II Samuel 3 Continued

17. Now Abner had communicated with the elders of Israel, saying, “In time past you were seeking for David to be king over you.

This tells us that Abner had already spoken for David to the elders of Israel. He actually reminded them that they were ready and even seeking to make David king in time past. This was probably before Ishbosheth’s claim won out. This was, in fact, largely the situation that Abner himself had brought about, for it was he who had convinced the elders to be loyal to the house of Saul and to leave David to rule only over the tribe of Judah. Yet now Abner seeks to undo what he did before due to his anger with Ishbosheth. Read the rest of this entry »

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II Samuel 3

1. Now there was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. But David grew stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker.

This situation results in a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. Of course, this does not mean that only their families were fighting, but rather that these two kingly houses were battling one another through the nations they ruled. This also does not mean that there were constant battles going on all during this time. There would have been skirmishes and battles, but not full-scale war at all times. In fact, we have no evidence that either side went to full-scale war with the other, or that either side attempted to invade and take captive the other. These two brother nations are at war, but the hostilities do not appear to have escalated to that point. Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 2

1. It happened after this that David inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I go up to any of the cities of Judah?”
And the LORD said to him, “Go up.”
David said, “Where shall I go up?”
And He said, “To Hebron.”

After the mourning of David and his men over their king and prince, he enquires of the LORD. David probably did this by Urim and Thummim, those two stones in the ephod or breastpiece of the high priest whereby one could ask questions of the LORD. Remember that the high priest Abiathar is still with David, since he had fled to him when Saul had murdered all the LORD’s priests in his mad fear of David due to his paranoid idea that they had conspired with him. Therefore, David has the means to contact the LORD this way, whereas Saul’s company had lost their access to such contact with God, if indeed they even wanted it. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

Was wondering if you have “Precepts” study guide(s) that address position in the Kingdom & position now (in the dispensation of grace) as we get ready for the coming Kingdom.

Nathan: I would be happy to answer your questions. I have spoken of these matters in a recent “Precepts” issue on “Kingdom Impacts in the Dispensation of Grace.” I have attached this study.

However, that is mostly about our position in the kingdom to come, and how God would have us to live now. So I will go on now and answer your second question, regarding what our position is before God now in the dispensation of grace. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

1 John 5:6,8

Hi Nathan,

Hope you’re doing well, need your opinion on the use of the word “water” in the above subject verses. Does it have anything to do with water baptism?

Best Regards

6. This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.

8. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.

The key in this portion is the witness. The Greek is the word martureo, from which we get our English word “martyr.” This same word occurs in two important places in the gospel of John. First consider John 1:32-34. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

I need help, please, understanding the gospel of salvation in the Acts period.

Were different gospels of salvation preached during the Acts period?

It’s my understanding that the 2 gospels (of the circumcision, of the uncircumcision) in Galatians 2 were actually gospels offered TO the two different groups, not 2 different gospels as Mid-Acts teaches.

It is also my understanding that the gospel of the kingdom is not a gospel of salvation at all, but just an announcement that the long-awaited kingdom is near.

Is everyone in the Acts period saved by grace through faith?

Clearly I am confused, and I appreciate your help.

I will be happy to help you out with your questions regarding the gospel. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

How does one know the Holy Spirit is working with him when he honestly and laboriously works with the Word? (Since many who seem to labor hard at the truth never discover any advances beyond what they are taught) is it true that (the Holy Spirit works only with scholars for advances in truth), but in such a way, no one could ever know, even the scholar He works with. I would appreciate any comments you might have on this issue as I see it.

You bring up an important issue, and one that I will be happy to answer as best I can. You complain that an average student with average intelligence is probably not going to be able to study the Word of God and bring forth new truth and new light. This may well be true. I do not think that everyone is cut out to be a Mr. Sellers, or a Dr. Bullinger, or a scholar of that caliber. You are right that most people end up just struggling to “catch up” to others who have already walked the same ground they are seeking to walk before them. Blazing new trails is difficult. If I have done this in the past, even that is no guarantee that I will ever be able to do it again. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

Question, can you elaborate on Matthew 27:52,53? I find it somewhat confusing.

Matthew 27:50. And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.
51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, 52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

This is indeed an odd passage, and there are multiple questions raised by it. Who were these saints who were raised? When had they died? Were they only saints who had recently died, or were there some raised who had died a good while in the past? Might there even have been some raised who did not even die within the lifetime of those currently alive? Then, why, if they were raised at the time of Christ’s death, did they not come out of the graves until after His resurrection three days later? What were they doing in the graves for three days? How can one who is alive live in a grave for three days? Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 1 Continued

17. Then David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son,

Now David, the great psalmist, writes a lament for Saul and Jonathan his son. A lamentation was a kind of dirge or sorrowful song. We know about lamentations from the book of Lamentations in the Bible. The lamentations in that book are all written by the prophet Jeremiah. Yet David here shows that he too was adept at writing this kind of song. Thus he writes this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan. Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 1

Now let us continue right on with the book of II Samuel. As we discussed in the introduction to the book of I Samuel, these two books form one single book in the Hebrew Bible, or at least they did in the original Hebrew Bible. The split into two books seems to have happened at the time of the translation of the Bible into Greek, known as the Septuagint version of the Bible. While we cannot know for certain why the translators divided the books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles into two books, it appears likely that whoever cut the scrolls for these three books forgot that Greek letters are about a third bigger than Hebrew letters, and therefore take up more room on the scroll. The one who cut the scroll cut it the same length as the Hebrew scroll would have been, so space ran out on the scroll about half way through these books. Rather than try to splice two scrolls together to make them longer, they just took a second scroll, labeling it “II Samuel,” or “II Kings,” or “II Chronicles.” Then, years later when these books were put into our modern book form, the error of two books remained, since the people at that time thought it had “always been done that way.” Now, then, we are stuck with these books which the Spirit originally gave as one split apart into two by the hand of men. Read the rest of this entry »