I Samuel 17 Continued

31. Now when the words which David spoke were heard, they reported them to Saul; and he sent for him.

It seems at least the idea that David is willing to fight the giant gets through to the soldiers. The fact that there is someone willing to fight Goliath spreads like wildfire through the army, until the story of David’s brave words reaches the ears of King Saul. This is just what he has been hoping to find among his men, and so he sends for David. Was he surprised when the courageous warrior he had been hearing about turned out to be his young harpist whom he had left behind when he headed out to battle? Probably! Read the rest of this entry »

I would like to remind my readers that I am a regular column contributor to the Word of Truth Ministry’s Bulletin. This last Bulletin, my article was on “Near Death Experiences,” discussing the common phenomenon of people claiming to have died and then come back with stories of visiting heaven, seeing their loved ones, and so forth. These stories sell books in Christian bookstores, but do they actually match up with Scripture or the truth? Read this article at:

http://www.seedandbread.org/images/stories/bulletins/June_14_2014Bulletin.pdf

In this issue, I also discuss a question regarding the meaning and definition of “sin,” and if it changes between the Old Testament, the gospel period, the Acts period, and the dispensation of grace.

I Samuel 17

1. Now the Philistines gathered their armies together to battle, and were gathered at Sochoh, which belongs to Judah; they encamped between Sochoh and Azekah, in Ephes Dammim.

Now the Philistines gather their armies and again prepare for war with Israel. They never seem to learn their lesson, for they were humiliatingly defeated by the LORD the last time they fought with Israel! Yet now some years later they are ready to try again. They gather their armies at Shochoh, which means “Bushy,” and is a city in the lowlands of Judah. (There was another city with the same name in the mountains, but this is the one in the lowlands.) They make their camp between Sochoh and another place called Azekah, which means “Dug Over,” and is also a town in the lowlands. This place between the two cities is called Ephes Dammim, which means “Edge of Blood,” and is a place sixteen miles southwest of Jerusalem in Judah. Read the rest of this entry »

giant02I received the following question:

Mr. Sellers said that Isaac did not want Jacob to take a wife of the Canaanites, because they were involved in the seed of the race that perished during the flood. We were under the impression that everything except Noah, etc perished in the flood. This indicates that something related to a race before the flood, carried over. Is thus the way or is this not?

You are correct that everything except Noah and the other inhabitants of the ark perished in the flood. Obviously, the passengers on the ark did not include any of the cursed hybrid race of Nephilim. What Mr. Sellers is doubtless referring to is what is mentioned in Genesis 6:4, where it says:

4. There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.

That little phrase “and also afterward” is very important. It tells us that, though that cursed race of giants was wiped out by the flood, yet afterward another outbreak occurred wherein after the flood once again the sons of God came in to the daughters of Adam and they bore children to them. This resulted in another outbreak of this race of giants, known this time as the “Rephaim.”

Therefore it was the children of this later outbreak who were mixed up with the Canaanites, and not those who had perished in the flood. It was the same hybrid race as before the flood, but not the same individuals, since they had perished. This time, God wiped them out using the sword of Israel and of the other, Shemite nations around Israel. At some point, the angels who thus sinned were cast into prison, and no longer are free to trouble the earth (II Peter 2:4). Therefore, we need not fear another such occurrence in our day.

I pray that helps. Thanks for the great question.

I received the following question:

From Deuteronomy 25:
when the Lord your God has given you rest from your enemies all around

Why do you think the LORD has NOW (I Samuel 14) decided to wipe out the Amalekites?  The frequent wars that Israel is under with the Philistines under Saul does not seem to be “rest from your enemies.”  It has been a long time since Moses declared these words.  Do you think that Israel needed to “forget” about Amalek to prove that the LORD did not forget?

I think the “rest” referred to was simply a statement of the subjection of the land, which was completed in the days of Joshua. At any time after that, the LORD could have recalled His war against the Amalekites and had them wiped out. However, He chose to wait until the monarchy was in place, which was hundreds of years later. I suppose that several reasons could be suggested for this, and all would be speculation, since He does not state for us His reasons in this case. However, as for myself I would tend to look no further than the very reason He gave for waiting so long to give Abraham’s descendents the land of Canaan. That is, He says to Abraham in Genesis 15:16:

16. But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full. Read the rest of this entry »

down02I received the following question:

Romans 8:22 is giving me some fits right now. How does creation groan?

First of all, I think we need to ask, “What creation?” This is a question that would seem foolish to many, since to them there is only one creation, and that is the one that God made in the beginning. Yet this passage is one of those that makes such a view difficult, for then are rocks, trees, birds, and bees groaning?

This view is given further impetus by those who insist that any time the word “creation” is used, it is referring to creation ex nihilo, or out of nothing, as when God created in the beginning. Therefore, they insist that anything that is created out of already existing materials is not a creation. Read the rest of this entry »

lighteye02I received the following question:

Regarding your Knowing God in the Word series on John 3, would the “light” that every man receives (John 1:9) be the basic awareness that there is a God (leaving men without excuse – Romans 1:20), in contrast to a more specific enablement to believe (due to a generation from above) that Jesus is the Christ, the representation of God in human form?
 
And as for us in this dispensation, is it the witness of the completed “quick and powerful” Word of God, the Bible, that is solely used by the Holy Spirit to enable us to believe without seeing evidential miracles/signs?
 
Looking to the future, certainly the work of the Spirit in John16:8 will be in a category of its own!!  

Yes, you have correctly stated what I think the “light” that every man receives is. Not all get the specific awareness of Jesus Christ as God, but all do get the knowledge that there is above themselves a Being Who is supreme.

I would agree that it is the Word of God, the Bible, that allows us with the Holy Spirit’s help to believe without seeing any proof in the form of signs or miracles. Without the Word of God, there is no true faith. Of course, that Word could be spoken by another and you could believe the Word spoken, if it was spoken truly.

Yes, the work of the Spirit in John 16:8 will be a work very different from any work He performs today. What a time that will be!

sheep02I Samuel 16

1. Now the LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons.”

Now the LORD scolds Samuel for mourning too long for Saul. The problem was not the mourning, which was fine and proper, and no doubt the LORD himself mourned for this sad event. Yet if the mourning carried on too long and got in the way of doing something to move on and fix the situation, then the mourning was no longer appropriate. The time for mourning is past, since the LORD has rejected Saul from governing over Israel. He no longer deserves the job. Samuel is now to go and anoint his replacement with a horn of oil.

Now the “horn” of oil was probably quite literal. It seems they would carry their oil at that time in the horn of a domestic animal. After the animal was butchered they would save the horn, making a cap for it, and this horn would be used to hold the oil. Since they did not have an overabundance of water for bathing, nor did they have deodorants or things like that which we have, they would often use this oil as a crucial part of their toilet to make themselves presentable. No doubt Samuel would have had this horn of oil for his own, daily use. Yet now he is to use it to do something significant for God. Read the rest of this entry »

boot02I Samuel 15 Continued

13. Then Samuel went to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed are you of the LORD! I have performed the commandment of the LORD.”

Saul is feeling good about his victory, and when Samuel comes to him, he greets him cheerfully. He wishes him the well speaking of the LORD upon him, and then goes so far as to claim that he has performed the commandment of the LORD. From his perspective, he no doubt actually believes he has done this. After all, did he not gather the army and actually go on a campaign for no good reason of his own, but simply because the LORD told him to? Did he not risk his life and the lives of his people in the venture? Was not the campaign abundantly successful? Did they not follow most of the LORD’s orders in killing all but one of the people and in destroying at least some of the spoil that they could have kept for themselves? Surely this must be enough obedience for the LORD, he thinks. Surely no prophet would be so picky as to point out the few details that he had not carefully followed! So Saul with his worldly mindset does not even realize that he has forfeited his standing with the LORD by his willful disobedience. Read the rest of this entry »

I Samuel 15

1. Samuel also said to Saul, “The LORD sent me to anoint you king over His people, over Israel. Now therefore, heed the voice of the words of the LORD.

Now Samuel comes to Saul with instructions from the LORD. First, the LORD claims Saul’s allegiance and obedience since He anointed him king and gave him the rule over His people. This was a good argument. Saul owed much to the LORD, and He had every right to demand his service in repayment. Saul really did owe it to the LORD to hear whatever instructions He might give him.

2. Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt.

Now Jehovah gives Saul his instructions. He has remembered and not forgotten Amalek. Besides being Canaanites, these were also God’s enemies whom He had promised to destroy, as we read in Exodus 17:14-16. Read the rest of this entry »

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