Author Topic: Difficult Biblical Questions  (Read 17309 times)

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Richard Myers

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Difficult Biblical Questions
« on: March 22, 2000, 09:33:00 AM »
Topic suggested by Allan F--

There are many questions we all have regarding spiritual things. Some will have to wait unitl we get to heaven and some can be ansered here. How do we know which is which? What is given is the Bible is for us to know and what is not revealed is not for us to know.

Please keep this in mind as you present your questions and please remember as you present answers that we do not want speculation, but rather a "thus saith the Lord."

One last thought. There are many things of interest, but it is present truth that should occupy our minds and our energy. Please try to keep this in mind and let's not get involved in side issues and things of a controversial nature.

Please do not present questions on major doctrinal points. These will be taken up as topics on their own.  There is still much to discuss.   :)

In His love and grace,    Richard

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Laurie Mosher

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« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2000, 03:31:00 AM »
   Amen Richard!
   We seem to have "quite abit on our plate" right now..I'm having dificulty keeping the pace!  :)
  Keep "the" faith!
    Br. Laurie   :)
Keep "the" Faith,  Brother Laurie

Richard Myers

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« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2000, 04:39:00 AM »
Imagine when the horses and chariots enter the battle!  :)  Praise God for our Saviour!

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In His love and grace,    Richard

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

James Saptenno

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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2000, 07:25:00 AM »
Can anyone help me with my question:

Does the Holy Spirit dwells in man's heart before the Pentecost?

If no how can some one in the OT converted without the Holy Spirit works?

James S


Richard Myers

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« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2000, 08:18:00 AM »
This a good question, Brother James. Many in the "evangelical" churches misunderstand this. One verse of Scripture misinterpreted does not undo the whole Bible, yet this has led to a great misunderstanding as to the work of the Holy Spirit.

I will let others answer this and show from the Bible the truth of the matter. It will prove to be a blessing to many Seventh-day Adventists as well.

In His love and grace,    Richard

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

M.A. Crawford

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« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2000, 12:30:00 PM »
I believe the Holy Spirit, who is also God, has dwelt in the hearts---and been active in the salvation---of humankind long before Pentecost. One Scripture that comes to mind is Gen. 6:3, when God said: "...My spirit shall not always strive with man...." It is apparent to me from this statement that the Spirit of God was "striving" with mankind all the way back in Genesis as the ungodly began to multiply upon the earth.

David asked God to "Cast me not away from they presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me" (Ps. 51:11). From this text, I glean that the Holy Spirit dwelt in David's heart. Otherwise, why would he ask God to "take not thy holy spirit from me?"

M.A.

M.A.

Joe Knapp

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« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2000, 08:15:00 PM »
Exo 31:1-4  Then the LORD said to Moses,
 "See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah,
 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts-- to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze,

Num 11:16-17  The LORD said to Moses: "Bring me seventy of Israel's elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the Tent of Meeting, that they may stand there with you.
 I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit that is on you and put the Spirit on them. They will help you carry the burden of the people so that you will not have to carry it alone.

Num 24:2  When Balaam looked out and saw Israel encamped tribe by tribe, the Spirit of God came upon him

Deu 34:9  Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to him and did what the LORD had commanded Moses.

Judg 6:34  Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet, summoning the Abiezrites to follow him.

There's more but I think this is enough.
The Holy Spirit was always there.
My favorite is :
Gen 1:2  Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

Pentecost was important because of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for a period of years. It was the Early Rain.


James Saptenno

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« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2000, 10:56:00 PM »
Thanks for the support, now if the Holy Spirit did dwell in human hearts since Adam's time, than do you agree with some thoughts that say:

We can do nothing good except it was made by the Holy Spirit that works in us. In other words, are we so bad since the fall that there are nothing good left in us including to believe and accepting the gospel.

I appreciate a good biblical support.

Your brother in Christ

James S


Wendy

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« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2000, 11:47:00 AM »
Hello all-

I have a question. I was studying the other day and came accross the prophecy of Israel's captivity in Egypt. In Gen. 15:13 it says...

   And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that they seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not their's and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years.

Then in Ex. 12:40,41 it says...

   Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts  of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt.

My question is how come the Genesis prophecy says 400 years and the Exodus fulfillment says 430. I thought maybe the orginal was saying about 400 years but then when Moses was telling about the fulfillment he says 'that selfsame day it came to pass'. That implies Moses thought the prophecy was being fulfilled to the letter.

I'm sure there is an explanation, I just haven't found it yet so I thought I'd pick a few brains.    :)


[This message has been edited by Wendy (edited 04-11-2000).]

WendyL ~ Maranatha!:)

Gerry Buck

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« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2000, 05:46:00 AM »
Good question , Wendy.
I think the key might be in the statement' they shall inflict them 400 years(Gen.15:13)
For a time they enjoyed a peaceful life in Egypt ( because of the rep of Joseph)
In Exodus 1:8 it says'Now there arose up a new king over Egypt,which knew not Joseph.
Forgotten are all the things that Joseph did for the land,and all that remains are the descendents of Israel,so,in verse 9-11 he decides to 'afflict' because they are'more and mighter than we'.
I'm not sure how long they were there before this started, but it might help understand.
I can't prove it,but maybe Moses was including the whole time they were there?
Anyone else have any light they can shed on it?  :)

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He is LORD!
May He come soon.
Gerry

[This message has been edited by Gerry Buck (edited 04-10-2000).]

Examine me, O LORD, and prove me: try my reins and my heart.Ps.26:2
Gerry B.

M.A. Crawford

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« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2000, 12:36:00 PM »
Sister Wendy, the SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 1, p. 314, commenting on Genesis 15:13, says: "The statement in Ex. 12:40 that 'the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years,' seems to imply that the Hebrews actually spent 430 years there, from Jacob's entry to the Exodus. That this cannot be the meaning is evident from Gal. 3:16, 17 where it is stated that the law was promulgated at sinai 430 years after the covenant between God and Abram. If Paul refers to the first promise made to Abram in Haran (Gen 12:1-3), the 430 years began when Abram was 75 years old (ch. 12:4). The 400 years of affliction would then begin 30 years later, when Abram was 105 years old and his son Isaac 5 years old (ch. 21:5)....

"The exact time from the call of Abram to Jacob's entry into Egypt was 215 years (see Gen 21:5; 25:26; 47:9), which would leave 215 years of the 430 as the actual time the Hebrews spent there. For this reason the 430 years of Ex. 12:40 must include the sojourn in Canaan as well as that in Egypt, from Abram's call to the Exodus...."

M.A.  

M.A.

Wendy

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« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2000, 01:22:00 PM »
Thank you M.A. and Gerry,
Math is not my strong point, I'll be going over this some more to see if I can get a good grasp of the chronology. I do have one more question. I've heard a lot of debate about when Moses lived and when the exodus occured. How do they know when the Israelites went into captivity if they don't know when they came out? Does this mean our church has worked out a timeline, and if so where could you find this information?

Again, thanx for the help.  :)
Wendy

[This message has been edited by Wendy (edited 04-13-2000).]

WendyL ~ Maranatha!:)

M.A. Crawford

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« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2000, 05:29:00 PM »
Commenting further on the 400 and 430 years, the SDA Bible Commentary, Vol. 1, p. 184 says: "Both these periods can be harmonized...if the 430 years are counted from the call of Abraham, when he was 75 years old, and if the 400 years are reckoned from 30 years later, that is about the same time when Isaac, as a small child, began to be persecuted by Ishmael after he was confirmed as the 'seed' (Gen 21:8-12).

"Popular and scholarly misunderstanding of these periods covering the sojourning and affliction of the descendants of Abraham has caused chronological confusion as to the time spent by Israel in Egypt. The interval between the call of Abram, at age 75, and the Exodus was 430 years, of which 215 had passed when Jacob went into Egypt....Therefore the remainder of the 430 years, the Egyptian sojourn, was 215 years."

Happy Sabbath.

M.A.  

M.A.

Richard Myers

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« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2000, 07:50:00 PM »
Sister Paula has asked for help with a question that is an important one for all Seventh-day Adventists especially. How do we know which day is the seventh day?

I find it interesting to note that if we were to rely on what our calendars say is the seventh day, we would surely be in trouble since Satan has the "new calendar" out now that shows the Sunday to be the seventh day and Monday to be the first day.  Most computer programs are doing the same. So, we want to know which day is the real seventh day and how will we support our belief?

Richard

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Allan F

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« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2000, 11:15:00 AM »
To know which day is the seventh day, I think we only have to ask two questions. One to a non-adventist christian and one question to the Bible.

1. Why do you keep sunday holy?

The answer from a non-adventist christian would probably be something like this: "I keep sunday holy because Jesus was raised from the dead on this day."


2. According to the Bible, when did the resurrection of Christ take place?

"Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again." (Luke 24:1-7)

We see that both the Bible and the non-adventist christians (indirectly), support the idea that the Sabbath is the seventh day.
So did also the calendar, until about 1973.

Allan F


M.A. Crawford

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« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2000, 06:03:00 PM »
         The Bible Sabbath                

"Now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is the day before the Sabbath. Joseph of Arimathaea, an honorable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus" (Mark 15:42,43).

Most members of mainline denominations (Baptists, Methodists, etc.)will agree that Christ was crucified on Good Friday and laid in the tomb on the same evening prior to sunset.

"And when the sabbath was past Magdeline, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had brought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun...And when they looked they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great" (Mark 16:1-4).

Again, most members of other mainline denominations will agree that Christ rose on Easter Sunday morning. Now there is ONLY ONE DAY possible between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, and that day is Saturday, the Holy Sabbath Day of the Bible.

M.A.  

M.A.

Gerry C. Wagoner

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« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2000, 05:59:00 PM »
I have long wondered why the Lord used the story of Lazarus & the Rich man.  It seems that so many well-meaning Christians have been fortified in error by this account.

On the other hand, I know that Jesus spoke only that which the Father gave Him, so there must be a purpose according to His calling for those that love Him.

gcw..?


Liane H

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« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2000, 07:22:00 PM »
Hello Everyone:

I am sure that this subject has been touched on before and has been gone over before, but could you please give me some input.

I went to a former SDA church that I was baptized at for a visit last night.  The subject of Grace came up and it started the same old questions and no real answers that comes up for me.  This is my understanding, could you please help in where I could be in error or have misunderstanding.

Grace from God and Jesus is a free gift which we cannot earn. That I think I have got straight. It is given to every human being from the Godhead, whether we deserve it or not. BUT not all accept this free gift.

When going through the bible last night and after work, I find that the bible does not give us a definition of Grace or one that I could find.  It tells us that we have it, that it comes from God and the benefits we reap from it, but there seems to be a different aspect of grace depending on the situation.

It always has been my understanding that grace is given freely from God, but that for anyone to benefit from grace, one must 1. Know it is available, 2. That we must seek it, 3. And that we can loose it by sinning.  

Thanks      

Liane, the Zoo Mama
Romans 8:19   For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

Richard Myers

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« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2000, 10:03:00 PM »
Sister Liane, if there was one subject that I believe is more important than another, I would have to say it is the subject of grace. We are told that we are saved by grace so we all should want to know what grace is and how it is that we are saved by it.  We shall study the subject of God's grace for eternity and will continue to gain a deeper understanding of this wonderful gift.

Let me ask a question to start our minds headed in the right direction. When God the Father looked down upon Adam and Eve when they disobeyed Him, what did He do?

Now, whatever you say He did, I ask what good did Adam and Eve do that He should do this?

Let us review the situation. God told Adam and Eve not to eat of the fruit from the one tree or they would die. The wages of sin is death. Sin is the transgression of the law. God had given them but one test, the tree in the midst of the garden. The death spoken of is eternal death. They both deserved to die immediately and eternally. Why did they not die? Did God change His law? Did He then say as the devil did, if you sin you shall not surely die? No, He did not change His law, but rather made a provision for Adam and Eve to gain back eternal life. This opportunity could not negate the claim of the broken law. Justice would have to be met, but there was another option that the Godhead had made provision for. Jesus would pay the price for Adam and Eve's sin. He would die in their place and give them temporary life to regain their lost treasure of eternal life.

What did Adam do to deserve this offer? Or better yet what could Adam do to deserve this gift?  The wages of sin is death. Adam could do nothing to offset this. He must die. There was only one provision that could be made to save Adam and that was for Jesus to die in His place. What did Adam have that could pay for the death of Jesus? Can anyone suggest a price or anything that would pay for Jesus to die? Of course not. There is nothing anyone could do that would even come close to paying for the death of the Son of God. Jesus and God the Father gave freely the life of Christ for our salvation. We could give all we have and there is nothing that could pay for the death of Jesus. Then since Jesus and the Father did not receive payment for this work, then what can we call it?

Can we call it a gift? Yes, but is it not more than a gift? Are not gifts sometimes given to those that are deserving of a gift? Yes, all the time. The gift of Christ was not deserved. Adam deserved to die. He had nothing to bring to God. Jesus died for Adam while he was yet a sinner. Adam could only accept the gift. There is a word that describes this action by God, it is grace. It is unmerited favor. We do not deserve anything but death. All have sinned and all deserve death. It is grace that is freely given while we are yet sinners deserving of death.

Sister Liane, I think you follow this and there would probably be little need to share it, but it is difficult to follow through in the plan of salvation, so let us build upon a solid foundation.

In regards to grace you said, "It is given to every human being from the Godhead, whether we deserve it or not."  It is given to all, we are granted temporary life. This is grace and it cost. Do you see that your statement "...whether we deserve it or not" is not quite accurate?  Grace implies we do not deserve it.

Let's go on to the action of grace upon the sinner.  It is the goodness of God that leads the sinner to repentance which is revealed by a changed life. The fruits of the Spirit are manifested in the converted person's life. What is the goodness of God? Is it not His grace?  As we behold the love of God for us, it changes our heart. This is called the "new birth" or "conversion", or a "new heart." It comes about as a result of the revelation of God's grace, His unmerited favor towards the children of men.

It would be good to spend a thoughtful hour each day contemplating the life of Jesus. By beholding this great love (grace) we will become like Him.

Last point: "And that we can loose it by     sinning." No, you cannot lose grace by sinning. You have lost the effect of grace upon the heart, so there is no abding in Christ and the power to resist sin is gone. Grace surrounds the sinner awaiting to be seen. Grace is not withdrawn until probation closes. Grace is continual and constant. It is available to the sinner for the taking. If one were not sick, he would not need a doctor. With our fallen nature we are in great need of medicine and that medicine is grace. The love of Jesus is never merited, it just is. Angels in heaven do not know of God's grace as we do, for they have never sinned.

I pray this helps to reveal the character of our God in a fuller manner than you had known before. Grace is more than a word, it is the transforming power that changes our hard hearts into new soft ones.  :) We need fresh stores of grace each day.

In His love and grace,   Richard


Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2000, 05:22:00 AM »
Building upon what I shared last night, I want to add something from my devotions this morning.  In commenting upon the death of Christ, the Spirit of Prophecy states "Even before he took humanity upon Him, He saw the whole length of the path He must travel in order to save that which was lost. Every pang that rent His heart, every insult tht was heaped upon His head, every   privation that he was called to endure, was open to His view before He laid aside His crown and royal robe, and stepped down from the throne, to clothe His divinity with humanity. The path from he manger to Calvary was all before His eyes."  "...yet for the joy that was set before Him, He chose to endure the cross." And what was that joy?

In His love and grace,    Richard

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.