A Voice in the
Wilderness

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November 15, 1999

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Q/A Topics:
Don't need to meet with other Believers?

Question:
If I am understanding what you have written, you don't see the need to meet (fellowship) with other believers (face to face) in a "church" setting. I am still in a church (assembly of believers), in fact I pastor one, and we are trying to teach and live the whole Bible. Acts 2:41-47 shows that the believers met together "daily". Hebrews 10:24-25 says "And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching." (NKJV) Many of the writings of Paul, deal with how we are to treat one another and how we are to exercise the gifts of the Spirit in the church (assembly not corporation). My question is this. Please explain to me the apparent contradiction between what you say and these verses. You seem to discourage people from worshipping and fellowshipping with other believers. Is that your interpretation of the Scriptures?

Answer:
Not quite. When there are other Believers with whom to fellowship, even if it is only 'one' other person, we are told that "where two or three are gathered together in My name, there I am in their midst." (Mt18:20)

The trouble today is that -most- of the organized "churches" are apostate. They are part of the Whore of Babylon. True Believers are exhorted to "come out of her, My people..." (Rev18:4)

Now... when an -individual- Believer comes out of such a group, he might find himself being "alone" if God doesn't lead his path to cross with another Believer. Remember, Elijah felt all "alone" ...and God reminded him that there were yet 7000 who hadn't bowed to Baal. Only thing...Elijah didn't know them to have fellowship with them.

What you are reading from VW, more, is the concept that as these -individuals- find each other along the way, they begin meeting in homes. Small 'house churches'. Which, actually, is more the N.T. concept, anyway.

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'Two or Three' - Out of context?

Comments:
I've been seeing a verse of Scripture taken out of context and misquoted and misused so much lately, and here it is, twice, taken out of context within this Q/A by well meaning people. It is the verse in Matthew 18:20. I'm not trying to come down on anyone here. I'm just trying to put this verse back in context as Jesus taught it. It has nothing to do with a prayer meeting where only a couple show up on Wednesday night. Most of the18th chapter of Matthew is about church discipline and when a brother or sister offends us, or is in unrepented sin. How to we deal with this. Let's keep Matt 18:20 in context. This is NOT talking about if two people show up for prayer meeting we can feel confident that Jesus is with us. If I am alone in my closet, Jesus is with me there also, not only if 2 or more are together with me. I've been alone many times and have felt the presence of the Lord in a very powerful way.

Answer:
OF COURSE this verse is at the tail end of the context of 'church discipline'. But also please take the context of how the verse was used. We made no mention of a "Wednesday night prayer meeting" where only a couple "show up". We've gotten past that, and have "come out of" the apostate church...and now find ourselves "alone", or with only one or two others.

However, let's also consider the "context" which you mention, and also the -wording- of that verse.

Yes, Jesus speaks of the procedures for discipline. And then He explains how any sort of action they might be called upon to take will -already- have been endorsed "in Heaven". (vs18) The 'emotions' and love for the errant person might make it hard to enforce the discipline. Thus, whatever action/s they enforce, they are doing with "Heaven's" authority. With God's authority in the matter, they can be assured they are doing right. And so, as they meet (two or three) to request wisdom from God in the matter, Jesus promises that it will be given. (vs19)

BECAUSE ("for" ...on account of) ...here is a GENERIC TRUTH "...where two or three are gathered together in My name, there I am in their midst." (vs20) This word "gather" comes from what I assume is the same root word (sunago/sunagoge) that "synagogue" comes from. A little different sense than a 'couple' of people meeting in "conference", but more, the "assembling" of a group. The same basic derivation from which Heb10:25 comes from (episunagoge) regarding "assembling" together.

The Generic Truth is that, Where even a 'couple' of people meet in Jesus' Name, He is there. Thus, when you -also- confer regarding discipline, you are not alone in such matters, either. Jesus is there, too.

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Salvation without the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Question:
received from your ministry they have never been incorrect, but are sound according to His Word. I have a question though, what happens to the people who do not have the Gospel and die without being born-again. Does Jesus preach repentence in say Hell, or Hades before Judgement, or does He judge their heart(or works). Does God maybe judge those unsaved people who have not the Word or their choice to praise a maker? I have no answers but know God is just and loves us all. He could condemn mankind for eternity without the opportunity of hearing His message. I doubt its a misconception in comprehending His love or mercy. PS-did jesus preach to those spirits in prision as being the dead people without Jesus. Do mosaic jews need Jesus to gain their citizenship in Heaven???

Answer:
Throughout the history of man there have been different levels of understanding about Christ. Adam and Eve only knew about the "Seed of the woman". Gen3:15 Israel through Moses knew about the "Passover"... and the fact there there WOULD BE a "Prophet" like Moses Whom they would hear...at some future date. (Deu18:15) They offered sacrifices... not knowing Jesus' 'name'. Even the O.T. prophets did not fully understand the 'way' we are saved...knowing about Christ. (1Pt1:10) And as for the world, Romans ch1 tells us that mankind is without excuse, because God has manifest Himself in creation, so that He might be known. (vs19-20)

Salvation is expressed as "all who shall call on the name of Jehovah shall be saved." (Joel2:32,Rom10:13)

While Peter proclaims "for neither is there any other NAME under Heaven having been given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts4:12) ...Jesus' -name- was not known throughout much of history. Just because a person did not know Jesus' -name-, because of the time in which he lived, or place where the "name" did not reach him, does not change the fact that Jesus' death and resurrection saves all who "call upon God". God gave each person a "conscience" (Rom2:15), and He knows each heart. (Heb4:12)

A -name- indicates a -person-. Jesus Christ is the central Figure of Scripture from Genesis 1:1 thru Revelation 22:21. Jesus is the Son of God. Not -any- god. Thus, we cannot give 'lenience' in understanding to religions who worship god "in their own way". Many trace their deities back to a "creator". But they worship false gods. They do not worship God Most High... only, with -their- name by which they know Him; such as Allah, Buddha, etc. No. The Most High is the "God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob" (Ex3:6) the "I AM". (Ex3:14) And -This- is the One, Whose Son provides salvation, and no other.

The spirits "in prison" were the rebelling ones before the Flood. (1Pt3:19) They had heard Noah's preaching and rejected. We are not told 'why' Jesus preached to them. But we know it was not for any "second chance" because man dies "once", and then there's judgment. (Heb9:27)

We know what God intends for us to know...and we must be faithful in that, and not "harden our hearts" as Israel did with the amount of information they knew. (Heb3:8,etc.)

While we know how to be saved...there is yet so much we -don't- know. A person is judged based on the knowledge God gave to him...in his conscience (Lk12:47-48) "For as many as sinned without Law will also perish without Law. And as many as sinned within Law will be judged through Law" (Rom2:12)

However, throughout history (both before and after Jesus' crucifixion) salvation has always been by "grace through faith". (Eph2:8) [Grace is extended when we repent of our sinfulness, and Faith is given to us to receive God's salvation. -Acts20:21] When they only knew of the womans "Seed" yet 4000 years into the future, it says that "By -faith- Abel offered a greater sacrifice to God than Cain, by which he obtained witness to be -righteous-, God testifying over his gifts.." (Heb11:4)

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Children at the Rapture?

Question:
What do you think will happen to children at the rapture? Will no children go? All children go? Or just children of believer(s)? I know there isn't any really specific passages that say exactly what will happen but if you have an opinion on it I would enjoy hearing it.

Answer:
"Because the Lord Himself shall come down from Heaven with a commanding shout of an archangel's voice, and with God's trumpet. And the dead in Christ will rise again first. Then we who remain alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to a meeting with the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord. (1Th4:16-17)

Let us understand that Paul is writing to the "church of the Thessalonians" (1:1) These are Believers. Christians. So, working backwards, we see that the ones who "remain alive" who are caught up are the "we" he is writing to ...Believers. And then, the "dead" ones who are raised are the "dead in Christ". Again... Christians. So, it should be obvious that the Rapture is for -Believers-, the Church. This event which is simultaneously a Resurrection and Rapture.

Without going into great detail here (for in-depth please see at the website: TopicSearch -> children -> "Q/A Age of Accountability") if we understand that as long as one parent in a family is a Believer, then the children under a certain age are "holy" (saved) due to the presence of the Believer (1Cor7:14), and as a result would go to be with the Lord if they die... it would seem to carry through that these same ones would be raptured.

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Joining hands, in a circle, in prayer?

Question:
The Bible says to when two or three or More come together in the Name of Jesus, And Agree on the subject pray for there Jesus is in the Midst, and he will answere that prayer according to the Will of God.

My Question IS ?????? Is It wrong to Join hands in a Circle?

I have herd of Legalists say forning a circle is liken unto how witches pray in Covens? that May Be true BUT, I think to say that Christians forming a pray chain (Joining Hands) is a far cry from that! What do you find in Scripture and history? IS it Biblical????

Answer:
I can't think of anything from Scripture that speaks of joining hands in prayer. Gal2:9 speaks of "right hands of fellowship". And Prov 11:21,16:5 speaks how "joining hands" won't make something bad into good.

Just because witches do something, doesn't necessarily mean it is -intrinsically- evil. As I understand things, witches also use the Bible for some of their incantations. That doesn't make the Bible bad. It only worsens their judgment for blaspheming God's Word in such a manner.

However, you just used the expression "prayer chain". This expression is used by modern prayer "warfare" adherents, who suppose there is "power in prayer". That, if they pray enough, and get enough people on their "chain" that their prayers are more effective to the degree that there are more people on the chain. [Ed: just recently somebody repeated an invitation to check out a website, hoping VW would link to it. On their opening screen they proclaim "Alert!!! Prayer Blankets In Process..." Yuck! Such rubbish just turns my stomach!] As we have addressed many times in past writings, such a notion is a bunch of rubbish. Scripture does not teach such nonesense...but is part of the modern doctrines of demons, as proclaimed even by the likes of Oprah, etc.

But, just a group of Believers, together in a circle, joining hands in corporate prayer to God in worship, I don't know of any Scripture that speaks against it. In the end, the Lord knows the hearts of those participating.

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Pagan Images Attract Demons?

Question:
I have a question regarding pagan images or symbols. My husband is an unbeliever and has many pieces of eastern art and new age garbage. I was told things like that carry an evil spirit or attract demons. Is that true?

Answer:
It is true that objects can have demons associated with them. Pagan amulets, Rock albums, etc. And we know this kind of thing is possible Scripturally because Jesus sent the "Legion" demons into the herd of pigs. (Mt8:32)

On the other hand, a Christian happening to be in the company of these kinds of objects should not be possessed by fear. Objects are mere objects. "for the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness of it." (1Cor10:26,Ps24:1) And objects are only effective to those who view them that way... "I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing by itself is common; except to the one counting anything to be common, it is common." (Rom14:14)

Regarding idols, which is really the same thing, Jehovah says, "Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil nor good; it is not with them." (Jer10:5b)

A Believer is protected. "Behold, I have given you the authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and on all the power of the Enemy, and nothing shall hurt you, not at all" (Lk10:19)

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Wives becoming Submissive: How to Change?

Question:
I'm so enjoying this week's discussion on "women." I've been convicted NOT to "wear the pants" in our family but to allow my husband his right to do so. I've been so confused by the world that I didn't see my error and lack of submission. However, I've found that I've paralyzed my husband's abilities in decision making, responsibilities, etc. What's a woman to do while waiting for these roles to reverse? Do you have any advice?

Answer:
This is a logical question coming from the study, isn't it... What I'm going to say here might not be found -directly- in Scripture, but as Paul said, "..by permission, not by command." (1Cor7:6)

There will certainly be some "waiting" involved. Time. "I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope.." (Ps130:5) because ".. The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him." (Lam3:25) This waiting could possibly be in length, somewhat proportionately to the length of time things were 'wrong'. You know how human nature is...the more ingrained something becomes, the longer it takes to undo that 'conditioning'.

However, perhaps a conversation with your husband is in order...? "I've been wearing the pants...but I realize it's not been right...I'm not going to do it anymore..." And then -LIVE- what you just promised... so he sees the change. (1Pt3:2) Then, let the Lord work in his heart to take his proper role in the relationship. If a situation comes up needing leadership, don't jump in to do it. If need be, let the situation 'flounder' -leaderless- so that he sees the need for his active participation.

Some men have never grown up. "Mother" did it when a youth, and now "wife" takes mother's place. And... it may be that he will desire you to take leadership in some things, things in which you are qualified. But let -him- make the assignment; then, you will be under his headship as you do what he has asked of you.

The woman is the "helper suited" to man. (Gen2:18) God took Eve from Adam's rib. The husband and wife are designed to walk arm-in-arm together. His arm around her shoulders, to guide and protect; hers around his waist, next to the 'rib' from which she was taken. (Typical men are 'taller' than typical women) There -are- things she's more qualified to do, than the husband is; so it is not wrong for her to do them. Only... she needs to do them under her husband's headship. Under his authority.

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