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Useful Q & A

Post #1

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1» Was Jesus a Christian?

Jesus was a Jew thru and thru who believed and practiced the Old Testament in
compliance with the Prophets and the various covenants; most especially the one
that Moses' people agreed upon with God per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and
Deuteronomy. (Gal 4:4)
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Post #21

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18» What Is The Fallen Nature?

In a nutshell: the so-called fallen nature is a preference for unobstructed, unrestrained, self rule; i.e. deciding for one's self what determines right and wrong and/or what determines good and evil. In that respect, the fallen nature tends to be its own God and resists cooperating with the real God. (Gen 3:22 and Rom 8:7-8)
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Post #22

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20» What Is Meant By Man As The Image Of God?

According to Gen 5:3 and Heb 1:1-3, image and likeness basically refers to progeny, i.e. offspring.

Natural children are born in that position. But Man wasn't born from God-- i.e. via procreation --rather, Man was created, viz: Man exists as God's handiwork, sort of like how Geppetto made for himself a little wooden son named Pinocchio.

Now, Geppetto and Pinocchio both look human, though one is for real and the other a doll. But Man's creator isn't human, nor does He look human. God is spirit whereas Man is physical, and God is eternal whereas Man is temporal, and God is self-sustaining whereas Man requires sustenance, and God is divine whereas Man is a critter. So we have to be careful to keep the progeny aspect within reason.

It's likely best to reckon that the creator endowed Man with His image and likeness rather than Man inheriting the status as a child born in the home.
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Post #23

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21» Why Is Death The Wages Of Sin?

It's my educated guess that the penalty is so severe because Man was created in the image and likeness of God.

For example: according to Gen 9:5-6, murderers deserve capital punishment-- not because murder is wrong per se, rather --because the image and likeness of God lends Man a degree of honor and dignity as near the honor and dignity of God that a creature can possibly get.

Had God brought Man into existence as just another organic species like meerkats, lobsters, chickens, and microbes; then Man's conduct would likely be so insignificant in regard to justice as to not even be worth God's notice. But the image and likeness of God makes Man a near-deity and thus magnifies the consequences of his actions.

The image and likeness of God is definitely a status to be grateful for, but at the same time, it's definitely a status to fear.
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Post #24

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22» Why Didn't God Execute Cain For Murder?

God couldn't haul Cain into court for killing his kid brother Abel because according to Deut 5:2-4, Rom 4:15, Rom 5:13, and Gal 3:17; the laws of God aren't enforced ex post facto, i.e. they're not retroactive. Seeing as God enacted no laws regulating murder until after the Flood; then it was too late to indict Cain by means of Gen 9:5-6.

In other words; when there are no rules prohibiting a certain practice, then no rules are broken when somebody does it.
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Post #25

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24» What is The New Man?

Adam was the first Man. His version of humanity became obsolete when Christ rose from the dead. From thence, Adam became the old model and Christ the new and improved model; so to speak.

A sampling of their differences are:

1) The old Man is made from the Earth, whereas the new is made from Heaven.

2) The old Man is susceptible to mortality, whereas the new is not.

3) The old Man is susceptible to temptation, whereas the new is not.

4) The old Man is somewhat righteous, whereas the new is completely righteous.

5) God can't depend on the old Man, whereas on the new He can.

6) The old Man's base nature is human, whereas the new's is divine.

7) The old Man tends to avoid God, whereas the new welcomes His company.

8) The old Man resents God, whereas the new admires Him.

9) The old Man fears God, whereas the new seeks His approval.

10) The old Man is an enemy of God, whereas the new is His ally.


NOTE: According to 1John 1:8, Christians do sin; whereas according to Eph 4:24, the new man never sins.

People who've undergone the birth spoken of at John 3:3-5 are an amalgam of old man and new man. However, the old and the new aren't joined at the hip. By means of a special circumcision, performed by the hand of God, the old and the new are separate (Col 2:11)

This is one of Christianity's mysteries that quite a few folk find very difficult to accept; which I suspect is due to the fact that born-again Christians are readily aware of the workings of their old man's sinful nature while not so aware of the workings of their new man's righteous nature. Consequently, if the Bible were not telling born-again Christians that they have the new man's righteous nature, it's likely many would never discover its presence on their own.
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Post #26

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25» Why Was Cain's Offering Rejected?

Long story short: God rejected Cain along with rejecting his offering. This is important because God still does business like that with mankind to this day.


Prov 15:8 . . Jehovah detests the sacrifice of the wicked

Cain's situation is well illustrated by Isa 1:11-20 where Moses' people were offering all the covenanted sacrifices, they were praying up a storm, and observing all the God-given feasts and holy days. God rejected all of it, even though He himself required it, because the people's personal conduct was unbecoming.


FAQ: In what way might Cain's piety have been lacking?

A: Well, judging by the fact that Cain later murdered Abel; my first guess would be bad blood between him and his kid brother.

Matt 5:23-24 . . If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

And Cain's attitude was deplorable too; he was insolent and rude; even to his maker. (Gen 4:9)

Moral of the story:

"This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. (1John 1:5-6)


NOTE: The Hebrew word for Cain's and Abel's offerings is from minchah (min-khaw') which aren't necessarily sin offerings like the 'olah (o-law') which are burnt offerings. Minchahs are more like donations and or tributes; and usually bloodless and voluntary.

Ancient rabbis understood the brothers' offerings to be a "first fruits" kind of oblation.

T. And it was at the end of days, on the fourteenth of Nisan, that Kain brought of the produce of the earth, the seed of cotton (or line), an oblation of first things before the Lord; and Habel brought of the firstlings of the flock.
(Targum Jonathan)

Seeing as how Cain was a farmer, then in his case, an amount of produce was the appropriate minchah, and seeing as how Abel was an animal husbandman, then in his case a head of livestock was appropriate.
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Post #27

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26» Where Is Noah's Ark?


Gen 8:3b-4 . . At the end of one hundred and fifty days the waters diminished, so that in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.

The Hebrew word for "Ararat" is from 'ararat (ar-aw-rat') which appears three more times in the Bible: one at 2Kgs 19:36-37, one at Isa 37:36-38, and one at Jer 51:27. Ararat in the Bible always refers to a political area-- a country --never a specific geological feature by the same name.

The Hebrew word for "mountains" doesn't always indicate a prominent land mass like Kilimanjaro; especially when it's plural. Har can also mean a range of hills or highlands; for example:

In California, where I lived as a kid, the local elevation 35 miles east of San Diego, in the town of Alpine, was about 2,000 feet above sea level. There were plenty of meadows with pasture and good soil. In fact much of it was very good ranchland and quite a few people in that area raised horses and cows. We ourselves kept about five hundred chickens, and a few goats and calves. We lived in the mountains of San Diego; but we didn't live up on top of one of its peaks like Viejas, Lyon's, or Cuyamaca.

So; what happened to the ark? Well; according to the dimensions given at Gen 6:15, the ark was shaped like what the beautiful minds call a right rectangular prism; which is nothing in the world but the shape of a common shoe box. So most of the lumber and logs used in its construction would've been nice and straight; which is perfect for putting together houses, cabins, fences, barns, corrals, stables, gates, hog troughs, mangers, and outhouses.

I think it's reasonable to assume that Noah and his kin gradually dismantled the ark over time and used the wood for many other purposes, including fires. Nobody cooked or heated their homes or their bath and laundry water using refined fossil fuels and/or electricity and steam in those days, so everybody needed to keep on hand a pretty fair-sized wood pile for their daily needs.

There was probably plenty of driftwood left behind by the Flood, but most of that would be water-soaked at first. But according to Gen 6:14 the ark's lumber was treated. So underneath the pitch it was still in pretty good shape and should have been preserved for many years to come.
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Post #28

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27» Why Was Canaan Execrated Instead Of His Father?

The curse on Canaan wasn't personal, i.e. it was more or less collateral damage due to his dad's exclusion from the blessings bestowed upon the other two brothers per Gen 9:26-27.

As a result of missing that blessing; Ham's posterity became dependent upon employment opportunities created by his brothers' prosperity, ergo: Canaan's line became the Bible's very first working class, i.e. instead of moguls, they were destined to become minions all because of their father's shameful disrespect for Noah's dignity.

Canaan's fate seems terribly unfair to be caught in the middle like that, but it wouldn't be the last time a man's posterity was effected by his conduct. For example God dealt in a similar way with the evil king Jeconiah. (Jer 22:29-30)
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Post #29

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28» Why Was Meat Added To Man's Diet?


Gen 9:3 . . Every creature that lives shall be yours to eat; as with the green grasses, I give you all these.

It seems plausible to me that the inclusion of meat in Man's diet is evidence that the human body's strength was declining seeing as how Noah lived to be 950, but by the time of Abraham, the human life span had decreased considerably to 175; which the Bible describes as a ripe old age (Gen 25:7-8) so the human body was obviously a whole lot stronger back in Noah's day than it was in Abraham's.

According to an article in the Dec 10, 2013 Science section of the New York Times, scientists believe that the early human body was able to manufacture all of its own essential vitamins; but over time gradually lost the ability to manufacture all but K and D.

Red meat has been demonized of late for a number of medical reasons, but it, along with other sources of meat-- e.g. clams, swine, sheep, fish, and poultry --still remains an excellent natural source of B12 without which post-Flood folk risk contracting deficiency diseases.
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Post #30

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29» God "Came Down" To Inspect The Tower Of Babel?


Gen 11:5 . .Jehovah came down to look at the city and tower that man had built

That verse presents an interesting theological problem. Wouldn't it make better sense by saying Jehovah looked down, instead of saying He "came" down? Why bother to come down? Doesn't the Bible's God see all and know all? Isn't God omniscient and isn't His spirit omnipresent? Can't He see everything from right where He is?

Well; fact of the matter is, yes, Jehovah could see the city and the tower from Heaven, but He wasn't satisfied. It was His wish to inspect everything up close and personal; to actually visit the city and the tower in person as an on-site eye witness. He did it that way again with Sodom and Gomorrah.


Gen 18:21 . . I will go down to see whether they have acted altogether according to the outcry that has reached Me; if not, I will take note.

Why bother to go down? Doesn't the Bible's God see all and know all? Isn't God omniscient and isn't His spirit omnipresent? Can't He see everything from right where He is?

Well; fact of the matter is, yes, Jehovah could see and hear from Heaven everything he needed to know about the city, but He wasn't satisfied. He had to investigate, and establish the truth of every fact for Himself in person as on-site eye witness, before moving against Sodom.

In future, should someone challenge the Lord by saying: How do you know Sodom was bad? Were you there; did you actually see it yourself? Well; yes, He was there and did actually see its bad for Himself.

And then there's the offering of Isaac.


Gen 22:11-12 . .Then an angel of God called to him from heaven: Abraham! Abraham! And he answered: Here I am. And he said: Do not raise your hand against the lad, or do anything to him. For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your favored one, from me.

Isn't God omniscient, and doesn't He have an ability to scan the future? Then why did the voice say "now I know". Doesn't God always know everything there is to know?

Yes; but knowing things as a spectator is quite a bit different than knowing things by omniscience. God sometimes favors seeing things for Himself in real time, as an eyewitness.

Of course God knew in advance that Abraham would go thru with offering his son, but that kind of knowing doesn't always satisfy God. No, sometimes He prefers to be on-site and observe things unfold as current events.

So although God knew by His intellect that Abraham would comply with the angel's instructions, now He also has a first-hand knowledge of Abraham's compliance by personal experience, i.e. God, via the angel, was there in the bleachers, so to speak, watching all the action from first to last.


NOTE: Some of the ancient rabbis were baffled by these passages as they seem to imply there are two Jehovahs. So they nick-named one of them as Metatron: a celestial being whose name is his master's. Roughly speaking; Metatron is authorized to speak for God, speak as God, be spoken to as God; and be worshipped, obeyed, and respected as God.

No human has seen or heard the real God at any time (John 1:18, John 5:37, and 1Tim 6:16). Till Christ came along; Metatron was the closest that humanity ever came to associating with the ultimate supreme being.
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