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July 4, 1999

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Q/A Topics:
Three Days of Jesus' Death

Q.
Would you please address the confusing subject of what happened to Jesus during the three days and nights after the cruxifiction in one of your newsletters? There are so many different theories. I would like to know what you say about it.

A.
First of all, before we consider what Jesus -might- have beening doing during that time, we should dispell a grievous error that some proclaim. We should understand something which DID NOT HAPPEN. There are many of the 'charismatic' persuasion who teach that satan "tortured" Jesus in hell. At least one of the major televangelists proclaims this; and I've heard/read it from other sources, as well. Such a thing did NOT happen! How do we know this?

  1. Satan isn't yet -in- hell. Hell is a place that God prepared "for the devil and his angels" (Mt25:41) For -their- judgment. And that is yet future. Before Satan is in the Lake of Fire, he will first be cast out of heaven (Rev12:9) to the earth where he will assemble his rebellion against God in great wrath. After Babylon has been crushed, "an angel" will lay "hold on the dragon...and [bind] him a thousand years." (Rev20:1-3) This way, he will not be deceiving the nations while Christ rules. Then, at the end of those thousand years, he will be release for one final rebellion against God, after which he will be "cast into the Lake of Fire and Brimstone.." (Rev20:10)

  2. When Jesus died for sin, Whose wrath did He suffer? It is the "wrath of God" (Rom1:18) which is meted out against sin. As Jesus hung on the cross, bearing the "sin of the world" (Jn1:29) He cried out, "My God, My God, why have -You- forsaken Me?" (Mt27:46,Ps22:1) Because, "it pleased -Jehovah- to crush Him; to grieve Him; that He should put forth His soul as a guilt-offering...He shall see the travail of His soul. He shall be fully satisfied." (~Is53:10-11)
Did Jesus go to "hell"? (Mt10:28,Ps16:10) to the "Lake of Fire"? (Rev20:13-14) (Since "hell" is cast into the Lake of Fire) What is the "heart of the earth"? (Mt12:40) Maybe He went to the "outter darkness"? (Mt8:12) I'm not going to try to speculate on these things. Some 'scholarly' types try to dissect Jesus into body-soul-spirit, and make some rather outlandish suppositions as they compartmentalize all sorts of variations of places "in", "up" and "down". But even Paul who was "caught up to the third heaven" (2Cor12:2) was not bold enough to explain -specifically- the experience, stating instead, "I do not know". But there are many who proclaim things "they do not know". (Jude10) And the scoffers have a field-day with the Heb/Grk picking apart the Scriptures, retorting that Jesus' teachings about "hell" were merely His metaphorical references to the 'garbage dump' just outside of Jerusalem, because they don't believe that a place of "torment" (Lk16:23) where there is "weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Mt22:13) exists. There's a lot about the other side of life that we don't know. The fact that a place of torment and judgment, in contrast to the peace and rest of "Abraham's Bosom" (Lk16:22) and "Paradise" (Lk23:43, Rev2:7, 2Cor12:4), exists, is quite clear. And we are given just enough, all that we -need- to know.

While we may not know precisely where the "heart of the earth" is, where Jesus said He was going; we do know a bit about one thing He did. When He "once suffered for sins" He also "went and preached to the spirits in prison." (1Pt3:18-20) These "spirits" in prison were the ones destroyed in the flood, as Noah was "saved".

There have been many theological treatises speculating as to "what" He might have preached to them, and the outcome of that preaching. Some suggest that He proclaimed His triumph over satan and sin, informing them of their sealed fate and judgment. Some from the "ultimate restorationist" view combine these verses with 4:6 to suggest that, while they had died at the flood, they had to wait "in prison" until Christ would die on the cross, and once that happened, they would then "live according to God". That, even though they had been sinning and corrupting the earth, and God promised "death" upon sin, that, in the end, they were saved anyway. Or, modify this a bit, and Jesus preached, giving them the -option- at His preaching, to either receive Him or reject Him, and -then- either be saved or condemned. None of these, however, are found in Scripture.

Whatever the purpose of Jesus' preaching "in prison", we do know that "death passed on all men" because all have sinned. (Rom5:12) The predeluvian people sinned. They died. "The soul that sins, it shall die." (Ezek18:20) And if a person was not in the "Faith of Christ" (Phil3:9) when he died, "..it is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Heb9:27) So, we can be sure that His preaching was -not- to offer them a "second chance".

Ultimately, whatever it was that God required in payment for sin, Jesus accomplished to God's satisfaction." (Is53:11) And it occurred before He was taken down from the cross, because He cried out "It is finished" (Jn19:30) and the "veil in the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom" (Mt27:51) signifying that the way for access to God -had- been [past tense] accomplished." (Heb9:8,22,28,10:19,22)

We do know that His soul was not -left- in hell. (Ps16:10,Acts2:27) Did His soul go to hell [and return] while His body was hanging on the cross? We do know that on the very same day He was crucified, He was planning to be "in Paradise" because He promised to meet the believing thief there. (Lk23:43) Thus, for Him to be able to enter Paradise, His work of atoning for sin had to have been completed. As for the rest of the details we must echo Paul's words, "I do not know; -God- knows."

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New Material/Wineskins?

Q.
Thank you for responding to my message. I was comforted by the fact that you, who seem to know so much about the Bible, said that you "cannot presume to know why". Although I read my Bible every night, there is a lot that I don't understand. I have taken the attitude that I don't have to necessarily understand everything, just accept it, much like a child doesn't understand everything his parents do for his own good. I'm also hoping that with time I'll understand in the same way the child comes to understand his parents as he grows older.

I know you are busy, but one of the things I don't understand is the thing about sewing a new piece of material on a new garment, and putting new wine into old wineskins. What is this an analogy for? I've been thinking about it for several years.

A.
Well, I must say, this one has puzzled me a bit, too. Never have really taken the time to study it before. Never really felt "right" about explanations I've heard in the past, and since they never settled, I can't say as I remember them, either.

But in looking -now- at the three passages on the matter (Mt9, Mk2, Lk5) one notices that the cloth and wineskins are tied to John's disiples coming and asking Jesus why His disciples don't fast. And Jesus responds, "Can the sons of the bridechamber mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then they shall fast." (Mt9:15)

I think Jesus is talking about "appropriateness". Acting according as the occasion dictates. The "preacher" spoke that there is a "season, and a time for every purpose under the heavens" (Ec3:1) and goes into "time to be born, time to die, time to plant, etc.etc."

Fasting [and mourning] should not be done, just because it's "the thing to do." Or "to be seen by men" (Mt6) If one is going to fast, there should be a reason 'why' one is doing it. And it should be done when it's appropriate.

Jesus was the Lord of the universe, visiting the world 'personally'. Why should His disciples fast? They are following, day-in day-out, for three years, the Lord of Glory. Why should they be sorrowful? That is not "appropriate" behavior.

But later, He would be taken up into heaven, and they would experience trials and testings. And then, it would be the "right time" to fast.

And so He uses the cloth and wine as object lessons of "appropriateness". It is not appropriate to patch in a new piece of cloth to fix an old garment. It will just rip out. Putting new wine into old [brittle] winskins is not smart. As the wine ferments and expands, the brittle skins will crack. New wine needs to be in new [supple] skins, while there is still "stretch".

And then, just a little 'bonus' here. He does not even mention putting 'old' wine into new skins. But..."new" wine into "new" skins. A picture of the New Birth. (Jn3:3) "If any one is in Christ, he is a NEW creature; old things have passed away; behold, ALL THINGS have become new." (2Cor5:17)

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Jesus is Morning Star?

Q.
What did Jesus mean in Revelation 22:16 that he is the morning star? Isn't it true that in Latin it means I am Lucifer. In Hebrew the phrase means I am satan. Both words are interchangeable in both languages with the phrase morning star, morning light and son of dawn.

A.
"Morning star(*)" appears 3 times; Job38:7,Rev2:28,22:16. In Job the Hebrew term "star" is related to "blazing, burning" and corresponds with a description of Christ "His eyes were a flame of fire.." (Rev1:14,2:18,19:12) The two references in Revelation to "star" in the Greek mean, simply, "star". But even there, if we realize that a star is like our sun...a fire ball...it really means the same thing.

"Lucifer" (Heb "heylel") only appears once, in Isa 14:12. Which means "light bearer". Also, "shining one" ....which would be the case as he is "bearing" a light. But notice, he is not THE light. But he's always trying to imitate God's light. (2Cor11:14) He had originally been the "anointed cherub that covers" (Ezek28:14,16) which is where his affinity for "light" would have come, I'm sure.

Where Satan fits is in the expression "sons of God" (Job1:6~,38:7,etc.)

No...Jesus is not equating Himself with Satan. Although, the reverse is true, as Satan has been trying to be equal with God, "I will be like the Most High" (Isa14:14)

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Necromancy

Q.
What does the Bible say about communicating with the dead? One argument its proponents suggest is, "if we were not to communicate with the dead that Jesus himself was a sinner because he communicated with Moses and Elias at the transfigureation" Have you addressed this topic in the past? If not would you please address this topic in a future article.
[Ed: edited/adapted from writer's e-mail]

A.
Oh...of course! you will come under attack. They don't like being exposed. The closest we have come to this kind of topic was the stuff earlier this year on dreams, visions, etc. [Astrology/Zodiac - Ouija/Occult - Dreams - Sex w/ Angels] Not quite the same as necromancy...but it's all related. If you need a reminder of those, you can browse through the Q/A section, or "occult" under Topic Search at the website.

Otherwise, I don't really know of any plans to address that topic specifically in the near future. For a real thorough treatment I would recommend Dave Hunt's book "The Occult Invasion". That book covers this, as well as many other related occult topics.

However briefly: we know that Scripture is quite clear about these matters. "you shall not turn to those that have familiar spirits, nor seek to spiritists to be defiled by them." (Lev19:31) The LITV changes "familiar spirits" in (c)1999 to "spirit-knowers". Those who know the spirit world, communicate with it, etc. These "mediums" or "spirit-knowers" also were to be put to death in Israel. (Lev20:27) He goes into more detail "There shall not be found among you...a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or one who calls to the dead. For all that do these things are an abomination to Jehovah." And it was because of this kind of activity in the land that God used Israel to exterminate the inhabitants. (Deu18:10-12)

These people conjure up images. But they do not -actually- communicate with the dead. How do we know this? When Saul was in the depths of despair, being forsaken by God, he goes to a medium to "talk with" Samuel, who had died. The medium is horrified (and screams) when Samuel -actually- comes up. (1Sam28:12) This was something she was not used to. In this case, God intervened with the "real thing" as Samuel says, "why have you disturbed me..?" (vs15)

And so, by the same token, at Jesus' transfiguration, we know that it was -actually- Moses and Elijah, in 'person'. Not just some spirits "pretending" to portray them. Again, it was God working. God does not dabble around with spirits, and conjuring. He does the "real thing". All satan can do is to "imitate". (2cor11:14-15) That's why he deals in "smoke-and-mirrors." Which is why "magicians" are also called "illusionists". It is an "illusion" ....not the real thing.

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Live Psychics?

QUESTION:
Have you ever heard of Jon Edward? I hope I have his name right. He stands in front of a gallery of people and gets impressions about loved ones who have "passed over." Then he shares very personal information to confirm this really is from the person "on the other side."

I must admit it seemed convincing and he was comforting to those who were grieving their loved ones. I mentioned to my friend that I wondered if it was a Jerry Springer type program where guests were interviewed and prepared ahead of time for the show. While watching, I did not get the impression the people in the galleries were actors. Could you react to this, please? Thanks.

ANSWER:
I have not heard of this specific person, but speaking generically:

It is demonic. To be sure, there are those who 'interview'. But there are also many who are in contact with the spirit world. But they are not in contact with the actual people they claim to be communicating with.

We are "surrounded with so great a cloud of witnesses" (Heb12:1) Now, the context of that statement would seem to indicate that the departed dead believers, as they are now "with Christ" (Phil1:23) are also able to watch us. We do know that presently satan is the "prince of the power of the air" (Eph2:2) and he -does- keep track of us, as he did with Job. (Job1:8,etc) Just as angels are "sent forth to minister for those who shall be heirs of salvation" (Heb1:14), we also know that demons go about hindering. Just as the Holy Spirit fills Believers, demons fill and influence the -false- "ministers of righteousness". (2Cor11:14-15)

So, if demons can keep tabs on what people are doing, it would be no big deal for a person with a "connection" to the spirit world to receive 'appropriate' information for such sessions, to 'know' the correct things about people.

But that they don't communicate with the -actual- people is obvious from Saul's experience with Samuel. The medium screams when Samuel 'actually' comes up. (1Sam28:12) She was used to conjuring...not the real thing.

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Tattoos?

Q.
There seems to be a big movement towards tattoos lately. [Ed: He then details 'where' and what kind of tattos he's seen.]

My question is, where in the Bible does it talk about tattoos? I know I've read it before. A friend of my daughter's got some tattoo on his lower leg that looks Satanic. It's some sort of a shield that he says represents the soul flying up to heaven. I told him tattoos were an abomination to God. I tried to look up Tattoos in the Concordance, but I couldn't find it. Could you tell me where it is in the Bible?

My daughters are wanting one. If I can't find it in the Bible, I still will not permit it, even if it comes down to going to war with them over it. Once they move out when they are old enough, that's their business. But in my house, they come under my rules, even if I can't explain my reasoning.

A.
Lev 19:28 "You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks on you. I am Jehovah."

Where we see people "cutting" themselves is related to idol worship or demon possession. 1Kg18:28,Mk5:5 And where we see "marks" is related to the AntiChrist in Revelation...the "mark of the beast".

We also see where God put a "mark" on Cain, because of his sin. (Gen4:15)

But where God's elect are concerned, God uses a "seal" (Eph1:13, 2Tm2:19, Rev9:4) This appears to be "spiritual" in nature.

As you correctly noted, many have tattoos placed on erogenous areas of their bodies, and/or the subject matter is demonic or related to New Age spirituality. It would seem to me that all this modern fetish for body piercings and rings would fit the same catagory. If we remember back a few short years ago, it was the missionaries who would show us pictures of the "heathen" who pierced and cut themselves. Now, as our 'enlightened' western cultures delve deeper and deeper into the occult spirituality, they are doing the same things the "heathen" do.

It would behove people who name the name of Christ to keep themselves holy (separated) from such things.

Tattoos: demon affiliation

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Where did the Bible come from?

Q.
I am an ex-catholic and automatically ex-communicated from the church because of divorce. I turned to God alone and only and am finding my belief in Jesus Christ has returned not as strong as it was, but with your help and God's help it slowly is getting firmer. Catholics never emphasized the necessity of study/read the Bible. In fact, I don't ever recall them telling us how the Bible came about. I still don't know but then there must be others that don't know either. Can you explain, in short, please.

Thank you again for being there. I look forward to your messages every day and wonder when I receive them late.

A.
In short...

"For prophecy was not borne at any time by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke being borne along by the Holy Spirit." (1Pt1:21)

God had indicated His method of communicating with prophets, "If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord will make Myself known to him in a vision, and will speak to him in a dream." (Nu12:6) And, indeed, many of the prophets and John record how God's Word came to them in visions. Not every word was necessarily written through a vision. The Holy Spirit is not limited by visions. Many of Paul's epistles in the N.T. were actual -letters- he wrote to various churches and people. When the Holy Spirit indwells a prophet, God's Word comes like a "burden" (Is18:1,15:1,17:1,etc) that -must- be proclaimed. And the burden is there until it has been proclaimed. (Jer20:9) This is so, whether it is a momentary proclamation, or that which became the Scriptures.

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Gates of Hell shall not Prevail

[Ed: The following is excerpted from a 'Portion' which was written in June,1999, stemming from a discussion with a customer about various things. This excerpt begins mid-way in that narrative.]

Excerpt:
At this point I ask him "where?" "Spokane." "No, where -IN-SCRIPTURE-" did he "find this command" to be in "offensive warfare" in Spokane?

"..[the] church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." [Ed: found in Mt16:18)

This little phrase, to him, encompassed God's command for the "church" to be on the "offensive" to do spiritual warfare. So then I tried to reason with him a bit, about basic grammar and words. -Who- is trying to "prevail" against -whom-? That the "gates of hell" are on the "offensive" AGAINST the -Church-.

Well, he went into the little 'funny-ha-ha' thing the charismatic preachers do with this one. And -here- we come to the first matter that I hope we can glean some understanding from this lengthy narrative.

How many times have you seen Benny Hinn, etc. talk about this, during the rare moments they are "teaching", and not blowing people over "in the spirit" or "healing" people? They will stand up there, and don their 'comedian' hat, and ask, "When was the last time you saw -GATES- running and chasing after people!?!?" And with their comedic 'cleverness' the whole congregation is in fits of laughter, hardly able to contain themselves at the ludicrousness of such a thing. Ha, ha, ha!!! And so, since -gates- are "stationery" devices, it MUST BE THE CASE that the "Church" is on the offensive.

So, Dear Believer...

How do you answer such a taunt of the unregenerate scoffers? It is a matter of understanding the meaning of the word "gate".

In Ruth4:1~ Boaz gathered the "elders of the city" at the "-gate-" to conduct some legal business regarding taking Ruth to be his wife. When there was civil war in Israel, and Absalom was killed; when David went to re-unite the people, he went and "sat in the -gate-". (2Sam19:8) The husband of the virtuous woman is "known in the -gates-, when he sits among the elders.." (Pr31:23) The "gate" was the seat of political governmental power. Much as the "Whitehouse" is a symbol of America's power. e.g. if a reporter says, "A statement was issued by the Whitehouse..." it does not mean that the -building-, made of cement, paint, windows, carpet, plumbing, etc., is making this statement. No. The -one- in authority -in- the Whitehouse is making the statement. As Jesus proclaims about the Altar and Temple, "..whoever shall swear by the altar swears by it, and by all things on it. And whoever shall swear by the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells in it. And he who shall swear by Heaven swears by the throne of God, and by Him who sits on it." (Mt23:20-22)

Who was "hell" created for? "for the devil and his angels" (Mt25:41) Who is it who is on the offensive? "..your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking someone he may devour." (1Pt5:8) So, if a "gate" represents a "power", who does the "gates of hell" refer to? Satan. No, the "gates" are not "running after people" ...but Satan is! Which is why we are provided with -defensive- "-ARMOR- of God" (Eph6:13) We are not on the offensive and -attacking-, but are commanded to "withstand" and to "stand". "Therefore stand..." (vs14) In other words, "make your stand and defend..."

No, our defense is not against -physical- "gates" with hinges and bars; but "against principalities, against powers, against the world's rulers, of the darkness of this age, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Eph6:12) Yes, Satan is still in "high places" until he is eventually "..cast out into the earth.." (Rev12:9)

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