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Angelic Issues VIII
special prayer requests
I thank God that you are doing better in health. I only just saw in yesterday's email posting that you have had to see a cardiologist before so I am going to be praying specifically for your health from now on. I will also be praying for your job too. Thanks for sharing those burdens with me.
Thank you very very much for keeping me in your prayers, sir. I rely greatly on them. And I am very honored to continue to remember you in mine.
And thank you for the response. It seems to jump out at me from everywhere not only that we should not be shy of diligently working out the precise times that the Holy Spirit is signifying in prophecy but that we should actually be diligent to do so as the Scriptures say. While I waited for your response, I remembered Daniel's diligence in working out the prophecies regarding the captivity in Babylon:
"In the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the LORD given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years."
(Daniel 9:2 NIV84)
And that passage in 1 Peter teaches that he was not the only prophet who tried to work out chronology in the prophecies. I also remembered Simeon and Anna the widow prophetess:
Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: "Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel." The child's father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too." There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
(Luke 2:25-38 NIV84)
Simeon was waiting for the advent of Jesus Christ. As were Anna and "all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem."
So, clearly, we have strong examples of people who took God's Word to heart and sought to understand His Timetable so that they could live by His Times as well. I am very grateful to see all this now. It gives me confidence to continue to try to understand the chronological information in the Bible about the Second Advent and to teach it as well.
In SR1 p13, you say:
However in verse fourteen of Genesis chapter one, the raqiyah, or firmament, is now the place of the sun, moon and stars. Significantly, the exact Hebrew terminology used in verse fourteen is raqiyah-hasshamyim, "firmament of the heavens". The difference is a substantial one, for it suggests that these shamayim, or "heavens", are in some sense distinct from those referred to earlier.
Could you explain further? I am getting from here that the heavens that existed before the Genesis Judgment were different from the ones that were made after and that at least part of that difference is that they now house the sun, moon and stars. I understand that the earlier universe was completely devastated and only the Earth was rehabilitated for human existence but weren't there a sun, moon and stars before? In my thinking, the original universe probably had no special sun or moon or stars since everything was full of light and there was no darkness. Is that what you mean, sir? Is there more that you can tell me?
Yours in our very dear Lord and Redeemer
You're very welcome my friend!
As to your question, when you say "In my thinking, the original universe probably had no special sun or moon or stars since everything was full of light and there was no darkness", I think that is a legitimate assumption.
My point in the paragraph quoted is to make it clear that there are three "heavens" in biblical usage, and that the "heavens" which are beyond the atmosphere are merely #2 of three – the third heaven being the third (see the link: in SR 1: "the three heavens")
Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Hello Dr. Luginbill,
I'm having difficulty reconciling these verses. On one hand there are verses that state that God will destroy the earth and recreate a new one and a new Universe. Then there are other verses that state that the earth will abide forever. I do know and understand that Scripture does not contradict itself. But how would I reconcile the seeming contradictions I find in the verses I list below?
2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
2Pe 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
Isa 24:1 Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.
Isa 24:20 The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.
Isa 65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
How does one reconcile that with:
Ps 104:5 Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.
Ec 1:4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.
I was doing some research and there were several interpretations. One I disagree with is the word "new". They were saying that the word "new" means" renovated, and not literally new, like we are a new creation in Christ. The problem I have with that is that the Universe will be recreated and not renovated because I believe that there is NO sun in the eternal state. So if it was simply remodeled, that wouldn't make sense. The sun would still exist like a remodeled earth, but it doesn't. And I know that there are several interpretations for the word "new" and "forever" in the Hebrew and Greek, I just have trouble putting them in context.
There a two issues here:
1) Old Testament prophetic expression and the phrases translated "forever" in many English versions do not necessarily mean by that word in the actual Bible what we mean by it in English. See the link: "The word 'forever'". One biblical phrase which makes clear what the Bible really means is "from the ages to the ages" – which is often rendered "forever" – but it means, in biblical terms, "kingdom come". So there really is no contradiction seen from the biblical point of view that everything will remain as it is until "the end", and there is an "end", which is also a new beginning, i.e., the end of history (the end of the Millennium).
2) At that point, the universe will be completely destroyed as some of the passages you quote make clear; but it will be replaced by a "new heavens" and a "new earth", a cosmos in which only "righteousness dwells". But even though the earth will be destroyed completely, what replaces it will be "earth", the "new earth", but still "the earth". Think of it this way: our present body may be completely destroyed and/or turn completely to dust (as surely has been the case for Adam and Eve etc.), but in the resurrection in their new bodies Adam will still be Adam and Eve will still be Eve. This is analogous to what happens to the earth; it is still the earth; but it completely transformed into something much better, just as in the case of our resurrection bodies. So in this case focusing too much on "new" and not enough on "earth" can be misleading. Much of this has to do with the way we think in English and what we imagine is possible and not possible from English. The word "all" as used in scripture is another case where foisting English sensibilities and suppositions onto scripture can lead to misunderstanding and misinterpretation (see the link: "The Hebrew word for 'all' ").
This age comes to an end; this earth comes to an end; this body comes to an end. But the age to come, the earth to come, and the resurrected body to come truly are "forever" in every conceivable way, regardless of issues of language and interpretation
Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
I am not sure I understand or agree with all of what others have wrote regarding this subject, although I could agree with some of it. They seem to zero in on the word "forever", which only speaks to the two verses I supplied in my previous email, which seems to declare that the earth will never cease to exist. This does nothing to address the Scriptures that show that this earth, the universe and even the elements that make up all things will come into a state of non-existence.
In the following verse the Scripture uses the word "create" in referring to a new heavens and earth. The word "create", as used in Scripture appear to indicate (please correct me I'f I'm wrong) something brought into existence from nothing: Isa 65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
And from of the context of the statements from those who hold that the earth is going to be renovated or remodeled that: "The earth still exists, it's just remade." Flies in the face of the definition of the word "create". These bible teachers compare it to a marshmallow and taking the burned skin portion off when all the while you have a fresh marshmallow underneath it. Toe me, I find that a poor argument because of the word "new" (kainos) literally means NEW in the exact sense of the word.
I get a lot of Jehovah's Witnesses knocking on my door, and I'm trying to help teach them in the TRUTH of scripture by being someone who seeks to help and convert them of their wrong beliefs and doctrines in the chance that they might be saved one day. How would you reconcile the differences in a "teaching situation". I believe that this means more than just saying something about this subject, it needs to be able to be taught using Scripture. This is where I need your assistance in this subject in the hope that I can use what you've taught me and apply it to elsewhere. Thanks in advance!
God Bless you and your ministry,
In the Bible – and in theology – two things can be and often are true, even if that offends pedestrian human logic. So for example predestination and free will are both true – in fact you can't have one without the other. But people who don't understand the power of God and who are not willing to look into the truth to understand often won't accept one or the other. This is a similar thing in that the new earth is created anew from nothing (ex nihilo) and is new in every way; however, it is still the earth. The example I gave you of the resurrection body really is a true parallel: it is created anew in every way, and yet we are still us. So forever (meaning history "to the end of history") does come to an end with the eternal state when a new forever begins (one that never ends); but the earth itself both ends (looking at things from the standpoint of the present physical earth) and endures forever (looking at things from the point of view that the Lord will recreate the earth and it will be "the earth" even though it will be much better in every way). This may be uncomfortable for some folks, but as the passages you adduce make quite clear, it's no good pretending that only one thing is true when both things are clearly true. The right approach is to investigate and see how it is in the infinite power and wisdom of God that both can be and actually are true (Heb.12:26-27).
Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
Hello Dr. Luginbill,
I got sent this email from a friend of mine. He said this article proves that the earth will literally exist forever, and not a completely new earth. This is probably the last time I'll be speaking on this subject. I know what you've said thus far is true, there are just some arguments left that I still have trouble reconciling. Here is what was written:
"Will Our Earth Ever Be Destroyed? HAVE you ever wondered, ‘What is the future of our earth?’ Because of what they see happening to our beautiful planet, many people believe that our earth may not survive. Indeed, today the earth is being ruined by the abuse of precious resources, such as water, forests, and the delicately balanced atmosphere. Also, some scientists warn that the earth and all life on it may be threatened by such things as a large meteorite, an exploding star, or the exhaustion of the sun’s hydrogen fuel. Scientists believe that the earth will gradually—perhaps over many billions of years—lose the ability to sustain human life. The Encyclopædia Britannica describes this as “the irreversible tendency toward disorder.” Happily, the Bible assures us that Jehovah God will not allow our earth to be destroyed or rendered uninhabitable. As Creator, he has limitless “dynamic energy,” so he can sustain the universe indefinitely. (Isaiah 40:26) Thus, you can put faith in these words: “[God] has founded the earth upon its established places; it will not be made to totter to time indefinite, or forever.” “Praise him, you sun and moon. Praise him, all you stars of light. . . . For he himself commanded, and they were created. And he keeps them standing forever.”—Psalm 104:5; 148:3-6. God’s Purpose for the Earth It was never God’s purpose that the earth be abused and polluted as it is today. Instead, God created the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, and placed them in a beautiful garden. Of course, their Paradise home would not have remained beautiful on its own. God assigned them “to cultivate it and to take care of it.” (Genesis 2:8, 9, 15) What delightful and satisfying work God gave to our once perfect parents! But God’s purpose for the earth involved much more than caring for that original garden. He wanted the whole earth to be transformed into a paradise. That is why God gave this command to Adam and Eve: “Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it, and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving upon the earth.”—Genesis 1:28. Sadly, God’s purpose was opposed by a proud angel who came to be known as Satan. He craved to be worshipped by Adam and Eve. Using a snake as his mouthpiece, Satan got them to rebel against God’s rulership. (Genesis 3:1-6; Revelation 12:9) How their selfish lack of appreciation must have hurt our Creator! But one thing that their rebellion did not do was change Jehovah God’s purpose for the earth. He states: “My word that goes forth from my mouth will . . . not return to me without results, but it will certainly do that in which I have delighted, and it will have certain success in that for which I have sent it.”—Isaiah 55:11. For good reason, Jehovah has allowed Satan’s rebellion to continue down till our day. During this time, mankind has been able to experiment with many forms of self-government, and the results have proved that independence from God, as promoted by Satan, is a total failure.*—Jeremiah 10:23. On the positive side, during the millenniums that have passed, God has blessed certain upright humans. He has also preserved in the Bible a record of the consequences of either obeying God or rejecting his rule. In addition, Jehovah has done wonderful things for our future benefit. He has lovingly provided mankind with a Savior by sending his beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to teach us the best way to live and to give his life for us. (John 3:16) Because Jesus did not deserve to die, his death has been used by God as a legal basis to buy back what Adam and Eve lost, namely, the prospect of everlasting life in an earth-wide paradise.* To that end, Jehovah God has established a heavenly government to rule over all mankind, and he has appointed his Son, the resurrected Jesus Christ, to be King of that Kingdom. This marvelous arrangement will ensure that God’s purpose for the earth is fulfilled.—Matthew 6:9, 10. Thus, you can have absolute confidence in these wonderful promises recorded in the Bible: “Evildoers themselves will be cut off, but those hoping in Jehovah are the ones that will possess the earth. The righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it.” “‘Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.’ And the One seated on the throne said: ‘Look! I am making all things new.’”—Psalm 37:9, 29; Revelation 21:3-5. The Bible Does Not Contradict Itself Some, though, may wonder, ‘How can we harmonize the above-quoted Bible texts with other verses that seem to speak about the earth’s coming to an end?’ Let us consider some examples. Such an examination will demonstrate that the Bible does not contradict itself. Long before scientists recognized the “tendency toward disorder” in all physical things, a Bible psalmist wrote: “You [that is, God] laid the foundations of the earth itself, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They themselves will perish, but you yourself will keep standing; and just like a garment they will all of them wear out. Just like clothing you will replace them, and they will finish their turn. But you are the same, and your own years will not be completed.”—Psalm 102:25-27. In recording these words, the psalmist was not contradicting God’s everlasting purpose for the earth. Rather, he was contrasting God’s eternal existence with the perishability of all the matter that God had created. Without God’s eternal renewing power, the universe—including the solar system that we depend on for stability, light, and energy—would descend into total disorder and ultimate destruction. Thus, if left to itself, our earth would “wear out,” or come to a permanent end. There are other verses in the Scriptures that may also appear at first glance to contradict God’s stated purpose for the earth. For example, the Bible speaks of heaven and earth as ‘passing away.’ (Revelation 21:1) Surely these words do not contradict Jesus’ promise: “Happy are the mild-tempered ones, since they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5) What, then, does the Bible mean when it speaks of heaven and earth as ‘passing away’? The Bible frequently uses the expression “earth” in a figurative sense, meaning human society. For example, consider the following verse: “All the earth continued to be of one language and of one set of words.” (Genesis 11:1) Obviously, “earth” here refers to the people who were living on the earth. Another example is Psalm 96:1, which according to the King James Version states: “Sing unto the LORD, all the earth.” Clearly, in this and many other passages, the word “earth” is used figuratively to refer to people.—Psalm 96:13. The Bible sometimes likens the ruling powers on earth to the heavens or to heavenly bodies. For example, the oppressive Babylonian rulers were described as being starlike because they elevated themselves above those around them. (Isaiah 14:12-14) As foretold, the figurative Babylonian “heavens,” or ruling class, and “earth,” the supporters of that rulership, came to an end in 539 B.C.E. (Isaiah 51:6) This allowed repentant Jews to return to Jerusalem, where a “new heavens,” a new ruling body, ruled over “a new earth,” a righteous society of people.—Isaiah 65:17. The Bible’s words about heaven and earth ‘passing away’ apparently refer to the end of today’s corrupt human governments and their ungodly supporters. (2 Peter 3:7) That will open the way for God’s new heavenly government to bless a righteous new human society, for “there are new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting according to [God’s] promise, and in these righteousness is to dwell.”—2 Peter 3:13. Thus, you can have faith in God’s promise that our earthly home will last forever. Moreover, the Bible shows what you must do to share in that wonderful time when the earth will be transformed into a global paradise. Jesus said: “This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.” (John 17:3) Why not make it your goal to examine what the Bible teaches about the future of the earth and humankind? Jehovah’s Witnesses in your area will be delighted to assist you in this regard."
What are your thoughts on this?
The article you sent me is typical of the kind of sloppy thinking and poor exegesis of which modern-day evangelicalism is replete. It quotes Psalm 102:25-27, a verse which absolutely describes the incineration and replacement of the old with the new – in the same way that the resurrection body will be absolutely new and yet "us" at the same time – and then says this:
In recording these words, the psalmist was not contradicting God’s everlasting purpose for the earth. Rather, he was contrasting God’s eternal existence with the perishability of all the matter that God had created. Without God’s eternal renewing power, the universe—including the solar system that we depend on for stability, light, and energy—would descend into total disorder and ultimate destruction. Thus, if left to itself, our earth would “wear out,” or come to a permanent end.
What does this even mean? The only person who feels that the passage cited might seem to "contradict God's everlasting purpose for the earth" is the person who made up the idea of an "everlasting purpose for the earth" in his own imagination. The Lord has a purpose for CHRISTIANS. The earth is a home for US. WE are the point. Jesus died for US, not the earth. We will be made entirely new, and so will the earth – for our benefit.
I see that this is a JW text. Note what they say at the end: "the Bible shows what you must do to share in that wonderful time". By this they mean "abandon faith in Christ and become a JW" – but that leads to hell.
I would strongly counsel you to avoid getting involved in any argument with this group on these grounds. This is playing on their home field where the goals at both ends produce points for them; the best you can do is not allow a score – which means wasting your time and doing no good. Find out what they think about Jesus Christ. Do they understand that He is God as well as a human being – because otherwise He could not have survived bearing the sins of the world? See what they think of these passage:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:1 NKJV
Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
John 8:58 NKJV
I already know that they have butchered these passages in their phony "Bible" (e.g., they say "a god" – but there are no "gods" only God); have them compare these passages to any other Bible version and have them explain why they are right and everyone else in the world is wrong.
Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
I committed some time to reading your responses on the firmament as I was reading Psalm 148:4:
Psalm 148:4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Praise Him, highest heavens,
And the waters that are above the heavens!
I have looked at the etymology and I thought that the origin of the word firmament, raqiy'ah רָקִיעַ, could perhaps be explained quite literally in the context of Genesis 1:6 and 7. What I mean is the following - let's imagine a three-dimensional area totally immersed in water. If we were to divide the waters, what would we do? We would insert some sort of a solid plate to separate the waters.
In this respect I see this imagery as quite understandable - this is what the Lord did by putting the sky between the waters. Now the sky may not seem a solid barrier (although I understand that it may seem as such if we look at the skies from the earth), but the role it has been given is exactly as if it was a solid barrier - hammered out/stretched out to separate the waters. I'm not sure if I presented my image clearly here.
In the grace of our Lord,
Good observation on the raqiya – I'll post it at some point when I deal with topically similar issues.
How can Hades be beneath the sea, unless it is some sort of interdimensional/or physics bending thing? Beneath the ocean is the earth crust and then core/Lake of fire? So something like :
Earth is only planet, no outer space as we know it, light of God's glory lighting everything up, the Lord and angels live (so to speak) on Earth.
1) Angel rebellion
2) God separates into what we now call 3rd heaven (keeping in mind at the time no outter space existed as we think of it)
3) Flooded the universe
4) Lake of Fire created in center of Earth
5) Waters separated by created atmosphere and outter space, plus creation of the Sun means light again
Not sure if 3 or 4 came first. There is also possibly a huge amount of water on earth in a physics bending thing that we don't see physically. And I guess originally there was no big ocean on Earth or even sun or other stars/planets, the universe oriented differently. And the flooding of the universe with water (I suppose ex nihilo water), the atmosphere and space pushed some water into the Earth's crust and other water away from the Earth. At first it would seem like this can't be a lot of water compared to such a large expanse of the atmosphere plus outer space, but it might be physics bending thing again. So the 'waters above' are beyond space (space including stars,, sun, Milky Way, the visible universe that astronomers map out for us - the secular world's idea of the 'known universe beyond earth' , etc), while the waters below are the water on earth (and a bit under in aquifers)? Is the idea that Hades is in the ocean, and the Lake of Fire in the center of the earth-since the sun was created after the creation of the Lake of Fire? Then on the water above, the spiritual geography must orient differently than what we can physically see if the Throne is always above the earth but the Earth is round. (Sort if like the idea of time dilation in principle). I suppose we might almost think of how scientists theorize on the alternate physics bending reality of other dimensions-not that I am saying that is true, but that the Spiritual orienting of geography bends in a way? I am already pretty sure distance as we humans think of it is a narrow way to look at it. I really am trying to understand,
I'll give you a link to the illustration of the "heavenly geography" at Ichthys below, but first, here's a reply to your synopsis which seems to sum up all of your other questions (feel free to write back about any of this):
a) How can Hades be beneath the sea, unless it is some sort of interdimensional/or physics bending thing? Beneath the ocean is the earth crust and then core/Lake of fire?
*A: "The world" or "this cosmos" which is at present "in the power of the evil one" (1Jn.5:19) consists of "the heavens and the earth"; however, Hades (which is described biblically as being "under the earth") and the third heaven (which is described biblically as "above the heavens and the earth") are NOT "of this world". That means that they are nowhere that can be found by materialistic scientific investigation. To transit from this world to either of the other two venues requires a special passageway (cf. "Jacob's ladder" and the "entrance to the Abyss"); these are both undetectable by and non-accessible to physical means. So perhaps thinking of these other two places as "another dimension" is not a terrible way to look at it, except that modern physics which (string theory) does "believe" in other dimensions does not see them as non-physical or as not of the universe we can see – but they are not; not at all. And, incidentally, the present universe is going to be completely obliterated to the subatomic level at the end of the Millennium – but not Hades and not the third heaven.
b) Earth is only planet, no outer space as we know it, light of God's glory lighting everything up, the Lord and angels live (so to speak) on Earth
*A: Earth is the only planet with intelligent/moral (meaning "image of God") life; I would be very surprised to learn that any other place in the material universe has any life on it whatsoever because of what happened when God judged it. But God can do anything He pleases.
1) Angel rebellion
*A: As it says in Genesis 1:1: "The very first thing God did was to create the heavens and the earth". How long a time elapsed before Satan rebelled, how long before he became arrogant, how long he managed to get a third of the angels to follow him, how long they ran riot on the earth (the original seat of the throne of God) before the judgment whose after-effects are seen in Genesis 1:2, and how much time elapsed between the judgment and the six day restoration, no one can say (because the Bible is silent on the subject); but it could easily have been many eons.
2) God separates into what we now call 3rd heaven (keeping in mind at the time no outer space existed as we think of it)
*A: The third heaven (and Hades) as areas existed from the beginning of God's creation – apparently; we are not told of their subsequent creation so we conclude that they were created when God created everything else "first thing"; before Genesis 1:1, there was God, but no world (and no third heaven or Hades).
3) Flooded the universe
*A: This happened after the devil and his angels had been holding sway on earth for what seems to have been a very long time and took place simultaneously with the blacking out of the world.
4) Lake of Fire created in center of Earth
*A: That is possible. In Daniel 7:10, we see the river of fire flowing out from God's throne, filling (we conclude) the lake of fire; but there is much in the picture given in Daniel chapter seven which is telescoping the eschatology (e.g., 1st and 2nd Advents combined; see the link: "Prophetic Foreshortening"). I think it is certainly possible that the lake of fire was part of the original creation – just as the tree of knowing good and evil was part of the original re-creation. Neither was necessary – if no one rejected God's will. But both provided good incentive to stay away from what He prohibited.
5) Waters separated by created atmosphere and outer space, plus creation of the Sun means light again
*A: This happens during the six days of re-creation. The separation of the waters takes place on the second day; the "lighting up" of sun and moon and stars takes place on the fourth day. I don't find anything in the Hebrew inconsistent with the physical orbs of sun, moon and stars already being present, but with their being "turned on", so to speak, at the time indicated so as to concentrate the light already created in verse one (after all, the moon merely reflects light).
c) Not sure if 3 or 4 came first.
*A: see answers above
d) There is also possibly a huge amount of water on earth in a physics bending thing that we don't see physically.
*A: see answer a) above.
Here are those links:
Chart of the heavens and Hades
The waters above
The geography of heaven and hell.
Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
Hi Dr. Luginbill,
I did read your email and check out the links. Just a few follow up questions (sorry if I missed the answer to one of these, just let me know if so):
1) The water barrier itself must also not technically be physically a part of this cosmos, right?
2) If outer space itself (with the sun and other planets, etc) is not the firmament that divided the water away and now permanently divides the water barriers (if outer space already existed), what is the firmament? Or is it outer space being the firmament as outer space is recreated/restored as the waters move away and expose it (outer space)? Or is it something invisible that pushed the waters away, that just didn't affect other physical things much (compared to completely displacing the water)? Or maybe the firmament was a unique one point in time thing that only pushed the waters apart (not affecting other physical things as much), and actually doesn't exist now in this cosmos.
3) Why do you think the water in the Deep was frozen? (You can have darkness and heat-turn off the light and turn on the heater)
4) What do you think about this idea: Then on the third heaven/waters above, the spiritual geography must orient differently than what we can physically see if the Throne is always above the earth but the Earth is round (from our POV). (Sort of like the idea of time dilation in principle-except here with space dilation/bending of physics of spiritual world).
Last thing: I was reading the Four Horsemen part of the Tribulation. It makes sense that Europe would not flinch at the 3rd Horseman. Europe appears to be completely to the left of us, even their conservatives, with the strong top down government control and regulation of things. And they have a history of combination of church and state. Not that I blame them, I think the top down approach will work when the Lord is in charge. Just noticing that they are used to those approaches, and see the right over here as extreme. At least that is what I gathered previously... I am counting the days I go without media until I don't even think about it
Thanks for your help,
Thanks for your patience, my friend.
On your follow-ups:
1) Since the water flooded the cosmos and since it is above the two heavens (atmosphere and space) but not above or in the third, I would classify it as part of this cosmos; it is represented by the "sea" in the presence of the throne in the third heaven as seen in Revelation chapters 4 and 5 which, as can be seen from e.g. Revelation 15:2, is a port to viewing events in this cosmos.
2) The firmament gets its name from its appearance to us on earth, the rounded sky above looking something like a "plate". The "firmament" is both the sky and the universe beyond the earth; in its two parts it divides the lower, earthly waters – which actually water the earth, going down into the sea and returning into the earth's atmosphere (cf. Eccl. 1:7) – from the "waters above" which form the cosmic barrier between the corrupted world on the one hand and the residence of God in the third heaven on the other. The first heaven is the earth's sky/atmosphere, the second is the spatial universe; together these two are called in Hebrew shamayim, that is, the "dual" heaven, aka the firmament, which separated the waters on the second day and acted to uncover the earth and "drain" the universe, "outer space", for the functioning of the heavenly luminaries et al.
3) Freezing in the absence of any light or heat is a normal consequence. Certainly, God could have prevented that, but His purpose was the restraint of any further demon influence in the cosmos until such time as there was re-creation. The Spirit is seen restraining this influence in Genesis 1:2. Since restraint was the purpose, not only allowing freezing but preventing warming until the next phase of the plan of God makes perfect sense.
4) I'm not sure I understand the last part, but if I'm reading the first part #4 right, it seems to me to be a good perspective. Clearly, since we are talking about non-dimensional things here, the third heaven can be right above the clouds and also impossibly far away at the same time; it is reached by "Jacob's ladder" and accessed in what is apparently no long time by angels traveling to and fro (also the ascension and also believers after death, etc.), yet it is clearly nowhere visible in this cosmos.
I don't have anything to say about Europe or its politics (or our politics), but of course it is fair to say that everything we see happening along with all trends and tendencies are laying the groundwork for the soon to come Tribulation.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Just wanted to ask your interpretation of 1Peter 3:18,19 concerning Jesus Christ went to preach to those spirits in prison since the time of Noah. There are many opinions from various denominations, and honestly I'm playing safe with my congregation touching this passage. Did the spirit of Christ went to Hades during three days prior to His resurrection or Peter was just narrating that Jesus in the spirit preacher through Noah during the flood as evangelical view.
I would appreciate if can give your view concerning this passage.
Thanks for your ministry.
Good to hear from you.
As to your question, I have written this up in some detail, so I would ask you please to have a look at the links and write me back if you have any questions:
The Descent of our Lord into Paradise (in BB 4A)
Christ's Preaching to the Spirits in Hell (1st Peter 3:18-20)
The bottom line is that the spirits in this passage are fallen angels incarcerated in Tartarus (aka the Abyss, a compartment of Hades) for the offenses committed in Genesis chapter six (and / or other offenses against the "ground rules" of what the evil one's minions are allowed to do). They did not see the outcome of the first advent, so our Lord proclaims to them (from paradise across the great gulf between the compartments; cf. Lk.16:26) that He has successfully redeemed human kind at the cross. In other words, this "victorious proclamation" (hardly "preaching") is the bad news for them that they have lost the war, even though it will be another three thousand years before history wraps up from that point.
Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit.
Revelation 9:2 NKJV
Does this smoke invite us to think that there may be fiery torment in the Abyss as well? Especially considering that Hades appears to have had an interim Paradise for those who died believing. Perhaps there is something of Fire in it too that speaks to the Fire in the Lake of Fire too?
Possible. But on the one hand, angels have no physical bodies in the sense that we do; and on the other hand, angels are creatures of light – so that being plunged into darkness must a terrible thing for them (analogous to solitary confinement for human beings). The fallen angels will no doubt be thoroughly miserable in the lake of fire, however.
You wrote: "While we humans possess both a spiritual and a material part, angels, are primarily spiritual creatures. The absence of true corporeality such as we humans possess is in many respects a blessing for it spares the angels the pain, suffering and tears which are the common heritage of mankind since the fall. But this lack of corporeality seems to have left many of the angels wondering what might have been as they observed the animal life of the original earth prior to its cataclysmic destruction as a result of Satan's rebellion (and subsequent restoration during the seven Genesis days)."
Do you think then that the original earth was inhabited by animals?
Yes indeed. I have theorized and still think it most likely that dinosaurs etc. are the result of satanic genetic experiments (compare the Genesis six experiments with human beings).
You wrote: "Scripture neither mentions nor records the length of the interval between God's confrontation of Satan's coup and His judgment upon the primeval world, but it is entirely possible that this period was aeons long in human terms. Such a grace interval would demonstrate beyond any shadow of a doubt who had chosen for God and who for Satan, as the devil commenced his earthly reign over what had been the original paradise, the original "Eden" (i.e., the pre-Adamic earth). Given the demons' longing for physical bodies and the integral part in Satan's plan that the satisfaction of that desire played, it is not unreasonable to suppose that much of the fascinating fossil record we now possess from that archaic earth is a result of the devil's manipulation and misuse of earth's original fauna for just such purposes: the Bible's identification of Satan with reptiles (dragons, serpents), and his obvious fascination with the same (cf. Gen.3), make the possibility of this theoretical satanic origin of the terrible, powerful creatures of pre-history all the more conceivable."
I want to understand this point - what is the distinction between "God's confrontation of Satan's coup and His judgment upon the primeval world"? Do you mean here that God confronted Satan's coup d'etat, but didn't immediately judge the world?
That seems to be the case. After all, coups don't happen overnight. Satan must have gone through a lengthy political process to move a third of angelic kind away from obedience to God into joining him in rebellion. And I hypothesize that there was a period after this revolt when the devil and his angels were running riot on the earth thereafter – allowed by God in order to demonstrate the folly and total depravity of sinful creatures ruling of the world (the same will happen for mankind during the Tribulation).
Ok, so what do you think the confrontation could have involved if Satan and those who followed him were still allowed to run riot on the earth?
We know that Satan rebelled, but we can also posit (as I have done) a long period of politicking preceding this outright rebellion. Satan would seem to have taken over the earth as God left as a result, and an undetermined period of running riot ensued (producing dinosaurs and other genetic experiments). The judgment leveled on the universe may have followed some formal decree but we have no evidence of that from the Bible. For all we know, this hit the devil and his angels like a bolt from the blue. It seems to be a divine pattern to let things go one longer than anyone would have expected to prove the point (whether that point is the total depravity of creatures in rebellion or God's faithfulness and justice or the stalwart hearts of those who choose for Him – and here it seems to be a case of all three).
Of course we don't have a play by play; we have to infer. It seems to me that once Satan rebelled, instead of confronting him, the Lord left the earth and moved headquarters to the third heaven. But He did delay judgment out of mercy and to demonstrate the confirmed nature of the rebellion on the part of all who took part in it. Cf.:
But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. e day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
2nd Peter 3:7-10 KJV
Judgment on the universe came later, after this period of merciful delay (cf. Gen.6:3).
You wrote: "The presence of the heavens and earth in place at Genesis 1:3 shows this is re-creation: As God begins to work on the earth in Genesis 1:3, earth (and the heavens in which it exists) is already in place, an impossibility unless this is a re-creation (for if it describes the original creation, where then did the earth come from?)."
I cannot understand this point - if someone assumes that verses 1:3 and onwards refer to the original creation, then they would probably just answer that the earth was created in Genesis 1:1. So both heavens and earth are in place, because they were already created in the original creation - could you explain this argument?
If someone thinks that God creates things which are imperfect as opposed to perfect, and that then He has to "work on them" until He gets it right, then the argument is not persuasive. If someone thinks that after God perfectly creates something there is only darkness thereafter, and that His perfect creation results in "chaos and devastation" (thohu wa bhohu), then the argument is not persuasive. In short, for anyone who believes that "God created" means really "God attempted to create but then needed seven more days after creation which happened in verse one in order to get it right", then the argument is not persuasive.
So pointing out original creation in Genesis 1:1 and affirming that it must have been perfect, but that such is not the case in verse two is a real problem for those who don't want to admit what verse two means. The primary method for Gap-deniers in trying to avoid this "truth trap" is to claim that "verse one is a prior summary of what would happen next"; but that does NOT work. Why not? Because the earth is described by the Bible as already in place in verses two and three, and that means that it was NOT created in verses two and three. Rather, it was created in verse one, just as the Bible says it was. And if it was created in verse one and not later, then verses two and three are not speaking of creation ex nihilo but rather of a re-creation of something already present. That logic is inescapable. The only question, therefore, is how long a time period occurred between verse one and verses two and three. Since God no doubt created things perfectly, the devastation and darkness in verse two and the need to completely renovate the world beginning in verse three, means that something major had to have happened. The rest is interpreted from what we know of the satanic rebellion from elsewhere in scripture.
You wrote "Re-creation explains appearance of age: The Genesis gap is the most likely explanation for the perceived contradiction between the biblical account of the seven days and the fossil record. The exact space of time between Genesis 1:1 and God's creation of the angels, or between their creation and Satan's fall, or between God's judgment on the original Eden-earth and His restoration of it in Genesis 1:2 are not recorded for us anywhere in scripture and could well encompass untold eons of time (a commodity which is felt and measured much differently in the angelic sphere, after all). In addition, there is also the point that when God creates, He creates in mature perfection. The plants, animals, and people (Adam and Eve) created during the six days are all created in a mature status, thus giving the appearance of age. It is no great stretch to see the restored "heavenly lights" and reconstructed earth benefitting from a similar, complete creation that might well give every impression of a lengthy geological history that does not in fact comprise real time, in our limited understanding of it (Heb.11:3; 2Pet.3:5-7)."
I understand the first part of this point (which helps to reconcile the fossil record suggesting the existence of the earth being much longer than 6000 years), but not the second (starting with "In addition, there is also the point that when God creates, He creates in mature perfection."). Could you explain it briefly and clarify how it's meant to support the re-creation?
I think this is answered above. To use an analogy, if God had to raise rotting bones to bring Adam to life, we would rightly assume that this was a resurrection; the fact that He makes him out of the earth shows that this is an initial creation.
Ok, this is clear, but wouldn't the appearance of age on the earth be authentic - with the pre-judgment fossil record still present, for example? This is also what you indicate earlier, so I'm not clear about this point you wrote:
It is no great stretch to see the restored "heavenly lights" and reconstructed earth benefitting from a similar, complete creation that might well give every impression of a lengthy geological history that does not in fact comprise real time, in our limited understanding of it
This is true, but the two things are not mutually exclusive. However, fossils I would argue are the detritus of satanic experimentation; the universe was perfectly created in the beginning, marred by the after effects of judgment. N.b., it's a mistake to put too much stock into present scientific theories of "how old" these things are; all of the "data" is based upon the assumption that things then were as they are now – not exactly taking a divine universal cataclysm into account (or a worldwide flood either, for that matter).
You wrote: "For only by denying the absolute nature of good and evil could we ever deceive ourselves into thinking that we are good (and only by being good could we possibly be "like God")."
After reading and re-reading this paragraph (2. Satanic Lie #2: "I am like God") I understand your line of thought. Two things came to my mind that you can consider. Firstly, upon the initial reading I somehow missed the point that is present implicitly and also expressed in the text, but which perhaps could be said in such a way as to directly link the two issues - that only by ignoring our own depravity can we indulge in pride. Pride is only possible if we ignore what we really are. When I read the paragraph the first time it seemed to me there was a jump from self-reliance and pride to the issue of sin. When I re-read it, I did recognise that you make this connection, so it is only something you can consider adding (suggestion in italics below).
In responding to lie #1 we ignored our own mortality and our need for God's help to overcome it so as to think we had no need of God at all but material things instead. In responding to lie #2 we ignore our own sinfulness and our need of God's help to overcome it so as to think that we are not sinners at all but crave praise for ourselves instead ( - for it is only by ignoring our own depravity and who we really when judged by God's perfect righteousness that we can indulge in pride). A large part of this lie and, indeed, an essential component of it is Satan's preaching of relativism. For only by denying the absolute nature of good and evil could we ever deceive ourselves into thinking that we are good (and only by being good could we possibly be "like God").
The second point, also linked to this paragraph is regarding the issue of relativism. At the end you write that "only by denying the absolute nature of good and evil could we ever deceive ourselves into thinking that we are good". In order to cover all the scenarios you could consider adding "into thinking that we are good - or at least good enough/of an acceptable standing/etc.". The point is that many unbelievers would not call themselves "good", but through relativism would see themselves as "Ok", "not the worst sinners", and all the rest of this sort of nonsense.
In a similar vein, many unbelievers would not say that the should be worshiped for their good (the lie: I am like God. I don't need a Savior, rather I should be praised (worshiped) for my good), but in their cases the expression of this lie is about making their own decisions about what is acceptable rather than ignoring God's righteousness and the only true "scale" of good and evil - so they are like God because they usurp the right to establish the basis of judgment, their own scale of righteousness according to which their own score is good enough or acceptable.
Two questions came to me regarding the Satanic lie number 3 ("God needs me").
Firstly - the name of this lie, since many of those who follow it deny God's existence in the first place and in doing their "good" in this world and trying to improve it, they remove God from the equation altogether. The same came to my mind later in the text when you write:
Buying into Satan's propaganda lie #3 and trying to make the world a better place "for God" by one's own self-righteous efforts is not of God and therefore only furthers the devil's purposes.
Many unbelievers try to make the world a better place not for God specifically, but for all other reasons, mainly to feel better about themselves.
Secondly, in this case it's difficult for me to see the direct link between the specifics of this lie and the Jesus' response to Satan His model of prayer for us:
Jesus' response to Satan: Do not put God to the test. He tests us.
Jesus' model prayer for us: Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Some other derivative characteristics one often finds in Satan's substitutes for the true worship of God through Jesus Christ include:
"Emphasizing "secret doctrines", mysteries, and esoteric materials.
"Seeking to minimize the sting of death, denial of final judgment, denial of hell.
"Substitution of another god or gods, whether of a different name, or so perverting what the Bible says about the one true God that it amounts to the same thing.
"Promise of "becoming a god" or "like God" or otherwise transcending the mortal plane.
"Denial of the need for a Savior, substituting works or reincarnation.
"Focus on ritual and rote worship instead of true communion with God.
"Emphasis of feelings or ecstatic behavior over scripture.
"Odd, alienating, isolating behavior.
"Intolerance of other opinions and dogmatism not based upon true biblical authority.
Again, this is only a suggestion, but in the following section I would probably put the works system higher up, possibly at the top of the hierarchy, as it is this system which also corresponds most closely to the three satanic lies you discuss immediately above and which is the staple of the vast majority of false religions.
All of the above are helpful suggestions. The approach I took in this section was somewhat generalized. Clearly, it could be expanded into a small book. I'll keep all this in mind – perhaps this is something you will end up doing yourself.
You wrote: "Apparently prohibited from direct, outright destruction of human beings (otherwise he would long ago have taken this obvious remedy), and stymied in his abortive attempt to have human beings slaughter each other to the point of extinction (by God's prohibition of murder in the wake of Cain's killing of Abel), he now found himself confronted with the intriguing prospect of introducing a fatal disease, so to speak, among the growing ranks of the spiritually weak."
The point I'm not clear about here is that Satan was "stymied in his abortive attempt to have human beings slaughter each other to the point of extinction (by God's prohibition of murder in the wake of Cain's killing of Abel)". Cain could have of course been tempted by Satan, but it was still his free will choice, so I'm not sure how Satan could have possibly engineered a world-wide slaughter to lead humanity to extinction. In similar vein, God's condemnation of Cain's act was aimed at his action as a human and not any satanic influence (as in the case of God's condemnation of Satan in Genesis 3).
Satan could have done it without intermediary means except for God's prohibition; Satan could have done it with intermediary means absent God's intervention; the paragraph looks at things from that point of view to demonstrate God's superintendence of history – rather than from an analysis of the "play by play" of what happened in the event.
You wrote: "This awful prospect motivated the "legion" of demons who had possessed the demoniac at Gadara to beg Christ frantically not to have them confined to that terrible place (Lk.8:31; cf. Jude 1:6;Rev.9:1-11; 9:13-16; 20:1-3; 20:7)."
How do we know that the four angels in Revelation 9:13-16 are also imprisoned in the Abyss?
Because they come out of the Abyss: that is what the Greek means / is referring to in this passage, namely, the passageway in and out of the Abyss (see the link).
You wrote: "Genesis 6:3: the Spirit's Restraint:
And God said, "My Spirit will not strive with Man forever in their sinful manner of life - for this [is the way of] flesh. Therefore his days shall be 120 years."
"The divine displeasure evident in the verse above (very odd if the two preceding verses were only relating normal human procreation which had been divinely commanded in Gen.1:28) follows directly on the heels of the intermarriage described in Genesis 6:1-2. Verse three suggests a double judgment of the most extreme severity. In a mere 120 years (brief by the extended life spans of the time), God would all but bring the human race to an end. And for the progeny of those who would survive in the postdiluvian world to come, the longevity Man had previously experienced (nearly a millennium in some cases) would be reduced to a scant 120 years, and this would be a maximum norm scarcely ever approached, and only rarely exceeded. Even in such dire judgment, however, God's gracious nature is clearly perceptible, because for the one family of believers left on earth (i.e., that of Noah), the 120 years were an important grace period that gave the necessary time for the ark - God's chosen means of deliverance - to be completed. It is ever thus that by the patience of our God we are delivered (1Pet.3:20; cf. Is.48:9; Rom.2:4; 2Pet.3:9; 3:15)."
This point still make me think - how we can know that this was a double judgment, entailing both the 120 year grace period and limiting the human lifespan to 120 years.
Because this is both 1) the time until the flood took place from that point, and 2) also the general upper limit of human life thereafter (once the dramatic effects of the flood upon planet earth set in and began diminishing human life spans from the near millennial long ones before the flood); it's not for no reason, in my view, that the words cannot be taken not to mean both "of men on earth now" and "of men on earth afterwards"; so the statement is true of human beings then (120 years until the flood came) and of human beings now (few live beyond 120 years).
You wrote: "The current heavenly truce: In the middle of the Great Tribulation, God will cast the devil and his angels from heaven once and for all (Rev.12:7-17). Until that time, however, such conflict as there is between the angelic forces of God and Satan respectively is taking place exclusively on the earth. "
I cannot understand the point you are making here. You write that the devil and his angels will be cast from heaven in the middle of the tribulation and one would think that your point is that the conflict takes place in heaven and on the earth until that time. But then you write "Until that time, however, such conflict as there is between the angelic forces of God and Satan respectively is taking place exclusively on the earth". Combined, it sounds as if the devil and his angels were to be cast down from heaven in the middle of the tribulation - which means that the conflict would then take place on the earth - and until that time this conflict is taking place exclusively on the earth. I may be missing something here, but at the moment what you're trying to say here isn't clear to me.
There is much we don't know about the interaction between fallen and elect angels. We know that the fallen sometimes assemble in the third heaven; Satan accuses believers there all the time (Job 1&2; Rev.12:10). Further, we do know that the final confrontation wherein the devil and his followers are ejected from heaven and confined to earth must take place not on earth (it results from "war in heaven": Rev.12:7). We have only indirect evidence of other conflict before that time (cf. Dan.10:20-21 – which seems to be both heavenly and earthly in moving from point to point), but whatever it is / has been, such conflicts will only take place on earth (and the sky immediately above it) after the Tribulation's mid-point.
So I’m still not sure why you conclude that until the devil and his angels are cast out all the angelic warfare must be taking place only on the earth.
Because: a) there is no biblical evidence of anything else; b) there is scriptural description of the devil appearing in heaven and also of accusing believers in heaven (something I'm sure the elect angels would have the power to contest); c) the earth is where the "show" is going on; it is to human beings that our Lord came, becoming one Himself, and it is the frustration of God's plan on earth through human beings, the replacements for Satan and his angels, which is the devil's prime objective; d) the way Revelation 12:7 phrases things, it certainly makes it seem as if this battle wherein Satan and his followers are thrown down to the earth and confined here is a new development; NKJV: "And war broke out in heaven".
You wrote: "Since the cherubim stand by the sides of God's chariot-throne in pairs (when carrying the throne), only two cherubs are fully visible to someone viewing the scene from the direct forefront, and so it is that they are represented in that context (cf. 2Chron3:10 where in Solomon's temple the addition of the two cherubs on the back wall of the holy of holies at a right angle to the two cherubs on the mercy seat has the effect and possibly the purpose of making four cherubs visible)."
Firstly, I would probably give a reference to the entire passage - 2 Chronicles 3:10-14. Secondly, I'm not exactly clear about the nature of this representation of the cherubim - verse 10 describes them as "sculptured", but verse 14 says that Solomon worked the cherubim on the veil. So I don't know whether we have here some three dimensional scriptures, or a two dimensional representation embroidered on the veil.
2 Chronicles 3:10-14 (NASB)
10 Then he made two sculptured cherubim in the room of the holy of holies and overlaid them with gold. 11 The wingspan of the cherubim was twenty cubits; the wing of one, of five cubits, touched the wall of the house, and its other wing, of five cubits, touched the wing of the other cherub. 12 The wing of the other cherub, of five cubits, touched the wall of the house; and its other wing of five cubits was attached to the wing of the first cherub. 13 The wings of these cherubim extended twenty cubits, and they stood on their feet facing the main room. 14 He made the veil of violet, purple, crimson and fine linen, and he worked cherubim on it.
These were olive wood carvings placed on the back of the inner sanctum; there are other representations of cherubs in the temple on the veil and on the pillars, but these carvings constituted a huge sculpture mounted on the back wall of the holy of holies.
Thank you for the clarification. Could you point me to some references on this? This issue has been bothering me for a while.
Inside the inner sanctuary he made two cherubim of olive wood, each ten cubits high. One wing of the cherub was five cubits, and the other wing of the cherub five cubits: ten cubits from the tip of one wing to the tip of the other. And the other cherub was ten cubits; both cherubim were of the same size and shape. The height of one cherub was ten cubits, and so was the other cherub. Then he set the cherubim inside the inner room; and they stretched out the wings of the cherubim so that the wing of the one touched one wall, and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall. And their wings touched each other in the middle of the room. Also he overlaid the cherubim with gold. Then he carved all the walls of the temple all around, both the inner and outer sanctuaries, with carved figures of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers.
1st Kings 6:23-29 NKJV
The fact that the poles of the ark poked into the curtain (1Ki.8:8) also indicates something about the depth of the two cherubs (i.e., they must have protruded from the back wall significantly in order for the poles to have this effect).
You wrote: "The bullock face (Gentile age) is a picture of Christ the suffering Servant. The bullock not only bears burdens (as Christ bore our sins: cf. Is.53:4), but is also the most esteemed sacrificial animal, whose blood was shed under the Old Testament economy as a symbolic representation of Christ's promised work on our behalf (Lev.1:5ff.)."
I understand the point of the bullock bearing our burdens as a sacrifice, but I don't know on what basis we can link it to the Gentile Age.
The ox corresponds to the generic "cherub" faced cherub in Ezekiel 10. Christ is seen only clearly after the incarnation, the prelude to the Church Age (man-faced), but is more distinct in the Age of Israel (lion face) through the scriptures and the promise of the Messiah; the eagle is associated with the resurrection in Matthew chapter twenty-four (e.g.), and in any case presents a clear picture of ascendance. So the choice of this symbol for the age of least distinction in the representation of Christ is appropriate – that is what the faces are meant to represent, namely, how Christ is manifest in the four ages (as well as representing important aspects of His mission; see the link). Given also that the other three are very clear, that is also evidence of the correctness (by process of elimination) of the fourth.
You wrote: "Their Symbolism: As mentioned above, all four cherub-faces symbolize Jesus Christ, with each representing that aspect of His historical mission at the forefront during the age for which they stand."
Overall, I understand your points about the symbolism of the four faces, but I am not certain about linking them chronologically to the four ages you propose. Chronological representations cannot be very clear cut, for example - the Bullock face can be linked to the Gentile age, but it would equally apply to the Jewish age (and it is the Mosaic law sacrifices that taught this symbolism clearly) and then the sacrifice was actually realised when Christ finally came as a human. The lion is a symbol of Judah, but we know that Christ does not come as an avenging warrior until the second advent and this symbolism is never fulfilled in the Jewish age. At this moment I would link the four faces to the symbols you propose, but would not go as far as assigning each face to an age, as they are all linked and each symbol goes beyond one age and has a direct application to others.
Prior to the second advent:
Then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals."
Revelation 5:5 NIV
Given that they are described in regal terms, we may assume that these (kingly) elders are mimicked in Satan's system by the "thrones" mentioned in Colossians 1:16. On what basis can we conclude that the "thrones" in Colossians 1:16 are a rank of fallen angels? Especially since they are described as created by Christ.
See Angelic Issues VII, Q&A 6/7 (at the link). As to your question about Colossians 1:16 "thrones, authorities, rulers or powers" refers to angels, correct? And the Lord created all angels, the elect and the fallen (as things would turn out). The titles in both cases are earned through meritorious service. So the question is whether Paul is talking about only elect angels (an understandable assumption), or is instead giving a list of fallen angel ranks as a means of demonstrating that the Lord is Lord of all and that all of creation and of human and angelic history was meant to praise Him (in the same vein as Ps.76:10). I take it as the latter, first, because the context is one of Christ's victory over the kingdom of darkness and our deliverance therefrom (Col.1:12-13; and He is Lord over ALL creation, not merely the believing part: the preceding verse: Col.1:15); second, because the first two titles mentioned here are elsewhere only employed for demonic ranks: thrones is never used of elect angels (though this rank mimics the elders), authorities is specifically used of fallen angels only (2Pet.2:10; Jude 1:8; cf. also Eph.1:21 where Paul is doing the same thing as in this passage, that is, proclaiming the Lord's superiority over fallen angels); third, because in this epistle (and parallel and very similar in the companion epistle to Ephesus), Paul is combating Gnostic heresy, so that proclaiming Christ's superiority to fallen angels (which Gnostics were either revering or "doing battle with") was an important part of his message in both letters (returned to in Hebrews with the bulk of its first two chapters).
You wrote: "Since this college of elders must post-date Satan's rebellions (because it is based upon six clans rather than nine), we should also understand these twenty-four angels to have gained their positions through meritorious service in the cause of our Lord. This should serve as a reminder to all who consider it of the great value of being and remaining loyal to the Lord, and of the exceptional benefits promised to those who excel in the struggle in which we are now engaged."
Probably true, but the scripture doesn't say how they were nominated.
There is a lot about this area of doctrine which has to be deductive. We know that in the Church meritorious service is everything in determining rank and status and rewards in the resurrection (apostles with their names on the foundations of New Jerusalem, judging before that the twelve tribes on twelve thrones, with two "for whom it has been prepared" serving at the Lord's left and right hand, with crowns of righteousness, life and glory awarded for meritorious service, with gold, silver and precious stones for a fight well fought, but with everything worthless burned up); that being the case, and given that our Lord is not arbitrary in anything He does, we might well ask how else these angels came to their high positions? If it were arbitrary, then that would seem to diminish choice and free will for the angels; but we know they have it / had it - because otherwise there would be no angelic rebellion and conflict which comes entirely as the result of choice.
You wrote: In Ephesians 6:12, these angels (at least in Satan's order of battle) are referred to as "world-powers" (Greek: kosmokratores), emphasizing their control as limited to the devil's "cosmos"."
I'm not exactly clear on this - firstly, kosmokratores seems to be a description emphasising the power rather than its limit. Secondly, of what other "cosmos" could any angel exercise the power over?
The point scripture is making is that these satanic officers have power but only within the area ruled by the devil, this kosmos, namely, "the world; that is to say, they are not "powerful" in the third heaven or in the Lord's regime.
You wrote: "Much of the Pauline epistles of Colossians and Ephesians are devoted to refuting gnostic teachings (e.g., Col.2:8-10; see also Eph.1:23; 3:19; 4:10; Col.1:19; 1:25ff.; 2:2; 2:20-23), and the epistle to the Hebrews goes to great lengths to emphasize Christ's superiority to angels (see esp. chapter 1-2)."
Why did you decide to include all the verse which follow "see also"?
These references all have to do with "fullness" (Greek pleroma) which is a Gnostic concept that Paul is refuting by contrasting it with true divine fullness which has to do with Christ who fulfills all.
You mention the plural in Daniel 10:13 as referring to the fallen angels as the "kings of Persia". This isn't clear to me at the moment. Why should we take this as referring to a rank of fallen angels instead of the kings or kingdom/dominion of Persia? This question again appears in the next paragraph, as you take the sar as being below the "thrones" in rank, which would mean that we have first an angel of the lower rank and then malkhut as the angels of a higher rank. As I wrote, at the moment I don't know on what basis we can take malkhut as an angelic rank, but even if we were to do that, we would arrive at "a prince of the thrones" with prince being lower in rank, when in a designation of this sort we would expect the opposite.
All of the other personalities in this context are angels so this person should be too; also, there is only one human king of Persia but apparently multiple angelic ones. The "king" / "throne" is the commander worshipped as a god; the "sar" is the military commander, equivalent to the archangels in the elect angelic order (Michael is called a "sar" in Dan.10:20). The word malchut means "kingdom"; it's not a rank (melech, "king", is a rank; same root, different word).
Can malkhut not refer to geographical kingdom of Persia, with the sar having having his dominion outlined? Later you write of the angel as the "prince of Persia" and that's how I understood it originally.
sar malchut paras = "prince of the kingdom of Persia"; that is the phrasing in the very first part of Daniel 10:13. But later in the verse we find out that there are multiple "kings of Persia" (מַלְכֵי פָרָֽס). So there is a "prince" and there are "kings", but these are all discrete individuals. The former is the military commander; the later are administrative officials, of higher rank but concerned with administering the devil's realm (his relations with and control of the various nations under Persian control and acting as "gods" behind the temple idols), not with fighting elect angels (analogous to a provincial governor or multiple governors in adjoining provinces who are supported by an army under the command of a general who is technically responsible to them).
You wrote: "Princes (archangel level): These are the sarim discussed above. Daniel 10:13 and 10:20-21 mention the "prince of Persia" and the "prince of Greece", from context not only demons, but probably of equivalent rank to the angel who speaks with Daniel, and certainly of comparable power to the archangel Michael, whose help is necessary for Daniel's interlocutor to disengage and come to his help (Dan.10:20-21). Like the elect archangels, these "princes" are high ranking military officers with significant numbers of subordinates. It is likely that Abaddon-Apollyon, the demon general of the "first woe", also falls into this category (Rev.9:11)."
On what basis can we conclude that Abaddon-Apollyon is a sar?
Because of his function: that of high level military commander (which is what a sar is).
You wrote: We only find them mentioned in combination with other demonic officials, most commonly right after the archai, or "princes", the demon equivalent to archangels, whose deputies the exousiai or "authorities" are (1Cor.15:24; Eph.1:21; 3:10; 6:12; Col.1:16; 2:10; 2:15; 1Pet.3:22)."
A rank of fallen angels seems clearly mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:24, Ephesians 6:12 and Colossians 2:15 - but at the moment I don't know on what basis we can use the other verses as references.
Eph.1:21: "seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly [places] (21) far above every other rulership or authority or power or lordship" = fallen angel ranks (see previous answer)
Eph.3:10: "so that [His] enigmatically intricate wisdom might be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms" = fallen angel ranks
Col.1:16: "thrones, authorities, rulers or powers, everything was created through Him and for Him" = fallen angel ranks (see previous answer)
Col.2:10: "in Him who is the Head of every ruler and [every] power" = fallen angel ranks
1Pet.3:22: "angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him"
Taken together in particular (and with the other passages whose applicability you acknowledge), the pattern that all of these lists are given to demonstrate Christ's superiority to and dominance over all satanic angelic powers is clear (and even more so when the Gnostic context is taken into account).
You wrote: World-rulers (power level): These are the demon equivalent to the dynameis or "powers". They are actually called "powers" in the majority of passages in which reference is made to them (1Cor.15:24; Eph.1:21; 1Pet.3:22)."
How do we know that Ephesians 1:21 and 1 Peter 3:22 refer to fallen angels?
Ephesians 1:21 refers to Christ's session whereby He has gained victory in the conflict with Satan and his angels (cf. Col.2:15 NASB: "When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.").
1st Peter 3:22, "angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him", refers to the subjugation of these angelic powers to Christ by means of His victory at the cross (especially in the context of 1Pet.3:18-20: "made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient . . .").
You wrote: The reason for their double imprisonment or this point of eventual release is not specified, but, on the Genesis chapter six analogy, some egregious violation of God's ground rules for putting humanity to the test must be the root cause, probably having to do with Satan's attempt to forge a one-world pagan state connected with the construction of the tower of Babel (Gen.11:3-9)."
Is there any biblical evidence we can link the construction of the tower of Babel with these fallen angels?
This is an interpretation of the events described which correspond perfectly to all of Satan's tactics elsewhere. Human beings are naturally depraved, but I don't think it would be correct to interpret this passage in a way that has the devil sitting on the sidelines completely disinterested in this process. Creating a one world state so as to squelch all opposition to his pseudo-religion is a key part of his strategy in the Tribulation; this is essentially the same methodology.
You wrote: "Instead of succumbing to temptation (or, if we do succumb, instead of refusing to confess our sin, change our ways, and so recover from our lapses), we ought to remember that Christ died for these sins of ours precisely to rescue us from this present evil age (Gal.1:4)."
Could you explain in what sense does Christ's death deliver us "from this present evil age"? I assume you mean here not the payment for our sins, but rather something else, but I'm not exactly clear.
This world, this age, this kingdom of darkness are some of the synonymous ways scripture describes being an unbeliever and in the grasp of the evil one here in the world as a result. We believers are delivered by grace through faith, but this "deliverance" is "salvation" by another name.
"I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth."
John 17:14-17 NKJV
P.S.: If you haven't noticed or already done so, please check out the list of wonderful ministry offerings on the Special Topics page, including postings by Bartek Sylwestrzak (*series on Mary now complete!), Christian Vassallo, John Jackson, "Bible Readings by Emma", Bible Reading Log by Christian Vassallo (helps for reading through the English Bible), The Holocaust: A Biblical and Historical Examination (Future Implications) by Fred London, the Expanded Index to topics found at Ichthys, and, most recently, Foundational Principles, by Odii Ariwodo.
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).
*Urgent Prayer Request #2 [11/14/18]: Please pray for our friend Odii and his fiancée Abi. Her family has just survived a home invasion where the invaders expressed the purpose of killing her father, a prominent local judge, from religious and political motives. While no one was physically injured (all valuables were stolen), their city is a very dangerous place, and this may not be the end of it. Please pray not only for their protection but for a way out to a safer country.
*Urgent Prayer Request: **[latest update 2/15/19 below] 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). 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 (2/15/19)
God bless you my friend. So much has taking place within a few weeks. I've been going through, to God be the glory. When I went in to discuss the latest CT scan, the cancer has been growing in the liver and colon with tumors moving in different areas. I prayed that God would give me and open mind regarding Immunotherapy if it came down to it. Bottom line is the Dr said I have to do something or else he couldn't see the liver holding up much to longer. He said it's amazing how I'm still looking in good shape and that my liver is still functioning well enough where I can still have an option left. After being informed in more detail about Immunotherapy and that they have 3 patients in it now that was brought back from the dead (as he put it) and one of them has the rare cancer like me, all 3 of them are doing fine with the treatment. So I decided to move forward with it as I started my first round yesterday. I will have 4 treatments (once every three weeks) and if takes within the first 2 or 3 treatments we know it's working. If it doesn't take well we know things will start to get worst. I'm praying for no side affects and that God moves through this treatment and heals me. I just believe he's going to do it my friend. I'm not questioning it or doubting the process. I can't. I will trust him with all I have. Please continue to pray for my strength and healing and I will keep you posted as much as I can my friend.
Take care and God bless,
More Prayer Requests:
For Lowell, for success for proton therapy for his prostate cancer.
*For our friend Gaurav, for encouragement, health, and material deliverance. [n.b., Gaurav was the first one on this list years ago; he writes that he is still "hanging in" and staying faithful to the Lord, but he and his family are in greater material need than ever; please remember them in your prayers]
*For Shontel, for the means and opportunity to get out of a debilitating and dangerous domestic situation ASAP.
For David's wife who is entering hospice [*update: our friend's wife has gone to be with the Lord; please pray for his comfort].
For Kevin for successful brain tumor surgery.
For Bob P. for help in healing a painful skin disorder (praise here as the condition has been somewhat ameliorated, but please keep him in prayer); *and Bob wife, Debbie, just diagnosed with invasive ductile breast cancer *[update: treatments successful! Please continue prayer as some continued therapy necessary for some time].
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 [*praise here as his petition was successful!]. *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. **[update: 12/18: please pray for success for a critical initiative that would overturn much wrong and right the situation for our friend and other affected; *next 60 days are crucial]. *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 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. And please also pray for the health of his wife and children, and of his father in law.
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]. *Please also pray for John's health and that of his wife as well.
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 . . .]; from the family: little Omari Joel passed on June 4, 2018 at the age of 5 ½. There are no words to express our gratitude for your prayers, and your love will always be remembered. Your prayers were blessed with love, grace, and an eternal relationship with Jesus. May God continue to bless you each and every day, and thank you for bringing our family into your family. Amen. Many blessings, keep family in your prayers!!!
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, and for help for Judah in overcoming spiritual obstacles and for help in preparing for ministry.
For Tom for help in the development of all skills necessary for an apologetics ministry combating atheism in particular. *Please also pray for the salvation of his grandmother.
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 effects of a chronic condition.
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 and his cooperative to be successful. Prayers also please for family who does not share his faith. And please pray for our friend's protection from persecution in a place where standing up for the truth and not following the crowd results in suspicion and shunning.
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 [praise here!], protection on a hazardous job [praise here too!], and continued spiritual growth. *Please also pray for help with potential heart problems.
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, and for the salvation and spiritual growth of another granddaughter.
For Bogdan's salvation and receptiveness to the truth.
For Clinton, for spiritual growth [praise here for completing his degree and landing a good job!].
*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. *Please also pray for Lisa's health.
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). *Please pray for the success of his business as a base for ministering the Word. **Please also pray for his fiancée and her family for protection from violence in the place where they live.
For Alex' and Chris' mother, for her salvation and the opening of her heart to the truth.
For our friend Carmen, for the protection of her granddaughters, and her encouragement and strength in negotiating a difficult trial; for her boy Josh's recovery and for encouragement for him to turn to the Lord for help.
*For Amber's continued spiritual growth and encouragement, and for her healing. Please also pray for the salvation of her grandmother.
*For Sande's encouragement and perseverance in proclaiming and teaching the Word in the face of significant resistance. Please pray also for his health and the health of his mother and grandmother (suffering from aplastic anaemia and spinal stenosis respectively).
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 [praise here! please continue to pray for the success of his business].
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 Jeffery, for the salvation of his two sons.
*For Dorota's healing from inoperable cancer, and for her salvation [*praise here as she has responded to the Lord! Please pray for her course of chemotherapy].
*For old friend and seminary colleague, pastor Mark, for his healing from cancer and its complications.
For Peter, for the deliverance of his family from cult influence and to be led to salvation in Jesus Christ.
For comfort and encouragement for Charles and his wife Joan who was just diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer.
More E-mails: Complete archive of previous emails: Ichthys' Emails
Christology Questions X
Believers in the World VI
Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers VI
Atheism and Evangelism
New Testament Interpretation VI
Old Testament Interpretation XII
Fighting the Fight VIII
Spiritual Warfare VI
Sin, Faith and Suffering
Prayer, Vows and Confession
Eschatology Issues XXIII
Apologetics, Ministry and False Teaching
Culture and Christianity XIX
Ministry and Preparation for Ministry VI
Church: The Biblical Ideal versus the Contemporary Reality II
Salvation, the Gospel, and Unbelief III
Fighting the Fight VII
The Holy Spirit: Pneumatology Questions VI
Interpretation, Application, Exegesis and Ministry
Biblical Anthropology VII
Baptism: Water and Spirit VIII
Text and Canon
New Testament Interpretation V
Grace versus Law II
Apathy, Atheism, Cults and False Teaching
All about Ichthys III
The Battlefield Within II: Combating anger, fear, blaming God, blaming others
Salvation Questions III
Faith, Forgiveness, Salvation III
Eschatology Issues XXII
Cults and Christianity X
Cults and Christianity IX
Ministry and Preparation for Ministry V
Fighting the Fight VI
Marriage and the Bible VII
Culture and Christianity XVIII: Substance Use and Abuse, Tithing, Politics and Environmentalism, Friendship, Self-Defense, and Work
Paul the Apostle: Aspects of his Life and Ministry II
Old Testament Interpretation XI
Mutual Encouragement in Christ VII
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?