sod02I received the following question:

I am confused regarding the salvation of Israel during the Old Testament.  I appreciate your helping me clear up my misunderstandings.

Deut 6
24. And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.
25. And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us.

This verse seems to say that keeping the law will bring righteousness. Read the rest of this entry »

words01I received the following question:

2 Thessalonians 1
7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

In this passage we are told to obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Would you please explain what this gospel entails?

Thank You,

The word “gospel” in Greek is the word euangelion, The prefix “eu” means “good,” but good in the sense of being right. “Angelion” means a message, and is related to the Greek angel or “messenger.” So a gospel is a right or true message. One example I like to give as a “gospel” is if you were sleeping at night, and suddenly you were woken up by a shout, “Fire! Get out!” This would be far from good news, yet if it was true, it would be the right news, and the news you needed to hear. Read the rest of this entry »

I Timothy 6

New King James Version 1. Let as many bondservants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed.

The Resultant Version 1. Let as many of you slaves as are under the yoke consider their own masters fit for all honor, in order that the name of God and His teaching may not be blasphemed.

Now Paul speaks to the slaves. This is not “bondservants,” as in the New King James Version, but is the Greek word doulos, which means “slaves.” Slaves were a very crucial element of the economy in the Roman Empire. A large portion of what we would call the “blue collar work force” was slaves. In Israel this was regulated by God, Who did not allow any Israelite to enslave his fellow Israelite for longer than a set period of time, unless that slave chose voluntarily to bind himself to that master for his lifetime. Thus slavery in Israel really was much more like employment than the slavery we know of in the American South in times past. Read the rest of this entry »

leadership02I Timothy 5 Part 3

New King James Version 17. Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.

The Resultant Version 17. Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and teaching.

He urges them to let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor. “Elders” here is the Greek word presbuteroi, and refers to the representative men in the Ephesians’ community. Again, they had no separation of church and state in their communities, so these elders decided matters both religious and secular. The elders were expected to rule, and did rule. Yet it was important for those who ruled to rule well. The Lord urges them moreover to count those who do rule well as being worthy of double honor, or to value them at twice the assessment. Indeed, for an elder, ruling well was the doubly important thing. Read the rest of this entry »

I Timothy 5 Part 2

New King James Version 9. Do not let a widow under sixty years old be taken into the number, and not unless she has been the wife of one man,

The Resultant Version 9. Do not let a widow less than sixty years old be enrolled, having been the wife of one man,

Paul now continues by listing certain criteria that must be met before a widow shall be taken into the number or enrolled. First of all, He demands that a widow must be at least sixty years old in order to be enrolled. This might seem rather harsh to us, for surely a woman might be younger than this and yet lose her husband, have no father to return to or grown children to look to, and therefore be desolate? This is certainly true, but I think we must consider carefully what this list was before we get too upset at this requirement. It does not seem that this list was just a list of those to whom they were going to give charitably. Of course kind-hearted individuals among the believers would want to help out some poor young woman in such a condition, and this passage is saying nothing against them doing so. So this list must be something more than merely a list of widows who were going to be supported permanently by the ekklesia. What it was is very difficult to say, since Paul does not elaborate. Perhaps it was simply an “honor roll” of widows who were marked out in the community of believers in Ephesus. If they had any duties or position of leadership over the younger women, we do not know it. But it does seem that these widows were honored in some way, and Paul wants to set down criteria before placing any widows in this kind of respected position. The first criteria is that she must be sixty years old. This will ensure that she is of sufficient age that her Godly character should be well established and beyond question. Read the rest of this entry »

I Timothy 5

New King James Version 1. Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers,

The Resultant Version 1. Do not rebuke an older man, but admonish him as a father, younger men as brothers,

In this chapter, the Lord through Paul continues His instructions to Timothy regarding proper behavior in the dispensation of grace. We must keep in mind here that no such situation existed in Ephesus as a “church” such as we know it today. There was a company who believed in Jesus Christ. A large number of these were Jews who believed. They lived together in a community, and the leaders among them were not only religious leaders, but also community leaders in every way. It is regarding this situation that Paul makes his statements here, and not about a modern-day church organization or meeting. Read the rest of this entry »

Young man praying.I Timothy 4 Part 3

New King James Version 12. Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

The Resultant Version 12. Let no one despise your youth, but you become an example of the believers in word, in manner of life, in love, in spirit, in faith, in pureness.

God urges Timothy to not let anyone despise his youth. Timothy by this time was much older than he was when he first started representing Paul. The fact is that he may have been no more than a middle teenager, somewhere between sixteen and eighteen, when Paul first sent him to strengthen and establish the Thessalonian believers in the faith, as Paul records he did in I Thessalonians 3. Imagine old men being taught how to stand strong by one so young! Timothy must have been quite an amazing young man indeed. Compared to that, Timothy is now around 30 years old, and so must have been much more acceptable as a leader based on age. Yet even so, there were men in Ephesus much older than he was. Remember that the Jews despised the Lord Jesus when He was about Timothy’s age (after His birth in Bethlehem) in John 8:57 because He was “not yet fifty years old,” which was perhaps what they considered the age of respectability for a teacher. Therefore, there may have been those among the older people in Ephesus who would have despised Timothy for his youth. Read the rest of this entry »

microphone02Greetings once again to all of you who have been reading and enjoying my Precepts writings for many years! I wanted to update you on the latest news from my radio ministry. My ministry is “Knowing God in the Word,” and is funded and supported by The Word of Truth Ministry of Canyon Country, California. The program has expanded from four radio stations at my last update to eleven stations currently!

I am still broadcast on my original station, the Twin Cities Christian Talk radio station, 980 AM The Mission. The show is on at 8:00PM on Saturday evenings. For those of you who do not live in the Twin Cities, you can still stream AM980 The Mission over the Internet at their website, http://www.am980themission.com/.

My second station, which I perhaps now consider my “flagship” station, is JOY 1340AM in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This now includes an FM affiliate as well, JOY 98.7FM. The program in Milwaukee is on at 2:30PM Central Time on Wednesday afternoons. The program is streamed live over the Internet, for those of you who do not live in the Milwaukee area, at http://joy1340.com/. Read the rest of this entry »

I Timothy 4 Part 2

New King James Version 6. If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed.

The Resultant Version 6. If you put the brethren in mind of these things, you will be an ideal servant of Jesus Christ, nourished up the words of faith and of good teaching, which you have fully known.

Paul now urges Timothy to instruct or put the brethren in mind of these things. We might well wonder: had these brethren heard of these things before, or would the first time they would hear of these things from Timothy instructing them out of this epistle? We would tend to think that they would have received some instruction in these things from their local apostles and prophets when the dispensational change took place, as we discussed earlier. God did not leave them without guidance as they tried to come to grips with the new dispensation and what was expected of them in it. Read the rest of this entry »

urn02I received the following question:

I have a question for you………….

A woman asked me if cremation is proper?

I could find no reference in the bible about the disposal of a dead body.  There are several references regarding burial, but nothing of other means of disposal.  A couple references of the dead being placed in a cave with the entrances covered with rocks.  The only references about death and fire are in Revelations, but it concerns the second death, the lake of fire.

Gen 3:19 tells us,” In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.

Common sense tells us that men have been lost at sea, eaten by predators, burned alive, etc.  But none of this will hinder our future resurrection. Read the rest of this entry »