As always, feel free to contact me with comments, suggestions, and constructive criticisms concerning anything on this page.
Bible Page Index:
Detailed Bible Topic Studies
Interesting Verses: The Bible isn't dull OR boring!!!
Origin and the necessity of God's existence
The Bible stands on its own
What is God's name?
Non-biblical modern Christian traditions, should we follow them?
My parents' web page and Biblical projects
Creation and Evolution
Romance, Dating, Courtship, Betrothal, and Marriage
Faith and Reason
God and not sending anyone to hell
God and Evil
Age of Accountability?
If I should die tomorrow...
Judgement Day and Christ's Return
Christian web links (This is the same list as is accessable through my weblinks page.)
Back to Bill's home page.
Detailed Bible Topic Studies:
This is an expanding collection of detailed biblical studies on specific topics. These studies are primarily collections of verses speaking about a specific topic, categorized into subtopics, which I call sections. There are headings for each section that indicate the empasis of the verses in that section. There is a commentary at the top that summarizes what the verses say (and sometimes what the don't say), but other than that there is very little commentary. The ultimate purpose of these studies is to make clear what the bible says about about the overall given topic by attempting to include every verse about that topic contained in the bible.
There is a lot of misrepresentation of what the bible says about lots of topics, and these studies are an effort to set the record straight. It is also an effort to demonstrate that the bible is consistent. Demonstrating its consistency on one topic doesn't mean it will be consistent on all subjects, but it is a starting point. These studies are also an attempt to provide a "go-to" place for people to turn to in order to get an in-debth understanding of various biblical topics so they can be applied to our lives in ways that glorify God.
The Bible covers dozens, perhaps hundreds of topics, and I only have a handful of studies in mind or in the works. Those which are complete enough for me to feel comfortable publishing are posted on line. The copies on my web site are subject to change at any time and without notice as I find new verses to add to them. And in that regard, I would invite anyone with verses they are aware of that would fit into these studies but don't appear in them to notify me of the verse and reference so that I might add it to the study. Commentary and questions are, of course, also always welcome.
In addition to adding verses to existing studies, I would encourage others to study the bible on their own in a similar manner. If you would like to put together a study on a biblical topic organized in a similar manner as to what I have done with these studies, I would be more than happy to host it on this web site. Any study submitted will be hosted if it conforms according to my determination to the description I have outlined in these paragraphs. .
I would like these studies to be "open source" just like open source software, free of charge and free to use as anyone wishes. I am not claiming copyright to them. I desire that they be beneficial to others rather than to have a legal battle over. The only thing I ask people to recognize is that the version posted on my web site is not to be claimed by anyone else as their original work with intent to then claim I have copied their work, or to be used against anyone else.
So far, the studies that are available online are as follows:
Money, Poverty, Helping the Poor, and Stewardship of Resources
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Biblical Prophecy. The Bible is quite relevant even today!
After Noah's Flood:
Genesis 8:21-22 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart: ... "While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease."
Genesis 9:11 "And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth."
Because of these verses, I firmly believe that Global Warming will not remove the seasons from the earth, nor will there be another world-wide flood.
Matthew 26:11 For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.
Here, the Bible says we will always have poor people.
Jeremiah 5:22 Fear ye not me? saith the LORD: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it?
Ok, well, as we have seen in modern times, a tsunami can reach beyond the bounds of the sand, but even such a huge wave settles back into the sea from which it came.
Daniel 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
This sounds like there will be a vast increase in travel as well as knowledge. In the last 200 years, this has indeed happened.
Matthew 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
The last 150 years or so the world has been living in a time such as the world has never known. And as recent events, including tsunamis and hurricanes testify, natural disasters have the potential to create tribulation and troubles such as the world has never known. Come quickly Yahshua the Christ! Shorten these days. Help us to move on to the era beyond the present one, such that the world may never know such things again.
I tend to be an optomist, but I fear worse is yet to come before things get better. We cannot save ourselves, but a mighty good leader is on the way!
These verses are interesting by themselves, but without reading the surrounding verses, a clear picture cannot be put together. Therefore, the intent of these verses is to encourage you to find out more about what the Bible has to say to humanity in our modern age.
Then the cover of lead was raised, and there in the basket sat a woman! He said, "This is wickedness," and he pushed her back into the basket and pushed the lead cover down over its mouth.
(This has been used to suggest that women are evil, but I'm not convinced this is an accurate conclusion.)
Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.
(This has been given as an encouragement to students frustrated with school work to take breaks.)
As a door turns on its hinges, so a sluggard turns on his bed.
(Read this verse when someone sleeping rolls over in their sleep, especially when others are in sight. You won't be the first one to have done this!)
Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.
If you find honey, eat just enough- too much of it, and you will vomit.
(Be moderate in what you eat! While I haven't vomited for eating too much honey, I am convinced it can give me bad dreams if I eat a lot of honey before bedtime.)
Proverbs 14:12 and Proverbs 16:25 are exactly identical in the NIV. In the King James, there is only one word different. Can you find the word? The verses say:
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Gray hair is a crown of splendor. It is attained by a righteous life.
What does this say for anyone who claims that someone or something is "giving" them gray hairs?
If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap bruning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.
Such an enemy might need a combination food processor/word processor, so he can eat his words. Maybe he can use the coals to warm up his drink too.
Perhaps the most graphic verse in the Bible? This is proof that the Bible can be quite "colorful". This verse is so graphic, I'm leaving it as an excersize to the reader to look it up. I strongly suggest you read the entire chapter to get the context, if not the entire Bible. This isn't the only verse that is quite graphic.
This verse brings up the issue of why the Bible mentions things that many Christians would want to censor from TV shows, books, movies, etc. My answer to this challenge is that the Bible must mention some things of this nature because these things are part of human nature. The Bible doesn't include these things for entertainment value but rather because they are a part of reality that must be dealt with in a way that is honoring to God. Unlike many TV shows, the Bible does not dwell on these subjects more than necessary. Therefore, I believe it is critical that when we are exposed to such things, we put them in the proper context, then move on, not dwelling on that topic. Let me also be careful to say that we should not deliberately expose young children to these things until we have given them a foundation upon which they are better prepared to deal with these things in a God glorifying (Biblical) way.
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The ultimate questions of life can start by asking "Why does anything exist at all?" Since stuff does exist, we must ask why. Is the universe sufficient to explain its own existence? In short, no. The first law of thermodynamics says that matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed, but only change form. Energy can create matter, but energy is not nothing. At the quantum level, subatomic particles seem to go in and out of existence, but they may simply be going in and out of detection, and of course, there is no net gain in the total amount of available matter. The second law of thermodynamics demands that the universe will cool until all available energy is spent. This will take a finite, not infinite length of time. Just like finding a hot cup of tea in a cool room tells you that a measureable length of time has passed since the tea was heated, so finding a universe full of energy flowing only from and not into concentrated sources tells you that someone (or something) heated those sources a finite length of time ago. If the universe has been here for ever, as would be required if there is no God, then the universe would have cooled off long ago, just like the cup of tea matching its surrounding temperature. Thus, there are two basic explanations for the existence our universe. One is that an infinite source of energy exists, and the other is that an infinite God exists.
Since an infinite is impossible to measure because it can't be quantified, and a spirit can't be directly detected in the physical world, the two theories can't be proven directly and thus faith is required to believe either of them. We can, however, compare the expected effects of each theory with the observations of the universe. The basic children's lesson in this is that we can't see the wind, but we can know it is there by its effects. If an infinite energy source is the explanation, why should it have any variation in its form, much less create a universe in which man can not only exist, but survive and even thrive to the point where he can ask such questions? The other alternative is that there is an infinite God.
All of the following things are difficult or impossible to explain if there is no non-physical, non-deterministic force controlling the universe, but are easy to explain if a free acting, infinitely powerful non-physical spirit being exists. Indeed, these things suggest that such a force not only exists but created the universe for a purpose and even cares about mankind. The universe is designed such that it supports life, with a long list of factors that could change just slightly and make life impossible. There's no reason why the universe should be as it is, but the athiest would have to accept that it just happened that way. Science tells us that the universe had a beginning a finite time ago, and thus a cause (see above). What was this cause? Another is that life exists and humans have free will. There is also the human need to worship expressed in the fact that every civilization down through history has some form of religion. The Bible is consistent despite being written by some 40 people over several thousand years on 3 continents and in several languages. There's the fact of changed lives, people going from living a life of major sin to getting "saved" and living morally upright for the rest of their natural life. And there are others. The evidence seems to point toward an infinite-personal God, and thus it actually requires more faith to believe the alternative.
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The Christian Bible is available in numerous translations in many different languages. I would suggest that most of them contain the essential elements and message that allow Christianity to have a firm foundation. However, I have yet to meet a serious student of the Bible who does not think that some translations are better than others, or at the very least, that certain verses should have been translated differently. So how are we to determine what is the most accurate translation? We could spend our lives studying the history of the translating and copying of the Bible and what happened to all the original and copy manuscripts. Some do this, and I applaud them. But since this could easily take a lifetime, we would be left with little time to actually study what the Bible says, much less practice the teachings we find. But as far as knowing that what we have today is sufficiently close to what the original was, we can let the Bible, as it stands on its own, with all the thousands of manuscripts and translations that exist, speak for itself.
I would agree with the Bible's claim to innerancy in terms of the original scriptures in the sense of it being God's special revelation to man. What I mean by this is that the few technical discrepancies, for example where a king was claimed to begin his reign at two different ages, does not destroy the overall credibility of the Bible. It also does not destroy the essential messages and complementary moral teachings that God has revealed to man and that are consistent throughout the text.
There are many claimed contradictions, errors, etc. (wether true or not), but I believe that many of them can be unraveled using the following criteria. Why must all rational thought end when we think we have found a problem, something we don't understand, or an apparent contradiction? I'll suggest that we can use the following methods to help us understand what is meant by such troubling passages.
We cannot assume that an event did or did not happen just because it isn't stated. This is consistent because the Bible does not claim to be exhaustive truth. Thus we can suggest that any unstated event may have happened in any given Biblical passage. If the inferred event makes sense, doesn't cause a contradiction, or removes the contradiction, you can say that it may have happened that way. If it causes a contradiction or doesn't make sense, you can safely say that it didn't happen that way, but this doesn't invalidate that passage. Only if no possible sequence of events removes the contradiction in a way that can ever make sense can we say that the passage is in error.
Secondly, we need to read things in context. To whom is the text speaking, or what objects is it talking about? Is it intended to apply globally or just to the situation at hand? Is it poetry, parable, historical, etc.? A helpful study hint that I learned is that whenever a verse says "Therefore," read the verses before it to see what it is "there for." The words "For" and "So" also suggests that the following statement applies to what was said before it.
And finally, we can compare a troubling passage with other passages that talk about the same concept to obtain a better understanding of what the passage is talking about.
As for the technical errors, one suggestion is that this shows that man has made no effort to fix them, a testimony to the high degree of attention to accuracy in translation down through the ages. This is the idea that once such an error or supposed error has been made, it is replicated consistently, in much the same way that a computer copies text documents exactly as they appear, even though words may be spelled wrong.
Here is a web page that covers the basics in answering the question: How do I know the Bible is true?
Like I said, you could spend a lifetime trying to resolve supposed conflicts and contradictions, but let me suggest that you'd be much more productive studying the things we can understand and applying them to modern life. You may be amazed if you don't know already the many simple answers the Bible has to today's complex problems. Some of these answers I attempt to present on my web site.
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The Bible is full of verses that refer to the name of God. Among the best known of these verses is Acts 4:12: "There is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved." Also, the second commandment: Do not take the Name of the Lord your God in vain. I therefore think it's helpful to know more about God's name.
The words "Lord" and "God" are titles, and the name "Jesus" was not around at the time of Chirst. In Biblical days, the name given to the Hebrews as the name of God is represented by the four Hebrew letters transliterated as "YHWH." This is referred to as the tetragramaton, and is most commonly pronounced as Yahweh. These facts can be seen in the footnotes of the NIV Bible. Yahweh means "I Am" and emphasizes that Yahweh God simply exists, always has, and always will. It is also fairly commonly known that the name for the Messiah is Yashua, also sometimes spelled as Yahshua.
For more information on this topic, visit the following web site:
History of the letter "J"; note that it wasn't around at the time of the Messiah: http://www.encyclopedia.com/html/J/J.asp More links will be added when I get to work on this more thoroughly.
All of this is NOT to diminish the fact that a name identifies a person, and in a broader sense, I hold even more firmly to what Yahshua said of himself in John 14:6 than I do to what I have said above. John 14:6 says: "Yahshua said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me."
A verse for which its meaning really comes alive when the names Yahweh and Yahshua are used
God's name is Yahweh
Yah is a shortened form of Yahweh
The messiah's name is Yashua, sometimes also spelled Yahshua.
Yahshua comes from Yah (God's shortened name) and shua, which comes from Joshua, which means to save.
Once this is understood, the significance of Yahshua's name becomes apparent. It literally means:
The name Yahshua also Links Yahweh (God) and Yahshua (Jesus Christ) together quite nicely, helping to make clear that Jesus, who is Yahshua, is Yahweh God, just as He claims to be, as in this verse:
John 8:58 "Jesus said unto them, 'Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM.'"
All this is helpful for understanding this verse:
Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
If we replace "Jesus" with the more formal and original name Yahshua, the part of the verse that says "He shall save his people from their sins" makes more sense, because we have in the name Yahshua a direct reference to Yahweh God tied together with a word meaning to save.
Using the words God, Lord, and Jesus, there are no directly apparent root word connections, making the connection harder to see. To see the connection in these words, the meaning of each word must be understood, and the link made through their meanings, rather than imbedded directly in the actual words used by use of the same root word.
Why not use Yahweh and Yahshua more frequently?
If the name of God (Yahweh) is so important, why then do we use titles (God and Lord) and the translated name Jesus almost exclusively in our churches and Bible studies, literature, and even in virtually all modern versions of the Bible in place of what we know are names much closer to the truth, if not the precise names themselves?
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Modern Christianity has a lot of Greek, Roman, and even pagan traditions attached to it. While it may not be wrong to recognize these things, it would certainly be worth while to review them so we can move ever closer to the truth. Here are some of these things.
Christmas is not a Biblical Holiday
What day should we worship on?
I see no scriptural basis for worshipping on Sunday as opposed to any other day. The best arguement given for Sunday worship is that this is the day the Messiah rose from the tomb. But there is still no command for Sunday worship. The following site makes this pretty clear. The last verse quoted on this page I have not studied carefully enough to place my full confidence in their interpretation, but I can't say they are wrong either. It is probably this verse that is the strongest arguement used for NOT keeping the Saturday Sabbath, but I wouldn't put all my faith on that either.
Another common verse is in Hebrews where we are told not to neglect the assemblying together of the saints. But this verse says nothing about what day we should worship on.
Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
I see nothing wrong with gathering with fellow Christians and worshipping on any particular day. And I don't see any justification for saying it has to be on any particular day other than the Sabbath. Specifically, the 4th commandment commands us to keep the sabbath. The question is if that command is included in the ceremonial law and was therefore fulfilled in Christ's death and therefore the specific day of rest no longer applies. It is also a question of if the assembly was to be on the sabbath.
What I think IS clear is that all people need one day of rest a week, in which they cease doing their regular work and deliberately do as little work as possible. I will study this further and update this information as I learn more.
The Greek style of education is not Biblical.
Greek style education is knowledge oriented (like our government and private schools, and even the curriculum driven home school environment in many cases). The Hebrew style is relationship oriented, where a relationship between student and teacher is the goal, much like would be found in a healthy family. See my notes on teaching and instruction in my parenting seminar.
Also, take a look at http://www.boldchristianliving.com
No, I didn't just finish a prayer. This word, commonly used to mean "it is finished" or "so be it" also happens to be the name of an Egyptian god! Check out this link:
With that in mind, consider this verse: Exodus 23:13: And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth. (KJV)
I report, you decide!
A little editorial here: I understand that many ancient words once used for pagan purposes and/or names of pagan/false gods have come to mean different things today. Indeed, according to some web sites, there are so many such words that it would be virtually impossible to speak the English language! That being said, in the case of the word "amen" I do not think it is a serious matter if one continues to use the word. My question, then, is this: Why has the word "amen" become so pervasive in Christian circles in the way it is used?
The oprganizational church
There is little or no precident in the Bible for the highly organized church as we know it today. Not that they didn't have any structure, but they certainly didn't have the denominational divisions as we have them today. And the Bible stresses the importance of our relationships far more than church offices. Somewhere in between is the model we should be striving to follow.
The Trinity The trinity (the word trinity never appeaers in the Bible!) is a concept derived from the many statements in the Bible that refer to God the Father (Yahweh), God the Son (Yahshua), and God the Holy Spirit. Yahweh God is spirit (John 4:24), His spirit indwells Christ (Yahshua) (Colossians 2:9), and His spirit is the Holy Spirit. And these three are one (1 John 5:7). So there really is only one, in at least 3 distinct forms, at least from our perspective. But God also appears as a burning bush (Exodus 3:2), a pillar of fire and a pillar of smoke (Exodus 13:21), a "still, small voice" (1 Kings 19:11-15), and many other forms as well.
I do not at all deny the deity of Christ, or of the Holy Spirit, or that God the Father and these "other two" are one. But the Bible never referrs to them as a trinity, so I see no reason why anyone should be required to refer to Yahweh God as "the trinity." I think another acceptable term is "tri-unity."
There is a lot more than this!
There are a number of other differences between modern Christian practices and what scripture actually commands, and I will add them to this space as I study them and come to understand them. I will also improve on the above text.
Other contemporary Christian practices that may not be biblical:
The modern style of celebrating Easter
Hierarchical organization in the Church, where the clergy hold official (and often paid) offices and everybody else are just "lay people"
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My parents have created a web page containing a verse memorization booklet, challenging Biblical riddles, and some other interesting Bible related stuff, with an emphasis on the Bible's references to sheep. The address is: http://www.ensingers.com/sheepeople.
Over the past several years, my mother has been creating numerous Bible lessons, many of which allow you to look up Bible verses, and fill in blanks. Some of them get more in depth than that, but since I haven't been a big part of that, I can't say much more than this. However, I would like to see them available on the internet, and I will probably be the one to initiate this project.
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I don't believe in theistic Evolution any more than non-theistic Evolution, but I still believe that God can use "chance" as a tool to fulfill his purpose.
"The" Theory of Evolution, that all life evolved from non-life by processes undirected by a higher power, is questionable at best, and I do not believe that is what happened. Since the definition of evolution is somewhat ambiguous, let me make it clear that I am referring here to what I described above, that life came from non-life purely by natural processes. I do not deny the existence of evolution, if defined only as change from generation to generation. What has happened since then, regardless of speciation, merging of species, or species changing into other species lends no evidence to the theory that life began from non-life. The bible is also clear that Adam and Even were the first two humans, and that they were created separately from other animals, not evolved from other animals. This is clear from the Biblical text. Adam and Eve were created from the dust of the earth, and indeed, Eve was created well within Adam's own lifespan. The Bible is very clear that Adam was in existence before Eve's creation, as God and Adam searched the animal kingdom and found no suitable companion. Then Eve was formed while Adam slept, and was partially created from one of his ribs. Adam and Eve also lived together after they were created. Even if the human race evolved from the animals, then only one human could possibly have appeared as a child of some animal, and that human was Adam. God created the other human from the first one's rib, so she did not evolve from some other animal. The biblical geneaologies never mention any humans before Adam and Eve as well. Some people suggest these portions of scripture are poetic, but I see no reason to think that they are.
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This is just a collection of verses, verse references, and/or my comments/summaries on what they say at this point.
Gen. 2:18 It is not good for man to be alone. Gen 19-20, God introduces all the animals to Adam, but there was no helper found for Adam
Mal. 2:15 God's desire for people to marry and have children
We should be satisfied with the possibility to remain single all our lives! (in one of Paul's letters)
Song of Solomon 2:7; 3:5; 8:4): "I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, Do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases."
Example of pre-married situations in the lives of Mary and Joseph from Matthew 1
From an article by Jonathan Lindval (www.boldchristianliving.org) In scripture God not only uses betrothal and marriage as an illustration of His relationship with us, but He also reverses this, teaching us about the proper relationship between husbands and wives by studying His dealing with us (see Eph. 5:22-33). It is interesting that the church is likened to a bride, with Christ as the groom (John 3:29, Rev. 21:2, 9; 22:17). But has the wedding taken place yet? When is the "marriage supper of the Lamb" (Rev. 19:9)? This is a future event we all look forward to. But that means the church is not yet married to Christ! ... Could He change His mind and call off the wedding? No! We were bought, have been redeemed by Christ's own blood. The dowry has been paid!
The church is not married to Christ yet. We are betrothed to Him! We will never fully understand our relationship to Christ without understanding betrothal. Paul said (2 Cor. 11:2) "For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ."
Laws regarding pre-marriaged situations Ex. 22:16-17, Deut. 22:28-29, Deut. 22:22-27 including a situation where someone has sex while betrothed
1 Thessalonians 4:6 "That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter" presumably including emotional and physical purity
Betrothed woman regarded as a man's wife Luke 2:5
Jacob's betrothal to Rachel was 7 years! Gen. 29:18-20
Pattern of betrothal based on the example of Christ's marriage to the church:
It may be typical in biblical times for a betrothed couple to not even be aware of the wedding date!
See the parable of the Ten Virgins (Matt 25:1-13) and the pattern set by the church's marriage to Christ in Mark 13:32 when he said, "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."
In the meantime the couple prepares:
Father of the Groom:
Matthew 22:2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son
and following verses The husband:
John 14:2-3), "In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also."
Revelation 19:7-8, "Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints."
When the groom finally arrives, he arrives with a shout! Matthew 25:6 & 1 Thes. 4:16
Gen. 2:24 "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Proverbs 18:22 "Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD."
Herews 13:4 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
Colossians 3:19, Eph. 5:25; Tit. 2:4 Love your wife, love your husband
Paul's exortation to married people about physical intimacy, followed by other commandments and exortations about marriage I Corinthians 7 1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. 3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. 5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. 6 But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment. 7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. 8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. 9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn. 10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: 11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife. 12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. 13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. 15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace. 16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?
Laws regarding divorce Deuteronomy 24 1 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. 2 And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife. 3 And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; 4 Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance. 5 When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.
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It has been suggested that faith is the anthesis of reason. I would agree, since faith is accepting as true something for which there is no direct evidence. Most religions emphasize some amount of faith, and Christianity seems to make faith one of the essentials of the Christian person's life. However, it has been correctly pointed out that a person could use faith to support the belief in almost anything. With faith, one can put aside all logic, rational thought, reality, and objective observation that provides true evidence for or against something. This fact has been used to criticize Christianity and other religions, particularly to point out the acceptance for a belief for which there is clear evidence that the belief is false.
I would respond to this accusation by pointing out what kind of faith the Bible asks Christians to have. The Bible defines faith quite clearly in Hebrews 11:1, which says "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see." Note that there is no mention of what we do see. Thus faith is not the belief in the irrational. Nobody alive today or in the past 5000 years saw the universe being created. Indeed, no human that ever was alive saw the universe being created. Yet the universe is here. It came from somewhere. It is a matter of faith no matter how you say the universe got here. You didn't observe it, yet it is here.
Also, to say that someone is faithful is to say that they can be relied upon. You can have faith in them to be true to their word for things they said they would do in the future, because they have been reliable in the past.
The faith God calls us to have is faith that God will do what he says he will do, faith that he did what he said he did, faith that he will protect, heal, and provide, and faith that he tells us truly about things which we don't otherwise know.
When something can't be proven, yet you believe that it is true, you are practicing faith. Even athiests practice faith all the time. They have faith that their housing arrangement will continue to meet their needs, faith that the food they eat will nurish their body properly, faith that God doesn't exist, faith that the Bible isn't true when it talks about the condition of their soul, etc. These are all things that are difficult or impossible to prove, yet they still faithfully rely on their veiw on each of these issues and no doubt many others.
The Bible also talks a lot about wisdom, knowledge, and reason, and commands us to use these things, thus the Bible is not telling us to rely on blind faith for everything.
I would suggest the main critical difference is that we are asked to have faith in things where there is no way to determine, with absolute certantity, what will happen or has happened. God is both soverign and has free will. He doesn't have to keep his promises. There is nothing that determines what God does except that he simply chooses to do so. This is the nature of free will. Since no amount of reasoning, logic, or objective observation can determine what a being with free will will do, we are left to depend on the reliability of and faith in God's word. The fact that God exists and can be known, and that objective reality exists do not require faith, since these things can be shown to be the only logical conclusion based on the evidence available.
Christ came to take away our SINS, while renewing our minds.
See Acts 17:11, where the Bereans were considered more noble than others because they made the effort to find out for themselves whether the reports of the apostles were true. To the top of this page
If God has so much love that he wouldn't send anyone to hell, as some believe is the case, would he not also have enough love for you to tell you what is good for you and what is bad for you? If you believe that God loves us this much, why live a lifestyle opposed to the teachings of an entire book dealing with the subject?
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How can an all good God allow evil to exist? It is interesting to note that people often use this question to challenge the perfect nature of God, while on another day they will challenge God's loving nature by asking how he can send anyone to hell (see above). I believe the two questions answer each other. Ultimately, God cannot allow evil to persist and go unpunished, or else the charge that God is not all good would be valid. The Bible says a day is coming when all will be judged and righteously punished. To do any less would violate the all good nature of God. This answers the question of how a loving God can send anyone to hell, because to not send someone to hell when such is necessary would be inconsistent of his all good nature. Does this mean that God is not all loving? No. I answer this question above by saying He has given us fair warning of this situation so that no man is without excuse.
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If life begins at conception, what happens to those who die before being born? What happens to those who die before they are old enough to understand? What happens to those who cannot make an audible and conscious confession of faith? I think about the fact that many fertilized eggs never survive the trip through the fallopean tubes, or when they do, they may not implant properly in the uterus, or the combination of genes to begin with might be so irreoneous that the fertilized egg doesn't last beyond a few hours even if all other conditions are optimal. Some might argue that God is a loving God, and therefore all abortions or deaths in the womb or young children who die automatically go to heaven. Afterall, how could a loving God send a cute, helpless, sweet little baby that dies to hell? But the fact is that every mass murderer in the world started out this way, and if any one of them had died as babies, God would have had every right to send them to hell. God is equally concerned about both; He is "no respecter of persons." Secondly, if we were assured that every life that does not make it out of the womb or cannot make a conscious confession of faith automatically goes to heaven, then it would be prudent to end every pregnancy in abortion or kill every child before they reach that age. Of course, this is a bit silly. Let me make it clear that I am not declaring what happens to these people. I can only deal with this by saying that I know God is in control, his decisions on these matters are both final AND just, he knows what he's doing, and he is smart enough to know which of those "failed attempts" goes where in its afterlife.
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Free will does not deny the Christian concept of original sin, which makes it very easy for humans to choose to do the wrong thing. Even if a person does nothing else wrong in their life, the original sin concept, I think, at very minimum, means that we are born (even concieved) separated from God, and thus subject to his judgements.
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The world emphasizes Self-Esteem, particularly in young people, in an attempt to make people feel that they are worth something and to feel good about themselves so that they don't feel they have to go out and do destructive things to themselves. The self esteem envisioned often includes things Christians would affirm, like valuing yourself which can be classified as self worth ("you are worth more than many sparrows" is just one example). It also often includes things Christians wouldn't affirm, like feeling good about your accomplishments if this leads to arrogant pride, or feeling good about getting away with wrong behaviour. Self esteem is also often provided as a way to obtain joy and hope (among other things). However, for the Christian, all of the positive things that self-esteem provides come from God. Thus we really don't need self esteem, since its objectives can be obtained in other ways that don't lead to the problems mentioned.
Honour comes from God, see John 5:44.
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I try to be very careful in saying that a particular organization is truly Christian. Such an organization must recognize the Bible as God's word and be dedicated to using it as the basis for the organizations policies and mission. I may support other organizations for a variety of reasons, but I won't promote them as a truly Christian organization. I promote biblical principles first, and only suggest that organizations that align themselves with those principles are true Christian organizations.
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There are many kinds of secular music, but most songs fall into just a few categories.
Many non-Christian songs describe a relationship between two people. In these songs, good relationships are often based on attraction to physical appearance, status, wealth, abilities, or similar things. Bad relationships are usually formerly good relationships that ended when the basis of the relationship is no longer there, or something deliberately overlooked can no longer be ignored. As a result, some songs even suggest that a good relationship isn't possible. But God says good relationships are possible, and tells us how we can achieve this in His word, the Bible.
Some non-Christian songs glorify a particular behavior, object, person, activity, or lifestyle. These songs seem to suggest you'd be better off doing something (often immoral) or worshipping things, rather than struggling with a relationship with another person. After all, these things won't get angry at you, insult you, or make you mad, and may even be pleasurable. But God says, you shall have no other gods before me, and you shall not worship any idols. It is a lie that you need to worship an object or person, or participate in an activity, behavior, or lifestyle, to achieve happiness. God says you can achieve happiness in Him, and He tells us how to do this in His word, the Bible. Some non-Christian songs are fun, pleasant, restful, enjoyable to listen to, or even contain positive messages.
Some non-Christian songs express Christian themes in positive ways. There may not be anything wrong with these "harmless" songs by themselves. However, they can be distracting, or worse, they can encourage us to become lazy, unmotivated, or even misdirect our efforts, especially if we focus on enjoying the music rather than thinking and acting on the message. God says, "He who loves pleasure will become poor" and "too much honey will make you sick." There's nothing wrong with taking a break from work or working towards a positive goal, but beware of the lifestyle of laziness, and make sure your efforts glorify God. Again, God explains how to do this in his word, the Bible.
Why listen to songs that tell lies, encourage immoral behavior, laziness, or misdirected effort, or are just plain distracting? God says, "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable ... think on these things." Therefore, think about this: Despite what songs may say, it is not only possible to live a good, happy, joyful, fulfilling, productive, and meaningful life, but Christ demonstrated this with his own life, and he made it available to all through Salvation in Him. In fact, this is the only way. This is the essence of the Christian message. While it may not be a sin to listen to non-Christian music, if nothing else, keep this in mind: you'll never find this "only way" message in any non-Christian music.
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Some recent events where Christians have been in the news in a powerful way. I hopefully will be expanding this section as time goes on.
Carol Tucker (Name right?) put to death as punishment for murder, but seemed to have become a sincere Christian well before her death.
Shooting in Paduka KY: Focus on the Family and James Dobson did a report on the Christian aspect of this tragedy. Only through the faith of the kids affected are they able to get through such a difficult experience. Though the attack was on a prayer group, the incident worked to strengthen the faith of those involved.
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I'm sure you've heard it many times the statement how would you live differently now if you knew you were going to die tomorrow, or perhaps next week, or maybe on a specific date a year from now. Yes, I would live differently. But since I don't know, I have to look at circumstances and realize that I'll most likely live to be an old man. That means I have to take care of myself, and prepare for that future so that I can be around. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and as such, if I live recklessly so that my body gets worn out before its time, then I am not being a very good steward of God's gifts.
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You say that Christ will not return on a date that someone has predicted he will return, but the problem with that is that you could get a large group of people together and have them pick different dates, one date for each day into the future for the next few thousand years. The point is that someone may turn out to be right. But even if someone does turn out to be right, what has it gained us? If anything, there are so many date setters out there that they are causing us to loose focus on the more important issue of getting out the message that there is a date.
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Pascal was a great biblical thinker and scolar:
Christianity explains human nature very well.
Significance of suffering, just remember Christ on the cross, Peter crucified upside down, and Paul with his head cut off. (Among others.)
The Love of God is percieved as wrath, which is hell for those who don't want to obey him. As part of his love, God knows certain things aren't good for us, and thus demands that we don't do them. But some of these things are fun, so if I want these things, I see God's saying no as restrictions, which in turn I can percieve as wrath.
There are three orders:
Knowledge for knowledge sake
Spiritual things (Arguements for God in light of evil) don't make any sense in the bottom two levels which is where many scientists limit themselves to.
Bible verses on Faith and the existence of God: Hebrews 11:3 and 11:6. Note, there are many others.
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I have some text files kept offline that contain information related to Bible and Christian topics. If you want me to send you any of these files, please send e-mail to Bill222E@ensingers.com. When you write, please let me know how you found my web site and the address for your web page if you have one.
Abortion/Biblical view of sex Absolute Truth Christian Dating CREATION/EVOLUTION FAMILY Fun stuff Inspiring/stories internet resources Kansas Senate Prayer Life Together statement for Taylor University School and God The "C" word- Christmas Tracts/Evangelism Wealth and Prosperity Theology/Doctrine/Meat of the Word Baptism 23rd Psalm exegeiss 5 revelations of Gods moral law Encouraging Words Hell Lying Modesty in Clothing Reason for Pain/Suffering Why is there evil?To the top of this page