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68. I do not see a precedent for tithing in the New Testament, other than giving and receiving. I have always been a giver so it is not a question of trying to avoid giving. I have always exceeded a tenth in my giving for many years. The problem I have with the teaching is that it is so matter of fact and seems to bring so much law with it. BT Hemel Hempstead Herts

This must be the most controversial question that people in the body of Christ are asking today. As there is no safe ground to tread in answering this minefield of a question satisfactory for everyone we must stick to the scriptures that relate to us as New Creations in this current Dispensation of Grace if we are to avoid further confusion. Each of us must search the scriptures and come to a personal peace as to what is the correct approach to the question of "tithe or not to tithe".

There is a difference between giving under the "Law of the Tithe" which was a specific command coming from God to Moses to the Israelites and tithing today which should simply be a persons freewill choice of giving 10% of a wage or salary. Therefore if someone chooses to give 15% or 20% they are not tithing in the Old Covenant biblical sense.

Under the Law one tenth of the whole produce of the soil was to be assigned for the maintenance of the Levites. In turn the Levites were to dedicate a tenth to God for the use of the high priest and in all likelihood a second tithe for the many festivals. Also every third year a third tenth was to be eaten in company with the poor and the Levites. These legalistic tithes are similar to our taxes today and gifts for the support of our religious institutions.

Tithing is mentioned in the New Covenant but we need to study those scriptures in the proper context. If New Creation Christians were commanded by the Apostles to give under the "Law of the tithe" then this entire subject can be put to rest. 2 Cor 9:6 "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver".


69. It seems to me that if we practice the Law of Leviticus which includes the Law of the tithe we are cursed according to the Word of God. Can you throw any light on the New Testament view for me? What are your views? BT Hemel Hempstead Herts

As far as Paul's epistles are concerned you are correct in your assumption though many would disagree with you. Paul's discourse in the book of Romans explains that believers through Christ are justified, and then he shows that all under the law are in condemnation (fail of justification) as Deut. 27:26 aptly states "Cursed is he who does not confirm the words of this law by doing them.' And all the people shall say, 'Amen.'" for all fail to obey all the things in the law. Rom 3:23. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God". The law is not of faith but decrees life by doing the law, rather than by faith in a person who fulfilled the Law perfectly for us. To seek righteousness by the law is also contrary to the prophets, for Hab 2:4 says that "the just shall live by faith, not by the works of the law".

The intention of the book of Hebrews is important as Paul here attempts to teach Jewish Christians that they should cease trying to keep the demands of the Old Covenant law. He begins to explain the supremacy of Christ over the angels, Joshua and the Prophets. He needed to make these comparisons as the Jewish Christians at that time were trying to hold onto the law rather than receive the wisdom and power that comes with the gift of grace in believing in Jesus Christ.

My view is to embrace the Grace of the gift of Gods Son and have nothing to do with the Law as we are dead to it by faith in Jesus Christ's death, burial and resurrection. God is not into percentages today, He desires rather that his children to obey him as he speaks to our hearts. Let's be generous in our giving to support the church we attend and the ministries that feed us spiritual food, as we simply hear and obey giving freely and cheerfully. 377
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70. I am asked why Jesus is referred to as "Eternal or "Everlasting" Father" in Is. 9:6,7 He is a Distinct Person of the Trinity from the Father. Likewise, is not "the Name" (singular) of the "Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit" (titles) of Matt. 28:19 the same as "Jesus Christ" Rev. S.G London

In Matt. 28:19 we read of the Trinity "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost". The Godhead is a Trinity made up of three distinct persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The best argument I have ever heard to boost that statement is that if God is one person and "God is love" and love has to give to exist, then there has to be more than one within the Godhead, for to give to oneself only would equate to selfishness. It would be reasonable to suggest based on the Trinity being three in one persons that the latter half of your question would lend itself to the Father and Holy Spirit equally being called Jesus Christ. Certainly the Godhead would not take affront to this being said as Jesus Himself said similar to this whilst He was on earth. John 14:8-11 "Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

He is the everlasting Father, or the Father of eternity; he is God, one with the Father, who is from everlasting to everlasting. He is the author of everlasting life and so is the Father of a blessed eternity. He is the Father of the world to come, the father of the new creation state, which is put in subjection to him. 326


71. There are many Christian leaders nowadays that teach that a couple can get divorced, where Jesus said not. I would like a clear answer

In Mk 10:2-12 the Pharisees asked the same question regarding divorce and Jesus replied giving a clear answer which was No. He pointed out that Moses, under the Dispensation of Law, gave in to their request by writing them a bill of divorcement; nevertheless he told them that the hardness of their hearts was the reason for the marriage breakdown.

Jesus, as did Paul, quoted from Gen 2:23 which set the importance of marriage which is meant to be the type of the union between Himself and the creature. Our marriage lives are to reflect that "Mystery" which Paul spoke of in Eph 5:21. The marriage union is a top level priority to God as it speaks of His "Eternal Purpose" being established in the earth; therefore Satan sees it as his top priority to destroy marriages and family values.

The principle of FIRSTS would state, "The thing which is "FIRST" gives it its level of importance. The first words that were ever spoken and recorded in the Bible were those of Adam when he by the Spirit said "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." Gen 2:23.

Note that the first man Adam never had a father or mother from whom he could leave so his words were a prophecy from God as to "His Eternal Purpose". This has always been His intention from the beginning to have His one Son in the Creature as the creatures' only life, thus bringing about the Union (marriage) between God and man. In this union the wife, the weaker vessel which is the body of Christ, shows forth the Glorious power OF THE ONE TRUE MAN - CHRIST.

Now we know that under the Dispensation of Grace in which we live the blood can and does wash every sin that we repent of and even those which we unknowingly commit causing hurt to others by our actions. No true Minister of Christ would make it easy for a couple to divorce, endeavouring rather to counsel them to reconcile. It has never been Gods will that a couple divorce, but if they do they will experience pain which divorce brings and correction from their Heavenly Father. In my experience over many years of pastoral counselling I have found that the one who initiates the divorce usually ends up worst off in the end.


72. Why do Muslims claim to believe God - but love to shed innocent blood in the name of Allah and that they are doing right things for God - they believe more in their charms and magic? Where will they be at the end?

As we all know - belief systems can be dangerous to ones health and the health of others. Faith in the truth as written in the Holy Bible as men were inspired to write by the Holy Spirit is far above the beliefs from doctrines of devils that men so easily take on board in their hearts and minds. 2 Tim 3:16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works". Ultimately the Bible will subdue all other contenders for men's hearts and minds and will assert itself as the only infallible Word to trust and digest.

We also know as Christians that our Heavenly Father loves all people and desires that all come to the saving knowledge that "Jesus is Gods everything" and wills that everyone come to that same conclusion.

The only way to deal with erroneous belief systems is to preach the truth and trust that the Holy Spirit will convict the hearer to receive the love of God in the form of His Son - who died for the sins of ALL peoples of the world as Rom 3:23 says "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God".

Satan always overplays his hand and peaceful Muslims worldwide are open to receive a new thought about a Loving Heavenly Father. The radicals in their religion have caused them to be tarnished with the same brush of hatred in the name of their God Allah.

Now is a great time to preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified and the only way to the Fathers house and eternal life. Let us pray that intelligent Muslims rethink about those that kill in the name of their God with hatred in their hearts will be ushered into heavenly bliss, at the time of their death, by their actions that have caused untold misery to innocent men, woman and children.


73. John 14:23 states that those that love Jesus will obey His commandments. Why then do we continue to sin and use the excuse of we are not perfect beings therefore we will sin. When we are born again aren't we supposed to be made perfect just like Him. Marcos

Let's read John 14:23 "If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him".

Part of those words is found in 1John 1:8-9 "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness".

In the regeneration our bodies become the temple where God dwells. As containers we house the one who is perfect - Christ Jesus. Paul even though he knew the truth of the exchanged life said in 1Cor 9:27 "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection".

Even though God accepts us as we are, because of who we contain, our bodies have not as yet been redeemed and only will be when Christ returns for His body. Salvation is threefold - our spirit is saved the moment we believe and confess on Christ Jesus - Rom 10:9. Our soul is being saved by the on going renewing of the mind process - Rom 12:2 and our body will be saved on resurrection morning. 2 Cor 1:10 lays out for us our past, present and future salvation. "Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us".

Total perfection for Gods elect, spirit soul and body, will only be completed in the near future; in the meantime we accept and live by faith in His finished work.. 1John 3:2 "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is".

One last thought - if an unbeliever can be tempted upward to do a good work so a believer can be tempted downward to do an evil work, so like Paul we say "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin." Rom 7:24.


74. How do I find myself? F.R MI USA

 

It seems you are going through an identity crisis. This happens to most human beings at some level during their lives. If you are not as yet a believer and have not as yet experienced the new birth you will continue to feel lost as to who you are and what life is all about.

There are two kinds of individuals - those that are still searching and those that are found. To find your true self as a seeker will need help from an outside source. This source is the 3rd person of the Godhead - the Holy Spirit who delights in convicting seekers to acknowledge their isolated and independent stand that causes them to feel lost. At the right moment, we who are meant to be found in Him, this is called predestination, call upon the only one who can fill us with a sense of purpose and can bring about finality as to who we really are in the sight of God and His universe.

If you are already born-again and feel lost then ask the Holy Spirit to reveal in a greater measure Christ Jesus who is the real you in you. Even Paul the Apostle felt the need to know the resurrected Lord in a deeper way and said in Phil 3:10 "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death". Finally read 1John 3:2 as it clearly lets believers know who they are in Christ "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is". 301

How to be born-again

Category: Self-awareness


75. Acts 13:33, Was the Man Christ Jesus the Son of God eternally or did he become the Son Of God when he was physically resurrected? Christopher T.

Acts 13:33 says "...he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee". In Heb 1:5 these words are repeated by Paul in addressing the Jews "For unto which of the angels said he at any time…" getting the point home that God never said to any of the angels what He has said to Christ; explicitly, "thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee". Jesus was begotten not created of the Father after his body death, so now He becomes Head (first born) of the New Creation state. We in the election become 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc until the last person in the election receives Christ which will then usher in the coming of the Lord for His body the Church, and the creation of the New Heaven and New Earth.

Christ was not created. He is one with the Father, eternal in nature, and with Him there is no beginning and no end. Col 1:15 reads "Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature". Paul is making mention of a messianic prophecy found in Psalm 89:27 "Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth". This does not teach that Christ was created. The word "firstborn" means that which is "chief" in rank or in other words first. In Jer 31:9, Ephraim (synonym for all Israel) was said to be God's "firstborn". "...for I am a Father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn".

The attention-grabbing point is that Ephraim was Joseph's son, and was younger than Manasseh. So here we see that the use of the word "Firstborn" was intended to show that he was greater than Manasseh. John 1:1-3 say it all "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God..." 354


76. Why is it so hard to get up and pray in the mornings? and what time do you suggest I wake up or does it really matter what time of day we pray? Nordine C. Luton

As God never sleeps it wouldn't matter what time you pray. As prayer is simply our communication with our Heavenly Father, it should be the same as having a heart to heart with your best friend.

Unfortunately, as Christians, we turn that which should be spontaneous and a delight into a legalistic works minded program, erroneously believing that our boring, religious minded actions are catching our Heavenly Fathers attention. It would be similar to one of our children, if you are a parent you will understand, making a daily appointment to speak with you, you no longer are Mum and Dad but the CEO of the Heavenly Corporation. Refuse to take on board a religious and sterile prayer program and become as a little child speaking to his Daddy, it works wonders.

Years back the body of Christ was held in bondage to a man-made and works minded program where everyone had to get up at 6am and pray diligently for one hour. Even though this new prayer program seemed like the real thing - it in time faded into the background and lost its appeal as many were just too tired in the end to keep it up. End result - more guilt and condemnation for the poor easily led child of God.

Let's take a look at how our Lord prayed to the Father in John 17:1 "These words spake Jesus… (referring his words of comfort and instruction, spoken in the previous three chapters of Johns Gospel) and lift up his eyes (face) to heaven". This is a prayer motion to recognize the seat of Heavenly power and majesty… and this is significant of the faith and warmth of the mind of Christ, and of his assurance of the divine favour: it shows that his mind was filled with devotion and love, and was empty of shame and legalism, and was full of immense freedom and boldness. and said, Father; or "my Father", he used the word Abba, which signifies "Daddy".


77. Every time I seem to get close to God I end up messing up or being ferociously attacked by the enemy until I fall. I want my husband saved but can't seem to walk in the spirit long enough for him to be affected or see a change in me.

As you begin to renew your mind by realizing the indwelling Christ spirit as being your new nature, the false condemnation you are being attacked with will begin to lessen. You are falsely taking the performance stance as being the measure of your worth and effectiveness as a Christian.

Instead see yourself as only the container of the only perfect one - Christ Jesus the Lord. As a container we are told to "present our bodies a living sacrifice" Rom 12:1, in other words let the Christ within decide where and when and to whom you minister the Christ-Life truths. Remember as a temple (container) you are not the main event, He is, so get your eyes off your problems of being a good witness and let His light shine through you in honesty and integrity of the scriptures. 1Co 3:16 "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? "

Learn not to try within your own strength to bring about a good result but rather trust Him in you to bring about a change in your attitude regarding your husband's salvation, it is the Holy Spirit who convicts and draws sinners to Christ, not you. John 6:44 "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him".
When your husband sees your relaxed approach (resting in Him) to his salvation and Christianity, he will be attracted to your God.

Walking in the Spirit means you are listening to His voice and act accordingly. The voice of the enemy always brings a Christian into condemnation and doubt as to their state and standing before the Father. Remind him (Satan) that you know the truth of your union and he should address any future accusations to Jesus (your High Priest), as you no longer live independently but simply the presenter of the facts, this should finalize your position as one saved and accepted by faith and grace.


78. Does the advice to Timothy denote that we may drink a little wine... instead of striving for spiritual healing? J. C. Hamburg

1 Tim 5:23 reads "Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities". To do literally what this scripture says to do is to stop drinking water altogether. Now we know that Paul is not saying that but is saying that in moderation wine was a remedy that he felt would help Timothy's stomach condition. Paul must have discerned that Timothy's long and exclusive use of drinking water had been detrimental to his health therefore the following guidance was deemed proper.

Paul was always careful in his communication. First with himself in 1Cor 9:27 "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection" then with the welfare of others, by preaching the Gospel of the grace of God, for their souls' profit and salvation "lest that by any means when I have preached to others". Though there was never any risk of Timothy running into an overindulgence of drinking, Paul was aware that some could exploit such a directive to indulge themselves excessively. This could cause the derision of disrespectful people who would have insinuated that the apostle indulged in intemperance and excess.

Paul's advice to the use of wine was not for self gratification but for health reasons to help digestion. Latest Medical reports suggest strong evidence that a little red wine each day is beneficial to ones health.

Striving for healing is not the Bible way but receiving a healing is. James 5:14 says "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord". Let us rather strive according to Phil 1:27 "...that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel"


79. An old chestnut of a question. I've been a Christian 21 years and unemployed a fair bit- do we tithe benefits. Dave M.

The command to tithe unemployment or any other form of government benefits or social security is not found in either the Old or New Covenant. The way for us to give today is stated in 2Cor 9:7 "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver".

Sadly, Christians have become so legalistic in their approach to Christian living that even in their giving they have become more like the Pharisees in the days of Jesus. Mt 23:23 "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought you to have done, and not to leave the other undone".

We just don't get it! Living by the Spirit of Christ in this age of God's Grace is the only way to live as a Christian. To live by the letter of the Law, which the "Law of the Tithe" is a part of is to remain under an old order given to National Israel. Rom 7:6 "But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter".

Delivered from the law of death through the corruption of the Adamic nature, dead to a covenant of works and the ministration of it. Truthfully, if Moses himself turned up to proclaim it's right to govern us, who are now called the New Creation, it would be shot down by the Lord Himself, for the Word says in Rom 6:14 "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace".

No longer are we under the Law's painstaking demands, instead we are free from its curse and condemnation, all this accomplished by Christ's finished work on the cross. At last the remedy is available for us to take freely of His Gospills soothing the exasperating and provoking law which leads to sin.


80. Although I am a child of the living God, and I try to be a good and better person, am I sinning because I smoke, and if I am then a sinner, am I eternally damned. I don't even know if I can give up, or if I want to.

Smoking or not smoking cigarettes or any kind of tobacco does not cause you to be sinner or a saint. Salvation is a three part process, past present and future. In your case as a child of God, brought about by the new birth in believing on Christ Jesus, salvation in regards to your spirit is in the past.

Now your problem is a present one which involves your nicotine cravings affecting your mind and physical makeup. Eternally dammed because of your smoking habit you are not. You will though be harming your physical body which Paul the Apostle reminds us as being the temple where His Spirit now dwells. With this thought in mind ask the Lord in prayer, who is your indwelling nature, to enable you by His power to deliver you from your smoking habit.

Trying to quit by your will power is different than when He, who is the ever present deliverer in you, rises up in you and the Spirit of self-control takes over. Gal 5:22 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law".
It doesn't take much thought as to His will for you in this matter. Therefore your part is to choose whether you want to continue to smoke or not, His part is to empower your proper decision.


81. My wife has come across some teaching connected with binding and loosing (Matt 16:19), whether it is breaking strongholds, loosing soul ties, or spiritual warfare, by binding yourself and others to the will of God and loosing wrong agreements, false beliefs, soul ties etc,. Is this taking the teaching out of context with the amount of times that binding and loosing is mentioned in the Bible? D.J Redditch
Lets read Matt 16:19 "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven". The Greek words for bind and loose (dein and luein) are a translation from the Hebrew words for bind and loose, which also have another meaning obvious in Matt 16:19 to be "forbid" and "permit".

There is commanding evidence that Matthews Gospel - "The life of Jesus" was written originally in Hebrew. When translators took the idiomatic sayings of Jesus and turned them into Greek they lost the meaning of the local words of the day. When however the Greek words are translated back into the Hebrew the meaning becomes clear.

What Jesus meant when He spoke to Peter was not in the context which you described in your question, soul ties etc. Jesus knew that soon a New Covenant would be in force and that the old laws would not fit or help the new creation believer in his everyday life. Therefore the Lord was placing first upon Peter the right to "forbid" or "permit" any action he felt was the will of God in spiritual and natural matters where there wasn't any precedent. If Peter permitted something then God would be behind his decision and if not He would also forbid as Peter saw fit.

The Apostles like the Rabbis before them had the task among the community to interpret the scriptures and take the lead during difficult times or in a crisis. Often they had to settle disputes and their judgment was important as in the example given in Acts 15 "And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved." Peter eventually ruled by permitting (loosed) the Gentile believers from the yoke of the Law of Moses "...Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they".


82. I would like to know more about contributions to the church and tithing. If one is struggling financially and cannot make ends meet is that person obliged to tithe monthly, yearly or not all?

As Christians we all are indebted to help the church we attend with our financial offerings and of course our God given gifting. Where the problem arises is not in our external lack but in our inner poverty in knowing Christ as the supplier of all our needs. If the pastors and ministers would be willing to address the truth of tithes and offerings in such a way as fits the new creation believer in this dispensation of Grace, then the struggle on the people and ministry would be lessened. 2Cor 9:7 "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver ".

If the pastor has not had a revelation of Christ in him, as his all in al,l then he unfortunately will try to impose the "Law of the Tithe" on the people and to coerce them to give. Now having been a pastor myself for over 15 years and a total of 28 years in ministry, I know the hardship that ministers face on a daily basis to keep the ministry solvent. However to knowingly put a congregation under an Old Covenant legal requirement, specifically given to the Jew under a past dispensation, would be wrong of the minister. Equally wrong would be the congregation holding back their giving even when hard pressed to do so.


The answer here is for the church to have a revelation as to His sufficiently in providing for both minister and congregant. Luke 6:38 "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again".

Whether your giving is weekly, monthly or yearly (not at all is not an option), let it be from a loving and willing heart as we are admonished to seek the prosperity of others before ourselves and how important it is the fund the Ministers of Christ with double honour as they labor to bring Christ to their towns and cities. 1Cor 10:24 "Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth".


83. What is the biblical view on cremation? Some people say a Christian should
not even consider it? Mrs T.A

There is no reason to worry about the non-possibility of resurrection due to cremation. Some Christians worry that if their body is cremated they will be disqualified for the resurrection, mainly on physical grounds. The reasoning goes like this - if the body is consumed by fire, how can it be resurrected? The case against that line of thought is that bodies that are buried also disintegrate. When it comes to the resurrection we are to trust God to arrange out the molecules, who made everything out of nothing in the first place.

The Bible has a lot to say about death and in the Old Covenant burial was the standard custom. Cremation was the exception and seen as appropriate for only severe offenders and there are some scriptures against cremation as in Joshua 7:15 & 25. Cremation was a sign of judgment in I Sam 31:12 Saul and his sons were cremated following their dishonorable death. In II Kings 23:20 Josiah's restoration of true worship included slaughter of false priests and cremation of their bodies.

However there is no clear opposition to this manner of dealing with human remains or a command in Scripture against cremation in the New Covenant, which governs our way of life and ultimately our death and burial. The doctrine of the resurrection of the body has motivated the Christian practice of burial. Christians have a healthy view of the body, both in life and in death.

As believers in Christ we are comforted as we face sickness and death in this life knowing that death will not have the last word. Our bodies that are so integrally a part of us will be resurrected in glory and immortality.   And though we accept the physics of the grave we are not in agreement with death at the basic level for 1 Thess 4: 13-16 declares "Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him… For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first".


84. Is Body piercing acceptable to God, my daughter wants to have her belly pierced, but I feel that it is an abuse of the temple of the Holy Spirit. David

As a parent of two daughters's and grandfather of two, [one of my daughters is still in her teens and the other now 25 years old and married.] I will share my thoughts with you.

My eldest has had body piercing on the face, tummy and a tattoo on her lower back. It all came as a shock to me, but believe me you learn to live with it and trust the Lord that He who is in them will eventually shine through and the fashion excesses of this world begin to fall away. My youngest also has had her face and belly button pierced and on her insistence we permitted her to do so on her at sixteenth birthday. Recently she by her own choice has removed the belly button ring although still has a small round silver stud under her bottom lip to the side.

As parents, we are from a different generation as our children, and we have a difficult time adjusting to their world that they are pressed to conform to gain acceptance from their peers, or simply to be fashionable. The prophets and teachers for this generation are the pop idols and the celebrity culture addiction which dictate their taste and fashion, just as I sported the Elvis ducktail, and similar garments of the day.

As parents let us put into our children while they are young the message of Christ in them as their life and know that the seed which we have sown as earthly Fathers will produce inward fruit in its time.

As far as the physical body being the temple, which it is, I personally do not have a problem that people will suffer spiritually because of their choice to pierce or not to pierce. Rather let people know that it is the anger and lust that comes from their heart and then out of their mouth that defiles the temple.


85. I would like to know what the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is as mentioned in Matt 12: 31-32 as I feel that I may have by accident committed this unpardonable sin. It seems to me that if you say anything that is unwholesome about the Holy Ghost even if by accident you will not be forgiven. I look forward to hearing from you.

First of all I would like to put your mind at rest by saying that you have not committed the unpardonable sin according to what Jesus said in Mt 12:31 "Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men".

This sin was committed by the Scribes and Pharisees who accused Jesus of casting out devils by the power of Beelzebub, which was blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, who was the power which was operating in the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth.

They knew that the miracles of Christ were wrought by the Spirit of God, yet spitefully and stubbornly imputed them to the devil, with the deliberate aim to malign the glory of Christ. Their actions revealed their evil intentions and resentments against him; which sin was unpardonable at that present time and under that Dispensation of Law where the sin of blasphemy was punishable by death.

Fortunately in our day and under the Dispensation of Grace we have an Advocate with the Father through the ministry our High Priest - Christ Jesus the Lord. There is no sin that cannot be cleansed and forgiven by the penitent sinner through the means of Christ shed blood. The only sin that still damns a person is the sin of not receiving the gift of salvation in believing in the finished work of Jesus' death, burial and resurrection at a place called Calvary.


86. When do I as a Christian enter into the Kingdom of God and when I sin am I still part of it? Daniel O.

You enter the Kingdom of God when you receive Christ as your Lord and saviour by believing in your heart and confessing with your mouth the Gospel message of His resurrection from the dead as stated in Rom 10:9 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved".

In John 3:5 "Jesus answered Nicodemus who was an officer in the temple and said, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God". And unless someone has his mind renewed by the work of the Holy Spirit, he will never understand divine and spiritual things appertaining to the Kingdom His dear Son.

Being born-again of water and of the spirit is entirely a spiritual experience as the water speaks of the Word of God. There is nothing natural implied, as in water, for the baptism into Christ takes place the instant one believes and confesses Christ as their Lord and Saviour.

At the moment of physical death the spirit and soul of the believer can he be thought to have similarly entered into an open state of grace, and the Kingdom of God. Unless a person is regenerated, he is not born heir apparent to the Kingdom and without internal holiness, shall not enter into it, enjoy it, or see God.

All will live eternally with the God they contain at the time of their physical death. The God of the Christian now dwells in temples made without hands, and we as believers will be where He is, because the Bible says that Christ has gone to prepare a place for us. John 14:2 "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".

Sin then to a Holy God is to still have the old god in the temple or container of our body. Being born-again takes out the old man (Satan) and replaces it with the new man (Christ). If we sin, as in bad behaviour, we have an advocate with the Father through our High Priest - Jesus Christ whose intercessory work and shed blood cleanses us of every sin we confess. 1 John 1:9.


 
 
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