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Questions and Answers About the Bible












Do you have a question about the Bible? Or perhaps a spiritual matter that you wonder about? We will choose the best questions to answer and post them on this page.


Questions must be concise and limited to specific scriptural matters, doctrine, or how the Bible relates to modern life.


You may enter your request below. But, we have the right to edit any question (this includes spelling/grammar corrections and shortening the length if too long.)


Please note - All questions and answers will remain listed here for 18 months.



























Question asked by - Emmanuel

Location - Lagos, Nigeria

Question - Please kindly explain to me Ezekiel 1. What were the 4 wheels Ezekiel saw in a vision about?


Our Answer -

Let's start by comparing this scripture with Revelation chapter four. This paints a slightly less confusing picture. Yet this time it is the Apostle John who has the vision, not Ezekiel. The setting is clearly in Heaven and it is the same as that which Ezekiel saw. Obviously, it cannot be compared to anything on earth, therefore, it is hard for us to relate to it. Jesus was once asked about heavenly things by Nicodemus, and He replied, "I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?" (John 3:12 NIV).


In both accounts, that of Ezekiel and that of John, the prophet must have been "...in the Spirit..." (Revelation 4:2 NIV) or he would not have been able to survive the experience. For, "...flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable" (1 Corinthians 15:50 NIV). And the Lord's own disciples were terrified when Jesus briefly returned to His more natural state during the transfiguration (Mark 9:6).


The four living creatures are cherubims (Ezekiel 10:6), which are angels. As far as the wheels in your question are concerned, "...each was like a wheel intersecting a wheel. As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the cherubim faced; the wheels did not turn about as the cherubim went. The cherubim went in whatever direction the head faced, without turning as they went" (Ezekiel 10:10-11 NIV). We are also told that "...the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels" (Ezekiel 1:20 NIV).


Each of the cherubims had four faces, "...the face of a man, and on the right side each had the face of a lion, and on the left the face of an ox; each also had the face of an eagle" (Ezekiel 1:10 NIV). We know that God uses the imagery of animals to convey the attributes of the being. An example of this is found in (Daniel 7:3-7). In this case the face of the man may represent God's ordained ruler of creation (Genesis 1:26-28). The face of the lion may symbolize the strongest of the wild beasts. The ox could represent the most powerful of domestic animals. And the eagle could symbolize tremendous swiftness and eyesight, the way it goes after its prey.


There are many different opinions on this. However, my feeling is that the four faces may be for the purpose of watching the four corners of the earth. In Daniel, certain angels called watchers are mentioned, and have the power to make decisions in agreement with God's will for mankind. It says, "This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will, and setteth up over it the basest of men" (Daniel 4:17 KJV).


Obviously, we humans are of paramount importance to the Lord or He wouldn't have been willing to sacrifice His own Son for us (John 3:16). We are temporal, and exist from one generation to another within the limited time frame that God originally gave to Adam. However, since Adam sinned against God, and obeyed the devil [who had entered into the body of a snake (Revelation 12:9)], the Devil, Satan, gained control of everything that belonged to Adam, including authority over the earth. For, "...everyone who sins is a slave to sin" (John 8:34 NIV). Satan is "...the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience" (Ephesians 2:2 KJV). And his demons (fallen angels - see Revelation 12:9) help him tempt people to do evil.


Now let's get back to the wheels within a wheel. When I think of this I sense the imagery of a bicycle wheel with each of the spokes intersecting throughout the wheel as one generation intersects with another. The inner wheel could move to the exact intersection where it meets up with the outer wheel, where the spokes meet. This could make flight to the exact point of time and place on earth easier to reach.


We must remember that only our time on earth in temporal, the time period that Satan controls. Heaven is not limited by time, for it is eternal. That's how God knows our past, present, and future. He is "...the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End" (Revelation 22:13 NIV). Satan's time is swiftly coming to an end. That's why "he is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short" (Revelation 12:12 NIV).


Of course, the imagery of a bicycle wheel, no matter how new and clean it may be, seems incongruous compared to the sacredness of an angelic wheel that, "...sparkled like chrysolite" (Ezekiel 1:16 NIV) and contains the spirit of the angel (Ezekiel 1:21). However, we can only compare it to that which coincides with human understanding. I hope that this help your understanding of this passage.


AWK

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Question asked by - Emmanuel Idowu

Location - Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria

Question - Name 5 ministers in the Bible that education contributed to the success of their ministry.


Our Answer -

The answer is none of them. The Bible implies that Moses (Deuteronomy 31:22), Daniel (Daniel 1:3-7), and Paul (Philippians 3:5) were the most educated. However, none of them gained such tremendous ministries as a result of their man-taught education. As Paul said, "For it is we who... worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh" (Philippians 3:3 NIV). With all his vast education, Paul said it added nothing to his ministry. He said, "...I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ" (Philippians 3:8 KJV). In the New International Version the word "dung" is translated "rubbish." Of course dung may be helpful in the compost pile, but little else.


God wants the glory in everything we do! And He gets no glory when some highly educated individual reaches a place of authority and influence. That's why Paul told the Corinthian church "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: 'He catches the wise in their craftiness'; and again, 'The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.' So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours" (1 Corinthians 3:19-21 NIV). The Corinthian church had been greatly influenced by Athens, which was a nearby city. The Athenians held human education in high esteem. So Paul was trying to get the Corinthians to understand that human education can be corrupted by the devil (Acts 20:29-30). "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12 NIV).


That's why Paul told the Corinthians, "For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength. Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things - and the things that are not - to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him" (1 Corinthians 1:25-29 NIV).


God wants the glory! He does not want to give it to mankind. That's why He picked shepherd boys like Joseph (Genesis 37:2) and David (1 Samuel 17:34) to be used in mighty ways through His Spirit. And Jesus chose uneducated fishermen like John and Peter, and a tax collector like Matthew (also known as Levy) to take the Gospel to the Jews. And Jesus Himself was a carpenter (Mark 6:3). That's why, "When Jesus had finished these parables, He moved on from there. Coming to His hometown, He began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. 'Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?' they asked" (Matthew 13:53-54 NIV).


Of course there have been some educated missionaries like Albert Schweitzer. But his education was used primarily for medical purposes. It was in addition to his missionary work. Even children can say amazing things when they speak through the Holy Spirit! For Jesus told His disciples what Power they would have. He never mentioned human education. He said, "...the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you" (John 14:26 NIV). It's not what we can do for God. It's what God can do through us! Even an uneducated English house cleaner named Gladys Aylward had a tremendous ministry in China, through the Holy Spirit!


AWK

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Question asked by - Jessica Smith

Location - San Diego, California

Question - Why did I first feel the Presence of the Lord when I got saved, then I went back to drugs and prison? Then, about 2 weeks ago, I rededicated my life to Jesus again, but I feel nothing. I have been out of prison for 7 years.


Our Answer -

My guess is that you are holding back some secret desire that has not yet been fulfilled and are blaming God for it. It may not be anything materialistic. People have all kinds of prayers that are not answered by God in the way they want them to be answered. Some examples:

Lord, please give me a husband.

Lord, please give me a baby.

Lord, I need for my loved one to get saved.

Lord, I want to serve you, but how can I do it with this awful affliction?

Lord, I need a good job. I don’t want to do this anymore.

Lord, please get the one I love out of prison.

Lord, I don’t have any Christian friends and I’m lonely.

Lord, why are You blessing those people, but You won’t do it for me?


When these kind of prayers seem to go unanswered quickly the devil whispers, “God doesn’t really love you. If He did, He’d answer your prayer. He knows that you are suffering and He’s not doing anything about it. He doesn’t care about you at all.”


Have you been listening to Satan’s lies and become resentful that the Lord isn’t working fast enough to grant your desire? If so, this is probably causing a block in your relationship with God. I know this from personal experience. I once went through it myself. I eventually came to the realization that to serve God is to trust Him. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil” (Proverbs 3:5-7 NIV).


In reality, God always answers our prayers His way. His answer may be:

You’re not ready for that yet.

Or, If I do that, it will make you backslide away from Me.

Or, I’m planning a different direction for your life.

Or, There are things that you do not know about that will hurt you if I do that.

Or, I am refining you through painful experiences to make you a stronger believer (Proverbs 17:3, Jeremiah 6:29, 1 Peter 1:7).


I still do not have what I prayed for 34 years ago. However, I know now that it would have gotten in the way of the Lord’s plans for my life. But God has told me that I will get my wish eventually and I believe it is not far off. We just have to trust Him. He who loved you enough to suffer and die in your place will not withhold anything good from you unless it may be harmful to your walk with Him!


I hope this has been of some help to you!


AWK

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Question asked by - M. Moses

Location - Hyderabad, India

Question - To overcome satanic temptations what we do?


Our Answer -

Don't put yourself into a position of inviting it. Whatever the temptation is, do not be around anyone or anything that could lead you in the wrong direction. For example, if it's pornography, stay away from magazines and movies that promote it. If it's temper, draw closer to the Lord so that the Holy Spirit will control your life (Galatians 5:22-25). If it's adultery, refuse to see the person who encourages you to sin. If it's hatred, and a desire for revenge, pray about it and let the matter rest with God (Proverbs 3:5-7). He's better at defending His people who have been treated badly then we humans are (see Deuteronomy 32:35-36, Psalms chapter 37, and Romans 12:19-21).


So keep your heart on Christ and you mind in the Word of God, daily if possible. And stay in an attitude of faith and prayer.


AWK

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Question asked by - Job Gnanarathinam M

Location - India

Question - I want to buy an accurate English transaction Bible (from original Bible), so tell to me which version Bible suitable for buying? And another clarification which Bible version have below mentioned sentence? He (god) had the water hatch (incubators). Kindly help to clarify my question.


Our Answer -

Personally, I like the “New International Version” of the Bible and I use it in my work. However it is not without controversy. There are some people who have developed a cult believing that any Bible other than the “King James Version” is of the devil. Considering how many people have given their hearts and lives over to Jesus Christ and want to serve Him after reading the “New International Version” or something similar, I believe their attacks on such new Bibles is nonsense. Moreover, the good newer translations of the Bible, such as, “The New King James Version”, “The International Version”, “Today’s English Version” (also called the “Good News Bible”), “The American Standard Bible”, “The New American Standard Bible”, and the “Contemporary English Version” all take their translations from much older scrolls, and should be more reliable than the “King James Version.” Any of these versions are good. But do not get any Bible that has been tampered with, such as gender neutral versions! They are not of God (Revelation 22:18-19)! For more information regarding the KJV conflict you can go to these websites, The Gospel Coalition, Inc. and the King James Only Debate on YouTube.


As far as your question about the reference “He (god) had the water hatch (incubators)” is concerned, I have checked in the New International Version, the King James Version, and the American Standard Bible, and there is nothing like that phrase in any of them. I am not aware of any Bible that has the phrase.


AWK

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Question asked by - Koilraj G

Location - Tamil Nadu, India

Question - Who is god?


Our Answer -

God is the Creator of everything, not only in this world, but in the entire universe, in every dimension. He is the only real God there is! Demon spirits want people to think that they are gods. But they are not deity (Deut. 32:17). They are rebellious angels that were once created by God to serve Him. However they chose to rebel against God and were thrown out of Heaven (Rev. 12:7-9) and their solid bodies were burned to a crisp (Ezek. 28:18) as part of their punishment for attempting to mutiny against God.


Since Adam, the first human, disobeyed God and allowed sin to come into this world (Genesis Chapter Three), every human being born through the bloodline of Adam is contaminated with a disease called sin. As a result we are born in a state of separation from our Creator and doomed to a life without His protection and without fulfilling His purpose for us. And after we die those of us who never accepted God’s only salvation (Hebrews 2:3) will end up in the same place that God created for the devil (the head demon) and his fallen angels (demons). It’s a place that is worst than your worst nightmare, a place that the Bible refers to as Hell (a jail in the center of the earth) and the Lake of Fire (like a federal prison next to Hell). Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten son (John 3:16) is our only hope of escape from the sentence of Hell (John 14:6, Acts 4:12). Jesus said that those who do not accept Him as their Lord and Savior will end of up in the fires of Hell. He said, “This is how it will be at the end of the age. The [good] angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:49-50 NIV). And it will never, never end! The suffering of those sent there will go on forever!


Jesus Christ came into this world for one purpose only, to die in our place, paying the price for our redemption and rectification with God. He did not come through the bloodline of Adam. But was sired directly through the Holy Spirit and born through a young Jewish virgin name Mary. Christ existed in Heaven as the second part of the Holy Trinity long before He came into this world as a baby to save us from the control of the devil and demons. For Adam’s sin gave the devil and his demons control over us. But they are nowhere near as powerful as God. No one is! God, our Creator, exists as three persons, God the Father (the most powerful of the Trinity), God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit. God is not one person but a family of three separate individuals “For there are three that bear record in Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one” (1 John 5:7 KJV). The Holy Ghost and Holy Spirit are the same Person. He is the third part of God’s Trinity. Unlike God the Father, who is also know as the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:9-13) and God the Son (Revelation 1:9-18), the Holy Spirit does not have a solid body. But His Presence and power can be felt throughout an entire church or any location He chooses to appear. He is invisible, but people become aware of His Holy Presence. God the Father and God the Son are only in one place at a time. However, the Holy Spirit knows everything that happens in the universe and keeps Father and Son aware of it (Proverbs 15:3). So do God’s holy angels, who are always watching us and recording all that we do (Revelation 20:12).


If you want to know more about this subject, I suggest you read the Bible for yourself. I suggest the following versions, The New King James Version, The International Version, Today’s English Version (Good News Bible), The American Standard Bible, The New American Standard Bible, and the Contemporary English Version. Also, read the newsletter articles I have written on our website.


AWK

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Question asked by - Sue Mayne

Location - South Carolina

Question - Why were there prisons in Jesus’s day and perhaps earlier before Jesus was born? I understand the prisoners were preached about Jesus and salvation. Why murderers and rapists etc. go to jail and then get out, a vast majority of them, yes born again, but stats show they get out and commit the same crimes or worse. This does not make sense when innocent children die, people starve and lose their jobs? Yet we spend tax money to give prisoners free room and board, this is called jailhouse religion?


Our Answer -

1. Prisons existed in Jesus’ day and before He was born because people committed crimes back then as they do now. So they needed to be separated from the rest of society to keep the innocent safe and to punish those who were guilty, and to teach by example that punishment follows when crime is committed.


2. I am not sure what period you are referring to when you say that you understand the prisoners were preached about Jesus and salvation. Do you mean the early church? Or do you mean these days? Or are you referring to Ephesians 4:7-10 and 1 Peter 3:18-20, which tells us that after Jesus died on Calvary He went into Paradise to release the believers who had died righteous, trusting God, and took them up to Heaven with Him? Jesus preached to the evil spirits who remained behind in Hell at that time. Your question is unclear as you mix present tense with past tense.


However, yes, some prisoners do receive Christian teaching in prison and jail. As Jesus said, “...The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field” (Luke 10:2 NIV). Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that all of the doctrine that is taught to prisoners is taught by reliable teachers (1 Tim. 1:3, 2 Tim. 4:3-4). Different denominations have various doctrines and often interpret the Bible in ways that we believe are erroneous. So not all the teachings prisoners receive are Bible based or what we at Bible Believers Fellowship, Inc. would approve of. We constantly remind people to read the Bible for themselves and not to trust every wild claim that a doctrine is gospel (Eph. 4:14).


However, I fail to understand why you should have a problem with Christian teaching to prisoners because even doctrine that is less than perfect can change the lives of prison inmates. And surveys, such as the one we have on our website, have shown that prisoners who receive religious training while in prison are less likely to commit new crimes when they get out. And any new crimes they do commit are generally not as severe.


As for Born Again Christians committing new crimes when they get out, I have some serious doubts as to whether they ever really came to accept Christ and repent of their sins while in prison. Some may just claim to be Born Again in hopes of getting a better chance of parole. But Jesus did say that after we are cleansed and reborn to Him, we must remain in the Vine of Christ (John 15:1-8) and put our trust and confidence totally in Him, not ourselves, or what seems logical. We must live by faith, or we do not produce the good fruit of righteousness (Galatians 5:22-25). And without the good fruit, which can only be achieved through faith and trust in Him, we are not truly saved.


3. Now I want to respond to your question which asks, “Why murderers and rapists etc go to jail and then get out, a vast majority of them, yes born again, but stat show they get out and commit the same crimes or worse.”


We don’t live under a Theocracy today. That means a government ruled by God the Creator. The only people who ever lived that way were the ancient Hebrews in Old Testament times. If we lived that way today, rapists and murderers would not get out of prison whether they repented of their sins or not. God demands the death penalty for such crimes! It was that way in the Old Testament (Leviticus 24:17, Exodus 21:12,14,16,17). And Jesus said that He did not come to do away the Old Testament laws, as some people think. He said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until Heaven and Earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished” (Matthew 5:17-18 NIV).


God’s laws would remain just and fair to all people if He were running our world. And innocent people would not be punished for the sins of the guilty. He said, “Do not deny justice to your poor people in their lawsuits. Have nothing to do with a false charge and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty” (Exodus 23:6-7 NIV).


I strongly disagree with liberal religious leaders who teach that even the worst of criminals can be rehabilitated back into society. God’s laws forbid that, even when a person repents of their sins to Him. “...Jesus said to them, ‘Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s’” (Mark 12:17 NIV). Jesus paid for the debt we owe to God. He did not die to absolve the debts criminals owe to society. And Paul elaborated on this in his message to the Corinthians. The early church in Corinth had written to Paul bragging about how much love they had for the sinners in their church who had previously become Christians and attended church services. Paul was astonished. He said, “And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this?” (1 Corinthians 5:2 NIV). Paul told them that some of the sins were so serious that the person should not only be thrown out of their church but handed over to the Roman authorities. He said, “When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 5:4-5 NIV).


In other words, he said that in making the man pay his debt to society for breaking the laws of God and the laws of the nation, the man would finally realized how serious his crime was and make an honest and sincere repentance to God. His false repentance to the church would just lead others to commit the same kinds of sin if he got away with it. That’s what Paul meant by “Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough?” (1 Corinthians 5:6 NIV). Likewise, in his letter to the Romans, Paul discusses other sins and how far mankind has drifted from the wisdom and laws of his Creator. He ends it by talking about those who actually condone such sinful beliefs and behavior and defend it. Then he says, “Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them” (Romans 1:32 NIV).


In my twenty-four years of dealing with prison inmates, I have learned that truly repentant murderers who have turned to the Lord and received great remorse over their crimes would much rather be executed and go home to be with Jesus than languish in prison for decades at tax payer expense. It is not the prisoners who make the laws it is the politicians. And the judges are the ones who enforce them. Psychiatrists also make the tragic mistake of allowing dangerous offenders to be released into society where they are tempted to commit new crimes.


AWK

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Question asked by - Thaer

Location - Jordan

Question - I am Muslim and I hate that I dream of Jesus twice and he calls me to be with Him forever. So I visit Church here in Jordan and I see new world. I wanna be a Christian but am scared because my family, if they know about it, they will kill me and kill my wife and my kids. Please help me.


Our Answer - Of course, the easy answer I could give you would be to remind you of the words of Jesus, “...Do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.... I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. I tell you, whoever acknowledges Me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. But he who disowns Me before men will be disowned before the angels of God” (Luke 12:4-9 NIV). However, in a practical sense, that’s not very comforting for someone who wants to be a new believer. Jesus was able to see into the future and knew of the suffering that those who died without His salvation would go through. He knew it would never end. For Hell is where everyone who chooses to live according to the natural inclination of their sinful human heart will eventually go. And Jesus knew that nothing anyone could suffer in this would can compare with it. The Only good thing about earthly suffering is that it will eventually end, even if it kills you. But the eternal suffering of those who die without God’s salvation will never end. It will go on and on and on forever and ever. So Jesus was attempting to distinguish the difference between temporary earthly suffering and the eternal torture of pain and misery in Hell. By the way, a little bit of the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:14-15), located in Hell, can be seen each time an earthquake erupts and spews that hot liquid fire up from the center of the earth to the surface.


So, given a choice in the matter, no matter what I may have to suffer for my love and obedience to Jesus Christ, at least I know that I have the reassurance that I will eventually get to Heaven and escape the terrible fate of eternal Hell. Nevertheless, I know how frightened you must be. No one wants for themselves or their family to die before their time. But you must be willing to love Christ so much that all thoughts of suffering seem insignificant by comparison. It is possible for a mature Christian to achieve that goal. The Apostle John wrote, “...We know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like Him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:16-19 NIV). However, a new believer is not likely to have that much confidence. It takes a great deal of spiritual growth and many lessons from the Lord before a Christian can get to the point of losing their fear of persecution.


Take a look at the story of Jesus’ disciple Simon Peter. Peter was a new believer in Christ, but he loved Jesus so much that he thought he would be willing to die for Him (Luke 22:33). Yet when Peter was actually put into a situation where his life was in danger, he became afraid and denied Jesus three times (John 18:15-27). Yet church history tells us that when Peter was an old man he did die for Christ. In one account I heard that Peter had actually escaped from the Romans and was in a safe location. He and his wife knelt down to pray, but God told him, “Go back Peter. Go Peter.” Peter loved and trusted Christ so much that, knowing what would happen, he obeyed the Lord and turned back. History tells us that they made Peter watch while they stripped off the clothes of his elderly wife and nailed her to a cross. As she screamed in agony, Peter called to her, “Beloved, remember Christ. Remember Christ.” When it came time for Peter to die, he told the Roman leaders that he did not feel worthy to die the same way as his Savior. So they should crucify him upside down. They did. And that was an even more painful way to die.


There’s no guarantee that you and your family will become martyrs for Christ. It wouldn’t be very useful to the Lord for your lives to be wasted so quickly. However, as Jesus said, “...Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves Me must follow Me; and where I am, My servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves Me” (John 12:24-26 NIV). Above all, keep in mind that Jesus must love you a lot or He wouldn’t be calling to you to come to Him. He must have very special plans for you and your future.


I have tried to contact another Christian organization to see if they would be able to offer you any help, as they have a missions ministry that’s worldwide. But I have not received any response from them. And I have learned over the years not to keep pushing against the tide, so to speak. If it’s God’s will for something to happen, it will happen without a struggle. Since I got no response to my inquiry, the Lord must have something special in mind for you. And so I don’t want to get in His way. What we will do however, is place your question in our “Prayer Request” file and ask people to pray for you and your family. So try to read the Christian Bible and pray with your family as much as possible. During times of extreme stress and danger, it usually helps to combine your praying with a period of fasting for extra spiritual strength. And remember the Bible says, “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars--their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death” (Revelation 21:8 NIV).


So rely on this final word from the Apostle Paul, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28 NIV). He also said, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ‘For Your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, either the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35-39 NIV). And finally Paul tells the Philippians, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7 NIV).


AWK

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Question asked by - Darko Vilupek

Location - Croatia

Question - Which Bible translation is the most credible?


Our Answer - Of course, if you are using a Croatian translation, I would not be familiar with any version in that language. However, Bibles in many different languages are available from: The American Bible Society, at 1865 Broadway, New York, NY 10023. However, since you wrote your question in such perfect English, you apparently speak and read the language very well. You may be one of the many Americans living in a foreign nation. Therefore, if you are asking about English translations, you may be aware of the great controversy on the subject. I don’t want to get involved in the “King James Only” controversy because those in favor of using only the King James version of the Bible tend to get very passionate in their views. The whole thing started with a book entitled “New Age Bible Versions” by Gail Riplinger. It stated that all other translations of the Bible except the KJV are of the devil. I suppose that includes all foreign languages and all translations that existed prior to the KJV as well as contemporary versions.


Since I am not a Bible scholar, I will refer you to someone who is, James White. So, if you are concerned about the controversy please watch an excellent video on the subject at KJV Onlyism Debate. As for myself, I refer to the words of Jesus, who said, “I am the good shepherd; I know My sheep and My sheep know Me... and I lay down My life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen [Gentiles, not just Jews]. I must bring them also. They too will listen to My voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd” (John 10:14-16 NIV). When you have the Holy Spirit in you He enables you to sense the true Word of God when you hear it. And I hear it in some, but not all, of the modern versions of the Bible, such as the ‘New International Version,’ which is the one I use the most. Also, other translations like the ‘New King James Version,’ the ‘Contemporary English Version’ and ‘New American Standard’ are also good. One man in Hawaii once told me that he accepted Christ as his Savior after reading the New International Version. I heard a tape where another man said he read a New Testament version of it and came to the Lord. And I could sense God’s Presence in both of them. That wouldn’t happen if they were reading some evil translation.


I’m not claiming that there is anything unholy about the King James Version. It was the first version I ever read and God blessed me through it. However, we deal with prison inmates in this ministry. Some of them are fairly uneducated. And they have a hard time understanding terms in the KJV like “whoremonger” (Ephesians 5:5). Another example is the word “homosexual” (1 Corinthians 6:9), which is used in the ‘New International Version,’ but is translated “abusers of themselves with mankind” in the KJV Bible. Even words like “harlot,” which appears in the KJV (1 Corinthians 6:15-16) are not as easily understood as the word “prostitute” which appears in the same verses in the New International Version. Also, words like “beer” are easily understood in the New International Version in verses like 1 Samuel 1:15 and are more specific than the term “strong drink” that is used in the KJV. The devil is the author of confusion, and people are more likely to become confused if they are reading terms they are unfamiliar with. The devil can twist scripture around more easily when it is hard to understand (Matthew 7:15 and Acts 20:30).


One example of evidence the “KJV only” proponents use is the fact that Satan’s original name was Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12), back in the days when he was a perfect and powerful heavenly angel. However you will not find the word used in the New International Version or the New American Standard. They use the translation of the word, which is “morning star.” But that’s what the word “Lucifer” means. The KJV proponents point to the fact that Jesus is referred to as “the bright morning star” in Revelation 22:16. However, it uses the term in Revelation 2:28 too, which reads, “I will also give him the morning star.” And the term is used in scripture like Job 38:7, which talks about the creation of planet earth and the joy the heavenly angels had. And it says, “while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?” (NIV). So the term “stars” refers to angels in certain scriptures, such as Revelation 12:4. And refers to the twelve angels who protect the “woman” (the nation of Israel) in Rev. 12:1.


As for the term “the bright morning star” which is found in Revelation 22:16, I believe that it refers to an important position. The Bible seems to hint that in a time prior to the creation of mankind, Lucifer ruled over planet earth. In those days he was still loyal to God. The Lord told him, “You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you... You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you” (Ezekiel 28:14-15 NIV). Lucifer’s position as ruler of the earth was very prestigious. Most likely more so than any other angel. And so he was given the title “Morning Star,” which I believes signifies authority over the earth. During His 1,000 year reign upon the earth (see Revelation 20:4) Jesus will assume that position. So I believe that is why the Lord is referred to as “the bright and morning star”. Of course, Lucifer’s position changed after his failed mutiny (Revelation 12:9). That’s when God remade the earth out of recycled material when He prepared it for us. The Bible says, “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth...” (Genesis 1:28 KJV). To “replenish” something there has to be something there in the first place. So I see no evil intent in the translation of Lucifer as “morning star” because that is what he was during his reign over the earth.


I hope this has been of help to you.


AWK

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Question asked by - Byenkya Samuel

Location - Kampala, Uganda

Question - Praise the good Lord! I have a question. If someone gets married in Anglican church when they are a born again Christian, is that marriage valid in the eyes of the Lord?


Our Answer - According to my research, the Anglican church in Uganda is traditional in its doctrine opposing gay marriage, especially among church leadership (see information about the Church of Uganda in Wikipedia). It adheres to the scripture which states, “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders” (1 Corinthians 6:9 NIV. Also, see Romans 1:18-32). The Ugandan church has grown closer to Christ than many Anglican branches in the western world. For it has come out of terrible persecution through leaders like Idi Amin. There, unless your church has adopted some unorthodox doctrines that I am unaware of, I would say, absolutely, it is valid in the eyes of God!


However, make sure you check out everything they teach with a good Bible translation, because many churches that were once grounded firmly in the Word of God have tended to backslide into whatever is considered popular or politically correct. Jesus and His apostles warned us of this (Matthew 15:7-9, Matthew 7:15, Acts 20:29-30, Galatians 1:6-9, 1 Timothy 1:3, 6:3-5).


However, you don’t need to worry about marriage in the Ugandan Anglican church. The original church came about as a result of the Protestant Reformation in Europe. And in its basic, original form, it is sound in true Biblical doctrine. Nevertheless, remember that the church is not the mediator between God and man. Jesus is (1 Timothy 2:5). So your faith in God should revolve around Christ, not any structure built by human hands (Acts 7:49-51). And the Holy Spirit should take up residence in the heart of every believer! Best wishes for God’s blessings on the marriage!


AWK

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Question asked by - Juan Diaz

Location - El Monte, California

Question - What is the meaning of 1 Timothy 2:15 regarding the phrase “saved in childbearing” (KJV)? According to Ephesians 2:8 we are saved by grace.


Our Answer - The scripture you are asking about and the one right before it reads, “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety” (1 Timothy 2:14-15 KJV).


This in no way implies that a woman has to have a baby in order to be saved! It is referring to what happened in the Garden of Eden when Eve disobeyed God and ate the forbidden fruit. Eve was deceived but Adam was aware of what would happen. He knew that Eve’s sin would separate her from the Lord. And, it would seem, he did not want to be separated from Eve. You see, he loved her more than he loved God. Unfortunately, in our natural sinful state, we human beings tend to love the gifts of God more than the Giver. So the devil used Eve in order to get to Adam. For God put the seed of human life (semen) in the body of the man. The woman’s body didn’t contain any seed. It was the human incubator that would bring future generations of children into this world.


Our bodies were made from garden soil, the dust of the earth (see Genesis 2:7, 3:19). So childbirth could be compared to planting a seed in the garden. In order for it to grow into a healthy plant, the seed must be good, but the soil also has to be fertile. Therefore, due to Adam’s sin, his entire body, including the seed for all human generations, was contaminated with sin, dooming all of us to eternal separation from God. However, not all of Adam and Eve’s children were male. Baby girls would be born to them as well. They would grow up to be women capable of childbirth. And eventually, a young virgin named Mary would come into this world. So even though Adam’s sin came about due to Eve’s urging, it was also through the female gender that our salvation would come. If it had not been for the female sex we would have no hope of escaping our sin. For it was through the birth of the baby Jesus, born through the body of a woman, that our salvation would come from! For God put the seed of new, uncontaminated life into her body, through the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35). Her Son, Jesus Christ, is our one and only mediator between God and man (see 1 Timothy 2:5). Only He, can reconcile us to our Creator. Jesus said, “...I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6 NIV).


That’s what the Apostle Paul was talking about.


AWK

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Question asked by - Domo

Location - Morocco

Question - I no longer feel I am a Muslim. I have a friend in America, who told me about Christianity. I became interested in the teachings of Christ. And I want to give up Islam and come to Christ. I need some help. You know, this is a serious change of religion in a Muslim country. Please help me any way you can.


Our Answer - Have you read any of the articles I wrote that are available on our website at our Christian Newsletters in English page? They should put you on the right track. Also take a look at our prison inmate testimony section. I think it will help. One concern I have is that you do not go from the Moslem faith into a cult or some type of counterfeit Christianity. The Apostle Paul said to the early Christian church, “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel--which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from Heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!” (Galatians 1:6-8 NIV). There are many false doctrines in the Christian religion, as the devil is trying to dilute the truth. That is “...there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all men...” (1 Timothy 2:5-6 NIV).


The Bible tells us “...all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 NIV). And no matter what the Catholic church or any other entity may tell you, the Bible says that we can’t pay the debt we owe to God for our own sin. That’s because the sin within us makes us spiritual slaves of the devil (John 8:34). You see, originally God created mankind perfect in the form of the man named Adam, and his wife named Eve (Genesis chapters 1 thru 3). However, mankind rebelled again his Creator, thus becoming sinful. It happened because Adam loved his wife, Eve, more than he loved God. Adam was not deceived (1 Timothy 2:14). He knew the consequences of his sin. But Eve was deceived by the devil! And she ate the forbidden fruit God told them not to eat or even touch. I think it’s fair to assume that Adam did not want to be separated from his wife. Whatever happened to her, he wanted to suffer the same fate rather than be without her. So he also ate the forbidden fruit. As a result of his disobedience Adam changed masters. And since he had chosen to follow Eve, who obeyed the devil (also called Satan), the devil gained all that God had given to Adam (Genesis 1:26). That included the ability to rule over this entire planet (Matthew 4:8-10)! Adam was never supposed to die. All that changed when Adam sinned against God. Not only did he die spiritually, for separation from God is spiritual death (Romans 6:23 and Revelation 2:11, 21:8), he also began the process of dying physically (1 Cor. 15:22 and Romans 6:23). And because Satan now controls the systems of this world (that he finagled away from Adam), that’s why this world is so evil!


Although the rest of us were not there at the time that Adam sinned, we all inherited his sin and the sentence of death that goes with it. That means we are separated from God spiritually, even from the time of our birth. Each innocent looking baby is born with the disease of sin. That’s because Adam carried the seed (semen) for the entire human race in his loins. So all of us were born into this world contaminated by it. God knew that unless He drastically intervened in the situation there would be no hope for mankind. You see, long before mankind was created, God made the angels. As He did with mankind, He gave them free will to choose whether or not to serve Him. He didn’t want a race of robots. For programmed love is no love at all. The angels all served Him perfectly for a long time. However there was one angel, named Lucifer, who became the most powerful angel of all. He had served God so perfectly that God had blessed him with many gifts. He became the most prestigious, honored angel of them all. However there came a time when all this honor God had given him went to his head. And Lucifer began to question his loyalty to God. He even got to the point of becoming jealous of what God has. As a result, he gained influence over one third of God’s angels, who are also called stars in the Bible (Job 38:7). “And there was war in Heaven. Michael [a powerful angel who remained faithful to God] and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in Heaven. The great dragon was hurled down--that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him” (Revelation 12:7-9 NIV).


Part of the punishment God gave them was the loss of their solid bodies. The Bible tells us that God incinerated their bodies as they stood before Him! He later told Lucifer and his followers, “By your many sins… you have desecrated your sanctuaries [bodies]. So I made a fire come Out from you, and it consumed you, and I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of All who were watching” (Ezekiel 28:18 NIV). These fallen angels became known as “demons” and God changed the name of their leader, Lucifer, to Satan. He also changed Satan’s position from “light bearer”, (which is what the name Lucifer means) to the devil (which means “accuser of the brethren” - Rev. 12:10). But that’s not all their punishment. They are no longer allowed in Heaven, unless invited for some special occasion, such as in Job 1:6. They were hurled to the earth (Rev. 12:9 and Luke 10:18). Eventually they will be all thrown into a horrible place of torture and fire called Hell (Mark 9:47-49, Revelation 20:10, 14-15). The Bible tells us that Hell and the Lake of Fire is in the center of the earth (Ezekiel 26:20, Deut. 32:22, Numbers 16:1-34, Isaiah 5:14, Amos 9:2, Prov. 15:24, Eph. 4:8-9) and that it is a place of unfathomable torture and fire with brimstone. In modern times, scientists and geologists have discovered that the center of our earth is filled with liquid fire and brimstone. While in Hawaii in 1985, my husband and I visited “Volcanoes National Park” on the big island. We smelt the sulfur in the air and saw the smoke rising out of cracks in the earth. We had an eerie feeling about it, spiritually sensing the millions of screaming people entrapped there forever!


You see, as a result of mankind’s sin, unless we humans are willing to acquiesce to the will of God, our Creator, and accept the only salvation He offers us, we will follow Satan and his demons into that horrible place. Millions of people have chosen to reject His offer and are in that horrible fire of hell today! Once there, they will never get out, and will burn there for all eternity! However, “the Lord... is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9 NIV). Unfortunately most do not! Nevertheless, “...God so loved the [people of this] world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him” (John 3:16-17 NIV). That salvation did not come cheaply to God. God’s Son suffered our eternal punishment in our place! The God we serve, as true Christians, is not filled with hatred and violence as many Moslems are taught. He is filled with love and compassion for us (see Psalms 103:13-14). That is the basics of Christianity. It is the understanding that the Son of God came into this world (John 1:1-14), and suffered and died in our place. But we must remain faithful to Him and obey Him. He is like a Holy Vine to us and we are like branches that must remain attached to the Vine. God the Father is like a Gardener, who will prune us away from Christ if we do not remain faithfully attached to Him (John 15:1-6). Without Christ we are like dried up dead leaves that will eventually get burned in the fire (see Isaiah 64:6).


The Hebrew name for Jesus Christ is “Yeshua Ha-Mashiach.” It means “Jesus the Messiah.” The prophet Isaiah prophesied about Him thousands of years before He was born into this world. He wrote of the first coming of the promised Messiah, saying that He would be, “...despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth” (Isaiah 53:3-7 NIV). There are many metaphors about the Lord’s coming in what Christians call the Old Testament, which is the Jewish Bible, called the Tanakh. One of them is the story of Abraham, after the Lord told him to sacrifice his own son, Isaac, to God. It was to be symbolic of the sacrifice God made of His Son for us.


Isaac was not a child, but Bible scholars have determined that he was at least seventeen years old. Some have stated that he was even in his thirties. The point is, he had to be old enough to have the strength to carry enough fire wood to consume a human body when set on fire. Isaac carried that wood on his back. In like manner, it was the custom of those who were to be crucified to carry their own cross. Christ did so until He became too weak from the beatings and blood loss. Then a man named Simon the Cyrene was given the task (Matthew 27:32). Another parallel is the fact that Abraham was a feeble old man of one hundred years old at the time he set out to sacrifice his son. Isaac was strong enough to carry all that firewood. Therefore, he could have easily resisted his father’s attempt to tie him up and sacrifice him. Yet he was willing to obey his father, even to the point of death, just as Christ obeyed His Father all the way to His sacrifice on the cross. The fact is, Jesus Christ was the Jewish Messiah! He was a direct descendant from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Yet His own people rejected Him, as Isaiah said they would (Isaiah 53:3). Nevertheless, Gentiles like me have received Him. If He were not who He claimed to be, how could so many hearts of Gentiles be changed toward Him? If we just wanted to pick someone from history to worship, why would Gentiles choose a Jew? Why would so many be willing to suffer and die for Him?


As a former Moslem, I’m sure you have been taught to have hatred toward the Jews. That’s because the devil has influenced so many false prophets, like Islamic religious leaders, and Nazis to hate Jews. For God’s Son came into this world as a Jew and He is the only one who has the power to save them from Satan and the powers of Hell! Those who follow the devil are filled with hatred, violence, and contempt for anyone else’s beliefs. True Christianity doesn’t force anyone to worship Christ. If we reject Him, we do it at our own eternal peril (Hebrews 2:3). The Bible teaches us that when we live for Christ, His Holy Spirit lives in our heart. He gives us the opposite of hatred. “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:8-10 NIV).


When we have the Holy Spirit of God controlling our lives, the fruit (character traits) of His Spirit gives us “...love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV). Also, Paul the Apostle of Christ wrote, “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears... And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:2-13 NIV).


There have been many false versions of Christianity down through the ages. At the time prior to the Reformation, in Europe, the only religion that called itself Christian was the Catholic church. And contrary to the teachings of Christ, they tried to force people to worship God their way. Instead of teaching that we are to have a personal relationship with God, through Christ His Son, they taught that to reach God, we must go through the Catholic church and the Pope. They tortured people to death and burned many at the stake. It originated out of the Roman Empire, which up until the time of Emperor Constantine, persecuted and tortured those who chose to serve Christ instead of Caesar. Constantine’s empire was split between Christians, who put Christ first, and the idol worshipers, who would not give up their idols. As a result, Constantine decided the only way he could unite his kingdom was to develop a watered down, compromised version of Christianity. But it was not built on the Rock of Christ (1 Corinthians 10:4). It was built metaphorically on sinking sand (Matthew 7:24-27 and 1 Corinthians 3:11-13). I don’t know that much about the Islamic religion. But I read somewhere that it was due to all the hypocrisy that Mohammed saw among Catholic Popes (who had many illegitimate children), that he turned his back on Christianity. He blamed Christ for the sins he saw in the church. For they called themselves Christians. It’s the same with the Jews, many of whom hate Jesus Christ because the Nazis, who tortured and killed 6 million of them at the time of Hitler, claimed to be Christians.


God has supplied new believers with spiritual shepherds who are mature leaders in the faith (1 Peter 5:1-3). But they must not become the object of worship. We cannot even call ourselves teachers, “...for you have one Teacher, the Christ” (Matthew 23:10 NIV). In other words, God’s Holy Spirit must live in our hearts, and speak of His Word through us (John 14:16-17, 26-27, 15:26). Fact is, the Bible teaches us that since Christ died for our sins, we don’t need any other mediator! Our faith does not revolve around any priests, imams, pastors, or any other religious leader. It must only revolve around Christ! All you need to do is get on your knees and repent of your sins to God, asking His salvation through His Son Jesus Christ. You will feel cleansed and joyful at first. But your faith and commitment will be tested after a time. And, especially in a Moslem country, it will be rough. You will probably face a great deal of persecution. But God will help you as long as you cling to Him. Pray directly to Him often, in humble submission, and He will raise you up! Try to find a Christian book store and buy yourself a Bible. And read it consecutively. You don’t need any Bible Study, which could lead you to selective passages to push a particular doctrine, while ignoring other scripture to the contrary. And look to God for guidance. Many call themselves Christians, but for most it is just a religious title, not a true commitment. Trust God to lead you to those who can really help you.


Hopefully, your friend will be able to send you a Bible. However, if you are unable to obtain a Bible through him, and cannot find one in Morocco, you can write to the American Bible Society, and ask how you may obtain one in your language. Their address is: 1865 Broadway, New York, NY 10023. Their phone number is (212) 408-1200. The Bible is also available on computer software (theWord or e-Sword). You could try searching the web for other ones. Or you could use one of the many sites that have the Bible online such as bibleverses.com, Bible Hub, or Bible Gateway. I also believe that a book entitled “Samuel Morris” would be helpful to you. It is available on the web at Amazon.com and Christianbook.com. Or perhaps your friend could obtain it and send it to you. We purchased thousands of them to give to prison inmates in the United States. A Christian chaplain at one of the prisons told my husband that he used to be a Moslem. But he came to Christ after reading the book.


I hope this has been of help to you. I also hope that this ministry has aided you in your decision to come to Christ. May God bless you on your new journey of faith!


AWK

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Question asked by - Abides

Location - Queensland, Australia

Question - I know we will be judged by Jesus on judgement day but I have read in Matthew Jesus said that the 12 disciples will also judge us is that correct?


Our Answer - I assume you are talking about the following scripture. “Jesus said to them, ‘I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel’” (Matthew 19:28 NIV). If you are a Gentile, this does not apply to you at all. The twelve tribes of Israel were all Jewish, descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The twelve disciples were also Jewish.


The Jews were blessed by God more than any ancient people. They were the only ones in ancient times to love and serve the one and only true God. The Lord was always fighting for them against their pagan enemies. And the Jews would worship Him for a little while, then drift away from Him, into horrible sin, leaving their first love and following the ways of the pagans. The whole Old Testament is about God’s help and encouragement of the Jews, and their frequent drifting away from Him. Most of us have heard about how God freed the Jews from Egyptian bondage (see Exodus 3:1 thru 12:51), and even opened up the Red Sea for them to walk across on dry land (Exodus 15:1-13). Or how God used a little Jewish shepherd boy named David to slay a huge giant in the name of the Lord (1 Samuel 17:1-54).


There are too many examples in the Bible of God fighting for the Jewish people for me to list. However they also broke the Lord’s heart with their constant straying away from Him. The Lord warned them not to do this in scripture such as Isaiah 1:18-24 and Isaiah 5:1-13, where God uses metaphoric language to describe how disappointed and angry He was when, after His many blessings, the Jews constantly strayed away from Him. More examples of God’s blessings and the Jews straying can be found in Nehemiah chapter nine, Psalm 78:1-72, and Deuteronomy 32:15-22.


The point is, they of all people should have recognized their own Messiah when Christ came into this world. But instead, they rejected Him. This was prophesied by Isaiah, who wrote, “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted” (Isaiah 53:3-4 NIV). Can you imagine the pain God felt when the people He had loved and blessed the most would not even accept their own prophesied Redeemer! And Christ suffered so much for us! That’s why, after giving up hope of reaching the Jewish nation as a whole, God instructed Paul to take the message of the Gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 13:46). For they would accept Him!


That’s why the Apostle John wrote of how God the Son existed in Heaven long before He came into this world as our Savior. John called Him the Word of God. He wrote how God’s Son was there at the time of creation, and says, “He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him” (John 1:11 NIV). In other words, Jesus came into this world as a Jew. But the Jewish people, as a nation, would not accept Him. However, twelve Jewish men did accept Him. They loved Him and served Him. They became His primary disciples. And most of them died for Him, often in agonizing ways. They remained true to Him even unto the end of their lives. So that’s what the scripture in Matthew 19:28 is all about! On judgment day, they will sit in judgment over all the Jewish leaders and their followers who rejected Him. For they remained faithful to Him, while the others didn’t.


Nevertheless, Jews that accept Christ as their Savior and Lord, will get to Heaven if they remain faithful till the end (Matthew 10:22, 24:13, 1 Corinthians 1:8, and Revelation 2:26). For they may not be among the twelve great Apostles, but they have remained faithful to the Lord. And there are a lot of Jews today who do accept Christ as their Messiah. They are a minority compared to the Jewish people as a whole, but they will still get into the Kingdom of God.


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Question asked by - Prasoona

Location - Mangalagiri (Guntur District), India

Question - What is the difference between Satan and the devil?


Our Answer - They are the same person! Satan is his name. And the devil is his title.


The devil, whose name is Satan, was originally created by God as a powerful Heavenly angel. He was perfect in every way from the time he was created up until sin took root in his heart. His original name was “Lucifer.” That name only appears in the King James Version of the English Bible (Isaiah 14:12). In other translations the meaning of the word is translated. “Lucifer” means “morning star” and so that is how it is stated in the New International Version. The New American Version uses the term “day-star.” Another translation of the word “Lucifer” is “light bearer.” It is sort of a title. And probably refers to a specific position of authority. Angels, are also referred to as “stars” in the Bible (Job 38:7).


The Bible seems to hint that specific angels have jurisdiction over certain nations. Examples of this are found in Daniel 10:13 and 10:20, where they are referred to as “princes.” By the way, some people are confused about angels. They see pictures or paintings of baby angels, or angels portrayed as women. However, there are only two forms of intelligent life that God ever created, the angels and mankind. The angels are all in the male gender. And they were created individually, not through procreation, as humans were. Mark 12:25 tells us that they do no marry or have children. They remain as they have always been, as adult males.


The angels were created long before mankind came into existence (Job 38:4-7). And, just as we humans were given freedom to choose whether to serve God or not, so were the angels. God didn’t want a race of robots to be programmed. He wanted beings capable of independent thinking that He could associate with on an intelligent basis. All the angels were given certain talents, just as we humans have. Some were great artists, some good orators, etc. And they were given various degrees of power and prestige. The Bible implies that Lucifer was the most powerful and honored angel of all. I believe that mostly likely he was ruler in the spirit world, over planet earth. And that a population of angels lived on our planet prior to the creation of mankind. That would explain the fact that scientists believe that the earth is very old, and that there was more than one ice age. It also explains why the bones of dinosaurs and fossils have been found in the earth.


There seems to be a great gap in time between verse one and verse two which says, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:1-2 KJV). Now we know that God is Light (see 1 John 1:5) and that all He creates is perfect and full of some kind of light. Even the stars give us light at night! The earth is full of water. And verse two tells us that the Holy Spirit moved over the water. Why did He do that? I believe it was because Lucifer had once ruled over the earth. After revealing that he thought himself equal or greater than God, I think the Lord cursed him with huge animals such as dinosaurs and made the earth unpleasant to live in, finally flooding it with water. Without the Presence of God there was no light on the earth, and without light, there was no heat either. And somehow, it seems that the Lord created such a disruption of normal functions that the earth became squishy and shapeless. Consequently the water that existed froze.


However, when God remade the earth for mankind, it was made up of recycled material. And, since “...the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters... God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (Genesis 1:2-3 NIV). The light defrosted the earth and the Lord spent the remaining five days enthusiastically putting His love into making the earth a perfect and joyous habitation in which mankind could live. Now, since the original inhabitants were angels, many of which became fallen angels (also called demons), the earth needed to be repopulated. So, the Lord told Adam and Eve, “...Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth...” (Genesis 1:28 KJV). The word “replenish” implies that some kind of life was there previously.


Now what led up to all of this. Here we go back to Lucifer again. He had been perfect in every way from the time God created him until pride began to form in his heart (Isaiah 14:12-15) and he became jealous of the power and authority of God. The Lord was the only One in the universe more powerful than Lucifer. Therefore, as a result of Lucifer’s influence over one third of God’s heavenly angels, “...there was war in Heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in Heaven” (Revelation 12:7-8 NIV). So, what happened, and who was the dragon? “The great dragon was hurled down--that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him” (Revelation 12:9 NIV).


As a result of the war in Heaven, God changed Lucifer’s name to “Satan.” And Lucifer’s position was no longer that of a powerful Heavenly angel, but now as God’s chief enemy, known as “the devil.” He was the one who entered into the body of a snake in the Garden of Eden and was able to tempt Eve (Genesis 3:1-7). God also changed the position of all the angels who had mutinied with Satan. That’s when they became known as “demons.” In case you are wondering how these beings, who had flesh and bone bodies as angels, were able to enter into the bodies of humans and animals (see Mark 5:2-13), part of the punishment they received from the Lord was the loss of their solid bodies. God said to Satan, “Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings. By your many sins and dishonest trade you have desecrated your sanctuaries [bodies]. So I made a fire come out from you, and it consumed you, and I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching” (Ezekiel 28:17-18 NIV). There was a great trial in Heaven and the fallen angels (demons), who mutinied with Satan also received the same fate. Their bodies were totally incinerated by God while they stood there before Him!


That’s who Satan, the devil, is. Sadly, Adam and Eve, God’s first human creations, chose to believe the devil, and disobey God. That’s how sin came into the human race. And it is why we must repent of our sins to God alone (Matt. 6:9), not the priest or any other human being. Only Jesus, God’s Son, paid the price to redeem our souls from the clutches of Satan (1 Tim. 2:5-6). For Satan still controls the lives of all who have not repented (Eph. 2:1-3) and accepted Christ as their Savior (John 1:11-13). As believers in Christ, He Is our only Savior, our only protector, and our only hope of ever getting to Heaven when we die (John 14:6). “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12 NIV).


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Question asked by - Moni

Location - Chennai (capital city in the Indian state of Tamil, Nadu.)

Question - What is the name of existing oldest city right from Abraham's period till now with same name?


Our Answer - While some archeologists state that Jericho is the oldest city in the world, I see no evidence in the Bible that the city existed at the time of Abraham. However, Hebron, located in Israel, did (Genesis 13:18). And it is still a very active city today.


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Question asked by - Mark Gadett

Location - San Mateo, California

Question - Do I need to be baptized in water in order to be saved in Christ?


Our Answer - Your question is one that many people are confused about. There has been a lot of conflicting doctrine on the subject. But let me put it this way. Suppose you are at a church and become Born Again. Then on the way home you are hit by a truck and killed. You never had a chance to become water baptized. Does that mean that you will not get to Heaven? No! The thief on the cross never had a chance to be Born Again and he still got to Heaven. Yet Jesus said to him, “...I tell you the truth, today you will be with Me in paradise” (Luke 23:43 NIV). Paradise was the waiting area where the Old Testament righteous went when they died. They could not get into Heaven because Jesus had not paid for their sins yet. The Lord spoke of Paradise in Luke 16:19-31 and Abraham was there, among the righteous. After Jesus died His spirit went into the depth of the earth, where Paradise was, and took those awaiting Him up to Heaven (Ephesians 4:7-10). So we know that the thief on the cross was saved and was among those whom Jesus took with Him when He ascended into Heaven.


As Christians we are to follow Christ’s example (1 Peter 2:21). And Christ was water baptized. It is a ceremonial act stating to the world that you love Christ and, through Him, you have died to sin (Romans 6:1-5). That’s why, during the procedure, you are placed quickly under the water, signifying death, then raised up out of the water, signifying that you died to sin and now have new life in Christ. Therefore, we are encouraged, in the Bible, to be water baptized. However, the mere act of water baptism will not save you if you are not sincerely committed to live for Christ and have repented of your sins. God know our hearts and is aware of whether we are sincere or not (1 Samuel 16:7, 1 Peter 3:12). Let me also say here that infant water baptism is not biblical, although many people think it is sufficient. Infants should be dedicated to the Lord, as the baby Jesus was in Luke 2:22. The person must be old enough to think for him or herself and make their own decisions to accept Christ as their Savior and live for Him. Jesus was an adult when He was water baptized.


I know that very often Christians are pressured into making a speedy trip to the church baptismal tank. However, the location at which you are baptized does make a difference to God. If the church is backslidden and the Holy Spirit is not present, the pastor may be on an ego trip to glorify himself by having mass water baptisms that he can brag about and gloat over in front of his peers. In that case, the Lord may choose another location for your water baptism. Because God wants all the glory for Himself (Isaiah 42:8, 48:11, 1 Corinthians 1:26-29). Here’s a personal example of my experience with it. Back in my single days, the church I attended had occasional water baptisms. But, even though God had baptized me in His Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:11, John 14:16-17, 26, 16:7, Acts 18:24 thru 19:7), for personal reasons, I did not feel led to become water baptized at that time. However, through a friend of mine, I became acquainted with a young Christian man who did not attend my church. When he found out that I had not become water baptized, he began to reprimand me sternly. Yet, despite his rebuking, I did not feel any confirmation from the Lord that He wanted me to become water baptized at that time. Then, in 1984, several years after Eric and I were married, we had an opportunity to go on vacation to the Holy Land. It was with a non-denominational Christian touring group. They were planning to have a water baptism service in the Jordan River. The same river in which Christ Himself had been baptized (Matthew 3:13)! It was as if God spoke to my heart and said, “That’s where I want you to be baptized!” And we were! It was not done through any specific church denomination. But it was in a location that all Christians can agree was a very special place to the Lord!


Now this is very important. Water baptisms should not be confused with the baptism in the Holy Spirit! At the time of John the Baptist, Jesus had not yet died for our sin. So all that John the Baptist could do was to baptize people with water. “People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan.Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: ‘You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance... The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come One who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will clear His threshing floor, gathering His wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire’” (Matthew 3:5-12 NIV).


The Pharisees and Sadducees were the powerful and hypocritical religious leaders of his day. They claimed to be righteous but they had all the attributes of the proud, arrogant, sinful life that Jesus hates (see Matthew 6:1-7, 23:2-7). Therefore, John knew that they were not sincere in their relationship with God and he refused to water baptize them. It’s the same worry that Paul had when he wrote, “And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve” (2 Corinthians 11:12-15 NIV). Paul knew that the religious leaders in his day wanted to pretend that they were just as righteous as Paul was. It was what Jesus described metaphorically in Matthew 13:24-30. When you tell someone that you’re a Christian, they may say, “Oh, I’m a Christian too.” You know that they are not really living for Christ because Jesus said, “By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?” (Matthew 7:16 NIV). Spiritual “fruit” is described in Galatians 5:19-24. So the Apostle Paul wrote, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25 NIV).


The reason why I am emphasizing the distinction is because there is a doctrine going around that claims that after you are Born Again, and water baptized, that is all you need in your relationship with God. However, the book of Acts tells us that Paul, on one of his missionary trips, “...arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.’ So Paul asked, ‘Then what baptism did you receive?’ ‘John’s baptism,’ they replied. Paul said, ‘John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.’ On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied” (Acts 19:1-6 NIV). The subject of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is vast, but I hope to go into more detail about it in the future.


Going back to water baptism, see how the Lord leads you. It is a ceremonial act, and Jesus always gave a certain amount of leeway in such things (Mathew 15:1-9, 12:8-14). Jesus was more concerned with the condition of the person’s heart (Mark 2:16-17) than their righteousness in front of men (Mark 12:38-40). Nevertheless, when you feel in your heart, through the Holy Spirit that the Lord has prepared a place for you to be water baptized, I recommend that you do not ignore Him on this matter. God wants the glory for Himself & will lead you to the placed where He knows He will get the most glory. And there you should be water baptized.


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Question asked by - Mar

Location - Phoenix, Arizona

Question - Is there a pen pal ministry where I can email a prison inmate? I realize this would go through an email address, possibly get printed out and given to the inmate.


Our Answer - Frankly, we get many requests from prison inmates who want a pen-pal. Most may claim to be Christian and want a good Christian influence in their life. However, since well over ninety percent of prison inmates are male, what most of them really want is a female pen-pal who can be a love interest in their life. They sometimes tell us their eye and hair color, race, age, hobbies, etc. as if they were putting an ad for a girlfriend in the personal pages of a newspaper. Some of them don’t even claim to be Christians. They are just lonely and want a girlfriend.


We did try, many years ago, to do a pen-pal program. In fact, in 1992 I saw a trial on television & was so upset that the accused man was convicted of a murder I do not believe he committed that I began to correspond with him for several years. I cried when he wrote back telling me he was on death row. At first things worked out very well, when he felt he was going to be executed. He wanted a closer walk with God. But his attorney was able to get him off of death row and into the general population at the prison, albeit with a life sentence. And, as often happens when people get blessed by God in some way, he began to backslide. Eventually he became more influenced by the convicts around him, angry at God for keeping him in prison, and stopped corresponding with me. We later learned that he had attempted an escape along with other inmates. However, they were all caught and sent right back to prison, along with some additional punishment. All I can do is pray for him now. The experience was rather discouraging.


Nevertheless, I do know of one prison correspondence that worked out well, as far as I know. A church woman wrote to a male prisoner who was the brother of the pastor’s wife. Eventually he got out of prison and they got married and had a child. Last I heard, they were still happily married. But that is rare. Prisoners change when they get out of prison. We have received many wonderful letters from Christian prisoners over the years. They are full of the Holy Spirit and feeling the peace and joy of knowing Christ. Then they get released from prison and they backslide right back to their old ways and lose all interest in Christ. I know of another woman who married a prison inmate while he was still incarcerated. He eventually got out of jail, got her pregnant, and went back to his old ways, ended up back in prison, and she had to go on public assistance and raise her son alone.


In answer to your question, not many prison ministries have pen-pal programs anymore. We used to send inmates who wanted a pen-pal to “Prison Fellowship”, another ministry. However, they no longer have the program. A few years ago there was a documentary on television about prisoners who have had pen-pals. They said that all kinds of problems have evolved from them, including the male inmate getting the female pen-pal to help him in an attempt to break out of prison. Consequently, both of them were caught, and she went to prison herself, which made it even more difficult to see or write to her male friend. For inmates are often required to receive special permission in order to correspond with another inmate at a different prison.


You may be able to find a pen-pal program somewhere, but there are fewer than they used to be due to all the problems that have evolved from them. And, by the way, I don’t know whether you are male or female, but male to male correspondence may work out better if you are a good Christian influence on the inmate. However, mostly what they really want are female correspondents.


I am also a bit confused about your statement. Very few prison inmates use email. So who do you have in mind that would deliver your message to the inmate? Most prison chaplains are very busy and I doubt that you will be able get any of them to assist you with this. It also sounds rather awkward to do it that way. Most pen-pals just use the U.S. Mail to send their letters.


You could try writing to or emailing some of the prison chaplains and ask them if they could recommend any prisoner you could correspond with. However, I suggest that you forget the idea of using email for prisoner correspondence. A regular snail mail letter would work much better. But keep in mind that both the letter you send the inmate, as well as the letter he or she sends you, will be opened and read by prison officials before it gets to its intended correspondent.


Hope this helps!


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Question asked by - June

Location - Indianapolis, Indiana

Question - I am looking to move my membership. I have attended this church for almost ten years, and it seems like every time we get new members, the Elders and the Pastor runs them away insisting they tithe 10%. I believe in giving and I believe it should be with the spirit of joy. Love and kindness mean a lot to me and I want to be obedient to the Lord. I am saved and I love God. I want to know if I should allow my pastor to make my decisions. I believe in Jesus and what He has done for me. I just need info.


Our Answer - Your attitude is the right one. I wrote about this kind of thing in an article entitled The Popular Sin of Churchianity in our Autumn 2008 issue of “The Good News Letter.”


“My mother once told me about the pastor of a large, wealthy church she had stopped attending. She said that he had preached so much about prosperity and how God will bless people who give to their church that a woman in his congregation had asked him, “Pastor, I don’t have much money for giving. I have to pay the mortgage on my house. But should I give the money to the church instead and trust God that He will provide the mortgage money?” The pastor told the woman yes. My mother said that, as a result, the woman lost her house and her husband divorced her. It’s what Jude was talking about when he wrote, “These men are... shepherds who feed only themselves... without fruit and uprooted--twice dead” (Jude 1:12 NIV). Faith is a good thing (Hebrews 11:1,6) when God tells us specifically to do something, and we obey Him. But when it comes to something as important as a house payment, the Holy Spirit is the only one who has the right to tell you not to pay it, but to trust God. Does that mean that a pastor cannot tell a member of his congregation that God has told him to tell them to do such and so? No. It is a minister’s job to hear the Word of God, even in the lives of specific individuals, and tell them about it. However, if it’s really coming from God, the Holy Spirit will confirm it in the heart of the recipient!”


To sum it up, when the Bible says to give a tithe to God, first He is talking to Old Testament believers. So it was under the old laws of God. We no longer live under the law, but by faith (Romans 3:19-24). However the law must not be totally disregarded (Matthew 5:18-20). It is a guideline for us. Our love for God should be our determination. You should be guided by the Holy Spirit. Also, your donation should go to God, not a hypocritical church led by wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15 & Acts 20:29-31). So spend time in prayer and ask the Lord to lead you to the right entity to donate to someone who is truly getting the Gospel out and not just puffing up their own ego and false teaching (2 Peter 1:21 thru 2 Peter 2:3).


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