Question: I don’t know if I’m hearing God, just myself or the adversary.
Answer: One way you can know is by the message being given. There are some things God would never ask or tell you. You can also look at the logical consequences of the message. God told people to go places where their lives would be endangered (or they thought they would) such as when He sent Ananias to find Saul in Damascus and when Paul was sent to Jerusalem. Satan usually doesn’t ask us to obviously endanger ourselves. His voice is more like that of those who said, “Peace, Peace,” when there was no peace (Jeremiah 6:14, 8:11).
There are some things which are neutral in and of themselves. In such cases it’s better to obey if you know you are not sinning. God knows the heart and will take it for an attempt to please Him.
Samuel’s experience is a good place to go. We can say as he did, “Speak, Lord, your servant hears you.” One of the best messages I ever heard was a couple of years ago by Mike Adkins (of “A Man Called Norman” fame) who talked about the best prayer we could have. It was simply this: “Lord, teach me your ways.”
Don’t try to figure it out on your own if you’re in the middle of things, but ask for an answer. I can’t promise an automatic response such as you might like, but there will be guidance and wisdom given either through your own spirit or through the word or through another Christian.
Question: It seems to me that Judas died two different ways.
Answer: The contrast here is between Matthew 27:5 and Acts 1:8. Matthew records what Judas did to himself. Luke in Acts records the result. This was what would happen to a person, not to be too gross, who had hung up there too long and the rope had finally decayed and broken or if the rope was strong enough to strangle, but not strong enough to bear the weight for very long. Because this was a holy time it is presumable, though not known by scripture, that no one would have touched him despite the need not to have a curse result from a hanging body (Deuteronomy 21:22, 23), at least not a scrupulous Jew, until the end of the feast of unleavened bread which would have come 8 days later. (The Passover was one day, the unleavened bread the next 7. See Exodus 12:14-19.) It could also be that he did it so privately, that no one discovered the body until long after the event.
Question: How can the grace of Paul’s epistles be reconciled with the works of James.
Answer: Paul is speaking of the process of being saved by grace. James is speaking of the works that should result from being saved. If you read James very carefully you will note that there is no mention of salvation on the basis of works, only of works as being a natural part of the Christian life. James is speaking to those who have already received the grace of God, although he doesn’t put it in those terms. The perfect place to look for the reconciliation of the two is in Ephesians 2:8-10. We are saved by grace, not by works, but we were then created for good works in connection with both Christ and God.
Question: Did God make Adam and Eve first and then other people, too, right away? A subsequent question is then, why would Cain be afraid of being killed.
Answer: There is no record of any other human being created in the same way as Adam and Eve. That would open up too many doctrinal variants, so I reject it, not only because of logic, but because it doesn’t seem to fit the patter of the rest of the scripture. Jesus said later that God could raise up sons of Abraham from the stones, but He had earlier refused to make bread out of stones. He gave testimony to the divine capability, but did not show it to be a realized effect.
Keeping in mind the tremendous amount of years involved, Cain’s wife (another questioned event) was an unnamed daughter of Adam and Eve. (There was much intermarrying in those days. Abraham, centuries later, married a half-sister. Presumably the gene pool wasn’t corrupted. Also, there was no command prohibiting it as there was later on in the law.) Cain well knew that the earth was going to be populated. We assume that Adam and Eve had communicated the early command of God to be fruitful and multiply to their children. So, Cain would have known that eventually others were coming. Daughters may have already been born to them, but unnamed. Those named, such as Seth, are particularly named because they are a part of the lineage of Jesus. Others are not named, not because they were non-existent or unimportant, but because they weren’t in that line.
That’s all for now. If more question come in either here or at Jeanette’s blog I’ll do my best to give an answer to them.
4 years ago