Subscribe to Ichthys:
*NEW: MP3 Audio Files (CT#5 now available)
New Testament Interpretation IV
"Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so."
How do I know that God is permitting to have me reach maturity? The straight and narrow seems impossibly narrow at times.
Paul says this, "God permitting", because "we", meaning him and the wayward Jerusalem believers he is addressing in Hebrews, can only "do so" if "they" decide to follow along. It is true that it is all factored into the plan of God – so Paul can only defer to the Will of God; but the outcome is based upon what "they" decided. This is Paul's humble way of saying that he deeply hopes that God will grant them a heart to repent. God wants everyone to repent, but people have to decide to do so themselves.
You are here on earth to make decisions. I've seen you make some very good ones. Keep on moving forward with your growth in the truth through believing it and putting into action in your life, and you will most assuredly accomplish what the Lord has for you – "God permitting" – which means if you decide to persevere, He will help you in every way.
(9) But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. (10) That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2nd Corinthians 12:9-10 NIV
(12) I know how to handle humiliation; I also know how to handle prosperity. I have learned by experience in each and every way how to handle being abundantly provided for and being impoverished, being in prosperity and being in a state of deprivation. (13) I have the strength to endure all [extremes] in the One who empowers me to do so.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
I can't seem to find this in your email correspondence, but I recall that the command in Hebrews 10:24-25 is not "do not forsake assembly" but "do encourage one another." Can you, for my sake, give a comprehensive grammatical-semantic breakdown of this passage?
The proof of all "comprehensive grammatical-semantic breakdowns" is in the pudding of a translation – because all theory about what a passage might grammatically mean only make any practical sense when that is reflected in an actual translation. So let's start with that and then you are free to ask any questions you wish about the "why?" of any particular part. Here is how I have translated the passage (expanded translation in brackets):
(24) And let us give careful attention to one another['s ministries] as motivation for [our own] love and good works, (25) not abandoning your mutual assembling as some have made it their practice to do [and which makes this encouragement impossible], but rather encouraging each other [to persevere in this work of the Lord], and doing so to an ever greater degree to the extent that you see the day [of the Lord] drawing [ever] closer.
Also, here are a couple of links where I talk about the passage in some detail:
Hebrews 10:24-25 in the context of the early church
The Meaning and Purpose of True Christian Assembly
Forsake not assembling
The main point is that assembly for the sake of assembly is pointless; it's what happens in the assembly that matters; so without the substantive teaching of the Word of God, assembly is actually a negative thing:
(12) When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts? (13) Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations— I cannot bear your worthless assemblies.
Isaiah 1:11-12 NIV
I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me.
Amos 5:21 NIV
"Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased with you," says the Lord Almighty, "and I will accept no offering from your hands."
In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good.
1st Corinthians 11:17 NKJV
Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
When Paul says "to the Jew first, then the Greek" (Rom.1:16; 2:10), does Paul mean that both the judgment for rewards and the judgment for punishment will be sorted so that the Jews go first in line, and the non-Jews in the back?
If you have a look at "The Judgment and Reward of the Church" (at the link), I think you will see a good case presented for the fact that the more highly rewarded receive their crowns first, as in fact "in Christ" there are no longer "Jew nor Greek", etc. (Gal.3:28). Jews have "first priority" as descendants of Abraham in this life – which is no particular advantage at all for those who refuse the gift of life in Jesus Christ.
In our dear Lord,
Professor, can you please explain Jude 1:13?
Always good to hear from you, my friend.
. . . raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.
Jude 1:13 NKJV
Jude 1:13 continues the description of the false teachers he has been warning against since the beginning of the epistle. They are in this verse described as "raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame" (NKJV), a description which highlights their instability, dangerous ferocity, and inherent foulness. The fact that they are described as "wandering stars" is significant. The Greek actually says "planets", and as anyone who knows even a little bit about astronomy knows, the other stars are very regular and orderly in their movements, but the planets are much less predictable (to the naked eye). That is why they are called "planets" (planetai – "wandering ones"); and significantly, the root of that word also means "to deceive" – so it's a very apt metaphor for the false teachers of Gnosticism Jude warns against here (see the link). Finally, we are told the good news (for us), that along with the fallen angels the Gnostic false teachers are worshiping (and "condemning"), their fate will be what they deserve: the darkness of the lake of fire (which is to what "for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever" refers; see the link).
I think that covers everything, but please do write me back in case there was something else you wanted to ask about here.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
What does Paul mean when he writes this?
"So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world."
Galatians 4:3 NIV
Paul (and Peter too) uses this term, ta stoicheia ("elemental spiritual forces" in NIV), more than once (sometimes with slightly different emphases: Gal.4:3; 4:9; Col.2:20; 2Pet.3:10; 3:12; cf. Deut.4:19). What is being referring to with the term ta stoicheia are the celestial bodies and the natural physical principles of the world they represent and help to track of (i.e., times and seasons were tracked by these natural means before the invention of mechanical clocks). So the NIV's use of the word "spiritual" here is entirely backwards. Whether Paul uses the term ta stoicheia for the Law or for Gnosticism (he uses it for both; in your context it is the Law which relied on "festivals, new moons and Sabbaths", cf. Col.2:16) ta stoicheia are always linked to these physical, celestial sign-posts. In a good sense, these heavenly phenomena are things that God placed in the world for our benefit (Gen.1:14), and while paganism and later Gnosticism wrongly impute demigod status to them, the Law makes use of these things for a sacred calendar which foreshadows much later-to-be-revealed truth; apart from that, the celestial bodies et al. also serve as a powerful witnesses of natural revelation (e.g., Ps.19:1ff.). They do not, however, give us anything more than elemental truths (astrology is a pernicious evil, e.g.), and will never bring anyone to spiritual maturity, even when used correctly to glean the existence, power and righteousness of God from what He has made. Here are a few links on this:
Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
"The children of your sister, who is chosen by God, send their greetings."
2nd John 1:13
Who is the sister mentioned?
This is referring to the local church in the town from which John was writing (Ephesus, most likely, or possibly somewhere else in Asia Minor); cf. Peter's reference to the local church at Rome:
She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son.
1st Peter 5:13 NKJV
It was natural to refer to the local assembly as a woman because the Church is Christ's Bride and because the word ekklesia is feminine.
In our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
What does "without hypocrisy" mean here?
"Having now sanctified your hearts by means of obeying the truth, love one another resolutely so that your brotherly love may be without hypocrisy."
(1 Pet. 1:22)
A hypocrite in Greek is, literally, an actor in a play, and thus hypocrisy is "play acting", pretending you are one thing while really you are another – just as the Pharisees pretended to be righteous but in reality were anything but:
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone."
Matthew 23:23 NKJV
On the verse you ask about in in particular (1Pet.1:22), here is what I write about it in Peter #33:
This love for one another, our fellow believers in Christ, should not be and really cannot be just an act, just for show, performed only in hypocrisy. To make it clear that a large part of what he means by this is that genuine love for our brothers and sisters in Jesus cannot be mere passive lip-service, Peter adds in his command for us to love one another that we do so "resolutely" (Greek: ektenos, or "stretched to the limit"). It may appear loving to say to someone in need, "depart in peace, be warmed and filled!" (Jas.2:16), but as James tells us there is "no profit" in such empty words. So what Peter is telling us here is not so much how to handle our attitudes towards our fellow Christians (although that is certainly a part of it); his real emphasis in giving us this exhortation is focused on having us "put our money where our mouth is", so to speak. In the example from James, this would mean actually helping a brother or sister in material need.
Here is something I read:
In Matthew's telling of the parable of the talents, the man who buried his talent is bound up and punished with the hypocrites. However, in Luke's telling of the parable of the minas, the man who buried his mina is not punished. He is chastized, but the master then abruptly changes subjects: "AS FOR THESE MEN WHO WOULDN'T HAVE ME AS KING, go and punish them."
Do you think that the man who buried his mina is analogous to the gentleman who as "saved, as though one escaping the fire"?
The two tellings of this parable have the same interpretation. When you say "in Luke's telling of the parable of the minas, the man who buried his mina is not punished. He is chastized", I don't find the fact that Luke leaves out the part about the servant being cast into outer darkness a necessarily encouraging sign for this individual. Our Lord does also say in Luke "everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him" (Lk.19:26 NKJV). Having everything you have taken away is very bad, because that includes your life. The talent and the mina have in common the fact that they represent the free will we have to choose and act in this life; refusing to use it to respond at all to the Lord represents rejecting Him and His plan for one's life. Having it taken away indicates no more choice in the lake of fire. The person who got "interest" lived a marginal Christian life but at least had faith with some results (interest) to show for time in this world; even if he didn't win an eternal crown, he is in eternity (not so the one who buried his free will = rejecting / not accepting Christ). All this is written up at the link: "The Parable of the Talents and the Minas".
Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
The pastor also mentioned something else: the man who squandered the talent had no idea of the master's character or what he was like or what he even expected from him. He just made all sorts of assumptions about the master (you are a hard man, you reap what you did not sow, etc...) that were completely unjustified.
I have a harder time with this one. First, we ought to understand the correct interpretation of this parable even without some scholar to do the exegesis. All unbelievers always find all sorts of excuses as to why he/she doesn't wish to obey God by believing (Rom.1:5; 16:26; cf. Jn.6:29), but we also know that God makes the truth about Himself very clear to all in fact despite the delusions unbelievers engage in and share with others while in this life (Rom.1:18-32). So the bottom line in the parable here is very clearly, namely, that there is "no excuse" for burying your talent/mina = refusing to accept God's gracious gift of salvation (Eph.2:8). To suggest that the person in the parable really "didn't know" is to suggest that either 1) there is an "out" for ignorance (whereas in truth there is neither ignorance nor an "out"); or 2) God is unfair – when in fact it is impossible for Him to be unfair in the least.
And even if one wishes to engage this parable on the level of the situation the parable describes, in the parable the man says "I knew" and the king affirms this saying "so, you knew, did you?" The severity of the king in the parable is paralleling the immutable justice of God; but the point in the parable (or any parable) is not to teach everything there is to know about everything true in one story, but to illustrate an important point. Still, this parable "works" on every important level. Just as the man received a bag of gold not from any merit and not by earning it, and all he had to do to avoid condemnation and instead receive some reward was to hand it over to a bank, so unbelievers are given an incredible gift, the opportunity for salvation, and all they have to do is to accept it. The Judge is severe in that He must in perfect justice demand redress from anyone who doesn't have payment – but we have to remember that He has already made payment in the highest coin (the blood of Christ) at the highest cost (the spiritual death of Christ), and that only by refusing to accept that payment has this person run afoul of divine justice. All people realize that they are mortal, that there is a judgment coming, and that they have nothing to offer in eternity in defense for their sins – so all do in fact recognize this "severity" of coming judgment. All the more reason why unbelievers are completely without any excuse – as this parable teaches – in addition to teaching the great blessings of responding not only to the gospel but to the mission our Lord has for us as believers in this life: great eternal reward based on good service in this temporary world.
As I say, it's a positive that the Bible is being interacted with; but it's always better if it is correctly interpreted and truth taught in an understandable way so that spiritual growth may come.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Professor, are women supposed to cover their heads while they pray as it says in 1st Cor.? V/r
Hello my friend,
In 1st Corinthians 11:3-16, Paul is speaking about hair, not hats, as he finally gets around to saying in verse fifteen at the end of the discussion, "for her hair is given to her for a covering". The abuse Paul was correcting in this passage was apparently twofold: 1) Corinthian women in the church following the pagan practice of tearing their hair out in morning for the dead (inappropriate for those who espouse a belief in life eternal), and 2) Corinthian woman shaving their heads in undertaking Jewish vows (not something women should have been doing – and of course with the Old Covenant having been replaced by the New Covenant, not something men should have been continuing to do either). You can find more about this at the following links:
Hats or Hair?
Are women required to wear hats or veils in church?
More on Hats and Hair (response #2)
What is long and what is short?
Hair Length and culture
Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
What does the word "perplexed" really mean in these two verses?
"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;
(2 Cor. 4:8)
"How I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!"
In both cases we have the Greek verb aporeo. A poros is an opening or a way, as in a ford across a river (the English word "pore" comes from this). To have no way or opening out of a difficult situation is to be in aporia. "Perplexity" is thus not a bad translation. In the first verse, Paul describes being in situations with no visible human solution – and yet not giving up hope about it, since he knew God would deliver him which He always did; in the second instance Paul wants to help the Galatians but they are so far "off" in their behavior that he is "at a loss" about what to say or do. This is a fairly common Greek word-group and used all the way from Classical times to the end of ancient Greek.
In Jesus Christ in whom we have no aporia whatsoever.
Hi Robert –
I hope you're doing well. Your friend from Los Angeles here. Our past emails have fallen off my iPad (I still have the archives on my main computer), but hopefully you can put the name to our past conversations.
This is really just a quick question. I am really having trouble making any sense of the last phrase in 1 Peter 3:6 -
5 For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.
That is NKJV; others have different takes but none are any more illuminating. I have also looked at the Greek in Strong's, and that has been no help to me either. Whenever you get a chance, could you tell me - do you have any idea what this means?
Hope things are going well for you out there in beautiful CA. I certainly do remember you – I pray for you regularly.
As to your question, most of the translations of this verse, including this one, are indeed about the same and are mostly acceptable renderings of the Greek. The interpretation, however, is not necessarily made clear thereby. One has to keep in mind the first verse of the chapter: "be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives" (1Pet.3:1 NKJV), in order to see clearly what Peter is talking about. The context is all about the role of a Christian woman in marriage, and for many of his recipients it would have been the case (as it is often the case today), that such a believer would find herself married to an unbeliever. However, unlike today where women in the west, at least, generally have a say in whom they will marry – and no believer should willfully marry an unbeliever – this was not the case in the ancient world where arranged marriages were the rule and not the exception. Further, individuals were often espoused as infants and married very young, especially in the case of women. Under such circumstances, in the midst of a largely pagan world, it was far from unusual for a woman to be saved after marriage rather than before. This put her in a difficult situation when her husband did not respond to the gospel at the same time as she did. What was she to do? Paul says flat out what Peter intimates here, namely, that this uncomfortable circumstance was not a reason to seek a divorce, provided the unbelieving partner was content to remain in the marriage (1Cor.7:13-16). So how was/is a Christian woman to handle this situation? We are told here she is to do her job as wife as unto the Lord in the hope that her stellar conduct will impress her husband and lead to his salvation as well; she is to be like Sarah in the hopes that he will become like Abraham. But even if he does not respond as hoped, her job is to continue on the one hand to "do a good job [as a wife]" (v.6), since that is the earthly ministry to which she finds herself called by the Lord; but on the other hand she is not to refrain from making it clear in all of her conversation that this is just what she is doing, not failing also to do all the other things that a good Christian woman ought to do or failing to avoid things a good Christian woman ought not to do – regardless of her pagan husband's attitude.
Men in the ancient world (as in much of the third world today) had a tremendous amount of power over their households, so that if this hypothetical Christian woman found herself married to a real problem, it might easily be the path of least resistance to hide her faith, hide her Bible (whatever she had in the way of scripture in that pre-canon time), and avoid other Christians along with any other sort of Christian behavior or activity. That would not be "Sarah-like", and Peter adds this rider to the discussion to encourage his female readers not to shirk their Christian responsibilities out of fear of their husbands' reaction, even at the same time as he tells them to obey their husbands in all matters where principles of faith are not at issue.
In a sense then, the dilemma of Christian women married to unbelievers is a direct parallel to the dilemma of Christians at that time and ever since who find themselves living in polities which are hostile to Christianity. If we find ourselves in such a situation, on the one hand we should be the best possible citizens so as to reflect well on our Lord and, if possible, convince those skeptical of our faith of its power and value; but on the other hand we must be willing to suffer the consequences if we are told not to do things that all Christians' must do, such as sharing the Word, reading the Bible, and praying to the Lord (Dan.6:10-27; Acts 4:19-20), or told to do things Christians should not do, such as worshiping pagan gods (Dan.3:1-30). In time to come, very soon if calculations are correct, this will be no mere theoretical matter for those who have faith in Christ. So the passage you ask about is good for all to consider, men and women both and regardless of marital situation.
Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
"At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another."
Is it "being hated" or "being worthy of hatred"?
The later rather than the former: stygetos is a verbal adjective in form (the -tos ending), and functions in Greek in a way akin to the Latin gerundive (cf. reverend, dividend, propaganda, which are "a person worthy or respect", "something which ought to be divided", and "thing whose purpose is propagation" respectively). Interestingly, it is from the same root as the river in mythological Hades, the Styx (lit., "the abominable" river).
Hope you and your family had a merry Christmas as well, my friend.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
I wanted to ask you a question on Romans 3:9-18 and verse 11 in particular. I understand these verses as applying to both a Jewish and Gentile unbeliever and the purpose is to show the universal depravity and impossibility for us to be saved through our own works. What I struggle with is why Paul here quotes scriptures that you pointed refer specifically to a fool from Psalm 14:
Romans 3:11 (NASB)
11 There is none who understands,There is none who seeks for God;
Psalm 14:1-2New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good. 2 The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men To see if there are any who understand, Who seek after God.
We could argue that there are at least some who do seek God and their unrighteousness is exactly what motivates the search. Otherwise it could seem that those who have no faith can have no faith, because they don't seek God, so there is no way out of this condition.
Could you clarify why Paul phrases things the way he does in verse 11? Why does he say that there is no one who seeks God? There is no question that most of humanity does voluntarily put itself under the label of the fool of Psalm 14 who doesn't want anything to do with God, but since this does not refer to everyone, I'm not sure how to understand it.
In our Lord,
The first part of Romans 3:10 is, while related to Ecclesiastes 7:20, not a direct quote: "not even one" being unique to Paul as far as I can tell. Nevertheless, this combination of expansions, paraphrases and quotes is definitely in the same spirit as that of the Psalms and other books from which they come, expressing the exasperation of the righteous man in viewing the world and its generally hardened and sinful heart. The reason for the allusion to scripture is to show that, even during times when Israel was not so completely out of phase with the will of God so as to merit or be on the point of meriting terminal discipline (the reigns of David and Solomon being among the most spiritual positive, it seems), Jewish writers of the past could make these statements which clearly included Jews as well as gentiles. So Paul's point is to buttress his statements in verse one that everyone is sinful: if Jews were "special" in this regard, then David and Solomon couldn't have written what they wrote without some sort of caveat. So I believe Paul's objective here is merely to remind his readers of the principle of "total depravity" (as the Calvinists say): "all sin and fall short of God's glory" (Rom.3:23, just a few verses later). When I write, especially academically, I make liberal use of footnotes to explain and qualify, to avoid confusion and to add support. That approach clearly couldn't work with the Bible. Clearly, "no one seeks God" is not literally true in the sense of there being no believers, obviously, otherwise even David who wrote this could not have said it without excepting himself. In the Psalms (and in Eccl.), these statements are (sanctified) hyperbola, and any reader of the Psalms, which are poetry, is well aware of the use of such poetic techniques used therein. And in terms of the way everyone starts out life, before salvation this is of course also literally true before salvation (as in Rom.3:23).
Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
Hello Dr. Luginbill,
I have a question on Romans 4:15 where it says:
"14For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless, 15because the law brings wrath. "And where there is no law there is no transgression".
My question is this: Adam and Eve the biggest transgression by eating of the forbidden fruit. Cain killed his brother Abel; Both of these groups committed transgression without the law and they suffered the consequences of their sin. There was no written as yet, but there was a law that was written on their conscience/heart, is that not true. So, could you please clarify this rather puzzling verse 15 for me?
Thanks so much, Your friend
Indeed – as Paul says in the next chapter: "Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam" (Rom.5:15 NASB). The "offense" there is the same as in Romans 4:15. So what Romans 4:15 is saying is that there can be no violation of the Law where there is no law to violate – but that does not mean there can be no sin or violation of God's will (which is sin) – for there has been sin committed since the fall by every human being, even before the Law was given. Paul's greater point here is to demonstrate that salvation has nothing to do with the Law (and corollary to that, that sin is a much wider and deeper subject that erstwhile "law-keepers-for-salvation" have any true idea). But the promise of salvation is something the predates the Law . . . and antedates it to. Q.E.D. You can also find this discussed at the links:
Paul and the Law (Q/A #31)
Bible Interpretation VII (Q/A #11)
p.s., it is frequent in Greek to leave out the direct object or qualifier (or almost anything else) where that is "obvious" – however it is often not so obvious to English readers because we don't do that sort of thing in English. I have to address this issue with my students all the time. Point being, Paul means "there is no transgression [of the Law]", even though that is not included because it is "obvious" (to Greek readers).
Feel free to write me back about any of this.
Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
I hope this email finds you well. How was your Easter period? I hope you were able to have some time off from lecturing duties which would have freed up more time for your ministry.
Thank you again for your helpful advice regarding the study of the languages. You made some very good points, particularly about the pronunciation aspect. This is something I will need to keep in prayer as to whether it is something that the Lord wants me to pursue for ministry. If teaching is to be my course, I am aware that a lack of understanding of the original languages will limit the level of teaching I am able to offer, hence the consideration I put forward to you. I was also looking into universities/seminaries that offer these language courses. Are you by any chance aware of any ‘suitable’ institutions that offer such courses in the UK?
On a separate note, I have some questions I would like to put forward to you from Bible reading. I am currently going through all the questions and answers you posted on Ichthys regarding the gospel of Matthew. It has truly been a joyful experience delving deeper into each verse, and linking them to previous doctrines I have studied on Ichthys (e.g. Lord’s testing in the wilderness in Matthew 4 linked to the 3 satanic lies in SR rebellion series; Lord’s prayer to combat these specific temptations; applications to our daily Christian walk). I couldn’t find much else on Ichthys about my question so apologies if I have missed anything.
Matthew 8:8-10 (NASB)
8 But the centurion said, "Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it." 10 Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, "Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel.
Could you please explain these verses to me? Specifically, why did the centurion go on to say that he is also a man under authority with soldier under him? What point was he trying to make? Also, what was the reason that caused our Lord to marvel at his faith? And how are to reconcile this passage with Luke 7:1-10, where Luke writes that the centurion first sent Jewish elders to Jesus, and as Jesus drew closer, the centurion then sent his friends to deliver the message?
Thank you again for all your time and patience. No rush at all for the reply.
Your student in Christ,
Always good to hear from you, my friend!
As to study, I'm not really familiar with the opportunities in the UK. I will say that of course the major universities have an excellent reputation in this regard. Some of the best work in Classics still comes out of Oxford and Cambridge; I'm not sure about Semitics, but I would imagine that these (and other UK universities) would also be excellent places to learn Hebrew. Since as far as I can tell the UK system is still one which takes the study of Classical languages seriously, pretty much any place in that system teaching Greek and Hebrew would get the job done. Then again, it always comes down to the individual teachers, wherever one matriculates. I don't know anything at all about UK seminaries. I do know that in the US seminaries are certainly not the best places to learn Greek and Hebrew; these institutions have other objectives which are always tied to their particular denominational focus and sadly these are usually not putting the Bible first.
As to your questions on Matthew, first, in the military, especially in a highly professional organization such as the Roman army, an officer has the expectation that an order given will be carried out. Indeed, there are severe penalties for failure to obey. If that is true of a human institution in the world, how much more so is it not true when it comes to the Son of God and the angelic armies who are responsible for carrying out His orders? So the centurion is reasoning from an analogy of a fortiori: if I can be sure that A will happen if I order it, then without any question whatsoever B will happen if He orders it.
Why is this a matter of great faith? Because for this reasoning to be meaningful, the centurion had to actually believe it: he had to know and believe who Jesus was, the Messiah, the Son of God. And he had to believe that truth completely, along with all of the ramifications of that truth. Today when Christians pray, how many are truly factoring into their prayers just exactly WHO God is and what He can do? The faith of the centurion, in really believing that Jesus is who He claimed to be and could do anything because He is God is, in this regard, much greater than that of many Christians today – so our Lord's being impressed makes perfect sense (especially when compared to so many of His contemporaries who has seen plenty of proof but were not letting it sink deeply into their hearts).
As to the differences between Matthew and Luke, this is not an uncommon variation as the different writers have different methods in relating events – just as today no two people tell the same story the same way; but just as today in that no two people tell the same story the same way, that does not mean that both renditions may not be truthful. In the case of the gospels we know that they are 100% truthful as inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Matthew simplifies the story by cutting out mention of those who brought the message; but the message in Matthew is precisely the message the centurion sent via the elders. I wasn't there, but I would imagine that when Luke writes: "When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, 'This man deserves to have you do this . . . ' " (Lk.7:4), that probably one elder actually took the lead and spoke rather than all of them speaking simultaneously (but since they were all entrusted with the message this is a legitimate way to put it).
I think that no one considering the reporting of an event outside of scripture would be wary of the substance or critical of the method of relating the event because of such differences – nor should they be. The important substance is accurately preserved, and that is the point.
I keep you and your brother in my prayers daily, my friend.
Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
I read lots of articles from many organizations and every org. Have different views.. and every org says about other org that they are false teachers. I'm looking for the truth but I'm tired.
Can you please explain me better what means lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and pride of life?
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
1st John 2:15-17 NIV
It's because in my humble opinion you are doing too much looking and not enough recognizing good things when you do find them. I certainly hope you are not looking for the answers you want rather than the answers the Lord has for you. If you seek in truth, in truth you shall find (Matt.7:; Lk.11:9).
As to 1st John 2:15-17, this is John's way of summing up (in the Spirit) the things the world values but the Lord disdains: 1) lust of the flesh = sinful motivation coming from the various desires emanating from our bodies (all the things the body longs for); 2) lust of the eyes = sinful motivation based upon coveting things we see in the world and sinfully want for sinful purposes (things of every sort even if not sinful in and of themselves, i.e., possessions, pleasures and things related thereto, fame, power, money, whatever); 3) boastful pride of life = sinful motivation based upon wanting to be successful, victorious, better than others, appreciated, envied – anything that human beings want so as to be able to sate their pride and vaunt their "achievements" so as to "be somebody" instead of being nobody. In other words, all three areas have to do with gratifying oneself, whereas the proper Christian walk is all about considering others as better and more important than oneself (Rom.12:10b; Phil.2:3-4; Eph.5:21; cf. Gal.5:13; 1Pet.5:5), loving the Lord, His truth, and our brothers and sisters in Christ, so as to walk humbly before the Lord in spiritual growth and progress (Mic.6:8), and help others do the same. That is the way to eternal reward, whereas the things mentioned in the passage are as temporary as this life and this world, and will soon turn to dust.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
What does John mean when he says "out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham"?
Matthew 3:9 (NIV)
9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.
(NIV SB Notes) 3:9 We have Abraham as our father. See Jn 8:39. Salvation does not come as a birthright (even for the Jews) but through faith in Christ (Ro 2:28-29; Gal 3:7, 9, 29). these stones. John may have pointed to the stones in the Jordan River. children for Abraham. The true people of God are not limited to the physical descendants of Abraham (cf. Ro 9:6-8 and notes).
I believe that John's point was that none of us should think that we are anything special before God. These individuals were confident that because they were descended from Abraham they were not only saved but most beloved in God's eyes. But God, while He does indeed honor Abraham's descendants for Abraham's sake, looks on the heart first and foremost, and these unbelievers were withholding their hearts from Him and so were not even saved.
Why does Jesus reply in verse 20 saying that the Son of man has nowhere to lay His head? Is this to indicate the commitment required to follow Him (cf. verse. 22)? Do you agree with the NIV SB notes in verse 22?
Matthew 8:19-22 (NASB)
19 Then a scribe came and said to Him, "Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go." 20 Jesus *said to him, "The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head." 21 Another of the disciples said to Him, "Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father." 22 But Jesus *said to him, "Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead."
NIV SB: 8:22 let the dead bury their own dead. Let the spiritually dead bury the physically dead. The time of Jesus' ministry was short and demanded full attention and commitment. This statement stresses the radical demands of Jesus' discipleship, since Jews placed great importance on the duty of children to bury their parents.
In terms of the first individual, I believe that our Lord had discerned that this individual wanted to be part of the coming King's "posse" for the supposed advantages that this would bring when He was installed as king at that time, but our Lord was telling him not to look for worldly success and material blessing by following Him – indeed, He Himself didn't even have a fixed abode. Our Lord wants us to follow Him, but for the right reasons and from the right motivation.
In terms of the second individual, the note is incorrect. I don't believe that the man's father was dead yet (he wouldn't have even been there to have the conversation if funeral arrangements were underway – these things generally happened almost immediately after death in the ancient world). This person was saying in effect that he had to wait until he was the head of the house before he bothered to do what the Lord wanted Him to do. But while we do have responsibilities to our families, there is no real excuse for not doing what the Lord wants us to do and in a timely fashion.
Please may you explain the meaning of this verse, specifically who our Lord is referring to regarding the harvest and the workers? In light of verse 36 where Jesus felt compassion on the people (flock), is the harvest symbolic of the body of Christ, the church of believers? And are the workers those who are ministering to the body of Christ?
Matthew 9:36-38 (NASB)
36 Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then He *said to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 38 Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest."
This verse "works" for all believers at all times. There is always work to do for the Lord, there is always a harvest to be brought in. It certainly does apply to the Church Age, and those who minister the Word of God whether by evangelism or teaching are certainly important "workers" in this respect. But every believer in every age is meant to grow, progress and come into the ministry the Lord has designed for each – especially now that we all have spiritual gifts and the endowment of the Holy Spirit (1Cor.12:4-6).
Please could you explain these verses? Why does Jesus say it is enough for the disciple to become like his teacher and slave like his master? Why does He then go on to talk about Beelzebul as head of the house? Is Jesus referring to the fact that they called Him Beelzebul, and that His disciples should also be expected to be maligned and mistreated?
Matthew 10:24-25 (NASB)
24 "A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. 25 It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!
Yes, that's it. The point is that if they were persecuting our Lord – who is the Lord – we who are so much weaker and lesser can certainly expect the same treatment; and we should strive in every way to be like Him and not expect better treatment than He received. This is not an insignificant point when one considers the airs that certain clergy have put on throughout the Church Age and certainly even today and in all groups and denominations (cf. by way of contrast: Mk.9:33-37).
Why did Jesus withdraw to a solitary place? Do you agree with the following interpretation:
NIV SB: withdrew … to a solitary place. To avoid the threat of Herod and the pressing of the crowds. Jesus' time had not yet come (see Jn 2:4 and note; cf. Jn 6:15).
Matthew 14:13 (NASB)
13 Now when Jesus heard about John, He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself; and when the people heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities.
The note is entirely wrong. Our Lord was never afraid of anything (cf. Jn.11:16), and as the sequel of feeding the masses shows, was soon engaging with the crowd again without a second thought. As the focal point for the revival and the herald of the coming of the Messiah, John supplied "cover" for the Lord and His ministry even while in prison, and was only executed one year before the crucifixion. The death of John marks the beginning of the final "year of opposition" where the entire focus of the anti-God religious state now fell exclusively on our Lord and ended in the cross. This event marked the beginning therefore of the hardest part of our Lord's earthly ministry culminating in His death for the sins of the world. For that reason, He took some precious time out to pray (cf. Matt.14:23) – a good lesson to us all of the importance of prayer, especially before doing anything of critical importance.
Why did the disciples ask Jesus about the scribes saying that Elijah must come first? Is it because they had just seen Elijah alongside the Lord's transfiguration and thought the he had already come? Does this also fit in line with a lack of recognition from the disciples between our Lord's first and second advents, despite our Lord repeatedly stating that he must die for the sins of the world and rise again after three days?
Matthew 17:10-13 (NASB)
10 And His disciples asked Him, "Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?" 11 And He answered and said, "Elijah is coming and will restore all things; 12 but I say to you that Elijah already came, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands." 13 Then the disciples understood that He had spoken to them about John the Baptist.
Yes, that is it exactly.
Why does our Lord use the example of a little child after being asked the question by the disciples of who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven (v.1)? It seems to me that whilst the disciples had a concept of an elevated status of grandeur, the Lord counteracted this view with an example of a child's humility and accepting obedience. Does this also link in with Matthew 23:12? Is it also the fact that humility leads us to recognise our imperfection and consequently points us towards our need for a Saviour? Moreover, could it be added that post-salvation, it is daily humility that leads us to picking up our cross daily and losing our life for the sake of Christ and feeding the flock? This would in turn lead to eternal rewards, making a distinction even between believers in eternity.
Matthew 18:3-4 (NASB)
3 and said, "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Again, you are right on the point. Humility is not only an important virtue but a critical one. Some people have physical courage, but no one can have the necessary moral courage to persevere in all of the things that may happen in life – and especially the things that are going to happen in the Tribulation – without humility. That is because humility recognizes our utter dependence on the Lord and accepts His complete trustworthiness, looking to Him instead of to ourselves and relying on Him and not our own talents, abilities or resources. Humility is seeing things as they actually are and our completely tentative position in this world, dependent as we are on Him for absolutely everything, more than we know. That is why Paul says, "when I am weak, then I am strong" (2Cor.12:10).
Could you explain from what you wrote about this verse that there will be differentiation of greater or less divine judgment in this life and the next?
Matthew 18:6 (NASB)
6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
The more evil in this life, the more judgment from the Lord. The more evil in this life, the more severe the rebuke at the Great White Throne (even believers "fear the Lord" when it comes to our divine eternal evaluation, though we are confident of salvation and reward: 2Cor.5:11). But this does not mean, however, that there is any difference in the lake of fire for one unbeliever versus the next – even though they will be recognizable as "great or small" (Rev.20:12).
What are the stumbling blocks that our Lord is referring to here? Is it the deceptive nature of Satan's cosmos and world system? And in regards to the latter verse, would this comprise false teachers and the like?
Matthew 18:7 (NASB)
7 "Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!
Yes, and I believe it comprises anything done not out of love which might lead a fellow believer astray. That is why Paul, for example, tells us not to do things that offend someone else' conscience and thus might trip them up (Rom.14:1ff.). This does not mean we allow ourselves to be bullied into our out of something otherwise not wrong by self-righteous types. It does mean that we go out of our way not to deliver an unnecessary offense to someone who is immature.
How do we reconcile this verse with someone who is saved, yet is unwilling to forgive his brother/s (e.g. holds a grudge)? The previous verse (v.34) states that he would be handed over to the torturers until he should repay all that he owed. Why does Jesus say that our Father would also do the same to those who do not forgive their brother or sisters' debts? Would this be intensive divine discipline?
Matthew 18:35 (NASB)
35 My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart."
This is the conclusion to a parable and as such may be interpreted according to the circumstances to which it is applied. Are you an unbeliever? Christ died for your sins – but if you throw that sacrifice back into the Father's face instead of responding, what kind of response do you think you'll receive from the Judge Himself? Are you a believer? Christ died for your sins and you have been forgiven them; further, you have been forgiven for fellowship everything you've done when you've confessed as a one already saved. Now are you going to be unwilling to forgive a fellow believer some debt he/she owes to you? That is the opposite of walking in love, and a believer who persists in such a hateful course can expect divine discipline indeed.
How far can we take the verse in 1 Corinthians 13 about love keeping no record of wrongs and Romans 14:22 about keeping our faith and actions between ourselves and GOD?
As to 1st Corinthians 13:5, I translate this part as "[love] does not bear grudges". In other words, while it is impossible to literally forget some egregious wrong done to us, it is possible, in the power of the Spirit, to pay it no mind and to act as if it did not happen – at least as far as not being angry or vindictive or anything of the sort towards those who did the terrible things to us. This also doesn't mean that we have to associate with such persons, etc. It means that unlike the world which would try to get even or at least fret to distraction over such past events, we learn as Christians to hand the person and the situation over to the Lord so as to have peace and project true agape "love" – which is not the same as the personal love we have for friends and family but rather an all-inclusive generalized love that wishes and wishes to foster for everyone what God wishes for them, namely, salvation and spiritual growth; after all, Christ died for them too.
As to Romans 14:22, here is how I translate the verse:
Happy is the man who does not condemn himself in whatever he approves [as good to do].
The point here, from the context, is that we should always be acting in faith (as Paul explains in the very next verse) and, ideally, that faith ought to be based on the truth rather than some false principle. Immature believers (or a believer who otherwise has a "gap in his/her spiritual education" on some point so as to be wrong about it) may believe things that aren't the case, e.g. To fulfill this verse, a believer needs to be 1) mature (so as to know and accept what the Bible really does teach on the subject at hand), and 2) consistent in acting according to what has been understood through the ministry of the Spirit and consequently believed – which includes walking in love at all times. Immature believers may fall short here by believing things that aren't true through not having grown up into the truth sufficiently as of yet; that is primarily the category of person Paul is concerned with here, for his goal in this section is largely to dissuade believers who know better from using their knowledge to beat down (and possibly thus destroy) the faith of weaker believers who have not yet come to the truth on some important doctrine of scripture (as in eating or not eating meat). Mature believers would fall short here if they fail to act according to the knowledge of the truth they have received and believed. One way of doing that is to use such knowledge in a wrong way, such as in undermining the faith of weak believers.
Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
Happy 20th Birthday Ichthys!
October 22 1997 - October 22 2017
Dear Friends and Readers, past and present,
A week from tomorrow will mark the twentieth anniversary of the launching of this ministry on the internet. Thanks so much to you, one and all, for your kind words, encouragement and help over the years, and most of all for your prayers. Without the prayer support received, this ministry never would have been possible in the first place, and it certainly would never have survived the many serious challenges thrown at it over the years. It has been the great blessing of my life to be able to minister the Word of God to my brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ around the world through this vehicle, Ichthys.
In humble gratitude to our dear Savior, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Bible Academy's New Website now live!
Special Prayer Requests
A special word of thanks to all who have been praying for this ministry. The Lord has brought about a great deliverance for me and mine. I am forever grateful to Him, and also to all of you who have been faithfully interceding for me and for this ministry.
The Lord is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation.
Addendum: 12/24/16: I also want to thank everyone who has been praying for my family and especially for my mother. She passed away yesterday morning at the age of ninety-six. Considering the sad shape she was in, it was a blessing that the Lord took her when He did. She died "full of years" in the company of those who loved her, and now she is with the Lord – and nothing is better than that (Phil.1:23; Rev.7:17; 21:4).
For 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 permanent residence status in the UK under the new "Brexit" rules.
*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.
For Ramsey, for success in his job application process [praise here! please keep him in your prayers].
For our friend Gaurav, for encouragement, health, and material deliverance.
*For the empowerment of our friend Curt's ministry; for his health, the health of his family [praise for good news here - please pray for Curt's own health], and for his finances. *Critical: please also pray for immediate deliverance from false accusations.
For our brother Abishai's help and guidance in preparing for ministry, as well as for his healing and help with his business to provide for his family's basic needs, and for the health and healing of his young daughter [praise here!]. Please also pray for his brother, a believer, to be led to the truth on important issues of doctrine.
For our friend Betty's help and deliverance [praise the Lord for answered prayer!].
For our friend Carol's recovery, encouragement and for help in her professional life.
For our friend Vau's father for healing from critical illness, and for Vau's encouragement [praise here!].
For our friend John's family's deliverance from cult influence [praise for some good news here, but some members are still entrapped].
For our friend Kathleen's recovery from a terrible accident.
For our friend Steve for strength, protection, providence and deliverance – more needful now than ever.
For help and deliverance for our friend Cindy's daughter.
For our friend Brittany's healing, and for her guidance, encouragement, and deliverance from debt.
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).
For Christian congregations being persecuted in Sri Lanka (please see the link).
For our friend Neal's help in and healing from devastating illness.
For young Joel, a newborn with Zellweger syndrome, for his healing and strengthening.
For our friend Mark's successful surgery and swift recovery.
For the healing, blessing, encouragement and vindication of our brother, Nihal
*For our friend Mike's encouragement and God's blessing on his livelihood to provide for his family (urgently needed at present!).
For Helen's healing from cancer and for her comfort in the loss of her family members.
For pastor Don's wife Jessie's healing from cancer.
For Thomas for a roof over his head.
For Clyde's encouragement and deliverance in severe testing.
For John, for help in getting more hours or work or a better job.
For our friend John's help in coping with a difficult medical condition (cadasil).
For our friend Paul's father-in-law, for deliverance from cancer.
For healing for Leigh's dad's health (praise for betterment here - she thanks everyone for their prayers), for her daughter's healing from hypothyroidism and celiac disease, and for encouragement and help for her.
For the salvation of Judah's friend.
For Tom for help in the development of all skills necessary for an apologetics ministry combating atheism in particular.
For the deliverance of Michael's wife from extreme charismatic influence.
For Michael's deliverance from debt, stress and unwanted conflict – special prayer help needed here as things are getting worse.
For our friend Karl's mother's salvation.
For our friend Oscar's continued spiritual growth and help in securing suitable employment in spite of serious satanic opposition.
For Richard Khum and Mission Training School in Myanmar (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For Ashley and help with her marriage.
For Wen and family in a new area without suitable Bible teaching.
For the opening of Jon's father's heart for response to the gospel [praise here for the salvation of his mother!], and for help with his father's serious and degenerative medical condition (*also for help with his long-term care situation).
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.
For deliverance for John's friend from the JW heresy.
For our friend who wished to remain nameless, for her protection and the protection of her children from a hostile and aggressive "ex".
For the deliverance of Jay's friend from the influence of a noxious cult.
For our friend Anna and her family's comfort in the loss of her daughter, and for the comfort, encouragement and salvation of her two children.
For our friend Sheila's healing from the after effects of a chronic condition *(praise here for healing! but please continue the prayers until she is completely back on her feet).
For our friend Sandra, suffering from multiply myeloma [praise here! please keep her in your prayers].
For David's wife who is recovering from back surgery.
For friends Lynette, Angie, Marcia, Dan and Jeffery, all of whom are presently under heavy spiritual pressures and in need of prayer and encouragement.
For our newly converted brother Jacob in India, for healing for him and for his daughter, for his material needs, and for the salvation of his parents.
For our friend Tommy, for a roof over his head.
For the protection of Crystal and her family.
For Billy's mother to be led into all of God's truth.
*For Resi in transitioning from Roman Catholicism and for help in financial difficulties. Please also pray for our friend to find a good job soon.
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 deliverance from a severe and debilitating illness.
For help for Steven in successfully carrying a heavy and difficult academic load in preparing to minister to the body of Christ.
For the opening of Daniel's heart to the gospel and his salvation in Jesus Christ.
For Becca's family, for help with serious medical and financial troubles (praise here for answered prayers!).
For the salvation of John's two unbelieving sons.
For Charles' granddaughter, for the perseverance of her faith and for her deliverance from drug addiction.
For Bogdan's salvation and receptiveness to the truth.
For Clinton, for a place to live, help in finishing school, and spiritual growth.
For Bob for help in healing a painful skin disorder.
For Carmen, for the preservation of her job in the midst of budget cuts [praise here! Victory! Job retained!].
For Chris, for the preservation of his job in the midst of budget cuts [praise here! Victory! Job retained!], and for his health and protection on the job.
For the salvation of Mitch's wife.
For Dorota's healing from cancer.
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).
More E-mails: Complete archive of previous emails: Ichthys' Emails
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?