Questions & Answers

1998, 4th Quarter

MATTHEW 10:16

When Jesus says in Matthew 10:16, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves”; what is this all about and who are the “wolves”?

JAMES 2

Why does James say in James 2:26 that “faith without works is dead”?

I CORINTHIANS 10:1

Why does Paul refer to the ones who came out of Egypt as “our fathers” when he says, “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea”? Is it the same as the fatherhood of Abraham, as in Romans 4?

I AND II KINGS

How did the people of Israel get to where they are in the books of I and II Kings, and what happened to put them there?

II CORINTHIANS 11:1-2

Though I am persuaded that the term “the bride of Christ” belongs to God’s program with Israel, it is puzzling when Paul in II Corinthians 11:2 says, “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”

GALATIANS 5:22 and PHILIPPIANS 1:11

What, if any, is the difference between “the fruit of the Spirit” in Galatians 5:22 and “the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ,…” in Philippians 1:11?

MATTHEW 21:18-19

Why did Jesus cause the fig tree to wither and die, as described in Matthew 21:18-19?

1999, 4th Quarter

GALATIANS 6:16; AND PHILIPPIANS 3:3

These three verses in Paul’s epistles are often used by ones who claim that Christians today are Israel, or spiritual Jews. While I know we are not Israel, just what is Paul referring to in these verses?

HEBREWS 7:1ff

Just who was Melchisedec?

JOHN 1:29 AND 3:16

Please explain to me your understanding of how John 1:29 and John 3:16 “pertain to the gospel of the kingdom (or Israel’s program) and not to the body of Christ.”

MATTHEW 28:19 AND ACTS 2:38

How are we to understand the references to baptism in the following texts: Acts 2:38 (baptized in “Jesus’ name”); Matthew 28:19 (baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost)? Why are they not the same?

2000, 4th Quarter

ROMANS 9:6-22

Could you please explain to me the meaning of Romans 9:6-22 in regards to God’s Sovereignty and Man’s freewill?

ROMANS 4 and GALATIANS 3

Romans 4 and Galatians 3 make it sound like the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant was in Jesus and those that had the faith of Abraham (Romans 4:13,16). Also, Galatians 3:6-9 makes it sound like the dispensation of Gentile Grace is part of the Abrahamic covenant, especially verses 8 & 9.

JOHN 4 and ACTS 8

Why does the Lord forbid His 12 apostles to go to the Samaritans in Matthew 10, and yet He Himself deals with them in John 4? And what is going on with the Samaritans in Acts 8?

ROMANS 16:7

What does Paul mean by “in Christ before me” in Romans 16:7?

2001, 4th Quarter

Genesis 4:3-8

What was going on with Cain? Why didn’t he respond like Abel? Why didn’t God accept his offering? What did God mean when He said, “sin lieth at the door”? And what is “the way of Cain” spoken of in the New Testament?

Matthew 27:52-53

Why were “the graves…opened,” and why does it say that “many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after (Christ’s) resurrection”?

Acts 3:19

What do “the times of refreshing” spoken about in Acts 3:19 refer to?

II Corinthians 6:7

What is the significance of Paul’s expression “on the right hand and on the left” in II Corinthians 6:7?

II Timothy 2:15

Don’t you think that the expression “rightly dividing the word of truth” in II Timothy 2:15 might be a poor translation, if not a mistaken translation, of what Paul is saying? After all Timothy didn’t have the whole Bible to “divide.” I think maybe the new translations have it correct, because I just don’t see where the idea of “dividing” could come from.

 2002, 4th Quarter

Genesis 15:13, Exodus 12:40-41, and Galatians 3:17

These three passages seem to be referring to the exact same era of time, but the number of years do not agree. Why is this? Some Bible commentators treat this as a ‘mild textual discrepancy,’ while many Bible critics point to it as proof that the Bible is not perfect and clearly has errors in it.

Tithing

Even though I know we live in the dispensation of God’s grace, tithing still seems to make sense to me. After all the ministries of a church should be supported.

Prophets

Is it proper for someone to call himself a prophet, or to claim to have “the gift of prophecy,” today? There seem to be many who do.

The Bottles of Heaven

What does God mean when in Job 38:37 He says to Job, “who can stay the bottles of heaven”?

The Book of Mormon

Those who call themselves Mormons, or Latter Day Saints, point to Ezekiel 37:15-20, Isaiah 29:11, and John 10:16 to prove that the Bible prophesied about the book of Mormon. Could you give me some insight into what these passages are talking about?

Galatians 3:19

What is the point of Paul’s statement regarding the law being “ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator”?

 2003, 4th Quarter

Genesis 15:9-10ff

Why did God tell Abram to take these particular animals; and why five of them? There must be some special significance to them, but what is it? And why did God go about making this covenant with Abram in the peculiar way described in verses 12–17?

I Kings 7:26 compared with II Chronicles 4:5

Why is it that I Kings 7:26 and II Chronicles 4:5 do not agree? It is obvious that the two verses are dealing with the exact same thing. Yet they differ by 1000 baths. Is this really an example of a scribal error, as some say, which would mean that the Bible does have errors in it? Or is there another reason why the accounts would differ? Also, this is not the only example of such a difference. Why are there a number of other differences between what I and II Kings say and what I and II Chronicles say?

Exodus 34:7

What is the difference between the terms “iniquity,” “transgression,” and “sin”? There must be a difference for all three words to be used.

Matthew 24:34

How can this statement be true when it is evident that the generation of men which lived at the time the Lord was on the earth is long gone, and numerous other generations of men have occurred since then?

Exodus 19: 7-8

When the children of Israel chose to enter into the Law covenant with God, was this a fully informed decision about what the Law would be like based solely upon what Exodus 19:4–6 records that God said to them? Or did they make their decision on more information than that?

 2004, 4th Quarter

Matthew 7:6

What does this prohibition mean and what is its application? And why did the Lord need to impose it?

Matthew 15:21-28

I understand from Matthew 7:6 and 10:5–7 why the Lord did not immediately respond to this Canaanite woman’s initial appeal. But He did eventually respond to her as verses 25–28 describe. So in view of this I would like to know two things: (1) what is the basis upon which a Gentile could be dealt with in God’s program with Israel; and (2) exactly what was it that made the Lord eventually respond to the Canaanite woman? Was it something she did? Or was it His compassion? Or what?

John 17

Why did Jesus in the latter part of John 17 pray that He would be “in” His disciples? Is this something different from having the Holy Spirit indwell them?

Numbers 23:7

Why does this verse speak of “Aram” being in the east, when my Bible atlas shows “Aram” to be north of Israel and Moab?

Romans 11-21

I have never found Romans 5:11–21 very easy to understand, but I am especially perplexed by the statement, “But not as the offence, so also is the free gift” in verse 15; and by the similar one in verse 16 that says, “And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift.” What is Paul saying, or teaching, when he makes these statements? And then what is the significance about ‘the law entering’ in verses 20–21? I don’t get it.

 2005, 4th Quarter

“LORD” and “Lord”

I know that in the Old Testament God’s title “LORD” stands for “Jehovah” and that “Lord” is “Adonai.” But what exactly is the difference between them?

Genesis 22:14 and Exodus 6:3

In Exodus 6:3 God tells Moses that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob did not know Him by His name “Jehovah.” Yet in Genesis 22:14 Abraham uses the name “Jehovah,” calling the place “Jehovah-jireh.” And previous to this he had called God “LORD.” So how can this be?

John 6:53–57

This passage is appealed to by Roman Catholicism to support its teaching of the Mass and the ‘transubstantiation’ that it says takes place with its elements. But what is the Lord actually talking about here, and why does He say it this way?

Matthew 7:15–20

Do men gather grapes of I know that this warning pertains to God’s program with Israel. But I am wondering just what kind of things these “false prophets” are going to say and teach?

Greek” instead of “Gentile”

Why is the word “Greek” used instead of “Gentile” in Romans 1:16, and also in other places such as Romans 1:14, 10:12; I Corinthians 1:22–24; Galatians 3:28, and Colossians 3:11?

 2007, 4th Quarter

Luke 13:6–9

I realize that God’s program with Israel continued on following Israel’s rejection of Jesus and His return to heaven, and that during that time God gave “repentance to Israel” just as it says in Acts 5. I also understand that in Luke 13:6–9 Jesus had given a parable about this very thing. But I am wondering if there is anything in Acts 1 through 7 itself that actually indicates the passing of the additional year the Lord spoke about? Or do we just take it that it had to be a year because of what the Lord said?

Acts 8

What kind of meaning are we to attach to the events recorded in Acts 8, (especially Philip going to Samaria), seeing how these things immediately follow upon the significance of Stephen’s ministry to Israel in Acts 7, which ended with him being given the vision of the Lord standing on the Father’s right hand instead of sitting, and Israel stoning him to death in view of it?

Ezekiel 20:5–9

In Ezekiel 20:5–9 God says that before He brought Israel out of Egypt He commanded them to ‘Cast away the abominations of their eyes, and not defile themselves with the idols of Egypt,’ but that they rebelled against Him. And He also says that this provoked Him to anger against them at that time, even to the point of ‘pouring out His fury upon them.’ Where in the historical record of the Book of Exodus did this occur?  

Exodus 15:22–26

In Exodus 15:22–26 what is the meaning or the reason behind the “tree” being cast into the “bitter” waters in order to make them “sweet”?

Daniel 3:25 and 3:28

Why in Daniel 3:25 does Nebuchadnezzar first say that “the form of the fourth is like the Son of God,” but then in 3:28 he says that God “hath sent his angel” to deliver Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego?

II Samuel 8:4 compared with I Chronicles 18:4, and II Samuel 10:18 compared with I Chronicles 19:18

Why is there a discrepancy between the number of “horsemen” in II Samuel 8:4 compared with I Chronicles 18:4, and then also between the number of men slain in II Samuel 10:18 compared with I Chronicles 19:18?

Matthew 6:14–15

I know that God’s program with Israel was in operation during the Lord’s earthly ministry. But why in that program does Jesus teach His disciples that they will only be forgiven their trespasses if they forgive the trespasses of other men? What’s the reason for this? And what effect will it have upon the disciples, particularly if their trespasses are not forgiven?

 2008, 4th Quarter

Isaiah 14, Ezekiel 28, and Revelation 20

I know that Satan’s coming destruction is described in Isaiah 14:12–15, Ezekiel 28:16–19, and in Revelation 20:1–10. I also see that both the Isaiah and Revelation passages speak of him being cast into “the pit,” and that the Revelation passage also describes how he will finally be cast into the lake of fire. However what is Ezekiel describing when he says that God will “bring forth a fire from the midst” of Satan and that it will “devour” him, and that God will ‘bring him to ashes upon the earth’? What is this all about, when does it take place, and where does it fit into Satan’s overall destruction?

I Corinthians 15:20–26

In the order of the resurrections given in I Corinthians 15:20–26 I do not seem to see a clear reference to our resurrection that will take place at the Lord’s coming for us at the end of this present dispensation of God’s grace. Am I just not seeing it? Or if Paul does not make reference to it, why not?

“The Fear of God”

In verses such as II Corinthians 7:1, Ephesians 5:21, Ephesians 6:5, Philippians 2:12, and Colossians 3:22 the apostle Paul makes reference to “the fear of God,” or to “fearing God,” or to “fear and trembling.” It is also apparent in these verses that he is speaking to us about being motivated by such “fear.” How is it that we are motivated by “the fear of God”? Is this the issue of us being afraid of God?  

Job 38:31

What are the “sweet influences of Pleiades” and the “bands of Orion”? And why does God ask Job if he can “bind” the one or “loose” the other? 

Exodus 32:1–4

Besides being an idol, it seems that there must have been some special significance to the “molten calf” that Aaron made and fashioned. What was it? And why when it was a “calf” did the people say “These be thy gods, O Israel,” speaking of it in the plural?

Moses’ Shoes versus Joshua’s Shoe

The accounts of Moses encountering God at the burning bush and that of Joshua encountering “the captain of the LORD’s host” at Jericho have some similarities to them. But why is Moses told to “put off thy shoes (plural) from off thy feet (plural),” while Joshua is told to “Loose thy shoe (singular) from off thy foot (singular)”?