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Library: Questions and Answers

Welcome to our archive of more than 200 questions and answers! While some doctrines and subjects require an extensive book or booklet for thorough explanation, and others are sufficiently covered through brochures or magazine articles, certain subjects generate questions that need only short answers. Here, we answer a wide assortment of questions readers have raised through the years in their study of the Bible.


Please explain I Peter 4:6.

To understand this verse, it is vital to know who are the “dead” Peter was speaking about. By the time this epistle was written, in A.D. 67-69, many thousands of Christians had already received the knowledge of God’s laws, as preached by the apostles, and were living their…

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Does the Bible support the theory of the existence of extraterrestrial life forms and the validity of UFOs?

The phenomena known as UFOs, or Unidentified Flying Objects, has been the subject of much speculation. The U.S. Air Force’s “Project Blue Book” was an official investigation into these “flying saucers,” conducted from 1947 to late 1969. During this span, this study examined…

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Was Abraham a Jew?

By showing the origin of the Jewish people, it is clearly seen that Abraham was not a Jew. The word Jew refers to those of the tribe of Judah, one of the twelve tribes of ancient Israel. II Kings 16:6 contains the first biblical usage of the term. This was many centuries after

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Please explain the origin of the steeples and spires that are commonly found as part of the architecture of modern church buildings.

These structures long preceded Christianity, dating back to fertility ceremonies of ancient pagan religions. Pagan priests used an upright stone, pillar, obelisk, or slender tower to represent the male sex organ. Even today, a stylized union of male and female genitals is found in many cultures.

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What is the difference between kosher and non-kosher foods and beverages?

Kosher simply means that a particular food or beverage is approved by Jewish law. According to the traditions of Judaism, if something is labeled kosher, it is deemed acceptable for use in the Jewish religion’s rituals. Aside from this distinction, there is no substantive difference…

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Could you explain the phrase “much people in heaven,” found in Revelation 19:1?

This term is inappropriately translated from the Greek word ochlos. This word has a variety of synonyms in the English language, one of which can be “people.”<</span>

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How does one become an ordained minister of The Restored Church of God?

First and foremost, as Colossians 1:18 indicates, God governs the Church of God, through His Son, Jesus Christ, who is the Head of the Church.

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At Christ's Resurrection, were the resurrected saints made immortal?

Matthew 27:52-53 states, “And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.”<</span>

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Is cremation wrong?

Cremation is a practice of ancient pagan origin. It was one of the ceremonies involved in ancient fire worship. In an article entitled, “Cremation,” the Encyclopedia Americana states: “In primitive cultures [that] have survived into modern times cremation is widely practiced…

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What is the meaning of the phrase “until Shiloh come” of Genesis 49:10?

Strong’s Concordance translates the Hebrew word Shiyloh as “tranquil” in English. Another word for tranquil is peace. Undoubtedly, this is referring to the Messiah soon to come. In Isaiah 9:6, He is given the epithet, “The Prince of Peace.”…

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Is drinking coffee a sin?

As most know, coffee contains the mild stimulant, caffeine. If used in moderation, caffeine is not harmful to the body. Many appreciate the energizing effects of a cup of coffee. But some others drink coffee and suffer nervousness or anxiety. For such it is probably better that they abstain from drinking…

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Please explain the apparent contradiction between Acts 9:7 and 22:9, concerning Paul's conversion.

Acts 9:7 states, “And the men which journeyed with him [Paul] stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.” Acts 22:9 reads, “And they that were with me [Paul] saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of Him [Christ] that spoke to me.” At…

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Why didn't the Apostle Paul and other New Testament writers say more about Christ's physical life and ministry?

The Bible is the inspired Word of God. As Revelation 22:18 shows, it is complete as we have it. Christ was the Word in the flesh (John 1:1-4, 14). He stated, in John 10:10, “…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” The Bible contains all…

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Are the Jews God's chosen people?

The Bible explains that God chose the ancient nation of Israel to be His people (Deut. 7:6). However, He chose all twelve tribes—not just the tribe of Judah (the ancestors of the Jewish people). Chapters 9-24 of the book of Exodus record how God freed the Israelites from their bondage—slavery—to…

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Who was Simon Magus?

We first read about Simon in chapter 8 of the book of Acts. He practiced sorcery in the city of Samaria. In fact, the word magus means “sorcerer” or “magician.” When he heard the preaching of Phillip, concerning the Kingdom of God, he believed and was baptized. He…

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Who are the two witnesses, described in Revelation 11?

The identity of these two individuals is unknown. However, when they do come on the scene, it will be clear that Christ’s Return is imminent.

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Who is the “elect lady” of II John 2?

The Bible does not reveal the exact identity of the “elect lady.”<</span>

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When Jesus Christ was crucified, was He nailed to a cross or a stake?

This world’s professing Christianity has traditionally taught that Christ died on a cross (a profane symbol that has been widely used by many pagan religions). Since Christ Himself warned against blindly following the traditions of men (Mark 7:6-7), we must not make assumptions.

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What does the Bible teach concerning insurance?

The insurance issue has been confusing to many. Some believe that only those who lack faith would seek protection by insurance. But insurance does not prevent accidents. It is merely a means of compensating one’s family or others in the event of such a loss so that they can be economically stable.

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Please explain Romans 7:4.

In this verse, the Apostle Paul wrote, “Wherefore, my brethren, you also are become dead to the Law by the body of Christ; that you should be married to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.”<</span>

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Could you cite a source for the definition of Laodicea?

When one simply goes by the literal application of the word, it is merely the name of a city that was along a trade route in Asia Minor. To understand the deeper meaning of the word “Laodicean,” and why Christ inspired its use in the context of Revelation 3, one must examine the Greek…

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What does the Bible say regarding proper dress for women?

Through His Word, the Holy Bible, God gives us a simple and clear yet general instruction in I Timothy 2:9: “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel…” The word “modest” is defined in Collin’s English Dictionary as: 1. having…

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Is it proper to address ministers by the title “Reverend”?

In the Bible, the word “reverend” applies to God and God alone. Never does it apply to any man. Psalm 111:9 states, “He [God] sent redemption unto His people: He has commanded His covenant for ever: holy and reverend is His name” (KJV). The word is translated…

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Does Satan have the power to heal?

In Psalm 103:3, we see that it is God “Who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases.” In Exodus 15:26, God states, “…I am the Lord that heals you.” And the apostle Paul wrote, in I Corinthians 12:28, “And…

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Please explain Luke 16:16.

In this verse, Christ stated, “The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presses into it.” Many people believe that this says that God's laws have been done away since John the Baptist preached.

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What is the meaning of the Hebrew word selah?

This word is found in the Psalms of David and the book of Habakkuk. Scholars have speculated its meaning since 270 B.C., when the Old Testament was translated into Greek. Since the Psalms were actually songs—set to music—many conclude that selah refers to musicians’ directions…

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Please explain the statement in Deuteronomy 23:2, “A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord.”

To keep His people, the physical nation of Israel, pure and strong, God forbade an illegitimate child from holding a public office. This may have included other reasons, but generally referred to offspring from any of the prohibited marriages mentioned in Leviticus 18 and 20.

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Who is the ANCIENT OF DAYS referred to in Daniel 7?

The identity of the “Ancient of Days” is an interesting question. Consider the following and you will notice that this title positively refers to both the Father and Christ. Verse 13 can only refer to the Father because, of course, the Son of Man who “came…before Him”…

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Who was Nimrod?

Nimrod had a monumental role in world developments after the Flood. However, his name is listed in the Bible only four times. Of those four, only three are direct references.

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Is hypnotism something that Christians should practice or subject themselves to?

Hypnotism is the rendering of a person into a sleep-like condition, during which he or she remains responsive to extraneous stimuli. A person subjected to hypnosis (Greek, hypnos: “sleep”) temporarily gives up full control of his or her mental and physical faculties.

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What does the Bible say regarding marriage between relatives?

Obviously, at the creation of man, Adam and Eve’s sons and daughters married siblings. God approved this at that time for the purpose of populating the earth. People in that age were of a more stable genetic construction, and breeding between siblings did not adversely affect the children of…

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Did Mary, the mother of Jesus, actually appear in a vision during the “miracle of Fatima”?

In 1917, three shepherd children claimed to have been visited by Mary just outside Fatima, Portugal, from May 13th to October 13th. They also claimed that the vision had messages for mankind.

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What is the message of the seven thunders of Revelation 10:4?

Revelation 10:4 states, “And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.” Many wonder about the message of the seven thunders…

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What does the Bible say about water divination?

Water witching, practiced all over the world, involves using a Y-shaped stick, a “divining rod,” to find underground water. One practicing water witching holds the two branches of the stick in his hands, while pointing the rod upward and outward. The idea is that, as the diviner walks…

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Should Christians use Old King James English when praying, or when speaking in church services?

Some denominations believe that speaking in Old King James (OKJ) vernacular is a sign of piety. This belief is akin to the belief that God and Christ should always be referred to by their Greek or Hebrew names, as written in the original Bible texts. Almost invariably, those who regularly speak in…

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What is the meaning of Ezekiel 13:18-23?

The context of this chapter is the time just prior to the Day of the Lord (Ezek. 13:5). It addresses the “Christian” leaders of the modern-day descendants of Israel—mainly the U.S. and Britain.

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What is the correct biblical name for God's Church?

There are twelve New Testament scriptures indicating the name by which God’s true Church is known. Five of these scriptures refer to the Church as a whole:<</span>

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Please explain Matthew 16:18-19.

In these verses, Christ stated, “And I say unto you, that you are Peter, and upon this Rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven:…

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What does the Bible say about the woman Lilith?

While the name Lilith does not even appear in the Bible, some have suggested that she was Adam’s first wife. The Genesis account records that Eve was formed from one of Adam’s ribs. Both were created on the same day (Gen. 1:26-28). That evening, God presented her to Adam…

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What does the Bible teach concerning blood transfusions?

While the subject is not directly mentioned in the Bible, God never intended that man try to solve his self-inflicted ailments through surgery and blood transfusions. The possibility of contracting disease through these medical treatments is very high. Therefore, one who is considering undergoing…

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Please explain the meaning of the terms “everlasting fire” and “everlasting punishment,” found in Matthew 25:41, 46.

The word “everlasting” is translated from the Greek word aionion, which is derived from the root word aion. This word can mean “eternal,” but often the correct definition is “age.” The correct English translation in verse 41 is “age-lasting”…

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Are the “Holy Spirit” and “Holy Ghost” different spirits?

As a result of the use of both of these terms, some have drawn the conclusion that two different spirits are being talked about. However, “Ghost” is an archaic translation of the original Greek word pneuma, from which both terms are translated.

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What is the significance of numbers in the Bible?

Certain numbers in the Bible have long been recognized as having significance. Although there are sometimes relationships and meanings, one should be careful not to “read in” various meanings that simply do not exist, practicing balance in all such observations.

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Did Jephthah keep his vow and sacrifice his daughter, as indicated in Judges chapter 11?

The Judges 11 account was accepted as factual by early Jewish and Christian commentators. Like many modern Bible scholars, they believed that Jephthah kept his vow and killed his daughter. David Kimchi, a Jewish commentator of medieval times, apparently conceived the notion that Jephthah merely imposed…

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How are the Germans identified in Bible prophecy?

A plethora of secular and biblical evidence shows us that the Germans are identified as Assyria in the Bible. The Classical Dictionary (Smith) states, “There can be no doubt that they [Germans]…migrated into Europe from the Caucasus and the countries around…

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What does the Bible teach regarding the harvesting of fruit on young trees?

In Leviticus 19:23-25, we see God’s commands pertaining to “all manner of trees for food.” For the first three years from the time of planting, the tree is to be considered “uncircumcised” (i.e., too young) and the fruit left un-harvested.

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How will the earth be able to sustain all of the people prophesied to be resurrected in Revelation 20:5, 11-12?

As we look at the world around us, we see that it is already in danger of becoming “saturated” with humanity. The world’s population is quickly approaching 7 billion. Arable land is rapidly disappearing or being depleted of its life-giving nutrients. Cities are overcrowded, leading…

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What do the terms B.C. and A.D. mean?

B.C. is an abbreviation for “Before Christ.” A.D. is an abbreviation for “anno Domini,” which is Latin for “in the year of our Lord.”<</span>

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Does the Bible validate the practice of baptizing children?

In none of the gospel accounts commonly cited as the basis for child baptism is any such ceremony evidenced (Matt. 19:13-14; Mark 9:36-37; Luke 18:15-17). Parents had brought their children to Christ and He laid His hands on them and blessed them. Nothing in these scriptures states that these children…

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Giants are mentioned in the Old Testament. What happened to them?

When God flooded the earth at the time of Noah, only Noah, his wife, their three sons and their three wives were saved—a total of eight people (I Pet. 3:20)! All other members of the human race—including giants—were destroyed (Gen. 7:22).

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Does Revelation 3:14 mean that Christ was created by God?

This verse does not mean that Christ was created by God. The phrase “the beginning of the creation of God” is correctly defined as the beginner of all creation (see Colossians 1:15-17). Christ is the King of creation. The Bible plainly states that Christ (known as Melchizedek…

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Are the archangel Michael and the Person who later became Jesus Christ one and the same?

An incident between Satan the devil and Michael answers this question. Notice: “Likewise also these filthy dreamers [wicked men] defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities [those in authority]. Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil…about the body…

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Does God command Christians to go from door to door preaching the gospel?

Based on a quick reading and misinterpretation of Acts 20:20, many believe that the apostle Paul preached the gospel of the kingdom from house to house, to those who were unconverted. But when the entire paragraph is read, starting in verse 17, the proper meaning can be understood.

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Why did Christ tell Mary Magdalene not to touch Him?

John 20:17 records this account: “Jesus said unto her, Touch Me not; for I am not yet ascended to My Father: but go to My brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto My Father, and your Father; and to My God, and your God.”<</span>

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Who wrote the book of Hebrews?

This matter has been speculated on and debated by Bible scholars for centuries. The most widely held belief is that the book was written by the apostle Paul, in approximately A.D. 61-62. Although it does not include Paul’s typical greeting, the book’s subject matter and tone strongly support…

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Who wrote the books of the Bible?

Moses is the primary author of Genesis through Deuteronomy (known as the Torah). He compiled the pre-flood manuscripts of the early chapters of Genesis, along with other manuscripts from which comprised Genesis. He wrote the other four books of the Torah during the 40 years Israel wandered in the wilderness…
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Please explain why the phrase “was without form, and void,” in Genesis 1:2, should have been translated “became without form, and void.”

Throughout history, scholars such as “grammarians, lexicographers, and linguists” have sought to discredit the Bible’s authority as the inspired Word of God. They resort to playing “word games,” much as did the Pharisees of Christ’s day. Because such people resent…

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Please explain Micah 4:5

The verse states, “For all people will walk every one in the name of his God, and we will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever.”<</span>

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What is the meaning of the Urim and Thummim?

These words signify lights and perfections, or, as the Septuagint render them, revelation and truth.

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Where is Golgotha located?

There is some confusion about the exact location of Golgotha—“a place of a skull” (Matt. 27:33; Mark 15:22; John 19:17). Most feel that the site of Christ’s crucifixion is the same place where the Church of the Holy Sepulchre sits. But is this true?<</span>

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What does the Bible say about the events of Christ's life between the ages of 12 and 30?

When Herod ordered all young boys in Bethlehem to be killed, Joseph took Mary and Jesus and fled into Egypt. After Herod’s death, they returned to their own country, settling in Galilee, as we read in Matthew 2:22-23: “But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judea in the room of…

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Why will Satan be released after Christ's 1,000-year rule on earth?

God is working out a great plan for humanity. Part of that plan is allowing mankind 6,000 years to solve its problems—its own way.

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Should a wife take her husband’s name in marriage?

This was not an issue until recent decades, when traditional biblical standards and practices have been set aside, leaving society’s perception of the marriage relationship increasingly disoriented and confused. Thankfully, those willing to follow the Bible’s pattern will benefit from…

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What is the meaning of “the synagogue of Satan,” mentioned in Revelation 2:9 and 3:9?

The word “synagogue” is based on the Greek word sunagoge (assembly or church). The “synagogue of Satan” is an assembly or church comprised of people who “say they are Jews, and are not.” In this context, the usage of the term “Jews”…

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What were the contents of the ark of the covenant?

At first inspection, I Kings 8:9 and Hebrews 9:4 seem to contradict each other. Hebrews states, “…wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant.” I Kings 8:9 only lists the two tables on which the Ten Commandments were…

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Why did Christ call Peter “Satan,” in Mark 8:33?

This verse states, “But when He had turned about and looked on His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, Get you behind Me, Satan: for you savor not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.” Christ was not implying that Peter was Satan.

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Please explain the phrase “the word of My patience” in Revelation 3:10.

The New King James renders this as “My command to persevere,” and this helps to better convey the meaning. Several verses show how patience, endurance and perseverance are vital in our Christian lives, especially in the end time, when world conditions will be worse than they have…

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Why is the tribe of Dan not mentioned in Revelation 7 along with the 144,000 described there?

It is interesting that Dan is also left out of the genealogies of I Chronicles 1 through 9 where the other tribes of Israel are listed.

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What is the meaning of “worms that die not,” in Mark 9:44-48?

These verses may seem to indicate that Jesus was calling sinners “worms” and that they do not die but rather live in an everlasting fiery torment. Indeed, some believe this. Others believe that it refers to some kind of “immortal worms.” One of the key things they fail to recognize…

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Is there scriptural evidence that Jesus Christ's birth was in the fall of the year and not on December 25?

Much evidence exists. If God intended for us to celebrate Christ’s birthday, He would have had the scriptures record the time of His birth, as well as the location. The exact date is not known, yet evidence points to an autumn birth.

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Please explain I Samuel 6:19. Did 50,070 men actually die in this account?

Let’s notice the verse in question: “And He smote the men of Beth-shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the Lord even He smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the Lord

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Please explain the command, “You shall not seethe a kid [young goat] in his mother’s milk.”

The context of these scriptures is that God wants His people to properly keep His annual Holy Days. God commanded the Israelites against worshipping Him by using customs and rituals practiced by the pagans. Deuteronomy 12:28-31 records God’s instructions against doing this. Verse 32 concludes…

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Did God the Father forsake Jesus Christ, as stated in Matthew 27:46?

Jesus’ exclamation of Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani is translated, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Christ was not just expressing anguish and dismay. God did forsake Christ, as He hung on the stake. But, it is vital to understand why.

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Should we pray for the dead?

The plain teaching of the Bible is that deceased individuals do not know or do anything (Psa. 146:4; Ecc. 9:5, 10). They will remain asleep in their graves until the time of their resurrection (John 5:28-29; Dan. 12:2; Job 19:25-26; 14:12-14).

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Please explain I John 5:16-17.

I John 5:16-17 states, “If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and He shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.”<</span>

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Does the Bible teach that we should observe new moons?

Unlike today, wall calendars were not available among the ancient Israelites. Instead, the priesthood was entrusted with the knowledge of the sacred calendar. The priests were able to calculate in advance the beginning of new civil years and the beginning of months. They also officially confirmed…

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Does God answer the prayers of sinners?

To understand the answer, one must first realize that all people sin, and have cut themselves off from God. This is explained in Romans 3:23 and 5:21: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God,” and “…as sin has reigned unto death, even so might grace…

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Are there any books you would recommend that deal with futuristic events and/or conditions?

Please feel welcome to request any of the booklets listed below or to read them on-line. Please study them carefully and check the references provided in each with your own Bible. Also, we are continually producing more books, booklets and articles on other elements of prophecy.

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What is the meaning of the “spirit of the Law,” vs. the “letter of the Law”?

In Matthew 5:20-44, Christ showed that obeying the “letter of the Law” is a matter of physical action, whereas obeying the “spirit of the Law” requires more than just outward actions—it also involves an attitude of the mind—referred to by the Apostle…

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Please explain Leviticus 19:19 and Deuteronomy 22:11.

These verses discuss the concept of mixing materials and fibers that are of completely different characteristics. But many do not understand that these verses do allow for the mixture of certain fabrics while being within God’s Law. God established these laws to ensure that low quality…

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Who are the modern-day descendants of the Chaldean/Babylonian peoples?

The Bible has much to say about these ancient people. They trace their bloodlines all the way back to Arphaxad, who was also an ancestor of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel). Arphaxad’s descendants settled in the land of Shinar and the city of Babylon. They also settled near the city of Ur…

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What does the Bible say concerning the consumption of animal fat and kidneys?

In Leviticus 3:17, God specifically commanded the Israelites not to eat the fat of any animal. Notice: “It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that you eat neither fat nor blood.” Also, “You shall eat no manner of fat, of ox, or of sheep…

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What is the meaning of Christ’s instruction in Matthew 8:22, “Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead”?

Christ was offering a man the opportunity to follow Him in His ministry, and preach the kingdom of God (Luke 9:57-60). But this man responded that he needed to first bury his father who had died. Christ then told him to let the “dead [those not knowing spiritual things] bury their dead.”<</span>

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How does the Bible define a “generation”?

The Bible does not give a direct answer in regards to the length of a generation. We can derive some observations. Scripture shows that the length of a generation varies, depending on the historical period. Early history of man shows longer generations because people lived much longer.

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What does the Bible teach regarding pictures and/or statues of Christ?

Firstly, any picture, image or statue of Jesus Christ for the purpose of worship is in clear violation of the Second Commandment. In Exodus 20:4-5, we read, “You shall not make unto you any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or…

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Is there a scripture stating, “It is better that a man spill his seed in a whore’s belly than on the ground”?

There simply is no such verse in the Bible! It may stem from a misrepresentation of Genesis 38. The first part of this chapter recounts a situation in ancient Israel, in which the young widow Tamar expected her unmarried brother-in-law Onan to marry her and give her children to “continue the…

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