Fred R. Coulter—January 14, 2023

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Greetings, everyone! Welcome to Sabbath services!

Before we get into the questions and answers, I want to cover something that you need to consider as very important. There's one Church of God that has a program that asks the brethren to take out a will, or whatever, and designate how much they want to give to the Church and use that money for paying retirement for the elders who are retiring.

However, whatever you have in the family is a family inheritance! The inheritance is not to be tithed upon like you would income. The reason being is that it should go to the family and the survivors. If they want to give something to the Church that's up to them.

But it's really not a good thing before God to constantly solicit the brethren to setup end of life instructions and give a lot to the Church. It should be for the family.

Now then, another thing that's important everyone should have a family trust, which is one of the best ways too preserve family inheritance and family wealth. You have the principle person, the one who is designating the trust, then you have secondary trustees who automatically run the trust with the dying of the principle individual.

This is important because there is no probate. If you just have a will there will be a probate, and a probate is subject to challenge and to attorneys using that family wealth as a means of making money.

I saw that happen in Boise when I was pastor up there years ago. There was a family who had a nice big ranch and it was worth pretty close, at that time, $200,000, which in 1966 was a lot of money. The different sons and daughter, and relatives, all wanted a piece of the ranch. So, they all got attorneys and the fighting back and forth, by the time they got it settled, there was only about $25,000 left. All the rest went to attorney's fees!

So, get a Living Trust and you have an automatic and you have an automatic successor. There is no probate. The will—or the wishes of the one who passes away—becomes part of the Living Trust.

In that way you will save a lot of squawks, save a lot of attorney's fees and save a lot on the inheritance.

Most farmers and ranchers who have large plots of land or cultivating fields—whatever—should always have a Family Trust. In that way it keeps the government from taxing them and you don't pay taxes because the Trust is separate legal entity. The one who is the Trustee is the one who runs it.

So, keep that in mind. I was reminded of this by a recent event that happened that has got everything all tied up in a family mess because of the squabbles between everyone.


We're going to have questions and answers, and thank you for all the questions. We got them and we'll start right out with:

Q #1—Was God the Father involved with the patriarchs of the Old Testament? Did they know Him?

First of all, The Most High God in the Old Testament is the One Who became the Father in the New Testament. The One Who was the Lord God, Who spoke to Israel and gave the commandments, was the One Who became Jesus Christ of the New Testament.

We will see that The Most High God did have things to do with the patriarchs. Let's see what Peter said concerning the events that took place around the crucifixion and resurrection. This is after they healed the man at the Gate Beautiful and were on their way into the temple area.

Acts 3:12: "And when Peter saw it… [all the people gathering around] …he answered to the people, 'Men, Israelites, why are you wondering at this? And why are you looking upon us so intently as if by our own power or Godliness we have made him to walk? The God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His Son Jesus…" (vs 12-13).

So, this tells us that The Most High was involved with the patriarchs.

Acts 5 is when all the apostles were brought forth to the Sanhedrin to give an explanation as to why they kept preaching in the name of Jesus when they strictly commanded them not to do so.

Acts 5:29: "But Peter and the apostles answered and said, 'We are obligated to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus Whom you killed by hanging Him on a tree. Him has God exalted by His right hand to be a Prince and Savior, to give repentance and remission of sins to Israel. And we are His witnesses of these things, as is also the Holy Spirit, which God has given to those who obey Him'" (vs 29-32).

Nowhere do you read that all the Sanhedrin got up and fell on their faces and repented!

Verse 33: "Now, when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and took counsel to put them to death."

Now let's look at some Scriptures in the Old Testament to verify this, and this will help answer another question a little later that will come to concerning Melchisedec.

Abraham's entourage was like a tremendous, huge caravan. He had over 300 people with him at all times. When the attackers came and took Lot and others Abraham got 300 of the best men that he had and went out after them and he won the battle and came back and was giving tithes to Melchisedec the Priest of The Most High.

Genesis 14:18: "And Melchisedec the King of Salem brought forth bread and wine. And He was the Priest of The Most High God."

This [Priest had] to be the One Who became Jesus Christ! Remember that when God appeared to men, He didn't appear to them in His glory. As He told Moses, 'No man can see My face and live'—that is in His glory!

God has the ability and spirit beings have the ability to have glory or become invisible, or to appear as flesh and bone. We covered this recently, but let's just review it. Remember when Jesus appeared to the disciples after His resurrection? He was able to cause the two disciples who were on the way to Emmaus to not be able to recognize Him!

He walked with them as a human being, and they didn't realize it was Him until they got to Emmaus and ordered their food and sat down to eat, and Jesus blessed the food. As soon as He blessed the food they knew it was Jesus and He disappeared. So, they ran back to Jerusalem as fast as they could to tell the other disciples that they had seen Jesus! Let's see what happened:

Luke 24:33: "And they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and those with them assembled together, saying, 'In truth, the Lord has risen! And He has appeared to Simon.' Then they related the things that had happened to them on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of the bread. Now, as they were telling these things, Jesus Himself stood in their midst …" (vs 33-36).

How did He get there? They didn't open the door to let Him in! He didn't come and knock to let them know He was there. The only way that He could have gotten there was He was able to make Himself invisible and walk through the door or a wall, or come down through the roof.

When Jesus was resurrected from the dead, He didn't need anyone to move the stone to get out. He could walk right through, being God and invisible, not disturb the stone and exit the tomb. But God caused and earthquake so that the tomb that was sealed—and you know that they sealed it very well—rolled back the stone. They could look inside and see He wasn't there. Then He appeared first to Mary Magdalene.

  • How did He appear? In human form!
  • What did He tell Mary Magdalene? Don't touch Me for I have not yet ascended to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God! Go tell the disciples that I have risen!

When Jesus appeared in the midst of them where they were gathered together:

Verse 36: "Now, as they were telling these things, Jesus Himself stood in their midst and said to them, 'Peace be to you.' But they were terrified and filled with fear, thinking that they beheld a spirit apparition. Then He said to them, 'Why are you troubled? And why do doubts come up in your hearts?'" (vs 35-38).

What does this also tell us? God can read anybody's thoughts at anytime He desires!

Verse 39: "See My hands and My feet, that it is I. Touch Me and see for yourselves; for a spirit… [a spirit apparition] …does not have flesh and bones, as you see Me having."

He didn't say flesh and blood! What does this tell us? That's another way that God can appear to human beings and be in their presence without causing any undo problem to them as if He were in His spirit form or glorified form!

There's another false teaching out there that the saints will only have flesh and bone when they're resurrected. No, we will be able to appear to people as flesh and bone, but we will also be glorified and have the same body as Jesus and see Him as He is!

Now let's come back to The Most High, the God of our Fathers! This shows us that the patriarchs did have knowledge of The Most High and that the One Who became Jesus Christ was Melchisedec of Gen. 14.

Let's understand something else about God, and we've covered this before. Jesus said, 'The Father and I are One.' That doesn't mean that they're one being. That means that they are one in existence and thought. Jesus said that His Father was greater than He was, and that we, through the resurrection, are—through Christ—to become one like the Father and the Son are one (John 17).

Genesis 14:18: "And Melchisedec the King of Salem brought forth bread and wine. And He was the Priest of the Most High God. And He blessed him, and said, 'Blessed be Abram of The Most High God, possessor of heaven and earth. And blessed be The Most High God, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.' And he gave Him tithes of all" (vs 18-20).

Genesis 15:1: "After these things the Word of the LORD came to Abram…"

This is the One Who became Jesus Christ! He was the One Who dealt directly, and God [The Most High] also dealt directly with Abram.

  • Is God the Father interested in things going on, on the earth? Yes!
  • Is He involved in those things? Sometimes directly, sometimes through the Lord God, and sometimes He comes in the name of The Most High God!

Dan. 4 is quite an interesting chapter. This is King Nebuchadnezzar's epistle; he wrote it.

Daniel 4:1: "Nebuchadnezzar the king, to all people, nations…"

Who is the head of gold? Nebuchadnezzar! So that's to everything down through the idol of the man that he saw.

"…and languages, that dwell in all the earth…" (v 1). That's quite a salutation!

When you understand that this is something that goes clear down to our age and our time, and all the different things concerning what God is doing, Nebuchadnezzar said:

"…'Peace be multiplied to you. It seemed good to me to declare the signs and wonders that The Most High God has done for me'" (vs 1-2).

When he explained about the vision by Daniel (Dan. 2) that came from The Most High to the One Who was the Lord God to give the answer to Nebuchadnezzar. This tells us that God the Father is also involved in the things concerning prophecy!

Look what happened to Nebuchadnezzar. He became like a beast and went out into the field and was eating grass like a beast. After seven years, God returned his sanity to him and returned his kingdom to him.

Verse 34: "And at the end of the days, I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted up my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me, and I blessed The Most High, and I praised and honored Him Who lives forever, for His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His Kingdom is from generation to generation. And all the inhabitants of the earth are counted as nothing…" (vs 34-35).

That agrees with Isa. 40 that all the nations of the earth are counted as a drop in a bucket.

"…and He does according to His will…" (v 35).

The will of Jesus Christ is the will of the Father, because They are One. Not one being, but one together.

"…in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. And none can stay His hand, or say to Him, 'What are You doing?'" (v 35).

Q #2—Jesus' statement to Nicodemus

I'll answer this question, but we will cover born again in another segment. I want to go into very thoroughly into what is born again.

Q—Jesus told Nicodemus, 'Why don't you understand these things being a Teacher in Israel? Are there those in the Old Testament that Nicodemus should have known about, which could have revealed to Nicodemus the meaning of born again?

We find that in Psa. 17:15; these are the prophetic words of Jesus about His resurrection.

Psalm 17:15—David says: "As for me, I will behold Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Your likeness."

Had Nicodemus known that, he would have understood what it means to be born again, but he didn't. A lot of people don't understand it today. A lot of people understand the Protestant view of it, but we'll cover that later.

Remember that in Isaiah especially, there is a lot of what is current, followed by what is future, followed by what is concerning God, followed by what is concerning people. All of that is mixed together where Isaiah was told by God that it's 'here a little, there a little; line upon line, line upon line; precept upon precept.'

Here's a prophecy of the birth of Jesus; Isaiah 66:7: "'Before she travailed, she gave birth; before her pain came, she delivered a man-Child. Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things like these? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? … [What is that referring to?] …Or will a nation be born at once?.…" (vs 7-8). So, we have:

  • v 7 a prophecy of Jesus
  • v 8 a prophecy of the Church

All being resurrected in one day!

"'…For as soon as Zion travailed, she also gave birth to her children. Will I bring to the birth, and not cause to be born?' says the LORD. 'Shall I cause them to be born, and shut the womb?' says your God" (vs 8-9). No!

God looks at the earth with all of those who are buried and the resurrection to take place all in one day! A whole nation at the same time! That's going to be an amazing thing! Those two things should have given Nicodemus some understanding if he would have had it.

Q #3—In Jude 9 when we rebuke the evil, or a demon, the angel said, 'The Lord Himself rebuke you!' Is this the same way to rebuke a bad demon or the evil thing?

That would be true, but we in the Church can do so in the name of Jesus Christ; isn't that what the apostles did? 'Come out of her…' That's what Paul did (Acts 16) when there was woman who had the spirit of Python, which was the spirit of Athena. There's a whole history of Athena and the spirit of Athena or the spirit of Python. Who is the great serpent? Satan the devil, and still active today! The way you rebuke them is:

  • you can do it verbally out loud
  • you can do it mentally in your own mind if there are other people around who know nothing about the Truth

So, yes you can do it that way; good question, thank you!

Here's another interesting question, because this comes up at time that raises different thoughts about eternal life and so forth.

Q #4—I came across this and have been contemplating it for a couple of years, and wonder what you think of this: Is it possible that God cloned Himself and sent His clone Jesus Christ to sacrifice Himself for all humanity?

No, He didn't! What happened when Jesus came in the flesh? Philip. 2—we will see what God did, and this also tells us something important. How about this for changing the form you can exist in and still be God. There's no cloning. There are two individuals:

  • the Father, the Son
  • the Most High, the Lord God

Everyone wants to know where God came from! God didn't tell us! So, the best way we can find out about that is when we're resurrected and meet God and Christ, we can ask Them where They came from. But here's what Christ did to become a human being. The Father didn't clone Himself:

Philippians 2:5: "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."

There are many things that has to do with how we think, react, respond, and so forth. That can only be when we have the Spirit of God within us.

Verse 6: "Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but emptied Himself… [How did He do that? I don't know! What happened when He emptied Himself?] …and was made in the likeness of men…" (vs 6-7).

What's the smallest form of being made in the likeness of men? A sperm, a seed, and that's what it's called in the New Testament! When we are begotten with the Spirit of God, that is the seed of the Father within us.

"…and took the form of a servant; and being found in the manner of man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (vs 7-8).

What happened when He emptied Himself and became that speck of life? There's no cloning going on here. This is special that God the Father and Jesus Christ did to show that all life comes from Them and only God can save us.

Talking about Mary; Luke 1:29: "But when she saw him… [this is the angel Gabriel …who was in charge of all things concerning Christ] …she was greatly perplexed at his message, and was considering what kind of salutation this might be. Then the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, because you have found grace with God; and behold, you shall conceive in your womb and give birth to a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus'" (vs 29-31).

The next verse will tie in with what we already covered:

Verse 32: "He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give Him the throne of David, His forefather; and He shall reign over the house of Jacob into the ages, and of His Kingdom there shall be no end" (vs 32-33).

Mary didn't know how this was going to happen because she knew how children come!

Verse 34: "But Mary said to the angel, 'How shall this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?' And the angel answered and said to her, 'The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest… [the Most High God] …shall overshadow you; and for this reason, the Holy One being begotten in you… [present tense participle happening right as the angel was talking] …shall be called the Son of God'" (vs 34-35).

So, no there's no cloning; didn't happen that way.

2-Corinthians 4:3: "But if our Gospel is hidden, it is hidden to those who are perishing; in whom the god of this age…" (vs 3-4).

The word here for 'god' is 'theos' the same as it is for God.

Sidebar: Remember the two goats of Atonement: one for the Lord and one for Azazel. What is one of the most identifying signs of Satan the devil demonstrated by the Church of Satan the Devil? The idol is a goat!

"…in whom the god of this age… [the age we're living in] …has blinded the minds of those who do not believe…" (v 4). How does he blind their mind?

  • by false doctrine
  • by false interpretation of Scripture
  • by philosophy

That's how born again became confused in the Church, through philosophy!

"…lest the Light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, Who is the image… [not a clone] …of God, should shine unto them. For we do not preach our own selves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake, because it is God Who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, Who shined into our hearts the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (vs 4-6).

Sometimes we read over these Scriptures and we don't really understand what it's saying. So, I hope that helps.

Q #5—Did God create Jesus as God before He came to the earth?

That would make Jesus a created being! Is that so? No! You just have to read a little bit further and the answer is there.

Colossians 1:14: "In Whom we have redemption through His own blood, even the remission of sins; Who is the image of the invisible God, the Firstborn of all creation" (vs 14-15).

If that verse were there alone without a clarification it would bring up this question that was brought up here.

Verse 16: "Because by Him were all things created… [Did He create Himself? See the complications you get into?] …the things in heaven and the things on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether they be thrones, or lordships, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him and for Him. And He is before all, and by Him all things subsist" (vs 16-17).

Think about everything that God has made automatically reproduces itself. With all this rain we had, the grass had dried up, and with the water it's now green; it's growing. It will grow to a certain stage and produce seed. Those seeds will fall off and will make new grass. That goes with grass, trees, thing that we eat, reproduces itself!

Verse 18: "And He is the Head of the Body, the Church; Who is the Beginning, the Firstborn from among the dead…"

We read earlier in Isa. 66 that a whole nation will be born in one day. That's the first resurrection. He was the Firstborn because He was resurrected after three days and three nights in the grave.

"…the Firstborn from among the dead so that in all things He Himself might hold the pre-eminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell; and having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things to Himself; by Him, whether the things on the earth, or the things in heaven" (vs 18-20).


Let's finish off with Q #5 and let's get the complete answer, because it says here in Col. 1:

  • v 15 that Jesus Christ is the Firstborn of all creation

that means:

  • v 18 the Firstborn from the dead

Remember previously we covered shall a nation be born in one day (Isa. 66). Let's amplify that a little bit. James 1 will give us a little more insight into Col. 1. What God is doing is so fantastic and marvelous that it is just mind-boggling. It's also through what the Bible tells us that God involved in everything much more than we give Him credit for. Also, that we have free moral agency and we must choose.

James 1:17: "Every good act of giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with Whom there is no variation, nor shadow of turning. According to His own will…" (vs 17-18).

Think about that! Every single one of us are here because of the will of the Father! That why, as we covered last week, having God the Father and Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, that's quite a thing to contemplate, too.

Verse 18: "According to His own will He begat us by the Word of Truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all His created beings"meaning all that are created to be the sons and daughters of God through the power of the resurrection!

Christ was the Firstborn from the dead of all that creation! That creation is the entire Plan of God! Let's see what it says of Jesus:

Matthew 1:18: "And the birth of Jesus Christ… [His physical birth, we covered that (Luke 1)] …was as follows: Now, His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph; but before they came together, she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not willing to expose her publicly, was planning to divorce her secretly. But as he pondered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, 'Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary to be your wife, because that which has been begotten in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she shall give birth to a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus; for He shall save His people from their sins'" (vs 18-21).

Verse 22: "Now, all this came to pass that it might be fulfilled, which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, 'Behold, the virgin … [that's what it say in the Hebrew and the Greek, meaning one separate individual] …shall be with child and shall give birth to a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel,' which is being interpreted, 'God with us'" (vs 22-23).

Verse 24: "And when Joseph was awakened from his sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded, and took his wife to wed; but he did not have sexual relations with her until after she had given birth to her Son, the firstborn; and he called His name Jesus" (vs 24-25). So, He was:

  • the firstborn of Mary
  • the Firstborn ever of human being that was God first and then emptied Himself to become God

Keep this in mind so when come to born again you will understand what it really means.

Revelation 1:4: "John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace and peace be to you from Him Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come; and from the seven spirits that are before His Throne."

These seven spirits in Rev. 4 & 5 are called the eyes of the Lord sent into all the earth. Apparently that's what God uses to keep track of what's going on, on the earth.

Verse 5: "And from Jesus Christ, the faithful Witness, the Firstborn from the dead…"

  • He was called the firstborn of Mary, His physical birth
  • He's called the Firstborn from among the dead, His resurrection from death to life

That will help you understand when we get to what it means to be born again. It doesn't mean a conversion experience. We'll leave it at that until we get there.

Q #6—We are studying you book about Hebrews and lots about Christ being High Priest. When did this happen?

He was High Priest of The Most High God in Gen. 14 after the order of Melchisedec. When He was raised from the dead He became High Priest forever over all the Family of God now resurrected from the dead.

Q—When did He become High Priest after the order of Melchisedec? It sounds like a great ceremony would be attached to this event!

Well there probably was, but we don't know what it was!

Q—Did this take place in heaven after Jesus rose from the dead and went to heaven to confirm with the Father that the work was completed?

I do not know; it doesn't tell us that! But I think there will be a great celebration at the wedding feast on the Sea of Glass.

Q—We can't find any Scriptures that would tell us this. Have we missed it or perhaps that is one of the things that will be revealed later on?

Probably so! But there are some people who believe that Melchisedec in Gen. 14 was Shem. Let's read here and find out it could not be Shem.

Hebrews 7:1: "For this Melchisedec, King of Salem, Priest of the Most High God, Who met Abraham as he was returning from his slaughter of the kings, and blessed him, and to Whom Abraham gave a tenth part of all; on the one hand, being interpreted King of Righteousness; and on the other hand, King of Salem, which is King of Peace" (vs 1-2).

So, you have many titles. What does it say about Jesus? On His head were many crowns (Rev. 19).

Verse 3: "Without father, without mother, without genealogy; having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but having been made like the Son of God, remains a Priest forever."

Likewise with Jesus! When He died what did He say, His last words: Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit! That spirit was without any body, because it was taken from the physical body of Jesus into the hands of the Father. He had to be really dead.

To raise Him from the dead, God the Father took that spirit that Jesus commended to the Father, and put it into the physical body of Christ, which for three days and three nights was dead and didn't see any corruption. This is how He was raised from the dead.

How it's going to be with all of us and over the period of time that people have been dead and in the grave and all of that, and how it's going to be at the first resurrection, we don't quite understand that! But we will understand it when it occurs.

I hope that answers the question; no you didn't miss anything because that's all that th Bible tells us.

Q #7—Some Jehovah Witnesses wanted to come and discuss the Holy Days.

That's interesting! But they probably came to say that you don't have to do them.

My intent was to practice the Parable of the Talents instead of burying the Truth, I tried to share it. According to these Scriptures, was it a sin to invite them into my home in the hope to cause them to search for the Truth?

No, because you were not befriending them as friends, you were inviting them in to tell them the Truth about God and the Holy Days.

2-John is one of the shortest epistles in the Bible and contains a powerful lot of Truth.

2-John 10: "If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine…"

That is the true doctrine of Christ, His dead, resurrection and ascension to heaven, God's Plan, etc.

"…do not receive him into your house…" (v 10).

So, your question is if you invited them in to try and explain to them about the Holy Days you were doing this from an instructive point of view, not as a friendship or fellowship point of view.

"…and do not say to him, 'Welcome!' For anyone who says, 'Welcome!' to him is partaking in his evil works" (vs 10-11).

What you were doing was more like what the apostles did in witnessing to the Sanhedrin.

Q—If God institutes leaders and He'll put in office who we deserve

Talking about politics. What happened to Israel after King Hezekiah—who was righteous—died? His son Manasseh became king and he reigned 55 years! The people, because of their sins, deserved how he behaved. All the false doctrines and everything came up.

When he was taken captive by the Assyrians—at that time they had control of Babylon—and put him in prison and he repented. God brought him back, put him as a vassal king and he cleaned up everything in the temple area and changed what he was doing. Yes, God puts into office who we deserve!

Q—…is voting for a specific government official wrong?

No! The way I vote is for the one who is the least evil, the one who lowers taxes. That's it, because that will affect everybody and me.

Q—Is voting a wrong waste of time or effort?

Sometimes it can be! Look at what we have. We've been spared Hillary Clinton, but we got Joe Biden, and that even worse. So, we'll see how things go.

Q #8—In Acts 9 Saul was knocked to the ground by the Lord's brilliant light. It states that the men who were with Saul were speechless and they heard the voice but saw no one.

Acts 9:7: "Now, the men who were traveling with him stood speechless; for they indeed heard the voice, but they saw no one."

This doesn't mean that they understood the words. They heard the voice.

Acts 22 seems to be a conflict here. Saul was relating the same story and was speaking this time to all of those assembled at the temple area. They were the ones who were wanting to kill him. Saul was explaining:

Acts 22:7: "And I fell to the ground; and I heard a voice say to me, 'Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?' And I answered, "Who are You, Lord?" And He said to me, 'I am Jesus the Nazarean, Whom you are persecuting.' Now, those who were with me indeed saw the light, and were alarmed; but they did not hear… [understand] …the voice of the One Who spoke to me" (vs 7-9).

The same word 'akouo' in the Greek can also mean that they did not understand the voice. So, that would remove the conflict. They did not understand the voice of the One Who spoke to Paul.

Have you ever had that happen to you? You heard someone speaking but you couldn't understand their words. That's the best way, because there should be no contradictions in the Bible. Those that appear to be contradictions we can resolve by understanding the Scriptures.

Q #9—1-Sam. 3:11-14

1-Samuel 3:13—God says: "For I have told him that I will judge his house… [Eli's house] …forever for the iniquity…"

Verse 14: "…the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering forever."

Q—Does ever mean forever in these verses?

It means that as long as there are any descendants of Eli. Eli and his two sons—Hophni and Phinehas—were killed the same day. They took the Ark out from Tabernacle of God and to fight the Philistines, and the Philistines won the battle and took the Ark.

Then a messenger came back to tell Eli that his two sons had died. He was sitting and fell back on a rock and died! God's judgment on the house of Eli was complete. There were no descendants of it because you made a mistake when you asked this question:

Q—So Samuel being Eli's son…

That's not correct. Samuel was not Eli's son! Your thought about not having any atonement for Samuel is not correct, because he is not a descendant of Eli.

So, what we have in 1-Sam. 1 is this: Elkanah[transcriber's correction throughout] was a priest and his wife's name was Hannah and she had no children. Actually Elkanah  had two wives and one wife had children. But Hannah didn't so a little female competition here.

Hannah went to the Feast of Tabernacles and Hannah tried to tell her that she was giving her a great gift in spite of the fact that Hannah didn't have any children. She wanted to have children, so she was praying at the tabernacle and Eli the priest came and misunderstood her at first thinking she was drunk[transcriber's correction] (1-Sam. 1:13), but she wasn't, she was just crying out to God that she could have children.

Then Eli—when he understood that—he said to her that 'your wish is granted to you. So, she bore a son and his name was Samuel, the son of Elkanah and Hannah. She said that she would devote this man-child to God. So, she raised him until Samuel was approximately three-years-old—because they nursed the children for three years—and then she gave him to Eli to be his assistant and grow up at the temple.

Samuel was not the son of Eli, but the son of Hannah and Elkanah. So, when the two sons of Eli were exterminated, that was the judgment that came upon them, along with Eli.

Q #10—Revelation 14:11—how does the smoke go into the ages of eternity?

Revelation 14:9: "And a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, 'If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives the mark in his forehead or in his hand, he shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed undiluted in the cup of His wrath; and he shall be tormented in fire and brimstone in the sight of the Holy angels, and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends into the ages of eternity…"( vs 9-11).

When anything gets outside the gravitational pull of the earth it goes on and on and on. I suppose the smoke will eventually dissipate into something that can't be seen. But space is a big place and how that exactly works, that's the best we can figure out.

Q—How does that square with the Scriptures 'the former things shall not be remembered'?

Well, it won't be, it will be out there where it is counted as nothing.

Q—Concerning the common practice of polygamy and adultery through time in the Bible. So many notorious men that God used throughout the Bible had multiple wives and bed partners. Jacob intimately know and married two sisters and each had a handmaiden and the brought forth children, too.

Originally, Jesus said that 'in the beginning it was one man and one woman.' That's what it should be! However, God used this and that's how all of the sons of Jacob were not that very far apart in age, because there were four mothers.

Though married Abraham had Hagar, Sarah's handmaiden and that resulted in all the Arabs that we have today. That's an interesting thing, too, because it was legal then if a woman had no children, then the child of her handmaid could be the heir of the woman. That's what Sarah was trying to work out.

However, think about what the world would have been spared if she hadn't done that and if Abraham would have said, 'No, I'm not going to.' History would be quite different.

Why God went through all of this and all the extra wives the only thing I can figure is that when there were wars in those days the men went out to war and thousands were killed. This left all the women at home to take care of everything. They had a society not like today where you can run down and buy whatever you need and want. They had to plow the ground, plant the seed, take care of the animals and the women could not do that, so they were given to men who would do that and take care of the offspring. There would be offspring raised from the diseased husband to the new man who became her husband. That's the best I can do on that! Today they're trying to revive polygamy. So, we'll see how that goes!

Q—Is it read correctly that a couple may resolve to divorce over adultery and the offended party may remarry, but the offending party shall never remarry?

Well all divorce and remarriage cases need to be taken on an individual basis as they arrive. Today we look at it and who is bound to whom? Sex is rampant at a very early age, children are brought in, there are marriages and divorces, single mothers, sometimes single fathers and all of the problems that go with it.

Because that exists and there are those problems, it doesn't mean that God is necessarily approving of it.

Q #11—Where did Cain get his wife?

The best we can determine is that at the time God made Adam and Eve He put in them all the genes necessary for the different races of people. It appears that they had a lot of children and Josephus records that Adam and Eve had 56 children. They lived a long time, so you would suppose that there would be whatever race of people that would be born as they continued to have children then they would be able to match them up according to whatever their race was.

That's the best we can figure on that. When you get it the way it is today, everything is in a mess! It's a terrible thing going on.

Q #12—Why did Jesus have to leave in order for the Comforter to come?

We find in John 14 that there are two parts of the Holy Spirit.

John 14:23: "Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word; and My Father will love him, and We… [Jesus included] …will come to him and make Our abode with him. The one who does not love Me does not keep My words, and the Word that you hear is not Mine, but the Father's, Who sent Me. I have spoken these things to you while I am yet present with you. But when the Comforter comes, even the Holy Spirit, which the Father will send in My name, that One shall teach you all things, and shall bring to your remembrance everything that I have told you" (vs 23-26).

John 15:22: "If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have had sin; but now they have nothing to cover their sin. The one who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no other man has done, they would not have had sin; but now they have both seen and hated both Me and My Father. But this has happened so that the saying might be fulfilled which is written in their law, 'They hated Me without a cause.' But when the Comforter has come, which I will send to you from the Father…" (vs 22-26).

The reason that it had to wait until after He was resurrected and went to the Father was so that the Holy Spirit from the Father—being the begettal for eternal life—and the Holy Spirit from Christ, being the ability to gain the mind of Christ, could not have been given until He ascended to the Father after His resurrection. That's why He had to ascend first!

Q #13—Will Satan be destroyed?

Go to any Last Great Day message and that will answer the question what happens to Satan the devil. Satan will not be destroyed, neither will the demons; they will be committed to the blackest darkness forever.

Q #14—Judges 14—Samson

This is one of most difficult parts of the Bible and the mot difficult time that Israel had with the period of judges. This involves Samson, probably one of the worst of the judges, but he redeemed himself at the end by destroying the Temple of Dagon.

Judges 14:5: "And Samson and his father and his mother went down to Timnath. And they came to the vineyards of Timnath. And, behold, a young lion roared to meet him. And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he tore it as he would have torn a kid; and nothing was in his hand. But he did not tell his father or his mother what he had done. And he went down and talked with the woman…. [the Philistine woman that he wanted] …And she pleased Samson very much" (vs 5-7).

Verse 8: "And after a time he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the dead body of the lion. And behold, a swarm of bees and honey was in the dead body of the lion. And he took some of it in his hands, and went on his way eating, and came to his father and mother. And he gave some to them, and they ate. But he did not tell them that he had taken the honey out of the dead body of the lion" (vs 8-9).

Q—Why was it there, in the first place? How long was the lion dead? Was he dead long enough for the bees to make a nest and make honey? Would it be just the skeletal remains?

We are told that he went down to the woman, and it says in v 8: "After a time…" We don't know how long that time was! But it seems that there was nothing left of the lion, perhaps only the bones, and then in the bones the bees made their nest and the honey.

That's the best we can figure. But that is not a salvational question.

We'll save the rest of the questions until next Sabbath!

Scriptural References:

Q #1

  • Acts 3:12-13
  • Acts 5:29-33
  • Genesis 14:18
  • Luke 24:33-39
  • Genesis 14:18-20
  • Genesis 15:1
  • Daniel 4:1-2, 34-35

            Referenced, not quoted:

    • John 17
    • Daniel 2

Q #2

      • Psalm 17:15
      • Isaiah 66:7-9

Q #3—Referenced, not quoted:

  • Jude 9
  • Acts 16

Q #4

    • Philippians 2:5-8
    • Luke 1:29-35
    • 2 Corinthians 4:3-6

Q #5

  • Colossians 1:14-20
  • James 1:17
  • Matthew 1:18-25
  • Revelation 1:4-5

            Referenced, not quoted:

      • Isaiah 66
      • Revelation 4; 5

Q #6—Hebrews 7:1-3
            Referenced, not quoted:

  • Genesis 14
  • Revelation 19

Q #7—John 10-11

Q #8

  • Acts 9:7
  • Acts 22:7-9

Q #9—1 Samuel 3:13-14

            Referenced, not quoted:

    • 1 Samuel 1:13
  • 1 Samuel 3:11-12

Q #10—Revelation 14:9-11

Q #11—no Scriptural references

Q #12

  • John 14:23-26
  • John 15:22-26

Q #13—no Scriptural references

Q #14—Judges 13:5-9

Transcribed: 1/18/23

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