Recently Answered

Had rain fallen from the sky before the time of Noah and the flood?

asked by Beth

This is a great question, while the Bible does not come out and specifically say that it never rained prior to the flood there are indications we can take from scriptures that it had not. In Genesis 2:5-6 we are told

“5 When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up for the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, 6 and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground”

This tells us that at least up to the time that Adam was created there had been no rain but there is no mention to what rain, if any, was present after Adam. The only other clue we have is after the flood. In Genesis 9:12-13 God tells us of his covenant with man and all living animals to never destroy the earth with water again. To remind us of this promise he gave us the rainbow. Since the rainbow is an effect caused by rain (light refracting through water) and since it was given as a sign of a promise, and must not have been present before that, we can infer that rain had not occurred prior. So, while I would not be dogmatic (argumentative) about it I would say no, it did not rain prior to the flood. So…. If that’s the case, where did the water come from for the flood?

Ask your questionWhere in the scripture is the “unpardonable sin”?

asked by jimmy

This is actually in two places, one in Mark 3:28-29 and the other Matthew 12:31-32. In both cases Jesus is responding to accusations some religious leaders had made that He (Jesus) was actually a demon and that he was using powers given by satan to mislead and impress His followers and not the Messiah Son of the most Holy God. Understanding the context helps in understanding the meaning of the statement.

Mark3:28-29

28 I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. 29 But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.”

Matthew 12:31-32

31 And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

In essence these passages are stating that speaking against the Holy Spirit is rejecting Jesus as it is the Holy Spirit that reveals who Jesus is. Henry Morris said it well when he wrote:

“The unforgivable sin of speaking against the Holy Spirit has been interpreted in various ways, but the true meaning cannot contradict other Scripture. It is unequivocally clear that the one unforgivable sin is permanently rejecting Christ (John 3:18; 3:36). Thus, speaking against the Holy Spirit is equivalent to rejecting Christ with such finality that no future repentance is possible. ‘My spirit shall not always strive with man,’ God said long ago (Genesis 6:3).

John 3:18

18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

John 3:36

36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”

Is it possible that there was a “gap” of time between Gen 1:1-2 and Gen 1:3? Possibly resulting in an “old earth”, young “creation”?

asked by Eric

The Gap theory is one of at least three theories derived by well meaning Christians who have felt the need to “help God out”. They have made well meaning attempts to merge the evolutionary model with the Bible and in some way have them both be correct. In reality this is simply not possible, even Darwin himself admitted that any entry into the evolutionary process by an intelligent being would make the theory a failure, The three theories are: Theistic Evolution – that God directed the natural process of evolution to get to where we are today, Day-Age Theory – that each day in the creative act contained a vast period of time, and The Gap Theory – which supposes that between the first two versus of Genesis (Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2) all of the billions of years required to support evolution reside.

As the story goes for the Gap Theory, God created the earth with dinosaurs, cave men (referred to a “pre-Adamic race”), and that all of these things existing prior to Adam and Eve. During these billions of years satan rebels and falls resulting in God destroying the earth and starting all over again about 6 thousand years ago with Adam and Eve and the 6 day creation take 2. So the entire history of the first creation of God is contained in Genesis 1:1

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

Satan falls, God destroys, and begins the new creation in Genesis 1:2 starting with the destruction of the old.

“ And the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.”

It is important to remember that the chapter and verse separation we see today did not exist in the original manuscripts; they were not added until the 12th century and were not standardized upon until the 15th century. As we can tell when reading at times there seems to be no rhyme or reason to why a verse starts when it does or ends where it does, it seems at times to be in mid thought. Which is why it’s interesting to note that in Hebrew, as in English, the word “and” (waw in Hebrew) it is a continuation of the sentence prior. Chapters and verses were added to the Bible as an aid in study and reference nothing more.

Besides that this theory has some other serious flaws. Such as if it is correct, which you would then have to assume that the fossil record is also correct in the dating of its age (which it is not) then when God said in Genesis 1:31

“And God saw all that he had made and behold it was very good.”

If satan had just rebelled, causing a huge angelic war and resulting in the total destruction of all life, things would be far from “very good”. He also would have made such a statement with Adam and Eve standing upon millions of years of death, disease and destruction. This would also, (and maybe with a greater impact to our beliefs), fly in the face of the many passages of scripture where God states that there was no death before sin; obviously if this Gap Theory is true then death did exist before Adam sinned and God did not tell us the truth and what did Jesus pay the ultimate sacrifice for? The sin of Adam? Or the sin of all the cavemen before who were killing, eating, and raping, their fellow cave men.

Romans 5:12

12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men,

 If we look at these unique flaws objectively I think its logical to then reject the Gap Theory as a nice try…. But not even close. As I said in my presentation, did God write His story (History) for His children in a way we could understand it or did he write some cryptic message we needed some other fallible human who is supposedly smarter than us to explain it to us. When God said “and the evening and the morning were the <fill in the blank> day” maybe he is trying to tell us a day is a 24 hour day.

Or when speaking of Jesus Colossians 1:16-18 says

 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.   17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.  

 Maybe that’s what God meant.

Was light separated from darkness on Day 1 or Day 4?

asked by Eric

On day one, the word used for day is “yom”, its the first occurance in the Bible and specifically describes a single solar day.

Genesis 1:4

4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. {4} {5}5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning —the first day.

Kenny, during one of your Sunday morning sessions we read a passage that included “..and God was counting the stars….” I though I had mad a note of that one but didn’t. Do you recall where that was?

asked by Jimmy

The verse you’re thinking of is Psalms 147:4

4 He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.

 

This is interesting because several of the stars have names that date back to ancient Arabic. Dr. D. James Kennedy did a series of messages several years ago called “Gospel in the Stars”. In that series he describes the unique and insightful names given to many of the stars in the constellation. For example one of the stars in Virgo is a star called coma, which means the “desired one”. In this series of messages he teaches that the zodiac was originally the gospel in the stars and each sign has meanings to scripture. Such as Virgo or the virgin (Mary) holding seeds in one hand (seed of the woman genesis 3:15) a vine in the other (Jesus said “I am the vine” john 15:5). The names all relate to the Biblical meaning and God told us Genesis 1:16 that he gave us the stars for “signs and seasons”. God even mentions the constellations in Job (which is the oldest book in the Bible after Genesis) 38:31-32

 

31 “Can you bind the beautiful Pleiades? Can you loose the cords of Orion? 32 Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons or lead out the Bear with its cubs?

 

Dr. Kennedy goes on to state that satan, as he always does, corrupted the true meaning of the zodiac which is why God later cautioned against it (Isiah 47:13-14).

Speaking of Job… in chapter 38:7 God tells Job:

 

7 while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?  

NASA has discovered fairly recently that stars do indeed emit a harmonious humming sound, something our disadvantaged Job would never have known. Just another example of science being proven in the Bible.

Is it possible to believe in both predestination and free will at the same time? Does scripture support one over the other?

asked by Rusty

David would probably be best to answer this one but I will take a shot at it, we will let scripture interpret scripture. The short answer is yes, I believe that you can believe in both predestination and freewill, at least I do. The Bible does teach us specifically about this subject. In John 3:16 says:

16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  

“Whoever” is says not some, most, the chosen, etc but whoever. Also 2 Peter 3:9

 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

 God is not wanting “anyone” to perish and he wants “everyone” who? I said WHO? EVERYONE!!! (That’s my charismatic preacher from Virginia coming out!)

 (Almost..) One more, for this one let’s go way back to the first part of the Bible, Genesis 22:18

 18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

Here God is talking to Abraham about His covenant with him and His promise that through his “offspring” or, “seed” in some translations, “all nations on earth will be blessed”. It is widely held that this “offspring” he is referring to was none other than Jesus himself. Referring to this verse in Genesis Paul wrote in Galatians 3:16

 16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ.

 So here again all nations, some nations? No, all nations WILL be blessed. The predestination that I believe in is that God has predestined us ALL to be with him.

In Exekiel 18:32 God said

32 For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live!

Enter freewill; man was given the greatest gift other than that of Jesus Christ in the form of Freewill, our ability to choose not only the path of pour lives but the path of our eternity. Most of our problems, woes, why bad things happen, etc can be traced in some form to freewill and a decision that was made by someone which affected themselves or lives of others. Some will chose to accept God’s free gift offer of eternal life but most will not (Matt. 7:14). While all are predestined for him, only an elect chose to accept and maybe when God says in Ephesians 1:4-6 (which is one of the foundational verses for “Calvinism” which is the belief that God only chose’s some of us to be with Him and not all and if you’re a believer then you “made the cut”) maybe He is referring to His omniscience ability to know all and thus before the foundation of the world he knows who will and who will not and thus he calls us the elect. At any rate ultimately when you read this particular verse is says “chose us” not some of us, or part of us, but us. You could as easily place “all” in front of “us” as you can some or part.   

 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love  {4} {5}5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—  {5} {6}6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.  

 Bottom line; God is a sovereign, loving God who ALWAYS makes the right, fair, and Holy, decision. He loves each of us and wants us to be in fellowship with him. I like David don’t believe God does “Duck, Duck, Goose” and all the geese goes with him and the ducks stay.

Can the devil ever be forgiven?

asked by Bailey Hook

Sorry this took so long to answer.

God is sovereign and thus can do as He wants to do, He can forgive whom ever he chooses. We are fortunate that he is also Holy, Just, and Forgiving otherwise we could not find forgiveness. So the short answer is yes, even Satan can be forgiven. However, to receive God’s free gift of grace and forgiveness you have to repent, turn from your wrong ways and ask. The Bible is God’s complete story from beginning to end and in it we can see that Satan never repents, never ask for God’s grace. In Isaiah 14 12-19 we can see what Satan is ultimately after, this account of Satan by the way was the story of Satan’s fall prior to Adam’s original sin, revealed to Isaiah in his time by the Holy Spirit. These are called the four great “I will’s” italics are my comments!

 12 How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! 13 You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; (Satan wants to rule in Heaven) I will raise my throne above the stars of God; (the “stars of God” are angels so Satan wants to rule above all the Angels) I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, (Satan wants to sit in judgment of us as we are the assembly) on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” (Satan wants to sit on God’s very throne, he want to be God.)  15 But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit. 16 Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate: “Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble, 17 the man who made the world a desert, who overthrew its cities and would not let his captives go home?”

 Satan’s tussle with God may have started here but it took its big turn when he asked to Eve questions similar to those he still asks today. Satan’s end however has already been written in God’s book, so we know without a doubt that Satan’s fate has already been determined not by a choice of God but by a choice of Satan. While Satan’s story has been written and sealed in the book, ours is still not final. So the question is, since your are destined for eternity are you going to spend that eternity with God or with Satan.

 Revelation 20: 2-3, 10

2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. 10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Did Adam and Eve go to heaven?

asked by Bailey Hook

Yes, Adam and Eve went to heaven. While the answer seems simple its the reason that is surprising. They are in heaven for the same reason that I and hopefully you will be in heaven, that is Jesus Christ. A common question people ask is since Jesus said in John 14:6 ” Jesus saith unto him, I am the way , the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” and since many, many people had died prior to Jesus being born and sacrificing on the cross how then can they be in Heaven when Jesus plainly says it is through belief in Him that saves. Jesus and the promise of salvation was made to Adam and Eve on the very day they sinned. In Genesis 3:15 we read where God (most likely Jesus himself but that’s another question) says: “15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” God is promising to send a “seed of the woman” (that’s Jesus) that will one day defeat Satan. So it is the promise of Jesus and the belief in His coming that provides the salvation. Oh and I’m sure that you may have asked this question not as deeply as I may have answered it :-). So just in case it was asked in the spirit of since they sinned first and cursed us all did they make it to heaven then let me say that while they made the first sin, and I’m sure they made many more, the Bible does not document any other. The Bible tells us that we all sin and fall short of God’s glory so yes they were first, not last, the same God that provided us a path to salvation provided them one as well.

Why did Jesus curse a fig tree?

asked by Bailey Hook

Note: Combined from multible sources.

There is a very reasonable explanation why Jesus cursed the fig tree even though it wasn’t the season for figs. Even before the season, fig trees produce little knobs which are eaten by a passerby.

As the late renowned NT scholar F.F. Bruce noted: “The other miracle is the cursing of the barren fig tree (Mk. xi 12 ff.), a stumbling block to many. They feel that it is unlike Jesus, and so someone must have misunderstood what actually happened, or turned a spoken parable into an acted miracle, or something like that. Some, on the other hand, welcome the story because it shows that Jesus was human enough to get unreasonably annoyed on occasion. It appears, however, that a closer acquaintance with fig trees would have prevented such misunderstandings. ‘The time of the fig is not yet,’ says Mark, for it was just before Passover, about six weeks before the fully-formed fig appears. The fact that Mark adds these words shows that he knew what he was talking about. When the fig leaves appear about the end of March, they are accompanied by a crop of small knobs, called taqsh by the Arabs, a sort of fore-runner of the real figs. These taqsh are eaten by peasants and others when hungry. They drop off before the real fig is formed. But if the leaves appear unaccompanied by taqsh, there will be no figs that year. So it was evident to our Lord, when He turned aside to see if there were any of these taqsh on the fig-tree to assuage His hunger for the time being, that the absence of the taqsh meant that there would be no figs when the time of figs came. For all its fair foliage, it was a fruitless and a hopeless tree.” (Bruce, Are The New Testament Documents Reliable? [Intervarsity Press; Downers Grove, Ill, fifth revised edition 1992], pp. 73-74; bold emphasis ours)

Another noted Evangelical scholar Craig S. Keener makes the following observation: “At Passover season in late March or early April, fig trees are often in leaf on the eastern side of the Mount of Olives. At this time of year, such fig trees contained only green early figs (Arabs call them taqsh), which ripen around June but often drop off before that time, leaving only green leaves on the tree. A leafy tree lacking such early figs, however, would bear no figs at all that year,” (Keener, A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew [Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, July 1999], p. 504)

Thus, what was thought to be an example against the veracity of the NT ends up actually becoming a rather persuasive argument for its historical reliability! This exemplifies the minute accuracy of the Synoptic Gospels, both in time and place, i.e. this took place during the month of Passover, figs located on the eastern side of the Mount of Olives etc. It also provides evidence for an early dating of Matthew and Mark – or, at the very least, shows that they were dependent on very old and early material – well before the fall of Jerusalem. After all, the knowledge of these details would most likely have been lost or unknown to authors writing after the destruction of Jerusalem. So, why curse the fig tree….

A short history lesson is in order :-)!

Centuries earlier, the Hebrew nation had been separated from the pagan peoples of antiquity to serve in a special role in the divine economy. In the days of Moses, the people of “Israel” were designated as Jehovah’s “firstborn” (Ex. 4:22), i.e., they were granted a priority status. God thus said to Pharoah, who held Israel captive, “let my people go” (Ex. 5:1). Across the centuries, however, the Israelite people frequently rebelled against their Creator. Isaiah once characterized the situation in the following fashion.

“The ox knows his owner, and the donkey his master’s crib, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand” (Isa. 1:3).

Read the prophet’s stirring rebuke of a wicked nation that refused to be governed by the Sovereign of the Universe (Isa. 5:1ff). While there were occasional periods of spiritual revival among the Hebrews (as in the days of Josiah, a good king – see 2 Kgs. 22-23), the tragic fact is, the nation was on a gradual, degenerative slide. Though they had enjoyed every conceivable spiritual advantage, they had become, for the most part, an utterly renegade nation.

In the symbolism of the Scriptures, a fruitless, withered tree was worthy of nothing more than being cut down (cf. Psa. 90:6; Hos. 9:16). “Withering” was a symbol of imminent death (Joel 1:12).

In fact, the OT often uses the fig tree as a symbol of national Israel:

“I will take away their harvest, declares the LORD. There will be no grapes on the vine. There will be no figs on the tree, AND THEIR LEAVES WILL WITHER. What I have given them will be taken from them.’” Jeremiah 8:13

“You may say, ‘The LORD has raised up prophets for us in Babylon,’ but this is what the LORD says about the king who sits on David’s throne and all the people who remain in this city, your countrymen who did not go with you into exile- yes, this is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘I will send the sword, famine and plague against them and I will make them like poor figs that are so bad they cannot be eaten. I will pursue them with the sword, famine and plague and will make them abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth and an object of cursing and horror, of scorn and reproach, among all the nations where I drive them. For they have not listened to my words,’ declares the LORD, ‘words that I sent to them again and again by my servants the prophets. And you exiles have not listened either,’ declares the LORD.” Jeremiah 29:15-19

“When I found Israel, it was like finding grapes in the desert; when I saw your fathers, IT WAS LIKE SEEING THE EARLY FRUIT ON THE FIG TREE. But when they came to Baal Peor, they consecrated themselves to that shameful idol and became as vile as the thing they loved… Ephraim is blighted, their root is withered, they yield no fruit. Even if they bear children, I will slay their cherished offspring.” Hosea 9:10, 16

“What misery is mine! I am like one who gathers summer fruit at the gleaning of the vineyard; there is no cluster of grapes to eat, none of the early figs that I crave. The godly have been swept from the land; not one upright man remains. All men lie in wait to shed blood; each hunts his brother with a net. Both hands are skilled in doing evil; the ruler demands gifts, the judge accepts bribes, the powerful dictate what they desire- they all conspire together. The best of them is like a brier, the most upright worse than a thorn hedge. The day of your watchmen has come, the day God visits you. Now is the time of their confusion.” Micah 7:1-4

In the blasting of this fruitless fig tree, the Son of God was suggesting this:

(1) The nation, as a political entity, had become a worthless mechanism in the sacred scheme of things. It thus was worthy of nothing but destruction.

(2) That destruction would shortly come (within forty years — A.D. 66-70) with the invasion of the land by the Roman armies (cf. Mt. 22:7ff; 24:15ff).

(3) The punishment would be complete and final; the “tree” would be dead from the very “roots” (Mk. 11:20).

Conclusion

There was a very good reason why Jesus Christ acted as he did on this occasion. It was not an impulsive act, it was not a misguided, irresponsible gesture. It was a deliberate, highly instructive warning to Israel and to us. Unfortunately, the lesson conveyed has been lost upon the minds of many.