This is a series of random questions and answers from the scriptures as they occur to me in the hope that folks will find this helpful.
Sons of Belial
“Belial:” worthless, a fool, the enemy of God; a term or name for Satan.
“Sons of:” to be just like, a servant of, a reproduction of.
Meaning: “Sons of Belial:” The foolish worthless unrepentant wicked who are the enemies of God just like Satan.
This Generation Shall Not Pass
Some people quote Matthew 24:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Some use this scripture to falsely claim that Jesus said that that generation in the first century would not pass, but the meaning should be plain.
Jesus was not saying that the first century would not pass, he was saying that he would come when we see these things happening! Matthew 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
This false teaching used by atheists to deny the scriptures is a willful false statement regarding a clear and plain scripture that the generation in which these things are seen would not pass before Christ comes. See the Matthew 24 article.
Genesis 22:16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: 22:17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 22:18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
Here God promises that all nations would be blessed through Abraham’s seed ISAAC and not his other sons. It is obvious that this refers to a birthright promise which would be handed on to Isaac’s descendants and not to the descendants of Abraham’s other sons.
All physical scriptural things are instructions in spiritual principles and the story if Abraham and Isaac is an allegory of God the Father and Jesus Christ. Paul explains in Galatians that the promise of being a physical blessing on all nations which was given to Isaac, was an allegory of a spiritual blessing on all nations through Jesus Christ the son of God the Father.
The Curse of Ham
Some claim that all of the children of Ham were black and that a curse was pronounced on all black people that they should be servants. This teaching was meant to justify the abomination of British American enslavement of many black people.
In fact most of the children of Ham were NOT black at all. Ham was the father of Mizrain who are the Egyptians and Ham was the father of Canaan the father of the Canaanites the descendants of whom are today’s Tyre and Sidon in Lebanon and the Franks of northern France, with most others having been destroyed. See the Genesis 10 article. The only son of Ham who was black was Cush.
In fact NO curse was placed on Ham or even on Cush at all! The curse was placed on Canaan who was NOT black at all!
9:22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. 9:23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.
Ham saw his father Noah naked, but Canaan is the one cursed here. Apparently Canaan had done something to his grandfather after hearing from Ham that Noah was naked and unconscious. What was done is not revealed it could have been only mocking and derision, but it was Canaan and NOT Ham who did whatever brought on the curse; which curse was on Canaan and NOT Ham.
9:24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son [grandson H1121] had done unto him. 9:25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
Canaan fell into great wickedness while Israel was in Egypt and after the Exodus God used Canaan as an allegory that the wicked will ultimately be totally destroyed. Yet Israel failed to destroy all of the Canaanites and some remain to this day. See this article on the Millennial Middle East.
Judah, Israel and possible Canaanite ancestry
Some would try to say that since DNA shows that many modern Jews appear to have some Canaanite attributes in their DNA, therefore they claim that Judah and Jews are the descendants of the Canaanites. They present this as evidence in an attempt to discredit the Bible history that Abram came from Haran after originating with the Chaldeans at Er.
Does this really discredit the Bible? What do Holy Scripture really say? Abram’s blessing was passed on through Isaac and then Jacob, who had twelve sons.
Now consider that the Canaanites had not yet fallen into gross sin. We know this because God said so when foretelling the future of Israel in Egypt. See the article on the Prophecies of the Exodus.
Genesis 15:16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.
Then ask yourself: “who did the sons of Jacob marry?” We know that Joseph married an Egyptian and that she was the mother of Ephraim and Manasseh, but who did Jacob’s other sons marry?
Answer: At least some of them them married Canaanites, and in particular Judah married a Canaanite and all of the descendants of Judah must therefore have a bit of Canaanite DNA.
Judah’s three children came from the Canaanite daughter of Shuah and his subsequent two children came from the Canaanite Tamar [Tamar being a Canaanite name].
The story begins in Genesis 38:2 And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her, and went in unto her.
All five of Judah’s sons had Canaanite mothers! Yes, intermarriage between Israel and Canaan was permitted until after Israel came out of Egypt. It was after the Exodus after the Canaanites had fallen into gross sin, that intermarriage was forbidden at Sinai,with the exception of the repentant Rahab.
The scriptures tell us quite specifically that all of the children of Judah had Canaanite mothers. Do traces of Canaanite DNA in modern Jews prove that the Bible is in error? NO, quite the opposite; it confirms the Holy Scriptures!
It is also quite likely that other sons and grandsons of Jacob also married Canaanites: and later when Israel went down into Egypt and they were initially held in high esteem by the Egyptians it is only reasonable that some of Jacob’s grandchildren followed Joseph’s example and married Egyptians, while others may have married into the mixed multitudes that dwelt in Egypt.
Why does God command Israel to say that they were from Syria?
Deuteronomy 26:5 And thou shalt speak and say before the Lord thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father [referring to Jacob], and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous [when they came out of Egypt]:
Abram was called out of Ur with his father Terah, however they settled in Haran of Syria and remained there until Terah died. At that point God called Abram out of Syria to go down into Canaan, therefore it could be said that Abram was a resident of Syria [a Syrian] when he was called to enter Canaan; and his descendants were Syrians living, yet not having any place of their own in the land of the Canaanites.
Tree rings and dating
Some suppose that trees form rings annually and therefore think that by counting tree rings one can learn how old a tree is. In fact tree rings are NOT annual rings at all, they are GROWTH rings. Rings are formed by periods of growth and dormancy usually consistent with weather conditions and available water. Trees form two to three growth rings or more each year and even more is not uncommon. It is impossible to differentiate periods of drought and growth therefore tree rings have no value in determining the age of a tree.
My Grace is Sufficient
What do the words of God given to Paul in response to his prayers for healing: “My grace is sufficient for you” mean?
2 Corinthians 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
12:8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” was a serious eyesight problem resulting from being exposed to the blinding light of the risen Christ (Acts 13). Paul tells us that God refused to heal him completely of this telling him that: “My grace is sufficient for you.”
Paul as Saul, had strenuously persecuted Jesus and the brethren for a time and when he repented God forgave him, that merciful forgiveness was the sufficient grace that God gave to Paul.
Yet, God refused to completely heal Paul so as to leave a strong reminder of his weakness apart from God; so that Paul would not become exalted in his own mind after his conversion, being constantly reminded of past weakness and sins.
Dear brethren, how many of us have committed may sins before we repented at God’s calling: Yet we are still plagued by reminders in our flesh or in our minds that trouble us?
Do not be overly distressed for God has indeed forgiven the sincerely repentant, just remember that God’s grace, his merciful forgiveness, is sufficient; and that while God healed the sin he sometimes leaves behind a scar as a reminder to keep us humble before him.
Grace can be defined in many ways depending on the context of the word, but the fundamental core New Covenant meaning is that Grace is God’s merciful forgiveness for all sincerely repented sin which is coupled with a pledge and commitment to go and sin no more; to STOP sinning.
Romans 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
Only the sincerely repentant who STOP sinning will be justified by the application of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
What is sin? 1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
What does the commandment say?
Exodus 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
This commandment, the breach of which is sin, requires us to honor and obey God the Father in heaven in and above ALL things. That include the ten commandments and all other laws, statutes, precepts, instructions and judgments and anything else that God might from time to time require. By example: What law required Noah to build an Ark? The very commandment to honor our father [both God the Father and the Being who became the son who is also our Father (Is 9:6) by virtue of being the Creator] in all things.
1 John 5:7-8 These three bare witness
1 John 5:7-8 is often used by Trinitarian’s to “prove” that God is a Trinity while others claim that 1 John 5:7-8 is spurious and not in the original text.
In A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (1971), Bruce Metzger, a noted authority on textual matters, writes:
The last twelve verses of the commonly received text are absent from the two oldest Greek manuscripts (Aleph and B), from the Old Latin codex Bobiensis (itk), the Sinaitic Syriac manuscript, about one hundred Armenian manuscripts, and the two oldest Georgian manuscripts (written AD 897 and AD 913).
In fact these “older” manuscripts are not the best and the Textus Receptus is far more trustworthy in every way. See our study on translations. Assuming for the moment that the last twelve verses of 1 John 5 are indeed scriptural: what do they mean and does 1 John 5:7-8 really support the Trinity doctrine.
1 John 5:6 This is he that came [dwells in us] by water [baptism] and [the sacrificial blood of Christ] blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood.
We are to be baptized in water and into God the Father and the Holy Spirit just like Jesus Christ was.
And it is the Spirit [the presence of the gift of God’s Spirit dwelling in us is proof of God’s salvation for those who live by every Word of God] that bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit: and these three are one [are united in their witness].
The Word of God Father and the sacrifice and resurrection of the Son and the presence of their Holy Spirit (nature) dwelling in us, all bear the same witness that salvation is through sincere repentance, a baptismal commitment to STOP sinning, the application of the sacrificial blood of Christ and the gift of God’s Spirit in us: if we STOP sinning.
This statement does NOT say that the Holy Spirit is a person and has nothing to do with any trinity.
The “three are one” does not refer to three individuals being one person at all; it refers to the witness of the presence of God’s Spirit in us, along with the witness of the Word of God the Father and the truth of the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ; being united together in witnessing the same way to salvation.
This verse has nothing to do with any trinity and does NOT say that the Holy Spirit is a person at all; it speaks of God’s Spirit being a witness of God dwelling within his people.
5:8 And these three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit [the presence of God’s nature dwelling in us], and the water, [our baptismal commitment to live by every Word of God], and the blood, [the atoning sacrifice of Christ]: and these three agree.
Now the rest of the rejected twelve verses which are completely consistent with all scripture
If we hear and believe human witnesses, the witness of God’s Holy Spirit in us is a greater witness for it is the witness of God dwelling in us.
5:9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.
5:10 He that believeth [and responds with the works of faith; which are sincere repentance and the zealous keeping of the whole Word and Will of God] on the Son of God hath the witness in himself [receives the Holy Spirit] and he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believes not the record that God gave of his Son. 5:11 And this is the record; that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
The fact that the Son of God, Jesus Christ, was resurrected and given eternal life; is a witness or an example, showing us that if the Son dwells in us through the Holy Spirit, and we wholeheartedly strive to live as he lived; we can also receive the same eternal life.
5:12 He that hath the Son [if the Son dwells in us by the Holy Spirit] hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
If Jesus Christ is not dwelling in us through God’s Spirit, and if Christ is not keeping God’s Word in us through God’s Spirit, we do not have eternal life.
If Jesus Christ is dwelling in us through the power and the vehicle of God’s Spirit, and he is keeping every Word of God in us and through us; then we have eternal life dwelling in us because we will be keeping the whole Word and Will of God just like Jesus Christ did and does!
5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe [this is for all those who are called out and are sincerely repentant having the Spirit of God] on the name of the Son of God; that ye may [believe and know that you have eternal life dwelling in you] believe on the name of the Son of God.
In conclusion: Yes the last twelve verses of 1 John 5 are holy scripture and yes they are consistent with all other scripture; and no, 1 John 5:7-8 does not prove a trinity and says nothing about a person-hood of any of the three.
The sin which is not unto death
1 John 5:16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he [If we pray on behalf of a sin being sincerely repented of (James 5:14), the repentant person will be forgiven.] shall ask, and he [God will forgive the sincerely repentant sinner] shall give him life for them that sinneth not unto death. There is a sin which is unto death [The sin that brings eternal death is the willful sin of refusing to sincerely repent.] : I do not say that you should pray for that. 5:17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death
The sin which is not unto death is the sin that is sincerely repented of.
If we sin and when we realize it, we acknowledge it and we repent of it, and we STOP doing that sin and turn away from it, that sin is forgiven and it is not unto death.
There is another sin which brings death, which is the situation whereby we sin and when we realize it, we say that we are justified in doing that sin; we are not going to repent and we are not going to stop doing it: Then we cannot be forgiven, simply because we have not turned away from it in sincere repentance.
Later if we do finally repent we can be forgiven, however if we never repent and continually refuse to stop the sin, that continual willful self-justified sin will bring eternal death.
Atonement and Justification are applied to the SINCERELY REPENTANT, who commit to stop the sin and to go and sin no more.
We can only be forgiven if we acknowledge our sin and we repent of it and we become sorry enough to turn away from it, and to stop doing it.
The sins that are not unto death are those sins that are unintentional and when discovered are sincerely repented of with a solid commitment to “go and sin no more!”
The sins that bring eternal death are those willful sins that we justify in ourselves and refuse to sincerely repent of.
The person that has sincerely repented and been begotten of God through the gift of the Holy Spirit, keeps himself pure from sin and does not commit willful sin, although he may sin inadvertently.
Those who are born of God in the resurrection to spirit cannot sin, for they are given the full nature of God and power over all evil.
5:18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.
The sin that is not unto death is the sin that has been sincerely repented of: The sin unto death is the willful sin that is self-justified and NOT repented of.
A key to overcoming temptation is to understand the value and cherish the birthright of our calling, and to understand how destructive and loathsome sin is; and to instantly thrust aside any thought of sin. If we dwell on temptation, it will grow in us until it bears the fruit of sin.
If we follow God’s Spirit and learn to abhor sin for the terrible suffering, decay and death that sin brings; we will not be tempted to do what we have learned to abhor.
5:19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come [to dwell in us by the Holy Spirit], and hath given us an understanding [the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of understanding and truth], that we may know him that is true [God the Father and the Son are truth, therefore their whole Word is truth], and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ [God the Father and the Son are truth]. This is the true God, and eternal life.
What is idolatry?
1 John 5:21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.
Yes, we are to keep ourselves from idolatry.
What is an idol? An idol is anything that comes between us and God!
Can your church be an idol? Yes, it can.
Can our friends be idols? Yes, they can, if we value them more than we value God and God’s Word. If we allow them to lead us astray, if we go along with what they are doing, even when we know it is wrong, we have valued them more than we have valued God and God’s Word.
Can your minister be an idol? Yes.
Can some man be an idol? Yes! If we say, “We must understand the Scriptures as interpreted by this or that person,” then that person has become our idol and we have become an idolater because we have preferred and loved someone else more than we have loved our God.
We must always put God first. Jesus Christ dwelling in us will be living by every Word of God the Father; if we refuse to live by every Word of God the Father then Jesus Christ will NOT dwell in us!
If we reject any part of zealously keeping the whole Word and Will of God; we quench God’s Spirit and Jesus Christ will not long dwell within us. By compromising with God’s Word we are cutting ourselves off from the trunk of the tree, Jesus Christ; cutting our branch off from the trunk and the roots of true godliness!
Remember the commandment against Idolatry and spiritual Adultery.
Exodus 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
The word “Church” cannot be found in the original biblical languages and is a deliberate mistranslation of the Greek work “Ekklesia” meaning “a collective assembly” G1577. Biblically the word Ekklesia when used in reference to believers does not refer to any corporate church organization and means any person who is called and faithful to live by every Word of God, regardless of any corporate religious association.
“Church” is an English word specifically commanded by King James to be used in place of the word Ekklesia.
The word “church” is substituted for an accurate translation of “Ekklesia” which means a people called out to God. To put it simply, the word “church” appears in the King James Version (KJV) because King James ordered it used there. He demanded that the word “ekklesia” not be translated by the word “congregation” or “assembly” or in the religious sense “the called out and faithful to God.”
In reference to a religious gathering, the English word “church” is always substituted for the correct translation; at the express command of King James.
The translators were forbidden to render the true meaning of the word, except in the three above instances and were required by the King to substitute the word “church.”
Rule 3 of the “Rules to be observed in the Translation of the Bible” specifically says: “The old Ecclesiastical [Roman Catholic] words [were] to be kept,” meaning the word church not to be correctly translated. The translators obeyed the King and that version is rightly called the King James Version!
Now, why do you suppose that King James made such a command?
Long before King James the Roman Catholic’s had also used the word “church” in place of Ekklesia, because the word “church” meant a building, organization or corporate entity!
When King Henry the VIII broke with Catholicism he placed himself at the head of the Catholic church in England now calling it the English or Anglican church and proceeded to govern and change that corporate church according to his own will.
King James wanted to keep his authority over the corporate church of England and could not permit the translators to inform the people that the Ekklesia was NOT a corporate body. It was not until the English civil war and the defeat of King Charles 1 in the 1640s that at least nominal religious freedom was gained by the English people.
The Gates of Hell shall not prevail
Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
This scripture does not refer to any specific corporate organization, which corporate organizations will come and go; this promise is primarily the promise of a resurrection to eternal life for God’s called, chosen and faithful.
The True Name of the True Church
There are those who claim that the true name of the true church is “The Church of God.” In fact the word “church” cannot be found in the Greek or Hebrew Holy Scriptures.
Further there is NO such thing as a true corporate “church” since all corporate churches are at the very best a mixture of peoples. The very purpose of using the word “church” is to conceal the fact that God’s people are not to be found exclusively in any single corporate an organization
God’s people consist of ALL those who have been called to God the Father through Jesus Christ, have sincerely repented, made a baptismal commitment to STOP sinning and to live by every Word of God and have faithfully kept that commitment.
In the scriptures the brethren are called simply the Spiritual Ekklesia, Brethren, the Brotherhood, the Assemblies of God, the Little Flock, the Sheep, Elect Lady, the Bride of Christ, the Saints, the People of God, the Host [Army] of the LORD, and various other such names; any one of which is just as proper as any other.
Eve, Latin Form Eva
Meaning: From the Hebrew name חַוָּה (Chawwah), which was derived from the Hebrew word חָוָה (chawah) meaning “to breathe” or the related word חָיָה (chayah) meaning “to live, living” so named because she would become the mother of all living human beings [except Adam].
Judah gave his son Er, Tamar to wife; but Er was a wicked man and God killed him.
Genesis 38:6 And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar. 38:7 And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him.
Then Judah called on Onan to raise up a son for his dead brother in Liverate Marriage.
38:8 And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother.
Onan knowing that any child would be considered his brother’s and not his own, obeyed his father and took her, but withdrew at the last minute in a form of birth control, spilling his seed on the ground to avoid impregnating her. He had taken Tamar under false pretenses and defrauded her and his brother of a son.
Taking ones brother’s wife is forbidden except for the purpose of raising up a son for the childless dead. Therefore Jesus Christ killed this man for his sin against his brother and his brother’s wife.
This sin by Onan was the sin of defrauding his brother and illegally taking his brother’s wife.
38:9 And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. 38:10 And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also.
Festival Attendance in the Kingdom
It is clear that some members of a family might not be able to travel to the annual Festivals because of illness, age, or advanced pregnancy and that some would be needed on the farm to care for livestock etc. However it is God’s intention that during the millennium when the Ezekiel Temple is built, as many people as possible will gather together for the three pilgrim Feasts at Jerusalem.
Zechariah 14:16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
In the future it will be impossible for billions of people from around the earth to gather in this one place at the Ezekiel Temple in Jerusalem three times a year; then the Festivals will have to be observed locally or regionally like we do today, with delegations representing all peoples going up to the Temple at Jerusalem.
Remember that God requires only ONE offering during the Fall Festivals. There are three pilgrim Feast’s during the year and one offering is required at each.
In addition to our Festival tithes for us to eat and rejoice with before God, and the Festival sacrifices of the priests on behalf of the whole nation; the people are commanded to bring an offering to God on each of the three pilgrim festivals.
Deuteronomy 16:16 Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks [Pentecost], and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty: 16:17 Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee.
Only three annual offerings are commanded, not seven offerings as some falsely teach.
Brethren, your regular generous contributions and Festival offerings make this work of warning and preparing the bride possible: they are very important and deeply appreciated. They help to restore and provide true sound doctrine in preparation for the coming of our LORD.