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I received the following comments and questions:

So we’ve had some very interesting interactions with my sister regarding demon possession. It has been pretty interesting to hear of some of the “demon possession” that she has described. The first occurrence was back in July of last year. She, and my sister, who was there with her at that time, had the experience as described by her below: (I have removed the description to protect the identity of the questioner.)

Then just this week, she had another “experience” with a girl in her home who she described as being demon possessed:

Now the first time it happened, it definitely prompted another in-depth look at demon possession as described in the Bible. Here are a few of the main conclusions that I came to: Read the rest of this entry »

demontale02I Timothy 4

New King James Version 1. Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,

The Resultant Version 1. Now the Spirit is saying explicitly that in subsequent eras some shall withdraw from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and to the teaching of demons,

Paul now speaks of something that the Spirit is saying explicitly. He was saying this to Paul, and Paul was commissioned to write it down for us to know. These explicit words of the Spirit had to do with the way things will be in “latter times.” The New King James Version has “latter times,” and this might lead us to think of the “last days” of this dispensation of grace, such as we have them in II Timothy 3:1. Yet this is not the same word eschatos for “last” that we have in II Timothy 3:1. Instead, it is the word husteros (or “husterois” here in the plural), and this phrase means “subsequent eras,” as in The Resultant Version. This is ultimately a prophecy of the way things would be in the dispensation of grace, as this great period of God’s dealings with Adam’s began to run its course. Indeed, this is the way things have been throughout this dispensation, as we who live in it can clearly see by observing the world around us. Read the rest of this entry »

I Timothy 3 Part 5

New King James Version 16. And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:
God was manifested in the flesh,
Justified in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Preached among the Gentiles,
Believed on in the world,
Received up in glory.

The Resultant Version 16. And beyond all argument the secret of true worship is great: which was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, witnessed by messengers, heralded unto the nations, believed on in the world, received in glory.

Here we have a very important verse, but also another one that is difficult of interpretation, just like verse 15. As it stands we read that “without controversy the mystery of godliness is great.” However, we realize that the word “mystery,” which is the Greek word musterion, is used in Scripture not for an unsolved “mystery,” but rather for things that are secret. Particularly when a secret is mentioned, it is something that formerly God had kept a secret, but now He is revealing it for the learning of His people. In other words, once God starts talking about a secret, it is a secret no longer. What this is telling us is that it formerly had been kept secret, but now it is being revealed. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

1 Cor 9
19. For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
21. To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
22. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
23. And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.

Hi Nathan, would you please explain this passage?  When Mid-Acts is presented with evidence that Paul was still operating under the Kingdom program during the Acts period, they use this passage to explain away things such as Paul preaching to the Jews, Paul performing signs and wonders, and Paul taking a Nazirite vow. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

I enjoyed reading your article on the Canaanite woman.  I am an Acts 9 Pauline dispensationalist.  What you seem to say is that for a while Paul was preaching the same Gospel as the 12 but only gradually began teaching something different.

My question is, why did God call out Paul if he were not specifically to preach a different Gospel?  Was God positioning Paul as a contingency, and why couldn’t He have just used one of the twelve to transition into something new?

What you ask is a good question, and I will be happy to give you my answer.

Before we get too far into an explanation, we had better make clear what a gospel is. The Greek word is euangelion, and comes from eu, which means “good,” and angelion, which means a message (as you can see, it is related to “angel” or messenger). However, it is important to point out that a gospel is good because it is right, not because it is necessarily “good news” to the one hearing it, as I have often heard it said of the gospel. Read the rest of this entry »

meat02When we examine things that seem to contradict in Scripture, few are so difficult to consider as those that are connected to issues about which many will have deep theological convictions. When contradictions are noticed between the Bible’s statements regarding these things, contradictory passages will be quickly explained away, and passages supporting the beliefs of those setting them forth will be the ones that are emphasized. However, when it comes to the most important of issues, passages that offer a different view should not be swept under the rug. If an issue is important, then understanding all the Bible passages related to it must be equally important. Therefore, all passages involved should be examined and have their proper place. Nothing should be shoved under the rug. An issue like this may be the issue of “Clean and Unclean Meats.”

In the book of Acts chapter 15, an argument arose between Paul and Barnabas and certain men who came from Judea. They were disputing as to whether the new believers had to be circumcised after the manner of Moses and keep the law in order to be saved. Paul and Barnabas, along with certain of the other party, went up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders to determine the answer to this question. The decision of the resulting Jerusalem council is summarized in Acts 15:29. Read the rest of this entry »

In examining those things which some claim are contradictions in Scripture, we have stuck mostly with seeming contradictions between the gospels. This is because in the gospels, we have cases of the same story or similar stories repeated from multiple authors, so discrepancies between the stories seem obvious. In examining these discrepancies, we have found answers to many of them. However, the gospels are not the only source for seeming contradictions in the New Testament. Some differences seem plain in other parts, such as in the books of Paul. Let us examine some of these, and see what we can discover about contradictions between things that Paul wrote. First of all, we will consider “The Marriage of Widows.”

In I Corinthians 7:8, Paul declares, “But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am.” We know that Paul was unmarried, whether that means he was single or a widower, so the clear implication here is that the unmarried and widows should remain single. However, this is in stark contrast to what we read in I Timothy 5:11-14. Read the rest of this entry »

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I received the following question:

1 Cor 9
19. For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
21. To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
22. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
23. And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.

Hi Nathan,

Would you please explain this passage?  When Mid-Acts is presented with evidence that Paul was still operating under the Kingdom program during the Acts period, they use this passage to explain away things such as Paul preaching to the Jews, Paul performing signs and wonders, and Paul taking a Nazirite vow.

Thank You for your help,
Of course. This passage is a favorite of those who want to justify all kinds of things. Some will say that they should drink with the drinkers, party with the partiers, gamble with the gamblers, and do every sort of out-of-control or worldly thing just to get in good with people in order to win them to Christ. I even read one girl who promoted “missionary dating” and suggested believers should be willing to sleep with their unsaved boyfriends or girlfriends, all for the purpose of winning them to Christ. She said it hadn’t really worked yet, but the boyfriend she was sleeping with at the time said it was interesting and he was thinking about it. (!) Yet this is not the point of what Paul is saying. Paul was not a Jesuit, and he did not believe that the ends justify the means. We cannot do God’s work using wicked methods. Read the rest of this entry »

applesoranges02I received the following question:

I enjoyed reading your article on the Canaanite woman.  I am an Acts 9 Pauline dispensationalist.  What you seem to say is that for a while Paul was preaching the same Gospel as the 12 but only gradually began teaching something different.

My question is, why did God call out Paul if he were not specifically to preach a different Gospel?  Was God positioning Paul as a contingency, and why couldn’t He have just used one of the twelve to transition into something new?

What you ask is a good question, and I will be happy to give you my answer.

Before we get too far into an explanation, we had better make clear what a gospel is. The Greek word is euangelion, and comes from eu, which means “good,” and angelion, which means a message (as you can see, it is related to “angel” or messenger). However, it is important to point out that a gospel is good because it is right, not because it is necessarily “good news” to the one hearing it, as I have often heard it said of the gospel. If you were to wake up in the middle of the night to hear someone shouting, “Fire! Get out!” that would not be good news, but if it was true, it would be the right news, and the news you needed to hear. I believe an examination of the word “gospel” will also reveal that a gospel is always spoken in view of a need. In the case of a house on fire, the need would be to stop sleeping and to realize the house is on fire so you can escape. A gospel must also contain an element of promise. In the case of the fire, the promise implied would be that if you do get out you will be saved from dying in the fire. Read the rest of this entry »

owie02I received the following question:

My (in-law) is from a Catholic background and from all indications is a Christian (but still has strong Catholic ties).  She believes in complete healing for today (if one has enough faith) even though there is plenty of evidence to the contrary!  I never know how to respond to her comments. (She sent me the article below.)

http://www.savedhealed.com/healing.htm

It is not unusual at all for people to use the Bible this way. When people suffer from illness, they grasp at anything that might give them hope of healing. If the doctors cannot find a solution, then they look to other things, and one is healing ministries. As you say, the problem is that these things do not work. They would like to believe they do, however, and some people will put a whole lot of time and money into healing ministries before they finally figure out for themselves that they do not produce results.

The list of “healing Scriptures” on this website is rather typical of the kind of passages these people will try to use to support what they are doing. It is quite a comprehensive list, so I do not know if I will try to answer every single one of these passages, but I will start at the beginning and explain what I believe about these things. Read the rest of this entry »