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Can you explain the book of Enoch please thank you. George

There have always been those who claim to have found “lost” books of the Bible or new information concerning Jesus Christ.  These books are in no way inspired and have no place in Holy Scripture.  Christians should not be confused by them because they are, for the most part, deliberate hoaxes.  There will always be those who wish to use religion for profit (Titus 1:11).The Christian can trust in the historical authenticity and inspiration of the Bible.  It’s integrity as the Word of God is above question.  Those who wish to add or take away from the revealed Word of God should be rejected.There are many excellent books that deal with the scripture and how we got the Bible in its present form.  They can be obtained through your local Christian bookstore.Answer:

The Book of Enoch is any of several pseudepigraphal (falsely attributed works, texts whose claimed authorship is unfounded) works that attribute themselves to Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah; that is, Enoch son of Jared (Genesis 5:18). Enoch is also one of the two people in the Bible taken up to heaven without dying (the other being Elijah), as the Bible says “And Enoch walked with God, and he was not; for God took him.” (Genesis 5:24; see also Hebrews 11:5). Most commonly, the phrase “Book of Enoch” refers to 1 Enoch, which is wholly extant only in the Ethiopic language.

Also here is a link for more information on this question https://www.gotquestions.org/Enoch-in-the-Bible.htm

God Bless you George in Jesus name through the Holy Spirit.

 

When a person is saved and is serving the lord, does there spirit leave there body and go straight to be with the lord? Or does there spirit have to wait until the rapture of the church, to enter the kingdom. I recently lost my mother and im confused on this specific subject. Thank you.
James T

II Corinthians 5, beginning with verse 6, explains about the body and the soul of the Christian.  These verses state that while we are home in the body, we are absent from the Lord, in the sense that we are not present in the actual abiding place of God.  Paul goes on to say that he is willing rather to be absent from the body, physical death, and to be present with the Lord.  Your soul is the actual life that you are given and departs from the body at death.  The spirit of man is that part of man that responds to God and has a personal relationship with Him.  Therefore, both the soul and the spirit depart from the body at death and are immediately ushered into the presence of God.  At the time of the Rapture these souls and spirits are reunited with their bodies which are transformed into glorified ones.

Luke 16:19-31 gives an accurate testimony to the fact that existence after death is a very conscious one.  This fundamental truth is taught in many other places in the Word of God.  II Corinthians 5, written by the Apostle Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is also very helpful.  Paul declares emphatically that his absence from his body means his presence with the Lord (vs. 8).  There does not seem to be any indication whatsoever that he is looking forward to a cessation of consciousness or an intermediate period between death and the time of being with the Lord.  In Philippians 1:23-24, the Apostle Paul again emphasized this same truth.  He points out two distinct existences.  There is no indication of an intermediate state or a “sleeping.”Revelation 6:9-12 testifies to the fact that those who have died and gone before are in a conscious presence with the Lord.  We must always be careful to remember the words of Jesus to the thief who was crucified with Him.  John 19:31-37 makes it abundantly clear that this thief died at the same approximate time as Christ.  In Luke 23:43, we have the authoritative words of Christ that give a promise of hope to a dying man that upon his death he would be taken into the conscious joy of the Lord’s presence.In I Thessalonians 4:14 Christ brings “those who sleep” or the spirits of the dead “with him”, to recover their bodies.  The spirit of the believer left the body at death to be with Christ and at the Rapture returns for one’s covering.  This is necessary if the redeemed are to rule and reign with Christ (Revelation 20:4; 22:5).  In order to do so, one must have a body because a spirit alone cannot be seen.

 

Since God blessed the children of Abraham, shouldn’t Ishmael who became the father of the Arab nation and Isaac who became the father of the Jewish nation both have a claim to the land of Israel?

Sandy C.

The Bible clearly states that the land of Israel is promised to the descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob.  Ishmael was never promised the land.  Genesis 17 19-21 makes this clear: “And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.  And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.  But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.”

 

What was the land promised to Abraham? We read in Genesis 15:18: “In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.”  God repeated this promise to Isaac [not Ishmael] in Genesis 26:2 – 4: “And the Lord appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of:   Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father;  And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.”  Then in Genesis 35:9-12 we read: “And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padanaram, and blessed him. And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel.  And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins;  And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.”  The land was promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  God reiterated the land promise to Joshua when he was about to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land.  Joshua 1:4 states: “From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.”

These verses encompass all of the land modern Israel currently possesses, plus all of the land of the Palestinians (the West Bank and Gaza), plus some of Egypt and Syria, plus all of Jordan, plus some of Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Israel currently possesses only a fraction of the land God has promised.

When a Christian dies, do we go immediately into the presence of the Lord or are we in our graves waiting for Jesus Christ to return for us?

The Seventh Day Adventists believe in soul sleep. You do not see the Lord until the rapture takes place.

What is the truth?
Paula H.

Luke 16:19-31 gives an accurate testimony to the fact that existence after death is a very conscious one.  This fundamental truth is taught in many other places in the Word of God.  II Corinthians 5, written by the Apostle Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is also very helpful.  Paul declares emphatically that his absence from his body means his presence with the Lord (vs. 8).  There does not seem to be any indication whatsoever that he is looking forward to a cessation of consciousness or an intermediate period between death and the time of being with the Lord.  In Philippians 1:23-24, the Apostle Paul again emphasized this same truth.  He points out two distinct existences.  There is no indication of an intermediate state or a “sleeping.”

 

Revelation 6:9-12 testifies to the fact that those who have died and gone before are in a conscious presence with the Lord.  We must always be careful to remember the words of Jesus to the thief who was crucified with Him.  John 19:31-37 makes it abundantly clear that this thief died at the same approximate time as Christ.  In Luke 23:43, we have the authoritative words of Christ that give a promise of hope to a dying man that upon his death he would be taken into the conscious joy of the Lord’s presence.

 

In I Thessalonians 4:14 Christ brings “those who sleep” or the spirits of the dead “with him”, to recover their bodies.  The spirit of the believer left the body at death to be with Christ and at the Rapture returns for one’s covering.  This is necessary if the redeemed are to rule and reign with Christ (Revelation 20:4; 22:5).  In order to do so, one must have a body because a spirit alone cannot be seen.

Grace and peace be unto you from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and His continual mercies be with you all the days of your life.

I write to you, dear brother and sister in our Lord Jesus Christ, because I have some concerns about a denomination that doesn’t seem to believe that Jesus created all things.
So my primary question is, namely, did Jesus create all things or did the Father?

And if it is Christ, dear beloved, would you send me the scriptures in order that I may direct others in the path of truth and light?

I appreciate all you have done, all you now do, and all that you shall do.

In Christ’s Love,
Cameron O.

Genesis 1:1 states: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”  John 1:1-3 states: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

Colossians 1:12 – 17 states: “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:  Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:  In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:  Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”

Hebrews 1:1-3 states: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;  Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.”

Since Deuteronomy 6:4 states: “Hear, O Israel; The LORD our God is one LORD” we see in essence, that everything God the Father does, God the Son and God the Spirit also do.    Therefore we can say that God the Father is the Creator, and He created through Jesus, God the Son.

I have questions about the doctrine of election. My pastor has been preaching on this subject, leaving my wife and me confused. He leans more towards Calvinism (5 points). I believe more like the Baptist do. I believe people were born with free will to receive or reject Christ. He is preaching as God selects who does or does not. Is this right? Seems to me that God decides who ends up in Heaven or Hell. How could a loving God allow men to be born without a choice? This teaching troubles me. Please help me out. Thanks and may God keep you both strong and faithful.
Robert V.

Many people today are confused and disturbed because they have wrongly understood the teaching known as predestination or election.  A few brief comments should be helpful for you concerning this particular question.

We know that God has expressly told us that it is not only His will that all men come to repentance but also that He sent His Son to die as a redemption for the whole world.  Three verses in particular you may wish to see are I John 2:2, II Peter 3:9, and John 3:16.  We also know that not all men have accepted God’s offer of salvation.  In John 5:40, Jesus said:  “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” You may also wish to see Acts 7:51.  Despite the fact that God would desire that all men come to salvation, many have refused that free gift.

In considering Romans 9, we will all readily admit that this passage stresses the sovereignty of God.  It is well to keep in mind that an important element in this passage is faith. The sovereignty of God deals with men on the basis of faith.  Notice as we read through Romans 9 that the idea is stressed clearly that God does not deal with men on the basis of their racial background or their good works.  The basis on which He deals with them is one of faith or unbelief.  This is the condition of salvation.

We can rest assured that if we have come by faith to the Lord Jesus Christ, then we are saved.  By faith, we are one of God’s elect.  All who by faith have come are saved.  There is no such thing as a person who trusts Christ on the basis of faith and does not receive salvation because he is not one of the “elect.”

Salvation is based on man’s response of faith to the Gospel message.  This cannot be removed without doing serious and irreparable damage to Scriptural teaching.  Any man-made doctrine which robs us of our assurance that we are in Christ and eternally saved is wrong.  God has chosen those who are in Christ on the basis of our faith.

Christ Himself has promised us in John 6:37:  “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”  As God gives us opportunity to believe and we respond to that opportunity by coming to Christ, we can rejoice in His acceptance and rest in His redemptive work for us.  We need never be robbed of that blessed assurance and hope that we have in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 1:4-5 and 9-11

The following is from The Bible Knowledge Commentary by John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck:

1:5.  The cause of election is God’s predestination of believers unto sonship (cf. “predestined” in v.11).  Predestined is from proorisas, “marked out beforehand.”  Thus the emphasis of predestination is more on the what than the who in that the believers’ predetermined destiny is their being adopted as full-fledged sons of God through Jesus Christ, the Agent of the adoption.  The concept of adoption is also found in Romans 8:15 (NIV marg.), 23; Galatians 4:4-7.  In adoption a son is brought into a family and is given the same rights as a child who is born into that family.

1:11-12.  As a result of the spiritual blessing of insight into the mystery of God’s will (vv. 8-10) Paul discussed the Jewish believers’ inclusion in Christ.  The we in verse 11 seems to be a distinct group from the anonymous “we/us” in verses 3-10.  This is supported by two facts:  (1) verse 11 includes the word also and (2) verse 13 changes to “you also,” which refers to Gentile believers.  Though both Jews and Gentiles participate in God’s blessings, the Jews were called first (cf. Acts 3:26; Rom 1:16).

In Ephesians 1:11 chosen (eklerothemen) is not the same word used in verse 4 (exelexato).  The word in verse 11 (used only here in the NT) means “to cast a lot” or “to appoint or obtain by lot.”  In this context it is best rendered “to be chosen, appointed, or destined.”  Jewish believers were chosen because they were predestined.  But this predestination is not a matter of whim or caprice on God’s part; it is according to the plan (prothesin, “purpose”; cf. Rom. 8:28; 9:11; Eph 3:11) of God who works out everything in conformity with the purpose (boulen, “counsel or deliberation”) of His will (thelematos; cf. 1:5, 9).  The combination of these words-prothesin, boulen, thelematos-gives a forceful emphasis of God’s sovereignty for including the Jewish believers in the church, which is headed up by Christ.  The purpose of God’s choice of the Jewish believers is that they might be for the praise of His glory, which parallels verse 6.  The words “for the praise of His glory” serve as a refrain used after a description of the work of each Person of the Trinity (cf. vv. 6, 14).  The relative clause, who were the first to hope in Christ, further substantiates that verses 11-12 refer to Jewish believers as opposed to Gentile believers because the Jews did precede the Gentiles chronologically in the faith (Acts 1:8; 13:46; 28:25-28; Rom. 1:16; 2:9-10).

Christ has set the sinner free from his sin and has revealed His will that all things will be headed up in Christ at the end of the ages, including the Jewish believers who first trusted in Him.

God’s seal with the Spirit (1:13-14).

God’s spiritual blessings for believers are based not only on the sovereign election of the Father (vv. 3-6) and the redemptive work of the Son (vv. 7-12), but also on the seal of the Holy Spirit.

John 17:6-11

The following is also from The Bible Knowledge Commentary by John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck:

17:6-8.  The little flock of disciples was given by the Father to the Son (cf. vv. 2, 9, 24).  They had been separated out of the world (“world” occurs 18 times in this chap.:  vv. 5-6, 9, 11 [twice], 13, 14 [thrice], 15, 16 [twice in the Gr.], 18 [twice], 21, 23-25).  This separation was by the electing work of the Father, in which the apostles had been given as a gift to Jesus Christ (cf. 6:37).  With the words, They have obeyed Your Word, Jesus praised His disciples for responding to the message of God in Jesus Christ.  The disciples were not perfect, but they had the right commitment.  Their faith in Jesus was a trust in His union with the Father (17:8).  This faith in Jesus was manifested in their obedience to His words because they believed in His divine mission (cf. 16:27).

17:9-10.  Christ’s prayer (in vv. 6-19) was particularly for the Eleven, though it applies to all believers (cf. v. 20).  At this point He was not praying for the world in its hostility and unbelief.  This prayer is for two things:  (a) the disciples’ preservation (“protect them,” v. 11) and (b) their sanctification (“sanctify them,” v. 17).  The world is not to be preserved in its rebellion or sanctified in its unbelief.  Jesus prayed this request because of God’s ownership of them by creation and election (they are Yours).  Jesus’ words, All I have is Yours, and all You have is Mine, reveal His claim to unity, intimacy, and equality with the Father.

In the old economy, God dwelt among people and showed His glory.  In Jesus, God’s glory was displayed (cf. 1:14).  Then Christ’s disciples glorified Him:  Glory has come to Me through them.  And now in the Church Age the Holy Spirit glorifies the Son (16:14) and believers are also to glorify the Son (Eph. 1:12).

17:11.  Jesus would soon depart to the Father and leave His disciples in the world.  They had to stay in the world to carry out God’s plan in spreading the good news of redemption and in planting the church.  With the formation of the church, the history of the world has become, in a sense, “a tale of two cities” the city of God and the city of man.

Since the disciples would be in the world, Jesus prayed for their protection.  The hostility against God which fell on Jesus would now fall on the tiny band of apostles, and subsequently on many of Jesus’ followers.  Jesus, in calling on His Holy Father, pointed up God’s distinction from sinful creatures.  This holiness is the basis for believers’ separation from the world.  He would protect them from the sin and enmity of the world by the power of His name (cf. Prov. 18:10).  In Bible times a person’s name stood for the person. (In John 17:6, 26 the NIV translates the Gr. “Your name” by the word “You.”)

Why did Jesus pray for their preservation?  It was to promote the unity of the believers, patterned after the unity of the Father and the Son:  so that they may be one as We are One (cf. vv. 21-22).  The unity here seems to be that of will and purpose.  By being protected from the world they would be unified in their desires to serve and glorify the Son.

I listen and watch a lot of sermons since 1980, but I still have not heard anything as to what happens to GOD children after Satan is loose for a thousand years to deceive the nation for a season! (Rev. 20) KJV? Can you shed some light on the subject as to what happens to the children of GOD at that time?

Are we going to walk the earth again and be subject to temptations again?
James M. L.

Revelation 20: 7 – 9 states: And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

This portion of Scripture has caused many people great concern. They ask, “Why should Satan be loosed for a short season? What purpose could God have in unchaining this monster after one thousand years of blessed peace?” The answer is, “The free will of man.”

All persons who enter the Millennium are redeemed people (Isaiah 60:21 and Joel 2:28). However, one must remember that procreation still takes place during this era of time because those who survived the Tribulation hour enter the Millennium with human bodies. The believers upon the thrones possess resurrected bodies and do not bear children, but the others do. Consequently, the children born during this one-thousand-year period are born with the old Adamic, or sin, nature which has been an inherent part of man ever since the fall of Adam and Eve. Many of them, of course, accept Christ as their personal Saviour, but many do not! In addition, since Satan is bound, there is little to tempt them. They simply do not face the problems and trials which have confronted mankind in past ages. Satan’s release, then, is to determine whether or not Christ is real to these children of the Millennium, or whether they have been submissive simply because He ruled with a rod of iron (chapter 19, verse 15).

The truth is revealed as millions follow the devil. Yes, even after living with the Lord Jesus Christ for ten centuries, much of mankind rebels. Verses 8 and 9 inform us that Satan deceives the nations internationally (pictured by the four corners of the earth), and gathers them together for one last battle. The army is gigantic in number…as the sand of the sea. Once again the camp of God’s people-the beloved city of Jerusalem-is surrounded, just as the armies of the Tribulation hour gathered against Jerusalem to battle (see Zechariah 14:1). Then, in an instant, God destroys them all with a devouring fire from heaven.

To whom do the names Gog and Magog refer? In Ezekiel 38 and 39, they identify Russia. Not so in verse 8. Instead, they most likely indicate the memory of past brutality-much like the names Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, and Iraq do today. As Gog and Magog (Russia) invades Israel and comes against Jerusalem during the Tribulation hour, such an indelible impression is left upon all the world that now-one thousand years later-the details are still vivid. Thus, this past war, fought in the same area, is brought to mind as Satan once again attempts to destroy Israel.

Verse 10: And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

This is the end for the deceiver of the ages. He is cast into the place prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). Many centuries were required for this slanderous culprit to reach his final destination. Now that he has arrived, he will experience nothing but continual torment-day and night-for ever and ever. Amen!

A question. In detail, what will the Judgment Seat of Christ be like?

Charles W.

The day is coming when every blood-bought believer must stand before a Holy God for a scrutinizing investigation (Romans 14:10, 11). The English term “judgment seat” has a Greek origin, bema seat. The runners’ track in Athens, Greece, contained thousands of seats. However, there was one seat differing from the rest in that it was elevated. The judge of the contest, who sat there, had no obstructions to mar his view. He could see every movement clearly. This pictures the God of holiness elevated upon His throne watching the Christian’s race of life (2 Corinthians 16:9; Jeremiah 16:7; Hebrews 4:13). God is keeping records for the day when we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done (2 Corinthians 5:10). We cannot live for the flesh and self and hear Christ say in that day, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant?’ There must be a battle fought and won. Rewards must be earned and scars must be traded for crowns. Paul, who bore in his body the marks [scars] of the Lord Jesus (Galatians 6:17) was pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14). Salvation was already his as a gift, but only works of self-denial, hardship, suffering, and perhaps death could bring him the prize or crown to lay at Jesus’ feet (Revelation 4:10,11).

God will also investigate the motives behind one’s works. If there is an iota of self-glorification behind any act of service, the rewards will be sparse . . . if any (Matthew 6:1-6, 16-19; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 4:5).

Scriptural facts concerning the Bema Seat:

  1. This judgment is only for the people of God . . . those who have erected service or works upon the foundation of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  2. All of God’s people present some form of “works” to Christ at the Bema Seat.
  3. Though all worked to some degree, a difference in quantity and quality is observed … gold, silver, and precious stones versus wood, hay, and stubble.
  4. The difference is tested by purging fires.
  5. The disintegrated ashes of wood, hay, and stubble bring sorrow and loss (1 Corinthians 3:15). While eternal life is freely bestowed upon all who believe as a gift apart from works (Romans 6:23) and cannot be forfeited, rewards and crowns can be earned and lost, accumulated and liquidated. A day of addition and subtraction is coming at the Rapture.
  6. Quality works, performed for the glory of God to win the souls of men — gold, silver, precious stones —will earn crowns for all eternity. These crowns will then be placed at the feet of Christ as an eternal memorial of one’s lifetime of service (Revelation 4:10, 11).

 

Some will be ashamed before Him at His coming (1 John 2:28; 2 Peter 1:11). They will have nothing but ashes to lay at Christ’s feet. Thank God one can confess failure, rededicate his life, and make a new start immediately. Then such will hear Him say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

Can you tell me how is Israel’s 6-Day War an End Time Sign?

Anthony S.

In Luke 21:24-28, Jesus said the Jews would be scattered throughout the world and the city of Jerusalem would be controlled by Gentile powers until the time of His return. In 1967, after the Six Day War was won, the Jews took control of Jerusalem for the first time in over 2,000 years.

A peace settlement in the Middle East is one of the most important events predicted for the endtime. The signing of this treaty will start the final countdown of 2,520 days leading to Armageddon. The key issue in negotiations will be the city of Jerusalem itself, which Israel prizes more than any other possession (Psalm 137:5, 6). Undoubtedly a strong attempt will be made to make Jerusalem an international city with free access for Jews, Christians, and Muslims (the Temple area will also be internationalized). Jerusalem will keep center stage as this Temple becomes the scene of the Abomination of Desolation, the ultimate in desecration as the Image of the Beast is used to carry forth a diabolical plot from this holy place (Revelation 13:13-18).

Jerusalem is where the Lord touches down at His Second Coming to earth (Zechariah 14:4) and where He establishes His headquarters (Micah 4:1; Isaiah 2:3). The gates of Jerusalem will open to welcome the coming King (Psalm 24). During the Millennium, multitudes will come from the uttermost parts of the earth to visit the Holy City (Isaiah 2:2, 3).

 

In II Timothy 3:1-5 it says lover of their own selves, what does that mean?
Matthew A.

To be “lovers of themselves” in II Timothy 3 means to be selfish, and elevating self above all others.

Paul said in Romans 12:3: “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”  We must see ourselves as we really are – both the bad of what we are in the flesh and the glory of what we are in Jesus Christ.

John Calvin states: “But readers should note that lovers of themselves, which comes first, can be regarded as the source from which all the others that follow spring.”

William Barclay in his commentary states: “It is no accident that the first of these qualities will be a life that is centred in self. The adjective used is philautos, which means self-loving. Love of self is the basic sin, from with all others flow. The moment a man makes his own will the centre of life, divine and human relationships are destroyed, obedience to God and charity to men both become impossible. The essence of Christianity is not the enthronement but the obliteration of self.”

And D. Edmond Herbert states: “‘Lovers of self’ aptly heads the list since it is the essence of all sin and the root from which all the other characteristics spring. The word is literally ‘self-lovers’ and points to the fact that the center of gravity of the natural man is self rather than God.”

Could you shed light on who the morning stars are in Job 38:7?
Michael S.

The “morning stars” in Job 38:7 are the stars in the sky.  The “sons of God” mentioned in that verse are the angels.  The stars and angels joined in praise when the earth was created.

How can stars sing?  During the Triumphal entry into Jerusalem, when the Pharisees wanted Jesus to silence the disciples who were praising Him, Jesus replied: “…I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out” – Luke 19:40.   In Isaiah 6:1-4 we read: “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.  Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.  And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.  And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.” – even the inanimate doorposts shook in the presence of Almighty God.

I have a question re people being saved during the Tribulation. It appears that this will certainly happen or there would not be people being executed for not taking the Mark of the beast. My question is that if the Holy Spirit is taken from the world at the time of the Rapture, what is it that convicts people of their sin to cause them to repent? Or are the people saved those who have been witnessed to by others but did not make a commitment until the Tribulation begins?
Gail S.

It is evident from John 16:7, 8 that the work of the Spirit in the world is that of conviction and restraint concerning sin.  He accomplishes this work through the bodies of those He indwells (I Corinthians 6:19).  Spirit-indwelled believers have a purifying effect on the world.  The Antichrist cannot be revealed until the Bride of Christ (the Church – all believers dead and living) are removed (II Thessalonians 2:3, 7, 8).

This does not mean that the Holy Spirit must be removed from the earth.  This is not possible since He, as God, is omnipresent (present everywhere at all times) Psalms 139:7-11 and always will be.