Christian Ministry

biblical answers to tough questions
Bible questions and answers
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A visitor asks, "Why is Jehoiakim left out of the lineage of Jesus in

    Good question! King Josiah had three sons that ruled after him: Jehoahaz, Eliakim (Jehoiakim), and Zedekiah. Jehoiachin (Jeconiah or Coniah) was the son of Jehoiakim, and he ruled after Jehoiakim his father was carried away into Babylon.

    Matthew simply omits Jehoiakim and his two brothers in favor of Jehoiachin (Jeconiah) probably because he was youngest of these last four kings of Judah. However, Matthew does allude to the other three kings by referring to them as Jeconiah's "brethren" (Matthew 1:11). It appears that Matthew felt it sufficient to make Jeconiah the lone representative of this last group of kings which did evil in the sight of the Lord and were from the same lineage.

    Also, Jeremiah prophesied that King Jehoiakim would be killed by the enemy and no biological descendant of his would claim the throne. "Therefore thus saith the LORD of Jehoiakim king of Judah; He shall have none to sit upon the throne of David: and his dead body shall be cast out in the day to the heat, and in the night to the frost" (Jeremiah 36:30).

    Luke's genealogy is most like that of Mary, with Heli being her father, while Matthew describes the genealogy of Joseph which included Jehoiakim but was omitted.

    Paul puts it best however: "Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do"" (I Timothy 1:4). "But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain" (Titus 3:9). In other words, genealogy makes an interesting study, but it is unprofitable regarding the common faith (Titus 1:4; Jude 1:3) and can divisions in the Body of Christ.

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A visitor asks, "What are the names of the 12 disciples?"

    Well, according to Matthew 10:2-4 they are as follows: Simon (Peter or Cephas), Andrew (Peter's brother), James (the son of Zebedee), John (the son of Zebedee and brother of James), Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew (publican or tax collector), James (the son of Alphaeus), Lebbaeus (Thaddaeus/Judas - son of James), Simon the Zealot (the Cananite), and Judas Iscariot (the one who betrayed Jesus).

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A visitor asks, "What is a kindred spirit?"

    A kindred spirit is a close affinity or bond with another person. An example of a kindred spirit between two individuals can be found in the Bible in the lives of Jonathan and David. Their friendship went far beyond personal affinity and camraderie. Scripture records that the 'soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David' (I Samuel 18:1), indicating an unusually close bond between the two men.

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Rony Charpentier asks, "What was the problem with the church at

    Well, several things according to Paul's letter to them. He dealt with several key issues which had infiltrated the church such as a sectarian spirit, incest, lawsuits, fornication, divorce, eating foods offered to idols, wearing of the veil, taking the Lord's Supper unworthily, misusing spiritual gifts, and not believing in the resurrection of the body.

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Rony Charpentier asks, "Why was Christ able to preach with such

    Well, simply because the Spirit of the Lord was upon Him and anointed Him to minister (Luke 4:18). Jesus was fully man yet fully God at the same time. He was sinless, walked in the Spirit continuously, and had the Spirit without measure.

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Ron Campbell asks, "What were the names of Isaiah's sons,
    and what do his sons' names mean?"

    Well the Bible says in Isaiah 7:3 that Isaiah's first son was named Shear-Jashub.

    The name Shear-Jashub means "a remnant shall return."

    The Bible tells us in Isaiah 8:1-4 that Isaiah's second son was named Maher-shalah-hash-baz.

    The name Maher-shalah-hash-baz so happens to be the longest name in the Bible.

    The name Maher-shalah-hash-baz means "the spoil hastens; the prey speeds."

    God had Isaiah's son named Maher-shalah-hash-baz because in verse 4, the Lord says "For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria."

    In other words, before Maher-shalah-hash-baz would even know how to cry out to his parents, Assyria would carry off the riches of Damascus and Samaria (a territory in Israel).

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Marcia asks, "Is it truly a sin to tattoo your body and pierce your

    In Leviticus 19:28, God commands His people: "Ye shall not make any cuttings (piercings) in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks (tattoos) upon you: I am the Lord."

    In chapter 11 of Leviticus, God lays out specific dietary laws for His people. Any animal that meets all of the following criteria - chews the cud, divides the hoof, and is clovenfooted - the Israelites were permitted to eat. Whatever had scales and fins in the waters, rivers, and seas, the Israelites were allowed to eat. They were permitted to eat locusts, grasshoppers, and beetles but no other insects. They were allowed to eat anything in the waters, but any creature that did not have scales or fins (lobster, crab, and oysters) were strictly prohibited.

    Well, today people eat shellfish and think nothing of it. If you look at the cholesterol content of these foods, you might see why God prohibited His people from eating these foods. God deemed these foods as "unclean"; God in His infinite wisdom knows what is best for us, even when we think we know what's best for us. Scripture says in Proverbs 16:9 that "A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps." Proverbs 3:5-8 says, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones."

    The point I'm trying to make here is that although foods God considers "unclean" might taste good to us, they really aren't what's best for us. God knows what's best for us, and that is why He gave us and instruction manual - THE BIBLE. By our obedience to His Word, God will grant us long life and health.

    Romans 12:1-2 says, "I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God that ye present YOUR BODIES a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may know what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.

    You see we need to present our bodies as a "living sacrifice to God." We as Christians are not our own; we belong to God. Our bodies belong to God. We are not just stewards of our money and finances, but stewards over our own bodies as well.

    The Apostle Paul best sums this up in I Corinthians 6:19-20: "What, ye know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."

    Therefore, whether it be food, tattoos, or body piercing, we need to be careful what the "world deems acceptable" (Romans 12:1) and be concerned with what God deems acceptable. Scripture clearly says not to mark ones body or pierce one's body; however, it seems to be acceptable by our society. There is the phrase: WWJD. I don't envision seeing Jesus with a tattoo or an earring. He didn't. Because Jesus is God, and God commanded His people not to have either.

    Well, if someone has an earring or a tattoo, God surely forgives them. God forgives people for jealousy, lying, gossiping, and other things mentioned as sin in the Bible. If someone tells a person that a tattoo is a sin, tell them what Jesus told the Pharisees - he who is without sin cast the first stone. We were are all sinners at one time, but by grace and faith in Jesus Christ we are saved. Not one sin is bigger than another sin.

    Our God is a God of grace and His Holy Spirit will guide us and order our steps as we yield to Him. Our Lord will graciously give us wisdom if we ask for it according to James 1:5; and He will tell us what is right and what is wrong, for we are accountable for our choices. We may not mentally think that something is wrong, but the more we draw nigh to God, the more God will draw near to us, and tell us what is His perfect will for our lives.

    Romans 8:1 says that "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Praise the Lord! People who are considering getting a tattoo please consult fellow Christians. Every spirit-filled believer I know who got tattoos prior to being saved now regret having them - there indeed is safety in a multitude of counselors. (Proverbs 11:14). All believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are in different levels of their salvation walk/journey. New born-again believers are still in the process of renewing their carnal mind by the Word of God in order to conform their mind to the mind of the Holy Spirit who will teach them all things pertaining to life and godliness. For II Peter 1:3 states: "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:"
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A viewer asks, "How large will "New Jerusalem" be?"

    Well, Revelation 21:16 says: "And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal." Thus New Jerusalem will have the dimensions of a cube, for a cube has equal length, width, and height. The city will be 12,000 furlongs x 12,000 furlongs in measurement.

    1 furlong = 606 feet
    Therefore 12,000 furlongs x 606 feet = 7,272,000 feet

    Perimeter = 2 (length) + 2 (width)
    Perimeter = 2 (7,272,000 feet) = 14,544,000 feet
    Perimeter = 14,544,000 feet + 14,544,00 feet= 29,088,000 feet

    Area = length x width
    Area = 7,272,000 feet x 7,272,000 = 52,881,984,000,000 feet

    5,280 feet = 1 mile

    Perimeter = 29,088,000 ft / 5,280 ft = 5,509.09 miles
    Area = 52,881,984,000,000 ft / 5,280 ft = 10,015,527,272 miles

    Therefore, the perimeter of New Jerusalem will be 5,509.09 miles.
    The total area of New Jerusalem will be 10,015,527,272 miles!

    Remember, the perimeter is the distance around the city and the area is the distance around the city plus all the space inside.
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