FAQ Bible Study General (No. 59)
(Edition 1.1 20000730-20011208)
Frequently Asked Questions on Bible related matters are listed herein.
Christian Churches of God
PO Box 369, WODEN ACT 2606, AUSTRALIA
(Copyright ã 2000, 2001 Wade Cox)
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The BibleÖIs the Bible true-Bible as document-Bible inspired-Key to symbolic meanings-Gutenberg Bible-NET Bible-Study Bibles-Douay Rheims-Forgeries-Sola Scriptura-What is Scripture-Oracles of God-Order or reading Bible-Added-Renewing the mind-Septuagint/Kurios-Israelís Historiography-Earth 6,000 years old-Years measured-Best manager of money-Hidden code-Colours
DestinyÖPleasures of world-Mankindís future-Godís plan-Suffering-Whoís accountable-Lucky/unlucky
Symbolism of NumbersÖ72 offerings-How numbers reduce-4th dimension-References to 300
SocietyÖMarijuana-Marijuana and the Bible- Homosexuality-Cloning- Vegetarianism-Water witching-Dinosaurs-Earrings-Cremation-Life sacred-Failure to see obvious-Police officer-Parents not obeying Godís law- Masturbation-Martial arts-Body piercing-Horoscopes-Organ transplants-Spanking-Forgiveness-Adoption-Allegiance to flag-White lies-Alcohol-Smoking-Lottery-Swearing oath-Sodomy-Alternative medicine-Disobeying parents-Non-believer-Global warming-Fire on Sabbath-Husbandís name-Helping needy-Blood transfusions-Obedience
Pagan TraditionsÖChristmas pagan-Christís birth-God Attis-Xmas-Red & green-Mistletoe-Father Christmas-Star of Bethlehem-Cross pagan symbol-History of cross-Motherís/Fatherís day
HistoryÖCrusades-Pilgrim Fathers-Christian persecution-John Bunyan-Shepherd of Hermas
The ChurchÖGodís plan-Wheat/tares-Pastor/minister/reverend-Children sanctified-Christian calling-Right religion-Weekly offerings-Why religion-Baptism by immersion-Healing-Eusebius-Which church-People of the Book-Mysteries of God
Prayer & FastingÖWho to pray to-Beat oneís breast-Praying in church-Prayers of non-Christians-Head covering-3 times a day-Sackcloth and ashes-Feed hungry on fast days
SpiritÖHoly Spirit & demonic spirit together-What happens to such a person-Can spirits die
CalendarÖWork both calendars-Dateline-Day or hour
False DoctrineÖThird resurrection-Place of safety
NationsÖEdom-Path of lost tribes-God racist-Shechem-430 years time frame-Future of Christianity-Time of gentiles-Covenants
Is the Bible true?
A: The entire Protestant Reformation was fought on the basis of "Sola Scriptura." The Bible was held as the Word of God and the Ten Commandments were held as binding by all confessions.
The Apocrypha was rejected as uninspired because it conflicted with inspired Scripture and the view of Jerome was accepted which, by and large, accorded with the Jewish council of Jamnia in the second century in condemning the Apocrypha. Apocrypha means "hidden" and that is what they were. The Old Testament canon was closed at the death of Ezra in 323-1 BCE and the Apocrypha was used as a text but not regarded as inspired. Hippo and Carthage considered the question of the canon.
The Council of Trent, in trying to counter the Reformation, made the fatal error of declaring the Apocrypha canonical, allegedly following Augustine. Thus, when you say the Bible is true, one must ask which Bible is true? Look at the paper The Bible (No. 164).
Unfortunately, declaring the Bible true does not mean that the people, who do so, do what it says. In Europe this century during the Holocaust there was a category in the concentration camps with an upside down purple triangle. This was for the "Bibelforschers" or "Bible Researchers." It was the aim of the Holocaust to make Europe a Lutheran/Roman Catholic Christian state, free of the Bible following, Sabbath-keeping Jews and Christians.
The Lutherans seemingly took over the first concentration camp near Hamburg from the SA at the end of 1932. This was an old tradition. After the Reformation the Lutherans took over from the Roman Catholics in Transylvania. Rabbi Kohn records in his work Sabbatarians in Transylvania (CCG Publishing 1998) that the Sabbatarian Christians in Transylvania were persecuted ruthlessly for keeping the Law of God. These upright Christian gentlemen beheaded the women in the street because they were found to have goose fat instead of pig lard in their kitchens.
A million Armenians were taken out and shot between 1919 and the Holocaust because they kept the Bible as truth. Between one and two million Sabbatarians, sheltering among the Bektashi in Turkey, simply disappeared after 1927 along with perhaps up to five million Bektashi.
Look at the history of the Bible-obeying people of God in the paper The Role of the Fourth Commandment in the Historical Sabbath-keeping Churches of God (No. 170). So one can say, "Yes, the Bible is true (minus the Apocryphal works)." However there are a few fraudulent translations and insertions that make some of it not so true (e.g. 1John 5:7 KJV and 1Tim 3:16 in the KJV, Deut. 32:8 in the MT, and thus all Bibles following it, and so on).
What you think about the origin of the Bible as a document? Particularly, I would like to know what you think about the Bible being a different interpretation of perhaps older writings from ancient Egypt, kush and axum? Like the ancient poem from the walls of the tomb of Antef in ancient Egypt is strikingly similar to a passage from Corinthians.
A: The Bible refers to contemporary documents and practices all the time, throughout the history of its compilation. The Old Testament has been subjected to the most intense dissection in order to prove it is wrong.
Items like, for example, the notation at the death of Moses by the scribes is taken as indicative of the fact that Moses could not have an account of his own death, therefore it is a later production. The Restatement of the law in Deuteronomy is held to be a product of three documents in the Pentateuch the P, J, and Q documents.
The different uses of names for God and the people acting for Him are taken as evidence of different strains of worship in Canaan, rather than as evidence of the appalling theological ignorance of the scholars themselves, which is the actual case. The fact that Daniel is in Hebrew and Chaldee (Aramaic) is taken as evidence for a later writing, not as evidence for the theological structure of the message, which gives it more authenticity and power. A forger would hardly destroy his own work by adding Aramaic to a Hebrew text he had forged at a later date.
The references to the LXX in the New Testament indicate usage and familiarity. The phraseology in Jude shows a familiarity with Enoch, but does not indicate a lack of inspiration. The alterations of the Old Testament Hebrew by the Sopherim do not indicate a late compilation, but rather with the DSS and the LXX, we know that they altered the texts, and a genuine theologian will understand why.
The problem with chronology often stems from the total ignorance and the paradigms of the scholars themselves. For example, Egyptian chronology is based on Manetho. PhDs have been gained on that structure. Thus, the Bible is discredited rather than have some scholars place them in the correct time frame. I. Velikovsky paid the price for challenging that structure.
The Chaldean sequence is the same. The Hittites were thought to have never existed, as for centuries they appeared only in the Bible. Now, they have found their cities. In a short time they will tie them in as the Celtic people in the Israelite alliance. Until now that has been resisted because the European system has been at great pains to hide the true origins of nations because they want to construct an evolutionary model to get away from Bible laws.
The history of the Anglo Saxons is deliberately shrouded in mystery, up until the time of Julius Caesar, because the Catholic Church does not want the British to find out about their true origins. Look at the paper The Unitarian/Trinitarian Wars (No. 268) for some of the history of the nations of Europe
The latest plan is to date the Bible after 600 BCE, and then claim it came from the Indian texts (Vedas and Upanishads), which is the reverse of the case from the Aryan invasions of India 1000 BCE. They hope to thus establish the Process Theology model as the New World Religion. This was developed from Buddhism and Shintoism from the Kyoto School by Harteshorne and Whitehead. The time scale and authenticity of the Bible is examined in the paper The Bible (No. 164).
I have noticed that many experts seem to hold the view that the Bible is not inspired. Do you believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God? If so are we logically compelled by it?
A: If Scripture is God breathed then He has given instructions for us to follow. However, we agree that it is both inspired and infallible. In a way we can agree on both but do not equate "inspired" with "commanded".
The Bible was "commanded" in the sense that God issued His Laws through His servants the prophets. The epistles are simply the writings of the early Church leaders and teachers that our Church has deemed as being inspired Scripture. God issued His Law through His servants the prophets. In this way the entire structure of the law and the prophets hang on the Two Great Commandments. See the law series papers from The Law of God (No. L1).
Do you have a "key" that details the symbolic meanings of words used in Bible prophecy?
A: There are a series of keys to understanding prophecy. Timeframes are explained in the paper The Sign of Jonah and the History of the Reconstruction of the Temple (No. 13). You also need to know who some of the Tribes are, and the identity of modern Israel. Look at the paper The Unitarian/Trinitarian Wars (No. 268).
The use of the term, for example, "trees" has a meaning (see the paper The Fall of Egypt The Prophecy of Pharaohís Broken Arms (No. 36)) as do the concepts of "women" for churches, and cities of reigns and eras. The meanings are complex and they come out in the explanations of the texts. Look at these papers and they will explain many of the symbols. The City of God (No. 180) will show you what is the ultimate symbolism of the Bible.
What is the date of the printing of the Gutenberg Bible? What is the date of the printing of the Geneva Bible and who printed it?
A: For the benefit of all readers, the dates of the more famous English Bibles are: Wycliffe (Lollard Bible) (ca 1380); Tyndale (1525); Coverdale (1535); Matthews (1537); Cromwellís or the Great Bible 1st edition (1539) 2nd edition ka Cranmers Bible; The Geneva Bible (1557-1560); Bishops Bible (1568); Vulgate tr. Reims New Testament (1582); Douay Bible (1609-10). Gutenbergs 42 line Bible was finished in 1453-1455. The thirty-six-line type appears to have been ready as early as the 4th decade of the century.
Iíd like to evaluate the new NET Bible for faithfulness to the majority of the ancient texts. What sampling of Old Testament & New Testament verses would be good criteria to use in comparison with those of the NKJV? Not being a language scholar, Iíd need you to point out the significant nuances to watch for in both. I realise that both were interpreted & translated by Trinitarians. Iíd also like your opinion of the NET and the NKJV.
A: It is very good to evaluate texts. The NKJV corrected a problem with the New Testament in one text by changing the original text in their Old Testament translation. Hence they have all the problems of the KJV, and more that they have made themselves. Look at the texts in Deuteronomy 32:8. If it doesnít say "sons of God", it is wrong.
Ezekiel 28 is a good test. Look at the Interlinear Bible and work through the Old Testament text by looking at Strongís as well: John 1:18, 1Timothy 3:16; 6:16; Philippians 2:5-9; 1John 5:20; 1John 5:7. For instance the paper Arche of the Creation of God as Alpha and Omega (No. 229) is a good start for Revelation 1 and others.
Which are the decent study Bibles? So many give explanations on totally obvious passages and terms, then totally ignore the passages and phrases that are hard to understand. Who needs such worthless help? I found the NIV Study Bible from Zondervan edited by K. Bakker, for example, of absolutely no help at all except to arouse anger.
A: We understand what you mean. The NIV is frustrating as well. It is a Trinitarian apology and ignores or deletes many important texts. The explanations often deal with the obvious and ignore the more difficult. Some of the footnotes are of value however and can be quite useful.
The best KJV you can use is the Companion Bible by Bullinger. His notes are very good except where they explain the Godhead or the Chronology. He gets both those wrong. Later, after the Bible work was published, he understood his error when persuaded by A. E. Knock. However, he was too old and left it to Knoch to fix, which he did in the Concordant Literal New Testament. So, that text is also important.
The appendices are of good value except, once again, for his chronology and the explanations based on that. The Marshallís Greek English Interlinear is good and the RSV version is the best. They are now trying to publish it with the NIV rather than the RSV, which is a shame.
Greenís Interlinear Bible is a good Interlinear with Strongís numbering and can be used for the Old Testament. The New Testament is based on the Receptus and so you will need Marshallís as well. Bullingerís notes deal with the problems in the Receptus in the footnotes. to the New Testament in the Companion Bible. A very good Old Testament Jewish commentary is the Soncino. It is based on the Masoretic Text and has no interlinear but rather a good English translation of it. It has copious rabbinical notes, which will make you even more annoyed than you were with the NIV at the deliberate ignorance of some rabbis and the failure of others to act on obvious messianic truth. In most of the major areas there are papers written taking account of the texts. Hopefully we will be able to produce a good workable text on the International Bible Project through CCG Publishing, in the future.
There is also a Concordance to the Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Books by Collins, which will also help you with their referencing. The New Oxford Annotated RSV is also a good text with notes that are not copious but relevant.
Do you consider the Douay Rheims Bible a worthwhile addition to oneís Bible study aids? There are extra books included which are not in other Bibles so I am wondering when and why these were added? Are they authentic or just add-ins?
A: The extra books are the works which constitute the Apocrypha. This group of works was declared canonical by the Council of Trent. All of these works were produced after the close of the Canon, and after the death of Ezra in 323 BCE. They all contain serious problems with the Old Testament text.
For example 1 Esdras is in total conflict with the Book of Ezra. Esdras has the construction of the Temple in the time of Darius Hystaspes, which is absolutely impossible both historically and biblically. They are important to Roman Catholicism for various non-biblical and pagan reasons. The doctrine of purgatory is dependent upon the Apocrypha. Thus, it has to be included.
The historical works of the Macabbees is also non-canonical, but an interesting study. Judah has always rejected them as non-canonical. So also has the Church over time. Look at the papers The Bible (No. 164); The Sign of Jonah and the History of the Reconstruction of the Temple (No. 13); General Distribution of the Sabbath-keeping Churches (No. 122) and The Role of the Fourth Commandment of the Historical Sabbath-keeping Churches of God (No. 170).
The Heydock commentary (1851 edition) has an important reference, which shows the contention of the problem in the use of the definite article in relation only to the One True God and never to Christ, in the application of "theos" to the New Testament by its error here. The text is derived from the Vulgate and applied to Christ in error in this text.
You had mentioned before that there were several forgeries and mistranslations in certain Bibles. Could you please list these for our reference and what is the correct translation? I am not sure how many you are talking about; if there are many how about the 10 most important in your opinion to start with?
A: Well, there are many changes and mistranslations. Fortunately, we know about them. The best KJV to get is the Companion Bible. Bullinger makes notes on the ancient texts and what is omitted from them in the notes to each verse.
Also, in the appendices there is a list of the 134 alterations by the Sopherim from "Yahovah" to "Adonai" (Appendix 32). The Appendix has the texts of the alterations to "Elohim", and the print in the KJV reflects the alterations to elohim. The AV renders the texts in 2Samuel 5:19-25 and 6:9-17 as "Lord." Where the AV and the Revised Versions still have "God" in the texts in 1Chronicles and Psalms, it appears that way in the Companion Bible but with a printís mark.
The Concordant Literal New Testament is important, as is also the Marshallís Greek English Interlinear. Greens Interlinear Bible is also of use for the Old Testament. The New Testament is based on the Receptus, which has serious problems. The most important alteration, or forgery and mistranslation, in the KJV is the forged text of 1John 5:7 which makes the Trinitarian reference and which is not in any ancient manuscript.
1Timothy 3:16 in the KJV is based on the forged text in Codex A found in the British museum. It has the Uncial O altered by the addition of a bar making it "theta" and another scribe added "sygma," making the letters "theta sygma," and this was interpreted as the word "theos" and hence translated "God" instead of "he who." The forgeries are even in two different kinds of ink.
Philippians 2:6 in the KJV has been muddied up and is clearer in the RSV. John 1:1 is a Trinitarian rendering. John 1:18 has "monogenes theos" replaced by "Monogenes Uios" in the Receptus and hence in the KJV. Most Trinitarians carry on that incorrect translation. (cf. Marshallís Interlinear).
Ephesians 3:9 has the words "by Jesus Christ" added to the end of the text, "In God, who created all things." The KJV has an "alpha omega" inclusion in the KJV at Revelation 1:8, which is omitted in the ancient texts. This process and the texts are examined in the paper Arche of the Creation of God as Alpha and Omega (No. 229).
Deuteronomy 32:8 has been altered in the Masoretic text from "sons (angels) of God" to read "sons of Israel." It is corrected in the RSV and a few others based on the LXX and the DSS finds of the ancient texts. Genesis 23:6 has "prince of elohim" in the Hebrew and this is translated as "mighty prince."
The Companion Bible also has the emendations of the Sopherim to "Elohim" in Appendix 33, of which there were 18. The fifteen extraordinary points of the Sopherim are noted in Appendix 31 of the Companion Bible.
The Temple codex taken to Rome by Titus, and handed over to the Jewish Community by the Emperor Severin ca 220 CE, had thirty-two passages that differed from other texts. The lists are preserved and the Companion Bible lists them in Appendix 34 and also makes notes in the margin of the verses. The Companion Bible notes are indispensable to any real study of the KJV. The Annotated Oxford RSV is also important.
What is the term Sola Scriptura? Where is the term in the Bible?
A: The term "Sola Scriptura" means "by Scripture alone." It denies the right of any tradition, of either the Church or of Judaism, to qualify Scripture or alter the clear intent of its words.
The Bible text which reinforces this view is Isaiah 8:20 which states that if they do not speak according to the Law and the testimony there is no light in them. Another text that deals with this concept is that the Scripture is of no private interpretation. Christ condemned the Pharisees for making the word God of no account by their traditions. All of the Law and the Prophets make up the Two Great Commandments. No tradition is included in them. Revelation closes the New Testament account. The system condemned by the Bible seeks to change times and the Law. Thus, the Bible alone is the word of God by which every man must live: every word of it. The argument as to composition and the structure of the Bible is examined in the paper The Bible (No. 164).
What is "Scripture" exactly? I think it is a way for God to reveal himself, but are there any other things you can tell me?
A: Yes, Scripture is inspired. That means literally God-breathed. It follows that if God exists and he created us, then He has a moral obligation, if He is to judge us in conduct, to give us a set of rules by which to live.
He did do this and He spoke to us through His servants, the prophets, who were inspired by the Holy Spirit to speak to the world. He did this originally through the son of Adam, and then through Noah, and then through the sons of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob into the nation of Israel.
When Christ and the Apostles taught, the Scriptures were the Old Testament. The New Testament is a record of the teachings of Christ, in what are called the gospels, meaning "good news." The Book of Acts is a definitive history of the early Church and its approach to Scripture. All the other epistles are either interpretations of the Old Testament in the light of problems experienced in the Church given by God to people under the influence of the Holy Spirit, or the direct Revelation of God to Jesus Christ for example as dictated to John as prophecy. The way the Bible was dictated and compiled is explained in the paper The Bible (No. 164).
What are the "oracles of God?"
A: The Scriptures, and particularly the Law, are the oracles of God. The oracles were given to the people of God through the prophets and those prophets were of Israel (cf. The Oracles of God (No. 184)). The end of the oracles of God in the first phase occurred with the prophets, Ezra and Nehemiah. The Old Testament was finished with these people. God was silent from this end phase of the Old Testament revelation until He spoke through His ministering spirits to Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist (Lk. 1:5-30).
The Holy of Holies is also referred to as being the oracle (esp. from 1Kings 6: 16,19,20). This probably stemmed, as we see, from the fact that the Law was kept there and God revealed Himself through prophecy there. It was a cube of twenty cubits (cf. 1Kings 6:20). This is called the "naos" in the New Testament, which refers specifically to the Church, which naos it was (cf. The Ark of the Covenant (No. 196)).
1Corinthians 3:17 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. (KJV)
The Church is thus the "naos" or "Holy of Holies" and hence, the oracle of God. The oracle of God thus became the Church at Pentecost 30 CE. So, we then see what Paul meant when he referred to the oracles of God in a broader and more correct context.
I would like to start reading the Bible from cover to cover. Is there a special order or anything that helps in understanding the text?
A: Reading the Bible from cover to cover can be done in a year if two or three chapters a day are read. The problem in understanding the Bible, is that it is written so that it can only be understood here a little, there a little, precept on precept, line upon line. Christ spoke in parables so people would NOT understand before it was time that they understand.
This process is important in understanding the structure and intent of the Bible. To that end, there is a Bible Study Program formulated so that people can study by topic. See the Bible Study Program (No. B1). Understanding the structure of the plan of God is assisted by the paper: Outline Timetable of the Age (No. 272). Looking at the structure of the Bible is also helpful: The Bible (No. 164). The Role of Christ in the compilation of the Bible can also be seen in the papers: Role of the Messiah (No. 226); and The Pre-Existence of Jesus Christ (No. 243).
May I get some Bible scriptures to study and read regarding "renewing my mind?"
A. If you go to the web site at www.ccg.org you will find a section with a number of key spots down the side of the CCG second page. On there is a link to the Key Study papers and also a Bible Study Program (No. B1). If you go through the sequences in that paper you will see some 300 papers listed in categories. Papers such as Repentance and Baptism (No. 52) and the series on the Nature of God will tell you the "who" of the question of God and worship.
The papers like Role of Messiah (No. 226) will tell you what part Christ plays in this process. Papers like the Godís Calendar (No. 156) and the various Holy Day papers, and explanations regarding them, will tell you the "how" of worship. There are also papers on the plan of salvation and the Outline Timetable of the Age (No. 272) to show you the prophetic sequence of events. There is enough Scriptural and historical material there to keep the genuine student going for years in genuine research. Then, when you get older, you will enjoy doing it all over again because you will approach it from a deeper perspective. With Godís people, learning never ends.
If I have this correct, Yahovah is the word that is translated Lord and LORD in the same verse. If that is correct, why do you think they did not stay consistent? It just makes it more confusing. Could you explain what the Septuagint is and what Kurios is?
A: Many translations of the Bible, in fact most, are from a Trinitarian point of view. Some hide the use of "Yahovah." From the Sopherim, the Jewish Scribes changed the word "Yahovah" 134 times in the Masoretic text to "Adonai." The Septuagint is the Bible translated into Greek from the Hebrew under the Ptolemies in Egypt. Its abbreviation is LXX for seventy, being the seventy scribes who allegedly translated it. It is often quoted in the NT and most likely was the most common Bible text they used. "Kurios" is Greek for "Lord" used in the NT and in the LXX.
I am a serious Bible student in need of as many sources as possible on the topic of Ancient Israelís Historiography, and the Historiography of the Old Testament. If you have any suggestions I would be very interested in knowing them. I would prefer mainstream thought.
A: When you say mainstream, it should be noted that the Bible has been dismantled as an authoritative source by the mainstream system. You will find a history of the Canon and its compilation at the website in The Bible (No. 164). There are also some comments in the work Christ and the Koran (No. 163). You will also find some comments regarding the timing of the closure of the canon in the papers Reading the Law with Ezra and Nehemiah (No. 250); and The Sign of Jonah and the History of the Reconstruction of the Temple (No. 13). Westcottís History of the Canon is a good work if you can get to one.
I remember reading that a particular individual was credited for stating that, based on the ages and dates recorded in the Bible, the earth could only be 6,000 years old. Do you know who the individual was and cite a reference for me, please?
A: It is assumed that you mean the chronology produced by Archbishop James Ussher for the Authorised text. The chronology is in fact from 6004 BCE. It is to be found in the Authorised version of 1701. In later editions many of the notes and references have been omitted. So, if you wish for the complete chronology and list, get that version from the nearest library that has it.
How were years measured in the Bible, i.e. how did they determine someoneís age?
A: The Bible commences the year from the month of Abib, which is the New Moon nearest the equinox. The conjunction formed the basis of the determination for the Hebrews. The finger of Ashirat, or the crescent moon, formed the basis for the Babylonians and Egyptians. There was an intercalary month seven times in every nineteen years. Years were measured from 1 Abib, or 1 Nisan as it was called from the Babylonian Nisanu. Look at the paper Godís Calendar (No. 156); and also The Moon and the New Year (No. 213). The Pharisees introduced all sorts of other new years after the fall of the Temple, as we know from the Mishnah but that was not so in the Temple period. Their New Year from the 3rd century was Rosh Hashanah in Tishri, or the seventh month, which they borrowed from the Babylonians after their dispersal.
Hebrews did not celebrate birthdays as it was a cult of the Babylonians, the stargazers and the sun cults. Jobís children had been killed for that fact. Astrology and the date charts are also forbidden. Look at the paper Birthdays (No. 286). The date of Christís birth is deliberately hidden for that fact.
Adar II, the intercalary month, was simply treated as "WeAdar" or "And Adar," and all dates in this month were treated simply as Adar for purposes of trade. Usury was forbidden and all debts were to have been forgiven at the seventh or Sabbath year of the Sabbatical cycle. You will find most questions answered in the papers on the web dealing with the calendar issues.
What person in the Bible was known for managing their money/resources wisely?
A: There are examples in the Old Testament and the New Testament. Job was the correct manager. Joseph was the best with other peopleís money as a steward. Jacob managed his father-in-law's estates and accumulated wealth for himself as well. Daniel was also another example of wisdom. Mordecai is another example of a wise steward.
The New Testament example is of the steward who was wise in the ways of this world. However, he was hardly to be followed. Solomon was the epitome of Wisdom and management of the resources of the Kingdom, but he also fell into idolatry. His father David also was wise in that way.
I would like to know if there is any truth to the claim made by those advocating that the Bible has a hidden code?
A: The Bible is established by many in certain code sequences. The Bible is also used as a divination tool using various sequences. So also can Moby Dick be used this way and this has been used as we see below.
Comments are as follows:
"Roughly described, both words of a pair are located by finding where each appears at its own respective minimum equidistant letter sequence (ELS). In theory, these minimum sequences may be any number of letters (though no longer than c. 78,000 divided by one less than the number of letters in the word); in practice, they tend to be quite short relative to the total length of Genesis. But as we will see, the actual ELS does not bias the results.
"In a recent interview, David Kazhdan, professor and chairman of mathematics at Harvard, cautioned hasty sceptics of the Torah codes, ĎThe phenomenon is real. What conclusion you reach from this is up to the individual.í In addition, word clusters, such as mentioned in Witztum's and Drosnin's books and the so-called messianic codes, are an uncontrolled phenomenon and similar clusters will be found in any text of similar length. All claims of incredible probabilities for such clusters are bogus, since they are computed contrary to standard rules of probability and statistics.
"Among the signatories below are some who believe that the Torah was divinely written. We see no conflict between that belief and the opinion we have expressed above.
Look also at this web site:
These are better refutation codes:
This shows ELSs prophesying assassinations in Moby Dick. English with vowels is less able to do this than Hebrew consonants.
We think that most of this Bible Code type of stuff has the effect of undermining peopleís ability to live by faith, and perhaps this is the intent. It promotes searches to gain foreknowledge that will benefit individuals and it is not healthy. It should be noted that Moby Dick also has this same ELS in English.
Establishing a scientific statistical basis to prove how Scripture was written is valid. New Testament Theomatics is the soundest the officers of the Church have studied, and Washburn is now working on the Old Testament.
Are there biblical references to the colours blue and orange? My womenís group from our church is hosting a rainbow tea
A: Yes, there are many references to the colour blue, especially in the texts concerning the Temple of God from Exodus 25:4 to Exodus 39:31. There are references in Numbers 4:6-12; 15:38; 2Chronicles 2:7,14; 3:14; Esther 1:6,6; 8:15; Jeremiah 10:9; Ezekiel 23:6; 27:7,24.
The other colours associated with God and the Temple of God are scarlet, purple and gold. There were pomegranates in the Temple but it appears that they were of blue and purple. Scarlet was used for the hem of the robe of the ephod and was separated by small golden bells (cf. Ex. 28:33; 39:24); or they were of natural colours of the materials themselves.
The concept of the Rainbow is a "New Age" concept. Orange, as such, does not appear in the Temple system. It is classed by the Greeks and Romans as an artificial colour needing preparation. There were a wide variety of pigments known by the ancients. There were varieties of ochres and resins and sulphates obtained from great distances.
The groups were in the colour categories of red (which included cinnabar and vermilion, and minium as red oxide of lead among the Romans and Greeks), yellows, greens, blue, indigo, cobalt, purple, brown, black and white. The groups and pigments can be found in Smithís Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, 1848, p. 320-322 esp.p. 321). The most common colour in Israel was blue. The Romans excluded it and used black. The blue ribbons on the corners of the garments were used as a reminder of the Law of God. See the paper Blue Ribbons (No. 273).
I believe that we should help out anyone in need. We were all created by the same God. Iím aware that God doesnít want us to fall in love with the world. However, what does He really mean by "world"? Is it pleasure from the world? Also, if we are to truly spend our time loving God and studying the Bible and practising Godís teachings wouldnít we have to give up school since it doesnít help us when we die and go to heaven? Why should we waste our time learning anything in this world and setting goals?
A: Solomon said this is the whole duty of man: "To keep the commandments of God" (Eccl. 12:13). The saints are those who keep the Commandments of God and the testimony or faith of Jesus Christ (Rev. 12:17; 14:12). In the first two centuries, if anyone said that they were Christians and that when they died they went to heaven, you knew by that statement that they were not Christians. They were Gnostic impostors in the church (cf Justin Martyr Second Apology, LXXX; the papers The Soul (No. 92); and The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143).
Now, if you ask people they will tell you, as you have written here, they head up to heaven. They simply do not understand the Plan of God and have not had the Bible explained to them correctly. To understand what God is doing at present, you might read the Outline Timetable of the Age (No. 272). Look also at the text The Statement of Beliefs of the Christian Faith (A1). That text will give you the original teachings and beliefs of the Christian Faith as taught by Messiah and the Apostles.
When you come to understand the Plan of God, you will understand what is meant by your question and why the Bible is written in parables. It is done so that people will not understand and turn and be saved before their time.
What is the hope for mankindís future in harmony with Godís written word? Please quote scriptures.
A: It is written in our Law, "I said ye are Gods" and "Scripture cannot be broken" (Jn 10:34-35). We are to become elohim as the Angel of Yahovah at our head (Zech. 12:8). We are the "naos" or the "Holy of Holies" of the Temple of God (1Cor. 3:17) through the Holy Spirit.
Our destiny is to become the City of God and God is to become all in all (Eph. 4:6). Look at the paper The City of God (No. 180). It is not Godís will that any flesh should perish. Therefore He has purposed a system that will enable the salvation of all. The complex sequences of Scriptures dealing with these processes are in the papers Outline Timetable of the Age (No. 272); The Pre-Existence of Jesus Christ (No. 243); The Soul (No. 92) and The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143). And this is eternal life, that you know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom he sent (Jn 17:3).
I know God is allknowing, so is our fate sealed when we are born as to how we live our life, people we meet, diseases we get I know our genes determine a big part of health. What if we don't get a chance to find out the truth, was that His plan for us? My other question is if parents are baptised does that protect children since they cannot be baptised?
A: No our fate is not "sealed." We all have freedom of will and choice. God is not dealing with the world as yet. It is under the god of this world and that rule will end shortly. At present He is only selecting and training a cadre of teachers who will take over the tasks of the Demons when their rule comes to an end. These people will become spirit beings and rule the world for the 1000 years of the Millennium. At the end of the Millennial system Satan will be released again and the world will come into rebellion one more.
The Second Resurrection of the Dead will occur then and all people on the planet will live again for 100 years. This will be the great Judgment to correction. Everyone who has ever lived will be given an opportunity for salvation in a more pure form and teaching. At the end of the 100 years those who do not repent and are converted are left to die and their bodies will be burnt. They will simply disappear from the memory of the host save as a memorial to the physical creation. Those who do repent will be converted in the Holy Spirit and then translated into spirit beings and join the teachers and judges of the First Resurrection. The City of God will then come to the earth and God will become all in all. Look at the papers The Soul (No. 92); The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143); Outline Timetable of the Age (No. 272); and The City of God (No. 180).
Can you give me a Bible reference to show that God has reasons for our suffering?
A: This is a hard question. The problem of the existence of evil and suffering among the innocent is often raised as a problem regarding the existence of God. If he is a good God, why does He allow so much suffering? The answer lies in our decisions and choices. We were created with free choice. The Host that were put in charge of us also had free choice. Under Satan the angels rebelled. Adam and Eve sinned. Thus, they exercised their God given rights of free will or choice.
Since that time the planet has been following a path of its own volition, prompted by Satan and the fallen host. As we approach the time of the end of the rule of the god of this world (2Cor. 4:4) and the return of the Messiah, things will get worse and will continue to get worse because they do not follow Godís ways.
God will send the Messiah back to set up his system of government from Jerusalem. That rule will last a thousand years (cf. Rev. 20:1-15). The earth will be healed and the nations will be healed and we will follow Godís Laws. Until that time, things are going to be pretty grim. Look at the papers: Statement of Belief of the Christian Faith (No. A1); The Purpose of the Creation and the Sacrifice of Christ (No. 160); Trumpets (No. 136); The Seven Seals (No. 140); The Seven Trumpets (No. 141); The Government of God (No. 174); The Millennium and the Rapture (No. 95); The Soul (No. 92); The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143); and Outline Timetable of the Age (No. 272).
In these you will see the Scriptures analysed, and they will show you the Plan of God and how all things will be made right.
I know a lot of people who were on their last legs, whether it was drugs, debt or other stresses, who came to Christ, or were saved, or said Jesus was working on them, and who turned their lives around. My question is how important are the beliefs of a religion if it helps the person out? What if they think theyíve found the truth and thatís all they know. Will God hold them accountable? How will you know, since everyone is convincing you theyíre right?
A: It is a basis of any belief in God, that God has a responsibility to convey His will to humans through His servants. The Bible is the accepted core of Judaism and Christianity and also in the Koran, if not followed by those claiming Islam. The Koran is commentary on the Bible.
The Bible is clear that the whole duty of man is to obey the commandments of God. The saints, who are the seed of the woman the church and spiritual Israel, are those who keep the Commandments of God and the Testimony or Faith of Jesus Christ (Rev. 12:17; 14:12).
People can go to any form of psychological process for help in dealing with their personal problems. That is not what the faith is all about. God is choosing a series of people out of this world in order to run the next phase or Millennial system when Christ takes over from Satan. He does that through a process of omniscience and grace. People are predestined to be called, chosen, then called, then justified, and hence glorified (Rom. 8:29-30).
God is not dealing with all people now. The choice is simple. If a person is predestined, they will be called in due time and placed in training under the Holy Spirit to do the task required of them during the Millennial system and in the Judgment of the Second Resurrection.
If a person is not part of that process, then they will not understand. If they are, then the Holy Spirit will open their minds and they will understand it. That is why the Bible is written in parables. It is so people will not understand and turn to be saved before it is their time.
The Law will be run according to the laws of God for 1000 years under one true faith. If you want to be part of Godís system for that process and God has foreknowledge of your calling, you will conduct the faith according to the faith once delivered to the saints.
It has not changed in 2000 years. However, there are very few who find the straight path and the narrow gate.
Iíve heard that God speaks to us in our heart but what does it mean? Sometimes there is a question that I donít know the answer to, so I open the Bible randomly and if I find the word Ďyesí then that is the answer and the same applies if I find Ďnoí. Iím really afraid of lucky/unlucky things. Does the Bible speak about lucky/unlucky?
A: God is omniscient. That means He has perfect knowledge of all true propositions. He ordains the works of some of us. He knew Jeremiah before he was formed in the belly and God ordained his works. That does not mean that God is determining what happens to us, or that He is even intervening in some things. God is only dealing with a few people at present. The god of this world is currently Satan and he has control for only a little while longer.
The practice you speak of here is termed "bibliomancy" and it is the process of divination by Bible reading, but is divination just the same. It leaves you open to the influences of Satan and the demons as any divination does. God says not to do it. The instruction is to walk by faith. Do not be overly concerned about what you do or what you have to eat or wear. God knows what you need and He will provide that, provided you give your ways to Him. Keep the Commandments of God and the Faith or Testimony of Jesus Christ, for that is the whole duty of man. Luck is an Egyptian concept, which is associated with the intrinsic being of the individual. It is like part of the soul and has no part in Christianity. Try to place your cares on God and obey His Laws. Your bread and water will be sure.
Symbolism of Numbers
I read the paper Symbolism of Numbers (No. 7) and ask would you to clarify how you arrived at the first 71 offerings that with Wave Sheaf make 72.
A: The prophetic year has twelve months of thirty days. These then can be taken to have 52 Sabbaths as in the solar year. The New Moons are twelve making 64. There are seven feasts days of Passover/UB, Pentecost, Trumpets which has double sacrifices for Trumpets and the New Moon; Atonement, and Tabernacles/Last Great Day. That makes 71 plus The Wave Sheaf Offering, recorded in Leviticus 23 as one of the compulsory feast days. Thus we have 72.
I have been reading Symbolism of Numbers (No. 7). The concepts are difficult for me to grasp and I would appreciate your help with one of the terms. At the number fourteen and also at the number fifteen, I don't understand what "reduces to five" or "reduces to six" would mean. How are these numbers reduced?
A: The geometric and numerological systems reduce numbers by adding their totals to reduce them to the prime systems of 1 to ten. That is 14 is 4+1 = 5 and so on.
In reference to the paper Symbolism of Numbers (No. 7) when you describe: "Three denotes completeness in the sense of three lines to a figure" -- are you describing the length, height, and width? Could there be a 4th dimension that currently we are not aware of?
A: Yes, that is the sense of the line of the figure making the third dimension. The fourth dimension is the spiritual, which is allocated to us on baptism.
The paper on Symbolism of Numbers (No. 7) is very good. I was just curious why 300 was not included in the paper. There seem to be numerous references to 300 in scripture. What is the significance?
A: Perhaps it should have been there. The significance of the three hundred is discussed in the paper Gideon's Force and the Last days (No. 22). The three hundred represent three companies each of a hundred that God raises up in the Holy Spirit to defeat the forces of the Baal system in the last days. This has significance then for the structure of the Church as well under Messiah.
I have seen articles about Marijuana, and how the oil, and flowers, were used for anointing and incense. Now I doubt we should smoke incense, but what role, if any, does Marijuana have today? Isn't it edible? Also could you address Medicine, and explain the value of good and bad drugs?
A: This is a very complex issue. Marijuana has apparently serious long-term effects on the chromosomal make up of the human and can pass on birth defects in children. This is a complex medical issue. It can not be fully addressed here.
The plants we have all have a use. Hemp, which is another name for the plant makes good rope and paper and other products. It makes mats and carpets and if properly grown would solve much of the world paper shortage.
It is like all things. Every chemical has a purpose and can be used for good and bad things. Petrol powers cars but it also can be sniffed like glue and that is destroying the brains of a lot of youth in Australia. Cocaine helps pain relief but when you snort it through straws it turns your nose into an expensive whistle.
The basic rule with all drugs is take only what you have to take for the problem. Follow the course and take no more. Always ask the person prescribing the drug for you what it is that you are going to achieve and what side effects are there. Never take drugs from quacks.
Simple things are necessary to our health. The SDA hospital recently did tests on their pastors in AU and found that 77% were seriously deficient because of their vegetarianism. God gave us a diet for a reason. Chemicals sometimes help us through problems but basically if we eat properly we maintain our systems intact.
Also as Paul said take a little wine for your stomachs sake. The Temperance lobby and their bizarre unscriptural reasoning are responsible for the fact that the US people have 2.5 times the heart attack rate of Frenchmen who consume the same amount of fat. The French drink red wine and it keeps their heart attack rates down.
Also chemicals in the environment are regulated in their access to human by the food laws. Keep the food laws and you will restrict rates of disease and mercurial poisoning and other heavy metals. Look at the papers: The Food Laws (No. 15); Balance (No. 209); Vegetarianism and the Bible (No. 183); Wine in the Bible (No. 188).
You made an assertion that "Marijuana has serious long term effects on the chromosomal make up of the human and can pass on birth defects in children." Can you back up that statement with any serious proof? I thought that maybe you would touch on the Rostafarians of Jamaica and thereabouts and how they use Marijuana? Haven't you ever heard of the debate about Marijuana in the Bible? Isn't it in there with a mistranslation of calamus or some weird name like that?
A: The Calamus to which you refer is of varying types none of which is Marijuana. The word is from SHD 7070 quaneh Hebrew kawneh and Greek kalamos. It is based on the term for reed being that which is upright.
In Exodus 30:23 it refers to Aromatic Cane Calamus (qeneh bosem) (Gr. kalamos euodes) It is qeneh hattob in Jer. 6:20 or "Sweet Cane." (Gr. thymiama) (Isa. 43:24; Kinnamomon and also "fragrant spices" (Jer. 6:20). See also Songs 4:14 where it is mentioned with cinnamon.
There is a distinction between the sweet tasting cane of Isaiah (probably sugar cane: Saccharum officinarum L.) and the sweet smelling substances of other passages, which are held to refer to the ginger grass andropogon aromaticus Roxb, which is native to northern India and highly aromatic.
The opposition to Marijuana in many countries comes from the currently advanced medical opinion as to its genetic effects. We are not in a position to evaluate the effects. It certainly is not mentioned in the Bible texts as Calamus from what we know. We will do some more research and when we are in a position we will produce a paper on the medical effects. As none of our people would smoke any form of weed it is more or less irrelevant to us.
I cannot understand why Jesus did not speak against homosexuality in one of the gospel accounts. What scriptures are useful in understanding why God does not approve of homosexual behaviour, especially from the New Testament?
A: Christ did not need to speak out against homosexuality as it was so clearly condemned by the law of God. The entire Bible condemns homosexuality as it does fornication of any sort. No fornicator, whether a heterosexual, homosexual or lesbian will inherit the kingdom of God. Neither will cowards, unbelievers, liars, idolaters, sorcerers, whoremongers (Rev. 21:8) nor anything that defiles the Temple of God.
There are many Scriptures that deal with the prohibitions. The effeminate are also prohibited with Sodomites and fornicators and adulterers (1Cor. 6:9; cf Romans Chapter 1; Rev. 21:8, 27). Look at the paper Law and the Seventh Commandment (No. 260).
There have been some startling articles in the news lately regarding the ability now to clone animals and I even think it may be possible to clone people too. If I understand this, the clone is a duplicate of the original and would not go through the entire growing and learning process over years. Would you say that cloned persons would be considered children of God?
A: God denied the resurrection to the Rephaim or Nephilim. This question of making a clone is a very serious problem. The clone grows from the DNA of the individual but takes on the same age as the person was when it was taken.
Thus, DNA for clones has to be taken at the earliest age from the same person. Prolongation of life is perhaps a product of that but the experience raises serious ethical problems that are too complicated to go into here. For example, the original person has a physical nephesh.
Does God honour the creation of a new or multiple cloned nephesh? In other words, how many of these clones are in the resurrection? Do they all get a chance if they have live experiences? The more serious question involves the spare parts business.
Does the creation of a zygote for spare parts constitute murder? Man was confused at Babel precisely so that he could not get to the stage of elohim too early. This is part of the process that God stopped. The cutting short of Satanís period also has something to do with the salvation of the elect and the protection of the planet. It will also be entirely destroyed. Christ comes so that there will be some flesh saved alive.
My comment refers to vegetarianism. I saw on the news about the U.S. Government redoing the food pyramid. They endorsed that eating meat two or three times a week was beneficial for us. Then next we see a group of vegetarians protesting and wanting the government to fully endorse that way of eating. They stated that it would be healthy for the world to follow their food laws. Is this the way Satan will get his viewpoints across?
A: Vegetarianism is not healthy. It is a direct accusation against the Law of God and the structure God gave to Israel. It is part of the Antinomian arguments of the Gnostics and has nothing to do with Christianity. Paul says it is a doctrine of demons. It is the predominant characteristic of Hinduism.
The Seventh Day Adventist Hospital in Sydney, Australia recently did a survey of Adventist pastors and 77% had serious deficiencies as a result of vegetarianism. It is the cause of major nerve deficiencies and itís extreme form results in serious health problems in the young. Vegetarians require major food supplements that are not required in a normal meat diet. We will have continued and increasing problems with them and the animal liberation lobbies over the next decades.
If you want to see the problems vegetarianism causes go to India and look at a long term vegetarian system. Look at the papers: Balance (No. 209); Vegetarianism and the Bible (No. 183); The Doctrines of Demons of the Last Days (No. 48); Wine in the Bible (No. 188).
I have seen "water witching" work. Thatís where you hold both ends of a forked stick (or 2 bent wires) and walk with the stick parallel to the ground. When you walk over a water source the stick will pull downward. Or the wires cross. Is this demonic? Or could it be natural forces? Some people can do it, some can't. Is it the chemical make up in different people or magnetic forces?
A: In the USA that term is used. In the British Commonwealth it is termed water divining. The process is carried out by some people as a normal expression of energy fields. Some religious bodies do not permit it as witchcraft but I have seen no Bible exegesis of this prohibition.
The incidence of drilling bores with and without it seem to be matter of intuitive process. There appears to be no scientific verification of the process that has been measurable or defined.
What information can I give a man who has questions and doubts in Christianity because dinosaurs are not mentioned in the Bible?
A: It is only a problem to those who confine the creation to the 6000 years of the sons of Adam. This aspect has been examined in the paper The Nephilim (No. 154). There are many other papers on our web site that might help you.
Should men or women wear earrings?
A: Earrings were forbidden to Israel. The orifices of the body were protected against entry by evil spirits by the use of rings and other devices. These devices, often rings, protected the wearer from such entry. The Golden Calf was fashioned from the gold taken from the earrings of the people. That is why Aaron used the plural in his address when he said, "these are the GodsÖ" etc. The text in Nehemiah is a scribal correction to what was considered a grammatical error. Look at the paper The Golden Calf (No. 222).
Israel did not wear earrings. The items referred to in the KJV are in fact forehead jewels. The issue is explained in the paper The Origin of the Wearing of Earrings and Jewellery in Ancient Times (No. 197).
What is your view of cremation? Is it right or wrong biblically? It is a lot cheaper than being buried now.
A: What does God say, through Christ, will happen to the unrepentant at the end of the Second Resurrection? They will be consigned to Gehenna fire? Gehenna is the rubbish pit outside of Jerusalem. So, if it is good enough for Christ to cremate the bad guys, then it must not be a sin.
The resurrection of the dead is dependent upon the power and might of God. If your body canít be burnt in order for you to reach the First Resurrection, then the Martyrs are in an awful lot of trouble. Because the way they got rid of them in the Inquisitions and before was to burn them. Also, there are a lot of people who have died in fires over time.
There are also a lot of people at the bottom of the sea, and the sea will give them up as well. The odd few decomposing in sharksí and crocodilesí bellies are another example. God is not restricted by the fact of our disposal for the resurrection. Most of this superstition comes out of the Gnostic systems that talk about heaven and hell. Look at the paper The Soul (No. 92) and The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143). Most people were embalmed in the early centuries from the Egyptian practice and that is where the view comes from. The early Church viewed anyone that spoke of going to heaven as a fake or pseudo-Christian.
Why do Christians and Muslims believe life is sacred?
A: They believe life is sacred because it was created by the One True God, as part of his creation. They both believe that Satan (or Iblis) and the demons rebelled over the creation of man and, for that reason, were cast down to earth and given responsibility in that creation.
Both the Bible and the Koran state that life and the new creation comes from the death of the Morning Star Al Tarikh or the Messiah. Look at the papers: Christ in the Koran (No. 163); The Doctrine of Original Sin Part I The Garden of Eden (No. 246); Doctrine of Original Sin Part 2 The Generations of Adam (No. 248); Law and the Fifth Commandment (No. 258); and The Law of God (No. L1)
I am interested in finding examples of situations in which an individual (or an entire society collectively) does not perceive what would seem very obvious to others. In particular, I am thinking of the story about the Polynesians who (supposedly) could not see Captain Cookís ship -- even though it was anchored in their own bay, right in front of their eyes -- supposedly because it was such a shocking "out-of-this-world object." Or the story about Pizaroís ships and the Mayans (who likewise could not see the ship even though it was right in front of them). Are these stories factual? Are they supported by the literature in psychology/cultural anthropology? I would prefer to avoid popular cultural myths, and stick with what has been actually documented scientifically.
A.:The failure to see the obvious, and the perception of things that are not obvious, seems to crop up throughout history. We can explain some events from the myths surrounding them. Some we cannot easily explain. The failure to perceive the ships may be true, and it may have cultural significance. I would like to draw on an example in the Torres Strait, to perhaps explain a perception of the Polynesians.
In the Torres Strait, the ships of the west were called "Lamar Nar" which means "spirit ship." This name itself comes from the Indianised languages based on Sanskrit. It was thus used because the pigmentation of whites indicated that they were the spirits of the dead islanders. The Torres Strait islanders, who were all headhunters until the nineteenth century, often killed them because of this belief. Islanders identifying individuals as dead relatives saved some people, and they stayed alive due to that recognition and adoption.
The reaction to them comes into categories of the rejection of the horrific. I know for a fact that some women, for example, simply do not see things that are too horrific for them. They just stop seeing. This happens with men also, but generally with socks and shirts and papers. The Polynesians may simply have refused to believe the horror of a full-blown spirit ship in their harbour, in the same way we would resist seeing a spirit. This brings us to the next category of seeing visions.
Fatima was a classic example of a group of people carried away by hysteria over time. At first, none saw anything but one girl. Then they saw, but did not hear. After a period, hundreds started to see the sun moving and coming near. Mass hallucinations are regular and we are seeing some now. Looking at the sun produces eye burning and defects. Also, perhaps we are too ready to dismiss the supernatural.
In the Australian Aboriginal societies, the Bain men would hold demonstrations beside lagoons of the battles between the dragons or serpents, and people would watch them. Now, this ability seems to be lost. The capacity of the people to perceive the events is the thing that has diminished. How much was suggestion and self-hypnosis, one can only surmise. Also, a lot of people did not see too well in the age before spectacles. This aspect is covered in the work Mysticism Chapter 1 at www.ccg.org/english/s/B7_1.html.
Is there any biblical reason against becoming a police officer?
A: Police are a British invention of recent times by Sir Robert Peel, hence the name "Bobbies" or "Peelers." Paul says to obey those who rule over you and also that the magistrate does not wield the sword in vain.
The whole issue of the implementation of the Law and the execution of the death penalty under the Law is covered in the papers in The Law of God (No. L1). It is suggested that you read the papers concerned with the Law and the Sixth Commandment (No. 259) and also Law and the Ninth Commandment (No. 262).
In short, the answer is, "No." You can be a police officer, only, as Christ says, be content with your wages. The rostering of duty will conflict with your Sabbath duties and that is a problem for you to negotiate.
If oneís parents do not hold true to the Bible, how long, if at all, is one supposed to obey them when their commands are in direct contradiction to the Law of God? As an adult do I have a responsibility to show them the errors of their ways? Should I ruin their pagan celebrations by pointing out the errors? Where is the line drawn between the Fifth commandment and what Jesus says in Matthew 10:34-40?
A: Yes, as Christ says, a manís foes are often those of his own household. A child is not bound to follow his parents against the Law of God. When a child is old enough to realise that fact, they may well voice it. A child is deemed to be of age under various laws in various lands. The Bible says you are of age at twenty years. If your parents are breaking Godís Law, you do have an obligation to point that out to them. If they persist, then that is their affair. If they insist on thrusting it down your throat, you are not obliged to accept it.
You should be ready to give an answer of the hope that lies within you. They should also be exposed to the unscriptural nature of what they are doing. Parents are still parents even though they sin. Families are families even though they are in disagreement. Try to give and account for the truth and your beliefs. Always be polite and quiet in your answers. A soft word turns away wrath.
Is it right or wrong for a Christian to masturbate? After all, we are human beings, and Iím sure all teenagers go through the same "sexual frustration."
A: There is no Bible injunction against masturbation. It might be construed that it is covered under the heading of abusers of themselves referred to in the New Testament, but that is conjectural.
It is a normal function of primates. Caged monkeys masturbate and so do humans. The Bible position attributed to Onan, is an attempt to hide a sin of the Church, which was disguised in their definitions of sin.
The sin of Onan was not masturbation. Onan was killed because he failed to carry out the Levirate law and give Tamar a child, forcing her into incestuous fornication with her stepfather, Judah. His spilling his seed on the ground was in direct contravention to a law of God and it had nothing to do with masturbation.
The reason masturbation is called Onanism by churches is that they encourage people to leave their estates to the church and this is directly forbidden by Godís Law. The reason why Onan was killed is covered in the paper The Sin of Onan (No. 162). Masturbation can only be a sin in direct relation to Godís law and what goes on in your mind.
It should be added that it does not do a lot for the spiritual development of the human, but the Bible is virtually silent on the subject. One or two Scriptures have been twisted in order to be interpreted as covering this aspect, which is extremely doubtful.
Is it wrong to practice martial arts as a form of self-defense, since it deals with "chi" or the life force?
A: There are two aspects to martial arts. Boxing and all aspects of self-defence by hand or feet are included in this category
The first question concerns the mind of the adherent and the system in which he learns. The purpose of learning to defend oneself is the first aspect of war. You refer to "chi" and it is assumed you are referring to the forms of the art within the Chinese structure.
The art forms of the Shaolin are a religious system, which is quite forbidden to Christians. The degrees of Tae Kwando are theoretical in the higher orders above the initial black belt degree. The purpose of initial training is to develop "a mind like the waters of the moon." This is a state of mind and tranquillity for reaction. Karate or "empty hand" was developed in Okinawa as a form of self-defence against the Japanese invaders when the Okinawans were forbidden to carry weapons.
In this system, the hand is a major weapon. This has come a long way in its fluidity since the days of Mas Oyama, no doubt prompted by Taekwondo, "the way of punching and kicking." Boxing is a western form, which was developed under rules set form by the Marquis of Queensberry to make a more civilised spectacle of the gladiatorial spectacles of the London street fights.
Thus, there are forms that are not directly animist but most are involved with "Chi," or "Shinto," or the contemplative aspects of animism. If one is free of this, and one must be, the philosophical question boils down to why does one do it? The U.S. forces are now going to China to study the Chinese systems. They had those systems under the Boxers during the Boxer rebellion and we did not bother with it then. So, why is it important now? The answer lies in the moral weakness of the West, not in any superior thinking in the East. Self-defence is a matter of God and man. Some rely, or are forced to rely, entirely on God. That is also often because He has kept our nations free.
In answer to the question, would you fight to protect your child against an intruder in the house who tried to kill them? The answer is an unequivocal, "Yes," from most people. God and his law demands that people are brought to justice and pay the penalty of their crime. To do that, someone has to be an avenger of blood. Someone has to arraign them for trial and to restrain them.
In this imperfect world we are faced with choices and duties to protect our families and our people under the Laws of God. While we are under His protection, we need not often be involved, just as Israel was protected from war in the Exodus, and God went before them and fought for them.
So, the answer is not easy. It is one of faith and responsibility, and love of man. It is difficult to love your neighbour while you are in the final round of a bout, when you are both trying to demolish the other as efficiently as possible. There is also the Bible maxim: "He who lives by the sword dies by the sword."
Oneís body tends to reflect the injuries of youth later in life. It may be glamorous smashing bricks and boards with your hands, feet and head, and training on a makiwara board, but one also packs poisons into those damaged hands. The arthritis that can result with the training and diet of a soldier in modern society creates serious problems in hands, feet, ankles, knees and backs. The head and brain are easily damaged especially with the forces involved in these "sports." So the answer is, "No," to the Eastern religious systems behind these martial arts.
The answer to the second point is to choose carefully how you wish to develop your mind and the command to love your neighbour. The next question then involves how do we maintain a defence force under correct law? That is another question for another time.
Is todayís fashion of body piercing scriptural or is it a type of protecting body openings from "spirits" just as people did many years ago?
A: It is a left over from the mysteries and the practice of protecting the orifices of the body. The priests of Attis also used to do this during the Easter festivals.
Can you tell me why reading horoscopes is wrong? I know the Bible talks against it, but is there any historical information on this matter and what are the effects of reading star signs?
A: Horoscopes are forbidden by the Bible (Isa 47:13). The source of the error was the Assyro-Babylonian system as early as the third millennium BCE. The idea came from the concept of the immortality of the individual. The satanic system holds the individualís birthday as the holiest day of the year. The Babylonians had three classes of scientists. They were writers of:
1. Charms placed on afflicted persons or houses.
2. Formulae of incantations: and
3. Records of observations mixing astrology with astronomy. This view also assumed then consequent or concurrent events as the causes one of the other, and so animism was produced from this and the doctrines of causation from heavenly bodies.
This superstition crippled the science of the ages. Jobís children were killed for keeping their "days" in accord with this system. Look at the paper Birthdays (No. 286) for a detailed explanation of the matter and the Bible position.
Is there any biblical principle that would prohibit a person from accepting an organ transplant if his or her life would expire if they did not? I also wonder how far this can go with animal parts now being used in humans?
A: The arguments can become very involved in this aspect. The concept of using a part of a person to give life to another is from the very beginning.
ĎAnd Yahovah Elohim formed the rib, which he had taken from the man into a womaní (Gen. 2:22). So, she was bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. Thus, there can be no objection to using the parts of a person to give life to another, as we are all descended from the one pair and are all brothers in the creation as one race.
The next step is to come to a decision regarding animal parts. This is rather like the argument regarding blood, however there are specific other texts that prohibit the touching of any unclean animal. Thus, we might deduce it is okay to have insulin from a cow but not from a pig. Many make this distinction every day.
This is in effect an organ transplant de facto in that the product of the organ is consumed by the body, but one can argue, so is milk from a cow. This is the distinction between blood and milk. Both come from a clean animal. One can be consumed, the other cannot. However, insulin and by-products can be used in medicine.
This brings us to the next ethical step. Is it a mortal sin to eat unclean food? The answer is, "No," if the circumstances dictate then it must be done to preserve life. In the Concentration camps it was done deliberately to offend Jews and the Church keeping the Food laws, such as the Church of God and the SDAs.
One Jewish woman, who had a choice between bread and horsemeat in the concentration camps reputedly said it this way. "I eat bread all year and on unleavened bread I eat horsemeat. That way I keep my faith." So, it is permissible to save life in extraordinary circumstances. Thus, we might deduce it is okay to take into our bodies parts of animals that we may eat, and in dire circumstances some from unclean animals. Technology is now increasing to the point where we can create life and spare parts and this is still another ethical issue not able to be discussed here.
What is the Bibleís view on discipline such as spanking, it seems kids are ruling parents today.
A: The Bible is fairly clear on discipline, both of God and of parents. Proverbs says that he that spareth the rod hates his son (Prov. 13:24). The rod is a rod of correction (Prov 22:15). The function of corporal punishment in the Bible system is examined in the paper Law and the Sixth Commandment (No. 259). One of the reasons it has been discouraged is because it has been misused by mal-adjusted parents.
The concept of the abused abuser is the factor involved. The parents of todayís society themselves need discipline and that is part of the problem. Discipline should be internal and self-discipline is always better than imposed discipline.
However, when a nation becomes degenerate, God says he will give them women and children to rule over them. That is exactly what is happening to the English speaking nations now. See the Law series and the function of the family in Law and the Fifth Commandment (No. 258)
Can you forgive someone without contact, or the person being part of your life such as a deadbeat father? I know that one of the commandments is to honour mother and father but what if he has not honoured you?
A: Do good to them that hate you and despitefully use you. It says nothing about love them that love you. Forgive them that come and beg forgiveness and throw themselves publicly on their swords in abject repentance before your feet. What did Stephen do when they stoned him to death? They have been killing us for centuries upon centuries over two Millennia. If the person who wronged you has to wait until he comes before you for your forgiveness then they will be in the First Resurrection and you will not be there.
The ones we will have trouble with in the Second Resurrection getting to see their errors will not be the Nazis who ran the camps. They will be easy to convince and rehabilitate. It is the mothers who had their babies torn from them and used in medical experiments, or beaten to death, or bayoneted in front of their eyes; that is the real challenge we face in rehabilitation.
Forgiveness is necessary to your spiritual growth not to anyone else other than as a by-product of what you do and think. If we had been one of our people in the Reformation and before when the Roman Catholics, and later the Lutherans, walked into our houses while the men were out in the fields and executed our wives in front of the door because they cooked with goose fat and not pig lard, then we would all know what forgiveness means. The danger in our society is never from sinners. It is always from the self-righteous who, invariably from history, always seem to have it wrong. See the paper Forgiveness (No.112).
Would it be biblically wrong to adopt a child of a different ethnic background than yourself?
A: Moses was adopted by an Egyptian. Joseph married Potipharís daughter. Abrahamís heir was not of his blood until he had sons. The nations are all adopted as sons of God.
I can see no biblical objection to it on the face of it. But the fact is that the child may wish to pursue its natural parentsí views when it is old enough and identifies with its own people, which may cause some heartache. You should also look at the Church you belong to, as some teach many strange brands of racism under the guise of Jesus Christ, which may cause hurt later. If it is an ethnic male Moabite, then there is a Bible injunction. They seem to have died out or been absorbed and the Ammonites are all that is left of the tribes.
Are Christians supposed to pledge allegiance to the flag?
A: Christ said to render unto Caesar all that is Caesarís and unto God all that is Godís. God established the nations and placed us within them as part of His plan. Thus, you have a twofold duty. Your first is to God and the second is to your fellow man. Where the duty to fellow man does not conflict with the duty to God, then it is permissible to pledge allegiance to a particular national cause. It is written that the magistrate does not wield the sword in vain. Also Christ said that soldiers were to be content with their wages. There is no prohibition in the Bible to allegiance to oneís country. Indeed God set it to be so.
When I was growing up my mother would comment on something and say, "itís ok to tell a white lie" and than state her justification. As a child a lie seemed like a lie no matter what you wanted to call it. Is this a concept like venial sins?
A: The concept comes from white and black magic. White lies are okay because they are not intended to harm the person, or so it is reasoned. On this basis, the church has justified its progressive withholding of truth and the wholesale perversion of doctrine. Now it is the reason people say to children on the death of someone, "Oh, theyíre in heaven now."
It came into the church as a sop and now it is an accepted doctrine, when it is a complete unscriptural fallacy and a heretical doctrine of the Gnostics. It has destroyed the faith of Christianity in the Resurrection of the dead and we still hear this "little white lie." It is not so that the entire Roman Catholic system and also much of the Protestant system in the US speak as though this godless and blasphemous doctrine is fact. Santa Claus is another example. The Trinity is another example. Christmas and Easter are other examples. Look at the papers: The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235); The Early Theology of the Godhead (No. 127); The Soul (No. 92); The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143).
I am a firm believer that the use of alcohol, (any form of drinking) does not belong in the Christian lifestyle and may be a window for demons to oppress people. I am looking for a compilation of scriptures that supports Godís view on this subject.
A: No doubt, you will not like what we have to say. People, who also thought this way, condemned Christ as a winebibber and a glutton. He and the Apostles drank wine, and the Bible enjoins wine as unction of the basic sacrament of the church.
The Temperance Lobby created the basic window of opportunity for organised crime in the U.S. The nations of France, the U.S., and Scandinavia eat the same amount of fat per capita, and yet the French people have 40% of the heart attack rate of the U.S. for the sole reason that they drink wine, and for NO other reason. Look at the papers Balance (No. 209) and also Wine in the Bible (No. 188). The paper Vegetarianism and the Bible (No. 183) is a paper that is also essential to understanding this doctrine.
Smoking is now looked down upon by the public. I donít see any restrictions in the Bible specifically but most say it is wrong because it defiles the body and causes damage. Strong drink (alcohol) does as much or more damage than smoking and it is excepted, even mentioned in the Bible. So what is the distinction in this? Also, God himself has incense burned and the prayers of the saints go up before Him like smoke....He says it is a sweet savour to Him. Any comments on this?
A: We must disagree with your position that alcohol does as much damage as does smoking. Wine is beneficial for a human being both in health, especially the heart, and for their social interaction. The Bible encourages its proper use.
Smoking causes heart disease and the pollutants contribute to cancer. How much this is a product of the chemicals used by the tobacco industry is a moot point. We have now demonstrated conclusively that there was transatlantic trade in tobacco and cocaine at the time of King David, and that it was consumed in Egypt around 1000 BCE at least. There is evidence of the use of tobacco in all mummies now tested in both Britain and Germany.
All the mummies tested in the German museum also have evidence of cocaine use. These substances must have been brought over by the Israelite/Phonecian trading alliance established by David and Hiram. It appears to have been the substance of use among the Egyptian higher classes. Israelite corpses of that time also need to be tested to confirm usage there.
The objection to the use of tobacco comes from its effect on the body as the Temple of God, and its induction of ischemic heart disease and cancer. It is also a habit-forming substance and, as such, comes under the same categories of substance abuse, as do food and wine. The food laws exist for the prevention of disease and, as such, tobacco has its medicinal and protective attributes in agriculture, but it has to be classed as an addictive drug and, as such, has to be treated with care. Look at the paper The Food Laws (No. 15). With our current levels of medical knowledge, only an idiot would smoke tobacco.
Is spending a few dollars on the lottery every once in a while wrong?
A: Lotteries are a form of gambling. Most Christian churches shun all forms of gambling on biblical and philosophical grounds. The idea behind it is that individuals prey on the misfortunes of others. A loss is sustained by all so that one can win. This might be viewed in other ways as enabling one person to become rich while the others enjoy the process. In reality it runs against all the ideas Christ tried to get across in the gospels. It seeks to obtain wealth, when the message He gave was to care for others, and give your wealth to others and store riches in heaven. The constant theme is that we are to sacrifice for others in order to make our families and society and nation a better place. This "get" way of life and thinking runs counter to that process and most people, who are genuinely trying to follow Christ, can see that.
Is it proper for a Christian to serve on jury duty? Should we swear an oath as a juror?
A: If you cannot judge each other, how can you judge angels (1Cor. 6:3)? There is nothing wrong with making an affirmation to discharge your duties. Once they start interrogating a true Christian however, from what we have seen, most defence lawyers will excuse you on some ground or another.
Our society has to function and the jury system is its guarantee of integrity. Once we get into the proposed world system, under the UN Tribunal system based on European and International Law, we will all see the value of the ancient Anglo-Saxon-Danish-Celtic system of Common Law, and also our Habeus Corpus. By then, we will be in captivity, sold there by our own stupidity and lack of diligence in selecting our leaders. See the paper Swearing By God (No. 32).
My understanding of the word Ďsodomyí as found in the Bible is that it refers to the homosexual sex act. The definition in Websterís dictionary includes oral sex between opposite sexes. What is the biblical definition of sodomy? Is oral sex a sin?
A:The Oxford Universal Dictionary defines Sodomy as an unnatural sexual act especially between males. On this basis, Websterís extends it to oral sex as an unnatural act. The Roman Catholic and some Protestant churches extend the process even to masturbation, and define Onanism as masturbation. We are left with images of adolescents sleeping in boxing gloves to remain pure. This was done to disguise the real sin of Onanism, which was being performed by the church itself. The aspect is examined in the paper The Sin of Onan (No. 162).
Sodomy is more particularly the act of sodomising a male. One who does the act is referred to as a Sodomite. The one who participates or takes the female part is referred to as a Catamite, which is the partner of a Sodomite. Thus, the origins of the gaol house terms, "cat" and "sod". Same sex partnerships are forbidden by the Bible.
The correct term for oral sex is "fellatio." The performer is the "fellator" and the recipient the "fellatrix." The acts are called "fellatory" or "cunnilinctual acts." It is termed "fellation."
The Bible is silent on the aspect of oral sexual acts between a man and wife. The concept is that they are of one flesh. Sex, at the religious shrine of the heathens, was condemned in Israel. Fornication was condemned as well. Thus, fornication is a sexual act between unmarried male and female partners. Same sex partners are thus at the very least fornicators and so are forbidden as well under these Bible laws. There are penalties for all aspects of these things, but nothing specified for oral sex or masturbation. Look at the paper Law and the Seventh Commandment (No. 260).
It might be said that the principal role of sex is for the procreation of children, but it is also for mutual pleasure. When performed for gain it is classed as harlotry or prostitution both male and female. Judah took a harlot for hire and in that way Tamar tricked him into providing a child under the Levirate laws when he withheld his sons. Look also at the paper The Genealogy of the Messiah (No. 119).
Is it wrong to achieve better health through alternative medicine, such as herbs and acupuncture? Is it wrong to accept blood transfusions or organ donations?
A: The question of "Alternative Medicine" is a difficult case. The answer must be, "No, it is not wrong," but the proviso must be included that it is just one alternative and does not hold all the answers. There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking medical help from qualified people. There are more quacks in alternative medicine than elsewhere, precisely because it is not so well regulated and has freedom of entry.
Some people who have been given advice by alternative therapists ultimately have to be helped by medical practitioners to remedy a deficiency that has been caused by such treatment. People will eagerly accept advice from people they do not know, and reject it from their own families and medical practitioners whom they do know.
The cult of healing involving Escalapius was the worship of a foreign god, and his priests also practised a form of psychological conditioning. The distinction is thus, that you seek help from people who do not require you to worship a foreign god in the healing practice.
Alternative Medicine has more aspects of the New Age paganism to it than we would expect to encounter in modern medicine. Luke was a physician. Thus, one of the gospels and the book of Acts were written by a doctor.
The Church had many medical practitioners over the ages and still does. Jacob was embalmed by the Physicians. Job speaks of them also in a positive sense, as do others.
People have been known to die through teachings about not seeking medical help or because of church doctrines. All of that comes from a narrow bigoted understanding of history and the Bible doctrines on healing. The answer is to choose your medical advice carefully, get opinions, and do not accept negative changes to diet, or to follow quacks. A dangerous form of quackery in the twentieth century is the doctrine of vegetarianism, which is hurting many people (Look at the paper Balance (No. 209), Vegetarianism and the Bible (No. 183) and also The Food Laws (No. 15).
If you had to sneak to surf the net, is it wrong to use the information you gained because you gained it by committing a sin (by sneaking against your parentsí wishes)?
A: This question is a trifle more complex than it perhaps appears. The Internet is a valid study tool and so, if the Internet enhanced the study you were supposed to be doing, then you have the justification.
If you were simply disobeying your parents, then you have broken the fifth commandment and there is always a penalty involved. Look at the paper Law and the Fifth Commandment (No. 258) to see what is entailed in responsibilities to parents. No information is ever lost. It is applied when necessary or forgotten until need arises. The discipline lies with your parents.
I have been a Christian since I was very young but it suddenly hit me how ludicrous this idea of God is. I was brought up knowing there was a God out there helping me and guiding me and now I canít believe that any more. I no longer feel the joy I felt when I believed. Iím so bitter and angry inside and I hate it. Iíve been trying to seek out answers by reading books, and asking questions but to no avail as yet. I realize without this belief, my life has no meaning. I really want to believe but my logic wonít allow me to. Can you give me some direction?
A: Many people go through a process much the same as you. When one starts to study the Bible, one can find there is conflict with their religious beliefs and what the Bible says. For example, the simple fact of the Sabbath and the Fourth Commandment. When you ask, "Which day is the Sabbath?" Mainstream Christianity would say that it is Sunday. If you question this, they might say, "It used to be Saturday, but we changed it." It is just ridiculous that they could say God gave us Ten Commandments but we can change the Sabbath to Sunday, and then kill everyone who actually keeps the day God commanded.
What is God doing? The answer is that God is not dealing with the world at present. The world is under Satan. God is only dealing with a few people, and they are being drawn out to train to take over from the demons at the return of the Messiah. The priests of this planet are part of a false religious system and they deliberately falsify the system in some cases, and withhold the truth in others.
Look at the Bible and ask, if there is a God He has the obligation to reveal Himself and to judge mankind under just laws and in a system that has no respect of person. Therefore no matter what, the Bible says it is the word of God and these other people are simply not called.
If Christ is the true Messiah of the Bible then somewhere there must be a group who understands. You are then faced with locating the elders of God and getting baptised. Ask God for understanding and He will give it to you if you are obedient to what He gives you to understand. Progressive obedience gives progressive understanding.
Now we can also deal with this aspect logically. There is a paper that deals with the matter of the creation at a more advanced level. It deals with Singularist causation and also the Creation as a time directional activity and the impossibility of absolute creation (see the paper Creation (No. B5). Also what you need to do is study the second Law of Thermodynamics and also Theomatics. You can be helped through this problem and assisted in your studies if you are really desirous of learning the truth.
Lately weíve heard quite a bit in the news regarding global warming and how we can expect it to affect our weather and lives. Does the Bible say anything about global warming? If so, what?
A: Yes, at last we are starting to see an admission that the icecaps are melting, and now they are acknowledging that it is quite rapid. Look at the paper, Global Warming and Bible Prophecy (No. 218), which was written in 1997. People, at first, thought it was a little alarmist. It has since been updated and is now, if anything, conservative. The Bible prophecy aspects are covered in this paper.
Is it okay to kindle cooking fires on the Sabbath?
A: This is an old chestnut to make a pun. The text refers to fires for work purposes and not for cooking. There are specific commandments to light fires and cook on the Sabbath. Thus, the explanation must lie elsewhere. The explanation of the texts is contained in the paper The Juma'ah: Preparing for the Sabbath (No. 285).
What is the biblical position on a woman changing her last name to that of her husbandís upon marriage? Does she have to, or is it just custom?
A: This is an interesting question. It reflects the marriage ceremony. A man and woman become one flesh on marriage. Thus, the woman goes into the tribe of her husband under biblical law. This protects the operation and inheritance of the tribe.
The Levirate laws also reflect this aspect. The operation of marriage and the Levirate law is covered in the papers Law and the Fifth Commandment (No. 258); Law and the Seventh Commandment (No. 260); Genealogy of the Messiah (No. 119); and Ruth (No. 27). There is no legal obligation in many countries to change the name of the woman, but the Bible is clear that she and the husband become one flesh and she goes into the tribe of the husband.
Sometimes I just do not know what to do or how to help the many people asking for food or work. What does the Bible say to do in these situations?
A: We are confronted with this problem all the time. We have limited resources, urgent priorities and endless possibilities and needs. The answer is that we do what we can with the resources available to us. We give away what we teach, as the Bible and the word of God says to "buy the truth but sell it not."
If those among us are in need, we try to help them, as we are able. Sometimes, in order to help others, you need to make sure you are in a position to do so. That means to make sure you are healthy and you have taken care of your responsibilities, and then you can help others more efficiently. The poor will always be with us. Do what you can with all your might within the body you have identified as preaching the Law of God as correctly as the Bible tells you it should be done. The rest is up to God. Place all your cares upon Him and He will ensure Christ deals with each situation. Remember also the prayers of a righteous man availeth much.
Could you tell me if the Bible allows blood transfusions. The Bible forbids the eating of blood. Isnít a transfusion really the same thing? After all if we injected alcohol into our system we would become drunk or worse.
A: The Bible says we should not eat blood, for the blood is the life thereof. We take transfusions because our life is threatened. We do not eat the blood. The argument regarding transfusions is as bizarre as the witness doctrine of the return of the Messiah. One should not expect to understand the logic of it because there is none. It is designed to justify an error of the system at the beginning of this century.
It is the same as the silly basis for Kashrut in Judaism. The milk will boil in the stomach with the meat and it may be that we will sin if we perchance get a cowís milk while eating her calf, even though the text says it refers to kids and goatís milk. Do not try to make too much sense out of the convoluted logic of the argument.
The AIDS epidemic did not help the silly reasoning. Nor, no doubt, will mad cow disease. However, it has no basis in fact or in reason. The only penalty paid unjustly is by the young who are bound by the insanity and biblical illiteracy of their parents.
What does it mean to be obedient? Is it to the commandments or what Jesus taught?
A: Both. Samuel said God required obedience more than sacrifice. Revelation says that the seed of the women pursed by the Dragon are those who keep the Commandments of God and the Testimony or Faith of Jesus Christ. This is the patience of the Saints (Rev. 12:17; 14:12). Look at the papers The Law of God (No. L1) and the series within that and also The Relationship Between Salvation By Grace and the Law (No. 82).
I was told Christmas was started from a pagan holiday. Where did Christmas start and how did it become a Christian holiday with a pagan start?
A: It is an ancient pagan festival relating to the sun worshipping system. It was set as the birth of the invincible sun god after the northern winter solstice when the sun began to rise in power from the depths of winter. It is linked to the Lupercalia and the Saturnalia of the ancient pagans. Candlemas is linked to it in the ancient pagan traditions.
It was totally confined to the pagans until 375 CE when it came into Christianity in Syria at Antioch, and into Jerusalem in 386. Christmas was the logical end of the heresy of the penetration of the Suncults into Christianity. It commenced with the acceptance of Sunday worship in Rome in the 2nd century. The equally pagan Easter festival came into the Church in Rome from Anicetus in approximately 150 and then by force from Rome by decree of Victor in 190-192.
The Origins of Christmas and Easter are explained in the paper The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235). Look also at the papers The Quartodeciman Disputes (No. 277) and The Doctrine of Original Sin Part I The Garden of Eden (No. 246).
If you donít believe Christ was born on December 25, then when do you celebrate his birth?
A: We do not celebrate his birth. The birthday is of the Babylonian system tied into the sun cults and the notion of man becoming a god without the power of God. Look at the paper Birthdays (No. 287). Christ seems to have been born around the Feast of Tabernacles. He certainly was not born in December. The Bible is deliberately silent on the timing of his birth.
The Bible says the day of oneís death is better than the day of oneís birth. God gave us a series of festivals that outline the Plan of Salvation and the sequence of Godís activities with men. These are all covered in the paper Godís Calendar (No. 156); and The Holy Days of God (No. 97). There are also other papers that explain the importance of these festivals.
You say the god Attis was involved in Christmas festivities. I had thought that Mithris was involved. Does the worship of these gods overlap somehow?
A: Yes, they do overlap in that they are both aspects of the Mystery and sun cults. They both came from the Middle East. Mithras was the Bull-slaying cult and is based on a cosmology of ca 2000 BCE. It is a private all-male cult. The public form of it was Sol Invictus Elagabal, or Elagabalism. The bread and water communion came into Christianity from Mithras.
The Mithras system was developed from the Solstice, and so we have Christmas coming from Mithras and the birth of the Invincible sun was part of that. The other pagan systems then were associated with it. We progress through the Saturnalia, The Lupercalia, The Shrove, and the Carnival also associated with the Bacchanalia. The Easter system was associated with Attis in the West and Adonis in the East.
Attis is the dying God who had a tree cut in the forest and decorated with silver and gold and with the emblems of the death and rebirth. This six-pointed star of sacrifice was also associated with Baal-Easter and is seen in the worship of Atargatis. Look at the papers David and Goliath (No. 126) and also The Piñata (No. 276).
The child in the cave and the parading of the Christ child and sun symbol come from Egypt and is another aspect of the Dying God found in the mysteries and sun cults of Isis, and Osiris, and Horus. It is also the birth of the sun. The paper The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235) will give a background to most of the traditions and their origins.
Do you know why some refer to Christmas as X-Mas? Are they trying to take Christ out of the day?
A: Christ was never in the day. Christmas is a totally pagan festival that came into Christianity from Antioch in 375 CE and was accepted in the Church in Jerusalem and Rome later. The festival itself was always in Rome over that period as associated with the God Attis.
X perhaps might be associated with the Greek letter Chi. However the pagan associations of Christmas were always so well known among our people that Christmas was outlawed by Henry VIII at the Reformation. It was reinstated by his Catholic daughter Mary Tudor. Elizabeth did not again outlaw it when she ascended. That was left to Cromwell who again proscribed Christmas as a pagan festival but on his death the Stuarts allowed it to be reintroduced.
Thus the use of X in Xmas is probably a knowing admission that there is not and never has been any Christ in Christmas. Look at the paper The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235)
How did red and green come to be Christmas colors?
A: Red and Green are the ancient colours of the pagan cults. They are of the berries and the leaves we see on Christmas decorations. The plants of Holly, Ivy, Mistletoe, Yule logs and so on are all associated with the various aspects of the Triune God.
Ivy was sacred to Attis and his priests were tattooed with ivy (see the paper Tattooing (No. 5). The pine was his sacred tree. It was collected and decorated with ribbons and metal and the top decoration representing the fertility of the system was kept for the year and burnt the following year. Look at the paper The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235).
Do you know the anything about Mistletoe and how it came to be connected to Christmas celebrations?
A: Mistletoe was sacred to the Druids and the Aryans generally. The Mistletoe found in oak was especially revered. The idea came from the fact that Mistletoe spread and came into the tree from heaven and never touched the ground.
It was always cut with a special golden sickle. It is associated with human sacrifice as is the entire Christmas system. The explanations are covered in the paper The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235).
Is Father Christmas real?
A: No, Father Xmas is not real. It is based on a series of pagan legends and U.S. commercialism of the last 150 years. The origins of the Christmas story and the real truth behind the customs observed on that day come from pagan systems prior to Christ, and which were tied up with barbaric days of sacrifice. The true story is told in the paper The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235).
I have been searching for information regarding the Star of Bethlehem that led the Magis to Jesusí birthplace and any references to this birth in the Old Testament prophecies. More specifically was this a meteorite, a known astronomical event, do we know if it will occur again?
A: The texts say that they saw the star in the east. They came from the Northeast, as near as we can tell, probably from the Israelites etc. in the Parthian empire. The occurrence has to be regarded as miraculous and that places the matter beyond speculation. The prophecy in Numbers 24:17-19 is that a star shall come of out Jacob. This is a direct reference to Messiah. He is the sceptre that shall arise out of Israel. This relates to the Morning Star of the planet. Christ will replace Satan, who is the current Morning Star, at his return.
This aspect is examined in the paper Lucifer: Light Bearer and Morning Star (No. 223). The tradition is that there were three wise men, but this has no basis in the Bible. The reference to three is only in the types of gifts they brought. The origins of the number three with the Magi comes from the cult of Demeter (see The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235)).
The time of His birth is thought to have been around September/October in the period from 8 to 5 BCE. It may have been earlier and even as early as 12 BCE, but it was probably 5 BCE. It was certainly not later, as Herod died between 1-13 Nisan 4 BCE. It was certainly not at Christmas time as the sheep were not in the fields during December.
The timings from the divisions of Abijah on duty in the Temple in single or joint sittings for the vision of Zechariah indicate September as the likely date. So, you would need to do a chart of the movements of all planets and stars over September/October from 12-5 BCE to see if there is any concrete evidence of it being associated with a comet. As stated earlier, all supposition is removed if it is simply regarded as miraculous.
Isnít it true that the cross is a very ancient pagan symbol, and that the early church never used it as a symbol? Even Drury (Dictionary of Mysticism and the Occult) defines the cross as: "An ancient pre-Christian symbol interpreted by some occultists as uniting the male phallus (vertical bar) and the female vagina (horizontal bar). It is also a symbol of the four directions and a powerful weapon against evil." So, how did the cross come to be a symbol of Christianity?
A: Yes, that is what it says. The cross was used in ancient times long before Christianity and it does represent reproductive powers. In ancient Rome, it was the upright oak that represented the male Genii of Rome. The swastika is a version of this symbol. The cross was used in Egypt in the third millennium BCE, along with the fly, as a symbol of the Triune system and Baal Zeebub, god of Ekron, was the "Lord of the Flies."
The ancient Christian Church never used the cross, it came in by default. In fact, the argument is that Christ was crucified on a stake, not a cross. The concept of the cross comes from the Latin use of "crux" to translate the Greek "stauros." Later, Roman crucifixions became more elaborate with the addition of a cross bar. This was used sometimes to tie prisoners.
The story of the origins and development of the cross is found in The Cross: Its Origin and Significance (No. 39). The priests of the dying god, Attis always made their effigies of pine, and that is why relics of the cross are always of pine as it was sacred to Attis. It is also the origin of the Christmas tree. Look at The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235).
I would like to know the history of the cross. A friend told me that the Christian Cross used to be the Star of David for Christians and the Cross used to represent the Jewish religion. Can you give me any information on this subject.
A: Neither the cross nor the Magan "David" are either Christian or Jewish. The Star of David is a symbol of destruction from the mysteries. It is associated with human sacrifice and is probably the star of the god Remphan mentioned in the Bible texts (Acts 7:43).
The cross is an ancient symbol that was developed around the sun and mystery cults. It was used in tattoos in ancient Egypt in the third millennium BCE along with the symbol of the fly, which seems to be associated with Baal Zeebub, the God of Ekron. See the paper Tattooing (No. 5).
The history of the symbol and its variations can be seen in the paper The Cross: Its Origin and Significance (No. 39).
Would it be wrong to celebrate 'Mother's Day' and the partner to that 'Father's Day'? Is it possible these days also have some pagan origin?
A: The cult of Mother and Father was adopted by the Romans and forms part of the Triune system as I explained in the paper The Doctrine of Original Sin Part 1 The Garden of Eden (No. 246).
The Mothers Day/Fathers day of the modern system varies from nation to nation. Much of it is commercialism but some of it is tied to the ancient system as well. Look at the paper The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235).
I noticed there were numerous participants dressed in white with scraves and sashes of red that ran with 6 bulls and 11 steers on an 825 meter run from the coral to the bullring. Hundreds of thousands watched the activity in Pamplona. What is the origin of this activity and bullfights?
A: Bull contests originated, as near as we can tell, in Crete with the custom of running at them and leaping over their backs in somersaults. The bull system was associated with the Minotaur and the Golden Calf system.
The Bull slaying cults were associated with Mithras in Europe and from Rome. It spread all over Europe and was the basic cult of the army. These modern games are just variations on a theme thousands of years old in the Bull slaying system.
Is the concept of Christ being born on the night of watching on the first month on the 15th day, a borrowed concept or some other origin?
A: The concept of the birth of the Christ stems from the pagan sun cults. The 25 December is the date from the Solstice when the invincible sun begins its rebirth. The Midnight situation is the deepest part of the night on the deepest part of the year. From this position, the sun begins to make its way back. The Christ child came from the mystery cults in Egypt, where it came forth from the cave and was paraded by the Egyptian priests. The fact of the matter is, that we are unsure of exactly when Christ was born but it was probably around September and not later that 5 BCE.
The night time situation comes from the appearance of the angels to the shepherds in the fields by night. That is the closest one can come to this event. The Night of Watching on the Passover of 15 Abib may well have something to do with the concept. However, the customs surrounding the event all stem from the sun cults and the birth of the sun. Look at the paper The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235).
The common belief is there were 3 wise men who visited Jesus at his birth. Is this what the Bible really states?
A. The Bible does not mention how many there were. It mentions three types of gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh. The notion of three wise men comes from the pagan fertility festivals of the goddess Demeter. That is why one of them is always portrayed as having a black face.
This black-faced dying God and goddess is the origin of the portraits of the black Messiah and the black Madonna. The Black Madonna is the goddess Demeter. The practice long preceded Christ and it still survives. The history is traced and the names of the three wise men are examined in the paper The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235).
My grandmother in the Philippines was said to heal people just by touching them and praying for them. Apparently she swallowed a stone given to her by a dwarf, that gave her powers. She would transform into a young woman and communicate with the spirits. She was a very devout Catholic and it was said the idols she had in her house held healing power. When she died they said her spirit possessed my auntie. Iím a Christian and not Catholic, so donít agree with the whole praying to idols bit, and I think that most of these so-called miracles may have come from the devil. But, could she have come from God?
A: The people in the Philippines, Indonesia, India, and a great many other places have a basic religion, which is called animism. They adopt the religion of the area when the deity of that superior group is more powerful. That is why the Roman Catholic system was popular in the Philippines. The Indonesians adopted Islam but have great difficulty with Animism among the people.
It is not the people who heal, but the faith in the spirits they are worshipping. Thus, the people have faith and the demons do heal some people. What you describe here is typical witchcraft based on animistic shamanism. The stone is a key factor. Often they are swallowed. That does not mean that the people of God do not heal. The case you mention, unfortunately, is not from God.
What is the meaning behind the tradition of the Olympic Torch that is carried from nation to nation and city to city?
A: It is associated with the idea of the Greco-Roman religious system with Olympus as the seat of the Gods. The flame is lit for the quadrennial games and is carried from the seat of the system to the nation hosting the games, and hence the spirits of the daemon of the gods resides in that city hosting games.
That is why the pagans are associated with the structure. A master witch gave a lecture on the Games at Los Angeles on the significance in witchcraft of the lighting of the torch. He was of the view there was a more significant event planned for Sydney associated with witchcraft.
This year (2000) an Australian girl was substituted in Athens to take the torch, which was significant. The word of the Lord will take the Greek system and destroy it in these last days and its time will end. The time of Israel will soon emerge as the light of God and the lamp of the world. Look also at the paper Gideonís Force and the Last Days (No. 22).
When looking up the meaning of "thousand," I found 505 per Strongs in Hebrew. 505 'eleph prop. the same as 504 hence (oxís head being the first letter of the alphabet, and this eventually was used as a numeral) a thousand- thousand. 504 'eleph from 502 a family; also (from sense of yoking or taming) an ox or cow:-family kind, oxen. The things that are interesting to me is that Messiah is in the west/bull position around the throne, and Job 33:23-24 talks of the angel mediator, "...one of the thousand...I have found a ransom." Is it just happen stance with the Hebrew language that it appears that the language almost seems to describe certain aspects of a concept?
A: The bull-slaying cults of the Mithras system were all geared around the constellation ca 2000 BCE, and the slaying of the bull. Perseus also was involved with the Gorgon, which was anciently associated with the lion. The Gorgon is the obverse of the Lion or Aeon system.
Thus the Perseus system is associated with the Aeon and against the Bull system, and also part of the Aeon system, which is the Gorgon and the Medusa head. We are looking at an ancient tale of the battles in the heavens where Perseus (with the Phrygian hat) and the Aeon are in combat with the Bull and part of the Lion headed system. The Genii of the Babylonian system also portrays the eagle headed being. This is the ancient war in the heavens of which Christ was part. Satan, as Perseus, slays Christ and the Bull system. One of the thousand is perhaps a reference to that fact. Again this is esoteric.
I was watching a show that explained that a symbol of seven candles on top and a fish at the bottom that connected in the middle to form the star of David, was the original symbol for the early Christians. Is this true?
A: No, that is not true. The so-called Magan David is a pagan symbol of regeneration through sacrifice. It is also associated with the Star of the god Chemosh or Raiphan, to whom human sacrifice was made.
The Fish was sacred to Atargatis, which is the Mystery cult deity in The Middle East also called Derceto or Cato. This symbol with the candlestick is also used in gematriah.
The explanation of the pagan system they represent is found in the papers David and Goliath (No. 126); The Golden Calf (No. 222); The Piñata (No. 276); and The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235).
In comparing the sacrifice of Cain to that of Abel, the Bible shows that God was more pleased with the animal sacrifice offered by Abel than He was with the plant type offered by Cain. I realize that Christís sacrifice has paid the penalty for human sin once and for all, but there still seems to be sacrifices or offerings required, which are not atonement type sacrifices. Why do some people believe in offering sacrifices of such things as flowers and food to their gods?
A: There is no doubt that a blood sacrifice was required. Christ paid that price and took all the sacrifices to Himself once and for all. Why then do we have people offering fruit and vegetables now? In Christianity, this practice comes from a strange mix of the harvest festivals of the Bible and those that the Christian system tried to appropriate to itself. These were not from the Christian system but rather were associated with the festivals of the dying god, which came into Christianity from the Baal-Easter system. Some aspects come form a corruption or form of the Tithing system also. The subject is examined in the paper The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235). Look also at the papers The Purpose of the Creation and the Sacrifice of Christ (No. 160); The Doctrine of Original Sin Part I The Garden of Eden (No. 246); Tithing (No. 161); and Vegetarianism and the Bible (No. 183).
I understand that the symbol of the sun wheel has been associated with occultism and astrology in past cultures (probably present also). When Israel apostatised, they made chariots dedicated to the sun god, who it was thought, travelled across the sky in a great chariot. Hence the origin of the sun wheel. Why is this same symbol so prevalent in Catholicism? Just take a look at St Peterís square! Also on many of the Catholic churches you can find this sun wheel depicted in the windows. How does this sun wheel, an ancient pagan symbol, fit into Christianity?
A: The sun wheel of the ancient sun cults was also associated with the concept of life after death and reincarnation. The sun cults and mysteries form the basis of the entire system of worship of the world religious system. For the last 1700 years, it used Christianity as its vehicle because the Christian faith was making headway against it. Thus, the Roman system was forced to adopt it being unable to stamp it out.
They superimposed its doctrines over the Roman religious system. The Wheel of Rebirth was also a symbol of the Celts and they believed strongly in reincarnation. They formed the nucleus of the Aryans who probably invaded India from the steppes (ca 1000 BCE), perhaps even with the Israelite alliance under David.
What passes for Christianity today is a composite blend of the sun cults and the mysteries. The sun symbols are central to the mysticism of this religious system. Look at the papers: The Golden Calf (No. 222); The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235); The Quartodeciman Disputes (No. 277); and Moses and the God's of Egypt (No. 105).
This question is about the Crusades. Who ordered them and what effects did they have on medieval society? Also what effect did the church have on medieval life and how was it important?
A: There were a number of crusades and they were fought for different purposes. Some were fought for the purpose of extending the control of the European system to the Middle East using the idea of the reclamation of the Holy Land as the primary objective. Some crusades, such as the ill-fated Childs crusade, ended in complete disaster. Many were instigated by the papacy for political purposes.
The most infamous was the Albigensian Crusade, which was instigated in the thirteenth century with the express purpose of killing every Sabbath-keeping Christian and non-Roman Catholic from France and Spain. This was the start of the Inquisitions. The details of the Crusades and the basis of the Inquisitions are to be found in the papers General Distribution of the Sabbath Keeping Churches (No. 122) and The Role of the Fourth Commandment in the Historical Sabbath-keeping Churches of God (No. 170).
The reasons for the conflicts that emerged in the Crusades are much earlier and they can be seen in the paper The Unitarian/Trinitarian Wars (No. 268). This will also give you an idea of the origins of the nations of Europe.
There is a very good article on the Crusades in the Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, Vol. 4.pp 345-351. Also, a major reason was the Rise of the Seljuk Turks and their influence on Islam. In the ninth and tenth centuries the disunity in Islam between the Eastern and Western Caliphates posed no threat to Constantinople. However, the rise of the Seljuks and the construction of a navy for them by Greek captives threatened Constantinople. They appealed to the Latins for help in 1088. This was in a letter to Robert of Flanders from Alexius Comnenus.
The medieval mind had assumed the limited form, where they assumed that all physical items were imbued with the spirit of the form and that it was necessary to have these idolatrous images. They assumed far more significance than we assume today. Thus, with that mindset went the desire to possess all the sacred places and fill them with images and to destroy anything that disagreed with that mindset. This idolatrous mentality was to set in train the Inquisitions, and ultimately it ended in the Holocaust of the twentieth century.
What is the real origin of the Pilgrim Fathers. Where did they come from and what happened to them?
A: The Pilgrim Fathers were a Unitarian Seventh Day (Saturday) Sabbath-keeping sect of the Church of God called Brownists or Non-Conformists. They fled to Holland and lived there for many years. After the death of van Oldenbarneveldt a group of them decided to leave for the Americas for economic reasons many if not a majority stayed in The Netherlands.
They chartered the Mayflower and the Speedwell and left from Holland for England and them embarked for America but had to turn back because the Speedwell was taking on water. They brought within them some economic "minders" and were followed later and within twenty years were persecuted in their own colony and had to resettle in another part of New England.
The story and the documentation are found in the paper The Dutch Connection of the Pilgrim Fathers (No. 264).
Many people are under a complete misapprehension about the Pilgrim Fathers. The Pilgrims regarded Sunday keeping Puritans as misguided people who were simply not called to the faith and they were persecuted ruthlessly by the Sunday worshipping Puritans both in the United Kingdom and in America when they followed them there.
Is it true that many Sabbath-keeping Christians were persecuted, in addition to the Jewish people during the Holocaust?
A: Yes, it certainly is true. In Romania the Hungarian Sabbatarians were deported as Jews and burnt alive in the Nazi camps. The problems in classifications were serious. There was no classification for Sabbatarians as a religion in some countries in Eastern Europe, and consequently a great many listed as Jews were in fact Sabbatarian Christians. The historical position on these problems, even to the last decade, is examined in the foreword to the work by Rabbi Samuel Kohn, The Sabbatarians in Transylvania, (CCG Publishing, USA, 1998).
In the camps, there was an upside down purple triangle, which represented a category called "Bibelforscher" or "Bible Researcher." This grab bag included Sabbatarian scholars, many Jehovahís Witnesses, and Bible scholars of all descriptions who were not Lutherans or Roman Catholics, which Hitler had decided were to be the two religions of Europe. Many Sabbatarians were killed as Jews because of their adherence to the Holy Days and Foodlaws.
The massacres of the death camps are simply horrendous. There seems to have been some 15,000 concentration and extermination camps in Europe. In some countries, such as Romania and Croatia, the victims were burnt alive
Croatia, for the first time in human history, reportedly established three camps solely for the extermination of children and which, from the allegations of evidence presented to the Holocaust committees in New York in 1997, were staffed by nuns. The main camps were also allegedly staffed by Franciscans. We will examine more allegations made regarding this later. The photos of the cadres under Pavlic and the Roman Catholic bishops are found in the work, "Jasenovac, Then and Now: A Conspiracy of Silence" by William Dorich. It was presented to the First International Conference and Exhibition on the Jasenovac Concentration Camp October 30-31 1997 (Sponsored by the Holocaust Resource Centre, Kingsborough Community College, C.U.N.Y., N.Y.). The details are at the web site www.holocaustrevealed.org.
The paper, The Role of the Fourth Commandment in the Historical Sabbath-keeping Churches of God (No. 170) will also show you some details of the persecution of Sabbatarians over history.
On the subject of Christian martyrs/heroes, can you tell me who John Bunyan was? What kind of a man was he? What did he do during his Christian life? Which book is a best choice to research about him?
A: There is a very good article on John Bunyan in the Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, Vol. 2:pp. 897 ff. Born in Elstow near Bedford in 1628 he died in London in 1688. He was a tinker following his father. He was a boy soldier in 1645 as his life covered the period of the civil war. Brownís view (Life, p. 49) was that he was a Parliamentarian and this seems likely. The biographers have followed their fanciful imaginations on this matter.
Bunyanís first wife restored him to the simple education he had and lost through disuse. She brought him to his first impressions of practical religion. They were both very poor but the books his wife brought with her were Arthur Dentís, "The Plaine Manís Pathway to Heaven, wherein every man may clearly see whether he shall be saved or damned," and Lewis Baylyís, "The Practice of Pietie, directing a Christian how to walk that he may please God."
He was helped by John Gifford a reformed former loose-living officer of the Royalist Army who became a preacher of the non- conformist congregation in Bedford in 1650. After the loss of Bunyanís wife in 1655, he moved to Bedford and became a preacher. In 1666, after some four years of upheaval, he wrote, "Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners." Brown says he produced 60 works in all. These included tracts.
After the act of uniformity there came trouble for the non-conformists and as early as March 1658, it appears from the records of the church that he had been indicted for preaching at Eaton. Nothing seems to have come of it, but in 1660 he was arrested and imprisoned. His first imprisonment was in the County Gaol at Bedford and lasted twelve years, with a break in the middle and with considerable liberty at times. The second period of imprisonment was in the Town Gaol on Bedford Bridge and lasted six months in 1675.
He became famous after his first imprisonment and his simple and powerful preaching brought crowds to listen to him. He became known as Bishop Bunyan and travelled often to London. His work, "Pilgrims Progress," after being translated to Dutch in 1682, French in 1685, and Welsh in 1688, by the beginning of the twentieth century was translated into 112 languages and dialects. He is regarded as one of the great evangelists because he was also a great convert.
I have heard of an early document referred to as the Shepherd of Hermas; can you tell me more about this work?
A: The Shepherd of Hermas is an early church document that was treated as Scripture by Church figures up until the fourth century. It was read in services for four centuries. Irenaeus and Tertullian (when he was a Catholic) cited it as Scripture. Tertullian, when he became a Montanist, then attacked it when pope Callistus cited it as authoritative. Tertullian argued that it had been excluded from the canon at Rome and this appears to be correct (C. E. Hermas vol. VII, p. 268).
The reason for its exclusion was because it was Unitarian and explained the Bible texts and the construction of the Temple of God in Unitarian terms, and so it had to be downgraded as Scripture and placed at a later time. Clement of Alexandria states it was written by the Hermas mentioned by Paul in Romans 16:14. This was obviously the view of Irenaeus and Tertullian when he was a Catholic, before his Montanist days. Now, Irenaeus was a disciple of Polycarp at Smyrna and the school of the Apostle John, which was the centre of the latest apostolic work.
Athanasius also argued it was not part of the canon but said it was to be esteemed. The Montanist attack on it in Africa seems to have succeeded such, that from the time of Clement of Alexandria to that of Cyprian, we find it had gone out of use. As Cyprian does not quote it, hence it was in disuse by the early decades of the third century. It is however, quoted as divine Scripture in the pseudo Cyprianic text. It went out of fashion in the East, more than the West, where it was copied into the Middle Ages and we have it now.
It is in the Codex Sinaiticus with the epistle of Barnabus as the end of the New Testament. The attempts to place it with Hermas, the brother of the bishop, in 185 is obviously false, as Irenaeus would not have regarded it as Scripture at Lyons if it were written while he was there. The case for the record of Clement of Alexandria is correct, and it was written by the Hermas of Romans 16:14. The text also has insipient pre-Revelation structures common to the writings of Paul and Peter, and also of John, and so is part of the common New Testament pre-Revelation texts. This will be explained in the forthcoming commentary on the shepherd. Basically, the Modalists or proto Trinitarian Greeks and Romans, and the Binitarians of Africa had to get rid of it, as it was undeniably Unitarian.
How can know the way God wants us to live our lives?
A: Christ told us that we should not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. The basic rule we go by is if God says to do it, then we do it. If He says to keep three feasts a year, then we do it. If he says to tithe, then we tithe. If He says to keep the Passover from 14 Nisan and eat Unleavened Bread for seven days from 15 Nisan, we do it. If He says to keep the Sabbaths and New Moons, we do it. If He says to keep the Wave Sheaf Service, and Pentecost, and Trumpets, and Atonement, and Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day, we do it. We keep the foodlaws and we love one another as God commands.
If he says to keep the Two Great Commandments, and on which hang the Ten Commandments and all the Law and the Prophets, then we do it. If we find we have something wrong, then we change it by referendum of the brethren. This has happened over the past few years from time to time, both for administration and for doctrine.
The baptised adults admitted to membership get to vote on all-important matters in our Church, as the original Church did. That includes who gets to be a minister. The leaders of the nations and the World Leaders are all drawn by lot so God decides who is head, as it was done in the Temple of Israel of old among the Divisional High Priests and the High Priest.
In the Christian Churches of God you will be given every opportunity to study Godís word and discuss it in open discussion or with your parents and friends. It is one of our most important functions and greatly valued by our people. Many who come to a feast or study with us for the first time, experience a sense of excitement at being able to ask questions on any topic and contributing to discussions. There are only a few rules, such as stating the object of the question and identifying and reading the text for everyone as they follow in their own Bibles so we all know the details under discussion. Respect and courtesy are paramount to all people.
Youngsters will experience the community spirit of the other friends and the joys of joint fellowship at Godís feasts. You will also get two holidays a year, as the Passover and Unleavened Bread is also a major feast season as is Tabernacles. We all meet at the site where the "Lord has placed his hand," which is where the church has decided on a suitable location. Pentecost, as you probably are well aware, is a two-day feast and celebrated in smaller groups in local areas. Up until thirty odd years or so ago, virtually all the communities of the Churches of God went away for both the feast seasons as the Bible commands.
You will make good friends and you will learn to put God first in all things based on His Commandments and the Testimony or Faith of Jesus Christ whom He sent.
In a wheat field there is much more wheat then tares, yet in the world there are far more false Christians then true. Is this a poor analogy by Christ? How can you tell the wheat from the tares?
A: If they do not speak according to the law and the testimony there is no light in them (Isa. 8:20). The saints are those who keep the Commandments of God and the Testimony or Faith of Jesus Christ (Rev. 12:17; 14:12). It is not simply a matter of you being able to tell. The Church has to deal with them all. You will know when Christ deals with them at the end. Until then, we have the authority to judge and deal with individuals. That we do as mercifully as possible. You do what God commands you to do and let God deal with the rest.
What is the difference between a pastor, a minister, and a reverend?
A: Some things are linked to tradition. The raven, the lion and father were ranks of the Mithras sun-worshipping cult of the bullslaying legends.
The same goes for "reverend." The title has no biblical basis. It is a title conferred by men upon those who take holy orders. Thus, many churches do not use either reverend or father. There are two positions in the Bible; they are elder and a deacon. An elder is appointed to administer the sacraments of the Church. Deacons may administer them under the direction of the elders, and the elders are termed bishops in this administration.
The main functional difference in the Bible is that elders may ordain and appoint both deacons and elders at the appointment of the Church. The positions of apostle, pastor, evangelist or teacher, and administrator are tasks to which a deacon or elder may be appointed (cf. Eph. 4:11). Deacons undertake administration so that the elders are not tied down by administration demands. Sometimes, that does not free the elders up as much as they would like.
Note the Apostle Peter referred to himself as an elder of the Church of God. The senior administrators carry out the functions of these tasks in themselves and can appoint people as evangelists and apostles and pastors to areas.
Now, the true delegate is the Holy Spirit, which makes the gifts of God manifest and helps the Church see who has the gifts and calling of God. In the same way, error is allowed in the Church to show who has the approval of God. There are many administrations but one Lord. In practice, these tasks and their oversight have been confused and oversimplified in some cases, or turned into a rigid hierarchical structure in others. Many have adopted the specific titles not endorsed by the Bible and even those expressly forbidden by it, such as the term "father."
Could you please explain what it means for the children to be sanctified? Does the term children refer to little ones of a certain age?
A: This text refers to the fact that children are not baptised and have no sanctification in their own right, as do the elect who are sanctified by God in the Holy Spirit from their baptism. Look at the papers Repentance and Baptism (No. 52); and Consubstantial with the Father (No. 81).
Children are sanctified in the parents until they reach the age for baptism, or choose to go their own way as adults. This is the age of twenty under the law. That is also the age for baptism as an adult. Some people can be baptised earlier. It depends on individual circumstances, but 20 is the age for a male to enlist in the Army of God (cf. the paper Deuteronomy 20 (No. 201)). The early church did not practice infant baptism. Look also at the paper Purification and Circumcision (No. 251).
In this religion what do you tell the people to do to become a Christian?
A: 1) Hear.....Hebrews 11:6 and Romans 10:17; 2) Believe... Mark 16:16 and Acts 16:31; 3) Repent.... Luke 13:3, Acts 2:38; 4) Confess...Matthew 10:32-33,16:16 and Acts 8:37-38.
These first four steps are fundamental, and only by the Holy Spirit working with you are you able to understand the necessity for the saving grace of God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ (look at the paper The Purpose of the Creation and the Sacrifice of Christ (No. 160)). The confession is to God, and the confession of sin among each other subsequently does not mean a general discussion or intelligence gathering by the clergy
5) Be Baptised...Mark 16:15-16, Acts 2:38 and 1Peter 3:19-22.
When you are old enough to have gone through the previous steps, you must be immersed in water as a symbolic gesture of washing away the old person and being reborn into Christís family. The entry into the army of God is according to His own Laws and thus, 20 years of age is the age of enlistment. Look at Deuteronomy 20 (No. 201).
6) Live faithfully to His teachings...IIPeter 1:4-11 and ICorinthians 10:12-13.
We all know that we are not perfect, but we try to live our lives striving to be more like Christ. Now this aspect needs amplification because most do not get it. Each person is predestined by God to be called. Christ did not simply decide who was his. God gave them to him and He did not lose them. We are chosen, called, then justified and glorified (Rom. 8:29-30).
The process of justification is by perfection in the Laws of God. This is the whole duty of man: "To keep the commandments of God" (Eccl. 12:13). The understanding of the faith is most important. Look at the papers The Soul (No. 92) and The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143). Your baptism must be by an elder or authorised deacon of God into the body of Christ, and not into any sect or denomination. That rules out most denominations as they want to baptise you into a church. Once you start out on the long road, you have to do what Christ and the Apostles did, and that has got most Christians killed by others claiming to be Christians over the last fourteen hundred years. Look at the paper The Role of the Fourth Commandment in the Historical Sabbath-keeping Churches of God (No. 170).
The path is straight and the gate is very narrow that enters the Kingdom of God, and there are many who do not find it. The Church of God is called one of a city and two of a family. These are they who keep the commandments of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ (Rev. 12:17; 14:12). Do what the Bible says and obey the commandments, and you will find yourself on a lonely path, but one with friends and brothers and sisters along the way who are true friends and true Christians. Above all, obey God and follow what the Bible teaches.
I have never read the Bible and my understanding is minimal. I believeÖ there is one God; it doesn't matter which religion you belong to God will still hear your prayers; we should pray and give thanks; God loves us all equally whether we are good or bad, rich or poor; we have choices and a destiny to fulfil; we should only have sex with our lifetime partner or soul mate; marriage is important; no one should be judged for their mistakes, it is a matter of conscience; in abortion and contraception: NO child should be born that is unwanted and unloved; God is simply an entity that created us all. Which religion is the right religion?
A: You seem to have developed a system of belief with which you are comfortable. You accept the existence of God. Given that fact, we can make some examination from that premise. If we are the creation of God, then God has an obligation to convey to us His desires. If He has set down a standard by which we are to be judged, then he has a logical obligation to convey those rules to us.
There is only one text that is coherent in its structure and intent from beginning to end. That is the Bible. The Koran is commentary on the Bible. If you believe in God then you must also agree that He cannot give changing laws to the creation as Judgment would be unfair.
Professor Russell said that Law cannot proceed from whim and must come from some basis other than divine fiat. That is the reason he was not a Christian. He did not understand correctly that the Law proceeded from the very nature of the One True God, whom no man has ever seen or ever can see. He is immutable and gave His law to us in the hands of a mediator.
Each of us has an obligation to identify what it is that God has communicated to us. Thus, you have an obligation to study the literal intent of the Bible. Perhaps you do not understand the calling of God. He is not dealing with the planet at present. He calls people and opens their minds with the Holy Spirit and brings them to judgment, each in their own time.
That is why the Bible is written in parables. So that men will not understand and turn to be saved before their time. The understanding of the plan of God can be seen from the papers on our web site. Read the papers starting with the Statement of Beliefs of the Christian Faith (A1). Look also at The Law of God (No. L1) and the papers which make up that series. The circumstance in which abortion is permitted is contained therein. First of all you have an obligation to get a Bible and start to study it. Once you start to treat it literally then you will invite condemnation.
When I was little and going to church with my parents, I remember that there was a weekly offering. Is that scriptural? What about the financial report the church published that indicated how much each family gave. That did not seem scriptural either. Is it?
A: No, it is written, "Let not your left hand know what your right hand is doing." In the USA, it is necessary to get receipts for tax purposes and so churches have to keep records. But it is written that there are to be three times a year that the men are to gather and they are not to come empty handed. Tithes are to be paid to the Church and the Church is to pay the tithe of the tithe to the headquarters.
So, three offerings are commanded a year, not 52. Tithes are commanded. Once every seven years, the second tithe is to be given to the poor fund as a third tithe. Paul set up an alms collection on the First day of the week to assist the church in Jerusalem. From this one act has sprung the entire heresy of Sunday services and the taking of weekly collections.
The whole question of the collections and offerings and tithes is examined in the paper Tithing (No. 161). If people have to give an accounting for receipt purposes, the Church has an obligation not to disclose the details outside of the officers responsible who need to know.
Why did people make up a God and why do we have religion?
A: This is a loaded question. It assumes that the proposition that man invented a God and religion is true. The ancients did not question the existence of God. Perhaps if you had been taken out of Egypt through the Red Sea, you might have had some faith. But we see that even Israel after enduring it still sinned at Sinai. Adam was aware of his creation and spoke in the Garden with the host and still sinned.
The laws of Thermodynamics demand a creator. The creation declares the existence of God. There is no evidence for evolution as the creation record is blatantly discontinuous. The phase space volume selection of the universe demands a single point of origin and no other. The more we know, the more sure we are of the power of creation.
As you have pointed out before, the history of the Christian Church, also known as the Original Catholic Church, can trace its doctrines back through 2000 years, and these doctrines have never changed. I have read that the ruins of some of the former Roman Catholic churches contain deep baptismal tanks, which would indicate that they once practised baptism by immersion. Can you tell me whether this is a fact?
A: There is no doubt that the early Church in Rome practised adult baptism by immersion, and we have the authority of Justin Martyr on that fact. The great baptistery near Ravenna was built as late as the sixth century, but that is now argued as a Gothic Unitarian event. However, the Unitarians had control of Italy and Rome until the sixth century, so this is a moot point. Infant baptism was not a rite of the early Church. Look at the paper Purification and Circumcision (No. 251).
I am seeking an organization to join and fellowship with. Most people recommended Unitarians or a Universal Life Church. Could you explain exactly what a Unitarian is?
A: Unitarians fall into two groups. The original Unitarians, and to which our people belong, believe that there is one true God and that He sent Jesus Christ to reveal The One True God to men. We teach the same doctrines as found in the original church of God as established by Christ and the apostles. You will find that the Original Catholic Church was Unitarian and it was the same way even in Rome in the second century. Look at the web site www.originalcatholicchurch.org
The other branch of the Unitarian Church is what we call radical Unitarian. It denies the pre-existence of Christ. This form also emerged in Islam after Muhammad and the Four Rightly Guided Caliphs. Islam accepts two versions above but denies as heresy Trinitarianism. Thus, Islam is also Unitarian.
In the Reformation, these groups who were radical Unitarians also entered the Waldensian system and they were also allied with Sunday worship from Protestantism. Thus, the two branches are quite distinct. The story is told in Rabbi Kohnís Sabbatarians in Transylvania, (CCG Publishing, 1998)
Recently the Universalists joined with the radical Unitarians to form the Unitarian Universalist organisations. They are totally distinct from the Sabbatarian Unitarians.
The explanation of the two views is contained in the papers Socinianism, Arianism and Unitarianism (No. 185). To better understand the history of the doctrine of the nature of Christ look at the paper The Pre-Existence of Jesus Christ (No. 243).
The differences are very significant. One does what the First century church did, and the other virtually ignores Bible Doctrines based on the Law of God. If you wish to know more about the other, then type "Unitarian Universalist" into the search engines and they will give you some web sites, which may list a location near you. If you are seeking to obey God and His Law, then we will try to help you.
Do both accept the different beliefs of others and that everyone follows their own path to God and truth? Or do they both take an arrogant approach and claim a limitation on God saying there is only one way and one truth? Christ said that there was only one straight path and one narrow door that entered into salvation and the Kingdom of God, and few there be that find it.
Does God really heal instantaneously or is it Jesus Christ? Will we receive healing from disease if we ask?
A: God often heals instantaneously and He often chooses not to heal. Paul could heal others but not himself. It does not mean we live in a state of sin because we are not healed. The doctrine that sickness equals sin is a doctrine of demons. The sickness in this society is the accumulated result of the rejection of Godís Laws and sometimes individuals can not be blamed, or have any control over what happens to them.
Often sickness in the Church of God is the result of taking the Passover unworthily and sometimes that causes death. However, you should be very wary of the TV mass-produced healings that are dished up on a daily basis. Do not leave God out of the picture, but take this showmanship with a grain of salt. Many people think they have been healed and that is often a good positive mental attitude to have. But the reverse is sometimes that people who participate in this nonsense suspend medication when they should not, and thereby prevent their proper recovery. Others do it for show, to demonstrate holiness.
Good and holy people have been anointed and died. Sinners have been anointed and recovered. Anointed cloths have been sent to a remote locality and the person recovered before the cloth was even put in the mail. Men and women in India have been anointed and recovered from venomous snakebites and other maladies that would amaze you. People have also claimed recovery to establish their credentials.
There are many different reasons and many different types of intervention by God. Sometimes God lets people die now, rather than prolong a situation. Sometimes God is not working with any of the people involved and they belong to the god of this world. Most instances of which you speak are simply instances of charismatic hysteria.
There are also many showman tricks used in these tent-type exercises. The answer is to have faith, pray hard and to trust in God and not in tent show quacks. Seek sound advice and plenty of it.
I read "The History of the Church" and in Book 1, Chapter 12.3, Eusebius is concerned in proving that Jesus existed. In connection with that, he reproduces the small account about Jesus contained in Flavius Josephus's Book, "Antiquities." After that he makes the following comments:
"When a historian from the Hebrews themselves has furnished in his own writing an almost contemporary record of John the Baptist and our Saviour too, what excuse is there left for not condemning the shameless dishonesty of those who forged the MEMORANDA blackening them both...?"
I wonder what Eusebius meant by "Memoranda?" Is he referring to some kind of book or manuscript? Do you know what type of material this Memoranda is and who possibly wrote it?
A: The copy you have is deficient in translation and numbering. The text to which you refer is actually in Book 1 chapter 11 at the end.
"Since an historian who is one of the Hebrews themselves, has recorded in his work these things concerning John the Baptist and our Saviour, what excuse is there left for not convicting them of being destitute of all shame, who have forged the acts against them? But let this suffice here."
The forgery concerned was not the acts of Pilate. The note 8 to chapter 9 says that Eusebius refers here not to the Acts of Pilate written by Christians, of which so many are still extant (cf. Bk. II, chap. 2, note 1), but to those forged by their enemies with the approval of the emperor Maximinius (see below Bk. IX. chap. 5).
Thus, the word "memoranda" is actually "Acts" and it refers to the forgery under Maximinius. There is a note as above and also referring to the text in note 12 to chapter 11.
I believe in God and Jesus Christ, but I donít understand the difference between Jewish, Christian, Catholic, Jehovahís Witnesses, etc. How does one choose a church and get baptised? I donít know what the difference is and where I should go?
A: There is only one truth and only One True God. We were all faced with this problem. The answer lies in the literal truth of the Bible and the historical Church that has followed that faith. Look at The Statement of Beliefs of the Christian Faith (A1). Work systematically through that work with your Bible, cross checking ever reference and text. Then begin identifying who God is and what laws He has given you to follow in His worship. The Bible Study Program (No. B1) will give you the papers you will need.
Have you heard of persons referred to as the People of the Book?
A: The people of the book or the People of Scripture are the Unitarian Sabbath-keeping people of the Christian Church in the Middle East, recognised by the Prophet and the Koran as the Original Church of the Faith. Thus this group being recognised by Islam were often given protection by it. They went by the name Paulicians in the early days of Islam. The Paulicians were in alliance with or protected by Islam for centuries. The Parthians horde had left the Middle East before the rise of Islam. These include the Unitarian Christians including the Vandals. The Vandals were iconoclasts who simply destroyed the idols on the grounds of the Second Commandment.
Some believe the Mysteries of God are mysteries to be accepted on faith without understanding. Is this scriptural?
A: This is a view espoused by the section who cannot make sense of the 4th century doctrines imposed on the Church. They were fashioned around the ancient triune god, especially from Rome. They were logically incoherent and so they had to be explained as a mystery. The same thing applied to the 15 sequence prayer system, which has come down as the "Mystery of the Rosary".
1Corinthians 4:1 shows that the churches are stewards of the Mysteries of God. That means they have to be able to explain them and to provide explanation of them. There are things that have to be accepted in faith. Faith is the hope of things to come and things promised. It is not simply a blind intellectual obedience to incoherent reasoning. For example, we know that the things that are seen are made from the things that are not seen. We do not have to be able to explain Quantum Mechanical Theory to accept the creation of God. The Bible says that this is eternal life that they know the Only True God and Jesus Christ whom He sent (Jn 17:3). That means that it is possible to know the only True God and Jesus Christ whom He sent. It does not mean that he can be reinvented as a Triune God and rendered into a meaningless "Mystery".
If you come across some who say that they cannot explain the Nature of God because it is a mystery or that the Mysteries of God are not known and in the custody of the Church, then you will probably find that the same people will say that when they die they go to heaven and their opponents go to hell for eternal torment. The Original Catholic Church in Rome in the 2nd century said to the emperor that if one came across people saying they were Christians and that when they died they went to heaven, do not believe them because they were not Christians. See the papers The Soul (No. 92) and The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143).
The same false Christians or Gnostics are running round in the majority now explaining that all things are a mystery because they have virtually destroyed any credibility they may have had. They rendered science incompatible with the Bible by their silly explanations from Augustine. In short, the mystery occurs from their Gnostic Antinomian ignorance. Look at the papers Vegetarianism and the Bible (No. 183), The Nicolaitans (No. 202), and The Mysteries of God (No. 131).
Prayer & Fasting
Who should I pray to, Jesus, God, or one of the saints, or Mary?
A. Christ told us to Pray to the Father in his name. I know of no other sanction or prayer. The very cosmology of the Bible prevents you praying to Mariam or the other Saints as they are still in the grave awaiting the Resurrection of the Dead.
Look at the paper The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143). The Bible is emphatic. No one has ascended into heaven save he who descended from heaven namely the son of man (John 3:13). If they are all dead what is the point of praying to them. Revelation 4 and 5 shows that the prayers to God are collected as a fragrant incense by the council of the Host. Look at the paper Teach Us to Pray (No. 111).
I have heard this scripture used to "beat oneís breast" while praying; what is the meaning of the text? I do remember people hitting their chest while praying but never knew why.
A: The term refers to the actions of people who are internalising things and this deep repentance and anguish is often symbolised by this physical reaction. Because of this fact, many people display the "Mea Culpa" action, which has become fashionable from this text, and they mean none of it. Christ was referring to the genuine repentance of sinners and comparing that to the self-righteousness of the professedly religious.
I know some people who believe the best place to pray is in a Church based on "God lives there so He will always hear prayers that are offered there." Is there any scriptural basis to this line of thinking?
A: It comes from the idea of the old temple system and identifying a church as a building, instead of a group of people. Christ says that wherever two or three of you are gathered together in my name, I will hear you. He also told us to go into our rooms alone and to pray there. Do not go and pray in public. Originally the church met in synagogues where they traditionally discussed the Law of God and His prophets. In Rome, they met in houses. Tradition tries to tie them into catacombs to avoid persecution. No building is required to enhance prayer
Does God hear and answer the prayers of non-Christians? Also, how should a person pray to God if they have not as yet been converted? What should they pray for?
A: Salvation is open to the Gentiles. Any person in the world can turn to the One True God, and he will hear and answer if one is genuinely seeking and obeying Him (Acts 13:47; Heb. 5:9).
If, however, the person is an idolater, He will not hear. There are many texts regarding His refusal to hear persistent idolaters. Most people, who claim Christ as Lord, do not obey the Commandments of God. The Saints are those who keep the Commandments of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ (Rev. 12:17; 14:12). God requires obedience more than sacrifice.
Do women and girls need to wear a hat or something to cover their head when praying?
A: The idea of the text is to demonstrate the relationships of the structure of the creation. A man is not to have his head covered while praying, as the head of man is Christ, and the Head of Christ is God. The woman is to wear longer hair than a man as a symbol of her relationship to her husband and her father. The hair is because of the angels.
This is due to their rebellion and their fall and the union that caused the Nephilim (cf. the paper The Nephilim (No. 154). The woman has her hair as her glory and a covering. When women have their hair shaven, then they are to cover their head in prayer. When it is not shaven, they are to pray without covering.
A man is to pray with his head uncovered, and long hair is a shame to a man for this reason. It is a direct imputation against his manhood and his relationship with God and Christ. A man who wears long hair or a hat in his prayer and worship, places an object between himself and God and is thus contrary to law. The woman who has long hair is subject to her husband, and then to God through Christ. A man with long hair or a woman who shaves her head like a man dishonours his or her head.
This is a fundamental relationship in the Church and the Law of God. Look also at the paper Law and the Fifth Commandment (No. 258); Law and the Seventh Commandment (No. 260); Purification and Circumcision (No. 251).
I noted from another answer that you said Christians should pray three times a day. Is there a right way to pray? Should we prostrate ourselves? Can a "prayer on the run" be acceptable and pleasing to God?
A: There is no limitation to prayer. You can pray walking on the beach, sitting on a park bench, and in the middle of trouble. The prescribed method is to go into your room and pray to the Father, in the name of the Son, and your prayers will be honoured. The proviso is, of course, that it is a correct prayer in the interest of others and the plan of God, and that you are one of the elect. All people can go before God and ask for the Spirit and understanding and he will grant them access, but they have to act on what they are given to develop. Look at the paper Teach us to Pray (No. 111).
It seems like there must be some symbolism to all the references to fasting in sackcloth and ashes. If so, what is the meaning?
A: The reference is to making a public spectacle out of your mourning, as the mystery cults did in their mourning for Osiris in Egypt, or for Attis, or Adonis, or the Mother goddess queen of Heaven system of Easter (see The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235)). The ash on the forehead associated with Ash Wednesday comes from the mourning of the Shrove in the pagan festivals. God hates this form of fasting and public spectacle. The true structure of fasting is to be found in Isaiah chapter 58. Look at the paper Atonement (No. 138).
I have heard some suggest that when we fast we are to give that days meals to the hungry based on Isaiah 58:7. Is that the meaning of that verse?
A: That no doubt was the interpretation of a hair splitting banker.
Yes, you are required to deal your bread to the poor and in that sense the bread you save fasting is to be given to the poor yes. However, it means that the welfare of the poor is of prime concern. Your fasting should be for the improvement of others and the breaking the bonds of wickedness and to break every yoke.
This view is a convenient way to raise funds where the money you would have spent on food is given to the poor.
The Laws of God cater for the welfare of the poor on a greater basis than simply giving the food saved on fasting. Look at the paper Tithing (No. 161).
Is it possible for a person to have Godís Holy Spirit in them and be possessed by a demonic spirit at the same time?
A: Yes, it is possible in certain specific circumstances. The first place is when the person is being converted. The demon is faced then with removal and the Holy Spirit enters. In some cases, the demon may repent, as has happened in the Church over time. In the early days, we were allowed in some cities and not in others. This was viewed as resulting because the demons in charge of specific areas came over to us.
In the case where a demon is present and the Holy Spirit is allowing the demon repentance, then that can occur. Normally the Holy Spirit has no place with evil and the Spirit withdraws where demons are allowed to remain. As Christ says, when the house is swept clean and the spirit withdraws, the condition is then worse than before.
The quenching of the Holy Spirit allows the re-entry of demons. This is not a clear-cut process. People are tempted all the time and it is in yielding that we allow demons re-entry. We should not forget that the fallen Host were all once sons of God. They are all under judgment and will be under judgment by us in the Second Resurrection. Look at the papers How God Became a Family (No. 187); The Judgment of the Demons (No. 80); and Lost Sheep and the Prodigal Son (No. 199).
What would happen to the individual wherein the Holy Spirit and demonic spirit are allowed to reside if the demon spirit does not repent? It seems unfair or at least hazardous for an individual to host both spirits as an accommodation for the evil one. I also wonder by whose choice is this situation allowed - the individual, the demon or some other entity?
A: The Holy Spirit is the dictator of all that happens. It normally withdraws from evil. However, God directs it as His power and sometimes He will be dealing with things that only He knows. He may have decided to extend repentance to the demon in question. It may do no harm and then be converted. The early Church believed that conversion could be extended to the demons, and the fact that the church is awarded Judgment over them tells us they must be able to be converted (cf. 1Cor 6:3).
If the individual becomes aware that this is the case, then normally at baptism they will have requested the removal of the demon. It may be a sleeper and, in that instance, the individual can pray for its removal or for its conversion. God will extend that to them on the request of the elect. We have to be very careful what we pray for and what we do as we, as the elect keeping the commandments of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ, have the power to bring down strongholds. Look at the paper The Judgment of the Demons (No. 80) and also Lost Sheep and the Prodigal Son (No. 199).
I was told that Satan is a Spirit and so he cannot die. Apparently Satan and the demons have to burn in hell forever.Can spirits die?
A.God is omnipotent. That means He is all-powerful. He is also the only true God and He alone is immortal (1Tim. 6:16). That means that God alone cannot die. He created the heavenly Host and they can all die. Christ though he was in the form of God did not seek to grasp equality with God. He gave up his form and became a man and became obedient unto death on the stake (Phil. 2:5-8).
Christ could thus die and so the Bible tells us will the fallen host die. They will be brought down to the sides of the pit and die like any man. This sequence is covered in Isaiah chapter 14 and Ezekiel chapter 28. God is able to bring into life all beings and to take life away from all beings.
It is His pleasure to grant eternal life to all of the elect as sons of God in power as he did with Christ from the resurrection from the dead (cf. Rom. 1:4).
If you donít recognise Christmas, Easter, and the like, how can you justify any day of the week or a month of the year? Most of them are named after pagan gods! Do you work both calendars without feeling guilty? Are you not stuck on the fence? Like Saturday is named after the Saturn god; no place in a church like yours!
A: Your own common sense should tell you the answer. The Constitution on the web (A2) shows you that the Church is run according to the sacred Calendar from I Abib or Nisan and the governments recognise our right to do this.
The months are numbered and we celebrate the New Moons each month. The days of the week are named like the month after pagan Gods. That is not our affair. They are still also numbered from the first to the seventh day of the week. The Sabbath happens to fall on the seventh day of the week, which is also named Saturday. We call it the Sabbath. How is this a conflict?
When Christ comes, the pagan calendar will be taken away completely and we will return to the pure Temple Calendar. Look at the papers Godís Calendar (No. 156); The Moon and the New Year (No. 213); The Calendar and the Moon: Postponements or Festivals? (No. 195); and Law and the Fourth Commandment (No. 256). We still have to live in the world, which is run according to the powers of the god of this world and the spirit of disobedience, but not for much longer.
What's up with the dateline? I can't help but think the Sabbath, the New Moons, the Holy Days and every day for that matter should start with sunset in Jerusalem and then continue around the world. Do people east of Jerusalem experience the Holy Days first and what did we do before the dateline was established?
A: In Australia we experience the New Moons, the Sabbaths, and Feasts before others as we are located east of Jerusalem. There is no doubt that the law proceeds from Jerusalem and the day is required to be determined from the conjunction at Jerusalem.
Perhaps Messiah will determine a new dateline but until then this one is convenient with the least disruption and most harmony to most people. You are obviously studying and perhaps might get some more study material from Godís Calendar (No. 156) and The Moon and the New Year (No. 213).
I read somewhere that the phrase "no-one knows the day or the hour" is a Hebrew idiom for the Feast of Trumpets having to do with identifying the 1st day of the 7th month. Is there any truth to this?
A: No, that is absolute nonsense. It does not even compute with the Hillel system. It appears to be a Karaite observationist fiction to justify their observation requirements.
The calculation of the conjunctions was carried out as far back as the days of Noah, and the annals are still recorded by the Chinese. Their records appear to be 2000 years before Meton. The entire ancient system from Noah, not only knew how to calculate the systems but also did so and enforced their calculation. Some Chinese astronomers failed to declare an eclipse allegedly in 2158 BCE and Prince Tin was sent to punish them. The Yellow Emperor Hwang Ti is recorded as enforcing calculation of the nineteen-year lunar cycle and the conjunctions of the sun moon in 2698 BCE. This is allegedly pre-flood. The correct view of the timing is covered in the work Mysticism in chapter 8 at www.ccg.org/english/s/B7_8.html.
I was previously taught the doctrine of a 3rd Resurrection. Where in the Bible does this idea come from? Is there a historical record of this doctrine being taught by any other church? What purpose could there be in a 3rd resurrection?
A: The doctrine of the Third Resurrection is a particularly nasty and insidious invention of Herbert W. Armstrong and his ministry for the control of the church. The doctrine was designed to keep members of the church under control and was aimed at the idea that as long as you were part of the Worldwide Church of God, after you were baptised, you would inherit the kingdom of God. That meant total acquiescence to the WCG ministry and all the things they did. If you made a noise as to illegal activity or incoherent doctrine, they would kick you out. That was better than leaving, as being kicked out sent you to the Second Resurrection.
The worse thing was to leave as that meant, in the eyes of the church, being removed to the Third Resurrection. This particularly nasty and sadistic contrivance, attributed to the mind of God, was to resurrect everyone who had not sat still for the nonsense there and had not "stayed and prayed and paid," as one of Armstrongís former evangelists wrote even recently. They would be resurrected in order to be thrown into the Lake of Fire. In other words, God was going to resurrect these people only to kill them again by throwing them into the Lake of Fire. That would take a warped and sadistic mind to do that. They achieved this doctrinal myth by a very amusing piece of mental gymnastics.
In Revelation, chapter 20, we see that there are two Resurrections of the Dead. The First Resurrection of the Dead is at the beginning of the Millennium at the return of the Messiah. This involves the Church. All who are not the saints who keep the Commandments of God and the Testimony or Faith of Jesus Christ will be resurrected in the Second Resurrection at the end of the Millennium and the release of Satan for the last war of the end. The First Resurrection follows the binding of Satan at Revelation 20:3. Revelation 20:7 says when the thousand years are expired Satan shall be loosed out of his prison. In verse 8 we see that he goes out to deceive the nations in the four quarters of the earth. After the revolt, the Second Resurrection occurs and the spirit of the devil and the beast and the false prophet or false prophecy are cast into the Lake of Fire. Revelation 20:11-14 goes on to describe the conduct of the Second Resurrection and the Judgment occurring at that time.
Now, how the Armstrong system contrived the Third Resurrection was to split Revelation 20:13 from Revelation 20:11 and 12. This had the effect of having "the sea give up the dead in them and death and hell delivered up the dead and they were judged every man according to his works" mean that this was a later resurrection. Now the sheer absurdity of having everyone who died at sea being sent to the Third Resurrection never phased Armstrong or his lickspittles. Armstrong worked on the principle of having 50% of the Church working against the other 50% to keep it in control. The fact of the matter is that this had the effect of having the self-righteous play "spot the Laodicean" (as they were taught they were the Philadelphians). The Third Resurrection was to place sufficient emotional stress on the ones who were not removed to have them stay in the organisation rather than be burnt in the Lake of Fire with no chance of salvation. This system of mind control was very effective.
It was so effective that it took a very strong mind to overcome it and see the ridiculous doctrine for what it was. There are many people still in the WCG who do not believe a word of the new Trinitarian Theology, but remain solely because it was the church they were baptised into and which, if they left it, would consign them to the Lake of Fire. The control of these people was so great that they literally gave their minds over to man-worship and excused every unlawful act Armstrong did as the works of Godís apostle. You see, in the exchange, the rationalisation of a person who would excuse the scandalous plagiarism which, anyone with any knowledge at all of the WCG doctrines knows, was plagiarised en masse from Allenís Judahís Sceptre and Josephs Birthright. They would have been prosecuted and fined heavily today. On that basis, they excused the theft of G. G. Rupertís work. They accepted the tearing up of the constitution and lodging of perjured documents of Armstrong by his officers, knowing they could not be true. Armstrong literally stole the church from its members and rorted it while the people sat puzzled as to what was happening. They sat like dumb dogs so they would not be consigned to the Third Resurrection if they left. The best they could hope for was the Second if they were kicked out. You no doubt have experienced all that and more. We have analysed the doctrine in the paper The Fallacy of the Third Resurrection (No. 166); The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143); and The Soul (No. 92).
I have seen a video about Jebel el Laws/Jebel el Musa. Where is the place of safety? I am absolutely convinced (so far) that this is it, and that Petra is a fake.
A: Petra is not the wilderness, it is a city of Edom, and we will never be deceived by such an obvious ploy. The Place of Safety is in the hand of God. The gospels say that we will not have finished fleeing through the cities of Israel until the son of man comes (Matthew 10:23). Thus, the Church will be under persecution continually over the period. The fallacy of the Petra argument and the Place of Safety is explained in the paper The Place of Safety (No. 194). The Worldwide Church of God decided it was Petra in the 1970ís. Prior to that, it was in Canada somewhere. There are a number of churches that teach it is in Petra on the same misconstructions regarding the term Selah in the Old Testament.
Could you tell me which nation or nations today are the nation of Edom in prophecy?
A: The Edomites are spread. Edom was at its height from the 13th to the 8th century BCE. Edom was variously a tributary of Judah and an enemy. When Judah was taken into Babylonian captivity, Edom migrated into South Judah, with Hebron as its capital, and remained there.
The Ideumeans or Edomites were absorbed into Judah with the rise of Herod and his dynasty. Many Edomites had remained and had spread out among the Nabateans. From the time of the Maccabees, John Hyrcanus (ca 120) overran all of Idumea and forcibly converted the Idumeans to Judaism (Josephus A of JJ XIII, ix,1; XV, vii, 9).
In the final phase of the fall of the Temple and Jerusalem, the Idumeans, who had exulted at its fall some six hundred years before, were its most fanatic defenders (Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible, Edom, vol. 2, p. 26).
They can be regarded as forming the post Temple period core of traditional Judaism. Many may be among the Arabs of Saudi Arabia. Their position in the Phoenician trade alliance also has to be examined.
Can you document the paths of the lost tribes of Israel (their migration to the Isles)? I am intrigued by the premise of the lost tribe migration as well as your Churchís roots in Judaism and original Christianity.
A: Itís a hard row we hoe. God awakens us when he wants us. The migration of the tribes was in three lots for Israel, and perhaps three for Judah/Levi/and part Benjamin or what we call the Jews. The first to go were Gad, Reuben and half Manasseh. They went prior to the main deportation in 722 under the Assyrians. They moved north of the Araxes and settled in the area of the Caucasus and into the southern steps.
The Hittites (the Hatti or Kalti) had gone before them. They had been in alliance with Israel under David, as were the Amorites and some other tribes. David had gone out into the steppes among Meschech and Tubal between 1000 BCE and the rebellion. It appears he took the bands of the Hittites with him, because of the finds of the Celts at that time in Scythia. This great armed force also appears to have prompted the invasions of India by the Aryans, and may even have been the result of the Hebrew armies at the time.
The Phoenician Alliance under David and Hiram also had moved into the Sea routes both from Eilat into the east and from Tyre and Sidon in the west. Carthage was established to serve this alliance and the Isles were stocked with Hebrew/Punic speakers. This is the reason for the similarity between the Q Brythonic and Punic on the one hand and Anglo-Saxon and Hebrew words on the other, and despite the Assyrian structure.
The Scots joined the Milesians in Ireland after the failed invasion of Britain from Gaul. They went to Scotland in 501 CE. The Celts in Britain were called the Hyperborean Celts. From the fall of the Northern kingdom we see the movement of the Celtic people west up the Danube into Europe from their place in the north of Assyria.
The Amorites of the Israel alliance went with the Celts and settled in Amorica, which we now call Brittany. The Milesians originally were monotheist. The Magi, who were a tribe within the system of the Medes, converted them to the religion of the Golden Calf. They then spread this poison all over Europe and the Greeks had to develop Philosophy to combat it.
After the rise of the Babylonian system, the Assyrians migrated into Europe as the first of the Teutons. The Israelites, north of the Araxes, stayed in place and were there at the time of Christ, forming the Parthian Empire. Their cousins in the west in Britain were called British. This is a combination of two Hebrew words "Berith" or "covenant" and "ish" meaning "man." "Parthia" means the same thing as "land of the covenant" - Perithia. "Ain" also is "land." So they were cousins. They were defeated by the Persians in the 2nd century; after being weakened by the Romans previously. The tribes then picked up stakes and moved into Western Europe above and behind the Germans, pushing them down onto the Romans. They then broke up as a result of that in Europe. Look at the papers The Unitarian/Trinitarians Wars (No. 268). The work on www.Abrahams-Legacy.org gives more details.
Israel was not to mix with or marry into other tribes (races). Because God chose to work only with the offspring of certain individuals does that make Him a racist? We are being told that our choosing to only marry with our race is racist. Iíd appreciate your comments
A: Nations are not races. There is only one race now, after the destruction of the Nephilim, and that is the human race (see the paper The Nephilim (No. 154)). The birthright tribe of Joseph in Ephraim, and also Manasseh, has an Egyptian as a mother. The prohibition on marriage with Gentiles was on the grounds of religion. The concept is that Godís people are not to be unequally yoked with infidels. There are nation tribes that the Bible says will disappear. Some of these nations have been, and others will be, absorbed into Israel.
God set out a plan of salvation in which all nations will come into the family of God through Israel and the Messiah. When Messiah returns, He will set up a system of government on this planet according to the Law of God. Israel will be the centre of it and the nations will obey the Law and keep the feasts of God. That will continue for a thousand years.
At the end of that, the Second Resurrection of the dead will see all men raised and correctly trained and converted until all people will be spiritual sons of God under Jesus Christ. Then God will establish his rulership here, and God will be all in all (Eph 4:6). There will be no such thing as an alien. He who sanctifies and they who are sanctified are of one origin and all will be conformed to the image of God. Look at the papers The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143); Consubstantial with the Father (No. 81); Outline Timetable of the Age (No. 272); and The City of God (No. 180).
What is the significance to the place of Shechem? It seems like numerous events took place there.
A: Shekem is the "neck" and comes from the sense of to load up the back between the shoulders as a burden. The House of Israel, under false leadership, places itself under a burden and this is made worse by the system of the nations. It is used here as a place of burden and the failure of Israel through that false system.
Could you explain the significance of the time frame (430years) and how it has to do with the exodus of the Second Advent? What is to happen ON THAT DAY?
A: Israel was taken into Egypt for two purposes. The captivity was a punishment but initially it was to save Israel and make it grow under adversity, but still in comparative safety. The attempted destruction of the Israelites by killing the firstborn was later put back on the heads of the Egyptians. The firstborn of Israel were holy to God.
God took Israel out of captivity and established them in the wilderness over forty years. We see a ratio develop which is purely symbolic, but nevertheless indicative of structure. The nation was under Egypt and sin for the captivity, and then taken out for forty years. The four hundred years we can take to equate to the four thousand years of the Creation to Christ.
This is mixing times but the forty years in the wilderness is a period of probation. Forty always equates with probation (See the paper Symbolism of Numbers (No. 7). This equated to the two thousand years, or forty jubilees, of the church in the wilderness from Messiah.
At the end, the thirty years of the removal of the princes, priests and prophets is like the thirty days mourning for Moses at the end of the forty years. Messiah will come in the near future and establish the new Millennial system. After the battles of Armageddon, the nations will be restored and will be sent to Jerusalem as we see in Isaiah 66.
This Exodus will be mightier than the first and with many more people from many more nations. Look at the papers Measuring the Temple (No. 137); The Millennium and the Rapture (No. 85); Outline Timetable of the Age (No. 272); and The Day of the Lord and the Last Days (No. 192).
Does there come a time when the warning given to this planet, of its imminent destruction and the coming of that great and dreadful Day of The Lord, will take precedence over the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom of God? If so, when is that, and how do we know?
A: God does nothing unless he warns the people through His servants the prophets. Thus, he has to warn the nation of the coming of the Messiah, and Scripture says that will be done by a voice of Dan/Ephraim as we see from the texts of Jeremiah 4:15. This aspect is explained in the papers The Warning of the Last days (No. 44) and Fire From Heaven (No. 28).
At the same time there is a duty to preach the gospel of the kingdom of God. That is basically the First Angelís Message of Revelation 14. There are four messages of the text and they come in sequence. The Church is responsible for carrying out the duties of the First Angels Message continuously, until it is finally relieved by the witnesses and then the Church is still required to support them.
The prophet of Jeremiah 4:15, no doubt, is part of the Church in the last days and may well be an entire Church in its own right also effecting the Messages of Revelation 14 and carrying out the functions associated with Gideonís Force. These other aspects are also covered in the papers Gideon's Force and the Last Days (No. 22); and The Messages of Revelation 14 (No. 270).
What is the future of Christianity?
A: Christianity will be reduced to a faithful remnant and then, when Christ comes, it will be restored to the sole religion of the world for 1000 years. What is now understood to be Christianity will be removed for the false religion it is.
Judaism, Islam and Christianity will be restored to the one true faith and be the religion of the world. Before that happens, the Trinitarian Christian Churches will try to unite and form the single system under the New World Order. Islam will force the last wars of the King of the North and South. This is taking place now. The Kings of the East will oppose the western forces and in support of the oil producing Islamic fundamentalists.
Islam will push to invade Europe, and Europe will react to crush it. The European system will invade the Middle East and establish Jerusalem as the HQ centre. It will then be forced into the Russian Steppes though Iraq and there the wars of the Fifth and Sixth Trumpet will see one third of the planet destroyed.
During the last three and half years of the process the witnesses will stand in Jerusalem and then be killed. They will be resurrected after three and a half days and ascend to meet the Messiah. From that time the Messiah will destroy the false religious system on the planet, and bring the nations down and destroy their military forces at the battles of Armageddon.
Most of the world will march against Christ because the false religious figures of the world will declare him to be an Antichrist because he enforces the Law of God that he gave to Moses. The Nexus of the law will be restored.
People will simply have to be Christians and keepers of the Commandment of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ as the planet will be geared to that system of worship. Satan and this false system of antinomianism will be confined to the bottomless pit for a thousand years. That is the Day of the Lord and the Millennium of God.
Look at the papers: The Millennium and the Rapture (No. 95); Outline Timetable of the Age (No. 272); The Seven Seals (No. 140); The Seven Trumpets (No. 141); The Day of the Lord and the Last Days (No. 192); The Resurrection of the Dead (No. 143); and Trumpets (No. 136).
Could you explain exactly what is meant by the "time of the gentiles?" Is this the period of 3 1/2 years of the tribulation?
A: The time of the Gentiles is in phases. It commenced from the dispersion at Babel. However, the sequence proper is a perfect period, which commenced with the Golden Head of Nebuchadnezzar at the Battle of Carchemish. It then went from the two forty year periods from Nebuchanezzar to the fall of Egypt under Cambyses in 525 CE, and then for the seven times or 2,520 years ending in 1997.
This was the end of the time of the Gentiles or Nations. Over the period of the next thirty years, the world will be given over to the Beast and it will rise to rule for one hour and then the world will collapse into disaster. By 2027 the month of years will be complete and Messiah will commence to rule from Jerusalem for a thousand years. Look at the papers: Outline Timetable of the Age (No. 272); The Fall of Egypt The Prophecy of Pharaohís Broken Arms (No. 36); The Messages of Revelation 14 (No. 270); The Sign of Jonah and the History of the Reconstruction of the Temple (No. 13); and Measuring the Temple (No. 137).
I would like some information on tracing the idea of covenants from the Old Testament to the New Testament, e.g.: what covenants are made? How are they similar and/or different? How do they relate to Ancient Near Eastern covenants? What covenant ideas are we left with at the end of the Hebrew Bible?
A: The Covenant was made with Noah and his sons, and then lastingly with Abraham. It is given in two promises, one through Isaac and Jacob or Israel and the other through Ishmael. Both are comprised of twelve tribes. The Law was formalised with Moses, not because it was new but because it had been minimised in slavery in Egypt.
The notion of the Old and New Covenants is false, and is basically used to develop the Gnostic ideas, which say the Law was eliminated by Christ. Thus, they are also committed to deny that it was Christ who gave the Law to Moses. That was not the view of the early Church.
The basis of the covenant is a promise of God conveyed through the Angel of the Covenant or Presence of God. It was also made by God to The Angel of the Covenant who was given Israel as his inheritance. This being was Christ. Look at the paper The Pre-Existence of Jesus Christ (No. 243).
The Covenant that God established with Israel under Christ was forever. The nature of that covenant is examined in the paper The Covenant of God (No. 152). The term "New Testament" is misleading in that people assume a new covenant was issued. It was not. The original Covenant was fulfilled in its aspect of sacrifice, which pointed to Messiah who was the end of all sacrifice.
The promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were also fulfilled, but not until the last few centuries in their material aspects. The same applied to Ishmael. The end result is contained in the paper The City of God (No. 180).