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Old Testament Interpretation XI
Urgent Prayer Request: Please be in prayer for our brother Vau who has just received a preliminary diagnosis for neuroendocrine cancer, a rare cancer that combines with different cancers from the colon and the liver (in his case). Our brother is undergoing more testing for confirmation of diagnosis and is being prepared for chemotherapy. His loss would be a heavy blow to his wife and children. But we know that nothing is impossible for the Lord. [for more requests, see below]
Update from Vau (5/14/18):
Hello my friend! I'm so glad to hear from you and yes I saw the posted and I'm so grateful for the prayer request, because I do know the prayer of the righteous availeth much. I've been meaning to keep you posted as well but I had some tough times early going. But as of 8th or 9th, I've been feeling great and stronger each day. I had the week off of chemo this past Thursday which completed the first cycle of treatment out of 4 cycles. I start the 2nd cycle this Thursdays and they will be testing me some time this month to see where I stand and if there's any improvements.
But if I may testify, God has been so good to me. He is manifesting himself daily and he has blessed me tremendously to the point that I can't explain it all. He has been taking me higher and my faith has increased. This situation I'm in has touched hundreds of people and support is coming in from all sides. There's a lot of eyes watching this very carefully and a lot of people are touched deeply and when God completes his miracle, I believe some will believe in Him and His son Jesus like never before. He's been using me in a mighty way to witness and pray for quite a few people and God has been blessing it. I'm so excited and encouraged and I thank God for you and the Saints that are lifting me up in prayer by bombarding heaven on my behalf. I love you all in Christ Jesus and I promise I will send my next update after they retest me to see where I stand. I'm looking for them to tell me some news. But either way, good news is coming my friend.
Your friend/brother in Christ our Lord,
Thanks for your site and ALL the great knowledge of the word of God that you, in your given wisdom, explain for clarity and full comprehension.
I have been very much attracted and motivated to study 2da Chronicles 7:14, as the simple and eternal grace of God for salvation, basically, the gospel in essence.
But, I have been intrigued by the portion…"and seek my face"…. and what exactly that means in ALL its context.
Would you be kind, and one day put a full study in this regard? The book of Psalms is full of this same! I am getting to my own conclusions, but will love to see a deep study on this mandate!
Thanks, and God bless you and your inspiration! That God keeps his will on you for the Glory of the Father and our Savior Jesus!
Good to make your acquaintance, and thanks much for your positive comments.
Just as we prefer "face to face" contact with those we care about, this was certainly also the case in the ancient world:
By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul, who am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” toward you when away!
2nd Corinthians 10:1 NIV
I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.
2nd John 1:12 NIV
As to your question, the "face" is the most expressive part of the human being and one can "read" things in a person's face that might not be obvious from mere verbal or written communication. As I say in CT 2B when discussing the faces of the cherubs:
Of all human features, the face is at once one of the most memorable and expressive, making it a most effective means for the type of symbolic representation discussed above. Although their bodies resemble human form (Ezek.1:5), the four faces of the cherubim are unique, and stand symbolically for the various aspects of our Lord's earthly ministry just described. In this way, the faces of the cherubim reflect the glory of the Son of God instead of their own glory, just as, ideally, the world should see the face of Christ in us, His servants, when we walk as He commanded us to do (2Cor.3:18; cf. Matt.16:24; Jn.13:15; 1Cor.11:1; 2Cor.2:15; Gal.4:19; Eph.5:1; 1Thes.1:6; 1Pet.2:21).
I also find this in scripture:
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God's glory displayed in the face of Christ.
2nd Corinthians 4:6 NIV
This is a very important verse to understanding your passage because it reminds us that Christ is "the face of God", the revealed Person of the Trinity. "Seeing the face of God", while not possible literally in Old Testament times except in few rare cases of Christophany (see the link), was spiritually possible just as it is today. Just like Moses did, we can actually come to "see the One who is invisible" through the truth of the Word of God if we persevere in seeking Him through the truth, and Christ is the Living Word of God (Rev.19:3), the very Truth itself (Jn.14:6).
For [Moses] grew strong by seeing the One who cannot be seen (i.e., by keeping his mind's eye on the invisible Jesus Christ).
Hope this helps – please do feel free to write me back.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior, the One whose face we seek (Ps.27:8).
The second meeting of my Bible Study is tomorrow night. We decided to go through the ten commandments, dealing with such things as kill vs. murder, situations in which disobeying parents is allowable, exceptions for lying to enemies, etc. (The harder interpretive matters).
In going through the Hebrew of the first commandment, I didn't know quite what to make of the phrase עַל־פָּנָֽיַַ.
Most English versions translate as "before me," as opposed to the more literal "before my face." I understand this part. I'm just a little bit fuzzy on exactly what this means. Here is what I have so far:
The tricky bit of this commandment is the phrase ʿal-pānāya. Most versions translate it as “before me,” which is OK, but a bit misleading, since it doesn’t unambiguously get across the exclusivity, and leaves out the fact that this phrase literally means “before my face.” This commandment is not saying it is alright for us to have other gods, as long as they aren’t before Yaweh.
A good place start getting into the interpretation is here. The meanings “before” or “above” are not relational for this Hebrew preposition (as English allows), but positional only.
I understand this verse as essentially saying this: “you shall not have other gods in my presence.”
The link above argues against the interpretation of viewing the "before" as relational (i.e., "before" as "valued higher"). It seems convincing enough, but does go against most of what I have read on this over the years.
What exactly does "before me" mean in this verse? Does it mean "in my presence"? Or is the link above wrong in stating that the prepositional cannot be relational as opposed to positional?
p.s. I just remembered that I also wanted to ask you about the reasonableness of the argument presented in the question, viz. This verse says “you shall not have other gods in my presence/sight.” Since we are all continually in the presence/sight of God because he is omniscient and omnipresent, this verse is synonymous with “you shall not have other gods… period.”
None of the translations is bad, but I think you have correctly noticed that there is a visceral aspect to עַל-פָּנֵי / 'al-panay which treating the phrase as a simple preposition one fails to convey. Hebrew does this with prepositions occasionally using them to suggest hostility or confrontation, sometimes also including the word פָּנִים / paniym (Gen.10:9, "against the Lord"), sometimes without it (Is.3:8). Similar uses of עַל-פָּנֵי / 'al-panay may be found at Job 1:11, 6:28; 21:31; Ps.21:13; Ezek.32:10; Nah.2:2. So you are right that the phrase means something like "in direct confrontation with Me", or, a bit more colloquially, "right in My face!" That is something that certainly ought to get our attention (which "before Me" may fail to do adequately) – especially when we consider the judgment that befell Israel so often for failing to pay attention to this first and very important command.
Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
Hello again Dr Luginbill, I pray you are well.
Why people had to remove their shoes in Gods presence?
Always good to hear from you – and thanks for your prayers!
The only incidence of this in the Bible of which I am aware was when our Lord spoke to Moses from the burning bush (Ex.3:5). This was a unique event in many ways. The bush represented the cross and our Lord's being judged for our sins, and this happened on Mt. Sinai which mountain represents the Law which in turn represents sin and God's judgment upon sin absent a Savior (cf. Gal.4:24-25). Furthermore, it is not "God's presence" per se which produces the command; rather, Moses is told that the "ground" itself is "sanctified" (as representing the cross) so that the dirty shoes of shepherd being removed represent the removal of sin through Christ's sacrifice. This particular symbolism is not repeated (the closest thing we have elsewhere is our Lord's washing of the disciples' feet which likewise represents the removal of sin by the grace of His effort/spiritual death, specifically forgiveness of believers who have "already had a bath": Jn.13:3-17). When priests enter the temple, even the holy of holies on the Day of Atonement, while there is ritual cleansing, there is no requirement to remove their shoes, nor do we find this command given elsewhere when the Lord appears (in Christophany/Theophany). So this was a unique incident with unique symbolism.
Sorry, Just to add another example to my second question, in Joshua 5:15, the commander of the LORD's army also requested the removal of sandals in his presence. Any insight would be appreciated.
I had forgotten about this one. What I would say is that Joshua is now the "new Moses", and that Israel is on the threshold of the land having just been circumcised at Gilgal. So I would suggest that the symbolism is largely the same; Jericho (where this took place) in many ways represented the evil of the land and the Canaanites who dwelt there and for that reason had its walls miraculously destroyed by the Lord after the famous seven-fold encirclement; everything within it was cursed/dedicated to the Lord (as Achan and the rest of Israel found out to their great harm); and the city was never to be rebuilt (with a curse on whoever did so which was in the event fulfilled). Also, once again, it is the ground which has been hallowed and it is the association with sin removed symbolically by the removal of the dirty shoes which causes it to be "set apart" in the presence of our Lord (a Christophany) who would die for our sins. Significantly, however, while the first instance speaks of the first advent and the cross, here we have our Lord appearing as a mighty warrior (representing the second advent). So just as there are two instances of water coming from the Rock but with this same difference in symbolism (which Moses disregarded to his great harm), so it is with these two Christophanies which involve the representative of the people removing his sandals: the first time in respect for the sacrifice of the Savior; the second time in respect for the conquering Messiah.
Thanks for reminding me about this!
In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,
Before Noah, the gospel was present in a very visible way to nearly all of humanity on the Earth:
"So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”
Anybody during those days could go see the flaming sword and the way to the tree of life. That was as clear and empirical of a reminder as we could get of the need for our salvation.
And on that point, one thing I noticed about the New Testament too is the overwhelming amount of mercy God shows to those who are genuinely (that is, not in an intellectually dishonest way) skeptical about the gospel.
"Be merciful to those who doubt”
"If anyone says, 'I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. [John acknowledges that it is harder to love God than other people, because we can’t observe God.]”
(1 John 4:20)
"Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
If people needed empirical evidence or experience to believe in eternal life, then God does in fact provide. He always has.
God does indeed provide everything we need to believe – the world itself is proof of Him and what He is like (Rom.1:18-32). Even more amazing and worthy of respect, even by unbelievers, is the fact of His provision of a way of salvation at His own cost through the sacrifice of His own dear Son our Lord Jesus.
But with you there is forgiveness,
that you may be feared.
Psalm 134:4 ESV
He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.
Psalm 18:17 NIV
Much of David’s life I can relate to. I have had enemies who are far above me in skill attack, and yet God has rescued me from every one.
David is wonderful role model for us all.
Despite setbacks, whether from forces beyond his control or from problems of his own making, he kept on pushing forward spiritually and he never let anything quench his deep love for the Lord. A good lesson for us all indeed!
In our dear Lord Jesus Christ,
Hello, I have run into a quandary. The way I read the Tabernacle design in Exodus, and considering how often the priests were supposed to burn incense on it, combined with their restrictions on how often they could enter the Most Holy of Holies, it makes sense to me that the Golden Altar of Incense should be in the Holy Place, separated from the Ark of the Covenant by the curtain.
But Hebrews 9:4-5 appears to place the Altar of Incense behind the curtain, in with the Ark. Help! How do I understand this apparent contradiction?
Thank you, and God bless you for all you do!
Hebrews 9:4 says that the holy of holies "had" the altar – which I take to mean not "behind the veil" but "right next to the veil so as to be associated closely with the inner sanctum"; as you say, otherwise it would not have been possible to tend to the altar of incense with the frequency demanded by the Law (and Zechariah, John the baptist's father, certainly did tend it: Lk.1:9).
Understanding this to be what Hebrews 9:4 means makes sense from another perspective as well: the incense is meant to rise to the presence of the Lord – which is represented by the ark and the glory; so it would have made sense if the altar was positioned directly before the curtain . . . and hence was considered by some to be a part, so to speak, of the inner sanctum (as Paul sees things and expresses them in Hebrews; compare Rev.8:3-5). The incense represents the "sweet savor" of the cross (cf. 2Cor.2:15), and it is only through the sacrifice of Christ that anyone can enter into the presence of the Father – so the offering of incense must come before entering through the veil (of heaven) to appear before Him.
For a representation of all this see the link: "The Earthly Tabernacle and the Heavenly Temple"
Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
In one your email responses to a person asking about "Double judgment" you stated that Genesis 6:3 is one of these situations, that God gave mankind 120 years for building the Ark and to repent, and also that the 120 years was the maximum length of mans life.
Question: When did this shortened life span begin, because according to the genealogies, there were at least twelve people who lived much longer.
Maybe I am mis-understanding the second prophecy of judgment?
I don't believe I've ever proposed any general theory / doctrine of "double judgment". The great flood did have a double application of judgment because it wiped out almost all of the human race AND through the massive changes to the earth that ensued resulted in human life spans being greatly reduced. In this case, the "double judgment" corresponds to the "double fulfillment" of the prophecy of 120 years.
On the 120 years, that represents a normal extreme which God is free to overstep whenever and however He wishes, but the principle is clearly valid. Just as when Moses says that the human life span is 70 years or 80 "if by reason of strength", we can also see that this is likewise a solid, general principle, even though a great number of people live longer (Moses and Aaron certainly did), and many others not as long as this median.
Hello Professor, I'm a little confused about the A.D. and B.C. dates. When does B.C. begin and end? V/r
This is a humanly devised system to keep track of time and understand looking backward. B.C. only stops (or ends), moving backward from 1 B.C., at Genesis 1:2. One starts the "count backwards" at 1 B.C. That is the dividing point. Going forward from 1 B.C. the next year is 1 A.D. (we are now 2017 years later in early 2018); there is no "year zero" (so 2 B.C. > 1 B.C. > 1 A.D. > 2 A.D. etc. is the sequence).
Our Lord was probably born in 2 B.C., so the calendar we use is pretty close to its intended function is splitting the two eras based on His birth (closer at any rater than most people who worry about such things imagine); but it is not spot on (see the link). Here are a couple of paragraphs I've posted about this to the site:
The calendar we now use is not as ancient as some people think. Our Christo-centric calendar was established by Dionysius Exiguus ca. 525 A.D. at the behest of Pope John I. Dionysius did a pretty good job, but he was off on the birth of Christ by a year (the most likely date for our Savior's entrance into the world being 2 B.C.). There is no year "zero", of course, so 1 B.C. is directly followed by 1 A. D. During medieval times, most of Europe was of course Christian in terms of its government, and Christianity was the established state religion (going back to Constantine and the Roman Empire). So this calendar was developed not for the Muslim world, nor for the far east, nor for the as yet undiscovered areas of the globe. It was a Christian calendar for Christian states, all of whom owed some allegiance at this point to the growing power of the papacy.
Before the change, Europe had a notoriously "challenged" system of figuring dating. Every city had its own system in the ancient world before Rome came to dominate the entire Mediterranean littoral. For comparing dates between cities, mostly the Olympiad system was used, but there are many noted confusions here (ancient historians deal with these chronological difficulties all the time), not least of which is having to narrow things down within a four year period. With the ascendancy of Rome, the Roman system of A.U.C. became preferred, that is, dating from the traditional (mythical) year of the founding of Rome (753 B.C. in our system). The later change to a calendar based upon the birth of Christ was, I suppose, inevitable once Christianity became centralized and once the power of the established church at Rome became dominant after the fall of the Western portion of the empire. The one advantage this calendar does have is that with the dominance of western culture for so many centuries we now have a system which most of the world uses and understands. Given the great deal of confusion over these matters in the ancient world, that is perhaps not so terrible a development, even if the date is off – and even if the calendar is tagged to the birth of Christ when of course it is His death for us on the cross followed by the resurrection that is the truth pivotal date in God's "history of the world".
In Proverbs 8:17 the Hebrew for "early" is just that early in youth, "earnestly" or "diligently" are stretching the meaning.
Proverbs 8:17 (KJV) "I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me"
Revelation 2:10 "..be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life".
If Revelation 2:10 rules out the crown of life being given to those who don't meet the condition of being faithful unto death, so must Proverbs 8:17 rule out salvation for those who break the condition of seeking the Lord early.
The Hebrew verb shachar means "to get up early in the morning to do something" and hence means to do something with enthusiasm. So in the KJV's rendering both "seek" and "early" are part of the same verb; it never has the meaning of doing something "in one's youth". You are free to search for a parallel, but none exists.
The crown of life is given to those who not only attain spiritual maturity but who also walk closely with the Lord in this life, passing serious testing (of the sort one will encounter during the Tribulation; see the link and cf. also Jas.1:12). This requires great faithfulness to attain, even to point of death (another Tribulation reference inasmuch as martyrdom will claim one third of the true Church during that time; see the link: "The Great Persecution").
On 2nd Chronicles 7:14, my NIV Study bible stated that 7:13-15 is only unique to Chronicles. I don't see how that can be. I believe it has a dual application.
What the NIV SB means is that this part of Solomon's prayer (which occurs ALSO at 1Ki.9:1-9) is unique to 2nd Chronicles. I certainly agree that the principle applies widely.
Also I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the sons of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans, to a distant nation,” for the Lord has spoken.
Joel 3:8 (NASB)
How should this verse be understood? The context points to the eschatological fulfilment at the Second Advent of our Lord, so I’m not sure how we should take the mention of the Sabeans.
You also carried along Sikkuth your king and Kiyyun, your images, the star of your gods which you made for yourselves. 27 Therefore, I will make you go into exile beyond Damascus,” says the Lord, whose name is the God of hosts.
Amos 5:26-27 (NASB)
I would appreciate your clarification of these two verses. As you know, they have really exercised the exegetes. I have read Keil and Delitzsch’s lengthy note and they strongly oppose the reading used by Steven in Acts. What is your take? How should the verse read and how should it be interpreted?
In the grace of our Lord,
On the Sabaeans, this is a prophetic analogy. Just as the destination will not necessarily be Yemen, so the device may not be literal selling into literal slavery. This was a dire fate at time of writing so we have to take that as the main point the passage is communicating. The idea is that just as antichrist and company have abused the Jewish people, so they will receive just recompense – worse than being sold into slavery to some distant place at the time of writing. This principle aligns precisely with what we know from scripture elsewhere about the second advent:
Since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.
2nd Thessalonians 1:6-10 NKJV
Here are a couple of links on Amos 5:26-27 – it's true that these deal with mostly with "the star" controversy, but in the course of these discussions most of the passage has been treated, so please have a look; I'd certainly be happy to answer any specific questions:
Again, the star
The city of David and the star
Is the star of Acts 7:43 the star of David?
The Star of David and Acts 7:43
Thanks for all your prayers for us all!
With regard to Sabeans - what I still don't understand is when the selling of those surviving from Babylon will take place - since the verse seems to be referring to the second Advent, I'm not sure how would this then occur?
I will now be doing the reading on Amos 5:26-27 and will write back if needed.
In the grace of our Lord,
Here is something already posted, "sell them to the Sabeans"; from CT 3B:
Tyre's selling of Jews as slaves foreshadows antichrist's persecutions inasmuch as this sin is specifically said to be judged on the day of the Lord (Joel 3:4-8; Amos 1:9-10).
So you are correct that there is – as in common in OT prophecy – a double application here (see the link: "The "Day of the Lord" Paradigm"), a near contemporary judgment on historical Tyre looking forward to future Babylon's surviving minions being sold (Tyre being a type of mystery Babylon); the Sabaeans lived "at the end of the world" or near about from the ancient Israelite perspective; "north pole" is a modern equivalent (though in the other direction). So this punishment is severe – and a "righteous repayment for the trouble they caused you" (2Thes.1:6).
Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
One more thing, can you please explain Psalms 68:17. V/r
The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.
Psalm 68:17 KJV
The psalms are poetry and thus the diction is often poetic; in other words, the way things are said in poetry is not the same way that we say things in prose – true in the ancient world and true today in poetic passages in English. So for example in the previous verse (Ps.68:16) where hills are described as having emotions such as envy, clearly this is poetic language to describe the awe and majesty of the mountain of God in comparison (which motivates the envy of the other mountains).
The "host of the Lord", all of the angelic forces loyal to the Son of God, are innumerable (to us), and they have no need of chariots. But the number 10,000 is often used in poetry to mean "beyond numbering", so that twice that number is all the more astoundingly numerous (n.b., in Greek, 10K is a "myriad", and we use that word in English transliteration for an innumerable amount as well).
Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
"Sing to the LORD a new song, Sing His praise from the end of the earth! [I am issuing this command to sing to] you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it. [I am also issuing this command to sing to] you islands, and those who dwell on them.”
The “sea” in the Old Testament is almost always a code for “hell” (cf. your link). So...
I think here this is part of Isaiah's (divinely inspired) poetic way of saying "everyone", since he continues as you quote with those on the coasts and islands, and in the next verse moves inland to the deserts and mountains: all are to praise the Lord, wherever they live and wherever they roam. And they and we shall do so on that glorious day when He returns to us! Marana tha!
In Jesus our dear Savior and our coming King,
"So on that day Achish gave him Ziklag, and it has belonged to the kings of Judah ever since."
(1 Samuel 27:6)
This seems to suggest that whoever wrote this section did so after the split of the Kingdom of Israel.
Actually, it could also have been written during Solomon's reign. The Hebrew says "until this day" which is less evocative of multiple generations than the English "ever since".
I'm sorry but I'm not sure what you mean by the last sentence.
- "ever since" seems to me (and apparently also did to you) to imply many generations – suggesting that the books of Samuel may have been written much later than a high view of inspiration would indicate.
- "until this day" actually only anchors the comment to the time of writing, whenever that was (which could have been during Solomon's day), and can't be extrapolated to necessarily mean "many generations into the future". Translations can often be misleading in all manner of unanticipated ways.
Thanks for your help. I am not sure I agree that all the Theophanies in the OT were the pre-incarnate Jesus, but I have heard that theory before. However, I don't see how Moses could have seen God literally face to face without being consumed like a dry piece of paper!
I have a quick question for you: the New Testament Apocrypha--does any of them date back to the 1st century and contemporaneous with the Gospels, for instance? I have seen a list of them here on Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Testament_apocrypha
Unless I missed it, it doesn't say what centuries they range from, without looking up the individual books. I know the Gospel of Thomas is Gnostic and can date anywhere from 110 AD to 150 AD or so, and the Gospel of James is around mid second century. But is any of the NT Apocrypha 1st century? I don't see how they could be since they all seem to BUILD upon the New Testament books, especially the Gospels. Which were late mid to late 1st century correct? A Mormon on CARM says that this Christian poster is "ignorant" about church history and claims that some these stories/narratives/books (the NT Apocrypha) were written at the same time as the Gospels. Also were ALL of them Gnostic, or just some of them?
Here is what the Mormon wrote:
Oh, you really need to learn some of the history of the Christian church. Those books/stories/narratives were written AT THE SAME TIME the gospels were, and some were written earlier, and to dismiss them all as 'gnostic' is an incredibly ignorant thing to say.
Thanks for your help. Hope you and yours are well.
On Christophanies, John 12:41 indisputable makes Isaiah 6:1ff. a Christophany (see the link: "The Trinity in the Old Testament" in BB1).
On the NT, I wouldn't use the word Apocrypha since that is reserved for the select group of writings associated with the Old Testament which were accepted into the R.C. canon at the council of Trent in the sixteenth century. The term usually used for similar type false and non-canonical writings (which of course the Apocrypha is as well) is "pseudepigrapha". In terms of their dating, it is all speculation, and in my estimation while secular scholars of the 19th century was quick to put the actual gospels late (before irrefutable evidence to the contrary surfaced early in the last century) such individuals contrariwise (still) tend to put anything false far earlier than actually warranted. In most cases what we have are much later mss. of all such writings, so it's all a matter of speculation. We would have to consider individual works, but we can say that while the actual gospels are all first century writings, I know of no serious evidence that would place any pseudepigraphal works anywhere near that early – and some are modern fabrications entirely (e.g., the "book of Jasher"; see the link).
Your point about the derivative nature of this non-canonical literature is a very good one. As to Gnosticism, that is a somewhat vague categorization . . . but it certainly can't be used as evidence or proof for or against anything.
I'm currently reading Psalms and, unlike times before, I'm struck with the amount of praying for the destruction of enemies and the unrighteous. That reminded me of Matthew 18 and forgiveness 70 times 7 which is followed by a parable in which the master when asked by the servant for forgiveness forgave the debt. That seemed to confirm our sins are forgiven if we confess.
Given that, my understanding is we are under no obligation to forgive until asked and then we are to forgive – just like the Father forgives. If not asked, then no obligation to forgive is required, even though we may forgive in spite of that. (Or that praying that the Lord "corrects" the offender is wrong.)
In summary: if asked, we forgive. Otherwise no obligation required.
Have I understood this correctly or am I off in the weeds again?
As an aside, is there any reliable information about the music of ancient Israel? Is there an actual meter in the Hebrew of the Psalms?
Yours in Jesus Christ,
When it comes to our relations with other people, it is true that we are not required to go running after those who abuse us and are unrepentant, and telling them we forgive them. We SHOULD forgive them from the heart, but that also doesn't mean that we are obliged to continue close relations with them – in many cases that would be most imprudent. However, I wouldn't use the imprecatory Psalms as a model – we are supposed to forgive; David (e.g.) was writing under divine inspiration (we are not). Here is something recently written, posted at the link:
Imprecatory psalms are part of the Word of God. So if anyone is being directed by the Holy Spirit to curse someone, they should do it. That is not happening today anymore than speaking in tongues is. But it is a blessing to have them, because in every case we see (usually David) handing the problem over to the Lord, letting Him deal with the trouble-maker rather than taking vengeance into his own hands. Instead of complaining about such psalms as somehow un-befitting, naysayers should follow this example of putting all issues where they / we have been wronged into the Lord's hands.
Telling the Lord precisely how to handle things is a bad idea of course (so we should stay away from asking for X to happen to person Y), but having it in the psalms is wonderful because we see therein that God does take care of the evil-doers who attack us, and that their end is slippery and destructive, just as David calls for in the Spirit, just as we can have confidence will be the case for us for all those evil-doers who are used by Satan to attack us. Knowing and appreciating this from the scriptures, we can be mentally and emotionally more at ease when we face such things. So these are blessed psalms to have – except for humanists (who are no doubt not saved). See also the link: "Imprecatory passages". I agree with you on the note. Unger is skirting around the answer; he just needed to take it a step or two deeper.
As to Hebrew music, the only evidence we have is what may be found in the Bible and conjectured therefrom. As to meter, Hebrew poetry (the Psalms, for example, but much of the prophets as well) is in "meter", but I put that in parentheses because it is very much different from the Greek system of metrics adopted by the Romans and then coming into English verse (iambic, to cite one well known type). Nowadays, of course, poetry in English is extremely flexible and not bound by traditional metrical conventions. That is a better parallel for Hebrew poetry which also defies any sort of strict analysis (though many have tried). The best that can be said is that Hebrew poetry often follows the pattern of "sense rhyme" where in A is described by B or contrasted to it (you may have seen this called AABB or ABBA or whatever variation the analyst thinks he/she has found). More to the point, poetic diction is different than that of prose in all languages I have ever studied, using different vocabulary and different modes of expression. That is the important thing to note in biblical studies because it means that the language in most of Isaiah, for example, is more metaphorical and less bound by the grammar of prose than would otherwise be the case. This is all a bit hard to understand without actually reading Hebrew, but clear to see if anyone has ever read e.g., Genesis, and then read the Psalms.
Wishing you a blessed 2018 in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior!
According to the “new” NIV, Psalm 42 and 43 are combined in some Hebrew manuscripts. Should I care?
Neither verse nor chapter divisions are inspired, so it doesn't make any difference, spiritually speaking.
In the case of the historical books (Genesis, Esther, etc.), chapter divisions do not matter, because they were all meant to be read as one whole. But the Book of Psalms is different, because each psalm was meant to be read by itself. So whether Psalm 42 and 43 are one psalm does affect interpretation.
Theoretically, I suppose. But having noticed as anyone would the clear connection between these adjacent Psalms, I couldn't point to any difference in interpretation that I would make if they were or if they weren't meant to be taken as one.
Psalm 49:5-9 (NASB)
5 Why should I fear in days of adversity,
When the iniquity of my foes surrounds me,
6 Even those who trust in their wealth
And boast in the abundance of their riches?
7 No man can by any means redeem his brother
Or give to God a ransom for him—
8 For the redemption of his soul is costly,
And he should cease trying forever—
9 That he should live on eternally,
That he should not undergo decay.
I'm not clear about this transition – the Psalmist speaks of the folly of trusting in riches, but then says “No man can by any means redeem his brother” - why does he refer to “his brother” rather than to the rich one himself? According to Pulpit commentary, the text is suspect:
Verse 7. - None of them can by any means redeem his brother. The text is suspected. If we read אַך for אָה, with Ewald and Professor Cheyne, the right translation will be, Nevertheless, no man can by any means redeem himself. With all his boasting, the rich man cannot effect his own redemption; nor, however great his wealth, can he give to God a ransom for him; i.e. for himself. "Brother" is not used in the Psalms in the sense of "fellow-man," but only in the literal sense of close blood, relation (Psalm 35:14; Psalm 50:20).
אָח לֹא־פָדה יִפְדֶּה אִיש לֹא־יִתֵּ לֵאלֹהִים כָּפְרֹֽו׃
How should the text read in verse 7?
Unger takes the first part of verse 7 (8 in the Hebrew text) as referring to the brother, but the second - to the man himself who is the subject here.
I think "brother" is being used in the sense of "another" here (cf. e.g., Ex.37:9): only God can redeem a life and only through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. So it's pointless to go looking for a human redeemer. I don't think the textual emendation is necessary; this strikes me as a little overly-pedantic when the text makes perfectly good sense as is, especially considering that this is poetry. The LXX is not worth much, but it is also reading "brother / 'ach", so that makes the textual change even more dubious.
Psalm 51:3-4 (NASB)
3 For I know my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me.
4 Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak
And blameless when You judge.
I’m still thinking of this verse here, as the לְמַעַן clause isn’t entirely clear to me. You previously wrote about this clause that it depends on David’s confession of sins:
In my view the clause depends upon what David says in the previous verses, namely, his confession of his sins. To expand the translation: "[I am confessing my sins in this way] so that you may be justified . . .".
And this certainly is an interpretation that makes sense here. But I have two further questions here:
a) Commentators seem to have a difficulty in deciding whether this clause relates to the purpose or consequence. Some say it’s the former and cannot be the latter, some say the opposite. It seems that either could work here. The former (purpose), because all our sin eventually contributes to God showing Himself as righteous in His judgment. The latter (consequence) – to prevent the conclusion that some may draw that sin glorifies God (i.e., that David committed the sin that God may be just), others explain that the consequence of David’s sin. Gill’s Exposition of the entire Bible:
this was the event and consequence of it: God, by taking notice of it, resenting it, and reproving for it, appeared to be a righteous Being, and of purer eyes than to behold sin with pleasure; see Exodus 9:27.
b) This issue brings us to the other question – whether לְמַעַן refers to David’s confession of sin or to the sin itself?
c) Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges gives the following potential explanation:
We might regard that as depending upon Psalm 51:3-4 a taken together, and introducing the object of the Psalmist’s confession. ‘I confess my sin, that thou mayest be justified in pronouncing sentence upon me.’ The sinner’s confession and self-condemnation is a justification of God’s sentence upon sin, just as, conversely, the sinner’s self-justification is a challenge and impugnment of God’s justice (Joshua 7:19; Job 40:8; 1 John 1:10).
The problem I see here is that God’s justification doesn’t depend on our confession – He is just regardless of whether we confess our sin or not. We could interpret the words in the sense that God is “declared righteous” rather than “proved righteous”, but I’m not sure if this is linguistically legitimate here.
d) Explanation number 3 in the same commentary, which rejects the distinction between purpose and consequence, also seems to make some valid points:
Probably however we are meant to understand that man’s sin brings out into a clearer light the justice and holiness of God, Who pronounces sentence upon it. The Psalmist flings himself at the footstool of the Divine Justice. The consequence of his sin, and therefore in a sense its purpose (for nothing is independent of the sovereign Will of God), is to enhance before men the justice and holiness of God, the absolutely Righteous and Pure. “The Biblical writers … drew no sharp accurate line between events as the consequence of the Divine order, and events as following from the Divine purpose. To them all was ordained and designed of God. Even sin itself in all its manifestations, though the whole guilt of it rested with man, did not flow uncontrolled, but only in channels hewn for it by God, and to subserve His purposes.… We must not expect that the Hebrew mind … altogether averse from philosophical speculation, should have exactly defined for itself the distinction between an action viewed as the consequence, and the same action viewed as the end, of another action. The mind which holds the simple fundamental truth that all is of God, may also hold, almost as a matter of course, that all is designed of God” (Bishop Perowne). In this connexion passages such as 2 Samuel 24:1; Isaiah 6:10; Isaiah 63:17; Jdg 9:23; 1 Samuel 16:14; 1 Samuel 18:10; 1 Samuel 19:9; 1 Kings 22:21, require careful consideration. Such a view is obviously liable to misconstruction, as though, if sin is in any sense treated as part of the divine purpose, and redounding to God’s glory, it must cease to be sinful, and there must be an end of human responsibility. But the O.T. firmly maintains the truth of man’s responsibility: and St Paul, in applying the words of this verse to the course of Israel’s history (Romans 3:4) rebuts as the suggestion of an unhealthy conscience the notion that God is responsible for sin which He overrules to His glory.
e) Having read and considered all the above, the conclusions I would draw at this stage would be:
1. I wouldn’t distinguish between the purpose and consequence here, this essentially amounts to the same thing when we consider God’s sovereignty. Simply, David’s sin brings about a result and this is expressed with לְמַעַן.
2. I would be more inclined to take לְמַעַן as referring to David committing sin, rather than confessing it. This is because:
a) Such an interpretation seems to me to be more directly linked to Hebrew here, where לְמַעַן is preceded by David says “Against you only I sinned and did evil in your eyes, so that”, rather than “I confess my sin and the evil I did, so that...”.
Psalms 51:4 KJV
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that (לְמַעַן) thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
b) It avoids the problem of our confession of sin being necessary for God to be considered righteous.
3. The verse could thus be taken to mean that David’s sine and the evil he committed against God show God’s righteousness in His words and in his actions of discipline – our sin vindicates God’s justice, which is displayed in righteous discipline in case of believers. So an interpretive translation based on these conclusions would go:
Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are declared just/shown to be just when You speak [judgment against me]
And blameless when You judge [me in your perfectly righteous discipline].
I know it’s a long question, but let me know your thoughts on these things and the conclusion I’ve drawn here.
You have it exactly right. Good job in sifting through the confused "scholarship" on this question. Hebrew lema'an often generates result rather than purpose. Something I've written about another passage:
. . . in Biblical Hebrew, there is really no such thing as a completely distinct "result clause", that is, no way to say (so that modern English speakers/translators can see it clearly) "so that ... [something] will/did actually happen". But as many contemporary students of BH have begun to see (cf. especially J. Wash Watts, A Survey of Syntax in the Hebrew Old Testament, pp.129-130; pace BDB's lexicon, in loco lema'an - the introductory conjunction here), purpose constructions in Hebrew often "work better" if seen as essentially result constructions instead (i.e., sometimes they actually are equivalent result constructions).
The Lord has had me reading and re-reading the Psalms everyday for many years. I use them every morning to draw close to God, to praise and to pray. Then I re-write each one as a personal prayer to Jesus, and pray that. (Bonhoeffer's little treatise on the Psalms inspired me to do this.) It has transformed my relationship with the Lord.
How do I know which psalms here written by David. Some have no attributed author. And although at the end of psalm 72 it says: "This ends the Psalms of David," more are included afterwards beginning in Psalm 108.
I just want to know which ones were written by King David. I have looked online and it says he wrote 75. Is it Psalms 1-72, 108- 110?
Where do I find a list?
I do not read Hebrew nor Greek, like you. (Wish that I could.) Therefore, I cannot discern when the words "God" and "Lord" refer to the Father or to the Son. Can you help?
Good to make your acquaintance.
To take the last part first, since both the Father and the Son (and the Spirit) are Lord and God, this is something that even in the New Testament has to be gleaned from the context; that is more so the case in the Old Testament where the Trinity, though present of course, is veiled (in keeping with the presentation of truth through shadows until the coming of the Messiah Himself).
As to which Psalms are written by David, that we can only tell from scriptural attribution. We know that some Psalms were written by others because they say so (Asaph, Heman, Solomon, Moses, for example), and it also seems clear that many of the higher numbered and unnamed Psalms are of a later date (but not all). The Psalms appear to have been collected and organized by Solomon (that is my belief), but he was working with the collection left to him by his father.
As you probably know, the Psalms are traditionally divided into five books, and at the end of the second book, at Psalm 72:20, a psalm by Solomon, it says "The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended", indicating to me that Solomon received the first two books or at least the psalms therein, organized them and added a capstone psalm (#72) to complete that collection, then over his life collected and organized the other three books – which contain a number of other of David's psalms: 86, 101, 103, 108-110, 124, 131-133 (all of these being songs "of ascent" indicating that they are placed into the collection here for that reason with other such psalms), 138-145. But without a direct attribution – or some other direct evidence (i.e., we would know that Psalm 18 was David's even without the introduction in the book of Psalms because it occurs with the attribution in 2nd Samuel 22:1), we can only speculate about by whom the unnamed psalms were written.
In addition to the psalms listed above as by David, for the reasons given above I can't agree with what you found online that 1-72 all belong to David. Psalm 3 is the first one for which he claims authorship. He claims 3-9, 11-32, 34-41 in book one; in book two: 42 (not 43 – but 43 seems to be a continuation to 42 – but it might have been added later); 44 is the first psalm attributed to someone else, the sons of Korah, who give us 44-49; 50 is by Asaph, 51-65 by David; 66-67 anonymous; 68-70 by David, 71 anonymous, and 72 by Solomon. If David arranged the first two books except for Solomon's capstone, it would make sense that he appreciated good the work of others – if/as inspired and led by the Spirit.
Thanks for your testimony on this. I love the Psalms and read them in English and in Hebrew with greater frequency that anything else in the OT. It's a good part of the Word to focus on (not to the exclusion of all else, it goes without saying).
Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Thank you so much for your thorough and insightful comments on my letter to you. They were extremely helpful. I hope that we can be friends. Your writing that I found online yesterday were very educational. I write books and teach the Bible, mostly to the poor, homeless, and afflicted at various churches, because they just feed them without sharing the Word. I am received very well. The Lord anoints me when I share with them. I can feel the same love for them as our Good Shepherd.
This is my intent: To write a book of prayers based on each Psalm. Perhaps like you, I read each Psalm slowly and pray as I do. I then rewrite each psalm into a personal prayer and keep them in a small book with me at all times to read throughout the day. This has been a tremendous boost to my daily walk with Jesus. – I want to publish this book to help other Christians, as they have helped me.
I am an itinerant preacher/teacher of the Bible. I have studied at several Christian colleges and schools over my 68 years, and have pastored at several churches along the way. I have never been the lead pastor. My ministry is my daily work: I help US military and veterans and their families. I am not a veteran; but, the Lord has directed most of my life to serving them since the Vietnam war.
I am called to evangelize by good deeds. I help many thousands of US veterans to sustain themselves and their families (HirePatriots.com). And I create business for veterans to start so that they can help me to employ other US veterans at good wages. I let them all know that I do this as a servant of Jesus Christ. Almost everyone the Lord leads me to help responds joyfully.
In the world's eyes I am poor. But in my heart and soul I am rich with the love, peace and joy of God's Holy Spirit. My wife and I live as unsponsored missionaries. Our newest ministry we are launching this month takes us to every H.S. and college campus. It is called Employers on Campus. The Lord will bring to me others across the nation to participate in this as a full time job or as a business owner. (Most of them will be born again Christians. That is what the Lord does.) We will find a way to preach the gospel on public campuses by using this as an door opener. -- Please pray for our success.
At your service,
You're most welcome.
In my observation and experience, all the comrades from seminary and all else I know who are truly doing something for Jesus Christ of which I would personally approve are "financially challenged" – but so was Paul (e.g.).
Thanks for sharing your encouraging testimony. Please feel free to write me back anytime, and keep up the good work for the kingdom – in that there is great reward that isn't just temporary.
Wishing you and your family a blessed new year in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Special Prayer Requests
A special word of thanks to all who have been praying for this ministry. The Lord has brought about a great deliverance for me and mine. I am forever grateful to Him, and also to all of you who have been faithfully interceding for me and for this ministry.
The Lord is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation.
Addendum: 12/24/16: I also want to thank everyone who has been praying for my family and especially for my mother. She passed away yesterday morning at the age of ninety-six. Considering the sad shape she was in, it was a blessing that the Lord took her when He did. She died "full of years" in the company of those who loved her, and now she is with the Lord – and nothing is better than that (Phil.1:23; Rev.7:17; 21:4).
For comfort for Jon and his family in the loss of his father. Thanks to all who have been praying for him. Jon reports convincing evidence that his dad was indeed saved before the end. Praise the Lord!
For Abby for success and blessing in her new efforts in ministry, and for her cousin Danny's health. *Please also pray for her health, strength and perseverance in stressful and challenging circumstances.
For our friend Bartek, for the recovery of his health, and also for success in gaining citizenship in the UK. *Also, please pray for empowerment and help for his father in his evangelization ministry.
For help and support for Yuhanna and his family in the midst of continuing trial and testing, and for the salvation of his wider family. And please pray in particular for financial help and help for a better job for his wife in the midst of this crisis. This is a critical time for his situation and potential deliverance [still waiting to hear 2/4/18]. *Yuhanna also asks for prayer for his wife and children find a sound biblically based church and for the Lord to display the fruit of The Spirit in their lives; and also for Charlotte to find employment.
For Ramsey, for success in his job application process [praise here! please keep him in your prayers].
For our friend Gaurav, for encouragement, health, and material deliverance.
*For the empowerment of our friend Curt's ministry; for his health, the health of his family [praise for good news here - please pray for Curt's own health], and for his finances. *Critical: please also pray for immediate deliverance from false accusations.
For our brother Abishai's help and guidance in preparing for ministry, as well as for his healing and help with his business to provide for his family's basic needs, and for the health and healing of his young daughter [praise here!]. Please also pray for his brother, a believer, to be led to the truth on important issues of doctrine.
For our friend Betty's help and deliverance [praise the Lord for answered prayer!].
For our friend Carol's recovery, encouragement and for help in her professional life.
For our friend Vau's father for healing from critical illness, and for Vau's encouragement [praise here!].
For our friend John's family's deliverance from cult influence [praise for some good news here, but some members are still entrapped].
For our friend Kathleen's recovery from a terrible accident.
For our friend Steve for strength, protection, providence and deliverance – more needful now than ever.
For help and deliverance for our friend Cindy's daughter.
*For our friend Brittany's healing from cancer, and for her spiritual recovery and encouragement.
For our friend Ken and his family's protection from persecution for seeking the truth.
For the family of Jewel, a recently martyred pastor in Bangladesh (please see the link).
Ken Young's ministry and for his health (please see the link).
For Christian congregations being persecuted in Sri Lanka (please see the link).
For our friend Neal's help in and healing from devastating illness.
For young Joel, a newborn with Zellweger syndrome, for his healing and strengthening.
For our friend Mark's successful surgery and swift recovery.
For the healing, blessing, encouragement and vindication of our brother, Nihal
*For our friend Mike's encouragement and God's blessing on his livelihood to provide for his family (urgently needed at present!).
For Helen's healing from cancer and for her comfort in the loss of her family members.
For pastor Don's wife Jessie's healing from cancer.
For Clyde's encouragement and deliverance in severe testing.
For John, for help in getting more hours or work or a better job.
For our friend John's help in coping with a difficult medical condition (cadasil).
For our friend Paul's father-in-law, for deliverance from cancer.
For healing for Leigh's dad's health (praise for betterment here - she thanks everyone for their prayers), for her daughter's healing from hypothyroidism and celiac disease, and for encouragement and help for her.
For the salvation of Judah's friend.
For Tom for help in the development of all skills necessary for an apologetics ministry combating atheism in particular.
For the deliverance of Michael's wife from extreme charismatic influence.
For Michael's deliverance from debt, stress and unwanted conflict – special prayer help needed here as things are getting worse.
For our friend Karl's mother's salvation.
For our friend Oscar's continued spiritual growth and help in securing suitable employment in spite of serious satanic opposition.
For Richard Khum and Mission Training School in Myanmar (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For Ashley and help with her marriage.
For Wen and family in a new area without suitable Bible teaching.
For Zach's healing, deliverance and comfort from severe cult abuse and control, and to be led into God’s truth.
For the salvation of Danny's mother and for her healing in extreme pain; for healing in body and mind, and for his protection and blessing on his family and for their reconciliation. Please also pray for Danny's living situation, and also for his job situation where he is experiencing persecution.
For deliverance for John's friend from the JW heresy.
For our friend who wished to remain nameless, for her protection and the protection of her children from a hostile and aggressive "ex".
For the deliverance of Jay's friend from the influence of a noxious cult.
For our friend Anna and her family's comfort in the loss of her daughter, and for the comfort, encouragement and salvation of her two children.
For our friend Sheila's healing from the after effects of a chronic condition *(praise here for healing! but please continue the prayers until she is completely back on her feet).
For our friend Sandra, suffering from multiply myeloma [praise here! please keep her in your prayers].
For David's wife who is recovering from back surgery.
For friends Lynette, Angie, Marcia, Dan and Jeffery, all of whom are presently under heavy spiritual pressures and in need of prayer and encouragement.
For our newly converted brother Jacob in India, for healing for him and for his daughter, for his material needs, and for the salvation of his parents.
For our friend Tommy, for a roof over his head.
For the protection of Crystal and her family.
For Billy's mother to be led into all of God's truth.
**For Resi in transitioning from Roman Catholicism and for help in serious financial difficulties. Please also pray for our friend to find a good job soon. Prayers also please for family who does not share his faith.
For Kim and her family, and for her daughter's deliverance from a cult.
For Leigh – she thanks everyone for their prayers (the Lord has taken her father home in a peaceful way).
For Ryan's salvation.
For Brian's healing from sleep apnea, protection on a hazardous job, and continued spiritual growth.
For help for Steven in successfully carrying a heavy and difficult academic load in preparing to minister to the body of Christ.
For the opening of Daniel's heart to the gospel and his salvation in Jesus Christ.
For Becca's family, for help with serious medical and financial troubles (praise here for answered prayers!).
For the salvation of John's two unbelieving sons.
For Charles' granddaughter, for the perseverance of her faith and for her deliverance from drug addiction.
For Bogdan's salvation and receptiveness to the truth.
For Clinton, for a place to live, help in finishing school, and spiritual growth.
For Bob for help in healing a painful skin disorder.
For Chris, for the preservation of his job in the midst of budget cuts [praise here! Victory! Job retained!], and for his health and protection on the job.
For the salvation of Mitch's wife.
For help for Sam's recovery from cancer and deliverance from extreme insomnia.
For Cary, for encouragement in persecution abroad, and for health and strength.
For Ania, for her salvation and spiritual growth in the truth.
For our friend Odii, for help in finding a way to make a living without compromising his principles in a difficult field (social media).
For Alex' and Chris' mother, for her salvation and the opening of her heart to the truth.
For our friend Carmen, for the healing of her boy and her husband, the protection of her granddaughters, and her encouragement and strength in negotiating a difficult trial.
For Amber's continued spiritual growth and encouragement, and for her healing.
For Sande's encouragement and perseverance in proclaiming and teaching the Word in the face of significant resistance.
For Christine, for help and protection in a longstanding debate with several JWs, and for Melina and Sandra, for their salvation and deliverance from the WT.
For Christian, for the prospering of his consultancy in order to have more time to prepare for and engage in ministry.
For Kim, for help for her and her family in struggling with severe financial pressures and for moving forward with spiritual growth.
For Brooke, for peace and blessing her marriage, and for her spiritual growth.
For Filip, for salvation in Jesus Christ and spiritual growth thereafter.
For Mélanie, for her healing and help in finishing her degree under difficult circumstances, and for encouragement to move forward with spiritual growth.
*For Dorota's healing from inoperable cancer, and for her salvation.
*For old friend and seminary colleague, pastor Mark, for his healing from cancer and its complications.
More E-mails: Complete archive of previous emails: Ichthys' Emails
The Transitional Era of the Book of Acts and its Unique Spiritual Gifts
Old Testament Interpretation X
Marriage and the Bible VI
The pre-Trib 'Rapture': so called 'imminence' and other false proofs refuted
Encouragement, Spiritual Testing and Spiritual Growth III
Eschatology Issues XXI
Eschatology Issues XX
Biblical Languages, Texts and Translations X
Legalism, Past and Present III: Sabbath observance, tithing, dietary regulations and other issues
Believers in the World V: Ministering, Mutually Encouraging, and Coping with Family, Politics, and Health
Salvation, the Gospel, and Unbelief II
Old Testament Interpretation IX
Christology Questions IX: Christ and His Church
Mutual Encouragement in Christ VI: Perseverance
Science and the Bible III
Faith, Forgiveness, Salvation II
Eschatology Issues XIX
Ministry and Preparation for Ministry IV
Bible Interpretation IX
Marriage and the Bible V
Gospel Questions XIII
Biblical Anthropology VI
Cults and Christianity VIII
Fighting the Fight V: Dispatches from the Laodicean 'Front' II
Old Testament Interpretation VIII
Eschatology Issues XVIII
Spiritual Growth III
Ministry and Preparation for Ministry III
Sin, Guilt, and Salvation II
New Testament Interpretation IV
Biblical Languages, Texts and Translations IX
Peace, Reconciliation and Salvation
Mutual Encouragement in Christ V: Soldiers of the Cross
Baptism: Water and Spirit VII
Faith, Forgiveness, Salvation
Cults and Christianity VII
Old Testament Interpretation VII
Sin, Guilt, and Salvation
Eschatology Issues XVII
Dangers of the Pre-Trib Rapture False Teaching
Biblical Languages, Texts and Translations VIII
The Infinity, Magnitude, Glory, Providence and Plan of God
Eschatology Issues XVI
Gospel Questions XII
The Bible and the Canon: The Inspired Word of God IV
Nephilim, Antichrist, the False Prophet and the Mark of the Beast
Angelic Issues VII
Prayer Questions II
The Trinity and Messianic Legalism II
Annihilationism, Universalism, Hell and Judgment II
Atheism and Apologetics II
Politics versus Spiritual Growth II
Culture and Christianity XVII: Humor, Self-Defense, Pacifism and War
Culture and Christianity XVI: Alcohol, Money and Dietary Issues
Dreams, Visions, Miracles, Exorcism, Tongues, and False Prophets
Calvinism, Catholicism and Ichthys
Apologetics, Legalism, Cults and Philosophy
The Law, Legalism, and Rome
Mutual Encouragement in Christ IV
Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers V
Faith and Free Will in Trial and Testing
Free Will and God's WILL in Salvation
Jobs, Money, Finances and Giving: What does the Bible say?
Ministry and Preparation for Ministry II
Eschatology Issues XV
Dealing with Sin and Guilt
Mutual Encouragement in Christ III
Preparing for Tribulation II
It is Better on the Other Side
Christology Questions VIII: The Deity, Humanity and Life of Christ
The Lives of the Apostles and the Writing of the New Testament II
Biblical People and Places: Eve, Cain, Noah, Abraham, Hagar, Esau, Joseph and more
Biblical Anthropology V: Body, Spirit and 'Soul', Present and Future
Satan, Antichrist, the False Prophet and the Mark of the Beast
The Holy Spirit: Pneumatology Questions V
Prophets, Prophecy, and False Prophets
Christology Questions VII: The Life and Spiritual Death of Christ and Holy Communion
The Bible and the Canon: The Inspired Word of God III
Culture and Christianity XV: The Bible vs. some Sensitive Social and Political Issues
Christology Questions VI: Christophany, Deity and the Spiritual Death of Christ
Encouragement, Spiritual Testing and Spiritual Growth II
Spiritual Warfare V
Cults and Christianity VI
Fighting the Fight IV: Dispatches from the Laodicean 'Front'
Eschatology Issues XIV
The Gift of Tongues: Part 3
The Resurrection Body and our Eternal Future II
Gospel Questions XI
Blindness, Disease and Healing
Ministry and Preparation for Ministry
Atheism and Apologetics
Biblical Languages, Texts and Translations VII
Church History II
Salvation Questions II
Culture and Christianity XIV
Encouragement, Spiritual Testing and Spiritual Growth
Judaism and Legalism in the church-visible
Bible Interpretation VIII
Apostasy, Sin and Salvation
Confronting False Groups and False Teaching III
Eschatology Issues XIII: Time of the Tribulation and the Resurrection, Antichrist and the Mark of the Beast
Theological Questions II
The Holy Spirit: Pneumatology Questions IV
Old Testament Interpretation VI
More Questions on the Book of Hebrews: Melchizedek, Esau, and the 'Impossibility' of Being Restored
Believers in the World IV: Making Godly Choices vs. Following Man-Made Rules
Guilt, Sin and Victory through Spiritual Growth
Confronting False Groups and False Teaching II
Cults and Christianity V
Politics versus Spiritual Growth
Christian Struggle, Perseverance and Deliverance
The Bible and the Natural World
Sin, Fear and Forgiveness
An Extended Conversation on the 'Unpardonable' Sin
Eternal Realities: Real Heaven, Real Hell
Eschatology Issues XII: Babylon, Armageddon, Israel, 2026
Ministers, Ministry, and Preparation for Ministry
Evangelism in Principle and Practice II
Gospel Questions X: Glory, John the baptist, the hidden talent, the Kingdom of God
Old Testament Interpretation V: The Flight to Egypt, the Virgin Birth, Jonathan's Choice, Tyre in Prophecy
Matthew Questions, verse by verse
Marriage and the Bible IV
Politics and Political Action on the Eve of the Tribulation
Bible Versions, Bible Translation, and Bible Reading IV
Spiritual Growth II
Mutual Encouragement in Christ II
Baptism: Water and Spirit VI
Science and the Bible II
Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers IV
Culture and Christianity XIII: College, Dating, Marriage and Friendship
Eschatology Issues XI: Trumpets, the Millennium, the Time of the Tribulation and the Resurrection.
Sin according to the Bible: Hamartiology II
Bible Interpretation VII
Salvation and Sin
Bible Interpretation VI
Eschatology Issues X: Strong delusion, blood moons, 2026, imminence, apostasy & the mark of the beast
Angelic Issues VI: Cherubs, Guardians, Elders and 'gods'
Sin according to the Bible: Hamartiology I
Bible Chronology, Aramaic and Interpretation
Christians and Mental Illness
Culture and Christianity XII
The Trinity and Messianic Legalism
Anger, Anthropopathism, Eternity and Divine Motives
Unbelievers, Free Will, and the Plan of God II
Christology Questions V: the Baptism, Temptation and Spiritual Death of Christ
The Bible and the Canon: The Inspired Word of God II
Believers in the World III: Prosperity Gospel, Tithing, Cults and Legalism
Gospel Questions IX
Faith, Hope and Love: Virtue in Spiritual Warfare
Trinity Questions II
Some Sensitive Topics IV
Finding a Church – or Something Better? II
New Testament Interpretation III
Faith vs. History, Archaeology, Philosophy
Believers in the World II: Confronting False Groups and False Teaching
The 144,000 and the Two Witnesses of the Tribulation
Biblical Anthropology IV: Soul and Spirit, Image and Likeness, Book of Life, Life at Birth, Accountability and Infant Salvation.
Predestination, Free Will and False Teaching
Christophany and the Trinity
Love, Marriage, and Divorce: Marriage and the Bible III
Interpreting Dreams and Analyzing Prophetic Claims
Culture and Christianity XI: Lying, Suicide, Tattoos, Investing, Drugs, Music, Family, Dating, Politics
Bible Versions, Bible Translation, and Bible Reading III
Eschatology Issues IX: Amillennialism, Trumpets, and the Seven Days
Spiritual Warfare IV: Demons, Demonic Influences and Satanic Methodology
Satan's Fall from Grace
Atheism and Gnosticism: Denying the Truth about God
Sin, Salvation and Forgiveness: Claiming the Mental and Spiritual High-Ground
Struggling with Salvation . . . and Relatives
Legalism, Past and Present II
Ministry and the Ichthys Ministry II
All about Ichthys II: Mutual Encouragement in the Lord
The Book of Job and Christian Suffering
Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers III: Creationism, Neanderthals, Fossil Record
Christology Questions IV: Jesus' Birth, Baptism, Early Life, and Kenosis
Third Party Testimony III: Near Death Experiences, Revelations and Tongues
Third Party Testimony II: Charismatic Claims of Visions, Dreams and Prophecy
Third Party Testimony I: We Believe God and His Word – Not People
God Heals - in His way (not our way)
Sanctification, Separation and Restraint
Finding a Church – or Something Better?
Culture and Christianity X: Military Service, College, Politics, and Race Relations
Contemporary Churches and Women Preachers
Culture and Christianity IX: Politics, Tithing, Music, Crucifixes, Alcohol, and Gambling
Marriage and the Bible II
Biblical Anthropology III: Soul versus Spirit, "Soul Sleep", and the Interim Body
New Testament Interpretation II: Who is equal? Grace in vain. Unequally yoked.
Aspects of the Crucifixion II: Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday?
Aspects of the Crucifixion I: Carrying the cross, trials and rooster crow.
Salvation Lost and Found
The Canon: Content, Chronology, and Criticism
Spiritual Warfare III: Peter's 'Angel', Saul's Death, and Strange Events
Old Testament Interpretation IV: Gehazi's Leprosy, Tyre's Destruction, and Immanuel
Nephilim, Fallen Angels, and Genesis 6
Gospel Questions VIII
Sin, Atonement and Forgiveness II
Sin, Atonement and Forgiveness I
Annihilationism, Universalism, Hell and Judgment
When is the Rapture?
Noah, the Flood, and the Nature of Animals
The Tribulation: Timing of, Preparation for, and Conditions in
Eschatology Issues VIII: Revelation, Tribulation and Judgment
Antichrist: the Mark, the Number, and the Identification of the Beast
Satan's Revolt and the Tribulation to Come
Old Testament Interpretation III: The Name 'Jacob', the Mark of Cain, Jeshrun.
Old Testament Interpretation II: Urim and Thummim, the Bronze Serpent, the Ark.
Being Saved: Security, Apostasy, and the Sin unto Death
Fighting the Fight III: False Teaching, Local Churches, and the Truth
Fighting the Fight II: Struggling with Sin, Doubt, and Severe Testing
Fighting the Fight I: Accountability, Faith, Sin, Forgiveness, and Reward
Dispensations, Covenants, Israel and the Church II
Dispensations, Covenants, Israel and the Church I
Witnessing: Cults and Christianity II
Witnessing: Cults and Christianity I
Ministry and the Ichthys Ministry
Biblical Interpretation V
Baptism: Water and Spirit V
Spiritual Growth, Church-Searching and "Discipling"
Unbelievers, Free Will, and the Plan of God
Biblical Languages, Texts and Translations VI
Baptism: Water and Spirit IV
Paganism, Idolatry, Mythology and the Occult
The Lives of the Apostles and the Writing of the New Testament
The Essence of God and Deity of Christ
Parables and their Interpretation
The Meaning and Purpose of True Christian Assembly
Marriage and the Bible
Spiritual 'ups' and 'downs'
1st John: Text and Interpretation
Eschatology Issues VII
Perseverance in the latter days of Laodicea
Baptism: Water and Spirit III
Prayer: the Persistence, Purpose and Power of.
Paul the Apostle: Aspects of his Life and Ministry
Gospel Questions VII: The Wedding at Cana et al.
Israel, 'Lost Tribes' and the Star of David
Israel and Antichrist in Eschatology
Explaining and Defending the Trinity and the Person of Christ II
The Holy Spirit: Pneumatology Questions III
Culture and Christianity VIII
The Geography of Heaven, Hades and 'Hell'.
Eschatology Issues VI
Bible Interpretation IV
Legalism, Past and Present
The Resurrection Body and our Eternal Future.
Christ the First-Born, High Priest in the Order of Melchizedek.
Bible Versions, Bible Translation, and Bible Reading II
Bible Versions, Bible Translation, and Bible Reading
Hermeneutics, Typology, Christophany, Theophany and Anthropopathism.
No, Hebrews does not teach that you lost your salvation.
Gospel Questions VI: the Long Ending of Mark et al.
Judas and the Betrayal of Christ
Doubting Salvation and Questions of Sin
The 144,000: God's Seal vs. the Mark of the Beast
Atheism: Putting Truth to Death
War in Heaven II
The Holy Spirit: Pneumatology Questions II
War in Heaven
The Holy Spirit: Pneumatology Questions I
The Law, Love, Faith-Rest and Messianism
Paul and the Law
Genesis Questions III
Sin and Salvation, Confession and Forgiveness
Have I Lost My Salvation? (III)
The Battlefield Within: Fighting the inner spiritual Struggle.
Putting Christ in Christmas: Loving Jesus, the Star and the Magi, Wonderful Counselor.
Old Testament Interpretation: Moses and Zipporah, David's disastrous Census, the Destruction of the Midianites, et al.
Healing, Miracles, and Dreams: Sorting the Wheat from the Chaff by biblical Means
153 Fish: Explaining some Difficult New Testament Passages
Kenosis: Our Lord's Self-Limitation during the 1st Advent
Biblical Anthropology II: 'Soul sleep', & dichotomy vs. trichotomy
Biblical Anthropology I: The Nature of Human Beings and Human Life according to the Bible.
Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers II.
Culture and Christianity VII: Jury Duty, Witnessing, Biometry, Military Service et al.
Culture and Christianity VI: Halloween, Holidays, Aliens, and Christian Applications.
Angelic Issues V: Michael, the Angel of the Lord, Christophany, demons, cherubs, and Satan's revolt.
Angelic Issues IV: Satan's Revolt in the Plan of God.
New Testament Interpretation: Melchizedek, 'Forsake not Assembly', 'Women Remain Silent', Water-Baptism, Tongues, Prophecy, Intervention of Departed Believers.
Lost my salvation II?
All about Ichthys: Mutual Encouragement in the Lord.
Fallen Angels, Demons, Nephilim, and the Devil's Methodology.
End Times Interpretation II.
Salvation, the Gospel, and Unbelief.
The Bible and the Canon: The Inspired Word of God.
End Times Interpretation.
Grace versus Law.
Communion and the Spiritual Death of Christ.
Sinlessness and 1st John.
Israelology, Anti-Semitism, the Remnant, Gentiles, Lost Tribes, Jewish Myths.
"Soul Sleep" versus our true Heavenly State.
Christology Questions III: The Angel of the Lord, the Lamb Slain, monogenes.
Angelic Issues III: Demons, Satan, Elders, Female Angels and Guardians.
Against Universalism III: Unbelievers in the Plan of God.
Waters Above, the Firmament, and the Genesis Gap.
In Need of Guidance and Encouragement.
Biblical Languages, Texts and Translations V.
Servants, Slaves, Disciples, and Ministers.
Baptism: Water and Spirit II.
Bible Interpretation III: David's Anointing, Stephen versus Genesis, Triplets, This People, and more.
Evangelism in Principle and Practice.
Scripture versus Personal Experience.
Calvinism, Covenants and Catholicism.
Culture and Christianity V: Temporal Authority vs. Biblical Application.
False Doctrine of Absolute Eternal Security III.
The Dangers of Messianic Legalism IV: Unclean and Impure?
Things to Come III: The Wrath of God and the Fate of the Beast's Army.
God Works All Things Together for Good.
The 7 Trumpets, the 7 Kings, Nephilim, Antichrist and Revived Rome.
The Coming Tribulation and the Kingdom of God.
Sin, Confession and Forgiveness.
Mutual Encouragement in Christ.
Biblical Languages, Texts and Translations IV.
Culture and Christianity IV: Doing one's job as 'unto the Lord', the peril's of 'heroic medicine', Christian perspectives on legalizing marijuana, when lying is not a sin, and when life begins.
Eschatology Issues V: "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons".
Ichthys and Contemporary Christianity.
Gospel Questions V: Help my Unbelief, Respecting our Enemies, etc.
The Two Witnesses of the Tribulation: Moses and Elijah.
The Apostles, the Jerusalem Council, and Legalism then and now.
Aspects of the Christian Walk: Gambling, Lying, Christmas, Judging, Worrying, et al.
Believers in the World: Using our Free Will to Respond to the Lord
Christology Questions II: The Serpent Lifted and the Cross, Jesus' Infallibility, Destroy this Temple, the Sign Spoken Against, His Glorification, the Spirit's Anointing, and the Necessity for His Humanity.
Paul's Jerusalem Error, Worshiping Truly, the Priesthood of the Believer, and Peter's Vision of the Impure Food
Christian Trials and Testing
Gospel Questions IV: The Prophet, the rich man in Hades, Peter's wife, the 'eleven' and the 'twelve' apostles, 'the world could not contain' (Jn.21:25), and progressive revelation.
Eschatology Issues IV: Israeli politics, 'This Generation', Signs of the Times, the Beast presently alive?, 'Flee Babylon', Preparing for the Tribulation, and 'was, is not, will be'.
John's Water-Baptism versus the Baptism of the Holy Spirit
Eschatology Issues III: Over-focusing on Revelation, the Seven Churches, Enoch versus Elijah, and the Symbolism of the Menorah
The Purpose of Chronicles, Cyrus the Persian, the Chronology of the Exodus Plagues, Qumran and Isaiah, Nebuchadnezzar's Madness, and Jeremiah 31:22, "A Woman will Embrace a Man".
Aaron and the Golden Calf, Mount Zion, Moses and Zipporah, the high priest's attire, and the ark of the covenant.
Aspects of the Genesis Curse on Animals, the Tree of Knowing Good and Evil, Jacob Wrestling with the Angel of the Lord, and Kainam.
The City of David, the Star of David, Solomon's Wisdom, and the Song of Solomon.
The Israelites at Kadesh and 'not entering the Land of Promise'.
Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers.
Sin and Spiritual Transformation.
Cults and Christianity IV
Cults and Christianity III
Cults and Christianity II
Cults and Christianity.
One Baptism: the True Meaning of Peter's Words at Acts 2:38.
Apostasy and the Sin unto Death, the Conscience and Sanctification.
The Plan of God and Individual Salvation (excerpt from BB 4B)
In Your Anger, do not Sin: Ephesians 4:26 and the Sin Nature
Bible Interpretation II: Easter, Abiathar, the Hyssop-Blood Cross, Baal, the Scarlet Thread, Names of God, Adiaphoria, and Mezentius.
Spiritual Warfare II
Culture and Christianity III
Have I Lost my Salvation?
On the Firing Line: Encouragement in Christian Trials
Eschatology and the Old Testament
Prayer and our Walk with Jesus.
Issues of Canonicity II: Aramaic, Enoch, KJV, and the Pastorals
Bible Vocabulary and Bible Word Studies
Satan, his Demons, and the Gnostics
Antichrist: Alive and Well and Living on Planet Earth?
The Nature of Angels
Our Eternal Future: Life after Death for Believers in Jesus Christ
Giants and Nephilim, Sumerian Myths, and Sea Monsters
Dreams and Visions II
The Golden Rule
The Divinity of Jesus Christ
Free-Will Faith and the Will of God
Some Sensitive Topics III
The Spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy: explaining James 4:5.
Faith: What is it?
The Seven-Fold Spirit of God.
Free-Will Faith in the Plan of God.
Putting the Word of God First.
The False Doctrine of "Soul Sleep" II.
The False Doctrine of Absolute Eternal Security II.
The Plan of God
The Dangers of Messianic Legalism III
The Dangers of Messianic Legalism II
The Dangers of Messianic Legalism.
The Gift of Tongues: Part 2
The Gift of Tongues: Part 1
Mega-Churches, Emergent Christianity, Spirituality and Materialism.
Epignosis, Christian Epistemology, and Spiritual Growth.
Jephthah's Daughter, Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage.
Christian Unity and Divisiveness.
Death, Martyrdom and Resurrection.
Blessing, Cursing, and Prayer.
Freedom and Responsibility.
Fighting the Good Fight of Faith.
Only-Begotten, Mother-of-God, On-this-Rock: English-only Interpretation is Dangerous.
The Greek Text of the New Testament and some Issues of Textual Criticism.
What does the name 'Christian' mean?
Some Jewish Issues.
Christians Beware: Internet Frauds and the Need for Spiritual Discernment (part 2).
Christians Beware: Internet Frauds and the Need for Spiritual Discernment.
Sin and Forgiveness.
Spring Special: The Millennial Regathering and Purging of Israel.
Life Begins at Birth.
Culture and Christianity II
Culture and Christianity I
The Saved and the Unsaved
Last Things and Last Judgments
The Local Church and Personal Ministry IV
The Local Church and Personal Ministry III
The Local Church and Personal Ministry II
The Local Church and Personal Ministry I
More on Antichrist and his Kingdom
Antichrist and Babylon
Some Sensitive Topics II.
Christmas Special: The Judgment and Reward of the Church.
What is God's Will?
Combating Legalism VI
Combating Legalism V
Combating Legalism IV
Combating Legalism III
Combating Legalism II
Combating Legalism I
Aspects of the False Doctrine of Institutional Security
Chronological Order of the Books of the Bible II
Biblical Languages, Texts and Translations III
Biblical Languages, Texts and Translations II
Biblical Languages, Texts and Translations I
Gospel Questions III: Least in the kingdom, Millstones, Pennies, Pebbles, Babes, Rhaka, Tallits, and the Crown of Thorns.
Gospel Questions II: Jesus' Turning Water to Wine, Sweating Blood, Walking on Water, Washing the Disciples' Feet, and the Promise of Freedom."
Things to Come II: Genesis Rapture, Daniel's Weeks, Seven Kings, Signs of the Apocalypse, Tribulational Suffering, Seven Seals, the Bride of Christ, and Mystery Babylon.
Things to Come: The Half Hour, the 144,000, the Book of Life, Rewards, the Beast's Kingdom, the Great Apostasy, and the so-called 'Partial Rapture'.
Satan and the Existence of Evil.
The Holy Spirit: Blasphemy against, Restraining Ministry, and Gender.
Spiritual Gifts and Spiritual Growth
Christian Love, the Golden Rule, Christian Military Service and Self-Defense.
Issues of Canonicity: Apocrypha, Enoch, and Inspiration.
Church: The Biblical Ideal versus the Contemporary Reality.
Numbers, Letters, and the Mark of the Beast.
Gospel Questions I: Jesus' Life, the Gospels and Cherubs, and who Wrote Matthew.
More Questions about Genesis.
Naaman, Nero, Nineveh, and Senacharib.
The False Doctrine of Absolute Eternal Security.
Choosing Hell: Questions about Salvation and the Love of God.
The Chronology of the End.
The Route of the Israelites in Crossing the Red Sea.
Some Issues of Transmission, Translation, and Transliteration: The Camel and the Needle, etc.
Aspects of the Life of Christ: Jesus' siblings, the man born blind, et al.
Jesus is God and man.
Jesus is God.
Redemption, the Blood of Christ, Christ our Passover, and The Passion of the Christ.
Eschatology Issues II: Angelic bodies, heaven and hell, Satan and the Nephilim, etc.
The Book of Job and Biblical Interpretation.
Some Questions about Eternity.
Who Controls our Thoughts and Emotions?
The Day of the Lord.
Sleep as a Euphemism for Death.
Christ's Preaching to the Spirits in Hell (1Pet.3:18-20), & Michael's Rebuke of Satan (2Pet.2:10-11 ).
Recovering from Sin.
The Timing of the Resurrection.
Dispensations, the Church, the Rapture, and the Destruction of the Universe.
Christianity versus Contemporary Kitsch.
Purpose Driven Life, Oprah's New Age Religion, et al.
Lot, Esau, and Cain: Learning through Negative Examples.
Against Universalism II: Only Believers are Saved.
Against Universalism I: Free Will and the Image of God.
Courage in the Fight.
The Seven Edens and the Eden of Adam and Eve.
Opposition to the Genesis Gap from the Creation Research Institute et al.
Mary 'Full of Grace'?
Changing the Name of God?
The Beast: Some Questions about Antichrist.
The Book of Revelation: Some Questions.
Red Hot or Lukewarm? Bible Teaching versus Sermonizing.
The Last Judgment and the Great White Throne.
Baptism: Water and Spirit.
Christology: Some Questions on the Life of Christ.
Train up a Child in the Way he should Go.
War, History, and Politics.
Unbelief and its Consequences.
Dreams and Visions.
Explaining and Defending the Trinity and the Person of Christ.
Free Will and Faith under Pressure.
Angelic Issues II.
Science and the Bible.
Bible Interpretation I: Academics, Versions et al.
Faith in the Word of God: the Basis of all True Worship.
Aspects of the Resurrection II.
Faith and Encouragement in the midst of Fiery Trials.
Some Sensitive Topics.
Jethro, Amenhotep, Iraq, the Catacombs, and the KJV.
Eschatology Issues: The Fig Tree, Ezekiel 38, Joel 3, and the Trumpets.
Christ the Rock, the Rooster's Crow, and the Cross.
Applying Faith II: Production, Forgiveness, Circumcision, Truth over People.
Applying Faith: Eating, Drinking, and Vacation.
The Tree of Life, Communion, and the Virgin Birth.
Can Prayer Be Offered From Heaven? & Some Genesis Questions.
Walking the Path of Faith through the Light of the Word of God.
Salvation on the battlefield, truth revealed to infants, and damnation.
Preparing for Tribulation.
Divine Sovereignty and Divine Judgment.
God's Free Gift of Salvation.
Should Christians wear Jewelry?
The Lord's Prayer.
The Events Surrounding the Birth of Christ.
Cremation or Burial?
Zechariah, Demon Possession, Marriage, Spiritual Experiences, and Bible Prophecy.
No Grounds for Divorce?
The Shape of the Universe, Hominids, and the Genesis Gap.
Taking Personal Responsibility: Interest, Bankruptcy, Gambling, and Employment.
The Seven Churches, the Judgment Seat of Christ, and other issues in Eschatology.
The Canonicity of the book of Hebrews.
Great White Throne, the Last Judgment, and the Outer Darkness.
Political Action versus Biblical Christianity.
Study Tools and Methodologies.
The Gospel and the Kingdom of God.
Pursuing a Deeper Relationship with Jesus and Christian Epistemology.
The Origin and the Danger of the Pre-Tribulational Rapture Theory.
The Divinity of the Spirit and the Percentage of those who are Saved.
Should Christians ever consider getting a lawyer?
Pastoral Authority, Popes, Pat Robertson, and Pelagianism.
Some Questions on Church Polity.
Apostles and Evangelism
Luther, Arminius, Calvin, Kant, Ironside, Tutu and Thieme.
Transmutation, Resuscitation, and Resurrection.
Is the Soul a tertium quid?
More on the Documentary Hypothesis and More on the Rapture.
Enoch's Walk with God and Some Questions in the Gospels.
The Influence of the Renaissance and Rationalism on the Church and Cutting off Arms in Malachi 2:3.
1st John 5:20 & Romans 6:23.
Baptism and Following Jesus.
Where is Armageddon?
Assurance of Salvation.
The Cross, Sin, and the Devil in God's Plan.
More on: Spiritual Gifts; Hats & Hair; the Age of Accountability.
Daniel 9:25 and Daniel 11:30.
Who will populate earth during the Millennium? and Asking for Wisdom: James 1:5.
Was Judas Saved?, The Gospel of Judas, and Issues of Canonicity.
Is 'My Son' Israel or Jesus in Hosea 11:1? & How do you Prove Sin to Someone?
Did Matthew Write his Gospel in Hebrew?
Christian Crowns, Pagan Names, and the Time of the Cock-Crow.
Child-like Faith, Mark vs. Matthew, the Mahdi, and 'Who was with God in the Beginning?
True Orthodoxy and False Creeds.
Foot-washing, Bitter Herbs, Baptism, and Borrowed Faith.
All Things Charismatic.
Friday versus Thursday Crucifixion.
Jesus' Cursing of the Fig Tree, Apostasy, and 'Feng Shui'.
The Genesis Serpent, Using "it" to refer to the baby Jesus, and more on Tattoos.
Resisting the Devil.
Why did Jesus choose John over James to take care of His mother Mary?
Antichrist's 'desire of women' in Daniel 11:37 et al.
Do recent catastrophes have a divine origin?
Does God really want us to be sick and poor? Revisiting the prosperity gospel.
Why did our Lord Jesus arise from the tribe of Judah?
What will our relationship be in heaven with children who died young?
The baptism of the Holy Spirit as distinct from speaking in tongues.
The Grammar behind the Genesis Gap.
The Great White Throne Judgment.
Moses and Zipporah.
The Victory of Faith.
Does God's choice of us eliminate our free will?
Why does God allow bad things to happen?
The Bible as "divine", roof prayer, and tattoos.
Character in Hebrews 1:3, et al.
Exorcism, et al.
"Are the children of unbelievers lost if they die before receiving Christ?"
How not to get "left behind".
"Is baptism necessary for salvation?"
"The nature of life after death."
"The personality of the Holy Spirit."
"The dragon of Revelation 12 and the talking idol of Revelation 13."
"Bound by Satan in Luke 13:16, language and the Tower of Babel, Daniel's 70th week, and the number 12."
"Infirmities and Diseases in Matthew 8:17"
"The Leftover Baskets of Bread and Fish in John 6."
"Waiting for the Ascension" and "Amos 4:11".
Why was Canaan cursed?
Should Christians have a competitive attitude?
John "leapt for joy" in the womb - or did he?
Satanic Influence in Video Games and Television.
Moving Mountains: Matthew 21:21
Not a hair shall be lost? Luke 21:16 versus Luke 21:18.
The reign of antichrist: 7 years or 3 and 1/2 years?
The Trinity in Scripture.
The Ark of the Covenant.
"Doubts about the Nephilim in Genesis 6" and "Ezekiel 9:4 and the Mark of the Beast"
"Word Counts in the Bible", "Him whom they Pierced (Rev.1:7)", and "Necromancy".
"Waiting for a Savior" and "The Direction East in the Bible"
Is there a purgatory according to the Bible?
Your desire shall be for your husband: Genesis 3:16.
Have I committed the unforgivable sin?
Is the local church meant to be a patriarchy?
Why doesn't the Bible mention all of the prophets of the children of Israel?
The True "Victorious Life".
Tohu in Genesis 1:2 and the Cause of the Darkness.
Why Doesn't God Prevent All Children from Dying?
Why were Christians being regarded as "evil-doers" in 1st Peter 2:12?
The Scofield Reference Bible.
Phylacteries and the Mark of the Beast, and "What about Joseph?"
Feeling desperate and alone.
Is Tithing net or gross?
Assembly of the local church, and Jesus' use of "I AM" from Exodus 3:14 in John 8:58
The "burden of the Lord" in Jeremiah 23:32-40, and judgment for idle words in Matthew 12:36-37.
The importance of spiritual resiliency.
Does God use disease to discipline us?
Recovering from Cult Exposure.
Variability in Christian Testing and Personal Tribulation.
Is there any value to the Apocrypha?
The Communion Ceremony outside of the local church.
The Christian Walk, the End, and Tattoos.
Should Christians honor Sunday as the new Sabbath?
Chronological order of the books of the Bible.
Doubt, light, missed opportunities et al.
Addicted to Sin.
Corporate prayer in Matthew 18:19: "when two agree on earth".
What does the Bible say about humor?
The value of cumulative prayer.
Our Heavenly, Pre-Resurrection, Interim State.
How could a loving God order the destruction of the Canaanites?
Should Christians observe the Torah?
Church Polity and three other passages.
Walking with Jesus.
Tongues: does 'no man' understand?
The few saved, the door in heaven, visions of heavenly realities, and Christmas.
Christian suffering and spiritual maturity.
Aliens, antichrist, and eschatology.
Does exceptionally sinful behavior indicate that a Christian has lost salvation?
Should Christians celebrate Jewish festivals?
The Deaths of the 12 Disciples / Apostles of Christ.
Categories of Sin in Psalm 19.
Some brief answers on a variety of topics.
Pastoral Support, Pastoral Preparation, and the Purpose of Assembly.
Encouragement, Isaiah 6:11-13, and the Hope of Repentance.
Questioning the Genesis Gap.
Dinosaurs, the Nephilim, Noah, et al.
How much should we pay our pastor?
More about Women Preachers.
Is it wrong for me to celebrate Easter?
The Remnant in Isaiah 6:13.
The Big Distinction.
The Day of the Lord in 2nd Peter 3:10.
The Day of the Lord.
The Sealing of the Holy Spirit.
Visions of Angels: Colossians 2:18.
Waiting on God's timing: patience in testing.
"Your Throne, O God": Psalm 45:6.
Moses striking the Rock.
Procreation and Creation.
What is meant by the phrase "the Lord's footstool"?
1st Peter 3:3-5
A conversation about divorce and remarriage.
Faith in the midst of the fiery trial.
Hebrews 10:26 again, and two other notes on Arthur Pink and the Greek word diakonos.
What is the correct translation of Isaiah 59:19?
Is the star of Acts 7:43 the star of David?
Some questions about Nimrod and Christmas trees, Tongues, and Healing
Is Jesus the only One ever to restore sight?
What happens to people who were born and died prior to the birth of Christ?
Which is better, the King James Version or the New King James Version?
What is the minimum necessary to be saved?
How can we know whose interpretation of the Bible is right (Part 2)?
How can we know whose interpretation of the Bible is right (Part 1)?
Psalm 22:1, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"
The "Mind of Christ" in 1st Corinthians 2:16
Simeon and Simon, and the two crows of the rooster
Ichthys, saints, and the Last Adam
Does Hebrews 10:26 teach loss of salvation?
Eternal security: where does one draw the line?
Who are Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38-39?
How did John the baptist come to doubt Jesus?
Is Jesus literally seated on the throne at God's right hand?
Are the Celts the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel?
Whatever happened to the "Genesis Gap"?
"The baptism which now saves you": 1st Peter 3:21.
Hebrew Language Study Tools.
What type of healing is being discussed in Isaiah 53:5?
The Origin of the Four Seasons
2nd Peter 3:5: Doubting the Tribulation
Tent-making and Galatians 6:6
A Question about Ichthys books
Biblical Metaphors and Symbolism
Faith and the Pre-Tribulational "Rapture".
Bible translation and John 8:58.
Melchizedek and the high priesthood of Christ: two questions et alia.
In need of encouragement.
The centurion and the Syro-Phoenician woman.
Who is the Meshiach?
A Sadducean Question
What is "heaven" like according to Christian teachings?
Acts 20:28: Whose Blood?
1st Corinthians 11: Hats or Hair?
Confession of Sin, Fellowship, and the Filling of the Holy Spirit.
A Miscellany of Questions and Answers (Nineveh, the beast, tongues, demons, Sadam, etc.)
Some Greek Questions in the Gospels (John 1:3; 2:19; 8:58; Luke 23:43)
Is Man trichotomous, and does that mean that salvation is three-tiered?
Questioning the Trinity
The blood of Christ
Christ knocking at the door in Revelation 3:20
The futility of memory without God and eternal life.
The meaning of Jesus' words, "I am" in John 8:58
What does the Bible say about Heaven and Hell?
Peace in 1st Corinthians 14:33
Salvation and Church Affiliation.
Several questions on the book of Hebrews.
Does the Bible prohibit women from preaching or teaching in the Church?
Should Christian leaders refrain from drinking in public?
How to use the Bible translations at Ichthys.
The Worship of Jesus: a proof of His divinity?
An Extended Conversation about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Is water baptism required for Christians today?
Are health and wealth a part of the gospel?
Will those in Hades be able to see Christ's return?
Feelings of Guilt about Remarriage.
Who are the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel?
What does "the Word was with God" mean in John 1:1-2?
Three questions on three verses in Isaiah (Is.21:4; 28:10, & 66:24).
How important is education for a pastor?
Does Hebrews 10:26-35 ("deliberate sinning" etc.) mean that a believer can lose his or her salvation?
Availability and use of Ichthys materials: several questions.
Is there any difference between demons and fallen angels?
Two questions about Judas Iscariot.
Three Questions about Tattoos and Salvation.
The Hebrew word for 'one' (`echadh) and the uniqueness of God.
Did the witch of Endor really conjure up the spirit of Samuel?
A Question about the "Waters Above".
Why did God the Father wait so long to send Jesus into the world?
How does being "slain in the Spirit" relate to being baptized in the Spirit?
How do you prove the existence of God?
Where does the Bible teach that Jesus is God?
Is it ever Justifiable to Tell a Lie (part 2)?
Seeing double in Matthew.
Mary, Joseph, and Nazareth.
Is the Westminster Catechism a Good Reference Tool?
What does it mean "the spirit returns to God" in Ecclesiastes 12:7?
Is there any Connection between biblical Gemstones and Moral Characteristics?
Are Miraculous Gifts Operational Today?
Jesus Christ in the Old Testament (Christophany: Gen.3:8).
Can those in organizations which teach "salvation by works" be saved?
Is "helpmeet" a wrong translation in Genesis 2:20?
Our will and God's WILL.
Cast thy Bread upon the Waters: What do the seven and eight portions in Ecclesiastes 11:2 mean?
Was Cain Satan's literal "seed"?
The Demon Possessed Girl in Acts 16:16.
The "Sin unto Death" in 1st John 5:16.
Is death just a natural part of human life?
Communion and the Blood of Christ.
What does it mean in 1st Corinthians 7:14, "the unbelieving husband is sanctified"?
The Re-institution of the Feast of Tabernacles in the Millennium.
Secular Documentation for the Exodus.
The false doctrine of "soul sleep".
The Author of Hebrews and Jesus' Perfect Completion of His Mission.
The Trinity in Isaiah 63:10-15.
How old was Jesus at the time of His crucifixion and resurrection?
Five Smooth Stones: 1st Samuel 17:40
How can we know the Bible is true?
The name "Jesus".
Habakkuk's Prosperity Prayer: Habakkuk 3:17-19.
Jeremiah 31:22: "A Woman shall Compass a Man".
The New International Version of the Bible and some issues in Bible translation.
Is "the Prophet" of Deuteronomy 18:18 Muhammad?
The One True God and the Trinity in the Old Testament.
Are those in Hebrews 6:4 who "crucify the Son of God afresh" lost?
Are New Bible Translations Part of a Conspiracy?
What exactly is the "red heifer prophecy", and how does it relate to the events of the end times?
Where did the waters of Genesis 1 go?
Sin, Baptism, and the Book of Revelation
Tithing and the Book of Life
The Dangers of the Prosperity Gospel.
English and the Tower of Babel.
The "Seven Thunders" of Revelation 10:3-4
The fate of the unrighteous dead in Isaiah 66:24
Who are the "sons of the kingdom" in Matthew 18:11-12?
Why does Judah get greater honor than Jerusalem in Zechariah 12:7?
Are there Female Angels?
Longevity in the Millennium.
How is the date of Easter computed?
What is the meaning of the 1290 days versus the 1335 days in Daniel 12?
What Church era are we now in?
The mark of the beast.
Christophany in the Exodus.
Can you explain "help my unbelief!" in Mark 9:24?
What does it mean to "overcome" in Revelation chapters 2 and 3?
Are women required to wear veils or hats in church?
Is the world about to come to an end?
Does the Bible ever describe the earth as being round?
Pre-, mid-, or post-Tribulation rapture?
Pearls before swine.
Recognizing the Messiah.
The gift of healing.
The origin and fate of the "giants" in Genesis chapter six.
Christian suffering - Christian encouragement.
Is speaking in tongues biblical?
Is speaking in tongues a sin?
Can you recommend a good commentary on the book of Romans?
Aspects of the resurrection.
The recipients of Peter's epistles.
Pre- or Post-Tribulation "rapture"?
The lives of the prophets.
The old prophet who lied.
Animal sacrifice in the millennium.
Is it ever justifiable to lie?
Who wrote the King James version?
The meaning of the divine name יהוה.
The so-called "documentary hypothesis".
The relationship between the books of Kings and Chronicles.
David's disastrous census of Israel.
Aspects of the Unseen Angelic Warfare and 666, the Mark of the Beast.
The 200 million strong demon army of Revelation 9:13.
Deliverance through Childbearing in 1st Timothy 2:15?
Some questions about the Tribulation.
More on divorce and remarriage.
Divorce and remarriage.
The antecedents of ICHTHYS.
What does it mean to "remember the Sabbath and keep it holy"?
The manner of the apostle Peter's death.
Wasn't Matthias the thirteenth apostle?
Forward progress necessary for salvation and spiritual growth.
The "seven days" of human history.
1st John 1:9 and confessing sin.
ICHTHYS and the role of traditional Christianity.
Can you recommend a good survey for the Old and New Testaments?
Where can I find more information on the "Genesis gap"?
Is Church membership an issue in salvation?
Can you recommend a church?
Are these materials available for purchase as books?
A bit of autobiography.
What is your opinion of the Abingdon one-volume Bible Commentary?
What is the significance of the number "20" in the Bible?
The 144,000 of Revelation chapters 7 and 14.
What is your view on predestination?
Who is "true Israel"?
The chronology of the date 2026.
Does baptism play a role in being born again?
Why does the devil have access to God while man cannot stand in His presence?
The structure of the book of Revelation.
What is your view of the rapture?
What is meant by the "10 days" of Revelation 2:10?
Dragons in the Bible?
Are there apostles in the Church today?
What is the meaning of the word "chosen" in the Bible.
What are the most common Bible names?
What is the biblical significance of the number forty?
What does the Bible have to say about witchcraft?
How can I protect myself from false teaching?
Didn't the devil know he couldn't defeat God?
Are the Masons wrong according to the Bible?
Can the faith of "backsliders" be restored?
Are there biblical origins to mythology?
What does the phrase "sides of the pit" mean in Isaiah 14:15?
Can prayer be offered in the name of the Son?
Election and John 6:37?
Is it valid to celebrate Christmas?
Can you give me some information on divine names in the Bible?
What is the significance of name changes in the Bible?
Is faith a "gift of God"?
Is there a "gospel of Thomas"?
Is the nature of Man dichotomous or trichotomous?
Will the temple be rebuilt in Jerusalem?
Does the Bible teach a literal Millennium?
What does the word "good" mean in Genesis?
Who are "the dead" who "rise first" in 1st Thessalonians 4?
Are the Greek tenses in John 7:34 correctly translated?
Is the devil "mad" to oppose God?
Does the Bible require supporting the pastor financially?
How can Jesus be a man and God at the same time?
How did people atone for intentional sin in Old Testament times?
What is the symbolism of the Lamb of God in Revelation?
Can you recommend some word study tools for Bible study?
Can people who commit suicide be saved?
Are tattoos biblical?
Is it "ichthys" or "ichthus"?
What is the difference between wisdom and discernment?
Marriage of Believers and Unbelievers.
Is hearing believing in John 6:35?
How certain a date is 2026?
Is Paul describing himself in Romans chapter seven?
Is tithing required for salvation?
What is the evidence for the "rapture"?
Is there any validity to the "prosperity gospel"?
Who are the "Nephilim" in Genesis chapter six?
Is there a literal "devil"?
What does the Bible have to say about reincarnation?
What is the unpardonable sin?
Believing the Bible for Spiritual Growth.
Why was the New Testament written in Greek?
What about those who have never heard of Christ?
What about elders and deacons?
Eternal Security and "sinless perfection".
Eternal Security and "salvation by works".
Does the Bible teach ex nihilo creation?
When did Jesus first know He was God's Son?
Are there prophets today?
Despairing of life.
How important is baptism?
How could Christ have been three days and nights in the grave?
Do Muslims worship the One true God?
What can I do about spiritual fainting?