Friday, October 14, 2016

What in the World ~ Questions & Answers from letters - By Les Feldick




Who Is Les Feldick
 
* Question: Were there any Gentile believers in the early Jerusalem Church? 

Answer: There is certainly no clear-cut statement in Scripture either way. But, if language means anything at all, there were not. First of all, Christ’s earthly ministry was confined totally to the lost sheep of the house of Israel with two exceptions, the Canaanite woman of Matthew 15 and the Roman Centurion. There is not a single reference to any others, implied or direct. 

When the Greeks approached Phillip and Andrew in John 12, again this implied that Jesus had no conversation with them, but spoke only of His death and resurrection (unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and die, it cannot bear fruit, but if it die…) after which he would then become the object of faith to them. 

All through the early chapters of Acts, there is not one inkling of Gentiles. When, in Chapter 10, Peter is pressured to go up to Caesarea, it is obvious that he was reluctant to go to the home of a Gentile, even though we are now about eight years after Pentecost. As he approached Cornelius, he states that it is an unlawful thing for a Jew to keep company with a Gentile. Does that seem reasonable if Jew and Gentiles were already together in the Jerusalem church? Then, when God makes it obvious that these Romans were now believers, Peter and the six Jews who accompanied him were astonished. And then, in Chapter 11, when Peter returned to Jerusalem, they upbraided him for going to Gentiles. Later in 11:19, it is as clear as language can make it, that when the Jerusalem believers were scattered by Saul’s intense persecution, they went everywhere preaching the Word (Old Testament) to none but Jew only. Only at Antioch does the Scripture record the entrance of Gentiles and it was at Antioch that believers, now mostly Gentiles, were called Christians. The Jerusalem believers were never called Christians in the book of Acts.
* Question: I have heard you speak of the seven “I AM’s” in the Old Testament and the seven in John’s Gospel. What are they? 

~ Old Testament ~
1. Genesis 22:13 & 14 - JEHOVAH-JIREH - I AM your Provider.
2. Exodus 15:26 - JEHOVAH-RAPHA - I AM your Healing.
3. Exodus 17:15 - JEHOVAH-NISSI - I AM your Banner.
4. Judges 6:24 - JEHOVAH-SHALOM - I AM your Peace.
5. Psalms 23:1 - JEHOVAH-RA-AH - I AM your Shepherd.
6. Jeremiah 23:6 - JEHOVAH-TSIDKENU - I AM your Righteousness.
7. Ezekiel 48:35 - JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH - I AM Present (with you) 


~ New Testament ~
Before John 8:48-58 - Before Abraham was I AM

1. John 6:35 - I AM the Bread of Life.
2. John 8:12 - I AM the Light of the World.
3. John 10:7 - I AM the Door of the Sheep.
4. John 10:11 - I AM the GOOD Shepherd.
5. John 11:25 - I AM the Resurrection and the Life.
6. John 14:6 - I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life.
7. John 15:1 - I AM the True Vine.



 * Question: Did Jesus go down to Hell the three days and three nights He was in the tomb? 

Answer: No and yes. He did not go into Hell as we usually define the word. Hell, Hades or Sheol all mean the same thing, the place of the dead during the first 4,000 years of human history. Animal blood could not take away or atone for sin. Therefore, even believers such as Abel, David, Isaiah, and all except Enoch and Elijah (remember, God is Sovereign and He can make exceptions) went down into Sheol. But, Sheol was divided by a great gulf fixed - Luke 16:26 - into torments and Paradise. That Jesus did not go into torments is attested to by the remark to the thief on the cross, “today, thou shalt be with me in Paradise,” not torments. That He went down is obvious from His own words in Matthew 12:40 and Paul’s in Ephesians 4:8-10. Peter also refers to His going down to the Paradise side of hell or hades and proclaimed to those Old Testament Saints that now that the atoning blood has been shed, they are ready for entrance into God’s Heaven. 

Consequently, at His resurrection, Paradise was removed from the Center of the Earth up to Heaven. Now, Paul teaches that believers go immediately, at death in Soul and Spirit, up to Paradise or the Lord’s presence - II Corinthians 5:8; waiting for the Great Resurrection Day - I Thessalonians 4:13 - 17. 

As for the unbelievers, they continue to go down to torments, waiting for their resurrection to the Great White Throne Judgment. Since Paradise was removed, it has all now become Hell as we use the term - Isaiah 5:14. 

How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4


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