A Voice in the
Wilderness

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November 3, 1998

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Q/A Topics:
God passive?

Q.
I enjoyed your story, but I believe you are wrong. Why is faith in oneself such a bad thing? What has your god done to save us from our own destruction. In the bible it is said that he gave his only son for man's sins. Why does your god remain passive in light of all the problems in the world. In light of all religious figures in this world that are exposed to be pedophiles, and sex maniacs, why does he remain silent? I believe in the higher power and order of Nature, but I do not let that blind me from believing in myself. Please do not misunderstand me, I admire your conviction to believe in your god. That is quite noble, I just don't see that believing in oneself is such a bad thing.

A.
First of all, may I direct you to a couple of studies at the website which will pretty much lay this all out in systematic order for you. At the site click on "Library" and once there, check out:

If you read through these, and also look up the Scripture references, you will see that God created the world and mankind in "perfection." He did not create this mess the world is in now.

However, He also did not create His creatures as automatons, with pre-programming to "only" do His bidding. Lucifer was the "anointed cherub that covers" (see article: "Treason") as he was created in perfection. (Eze28:13~) There was fellowship. (Ps55:13-14) And God desired fellowship with Adam and Eve. (Gen3:8) How does one have fellowship/friendship with a pre-programmed "robot"? Thus, God created the living beings with "free choice."

Well, some of them decided to rebel. All God's splendor wasn't enough for them. They wanted more. They wanted to "be like the Most High." (Isa14:14) And the serpent foisted this same lust upon Eve. (Gen3:5) "You shall be as God [the Most High]"

Well...while God desires fellowship, He is also a "jealous God" (Ex20:5) and will allow no substitutes in His place. If man rebels God "visits..the iniquity" upon the disobedient. In the day you disobey "you shall surely die." (Gen2:17) And since the human race was corrupted by Adam and Eve's sin, the whole human race deserves "death." (Rom6:23) And so, like you pointed out, God sent His Son to die in man's place. (Jn3:16)

If you read the "Covenant" series, you will see how God has been working with man-kind over 6000 years. Doing, first, "this." And then, "that." To show man's inability to save himself, and to show God's grace and mercy, and "longsuffering" compasion, because He is "not willing that any of us should perish." (2Pt3:9)

However, for those who refuse to repent, God will, indeed be dealing with the "problems in the world" (as you state). Those who refuse God's offer of grace, as Paul wrote "according to your hardness and your impenitent heart, do you treasure up wrath for yourself in a day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God." (Rom2:5)

Many people think that God is "not involved" in the events of the world. That He allows all the suffering to take place. Allows corrupt religious leaders to abuse people. Well, their day is coming. God proclaims "Woe to the shepherds...who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?" (Eze34:2) But He exercises "longsuffering" against the wickedness of the world, waiting for all who will, to come in repentance. But His promise is sure. He "is not slow concering His promise..." (2Pt3:9)

He will purge out the evil, and set up His peaceful kingdom. And judging by world events, now, when compared to Scripture prophecy, that time of judgment is "imminent."

The only way to get "into the Kingdom" is to "receive" Jesus Christ. (Jn1:12) No one comes to the Father but by Christ. (Jn14:6) If we only believe in "me and my goodness" that is a "works of righteous which we have done" (Tit3:5) and that is NOT the way we are saved, because, in God's eyes there is nothing good in us, in our sin. (Rom7:18) "There is none righteous" (Rom3:10) Even our own "righteousnesses" (our self-esteem and self-worth) "are like filthy rags" (Isa64:6) And in the original the expression "filthy rags" is actually like a "menstruous cloth." (LITV)

Surely, if one is striving for good grades in school, that promotion at work...a certain sense of "believing in one's self" that "I can do it" is beneficial. But for getting to heaven...self-striving has absolutely NO BENEFIT. We cannot save ourselves. We are totally helpless to do so. (Rom5:6,8)

We must "call upon the name of the Lord" to be saved. (Joel 2:32) This is a difficult concept for mankind to accept, but a "few [do] find it." (Mt7:14)

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Elijah reincarnated?

Q.
If christians are not supposed to believe in reincarnation, why does it say in the bible that Jesus said John the Baptist was Elijah? And why did Jesus call the other prophets different names?

A.
For this we need to go back to Elijah. When Elijah was about to be raptured, and Elisha was to take his place as head-prophet, Elisha's request was "let a double portion of your spirit be upon me." (2Kg2:9) And then, as Elisha is coming back to the rest of the prophets, and he crossed the Jordan river by parting the waters with Elijah's mantle. And the prophets react, "the spirit of Elijah rests upon Elisha!"(vs15)

In this case "reincarnation" is obviously not the issue. Both Elijah and Elisha were alive at the same time and talking to each other. They were, obviously, not the same person. By definition, the "theory of reincarnation" asserts that one DIES and "then" becomes something else.

In the O.T. the Holy Spirit did not "indwell" the common folk like He does the members of Christ's Body, the Church. (Rom8:9) But the Spirit would come upon certain people for special tasks. e.g. the judges, kings, prophets. Not all of them had the same ministries. We know that Saul had the Spirit because "the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul." (1Sam16:14) God spoke to Isaiah in terms of "My spirit that is on you.." (Is59:21) When Samson had been disobedient, it says, "He did not know that the LORD had departed from him." (Judg16:20) So it is obvious that it was God's Holy Spirit that gave him his strength.

So, when Jesus said, "..this is Elijah who is to come" (Mt11:14) He is not saying, 'this is Elijah...only in a different body..." But rather, as the angel proclaimed to John's father, Zacharias, "he shall go before Him [Jesus] in the SPIRIT and POWER of Elijah..." (Lk1:17) In other words, the Spirit Elijah had, which he passed on to Elisha...was the same Spirit of John the Baptist.

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Unleavened bread only?

Q.
I have read Everything on your site re: the Lord's Supper and all the Scripture linked. I still need more to defend why I KNOW we should use unleavened bread. My friends Church seems to be on track with everything but this. They use French Bread and don't know the difference. Maybe no one has told them Why unleavened. I want to tell them but I could use your help.

A.
Leaven in this case is symbolic of sin. They picked out an "unblemished" lamb from the flock. (Ex12:5) That symbolized the perfect, sinless Son of God, our perfect Sacrifice for sin. (1Pt1:19)

They also cleansed themselves and their dwellings of leaven. (Ex12:15-20) And there were other rituals of cleansing they did, and made sure to not come in contact with anything whereby they might become "unclean" ...so they could partake of the Passover.

The New Testament connection of leaven being a type of sin is in 1Cor5:7. There it's talking about a willfully sinning brother in the assembly. Temporary dissassociation being a type of cleaning out the leaven...speaking of it in relationship to our purity in relationship with "Christ our Passover.." And thus, in ch11 the exhortation to "let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup." (vs28)

For a post-crucifixion Believer, the primary, and most important matter regarding the Lord's Supper is the "clean heart." An individual's standing before God in a clear conscience. While I'm sure that the use of actual unleavened bread is preferred, there is no specific teaching on the matter to the Gentile Church in the N.T. There is no "curse" against using the wrong "materials" for the commemoration like there was to Israel. (Ex12:15b) We do not keep the Law, but rather a "New Covenant." (Lk22:20) While its roots and origin are in the O.T., we do not, technically, keep the Passover, but rather, the "Lord's Supper."(1Cor11:20) And so, now, the "curse" is against the heart (1Cor11:30) not for the "materials" being eaten or drunk, but for the "manner" (unworthily -vs29) in which it is done.

Yes, I'm sure that the use of unleavened bread is most appropriate, and desirable. But if a person finds himself in an assembly where something with yeast is being served, I don't know that a boycott would be proper, because the whole point of the Lord's Supper is the "REMEMBRANCE" of Christ's death.

After all, the day after the Sabbath, bread "WITH yeast" (Lev23:11,17) was used to celebrate the "Firstfruits" ...and Christ is THE "Firstfruit." (1Cor15:23) While we "remember" Jesus' death, we PROCLAIM His resurrection. (Acts4:2,1Cor15:20)

Thus, in my opinion, the symbolism can be RICH either way.

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Scripture and Preterism?

Q.
I very much enjoy your news letters and was wondering if you had any scriptures to use against the preterest view (They beleive that Christ has already come and we are now living in the new earth, he came in 70AD the distruction of the Jewish temple). If this is true than why is there still evil in the world?

A.
Your closing question pretty much answers your own question. The very fact that evil is still in the world proves that Isa 2:4 has not yet come to pass. Zechariah chs 12-14 are just now beginning to be fulfilled. If you read through those, you will see that those things did not happen in AD70.

Particularly...Israel has not yet received their Messiah (Zech 12:10) nor has the Mt.of Olives been split in two and shifted. (Zech 14:4) Nor have Joel 2:30-31 occurred. Lions are still killing to eat meat, and children are still bitten by asps, etc. (Is11:6-9,65:25)

These are merely a VERY FEW prophecies that have not yet been fulfilled...but are related to the reigning of Messiah. For the time of peace the "Son of David" is supposed to rule from Jerusalem (Is16:5,Jer22:2) as He rules with a "rod of iron." (Ps2:9,Rev2:27,12:5,19:15) Christ has NOT ever ruled from Jerusalem. In fact, by AD70, He had come, but they had rejected and crucified their Messiah, and rejected the Holy Spirit. (Acts7:51,28:28) So they were scattered to the winds (Jer13:24,18:17) and "nobody" has been ruling from Jerusalem. But only now are they being regathered (Mt24:31) as all those prophecies are imminently about to be fulfilled.

It is like (Is 61:2a). Messiah's first coming was the "accepable year of the Lord" as Jesus claimed to have fulfilled that portion. (Lk4:19) ...but the "day of vengeance" (Is61:2b) is yet future. That will be the time of "Jacob's trouble." (Jer30:7) That's where Zech 12-14 and a lot of other prophecies fit.

Finally, Jesus warned about those who would say "Lo, here is Christ! Or, There!" (Mt24:23) There is one entity that claims to have been reigning "in-the-place" (vicar) of Christ for all these years. And so "spiritual-Jerusalem" is said to reside at this "other" location, being the "head" of "spiritual-Israel" as being supposedly the "church." But Jesus gave a graphic description of what it would look like when He returns. Again; something which, to date, has not yet happened....

"For as the lightning comes out of the east and shines even to the west, so also will be the coming of the Son of man...in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory..." (Mt24:27,30) ..the "brightness of His coming." (2Th2:8)

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