The Key to Bible Understanding

CHAPTER IX

HELL

1. What is the meaning of hell, as used in the Bible?

There are four words in the Bible often translated by the word hell. In the Old Testament, Sheol, and in the New Testament, Hades, Gehenna, and Tartarus.

2. Can you give some scriptures from the Old Testament where hell is used?

Sheol is used 65 times in the Old Testament and is rendered "hell" 31 times, "grave" 31 times, and "pit" 3 times. In Ps. 31:17, "Let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave." The revised version reads, "Let the wicked go dumfounded to Sheol." Ezek. 32:27 reads: "They shall not lie with the mighty–which are gone down to hell (Sheol, the grave) with their weapons of war; and laid their swords under their heads." It was, and still is, a custom in some heathen nations to bury their dead and place their weapons of war under their heads. Ps. 9:17 reads: "The wicked shall be turned into hell (Sheol, the grave) and all the nations that forget God." "But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave:" (hell in margin) (Ps. 49:15)

3. Are there any scriptures in the New Testament where hell is used?

In Math. 11:23, "And thou Capernaum which art exalted unto heaven, shall be brought down to hell (hades)." In wars between the Jews and the Romans this city was completely destroyed. "The gates of hell (hades) shall not prevail against it (church)." (Math. 16:18) See also Luke 16:23, I Cor. 15:55, Rev. 1:18, Rev. 20:13, 14.

4. Where in the New Testament is Gehenna used and how often?

Gehenna, (the valley of Hinnom) used 12 times in the New Testament has a different meaning to Sheol and Hades. The Valley of Hinnom was southeast of Jerusalem. Into this place was cast all kinds of filth with the carcasses of beasts and the buried bodies of criminals. Fires burned continuously in this valley, not to preserve anything, but to utterly consume it. No idea of eternal torment was ever connected with this place. See Diaglott for further explanation. The terms hell, hellfire, into the fire that never shall be quenched, as used in Mark 9:43, 45 and 47 refers to Gehenna or Valley of the Son of Hinnom, (II Chron. 28:3) Jesus is talking to his disciples. It is better to enter into life–note into life–with one hand, one foot, one eye, than having two hands, two feet, two eyes than to go into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched, where their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched. Fires burned continually, worms worked on carcasses just as long as refuse was cast into this valley, but this place is no longer used as a place of utter destruction. Sodom and Gomorrah are "set forth for an example suffering the vengeance of eternal fire," Jude 7. No fire is there now, but its effects are eternal.

5. Are there scriptures that point definitely to the destiny of the wicked, and the rejected at the judgment?

In Math. 25, the goat class, rejected at the judgment go away into everlasting punishment." A completed something, not everlasting punishing. The punishment is death. Note the destiny of the righteous "into life Eternal."

6. Isn't the story of the rich man and Lazarus as given in Luke 16:19-31 positive proof that "heaven" is for the righteous and "hell" is for the wicked?

People who believe in hell fire and damnation for the wicked bear down on this statement in the parable: "In hell he lifted up his eyes." They mean of course the "immortal soul" or the "immortal spirit" which to them is the real person, unaware perhaps that no such terms are ever used in the Bible. Jesus is addressing this parable to the Pharisees, "who were covetous" (Luke 16:14) "and without a parable spake he not unto them" (Math. 13:34) i.e. the multitude. Can this incident be taken literally? The beggar died, and was carried by angels into Abraham's bosom (Luke 16:22). Can you visualize the angels carrying a dead man and putting him in Abraham's bosom? It is really ridiculous to try to make this incident literal.

7. Can you give a brief explanation of the parable?

Many Bible students have given various explanations of this portion of the scripture, but the one that appeals to me is as follows: The rich man clothed in purple and fine linen represented the tribes of Benjamin and Judah, the Jews at Jerusalem during our Lord's ministry, the five brethren of the parable then would be the ten tribes. Only the Jews had given to them Moses and the Prophets. The beggar, full of sores, represented the Gentiles whom the Jews considered as dogs. Nowhere in the parable is eternal or everlasting punishing mentioned.

8. Doesn't the Bible speak of some who will be "tormented day and night for ever and ever?"

Yes. In Rev. 20:10, you will find the above quotation. In Rev. 19:20 you read that the "beast and false prophet," these both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. Then in Rev. 20:10 we read, "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 forever and ever." The Diaglott rendering of the latter part of this verse is "day and night for the ages of the ages." In Rev. 20:14 we read that "death and hell were cast into the lake of fire." This is the second death. Utter destruction for the wicked, symbolically expressed in the above quotations, is expressed in plain language in many places in the Bible. Here are just a few referring to the wicked, "By the blast of God they perish" (Job 4:9), "There is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again…but man dieth and wasteth away…so man lieth down, and riseth not…They shall not awake…nor be raised out of their sleep." (Job. 14:7-12) "The wicked shall be turned into hell (grave) and all the nations that forget God." (Ps. 9:17) "The wicked shall perish." (Ps. 37:20) "The way of the ungodly shall perish." (Ps. 1:6) John 3:16, Eternal life or perish. "When the wicked spring as the grass…it is that they shall be destroyed forever." (Ps. 92:7) "Thine enemies O Lord–shall perish." (Ps. 92:9) "For yet a little while and the wicked shall not be." (Ps. 37:10 "His breath goeth forth. He returneth to his earth, in that very day his thoughts perish." (Ps. 146:4) "Man being in honor abideth not; he is like the beasts that perish." (Ps. 49:20) Just as long as people believe the lie of the serpents "Ye shall not surely die." (Gen. 3:4) and refuse to believe Gen. 3:22 which reads, "And now lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life and live forever." God drove him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken…the horrors of the Orthodox hell torments will give you trouble.

9. Have you ever heard a sermon on hell?

When I was a boy, an evangelist holding a meeting at Vilonia, Arkansas, advertised that he was going to preach on hell. One illustration of the duration of hell was as follows: "If the earth on which we live was a solid steel ball and you put a tiny ant on it crawling round and round, when the ball was completely worn away, then the damned in Hell would just begin to fry good." I had a hard time trying to sleep after listening to the sermon. God is love. He willeth not the death of any man. If we ignore John 3:16, we perish. In the death state, "the wicked cease from trouble and the weary are at rest." (Job 3:17)

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CHAPTER X

THE DEVIL

1. In the beginning God created all things. Did he create a devil?

No. "And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good." (Gen. 1:31)

2. What does the word, devil, mean?

It is a Greek word, Diabolos, and means a traducer, false accuser or slanderer, sometimes used in the plural as in I Tim. 3:11. "Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers." In II Tim. 3:3, "Truce breakers, false accusers," and in Titus 2:3, "The aged women–not false accusers."

3. Is the word, Devil, mentioned in the Old Testament?

No. The plural form, Devils, is mentioned in the Old Testament–and also in the New Testament. See Deut. 32:17, also Math. 8:31.

4. Is Lucifer, mentioned in Is. 14:12, the devil?

No. The word Lucifer means a "day star" and refers to the King of Babylon who had exalted himself above the stars for height. Verse 16 of Is. 14 definitely states that Lucifer is a man. "Is this the man that made the earth to tremble?" Note verse 4 of Is. 14, "that thou shalt take up this proverb against the King of Babylon." The climax of Is. chapter 14 is stated in verse 15. Where the King of Babylon (Lucifer) is brought down to hell (grave) a careful study of Is. 13th chapter, verse 17, shows how Babylon was brought down to hell. The Medes came against the mighty day star, Lucifer, and Babylon went down never more to be inhabited. (Is. 13:20)

5. The Bible speaks of War in heaven, Rev. 12:7, and verse 9 speaks of the Devil and Satan being cast out into the earth. Is this not conclusive proof that the Devil is a fallen Angel?

Please note that the Revelation was given to "shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass," (Rev. 1:1) and in chapter 4:1, "I will shew thee things which must come to pass hereafter," i. e. after 96 A. D. This does away with the idea that the devil has existed from the time of creation. Revelation is a book of symbols.

6. In Ezek. 28:13, we read, "Thou hast been in Eden, the garden of God." Doesn't the "Thou," here mean the Devil?

No. Verse 12 (Ezek. 28) reads: "Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the King of Tyrus." Tyre, once a beautiful city on the coast of the Mediterranean sea, "perfect in thy ways–till iniquity was found in thee." "By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence–I will destroy thee–thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more." (Ezek. 28:15, 16, 19) In Ezek. 27:32 "What city is like Tyrus like the city destroyed in the midst of the sea?" "Never shalt be any more," verse 36. The doom of Tyre is fully explained in Ezek. 26. The city was to be built no more, verse 14. A place for the spreading of nets, verse 5. The riches of ancient Tyre had been obtained by corruption and pride, so God removed her from a position of Edenic beauty and said, "And never shalt thou be any more." People who believe in an immortal Devil will take figurative expressions like "Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God" and try to prove the one in Eden was Old Nick himself.

7. Can you give the meaning of the term "Devil" and associate words found in the Bible?

The answer to this question is quoted in full, as given by Bro. C. H. French, of Australia.

THE MEANING OF THE TERM "DEVIL" AND ASSOCIATED WORDS

Let us now be clear as to the meaning of the following words:

"Devil" – From the Greek–a slanderer or accuser; diabolos–from "dia", through, and "ballo"–I strike.

"Satan" – A Hebrew word untranslated–meaning "an adversary."

"Old Serpent" – The symbol of sin, the means by which sin entered into the world of man, by the lie of the serpent "Ye shall not surely die." (Gen. 3:4)

"Dragon" – A symbol of evil; a hieroglyph, from the Revelation–a world-wide pagan and ecclesiastical system, which, at the time of the end, is destroyed by Jesus at His coming. Referred to in Rev. 12:, ch. 13; chs. 16-18, and it signifies the "seven headed ten-horned power." The whole of these terms are joined in the description by Jesus in Rev. 20:2, and this evil power is bound by Him, at His coming, for one thousand years. (Rev. 20:1-4)

THE DEVIL OF THE BIBLE

Now let us look at the meaning of the devil mentioned in the Word of God. Briefly, it is the personification of sin, as manifested through human nature, summed up in I John 2:16 as "the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life" – the sum total of the serpent-satan-devil-sin power occasioned through the temptation in Eden, and which has resulted in a continual warfare between the spiritual and natural impulses in mankind. This is proved from the Bible, as follows:

Because we are told in Hebrew 2:14, "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He (Jesus) also Himself took part of the same, that through death He might DESTROY HIM that had the power of death, that is, "THE DEVIL." This means that Jesus, was, necessarily, made in all points like unto his brethren, in order that, by being obedient in all things not yielding to carnal desires; and, though tempted in all points like unto his brethren, conquering and triumphing over fleshly lusts–and by maintaining this attitude till the offering of Himself in sacrifice, His death was the destruction or nullifying of the devil-power. He is the only one that has accomplished this.

Because it is clear that this satan-devil-power is the carnal mind which the apostle Paul said is "enmity against God" and he said "to be carnally minded is death but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." (Rom. 8:6-7)

Because Jesus said, "That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within out of the heart of men proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, laciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile the man." (Mark 7:20-23) Here in is shown the carnal mind–otherwise, the devil.

Because the apostle James said, "Every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed." (James 1:14-15) This lust is inherent in human nature, and when aroused and not restrained, sin results.

Because the apostle Paul said that the "flesh lusteth against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary, one to the other." (Gal. 5:17) Therefore it will be perceived that this warfare is from within."

Because the devil mentioned so frequently in the New Testament (but not in the Old) is clearly a term applied to men who are filled with wicked desires; for instance–

(1) Rev. 2:10, "The devil shall cast some of you into prison"–otherwise the pagan ruling powers of that day who cast some of the Smyrnian church into prison.

(2) Acts 5:3. The lie of Ananias and Sapphira. Peter said, "Why hath Satan filled thine heart – why has thou conceived this thing in thine hearth?" Otherwise, the wicked minds of both in conceiving the lie.

(3) Acts 13:10. Elymas, the sorcerer, sought to turn the Roman deputy away from hearing the Gospel. The apostle Paul said, "Thou child of the devil" –otherwise, a man of evil desires and thoughts.

(4) I Tim. 4:1. The apostle Paul warns Timothy against "The doctrines of devils." Here the word devils should be rendered "demons" –otherwise the false teaching of men of that day.

(5) John 6:70. Jesus said, "Have I not chosen you twelve, and one of you is a Devil?" Here, the devil was Judas–a man of wicked desires and the betrayer.

(6) Matt. 16:23. Jesus said to Peter, "Get thee behind me Satan." Peter had attempted to dissuade Jesus from going up to Jerusalem, and thus turn him from accomplishing the Great Sacrifice. Peter, therefore, for the time being, became an "adversary" or a "satan."

Because the apostle Peter said, "Your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (I Pet. 5:8): Verse 9 shows that this "roaring-lion-devil" were the afflictions caused by the persecuting powers of that day, whose fleshly minds were just the opposite to minds of the "Christ-ones," or Christians, as depicted in Pet. 4:1-4.

Moreover, the significance of the metaphor "roaring lion" would be more readily understood by the converts of those days, who, for the most part, were unlearned and unable to read.

Because the carnal mind is the devil, or satan, in operation against the spiritual mind or the will of God; therefore, the devil is not super-human, but human, as will again be seen from the following verses." –

(7) "Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof" (Rom. 13:14).

(8) The apostle Paul said, "If ye live after the flesh ye shall die" (Rom. 8:13).

(9) "The wages of sin is death." (Rom. 6:23)

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CHAPTER XI

PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE OF THE HEBREW RACE

1. Who was the first Hebrew?

"And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew." (Gen. 14:13) Abram, afterwards called Abraham, is considered the father of the Hebrew race.

2. Have the Hebrew people held to the idea of one God?

"Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord." (Deut. 6:4)

3. What did God say concerning Israel?

"For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God; the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people; but because the Lord loved you." (Deut. 7:6-8) "He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel." (Ps. 147:19) "Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God." (Is. 43:12) "You have I known of all the families of the earth, therefore, I will punish you for all your iniquities." (Amos 3:2)

4. What blessings were promised to Israel for obedience to God's commands?

"God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth. All these blessings shall come upon thee and overtake thee, if thou shall harken unto the voice of the Lord thy God. Blessed shalt thou be in the city–in the field–Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, the fruit of thy ground, the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine–flocks of thy sheep." Deut. (28:1-4) Israel's obedience was to be followed by rich blessings.

5. What was to be the punishment for Israel's disobedience?

Curses, listed in Deut. 28:10-68. The list is too long to quote, but note verse 37, 'Thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword among all nations." Verse 64, "and the Lord shall scatter thee among all people from one end of the earth even unto the other, and there shalt thou serve other gods." A careful study of Deut. 28 will help you to understand why Israel has suffered so much during their dispersion among the nations.

6. Can you give examples showing the sufferings of the Jewish race?

They have wandered the world over for a place of peace and safety, but the curses mentioned in Deut. 28 have been their lot. History records that during the first century of the Christian era, about 1,000,000 Jews were killed and the temple at Jerusalem was destroyed without one stone being left upon another. The remaining Jews were scattered all over the world. In the 2nd century, the Jews under Hadrian, revolted and 580,000 were killed and Judea became a desert. During the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th centuries of the Christian era, persecutions by all nations continued, and words fail to describe the sufferings of this imperishable people. In England, Walter Scott said, "The whole nation, from the rapacious barons to the foolish mob, banded together to persecute them." In Spain, 1,000,000 were compelled to renounce their religion and 600,000 were banished to other countries where they were not wanted. During the reign of Hitler several million Jews were slaughtered.

7. Is there an end to these horrible persecutions?

Yes. God has said, "He that scattered Israel will gather him." (Jer. 31:10) "He shall be saved out of it." (Jacob's trouble) Jer. 30:7 "Though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee." (Jer. 30:11)

8. Is God to make a full end of all nations whither the Jews have been scattered?

"For I will make a full end of all the nations whither I have driven thee, but I will not make a full end of thee." (Jer. 46:28)

9. Has the Zionist movement, started about 1897, anything to do with the present gathering of the Jews back to Palestine?

All Bible students who understand God's plan and purpose believe the Zionist movement fulfills Ps. 102:13, 16. "Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion; for the time to favor her, yea the set time is come. When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory." While I am writing these lines, December 10, 1953, nearly 2,000,000 Jews from 69 nations have returned to their ancient land of Palestine. The modern state of Israel was proclaimed in 1948. Has Christ appeared in his glory? Not yet. He pointed out in Luke 21:24-31 the condition of the world just before his return to the earth.

10. Will you please give a brief summary of Luke 21:24 to 32?

Just before the return of Christ, we are to witness "distress of nations with perplexity," "sea and the waves roaring,'' ''Men's hearts failing them for fear," "powers of the heaven shaken," "budding of the fig tree" (Jewish nation) and Bible students believe all these things indicate the soon coming of our Lord in "power and great glory." "When ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand." (verse 31)

11. When Christ comes, will the Jews recognize Him?

"They shall look upon me whom they have pierced." (Zech. 12:10) "What are these wounds in thine hands?" (Zech. 13:6)

12. Is there a glorious future for the Jewish people?

"Sing, O daughters of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughters of Jerusalem. The Lord hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy; the King of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of thee; thou shalt not see evil any more." (Zeph. 3:14-15) "Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee; I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame. I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth." (Zeph. 3:19-20)

PERTINENT QUESTIONS

13. Will world conditions improve before the return of Christ?

No. "Times shall wax worse and worse. In the last days perilous times shall come. People will have a form of godliness but deny the power (truth) thereof." (II Tim. 3:1-13)

14. Will man's efforts to bring world peace fail?

Yes, The League of Nations failed. The United Nations so far has failed. All future efforts of man will fail to bring peace. Why? "The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen (nations) to nought; he maketh the devices of the people of none effect." (Ps. 33:10) The League of Nations, the United Nations are devices of men, and all future schemes of men to bring peace will fail because they are all contrary to the teachings of the Bible.

15. What is God's plan for filling the Earth with His Glory?

God will send Jesus Christ. (Acts 3:20) God has appointed a day for Christ to rule the world in righteousness. (Acts 17-31) The God of heaven will set up a kingdom. (Dan. 2:44) Christ as the world's future ruler will break in pieces the oppressor. (Ps. 72:4) He shall "reign till all enemies are put under his feet." (I Cor. 15:23) "The whole earth is to be filled with His glory." (Ps. 72:19) "The Lord shall be king over all the earth." (Zech. 14:9) "Neither shall they learn war any more." (Micah 4:2-3)

16. What is meant by the Millennial reign of Christ?

The word "Millennium" comes from two words "Mille" a thousand and "annus" a year. The reason Bible students believe in the thousand year reign of Christ on earth is the statement in Rev. 20:4 "And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years."

17. How will the reign of Christ on earth differ from present rulers?

Present rulers are mortal–they rule a while, die and some one takes their place. The world has had some good rulers but none have been perfect due to one factor, human nature. "It is not in man, that walketh to direct his steps." (Jer. 10:23) "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; and who shall know it?" (Jer. 17:9) Three things are necessary to perfect government-power, wisdom, and goodness; Christ possesses all three and when he returns, he will rule the world in righteousness. All laws will be obeyed. "He shall judge (rule) the people with equity and govern the nations upon earth." (Ps. 67:4) "He shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears; but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for meek of the earth." (Is. 11:2-5) See also Ps. 98:9, Is. 42:1-4, Jer. 23:5-6. One of the first lessons the nations will learn is that wars and preparations for war must stop. "He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation. Neither shall they learn war any more." (Is. 2:4) See also Micah 4:3.

Christ's reign on earth will result in "Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth and good will to men." The promise to Abraham, "In thee and in thy seed (Christ, Gal. 3:16) shall all nations of the earth be blessed."

When Ben Gurion, Israel's first premier was asked what he meant by the Messiah, he replied: "Most Jews anticipate the coming of Messiah. By this, they do not necessarily mean a person, but the time when righteousness shall cover the earth as waters cover the sea. Some have the Bible view that it will be a person and that the Messiah will redeem the whole world, not only the Jews. Because of this belief some orthodox Jews do not accept the existence of the State of Israel to this day. They insist that the Messiah must come before the state of Israel can be accepted.

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CHAPTER XII

THE HOLY SPIRIT

1. What does the Bible mean by the word "Spirit" as used in above phrase?

Although invisible it is the power, force, life, breath, mind, or energy, through which God works. Gen. 1:2; Job 33:4; Psalm 139:7-10; Gen. 2:7; Acts 17:27-28. It is important to remember that it belongs solely to God.

2. What is the Biblical use of the word "Holy?"

"Holy" means set apart, special, or sanctified for sacred purpose. Examples: holy priesthood, holy prophets, holy people, holy day, etc. Dan. 8:24; Ex. 19:6; I Pet. 2:5.

3. What is the meaning of Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost?

They mean the same. "Ghost" is an old fashioned word abandoned by all recent translators and no longer used. Holy Spirit as used in the Bible means a special manifestation of the power of the Creator for some particular purpose. The expression is to distinguish this from what many call the "free spirit," or the universal all-pervading power that controls and sustains all things that exist. Acts 17:24-31; Psalm 104; Psalm 51:12.

4. What are some ways the Holy Spirit has been used?

It has been largely used in the promulgation of the Gospel. 2 Tim. 3:16; II Pet. 1:21; Neh. 9:30.

It was used to provide a Saviour. Luke 1:35.

It was the means of performing miracles. Luke 4:18; Heb. 2:4.

It was the "comforter," or helper, or counselor, sent to the disciples. John 14:26; John 15:26-27; John 16:13, Acts 1:3-5, 8.

It was by the Holy Spirit that the Word of God was delivered to man. II Sam. 23:1-3; II Pet. 1:21; II Tim. 3:16-17.

The Holy Spirit was a witness of the Gospel taught regarding the resurrection of Christ. Acts 5:30-32.

5. In what way was the Holy Spirit used in the preaching of Christ?

It was a witness that he was from God. Acts 2:22; Acts 10:34-39; John 3:32-36; John 10:38.

6. Read John 15:26. Does the "he" used mean the Holy Spirit is a person?

No. It is a figure of speech. See Proverbs 8th chapter, where "wisdom" is called a woman. Also sin, greed, mammon, etc., are personified. See Exodus 35:13; Matt. 12:33; Matt. 6:24.

7. Does the Bible teach the believers today are promised the same gift of the Holy Spirit as the disciples mentioned in Mark 16:20?

No. See I Cor. 12:29 and I Cor. 13:8, 13. Although the Apostles and their generation are gone, many of their words and teachings have been preserved for us by the Holy Spirit. This is part of the work assigned to the "comforter" in John 16:13, and also agrees with II Pet. 1:21.

8. Are we born of the Spirit now?

No. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. John 3:6.

9. What is meant by being born of water and of the Spirit?

Being born of water (baptized) changes our legal relationship from the law of sin and death in Adam to that of the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. Rom. 8:2. Being born of the Spirit (immortalized) makes us physically fit for the kingdom of God. Flesh and blood cannot enter therein; but flesh and bones energized by the Spirit of God, is a spiritual body fit to enter. Mark 16:16; John 3:5; I Cor. 15:45-54.

Baptism into Christ is the beginning of a new life. If we run with patience the race set before us and are acceptable at the judgment, a complete rebirth takes place. The one who does not die goes to judgment and this mortal must put on immortality, and the one who died and went back to corruption, comes to judgment, "for this corruptible must put on incorruption."

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CHAPTER XIII

MISCELLANEOUS QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

1. Did Jesus ever take part in politics or interest himself in the great problems of his day?

No. Even when the Romans oppressed the Jews, we have no record of interference from Jesus. He was sent from God and his mission was to manifest the Father's attributes by living them. "They shall call his name Emmanuel–God with us" (Matt. 1:23)

2. Can you mention a few major signs pointing to the soon coming of Christ?

(a) Regathering of the Jews from 69 nations and formation of the Israelitish state. "Behold the fig tree." (Luke 21:29)

(b) Peace cry almost universal. "No peace to the wicked" (Is. 57:21).

(c) "As it was in the days of Noah" (Luke 17-26) Godless world.

(d) "Parted my land." (Joel 3:2) "Prepare War" (Joel 3:9).

(e) Three unclean spirits: Fascism under Mussolini; Naziism under Hitler and now Communism under Russian leaders before the battle of Armageddon. (Rev. 16:13-16)

3. Does the Bible point to the final destruction of Gog? (Russia).

Yes. Complete destruction. "Thou (Gog) shall fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee." (Ezek. 39:4). "And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them." (Ezek. 39: 12) The stage is being set for Russia to "Come up against my people Israel as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days." (Ezek. 38:16) God's fury comes up and fire and brimstone falls upon Gog and thus the nations will know God. (Ezek. 38:18-23).

4. "God is love." He is good. Does the Lord hate?

Yes. "These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him. A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren." (Prov. 6:16-19)

5. Can you give scriptures that will help the Ecclesias to dwell together in unity?

Yes. I believe in the Golden Rule: "Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." (Math. 7:12) And "If thy brother shall trespass against thee go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone; if he shall hear thee thou hast gained thy brother. If he will not hear thee, take with thee one or two more…and, if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church" (Math 18: 15-17). These two scriptures faithfully observed would settle nearly all personal differences or misunderstandings.

6. Can you quote one scripture that indicates that the Earth is round?

Yes. "It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth." (Is. 40:22).

7. Has the Earth any physical means of support?

"He stretcheth out the north over the empty place and hangeth the earth upon nothing." (Job 26:7).

8. Can you mention a few scriptures that will be especially helpful to those who are trying to follow His Steps?

There are many. I suggest that you memorize the following: (a) "Great peace have they which love thy law; and nothing shall offend them" (Ps. 119:165).

(b) "The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that put their trust in him." (Nahum, 1:7).

(c) "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths." (Prov. 3:5-6).

(d) "Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say Rejoice." "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true . . . honest . . . just . . . pure . . . lovely . . . of good report . . . think on these things." (Phil. 4:4-8).

(e) "But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." (Rom. 8:9).

(f) "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." (Rom. 8:28).

(g) "Study to show thyself approved unto God a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (II Tim. 2:15)

(h) "Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience, forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you. So you also must forgive. And above all these put on love which binds everything together in perfect harmony–and whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." (Col. 3:12-17) R. V.

(i) "The Eternal God is thy refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms." (Deut. 3:27)

(j) "Cast thy burdon upon the Lord and He shall sustain thee." (Ps. 55:22)

(k) "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him." (II Chron. 16:9)

(l) "I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)

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CHAPTER XIV

RESURRECTION-BEFORE OR AFTER ARMAGEDDON?

The content of this chapter deals largely with internal discusions that may be confusing to the casual reader. We have chosen to leave it out of this on line version. The contents of this chapter is still available for interested readers at http://www.truthgleaner.org/.



CHAPTER XV

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON ZECHARIAH

1. Who is the man upon the red horse? (Zech. 1:8)

The man upon the horse represents the One Body of Christ, the Saints, in the execution of subduing the nations. (See Rev. 19:11).

2. What does the red horse itself represent?

The horse is symbolical of the Jewish forces which are to be used as the "battle-axe" of the Lord. Red is the color of bloodshed and war. (See Zech. 10:3; Nah. 2:3; Zech. 14:20; Mic. 4:13; Joel 2:4-11; 2 Kings 2:11-12; Isa. 63:2-3; 34:6; Rev. 6:4).

3. According to the testimony of this prophet, what is the ultimate destiny of Jerusalem?

See Zech. 1:16-17; 2:12; 8:3, 8, 22; 13:1; and 14:11-16-21.

4. What other great prophet treats of four great powers, corresponding to the four horns of Zech. chap. 1:18-19?

Daniel was the recipient of a vision explaining the meaning of the great image, same as Zechariah's four horns. (Dan. 2:36-44; also Dan. 7:3-7).

5. Who are the four carpenters of verse 20?

As these carpenters are to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, obviously they represent the saints, and their leader Christ. (Dan. 7:13; 18-27; Rev. 19:11-18; I Thess. 3:13; Zech. 6:5). Carpenters build houses and the brethren of Christ are the builders of the house of God, indeed they are lively stones thereof. (Zech. 4:9 and 6:12-13). In Biblical symbology, the four living creatures, four cherubim, four chariots, are all representatives of the saints. (Rev. 4:6; Eze. 1:5; Zech. 6:5). This particular numeration is based on the military encampment of natural Israel, i.e. a four-square encampment.

6. In Zech, the third chapter, verse 8, we find some one referred to as a Branch. Where else in the Bible can we find similar terminology?

See Isa. 4:2; 11:1; Jer. 23:5; 33:15; Zech. 6:12; Luke 1:78; John 15:5; Psa. 80:15.

7. What is represented by the stone with seven eyes? (Zech. 3:9).

This is another symbolism of the Deity, manifested in his saints (the one body). Eyes signify omniscience. Seven is the number of perfection and completion. (Dan. 2:34-35; 10:6; Gen. 49:24; Isa. 28:16; Psa. 118:22; Acts 4:11; Rom. 9:33; Eph. 2:20; Ezek. 1:18; Zech. 1:18; 4:10; Rev. 4:6-8; 19:12).

8. What particular location is symbolized by the two mountains of brass in Chapter 6, verse 1?

See Dan. 2:32 and 7:6; 8:8. The brass mountains evidently correspond to the brazen thigh of the great image in Daniel's vision. These represented the Grecian Empire. After Alexander's death, the image was divided between four generals into four separate sections. This is indicated by the four heads of the Leopard (7:8). Two of these principalities had a special connection with the Holy Land. One was directly south of Palestine, the other bordered on the north (the Egyptian and Syrian states of the Greco- Macedonian Empire). These are later referred to as King of the North and King of the South. See Dan. 11:40. Thus the two things of the image, actually straddle the Land of Palestine. Mountains are Biblical symbols of kingdoms and empires. (Jer. 51:24-25; Dan. 2:35). Therefore, the two brass mountains represent the two original Greek divisions of the Alexandrian Empire which embrace the Holy Land. It is from between these mountains i.e. from out of the land of Palestine, that the saints shall "roar-forth."

9. How can we be sure that the Jews are to enjoy enormous prestige among the nations in the future?

The Bible declares it to be so. (Zech. 8:23). The Jewish race, so despised now, is to become the most sought after and favored people on the face of the globe. Read all of Zech. 8.

10. What is the meaning of the two staves called Beauty and Bands of Chapter 11?

Another translation of beauty is "gracious." In I Peter 2:3 we see the Lord Jesus referred to thus. Bands, can also be translated "binders." These two staves were to feed the flock of the slaughter, verse 4. This refers to the Jewish people. (Isaiah 40:11). The two staves obviously represent Christ and the Apostles. They bound the poor of the flock to the great shepherd. "Beauty" was cut asunder in 33 A. D. (See Dan. 9:26). Christ was crucified, and the old law was superseded by the new. The "binders" were also later cut asunder from the people. (John 16:2; 9:22).

11. Will the Jewish race ever acknowledge the fact that it actually killed its King?

Yes. The word of God foretells the great distress of the people when they realize the truth. (Zech. 12:10; 13:6).

12. What geographical changes are to take place in the vicinity of Jerusalem at the advent of Jesus Christ?

The Mount of Olives will split, forming a valley between the halves which move North and South. This will enable a waterway to be effected which will connect the Mediterranean and Dead Seas. (Zech. 14:4-8; Ezek. 47:1; Joel 3:18). Also the City of Jerusalem is to be physically lifted up when a great upheaval lifts the plain, thus forming and fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah, Chapter 2:2.

13. What will be required of the nations in the Day when the Lord reigns in Jerusalem?

They will make regular pilgrimages to the throne of the Lord in the Holy City to observe the feasts and to pay homage to their King. (Zech. 14:16-21; Isa. 66:23; and Rev. 22:2).


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