Question: How do you discern what Scripture applies to us today?

How do you discern what Scripture applies to us today?


            How do you discern what Scripture applies to us today compared to what applies to the original audience?  We can learn from all Scripture as Paul records, “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” (Rom. 15:4)  Additionally, Paul proclaims that all of Scripture is provided that we might be brought in line with God’s thinking and be equipped for every good work,

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Tim. 3:16-17)

In other words, I can learn from each passage of Scripture, and it helps reveal where I need to be rebuked, corrected and trained for righteous living.  Yet, not all Scripture has direct application to me.

            All Scripture is directly applicable to the intended audience.  The principle that should be understood is authorial intent.  What was the author’s intent for the intended audience?  What did the author mean to convey to the specific audience, in that culture, in that time in which they lived? For example, Ezra, who assembled 1 and 2 Chronicles records for us,

14 “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chron. 7:14)

This passage is often used today implying that if Americans would humble themselves, then God would bless our nation again.  Yet, God was speaking in the passage to Israel, not the United States.  He describes them as “My people,” who are categorized as God’s people, because God directly called Abraham out of Ur and made a covenant with Abraham that God would raise up a great people from Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3).  God did not make that promise to the United States.  God certainly worked through the founding Fathers, however, no direct promise was made and America is not “My people.

            However, the principle has application to the United States as we saw in Romans 15:4.  The application is that we should humble ourselves, because the arrogance and indifference we are displaying toward God is certainly bringing God’s wrath in increased tornadoes, hurricanes, droughts, flooding, blizzards, etc.  Some may say these are cycles of nature, yet as America spirals down the morass of immorality, the weather, crime, economic problems uptick is increasing.  If we humble ourselves as a nation, there is no guarantee that God will bless, because there may be other reasons in world history for God to let America disintegrate.

            Actually, much of the Old Testament was meant for Israel, not the Church.  We agree with the Psalms and Proverbs. Yet, David wrote imprecatory prayer psalms (cf. Ps. 69, 109) that we cannot impose today.  David was the king and represented God, so in that position as representing God and king of Israel, he called down God’s wrath on his enemies.  We are in a position to learn from the psalm, but not use the psalm on others.  We were called to peace. The Judge will come and impose His wrath in due time.

Additionally, the Proverbs are general principles of truth designed for all, but not absolute statements of fact.  For example, “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Pro. 22:6)  This verse is a general principle that is true, but not absolute.  Every child must make his own decisions and there are many godly parents, who were diligent to disciple their children, but the children may not have followed the Lord.  All things being equal, children will return to the godly training they were given.  However, this Proverb is not a guarantee.  On the other hand, because Proverbs are not absolute truths should not be an excuse for parents to be anything less than diligent (cf. Deut. 6:6-9).

The Gospel accounts are written so that we could understand Jesus.  Yet, there is a great amount of information that does not directly apply to us.  For example, some have used the passage, “But he who endures to the end shall be saved,” (Mat 24:13) to imply that if a believer in Jesus does not persevere, then he will not be saved.  That contradicts too many other passages of Scripture, like John 3:16; Romans 8:38-39; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Ephesians 2:8-9 and many others.  So how do we understand the passage? 

Matthew 24:13 is part of the Olivet Discourse that Jesus gave to the disciples during the Passover week.  The Olivet Discourse was written to describe the conditions during the Tribulation period between the Rapture of the Church and the Second Advent of Jesus Christ.  Those who endure, who keep the faith during the Tribulation will be saved.  What does “saved” mean?  The basic meaning of the word “saved” is deliverance.  Thus the passage interpreted in the context means that the believer who is faithful during the Tribulation will be delivered into the Millennial Kingdom when Jesus returns at the Second Advent. There are many other examples of passages that can only be understood by understanding Dispensations. 

The best way to understand what applies and what does not is to understand Classical Dispensationalism.  This theological approach to Scripture seeks God’s view to Scripture rather than man’s view.  It looks at what God meant for the intended audience and what applies today.

How do you take what was not intended for the church today and find meaning?  When you interpret Scripture, determine the Universal Truth or principle for the audience.  That Universal Truth transcends all time and audience and can be applied to the person who reads Scripture today.  For example, when God told Jacob to go up to Bethel and make an altar, Jacob realized he better put away anything related to idolatry, so we read, “So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods which were in their hands, and the earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the terebinth tree which was by Shechem.” (Gen. 35:4) Should women remove their earrings?  The text would indicate that action!

The question is, “What is the Universal Truth?”  Notice that Jacob took all the foreign gods “and the earrings…” In other words the earrings were more than an adornment – they were connected to the foreign gods, the idolatry.  Hence, Jacob wanted the people “holy” or “set aside” to God and not connected in any way to the idolatry when they set up the altar to worship God.  The Universal Truth is that we should be “set aside” wholly to God and not have any idolatry in our lives.  That will be more difficult, because we need to look for idolatry of personal contentment, surrounding peace, or things like the idolatry of expecting respect, which are far more difficult to discern than some object like an earring. Again, we read Scripture, always with Paul’s admonition, For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” (Rom. 15:4) 

This is a great question and the answer is determined by what hermeneutic and what theological approach to Scripture you use.  The word “hermeneutic” means the system of interpretation.  The systems of interpretation people use vary from a symbolic or allegorical approach to a Literal Historico-grammatical approach.  The theological approach people use vary from a Classical Dispensational approach to all sorts of other methods of theology. I present these two spectrums of understanding, because they determine what Scripture applies to us today.  This is a fun discussion for a home group or any other gathering to think through what are other examples of what applies directly or what applies indirectly.




Question: Did the ancient people know what a half-hour was?

Question: Did the ancient people know what a half-hour was?

A question came from a reference in Revelation 8:1. It is the transition from the seal to the trumpet judgments. The seventh seal is the initiation for the seven trumpet judgments.  Revelation 8:1 states, “When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. (Rev. 8:1)  Did the ancient people really know what a half hour was?  That does seem to be a small length of time, considering they didn’t have quartz or digital watches!

The Greek word for half hour is ἡμιώριον(haymiorion) (Rev 8:1).  It means literally, “half hour” according to a Scripture dictionary.  It comes from two words “haymi,” which means “half” and “horion,” which is a dimunitive form  “hora,” or “hour”  So it is half an hour to the lines on a sun dial.  It’s only used in this one location in Scripture.

A couple references in Isaiah 38:8; and 2 Kings 20:9 reference telling time by a sort of sun dial.  Half the distance between lines would be the half hour. Sun dials were well known in ancient times. They were common in B.C. 1500 and some say the obelisks were used to tell time back to B.C. 3500.

Always ask the questions; always trust the Scriptures.



Question: Are Sign Gifts operational today?

Question: Are Sign Gifts operational today?


Many good students of Scripture will rest on 1 Cor. 13:10, when it comes to answering the question whether the sign gifts are available today or not.  Basically, the perfect [the Bible] has been completed, so the partial [sign gifts] are removed. It is a valid thought process, but likely not the best supported interpretation of that passage.  There are many well-thought-out reasons why this simplistic approach is not a correct interpretation.  There are much better reasons taking into consider the context of 1 Corinthians 12-14, within which 1 Corinthians 13:10 is found and other explanation. 

For example, in the context of Ephesians 2:20, the gifts of apostle and prophets were the foundation for the building structure of the church.  Those gifts ceased during that first century foundational era with the completion of the canon of Scripture. However, you cannot argue the sign gifts have ceased because of that passage. 

There are other passages like Philippians 2:26-27 and 2 Timothy 4:20, in which Paul was present with very sick co-laborers in the gospel.  Paul, who had healed others, gave no indication that he was able to heal again as he did in Malta (Acts 28: 8,9).  Is it possible that God took away the gift of healing from Paul?  If so, why?  Was the purpose for which Paul had the gift of healing now completed?   

Much of church history shows a vacuum of sign gifts until the beginning of the 1900s.  It was in the modern Charismatic movement in Los Angeles, California, in 1904, when the power seemed to be restored.  Yet with all the writing, there have been objective investigations to verify the veracity of “the miracles.”  The dead were not raised, the lame were not healed.  The blind did not receive sight.  The modern tongues movements seemed to be questioned because modern tongues are a repetition of a small number of phrases, in contrast to the biblical examples of Acts 2 and 10. The miraculous do not match the miracles presented in the New Testament.

I’m very open to the presence of sign gifts, but I see that with the provision of greater amounts of the canon or “measurement” of Scripture, sign gifts were not recorded as in the initial apostolic days of beginning the church.  The reason may be because of the purpose of sign gifts.  The reason is the same reason as any of the miracles in Scripture.   

God allowed miracles in order to draw attention to the truth.  Moses was one who worked many miracles (Ex. 4:1-5)

Then Moses answered and said, “But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say,`The LORD has not appeared to you.'”
 2 So the LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A rod.”
 3 And He said, “Cast it on the ground.” So he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it.
 4 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail ” (and he reached out his hand and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand),
 5“that they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.”  (Ex. 4:1-5)

God gave Moses miraculous powers, so “that they may believe that the Lord God…has appeared to you.” (Ex. 4:5).  God also worked the plagues and other miracles to give the entire nation of Israel reason to trust God was speaking through Moses. God gave Elijah miraculous powers, so Israel would believe God appeared to Elijah and was speaking through Him. 

God also worked miracles through Jesus, so the people would be attracted to Him and believe His words.  After Jesus fed 5000, people came back for more.  Sometimes when you give people what they want, they only want what they want rather than the truth, so Jesus didn’t give them more food.   

During one of the Passovers, Jesus had 5000 men and their families, who needed to eat.  Jesus directed the disciples to feed them (John 6: 4-10). They recognized they could make the provision, so God used the opportunity to reveal His ability to provide through Jesus and they should listen to Jesus. Jesus fed the people and an abundance was recovered (John 6: 11-13).  Those who saw the “sign” recognized Jesus as “the Prophet who is to come into the world.”  But when Jesus perceived the people were going to “take Him by force to make Him king, He departed…”(John 6: 15)  Jesus knew they only wanted Him to be a Bread King, not a Suffering Messiah Savior, so He withdrew from letting the “sign gift” or “miracle” from being a distraction.  The importance was the message, not the sign.  The sign was to lead to the message – Jesus Christ, sent from God for the world. 

If the message is clearly communicated in Scripture, are sign gifts needed today?  Jesus told the account of the rich man and Lazarus and how the rich man wanted Lazarus to go back to the world to tell the rich man’s brothers that they must repent.  The rich man was counting on the miracle of someone coming back from the dead waking his brothers up from their complacency,

27 “Then he said, `I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house,
 28 `for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’
 29“Abraham said to him, `They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’
 30“And he said, `No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’
 31“But he said to him, `If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.'” (Luke 16:27-31)

Abraham was very clear, [“If they don’t believe what was written, they will not believe.”] The issue of the sign gifts is not having a great miracle.  The issue of the sign gifts is to draw attention to the truth of the Word.  If the Word is completed today, then is there a need for sign gifts?  I’m open to explanations, but I’ve found explanations for present activity wanting for substance.  

Maybe you have some Scriptural support that God is using sign gifts today.  I know they will begin again during the Tribulation and the Millennium, but I’m not seeing the need today.  Could God use sign gifts in primitive places?  I’ve heard some experiences that seem plausible.  I know God can do what He wants to do.  If He puts Himself in a box during this dispensation and restricts them because of the completed canon, I cannot change that.  Let us dialogue for unity and peace.  Let us also ensure we rely on the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to live godly lives in the discussion process.  We want to follow the excellent words:

In essentials, unity; in nonessentials, liberty; in all things, charity.  We should strive for unity in the sphere of love as we pursue the truth.

Question: Can a believer lose his salvation per Rev. 3:5?

What is the “Book of Life”?
 Can a believer lose his salvation per Rev. 3:5?

            The Book of Life contains all the names of everyone who is born.  Only God could know all those names.  In ancient cities, a register was kept with a list of living citizens.  The names of the dead were erased. The Book of Life therefore, contains the names of all the living, the wicked as well as the righteous.  David writes,

28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous. (Ps. 69:28)

We need to recognize that the names of the righteous are written in the Book from the foundation of the world according to Revelation 13 and 17,

8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Rev. 13:8) (my emphasis)

8 “The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. (Rev. 17:8) (my emphasis)

Their names were written before they had done anything good or bad.  They were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world,

4 …just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, (Eph. 1:4)

            Now when the disciples returned from a mission ministry, they were all excited about what they saw.  Jesus exhorted them to not be excited about demons subject to them, but that their names were written in heaven.

20 “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20)

The word for “written” is in the perfect tense, which means that it could be translated “written with the result that they cannot be not written,” that is, “the names cannot be removed.”   If the names of believers are recorded in heaven, why would Jesus give any indication that the name could be removed?  Only if the name was not a part of the living, that is, those who have trusted in God’s plan of salvation found in Jesus Christ.

            As unbelievers die, their names are removed from the book, just as the names were removed from the registry of the ancient city.  So that at the Great White Throne, only the names of believers remain in the book and it becomes known as the Lamb’s book of life,

12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.

 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.

 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. (Rev. 20:12-15) (my emphasis)

Those who never trusted Christ were removed from the book and they are cast in the Lake of Fire.  That book becomes known as the Lamb’s Book of life,

27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. (Rev. 21:27)

These are the true believers for eternity. They are the elect.  It doesn’t matter if the name was included in a local church on planet earth.  It only matters if the name is in the Book of Life for eternity.

            Some people struggle with the passage in Revelation 3:5, which says, “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life;but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” (my emphasis)  If someone is genuinely born again, he remains regenerate and written in the book (John 5:24; 6:35-37, 39; 10:28-29).

            However the seed thought of removal was begun by Moses during the formation of the great nation of Israel.  Moses and the Lord dialogued,

31 Then Moses returned to the LORD and said, “Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold!  32 “Yet now, if You will forgive their sin– but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.” 33 And the LORD said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book. (Ex. 32:31-33) (my emphasis)

Overcoming is a concept John addresses in 1 John 5:4, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world– our faith.”The one who overcomes the world is the one who trusts in Jesus Christ and is no longer blinded by the god of this world (1 Cor. 4:4).  Revelation 3:5 does not state that a name will be removed, but that those who are believers absolutely will not be erased (cf. Walvoord, Bible Knowledge Commentary, pp. 82, 338). God would never blot out the name of a true child of God.

Words: What is the Biblical view of Homosexuality?

Homosexuality: What are the Church’s and modern views?

            The homosexual agenda is becoming much more vocal.  Just this week a Senator from Ohio revealed that he was in support of homosexual relationships, because he said he didn’t think he could deny his son a good relationship.1Hillary Clinton also exposed her view that a homosexual relationship should be granted by our society and no one should deny them the dignity of a loving relationship and “gay rights are human rights.”2 The question is what does God say?

1)      God loves everyone, because are we identified as from the Father

14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,  15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named. (Eph 3:14-15)

2)      The whole world is fallen and deserves condemnation  

32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world. (1 Cor.11:32)
3)      But God loves the entire world and sent Jesus to pay the penalty for their sin 
 16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. (1Jn. 2:2)
4)      The issue is always, “What is God’s view?”  Man is only capable of understanding some things.

            8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. 9          “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And     My thoughts than your thoughts. (Is. 55:8-9)
25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (1 Cor. 1:25)
5)      God called it sin in the Old Testament
22 `You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. (Lev. 18:22)
13 `If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. (Lev 20:13)
6)       God calls it sin in the New Testament
9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, (1Cor. 6:9)
7)      God further describes it as a distortion of what is natural
23 …and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man– and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.  24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,  25who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.  26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.  27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. (Rom. 1:23-27) 
8)      Life is not about what feels good or what I want to do
“Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” (Luk 22:42) 
9)      The issue is always the holiness of God
15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,  16because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Pet. 1:15-16) 

10)  Fathers are to pass on Father greatness by “commanding” holiness to his children and each generation.  

19 “For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, (Gen. 18:19)
11)  The modern views are too numerous to delineate.  We don’t go along with experience or feelings.  We are saved by God’s Word and we must live by God’s Word.  We don’t believe the Senator should change his views based on his grown son’s perspective.  We don’t believe that “what God calls sin” should be rendered dignified because people choose that behavior.  What God calls a sinful behavior is not a birth issue.  That would put the blame on God.
a)      We do not endorse pedophiles, even though some people like that.
b)      We do not endorse necrophilia, even though some people choose that.
c)      We do not endorse bestiality, even though some people choose that.
d)      We do not endorse polygamy, even though some people would like that.
e)      All of these are aberrations from the holy standard of God.  It doesn’t matter what someone says or believes contrary to Scripture.  It matters what God says.
12)  However, all grace and mercy should be exercised to help a person who believes or lives that way to recognize God’s view, repent and leave that behavior.  That sin is no worse than worry or rudeness, however, it does fall under judgment from God.
a)      Sodom Gen. 19
b)      SPQR in 476 A.D. when homosexuality was prevalent.
c)      Jesus Christ is the issue for salvation and the issue for life.  It doesn’t matter if the people say they are committed to a loving relationship.
d)      My issue is I want them to experience oneness with the Lord and an eternal relationship with Him.  An ongoing holy relationship is not possible when living in that lifestyle. I do not condemn one who lives that way, for my sins are evident before me. I do want them to trust in Jesus as Savior, grow in Him as Lord and let Him rule in their life as King!



Question: Did Moses compile the first 5 books solely by the Holy Spirit and/or from oral traditions?

Question:   Did Moses compile the first 5 books solely by the Holy Spirit and/or from oral traditions?

This is a great question, because none of us were there.  We have to learn from Scripture and historical information that agrees with Scripture. The question also begs the question of what is inspired Scripture?

1)      Determine what is inspired Scripture.

a)      There were likely many things written by the authors of Scripture that were not included in canon.  Solomon  is given credit for writing 1005 (1 King 4:32) songs, but we don’t have many.  Paul actually wrote four letters to the Corinthian Church, but we only have two (likely letter 2 and 4).

b)      What is recorded and accepted in Scripture was identified as Canon in 397 A.D. by the Council of Carthage.

2)      Determination of authors.

a)      In some cases this is easy, because the author is listed.  For example, Paul records his name and the intended recipients (Eph. 1:1; Phil. 1:1)

b)      In some cases, the author is not listed, but internal evidence (what was written in the books) makes connections and analysis of the author.  For example, Luke records in his introductions that he is writing to Theolophilus in both Luke and Acts (Luke 1:1-4; Acts 1:1).  Luke was a friend and beloved physician of Paul (Col. 4:14) to get details of Jesus life (Luke) and eye-witness accounts in Acts.  Luke traveled with Paul and we can see from the changes in the use of the pronouns when Luke recorded the growth of the church and when he was with Paul (Acts 20:6). 

c)      In other cases, internal evidence and external evidence must be used.  For example, we say Jonah wrote Jonah as the prophet who rebelled, but humbled himself before God to write about his own sinfulness (Jon. 4). Job wrote Job as a blameless man of God who was rebuked by God (Job 38-42).  This was customary in that day that an author wrote in the third person and would not list his name.  Hence, Moses wrote the first five books (Pentateuch), except for Deuteronomy 34, which records Moses death.

d)      The key is every book is inspired by God (2 Tim. 3:16-17).  God superintended the writers of Scripture, so that without destroying their personality, grammatical style or literary ability, God’s complete thought toward man was recorded in the original manuscripts.  Key thoughts are God superintended and original manuscripts.  We don’t have the original manuscripts, because man would have worshiped them instead of God.  We also know the Holy Spirit carried along the writers of Scripture, so that they would write God’s complete thought as God intended using the minds, experience and personalities of the writers (2 Pet. 1:20-21).

3)      What about the Pentateuch?

a)      Moses is not listed as the author of Genesis, but, for example, circumcision on the eighth day, instructed in Genesis 17:12 (Ex. 12:48; Lev. 12:3) is recorded in the New Testament as the Law of Moses (John 7:23).

b)      Scholars attribute the writing of the Pentateuch to Moses the compiler from oral and written forms passed down.  Leviticus and Numbers record that “God spoke to Moses.”  Deuteronomy 1:1 records, “These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel.” 

c)      We attribute the writings of each of the books because of the consistency, flow and arrangement to a single author, rather than a patchwork of several authors.  Additionally, Moses is the main character for Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

4)      Is the Pentateuch Inspired?

a)      In Genesis, God spoke to the patriarch (Cf. Gen. 12, 26, 46).

b)      In Exodus, “And God spoke all these words…” (Ex. 20:1).

c)      In Leviticus and Numbers, they directly say God called Moses and spoke to Moses (Lev. 1:1; Num. 1:1).

d)      In Deuteronomy, Moses’ speeches are regarded as God’s word (Deut. 4:2; 18:1).

5)      We learn from Acts 7, there were things that weren’t recorded in the Old Testament, which indicate extra illumination to Paul and Luke regarding the Old Testament.

6)      The point is that whether by oral tradition or written form, what was recorded is inspired and there for our learning (Rom. 15:4).

Question: What does hate mean in the Bible?

What does hate mean in Scripture?

Here are a few thoughts.

Most people think of hate as the opposite of love and it is.1   Hate is often expressed by opposition, or the actions of detesting and despising toward another with whom you have no desire for contact.  Love draws in, while hate separates.  Amnon hated Tamar with a greater hate than the phony love he expressed to her and drove her away from him (2 Sam. 13:15).

We read of how God hated Israel’s festivals, because they were mixed with sin and human glory.  God hates any action of worship from sinful, unholy people (Is. 1:13-15; cf. Zech 8:17).  God hates the wicked (Ps. 11:5).  God hated idols (Deut. 16:22) and those who love God will also hate idolators (Ps. 31:6).   That hatred is acceptable to God.   

However it is not always a violent separation or opposition.  It can be a passive action as when David hated his friends who stood with him against his rebellious son Absalom.  Joab rebuked David, “…you love your enemies and hate your friends”  (2 Sam 19:6) when he showed mournful love toward his rebellious son Absalom.  That kind of hate is a passive indifference of not caring about those who loyally stood with him.

We can hate someone by not loving the one to whom love is expected (Gen. 29:31-33).  Jacob was not showing love to Leah (unloved, saneh, i.e. hated)  and God blessed her in spite of his indifference.

If a man had two wives, and one was unloved (saneh, hated), the man could not give firstborn status on the son of the loved wife.  He must give firstborn status to the firstborn, even if the son was from the unloved (hated) wife (Deut. 21:15-16).

            The word, therefore, expressed a choice of one over the other.  How that choice is manifested can be expressed in different ways. 


1Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, ed. by Harris, Arch and Waltke, Vol. 2, p. 880

Question: Why does Acts 8:16 not include Spirit baptism?

Question: Why does Acts 8:16 say that “they had simply been baptized in the name of Jesus” but didn’t receive the Holy Spirit until Peter came and laid hands on them? Does it have to do with the gift of the Holy Spirit just then being given? I have always believed when someone comes to know CHRIST and puts their faith in Him for salvation, that person receives the Holy Spirit at that time?
Great question and thanks for asking.  Let’s get just a little more context.

14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.  For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. (Act 8:14-16)
Is the Holy Spirit received at salvation? Normally yes.  God the Holy Spirit baptizes, regenerates, indwells, gives a spiritual gift(s) and begins the sanctification process at the moment of salvation – faith in Christ.   However, Acts is a book of transition and is descriptive in nature rather than prescriptive (it describes what happened rather than declares what will happen). In this instance, the people received the Word of God and were baptized in the name of Jesus, but they did not receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  Why?

Remember that Jesus in Acts 1:8 told the disciples that they would be “witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.”  In Acts 1-7 the gospel was proclaimed in Jerusalem, but it took the persecution against the church to send the gospel scattered throughout Judea and Samaria (Acts 8:1-2).  Saul (later Paul) made havoc of the church, but godly men like Philip went down to the city of Samaria preaching Christ (Acts 8:3-5).  Yet, Philip was not one of the disciples directly commissioned by Jesus.

Consider several things.  First, when Peter and John were sent, they took the authority directly given to them by Jesus to Samaria in fulfillment of Acts 1:8 and confirmed Philip’s ministry among the Samaritans. Second, Peter and John would authenticate God’s ministry through them and prevent a schism between the Jews and Samaritans. Consider that when Jesus was returning to Jerusalem and He passed through Samaria, the Samaritans did not receive Him (Luke 9:52-53). So when Peter and John prayed the Samaritans would receive the Holy Spirit, it was far different than when John wanted to call down fire on them (Luke 9:54). And thirdly, Jesus had given the keys of heaven to Peter (Matt. 16:13-20). Peter opened the doors to the Jews in Jerusalem (Acts 2).  Here he opens the door to the Samaritans (Acts 8).  Peter will open the door to the Gentiles with Cornelius in Acts 10.   

There are challenges to the timing of the Holy Spirit.  In Acts 10:44-48, the Holy Spirit came on Gentiles before they were baptized. The text says there also, that they were baptized in the name of the Lord (Acts 10:48).   Yet, in Acts 19:5, Paul met some disciples from Ephesus who had been baptized into John’s baptism.  When Paul explained the gospel and when they heard the message, Paul baptized them in the name of the Lord Jesus.  Then when Paul laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them (Acts 19:5-6).

So why? God wanted to demonstrate that the line of authority came through the Jewish apostles.  But He also wanted everyone to know the Samaritans were equal with the Jews, because of the oneness they have in Jesus (Gal. 3:28).  God didn’t want there to be two “universal” churches.  There had been too many years of conflict between Jews and Samaritans.  All believers were equal in Christ.  Again Acts 8:16 is descriptive and transitional.  It does not prescribe what must happen.