of Melchizedek, meaning it would be an ageless and unchanging priesthood. This passage is quoted in Hebrews 5:4. Hebrews 7:1-17 is the longest passage about Melchizedek, describing the relationship between he and Christ. Its purpose is to point out the superiority of the priesthood of Christ over the Levitical priesthood.

In a sense Abraham gave Melchizedek 10% of his earnings. In the biblical record, though, Abraham gave a tenth of the spoil he captured from the defeat of Chedorlaomer, not what we would consider his "income" or other offerings. Though this was some time before the Law of Moses, this nevertheless demonstrated what God required of those who worshipped him. For the Christian today there is no set amount. One is to give as he has been prospered, 1 Corinthians 16:2. 10% would be the minimum that a Christian would give.

I would like any information on Antiochus Epiphanes

I recommend that you check the internet for information. I think you will find a great deal of information on him. If not, check any good encyclopedia
at the public library. There is so much written about him that I could not begin to transmit it to you by this means. He was a Seleucid king of Syria,
the second son of Antiochus the Great. He ascended to the throne on the death of his brother, Seleucus Philopator in 175 B.C. He attained an evil
notoriety for his tyrannical treatment of the Jews. He desecrated the temple in Jerusalem which he plundered and desecrated it with great
bloodshed and he utterly broke up Jewish worship at the temple.

How old was Joseph when he married Mary the mother of Jesus?

The Bible never gives the age of Joseph or Mary. One could assume that they were young due to traditions at the time, but this would only be speculation.

Where is the scripture that says something pertaining to "God searched
the whole earth and could not find one worthy enough"?

You may be thinking of Revelation 5:1-7. John sees a book in the right hand of "the one who was sitting on the throne." An angel asks the question, "Who is worthy to open the book?" There was no one in heaven, on the earth or under the earth who was worthy. John weeps because no individual was found who was worthy to open the book. One of the elders comforts him and says that there is one who is worthy, and John sees a Lamb standing, as if it had been slain. This Lamb took the book to open it. The book was God's plan for man, his redemption and ultimate victory over death and the devil. Only Christ, the Lamb, was worthy to open that book because He would be conqueror and redeemer. However, in this passage it is not God who did the looking, but John.

You may also be thinking of Psalm 14:1-3, which is also quoted in Romans 3:10-12 where Paul is making his closing argument that all men are sinners. In this passage it specifically says in verse 2 that the Lord looked down upon the children of men to see if there were any who did understand and seek God. God's reply is that there were none. Though the word worthy is not in this text it does say that God was the one doing the looking. In addition to these verses you might also look at Romans 3:9 and 23 where it is said that all are under sin and all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. One final place you might also check is Genesis 6:5-7 where we find God's assessment of mankind at that time.

I would like to know more about Aquila and Priscilla.

 Paul met Aquila and Priscilla upon his arrival in Corinth, Acts 18:2, 18, 26.  They were tentmakers, Acts 18:3, and were there because the Jews had been banished from Rome.  Their names are always mentioned together, and they seem to play a significant role in the early church, especially in relation to Paul.  When he left Corinth and went to Athens they were with him there, Acts, 18:18.  When Paul goes to Ephesus they stay behind while he travels on.  This will be important because they will help Apollos become more grounded in the faith, Acts 18:24-26.  They will journey back to Rome and Paul will send them greetings, Romans 16:3-5a. 

Some important facts are learned here.  One, their home served as a meeting place for the church.  Also, at some point in time they risked their lives for Paul.  We don't know when this occurred, but it may have been when a serious problem arose in Ephesus, Acts 18:12-17.  However, we cannot give any proof for this theory.  They are mentioned again in 2 Timothy, thought to be Paul's last letter.  In 4:19 he sends a final greeting to these faithful friends in the Lord.  As can be seen, they were an extraordinary couple.

1)What is the oldest book in the Old Testament?  

2)What is the oldest book in the New Testament?

3)What is the youngest book in the New Testament?

4)Who were the two men in the Bible who never died but were caught up to heaven?

It is rather hard to establish a hard and fast date or age on many of the books of the Bible, however, men have tried to establish a date for most of the books. 

It appears that Job may be the oldest book in the Old Testament. 
In the New Testament it is generally considered that the epistle of James is the oldest and the newest is the book of Revelation.
The two men who did not die but were translated into heaven were Enoch and Elijah.

Does 1 Timothy 2:12 apply to everything or just to worship services? Could a woman have authority over a man in the work place?  Would it be ok for a woman to teach in a public high school?

The passage in question has to do with a Christian assembly, whether for worship or in a Bible class.  1 Corinthians 14:34-35 also applies here.  In reality, the restrictions that are placed upon a woman are in two areas.  The first is the home where the husband is the head of the wife and the home, Ephesians 5:22-24.  The other area is in the church where a woman is not to speak out, teach a man, or usurp authority over a man, 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 and 1 Timothy 2:11-15.  Some try to deny the clear teaching of these passages by saying Paul’s regulations followed the custom of the day and do not apply to today, or that he was a single, prejudiced male.  However, the Bible is very explicit in 1 Timothy 2:13-14 that the restrictions placed upon woman are matters of creation and the fall into sin.  This has nothing whatsoever to do with culture.  This is God’s ordained order.  Also, to say that these passages merely reflect Paul’s opinion is to deny their inspiration. 

There are no restrictions placed upon a woman in the business world other than what would be put upon any Christian businessperson.  Any Christian in the business world is to be honest, hard working, and fair in the treatment others.  Moral character must be displayed at all times, whether in dealing with others in the company, a boss, a subordinate, or customer, or in conducting business.  Lydia, mentioned in Acts 16:14-15, is an example of a businesswoman who was converted but was not told she needed to give up her business.  Therefore a woman may be a leader in the business world, teach in a public high school, or serve in any other such way.  It is in the church where the limitations are put upon her.

Can you tell me who wrote the book of Exodus,and what language it was written in, and what the original name God gave Moses was in Exodus chapter 3:13-15.

The Book of Exodus was written by Moses.  Though some Bible critics tried to dismiss this idea by saying that there were no written languages in Moses' day, that has since been proven wrong.  Writing from a time 1500 years before Moses is now known.  Two passages within the book speak of Moses writing.  24:4 says Moses wrote, and in 34:27 we find God telling Moses to write.  In addition 1 Kings 2:3; 2 Kings 14:6 and Ezra 3:2 all speak of the law of Moses, with the passages in 2 Kings referring to the book of the law of Moses.  Numerous passages in the New Testament also attribute the law to Moses, including Matthew 8:4 and Matthew 19:7. 

Exodus would have been written in Hebrew, one of several Semitic languages of that day.  In Exodus 3:13-15 God refers to himself as "I am that I am."  This comes from the idea of being and means that God is the eternally existing one.  He is without beginning and without end.  It stresses His timelessness.

Which chapter in the Bible talks about two burning buildings?

Judges 9 mentions the burning of two towers, one at Shechem and the other at Thebez.  The occasion of the first burning was the revolt of the people of Shechem against Abimelech, verses 49 and 52.  These towers were tall structures that were constructed for defensive purposes, 2 Chronicles 14:7 and 26:9.  These towers were also used to protect flocks and herds and to safeguard roads (2 Kings 17:9; 2 Chronicles 26:10; 27:4), to observe and to attack a city (Isaiah 23:13) and to protect a vineyard (Matthew 21:33).

Please explain Revelation chapter 18

Revelation 18 is part of a little longer section, 17:1-19:10, that deals with the fall of the church's great enemies.  What is depicted in chapter 18 is the fall of the great harlot, or Rome.  An angel appears and says, "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen."  As the Babylon of old had been an enemy of God's people, so the Babylon of John's day, Rome, is an enemy of the church.  Her wickedness is described in verses 2-3.  Verse 4 contains a warning for God's people to have nothing to do with her.  The reason is because God is going to cast her down, and all those associated with her in her wickedness will suffer as a result.  That suffering is portrayed in verses 9-19.  She will be cast down as a millstone that is cast into the sea.  The point for Christians today is that just as wickedness was destroyed as was Babylon and Rome, so wickedness will be punished in the future.  Whoever aligns himself with worldliness in our day will ultimately suffer punishment from God.  Wickedness will not prevail.  Therefore the child of God must maintain a separation from the world and its pollutions, 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 1 John 2:15-17, or experience the same consequences as Babylon and Rome.

What grandmother murdered all of her grandchildren except for one little boy?

You are probably thinking of Athaliah.  The record of this most wicked woman's life is found in 2 Kings 8: 26; 2 Kings 11; 2 Chronicles 22; 2 Chronicles 23:13-21; and 2 Chronicles 24:7.  She was the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel.  She was married to Jehoram and dominated him during his short 8-year reign.  When her son died, who reigned only a year, she wanted the throne and to get it, murdered all of his sons, or so she thought.  Athaliah ruthlessly reigned for 6 years.  The grandson that had been hidden during the slaughter of his brothers, Joash, was coronated when he was seven years old.  When Athaliah entered the temple and saw what was happening, she cried, "Treason!"  However, some avenging guards took her outside the temple and killed her.  Thus ended the life of one of the worst women mentioned on the pages of Scripture.

In Deuteronomy 23:2, why doesn’t the Lord allow illegitimate children in the temple?

It is not the child’s fault, and God said He would not take the sin of the father and pass it on to the child. There are two things to consider in dealing with this passage.  First, in the KJV the word "congregation" is used.  Other versions render it "assembly."  This word can have two meanings, 1) the registry of the citizens of the nation, and 2) the national assembly of the people for worship and warfare.  So, it is not a reference to the temple.  Then, the word that is translated "bastard" in the KJV does not necessarily carry with it the meaning we normally associate with it, that of being an illegitimate child. 

According to the law a man was to marry the woman he raped so that the child would not be born out of wedlock, Deuteronomy 22:29.  This word is only used twice in the Old Testament, and its meaning is somewhat unclear.  It could refer to a child born of incest.  It could refer to a child born of a mixed marriage, one between a Jew and a foreigner.  Or it could refer to a child born of a cult, or pagan prostitute.  The latter two definitions are the ones most scholars lean toward. 

Now then, what is the meaning of all of this?  The matter, first is a matter of holiness.  Israel must understand that there are things that are an abomination to God and He will not tolerate them.  To allow such things into the congregation, either the registry or the national assembly, would put it in danger of pagan influences.  Also, we must understand that though we may not be guilty of a sin, we may suffer the consequences of the sins of others.  That is the case here.  Certainly the child did not sin, but the mother and father did.  God is not saying the child is guilty of sin, but it is suffering because of the sin of the parents.  A person killed by a drunk driver did not sin, but died as the result of the sin of another.  Second, the question is not one of depriving a resident in the land the right to worship God, but allowing one into the assembly as a whole, and God says that it must be kept pure.  To further show this idea that there is not a total ban, Isaiah 53:6-8 speaks of the inclusion of the eunuch, and Acts 8:27 refers to proselytes, or converts to Judaism.  However, it must be said that though these rules may seem harsh in regard to the assembly, it is God's way of saying that He demands Holiness of His people.

Please explain Acts 16:30-34.

The jailor was so impressed by Paul and Silas, and evidently their faith, that he wanted to know what he needed to do to be saved.  Luke does not tell us why he asked the question he did.  Had he heard their preaching at some point?  Had he heard it from the girl over whom the trouble was stirred up?  Was it due to their singing and praying in prison in the middle of the night?  Taking him where he was, with very little or no knowledge, he was told that he needed to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and he would be saved, vs. 31. 

With that starting point, the jailor took them to his house and Paul taught him what he needed to know, vs. 32.  Equipped with that knowledge, he and his household (family members and perhaps servants, but at least all that were old enough to understand the gospel message and respond in faith) were baptized.  He also cleaned their wounds and extended his hospitality by having them in his house to eat, vss. 33-34.  Luke does not include all the details that we find in other instances of conversion in Acts, but because they are included in other places they certainly would have been included here.  Faith in Christ as the Son of God would have been involved, for that is what the Ethiopian was told, Acts 8:37. 

Repentance would have been involved, for that is what the folks on Pentecost were told, Acts 2:38.    And baptism for the forgiveness of sins would have been involved, for that was what the folks on Pentecost were told, Acts 2:38, and Saul, who would be called Paul, Acts 22:16.  There are some who try to isolate one of the conversion stories, such as the Philippian jailor, and say that it tells all that one needs to do in order to be saved.  If that were the case, then there would be several different ways of being saved, some things being required of some folks and other things being required of other folks.  Paul's plea for unity in matters of faith in Ephesians 4:1-6 would argue against that.  The way to determine what God says on a matter is to look at ALL that He says on the matter and not just some of it.

In Mark 15:21, Simon of Cyrene is identified as the father of Alexander and Rufus. Are Alexander and Rufus mentioned anywhere else in the Bible? What is their historical or biblical significance?  

The way Mark mentions these men's names they evidently were very well known by those to whom he was writing, though there is no definite identification of them elsewhere in the New Testament.  However, there is a Rufus who is mentioned in Romans 16:13, and so there are some assumptions that are made from this.  It is thought that Mark was writing his gospel for the Roman Christians.  It is likely that these men were active in the church at Rome, or at least well known by the church at Rome, and so it is thought that this Rufus and Simon's son are one and the same.  However, this cannot be proven, though it is interesting to contemplate that these could be the same man. 

Alexander is mentioned nowhere else.  In a burial cave near Jerusalem a burial urn was found with this inscription on it, "Alexander, son of Simon."  Because this cave belonged to a family of Cyrenian Jews it is thought by some that this is the Alexander of Mark 15:21.  But again, there is no proof for this assumption.  Mark, by inspiration, mentions them, and that is all we know.  However, this is a comforting thought because it says that all the people of the Lord's church are important to Him, not just the apostles.

Does the statement “touch not my anointed and do my prophet no harm in 1 Chronicles 16:21-22 refer to David?  Was David in a state of sin at this time?

 Gifts and callings come without repentance, but does the anointing come without repentance as well? If not, how can you operate without the anointing? The passage in question is part of a long psalm covering vss. 8-36 of 1 Chronicles 16.  The psalm is a celebration of the return of the ark to Jerusalem, and this celebration is done in part through a retracing of Israel's history. 

The particular verses referred to are part of a paragraph, verses 15-22, in which the people are urged to remember the Lord and His faithfulness to Israel. The expressions "my anointed" and "my prophets" refer to the patriarchs and not David.  God had chosen them to be his people, thus the use of the term anointed.  Abraham is referred to as a prophet in Genesis 20:7, thus the reference to prophets.  This event occurred before David's sin with Bathsheba, but that incident of adultery has no connection with the terminology of 1 Chronicles 16, and God had specifically told David through Nathan that he was forgiven.  So, had the sin with Bathsheba occurred before the bringing of the ark to Jerusalem, David would not have been in sin. 

The reference to the anointing is unclear.  If it is a reference to the Holy Spirit, one does not receive the Holy Spirit as a gift until conversion.  In addition, the Holy Spirit does not work independently of the word.  That is the instrument of conversion as well as the means by which one is led by the Spirit.  To do something the scriptures do not teach and attribute that to the Holy Spirit's leading would have the Holy Spirit contradicting Himself.

In the Book of Acts God tells Paul to "Be of good courage for he MUST appear in Rome. First why was Paul discouraged? Second, what was the urgency for him to go to Rome? I know he had to go to trial, but was there a job for him to do there in Rome?

Paul led a rough life and at this point he was undergoing much persecution.  In Acts 21 Paul is seized in the temple. Chapter 22 Paul pleads to the Jews
by telling his testimony of how he became a Christian. Chapter 23 he speaks before the Jewish Council and understands that his life is in jeopardy. It
is at this point that the Lord tells him to be courageous. The next verse (23:12) we can see that there is indeed a conspiracy to kill Paul. The Lord
comes to him to let him know that He is with him and will not let any harm come his way.

In 1 Corinthians 6:9, "the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God." it list's homosexual person's. How can God condemn a person for being what God created? I am not homosexual just confused.

God did not create men to be homosexuals. In fact the scriptures strongly forbid homosexual acts. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of such.  The apostle Paul makes it plain in Romans chapter one that such is an abomination to God. In the chapter you cited is First Corinthians you will
notice in verse 11 Paul says, "And such were some of you...". Apparently they had been able to change. The "Gay" world would have one to believe
that men are born that way. We do not believe this to be true, there are too many instances where men have been counseled out of that type of life.

There is not just one single cause of homosexuality as there are a number of contributing factors. One of those factors is that older boys often
encourage younger boys into mutual sex acts with them if this keeps up the younger boy gets to really enjoying in and thus prefers to engage in sexual
acts with other males because he feels comfortable with them and gets great sexual satisfaction from those mutual encounters. You will note that
experts will tell you that most males cannot fully determine if they are homosexual or not until their upper teens. By that time if they have been
sexually active with other males for several years that is what they often prefer. 

God would not condemn something that a person had no control over whatsoever. Furthermore, just because a person may prefer one of the same
sex it does not mean that one has to practice such. There are many single persons in the world who are heterosexual that are not married yet they do
not go about engaging in fornication. Do not be deceived by all the propaganda that you hear from the pro-homosexual crowd.

Who are the elect in Matthew 24:24 and who is this generation in Matthew 24:34?

 Matthew 24 deals with two issues.  Verses 1-34 speak of the destruction of Jerusalem, and verses 35-51, along with chapter 25, speak of the Second Coming of Christ.  Within the context of verses 1-34 reference is made to the elect and this generation.  When Jesus speaks of the elect He is referring to His disciples, those who would be called Christians.  The term is used of Christ in Luke 23:35 and angels in 1 Timothy 5:21.  However, the word is also used throughout the New Testament to refer to Christians.  The word means to be picked out, or chosen.  Some feel it refers only to those whom God has already chosen to be saved.  This doctrine of predestination, however, flies in the face of such verses as John 3:16 and 2 Peter 3:9.  If the doctrine of predestination is true, those verses are lies, for then God really did not love the whole world and He is willing that some should perish.  The Bible teaches, however, that the elect are chosen when they obey the gospel.  The “generation” referred to in verse 34 are those people who were alive when Jesus spoke.  Not everyone of that generation of people, those who were alive when Jesus was speaking, not all of those people would die before they saw the destruction of Jerusalem.  If this whole chapter refers to the Second Coming of Christ then there are some nearly 2000-year-old people still walking around on this earth awaiting the Lord’s return!  Who is willing to accept that?

1 Tim. 1:15 Paul says, "...Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners - of whom I am the worst." Question: Why does Paul still speak in the present tense? He has been converted and probably does not continue in sin. Seems, he should have said, I was the worst.

You have quoted from the New International Version which we do not believe gives the best translation on this verse. The word in the NIV translated worst is in the Greek protos meaning first. The word is used to denote eminence--and it means that he occupied the first rank among sinners. There were none who surpassed him. This does not mean that he had been the greatest of sinners in all respects, but that in some respects he had be so great a sinner, that on the whole there were none who had surpassed him.  That to which he particularly refers was doubtless the part which he had taken in putting the saints to death; but in connection with this, he felt, undoubtedly, that he had by nature a heart eminently prone to sin; see Romans 7. Except in the matter of persecuting the saints, the youth Saul of Tarsus appears to have been eminently moral, and his outward conduct was framed in accordance with the strictest rules of the law, Phil. 3:6; Acts 26:4,5.

After his conversion, he never attempted to extenuate his conduct, or excuse himself. He was always ready, in all circles, and in all places, to admit to its fullest extent the fact that he was a sinner. So deeply convinced was he of the truth of this, that he bore about with him the constant impression that he was eminently unworthy; and hence he does not say merely that he had been a sinner of most aggravated character, but he speaks of it is something that always pertained to him--"of whom I am first or chief."

Can you please explain Hebrews 6:4-6 to me. There is someone at work wondering whether or not he is still saved, and uses this passage as his reason for believing that he's not saved anymore.

The passage under question is saying that if one has experienced all the privileges and benefits that come with being a child of God and then this person turns or falls away from God there is nothing anyone else can do to get this person back in the fold of God because that person already knows the truth. There is nothing more that you can teach that person that they do not already know. For instance if a person fall off or away from a ship deck, you may throw the person a life line but you cannot make the person take it. As long as a person has the ability and desire to turn back to God one can. In 1 John 1:9 the apostle says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." As to the person you are talking about being saved, he may not be saved or safe at this time. Once one become a child of God through obedience to the gospel one will always be a child of God, but one can become as erring child of God when one turns one's back on God and His Word. In that state the erring child would be disinherited in eternity, but if that errant child returns to the fold repenting on one's sin, confessing the same and asking forgiveness then the former erring child is no longer estranged from the Father but safe in the Father's house. If your friend wants to turn back to God he can, but it is up to him.

Does IICorinthians 6:14 apply to the above subject?

Yes, 2 Corinthians may be applied to marriage as well as other alliances.  We believe that the term "yoked" has reference to the agreement between two parties be it in marriage, business contracts or other alliances. This passage is teaching that believers should not enter into agreements or contracts that give the non-believers advantages over the believer. For instance in years past and in some places today the Roman Catholic church made non-Catholics agree never to try to convert the spouse that is a catholic to a non-catholic religion. They also were required to agree to see that the offspring in such unions be reared as Catholics. Such an agreement is an unequal yoke. We do know that in some instances in the first century that some Christians were married to non-believers as we note in 1 Peter 3:2. In this instance Peter was urging believing wives who had unbelieving husbands to conduct themselves in such a manner that by their examples they would be able to convert their husbands to Christ when they refused to obey the preached word. However, we do not deem it wise for believers to marry non-believers because of the detrimental effect it can possibly have on the believer. There have been many instances where the non-believer turned the believer away from God.

In Hebrews 5, Who was Melchizedek and Where did he come from and where did he go? How many places is Melchizedek mentioned and where?

Melchizedek was a king of Salem (Jerusalem) and priest of the Most High God [Gen. 14:18-20; Ps. 110:4; Heb. 5:6-11; 6:20--7:28]. Melchizedek's sudden appearance and disappearance in the Book of Genesis are somewhat mysterious. Melchizedek and Abraham first met after Abram's defeat of Chedorlaomer and his three allies. Melchizedek presented bread and wine to Abraham and his weary men, demonstrating friendship and religious kinship. He bestowed a blessing on Abraham in the name of El Elyon ("God Most High"), and praised God for giving Abraham a victory in battle [Gen. 14:18-20]

Abraham presented Melchizedek with a tenth of all the booty he had gathered. By this act Abraham indicated that he recognized Melchizedek as a fellow-worshiper of the one true God as well as a priest who ranked higher spiritually than himself. Melchizedek's existence shows that there were people other than Abraham and his family who served the true God.

In Psalm 110, a messianic psalm written by David [Matt. 22:43], Melchizedek is seen as a type of Christ. This theme is repeated in the Book of Hebrews, where both Melchizedek and Christ are considered kings of righteousness and peace. By citing Melchizedek and his unique priesthood as a type, the writer shows that Christ's new priesthood is superior to the old Levitical order and the priesthood of Aaron [Heb. 7:1-10]

Attempts have been made to identify Melchizedek as an imaginary character named Shem, an angel, the Holy Spirit, Christ, and others. All are products of speculation, not historical fact; and it is impossible to reconcile them with the theological argument of Hebrews. Melchizedek was a real, historical king-priest who served as a type for the greater King-Priest who was to come, Jesus Christ.

(from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary) Gen 14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High. Ps 110:4 The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind, "You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek." Heb 5:10 being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek. Heb 6:20 where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. Heb 7:1 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham as he was returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him Heb 7:10 for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him. Heb 7:11 Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be designated according to the order of Aaron? Heb 7:15 And this is clearer still, if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek.

In Genesis 4:3-5 why does God reject Cain’s offering?

 The text in question does not reveal why God rejected Cain’s sacrifice.  However, Hebrews 11:4 sheds some light on the matter, for there the writer says, “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain….”  In looking at the Genesis text some things can be noted.  Obviously the sacrifices were different, both offered according to the occupations of the men.  Yet there was another difference.  Abel offered a firstling from his flock, and not only that he offered the fat from the animal.  It was the fatty portion that was most desirable to God.  With the Jews the fatty portion was forbidden because it belonged to God, Exodus 29:13, as well as numerous other passages.  From reading the text it seems Cain just brought something to offer which he had grown rather than the first fruits of his crops, which God would specify for the Jews, Exodus 23:19, along with other passages.  What was the difference then in the sacrifices? 

It may have been in the type of offering itself, crop rather than animal.  It may have been the quality of the offering, not first fruit rather than firstling of the flock and the best portion of the animal.  It may have been in the attitude in which the offering is made, an ungrateful heart rather than a heart of faith.  Whatever may be the secondary reason, the primary reason is that Cain’s sacrifice was not offered in faith.  Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  God must have specified what, when and how, otherwise why were Cain and Abel offering sacrifices?  Abel did what God had commanded to be done and Cain did not.

In Genesis 6:2 who is being referred to when it mentions “the sons of God?”

 The text in question reads as follows, “That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.”  There are at least four interpretations of this text. 

1) Most scholars say that the sons of God are angels due to similar references in other places in the Old Testament (Job 1:6; 2:1; Psalm 29:1; 89:6; Daniel 3:5), and that the daughters of men are human females.  However, that makes this passage unhistorical and mythological, which is totally out of context with Genesis 1-11.  In addition, the Lord clearly said that angels do not marry, Matthew 22:30.

2) Ancient Jewish authorities said the sons of God were dynastic rulers or kings and the daughters of men were women from poor families.  Nowhere else in Genesis 1-11 is such a distinction made and nowhere is there a prohibition given forbidding marriage between a commoner and a person of rank. 

3) The sons of God were men who walked with God and the daughters of men were worldly-minded women. 

4) Since 6:1-4 follows immediately the genealogical lists of the descendants of Cain (4:17-24) and Seth (4:25-5:32), a natural interpretation would be that the sons of God were the descendants of Seth and the daughters of men were the descendants of Cain.  A combination of these last two is the correct one. 

1) This keeps everything in historical perspective. 

2) This best fits the biblical context. 

3) This fits the pattern found in the larger context of Genesis 1-11 of man wanting to live independently of God. 
a) Eve wanted to be equal with God.
b) Cain was angry because God rejected his sacrifice.
c) The people desired to build the tower of Babel so they could make a name for themselves. d) In this context the children of these unions became mighty men, men of renown. 

4) This keeps everything in the realm of human affairs, which results in God’s decision to destroy the earth.

Please give me your insight on 1 Timothy 4:12-16.
Please tell me the background. As a teenager how can I be an example and bring others to Christ.

Paul writes this personal letter to Timothy his friend and companion in the faith. Timothy was a young man anywhere from the age of 18-44 (this was considered a youth by Romans), I think he may have been somewhere between 18-30. Many of the older generation would think that someone in this age range was easily given to mistakes and lacked wisdom. Paul writes Timothy encouraging him not to become discouraged when people questioned his beliefs due to his age. I believe we can take Paul's advise and apply it to our lives today in these ways.
1. By the way we talk - Don't use language that we shouldn't, we watch what we say about others, etc.
2. We show people that Christianity is more than church by the way we live. We don't listen to music or watch movies that have language, nudity, or sexual dialogue. We try to help others, we build people up, and avoid places where we know sin will be prominent.
3. We read our Bibles and share it with others.
4. We watch our life and beliefs and make sure that we are not being hypocritical. We can be an example by living a life that represents Christ. We don't have to do anything spectacular. The reality is when we try to live a life that resembles Christ's life people will take notice. They will not be able to overlook our life and actions.

In Leviticus 19:33 we are told we should welcome strangers. Is there anywhere I can find comments about this passage or about the subject of welcoming strangers?

The stranger being referred to in Leviticus is a foreigner, one who has come from another country, to dwell in the land for a short period of time. Perhaps he’s there on business, perhaps he’s just passing through, or perhaps some other reason brings him to the land of Canaan. At any rate, he is to be treated as a native born person. He is to be extended the same kinds of courtesies as one’s neighbor. The natural impact upon that individual would be a recognition of Israel’s God, perhaps leading to their being converted to Judaism. 

Christians are likewise reminded to be mindful of strangers, Hebrews 13:2. People of the first century did not have nice motels or hotels to stay in such as we have today. Some of the worst of people stayed in what inns might have been in existence. Christians traveling to another city on business or fleeing persecution would need a safe haven. Such could be provided by Christians in the city to which the stranger was traveling. By so helping those in need the Christian host provided invaluable assistance. 

The Hebrew writer referring to entertaining angels is probably a reference to Abraham and Lot welcoming strangers who turned out to be angels, Genesis 18:1 and 19:1. To render such aid today is a blessing and an honor to the host. It should be noted, too, that the passage in Hebrews follows the statement in vs. 1 to let brotherly love continue. In both passages, then, the help given to strangers is an expression of brotherly love, which the Lord said was the second great commandment, Matthew 22:39.

I'm looking for a story in the bible. I heard it referenced in a talk once. It refers to a man that helps do some building or rebuilding. He is
granted a vision from God and is essential in the project but his name does not appear anywhere in the story.. Is there such a story? Where can I find it? Who is the man? What is the town?

After searching through several reference works, including a topical Bible, several Bible encyclopedias, a concordance, as well as some other writings, this particular incident in scripture could not be located. There are a number of visions in scripture, as well as several building programs and anonymous, helpful individuals, but one in which all of these elements are combined could not be found.

How do you reconcile the differing attitudes regarding the violence in the old testament compared to the new testament? Compare Ex 21:23 and Lev 24:20 to Matt 5:38,39. I know that God doesn't change his mind so this really confuses me. When the Jews were going into the promised land God instructed them to kill everyone that was already living there, women and children. He told them to show "no pity" (Deut.7:16). I haven't seen any instances of forgiveness or the opportunity for the people of that area to repent or move out of the area before they were killed. If the Lord wanted them dead, why didn't he kill them? Why did the Jews have to do it? Jesus taught us to show love and forgiveness to all in the new testament-yet God didn't promote forgiveness in the old testament. I don't understand why. Is He contradicting Himself in regards to these two differing attitudes?

The activities we read about in the Old Testament were both religious and civil. We often judge God by our standards, without full knowledge of him and background facts. Most of your concerns are addressed in Deut. 20:10-18. They were first to proclaim peace to the cities. If they refused, they were destroyed that they teach you not to do after all their should ye sin against the Lord your God. God's nature is as stated in 2 Peter. 3:9 "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

When was the book of Galatians written?

It is generally believed that the book of Galatians was written somewhere around 52 AD.

Was Paul speaking in the present tense in Romans 7:14-25?

No, he was not. This text deals with the struggle with sin and the inability of a person to keep the Law of Moses. Two things within the text itself would argue against this referring to Paul’s present state, or to a Christian, one at the beginning of the text and the other at the end. Surely the words "I am carnal, sold under sin," vs. 14, would not refer to a Christian. Paul had just said in 6:8, 11, "For he that is dead is freed from sin. … Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord." To make Paul’s words in chapter 7 present tense would seem to be a contradiction with chapter 6. 

How can a Christian be in bondage to sin and freed from sin at the same time? Then, vs. 24 poses a question, "O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from this body of death?" The answer to this question follows in vs. 25, "I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord." If 7:14-25 is present tense, it would seem then that Christ had not freed Paul from sin, though we would say he was a Christian. In addition, 8:1 clearly states, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." This also argues against 7:14-25 being in the present tense. All of this having been said, this does not mean that one no longer has to deal with sin as a Christian. Satan will still tempt one to sin. However, the Christian has been set free from the bondage of sin, and the resources of prayer, Matthew 6:13, scripture, Psalm 119:11, and looking for a way of escape, 1 Corinthians 10:13, are available to him to help him fight and conquer sin.

In Matthew 24:15, what is the abomination that causes desolation? What is this verse telling me?

This was speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem that occurred in 70 A.D.  This was also a type of the destruction at the end of time.

I would like to know the meaning of Luke 6: 22, I think this has some great meaning behind it but do not fully understand, I would very much appreciate some sort of lengthy interpretation of this verse.

Jesus here presents the various forms of suffering which would come upon the disciples by reason of their loyalty to him. We find several like statements in the gospel story. They would first be conscious of the coldness of their brethren before the secret hate became outspoken and active. Later they should find themselves excommunicated from the synagogue (John 16:2). This act in turn would be followed by bitter reproaches and blasphemy of the sacred name by which they were called-the name Christian (James 2:7; 1 Peter 4:4). 

Detestable superstition was the favorite description of
Christianity among Pagans, and Christians were charged with incendiarism, cannibalism and every infamy. All this would finally culminate in bloody-handed persecution, and procure the death of Christ's followers by forms of law; all manner of false and evil accusations would be brought against them. Jesus is simply saying that persons who suffer such persecution for His cause are blessed, that is they will be rewarded for such wrongful suffering.

Please explain John 5:25 and following. What is the time period Jesus is speaking of here, and does this refer to "soul sleeping"?

Two time periods are referred to in verses 25-29. In verse 25 Jesus refers to those who are spiritually dead now. To those who hear His voice now there can be a spiritual awakening, finding new spiritual life in Him. Romans 6:4 speaks of this newness of life. Ephesians 2:1, 4-6 also refers to the fact that in our sins we are dead but in Christ we are alive again. Verses 28-29 refer to the final resurrection from the grave, the physically dead. "All that are in the grave shall hear His voice and shall come forth." Both the righteous and the wicked will be resurrected. 

The righteous will be resurrected to eternal life because they found and lived in a new spiritual life while on earth. There is no mention of soul sleeping here, or anywhere else in scripture for that matter. There are several instances in which the dead are said to be asleep, but Revelation 14:13 lets us know that this merely means they are at rest, not unconscious. If the soul were asleep in the grave then the Lord taught a mistruth in the story of the rich man and Lazarus, Luke 16:19-31. Would not the apostle Paul have been misguided when he thought it was better to be with Christ if that meant he was unconscious rather than being alive and preaching the gospel, Phil. 1:23? What would have been the point of Jesus telling the thief on the cross, "today shalt thou be with me in paradise," Luke 23:43, if he was merely going to be unconscious? True, he would be out of pain, but enjoying what? 

The point of the passage in John 5 is, "You need to hear my voice today, or one of these days you for sure will hear my voice and come out of the grave. Because you did not hear my voice in this life you will experience damnation in the life to come."

What is the longest verse in the bible?

I believe that Ezra 3:8 is the longest verse in the Bible.

How many years does the book of Genesis cover?

The book of Genesis covers the period of time from the creation of the world until the death of Joseph in Egypt. Just exactly how many years that includes is impossible to determine. Though the times of later events recorded in Genesis can be fixed with some degree of certainty, there is no data available, either from the Bible itself or outside the Bible that allows us to fix an exact date for creation. There was a 17th century scholar who claimed that creation took place the week of October 18-24, 4004 BC, with Adam being created on October 23 at 9:00 AM. 

However, this just cannot be accepted as fact, one reason being that scholars are fairly certain that genealogies within the book probably do not contain a complete listing of all generations. Even though an exact length of time for this period of history cannot be given, it certainly would not be the billions of years proposed by those scientists who hold to the theory of evolution.

Who are the two witnesses that the Bible speaks of in Revelation?

The mention of the two witnesses is found in Revelation 11:3-13. There have been many interpretations as to who the two are, the Old and New Testaments, Moses and Elijah, Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians, the churches at Smyrna and Philadelphia, and Peter and Paul. 

The number two was important. In apocalyptic literature, which Revelation is, the number would refer to that which has been strengthened or doubled. According to the Law of Moses it took two witnesses to secure a conviction, Deuteronomy 17:6 and 19:15. Two witnesses were essential for church discipline, Matthew 18:16. Jesus sent missionaries two by two, Luke 10:1. If this number were to be taken literally it could refer to the apostles and the Holy Spirit, John 15:26 and following. However, it is probably best to take the number as figurative, like the other numbers in Revelation. The two witnesses would refer to the collective witness of the word of God, the olive tress providing oil for the lamp; and the church, the lampstand that holds up or supports the light. 

To say the beast slays the witness says he has been effective in hindering its preaching. For them to lie in the street for three and one-half days speaks of the disdain for the word. However, they are revived, showing that the word of God cannot be overthrown and defeated.

In Matthew 24:15, what is the abomination that causes desolation?  What is this verse telling me?

"The abomination of desolation," is a Hebrew expression, meaning an abominable or hateful destroyer. The Gentiles were all held in abomination by the Jews, Acts 10:28. The abomination of desolation means the Roman army, and is so explained by Luke 21:20. The Roman army is farther called
the abomination on account of the images of the emperor, and the eagles carried in front of the legions, and regarded by the Romans with divine honors.
All of this is in regard to the destruction of Jerusalem which occurred in the year 70 A.D.

Can you give me the history on Psalms 46. Like what every in it means?

We are unsure of the author of this psalm. It seems to have been written in a time of crisis, and many scholars think it was written around 701 BC when Sennacherib’s army was before the walls of Jerusalem, 2 Kings 19:35 and Isaiah 29-31; 33; and 37. This psalm was the basis for Martin Luther’s hymn, "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God." The theme of the psalm is that, though God does not promise the absence of trouble in the lives of those who trust in Him, He is the Rock that saves when trouble does come.

Verse 1 sets the tone for the psalm, speaking of God as a refuge, strength, and a very present help. Verses 7 and 11 will reinforce this, though a different word for "refuge" is used in those two verses. There the word means an inaccessible height where one is beyond the reach of trouble so that it cannot destroy. The word "refuge" stresses a place of shelter. It and the word "strength" suggest both external and internal help. To say that God is a very present help speaks of His readiness and His sufficiency to help in a time of trouble. The rest of the psalm poetically describes this in various ways.

Verses 2-3 speak of God’s power over nature. Even if the earth were to be totally destroyed God would still be with those who trust in Him. Verses 4-7 speak of God’s power over the attackers of His city, or one’s enemies. God is in the midst of His people and will protect them. Verses 8-11 speak of God’s power over the whole warring world. No ruler on earth is more powerful than God.

Nature, enemies, conflict are all things which can cause great fear and distress, yet the psalmist is saying that God can help in any of these situations. One might be tempted to say that God fails when one dies as a result of one of these situations. However, such is not the case, for God provides eternal protection for His children, so the Christian loses nothing in death, but actually gains an even greater victory.

Did Jesus Turn Wine into Water more than one time in the bible?

I don't know of any time Jesus turned wine into water.

Can you please tell me where in the Bible it says the root of all evil is money?

Nowhere in the scriptures does it say this.  The scripture that you might be referring to is I Timothy 6:10 that talks about the LOVE of money.

"For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil: which some reaching after have been led astray from the faith, and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows."

Did God's call to leave his country come to Abram in Ur or in Haran? If in Ur, was Abram following God's direction when he took his  father and nephew with him and when he stopped in Haran until his father died? Was he also following God's will when he went to Egypt to avoid the famine? Calvin's Commentary suggests that all of this was in the will of God. Others interpret these as examples of deviations from God's will even in one of great faith.

Acts 7:2-6 indicates that Abram received his call in Ur. The Hebrew of Genesis 12:1 also seems to indicate this, though some translations do not include the verb "had," i.e., "…the Lord had said…." God's instructions to Abram were, "…Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house…," Gen. 12:1. Abram had not done that and receives a second call, in Haran, to leave. Note, however, that he took Lot with him, who will later be a source of trouble, so he still has not left his kindred. Also, as will be seen in the remainder of Abram's life, there will be failures in his faith. 1) He goes to Egypt; the Bible does not reveal that God told him to go. It is hard to see this being in the will of God since Abram leaves in shame and disgrace. Also, he will immediately return to the altar he had built at Bethel where he will seek to restore his relationship with God, Genesis 13:4. 2) To compound matters in the Egypt matter he lied about being married to Sarai, and got her to agree to it. 3) Abram has a child by Hagar, Genesis 16, and the Middle East is still paying the price for that mistake. 4) Abraham will lie a second time about Sarah being his wife, Genesis 20:1-7.

Abram was a man called by God through whom He would bless the world through his seed, Jesus Christ. The Bible reveals nothing special about Abram that indicates why God should choose him, but He did. Eventually Abram will come to be known as the father of the faithful. Yet here is a man who, in spite of God's special call, did at times fail in his faith. Thus Abram serves as a great example for people today who, even in spite of their failures, can still come to God and be used by Him to do great things in the Kingdom of Christ.

  I'm Thinking I read, somewhere in the scriptures, that if we are faithful to the Lord He will save our offspring or future generations.  This was, I think based on our prayers and our obedience to God.  Can you help me find such a scripture or a reference that might be similar.

I am unaware of any scripture that makes the exact promise you have described. Each person is responsible for his own choices and actions.  Each one is free to choose to obey God or to reject Him. Offspring are sometimes faithful to God in spite of their parents and children sometimes reject the training and example of the best of parents. However, the general rule is stated this way in Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."    Children who are taught correctly by their parents are likely to follow their teaching. Note 2 Timothy 3:15, "And that from a child thou hast
known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation trough faith which is in Christ Jesus."

Where is the reference in the Bible concerning "avoid the appearance of evil"?

The verse to which this quotation refers to is in I Thessalonians 5:22

Can you help me find a verse that goes something like this: to be forewarned is to be prepared?

The saying probably is, "To be forewarned is to be forearmed." It, like many popular proverbs that been around for quite a number of years sounds biblical, but isn’t. Its source could possibly be traced through Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations or other similar work. Consult the Book of Proverbs for many similar expressions

What is the book and verse in the bible that says "and this too shall pass"?
Like many popular sayings and proverbs, this sounds like scripture but isn’t. Works like Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations may be consulted for its actual source.

I'd very much like an explanation to Heb 10:10. It would seem that if the Lord has taken away the old Law, that Law is no longer needed.
    First, we must establish a distinction between the Law, of which the Hebrew writer is speaking, and law in general. The Law, in the context of the book of Hebrews, has specific reference to the Jewish law of Moses.    This Law is contained in the Old Testament. The book of Hebrews, written to Jews, makes clear the point that God has replaced the Old Law of Moses with the New Law of Christ. The New Law, or Testament, is superior to the Old Law, because it is ratified, not with the blood of animals but with Jesus' blood. Galatians 3 teaches that the Old Law, or Testament, was a "schoolmaster" to prepare for the coming of the Christian Law. So in that regard, the Old Law is done away.
However, the Bible also teaches that because of the sinful nature of man, law is necessary, not religious law like Moses' Law, but civil law. In fact, Paul tells us in Romans 13 that civil law is ordained by God, and Christians are to obey it.
So, the Hebrew writer was speaking of the abolition of the Jewish religious law not about God-ordained civil authority.

In Deut. 24:16 and Ezekiel 18:20 God says that a child shall not die for the sin of his father. Yet in Num. 21:3; 31:17; Deut. 2:34; 3:6; 13:15; 20:16; 1 Sam. 15:3 and Isa. 14:21 we see God desiring to kill babies along with adults. Why wouldn’t God command them to spare the infants?

These passages are perhaps some of the most difficult in Scripture to harmonize. Deuteronomy 24:16 and Ezekiel 18:20 both indicate that neither children nor parents will be punished because of the sins of the other. However, it is more than evident that either may suffer because of the sins of the other. In the case of the Caananite infants, the sins of their parents were now full. God had told Abraham that at that time they were not, Genesis 15:16. However, by the time we come to the conquest, the land has become so defiled by the people that they will be spewed out, Leviticus 18:24-27. Their sins are enumerated in the preceding verses as God warns the Israelites not to commit the sins of the Egyptians or the Canaanites. Israel will serve as God’s agent of judicial punishment. From the passages cited above, yes, children would and did die. Has God punished them? No. Are they being punished because of their parents’ sins? No. Are they suffering because of their parents’ sins? Yes. (It might be remembered that no infants were saved from the destruction of the earth at the flood or of Sodom and Gomorrah.) Sometimes the innocent suffer because of the actions of others. A child may die in an automobile accident because of a drunk driver. Was the child guilty of anything? No. Was the child being punished for anything? No. Did the child suffer because of the sins of another? Yes. As difficult as it may be to understand God’s actions in the Old Testament, we must agree with the words of Abraham in Genesis 18:25, "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?"

Deuteronomy 31:26 says, "Take this book of the law and put it in the side of the Ark of the Covenant." Does this mean it is on the inside or beside the Ark of the Covenant?
The Hebrew word indicates that it is beside the ark. Hebrews 9:4 indicates that there were three items inside the ark- the 10 commandments, Exodus 25:16, 21, the golden pot of manna, Exodus 16:32-34, and Aaron’s rod that budded, Numbers 17:1-11. These items were not to be removed, although at the dedication of Solomon’s temple the rod and pot were missing, 1 Kings 8:9. Deuteronomy 31:26 indicates the book of the law was to be a witness against the people. Being beside the ark its visible presence would remind the high priest, as well as all the people when the law was read to them, Deuteronomy 31:9-13, of the covenant with God and His law for His people which they were to obey.

Why is Matthew 28:19 different from Acts 2:38?
Matthew 28:19 reads, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." Acts 2:38 reads, "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." The verse from Matthew is a part of what is sometimes referred to as the Great Commission.
These are the Lord’s general instructions regarding what the disciples are to do – go, teach, baptize, teach. Acts 2:38 is Peter’s specific response to those who had been pricked in their hearts and cried out asking what they must do in order to be saved. They specifically are to repent and be baptized for the remission of their sins. (Both are required, not just one or the other. "And" is a correlative conjunction which joins two things of equal rank.) Those who were present on the day of Pentecost and heard Peter’s sermon were obviously believers, Mark 16:16, for they asked what to do to be saved. But, being a believer was not enough. They would also need to repent, or change their minds in regard to sin, and be immersed for the forgiveness for their sins. Peter did what the Lord instructed generally in Matthew, his response in Acts being the specific instructions for what a person needed to do in order to be saved.

In the Gospel of Mark who was the author and info about this author.  When was this Gospel written and who is the intended audience.
Also what is the purpose of this Gospel and what would be missing from the Bible if this book had been omitted. What are the significant passages in this Gospel and justification to go with their significance.
The second record of the gospel was written by Mark, a kinsman of Barnabas. He was not an apostle but an evangelist. He is mentioned in Acts 12:12,25 as "John whose surname was Mark." His mother's name was Mary, and we learn from Col. 4:10, that she was a sister of Barnabas. She lived in Jerusalem. John Mark went with Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey, but soon turned back. (Acts 15:38) We find him by Paul's side during his first imprisonment at Rome, A.D. 61-63--See Col. 4:10;Philemon 24)
WHEN WRITTEN? It is not known for sure when the book was written. It must have been written before the destruction of Jerusalem, A.D. 70, otherwise so remarkable a fulfillment Christ's prediction in the 13th chapter would have been mentioned.
PURPOSE? It is agreed that Mark wrote for the benefit of the Gentile Christians, because he often explains Jewish customs, Matthew wrote for the Jews. The world of that day was Roman, under the rule of Rome. The Roman would care very little about the fulfillment of prophecy so Mark does not deal much with these. Marks record of the Gospel is called the "Gospel of Power" of action, of conquest over nature, spirits, disease and death. In the light of these expressions of power the people exclaimed, "What manner of man is this." The errors of the Roman idea must be corrected and the idea be invested with a Divine conception, and this is what the Gospel according to Mark is designed to do.

I would like your thoughts on Luke 23:31


The passage, as found in the King James Version, reads thusly, "For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?" Jesus is on the way to His crucifixion. Forgetting the pain He is suffering, He speaks to the women who are walking the road with Him to warn them of the doom that awaits the city of Jerusalem.

Vs. 28, Jesus warns the women to not weep for Him, but for themselves and their children.

Vs. 29, days are coming that will be so terrible that they will wish for themselves the very thing a woman dreaded most, being barren, because there will be terrible suffering for themselves and their children.

Vs. 30, they will even prefer being covered over as the result of an earthquake rather than go through what they will when the city is attacked and destroyed.

In vs. 31 Jesus uses a proverbial expression. A green tree, the Greek word hugros means full of sap, was not meant for burning, a dry tree was. Therefore, if the green tree, the innocent and Holy One, will undergo so terrible a suffering, then how great the devastation will be for the dry tree, the city and the nation that have rejected him.

Jesus had already prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem when He entered the city, Luke 19:41-44. He reiterates that here as He leaves the city for the last time.

Which holy day is referred to in John 19:31?   Is it the day of unleavened bread?

ohn explains in John 19:14, that this was the preparation of the Passover.  It is true that the next day was the Sabbath and "that Sabbath was an high day." It was more than the ordinary Sabbath. The annual Sabbath of the Passover, "the first day of unleavened bread," which was set apart as a Sabbath by the law, coincided with the weekly Sabbath, making that Sabbath of unusual solemnity.

The question is raised about the preparation day in view of the fact that Christ and his apostles had eaten the Passover already. I can only suggest a possible solution.

(1) It is certain that Christ ate a meal the evening before in the Upper Room which was called a Passover.

(2) It is certain from John 18:28, that the Jews had not eaten the Passover at that time.

(3) It seems clear that Christ, anxious to eat this Passover (Luke 22:15), ate it in advance of the usual time, in order that he, the true Paschal Lamb, "Our Passover," might be offered on the same day that the Passover was eaten.

Does Paul's letter to the Corinthians have anything to say to Christians today?

You have asked an excellent question.

Paul had received a letter from the Corinthians asking questions which indicated their lack of understanding in some spiritual matters. He had also received firsthand reports from members of Chloe's household (1:11) and also from Stephanas, Fortunatues and others about some deplorable conditions at Corinth.

At once Paul wrote I Corinthians with a view to correcting disorders and giving needed instructions to the young church struggling for its existence in the very eye of paganism.

In this letter Paul deals with a number of matters that are applicable in any age of history - including today.

A simple outline of I Corinthians is as follows:

I. Paul discussed topics brought up in the letter the Corinthians had sent to him.

There are four main topics in this division:
(A) Marriage
(B) Meat offered to idols
(C) Spiritual gifts
(D) The collection which Paul discusses in the last chapter (16)

II. Paul discusses topics concerning which he had received information independently of the Corinthians themselves.

These were:
(A) The factions
(B) Incest
(C) Lawsuits
(D) Customs of the women
(E) Abuse of the Lord's Supper
(F) The Resurrection.

Paul in I Corinthians 10:11 said: "Now these things happened unto them by way of example: and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages are come."

Paul said in II Timothy 3:16: "Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness: that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work."

Some Bible scholars have believed that the gospel of John was written by the apostle John, the son of Zebedee.  But was he the beloved disciple?  There have been many views that John could of could not have written this masterpiece.  Was he related to the high priest in John 18:15?  Do you know the dating of when the gospel was written, because early scholars have different dates of when John had written the gospel.

To the best of my knowledge the Gospel According To John was written by John who was one of the twelve apostles chosen by the Lord. He was the son of Zebedee, a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee. He was first a disciple of John the Baptist. (John  1:35-40) He and Andrew were the first of the apostles to have an interview with Jesus. He was subsequently one of the first four definitely called to the apostleship. (Matt.4:18-24; Mark l:16-20; Luke 5:10,11)

He was distinguished as "the disciple whom Jesus loved" (John 13:23;19:26; 21:7,20).

He is the only apostle to die a natural death. The others died martyrs.

He states that he was an eyewitness of the matters he recorded. It is generally supposed that John wrote after the three other records had been written. His was something of a supplement -- to give things done and taught by Jesus that others had omitted, and to present a phase of the Lord's character that had not been fully brought out by the others.

THERE IS NO EVIDENCE HE WAS KIN TO THE HIGH PRIEST. All we know is that he was known by the high priest.

In Matthew 7:7 it says to ask, seek and knock. What was Jesus referring to when He said to seek?

"The best commentary on scripture is scripture," a wise man once said. And the very best commentary on a particular verse comes from the verses that surround it. The answer to this particular question is found partly in verse 33 of chapter 6 and verses 8-11.

In Matthew 6:33, Jesus is teaching a lesson on priorities. He says "seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto you [physical necessities]." Since the kingdom of God, the Church, was yet to be revealed, Jesus was encouraging those who would follow Him to seek God's will and God's pleasure and in doing so to humbly obey. The "seeking" in this passage is "for" God.

In Matthew 7:8-11, Jesus is teaching about God's provision for His people, those who seek Him. In verse 8, Jesus says, "for everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened." He then illustrates that fathers always give good gifts to their children. His conclusion: "If ye then . . . know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father which is in Heaven give good things to them that ask him?" Therefore the "seeking" in verses 8-11 is "from" God.

"Everyone that seeketh, findeth." Those who search after God and His will will find Him. Those who seek something from God according to His will will find it.

Keep Seeking.

I am trying to be a Christian. How can I know that I won’t be one to whom Christ will say, "I never knew you," Matthew 7:21-23?

Doubt in regard to one’s salvation is probably one of the most difficult problems a Christian has to deal with. However, the Bible is replete with passages which affirm that we can know that we are saved, such as 2 Timothy 1:10-12; 1 John 2:3; and 2 Peter 1:8-11. Part of the problem is that one may feel that he or she must do enough good things in order to please God. Yet, the Bible very plainly says that salvation is not based upon works, Ephesians 2:8-9.

At the same time, though, there are works that must accompany, or demonstrate one’s faith, Ephesians 2:10; James 2:14-26. So, how can one be confident in his or her salvation?

1) Do what God has commanded in order to have one’s past sins forgiven: hear the word of God, Romans 10:17; believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, John 8:24; repent of sin, Luke 13:3, 5; confess your faith in Christ, Romans 10:10; be baptized for the remission of sins, Acts 2:38.

2) Always seek to live in the will of God, 1 John 1:7.

3) Study God’s word in order to remain strong and resist temptation, Psalm 1:1-6; Psalm 119:11; Matthew 4:1-11.

4) Repent and pray when you sin again, Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:9.

5) Keep your life attuned to God though prayer, Philippians 4:6-7. 6) Worship God faithfully, Hebrews 10:25. 7) Do good, as the Lord did, Acts 10:38; Luke 10:29-37.

All of this may sound difficult, but it all becomes a part of the fabric of the Christian life when one seeks to live in the will of God. Live in confidence, not in doubt.

Could you address the new birth of John 3? What do verses 7-8 mean? And what is born of the Spirit? If "born of the water" is baptism, why isn't "born of the Spirit" Spirit baptism?

In verses 7-8 we see Jesus helping Nicodemus understand the invisible power of the new birth. Certainly baptism is an event which is clearly visible. However, the effect of completing one's obedience to the gospel cannot be seen. There is no visible observation of the cleansing of the soul and the reception of the Spirit. The wind cannot be seen except through the effects it has upon the things over which it passes, yet we are aware of its power.

One cannot see the blood of Christ, which is reached through baptism, cleanse the soul, yet we are aware of its power. To make "born of the Spirit" into Spirit baptism would mean that there are two baptisms in which one should participate. Ephesians 4:5 very clearly says there is ONE baptism. One might note the similarities of John 3:5 and Titus 3:5. "…Except a man be born of the water and of the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God," John 3:5. "…by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit," Titus 3:5. "Born of the water" and "washing of regeneration" both refer to baptism. Born "of the Spirit" and "renewing of the Holy Spirit" both refer to the work of the Spirit in leading one to salvation through obedience to the word. Note 1 Peter 1:23, "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever."

According to Nehemiah 8:10, what kind of fat did the people eat?

The verse reads, "Then he said to them, 'Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength." The people are about to celebrate the Day of Atonement. Though Leviticus 23:27 instructs the people to "afflict" themselves, this was for the purpose finding the joy of holiness. Leviticus 3:17 forbids the eating of fat, "It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout al your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood." There is no contradiction here, though.

The word used in Nehemiah 8:10 refers to rich foods, not the forbidden animal fat of the Levitical law. What, therefore, Nehemiah is urging the people to do is to enjoy the little luxuries of life, eat the best, those things that could turn a meal into a feast. This was then to be enjoyed in view of the strength that God would provide

Can you please fully explain Matthew 18:18 for me?

The verse reads thusly, "Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." It is similar in wording to Matthew 16:19. This verse is in the context of dealing with an offending brother, Matthew 18:15-20. Jesus' teaching is that if a person sins against an individual, the offended person is to go to the offending individual to try to work it out. If that does not work he is to take two or three witnesses with him. If the individual will not hear them, the offended party is to take the matter before the church. If the person will not listen to the church he is to be put out of the assembly. Jesus' statements following this teaching regarding binding and loosing show the seriousness of the nature of the withdrawing of fellowship. It affects the soul of the offending party both now and eternally. The verbs in both Matthew 16:19 and Matthew 18:18 should read "shall have been bound, shall have been loosed" indicating that this is in accordance with the dictates of heaven. The power to bind and loose does not lie solely in the hands of Peter and the rest of the apostles, or the church, but merely follows what God had already determined.

What does the 144,000 mean in Revelation?

Revelation is written in highly figurative language called apocalyptic, which uses numbers and symbols to convey an idea. Some people erroneously take these numbers and symbols literally, but they are only meant to convey ideas.

One of those numbers is 144,000, which is found in 7:4 and 14:1, 3. In Revelation 7:4 the number of those sealed, that is, those who are shown as belonging to God, is 144,000. When we next see the 144,000 in Revelation 14:13 they are in heaven. In chapter 7 they are about to undergo great suffering; in chapter 14 they have come through it. The number twelve was a number that signified completeness. To multiply it by itself and then by 1,000 was to raise it to perfect completion.

How did God’s people do during their persecution at the hands of Rome and the devil? Not one was lost. Even though they died for their faith, they did not lose their reward. They were victorious and enjoyed the bliss of heaven.

Christians bear God’s seal today, the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 1:13-14; 2 Corinthians 1:22. Can a person be victorious over Satan and his schemes today? Yes he can, and enjoy the bliss of heaven just as those of Revelation 14:1, 3 did.

What is the meaning of a "high day" in Jn.19:31?

The meaning of a "high day" in John 19:31 is a double Sabbath, both the weekly Sabbath, and a Passover Sabbath came on the same day.