By Alan Ruth
The biblestudy.org website passed the one-million mark of pages viewed for the year, and is projected to increase about 31% from last year. This is far more than most of large corporate CoG sites.
Questions have always been accepted on the site since 1995, but until now it was not advertised or made easier to submit questions because of a lack of folks to answer questions. At most the site had maybe 3 or 4 people a few times willing to answer questions. With the news item asking for answerers in the May/June Servants’ News, there are now nine “answerers”.
After just five days on the website, there were 27 questions! Even with ten folks able to answer questions, that is still a question for everyone, more than every other day! I didn’t want to overload them so I took the question form off for a while so we could catch up! (At press time, over 172 questions had been received in 42 days.) Even with ten wonderful volunteers, it seemed even they would not be enough to quickly answer questions. Thankfully, I was able to ask Pam Dewey, Tarcila Fox and Mike Summers in such an “emergency” to take a question or two. God bless them all!
The other regular answerers are: Adriano Borean, Charlotte Grantham, Jack Lane, Bill Hillebrenner, Calvin Lashway, Art Mokarow, Eric Snow, Les Turvey, and Clay Willis. Thank God for all these folks! However, two of the group deserve special note. Charlotte Grantham has been a real “workhorse”, handling more than her share of questions in a fairly quick manner. Give me more Christian ladies like this!
It may be hard to believe, but Art Mokarow is the first man who was once an “ordained” WCG minister to offer “hands on” help directly to the site (it has existed for seven years). He’s been sent some of the “tougher” Bible questions and has given substantial answers! His 50 years of being a Christian and the knowledge he has will be a definite asset to the site.
Now I know that WCG and its split-offs have had “personal correspondence” departments that answered questions. But these writers were always limited to answer only within the limits of their accepted corporate doctrine (no new study or inspiration) and they always had to point the questioner toward their own literature and church organization. The answerers on my website point people to God, and are free to refer their readers to literature from any source that might be of help to them.
Those with computers can see the question submittal form at
Answers to selected questions already submitted are at: www.biblestudy.org/question/answers.html
The Question & Answer part of the site will become a major new section, and will have more answers to questions given by the above folks posted on the website in the next several weeks.
Here are some of the first questions received (in no particular order). This is exactly how they were, except for spelling and punctuation corrections:
1. Why was there a war in heaven?
2. Who is God talking to in Genesis when discussing man becoming like “us”?
3. I am a Christian. My friend
asked me some hard questions the other day… Why did God need Noah? If He created life once, why couldn’t He do it again… also,
why is there no mention of dinosaurs in the creation story?
(I know of the behemoth in Job and of the leviathan somewhere else, but why doesn’t it mention it in the creation story?)
4. What current English Bible translation is a true translation from the original manuscripts?
5. Can you explain Genesis 2:9 and also Genesis 3:22? Looking to understand the Tree of Life.
6. Based upon the New Testament pattern, shouldn’t church leadership be a plurality of elders who are equals rather than one Pastor calling the shots? I’m basing this on the first Church at Jerusalem and the others since in the New Testament. Those churches seemed to have a plurality of Leadership.
7. What is the meaning of Isaiah 26:20?
8. I have a friend who has recently become a member of a Masonic lodge. Of course being a Mason he won’t tell me much other than it supports the bible and they must believe in GOD. Of course they do so many good things and I don’t deny this, I really don’t know. I do wonder however why all the secrecy? Doesn’t the Bible warn us of things done in secret? Any insight you could give me into the Mason’s and how it measures up to GOD’S word would be greatly appreciated.
9. At one point God has told me to present my body a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable in His sight (Romans 12:1). I have read this chapter through and through. What does this chapter mean in elementary terms? I was not putting my body to anything unclean as I knew of.
Note: Jack Lane, answering the above question for the Bible Study website, got the following feedback from the person asking the question after she read his response:
Thank you for allowing God to use you greatly. For eight years I have been in a church that has been leading me to Hell. I was tired of going to church and not understanding the Scriptures. No one else in my church knew the Scriptures too much either. We couldn’t wear makeup, my dress was down to my ankles and no earrings, but I was on my way to Hell because my outside looked saved but my inside was terrible. Thanks to this website, I’m able to get the truth. My spirit bears witness with these teachings. I have cried out to God for help and he has referred me to this site. Continue your work for God that your reward may be great in heaven.
10. How do I know for sure if I’m operating in the will of God?
11. I have always believed that when a Christian dies that their spirit goes to heaven immediately. However in 1 Thessalonians Paul is talking about the second coming of Jesus and says that the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Does this mean that their earthly body will rise and but that their spirit is already there? Or does it mean that the spirit of those who are dead remains with the body until the second coming? Please help me with this question.
12. Some years ago I read on the Bible a passage that Jesus said that He was Buddha. Now I can’t find this passage. Could you help?
13. In 1 Samuel 18:1, 3 what does it mean “Jonathan loved him as his own soul”? Please answer as simple as possible.
14. I am a new Christian, and my pastor thought it would be great learning tool for me to teach the younger children. This will help me learn also. This week we are studying 1 Kings 17:7–16. I would love some help, the ages are 7 and 8 years old.
13. Can you show me scripture on Samson and Delilah?
14. I’ve always wondered what did Jesus write on the ground in John 8:5–11. Could it have been the law of Lev 20:10 and Deut 22:22 because the Pharisees didn’t bring the man also? Or could Jesus have just started listing the commandments and the Pharisees were condemned by them? Any other scriptures you know of relate to this act?
15. Those who hold the belief that “now is the only time for salvation”. They use this verse to support that belief—-Romans 1:2–21. Can you please show me what exactly was Paul emphasizing on this verse?
16. Can you recommend a great entry-level software package for Bible study that contains all the core library books?
17. What are the differences of the Judgment Seat of Christ and the White Throne Judgment?
18. On your website you say that infants should not be baptized. If infants are not baptized and therefore do not receive God’s Grace, and they perish before they are old enough to repent, your theory has Hell filled with these precious souls. I am curious to know where your religion places babies’ souls when they die?
19. I’m looking for scriptures dealing with Suicide please. I have a brother who took his life not too long ago and I need to know what the Bible says about a man taking his own life.
20. What does the Bible have to say about homosexual sins in depth?
21. I’m a sister from Mexico. Can you tell me if you know where I can get The Two Babylons book in Spanish?
22. Can you tell me what are the five crowns and where they are found?
I found the Crown of Gold in Rev. 4:4 and the Crown of Life in Rev. 2:10 but would like to find the others.
23. How tall and how many giants were there besides goliath? How many orders of angels are there and their task for God?
24. Was it preached about the judgment coming before the flood and Noah? Where and in what scripture is it located?
25. What is your answer about cousin marriages (marriage to first cousins)?
26. Are there degrees of sin?
27. I would love to know where I can find a table with which I could convert the weights and measures in the Bible to today’s equivalents.
28. What is the three key points of importance of alertness? How I can be alert in my life circumstances?
[What a mix of questions! Some of them are fairly easy to answer from the Bible. Some require a little study and searching with reference books or a computer. Others require historical or Internet searching. For some I am not sure I could find a definite answer—we do not always know “why” God does things.
Will the question answerers sometimes give wrong answers, or might two answers get the same question and answer it in different ways? Yes, that will probably happen. But those asking will have a chance to look elsewhere and to find better answers. Whereas a corporate church may give consistent answers, it can easily be consistently wrong, and it may be many years—even decades—before its members realize it.
The most important thing about these questions is that they seem to be from serious Bible students asking for our help—and we should give it to them. If you have not, please read the other article beginning on the front page. If you can help, even on just certain types of questions, please do so. — NSE]