Questions and Answers

Question about Israel in the Old Testament and New Testament

Q. Do we learn more about God's relationship with the nation of Israel in the New Testament more than the Old Testament?

A. Dear Friend, thank you for your question concerning God’s relationship to the people of Israel. I am not a Bible scholar, just a person who loves the Lord,There are different thoughts among Christians as to how God will deal specifically with the nation of Israel in the end so I will give you what I understand in a general way. Hebrews 8:10 says that God will give them a new covenant ( the first being the law of Moses) and that His ways would then be in their minds and hearts and that then He will truly be their worshipped God and they will truly be His people in the way that He had always intended for them to be. You see, God wants us (Gentile or Hebrew) to love Him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. I am encouraged to know that God loves people so deeply that He gives second chances, to individuals and even to a nation. Thank you for your question which has strengthened my own faith!

Will We See Our Loved Ones When We Die?

Q. do we reunite with our loves ones when we die

A. Thanks for the question. We will include two thoughts on this question. The question, "do we reunite with our loved ones when we die", is a hard question that some Christians might have different opinions on. First, as followers of Jesus Christ and believers in the inspired Word of God (the Bible), I would say the answer is,yes. At some level, people will be reunited with their loved ones in eternity - if you have the same destination as your loved one(s). The Bible teaches us that there are two destinations - Heaven and Hell; both of them are eternal and permanent. After death there is not a time period where a “higher power” decides which destination is the one we will be heading to. There is not an opportunity to go to one and “work our way to the other.” Our destination of Heaven and Hell is determined by our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, committing our lives to Him, recognizing that we are all sinners and have fallen short of the glory of God. We need a mediator, Jesus. When we can realize our state and need for a savior, by putting our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, we will be in Heaven (which is also called Paradise)!!! To learn more about Heaven and how you or others can join us there, please refer to the website for many teachings on this subject (or you can just ask; we would love to share more with you). So, assuming that both parties are Heaven-bound, then I believe that Scripture teaches us that we will “reunite” with our loved ones.

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Question about Salvation

Q. how can i keep my salvation?

A. Thank you for concern of eternal life. It is important to remember that salvation is a free gift from God made manifest through the shed blood of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. There is no way we can work our way to heaven. The real goal is to humble ourselves before God and submit fully to His will. Jesus illustrates in a passage from Matthew (16:24-28) that we must give up our old life in order to follow Him. The exciting news is that Jesus Christ loves us. We cannot be perfect, and our salvation does not hang in the balance with every poor decision. What is important is to sincerely seek forgiveness daily from Jesus in prayer and use His grace to grow from our mistakes. The Bible will provide further guidance in the search for God's will in our life. Although salvation is an intensely personal experience between you and Jesus, being involved in Bible study groups or having accountability partners can help you grow in the Spirit. The Bible mentions that as we grow in the spirit we will be given bigger tasks in the service of the Lord (I Col. 3:2). Your question points to this spiritual growth. Once we have received this free gift of salvation, we are expected to use it and share it with others. Jesus explains His desire that we use His grace for others in a parable in Matthew 25:14-30. In this parable Jesus shows that those who do not share His grace with others will lose their own grace, but for those who expand the kingdom of the Lord heaven will be magnified. It is our humble prayer here a Mustard Seed Ministries, that you share your spiritual talents with others and spread the good news of Jesus Christ. I will lift you up in prayer that you will grow in the Lord.

Is There Scientific Evidence that Jesus is God?

Q. How can one be certain that Jesus Christ is God? Is there scientific evidence?

A. Excellent question! Many reilgions will ascribe to Jesus great respect, but only Christianity embraces him as God. For the sake of argument, I will assume you agree that the Bible clearly teaches that Jesus is God. If I am wrong in this assumption, then I would direct you to consider the gospel of John, which was written with the intent of demonstrating that Jesus is God. The theme verse for this book is found in chapter 20, verse 31...."But these [things] are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.".The root of your question seems to be, "Is the Bible a reliable record upon which I can place my confidence, or is there some other source that would verify that Jesus is who he claimed to be?". Here are some facts about the Bible: It is unique in it's continuity.It was written over a 1600 year span, involving over 60 generations, written by more than over 40 authors from many walks of life including fisherman, a doctor, a shepherd, a military leader, and a political leader, among others. It was written on 3 continents, written during many different times and moods (war, peace, joy, sorrow, etc.), and written in 3 different languages.

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How Can I Make it to Heaven?

Q. I do not quite understand how I can make it to heaven while I sin in my heart, and constantly ask for forgiveness. Why do I have certain fears, knowing that I will be cast into hell for this?

A. Thank you for the question. I am not sure exactly what you mean by sin in your heart. When an individual becomes a Christian he turns the control of his life over to God. This does not mean that we become sinless. It doesn’t even mean that we become mature Christians overnight. It does mean that we are different and we have allowed the Lord to control our life. Humans are not very wise, powerful or virtuous by nature. We are born into a sinful world and sin is inside of us. Most of our sins are motivated by a desire to run our own lives without God’s leadership. If we become converted Christians (we have allowed God to enter our heart and take control), then there is a difference inside of us, but we are still humans. Since we are still humans, we are prone to sin. It is therefore very important that we work with the spirit of God, that lives inside of us, to produce virtuous living. His spirit gives us the power to avoid much of the sin of this world but not all. If we have truly committed our life to God, then when we sin we will feel sorry for disappointing Him and will repent of this sin and turn from it. This repentance will include trying to make the sin right (if possible), and it will also include a real desire to avoid sin in the future. If we are not really Christians (we haven’t given our life over to God), then we can’t live without real sin.

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Christ's Eternal Nature

Q. If christ has no beginning, then how did he come to be? EVERYTHING has a beginning and end.

A. Dear Friend, You have asked some very good questions about how God came to be and you are right, there is no way that we with our finite minds can comprehend how a Person could have no beginning. That is why He is God. The Bible tells us that God (existing as Father, Son and Holy Spirit) has always been and always will be. We have to accept that on faith. We as human beings had a beginning at some point but the Bible also tells us that we will always exist-that our bodies will someday die but that our soul will live forever in some place. This time on earth is given to us so that we can chose where we will spend eternity. This is the reason that 2,000 years ago Jesus took on a body like us, was born, lived a perfect life, and voluntarily gave his life on a cross so that we could live with Him forever if we believe that He gave his perfect life for our sins. You see, He rose from the dead and now lives again in heaven. He wants very much for you to know that He loves you deeply, to trust Him, follow His ways, and be with Him when your life here is over. Finally, the Bible tells us that without faith, it is impossible to please or know God. It also tells us that faith is a gift from God, so please ask Him for help in understanding more of His ways. I will pray for you to-there is nothing God wants more than for you to come to Him and ask.

Relationships in Heaven

Q. If we will see our loved ones in Heaven, what about widows who have remarried? Will they want to be with their widow or their new wife? Odd question I know.

A. Thanks for your question. The Bible speaks much about heaven, but says very little about how our relationships in heaven will work. Marriage, in particular, will not exist in heaven. (Mark 12:25) It's hard to imagine relationships free from sinful influence, isn't it? Think about people existing together in complete harmony, without a single selfish thought to disrupt the bliss! We can hardly envision such a place, and that shows us a little bit of how thoroughly corrupted our relationships are here on earth. Heaven is chiefly about God, not people. Over and over again the Bible describes heaven as God's dwelling place. The mystery, then, is that this great and awesome God desires to share His dwelling with us! Looking at Revelation 4, 5, 7, 21, and 22, we see that God is at the center of the heavenly praise. In light of this, I think other relationships seem to be such a side note that they are hardly worth mentioning in comparison with the joy of worshipping Christ with people of every tribe and tongue. To directly answer your question, I would have to say, it won't matter.

The Parable of the Steward

Q. In the parable of the unjust steward, how are we to view the steward?

A. Your question is an excellent one. Christians have been debating this parable since the establishment of the Bible. Several things that many Bible scholars would agree to are: 1. We are far removed from the culture that this parable unfolded in. Sometimes when we cross cultures with inverse type teachings, and if we lose a small portion of the meaning , we may produce a story that seems to have a missing element. 2. Christ has used this type of teaching before. I call them inverse teachings where He takes an example of sinful men to make a point. The point is NOT that sin is OK. Other points that could be made without going into an exhaustive analysis are: 1. In the preceding chapter on the prodigal son, the wayward son also mismanaged money. In the case of the prodigal son, he was not as worldly wise and fell into physical labor and poverty. Having fallen and not being very worldly wise he came to God broken and found the greatest treasure one can find on Earth. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that these two chapters follow each other.

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Questions about Speaking in Tongues

Q. Is it Biblical for a Christian to speak in tounges, have a gift of Phrophecy and lay hands on the sick for a devine healing? I am Pentecostal and beleive in all above. Id like another Christian perspective on this backed by scripture. God Bless.

A. Dear Friend, First of all, thanks for your question. You need to know that I am not a Bible theologian but just a fellow Christian so with that, I will answer your question in the best way I can. The three gifts of the Spirit you mentioned were evident in the book of Acts and are further expanded on in 1 Cor 12 & 14 along with other gifts of the Spirit. I Cor 13 is devoted entirely to the one foundational gift of charity and very plainly states that all other gifts are nothing if not exercised with the motivation of charity. I do find it interesting that the three you picked out have tended to be the ones that are often used for personal gain (notoriety or financial or both) with sensational appeal and also those which have been used for issues of contention and division in the Church. One of my best friends from high school was a member of a Pentacostal church but these gifts were never used as a point of contention in our friendship. We just respected that we chose to worship the Lord differently. In conclusion, I would just ask you that you carefully examine the motives behind especially public arena use of these gifts. These are gifts which, in my opinion, should be exercised primarily within the privacy of the local body of believers only. Again, ask "what is the motive behind the use of this gift in this setting? First Cor 13 tells us that prophecies will fail, and tongues will cease but that love (charity) never fails (vs 8).

Is Jesus God or Just the Son of God?

Q. Is Jesus God the son or the son of God? If Jesus had not died on the cross for our sins would He have live for ever here on earth since He was sinless. Sin introduced death and sickness to Man!

A. Thanks for taking the time to write us. You might find errors in punctuation or grammar since our first priority is to answer questions and the second priority is to be correct in punctuation and grammar. Jesus was called several different names in the Bible. It is my opinion that the most correct would be, God the Son. God exists in three persons, God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. One astronomer, after viewing the complexities of the universe, came to the conclusion that God is trillions of times more intelligent and powerful than us. There are things that we will never understand about Him, but thankfully that is not the issue. The issue is that He has given us enough information to learn to trust Him and is so doing find a much better life here and in eternity. So when we are faced with the many mysteries of the Bible, we can try to apply our human intelligence and become confused, or seek out the things that He wants us to know about life. If we believe that we must know every thing there is to know about Him, before we can trust Him, we will never ever trust Him. I believe it is to all of our self interests to see what He has to say. There are several ways to look at the effects of sin. There are the effects of sin that cause physical and psychological problems for those born on earth and there is the sin in our spirits that causes us to die spiritually. When the original humans disobeyed God, it set up a chain reaction on earth.

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Was Jesus Really God?

Q. Is Jesus God?

A. The Bible is clear that Jesus is God! Jesus had all of the characteristics of God and also had the mind and heart of God. Jesus even said in John 8:58: “I tell you the truth…before Abraham was born, I am!” Jesus is saying here that he existed even before Abraham (of the Old Testament) was born. When Jesus says, “I am,” this is in reference to the way in which God refers to Himself in the Old Testament. The Bible also says in John 10:30: “I and the Father are one.” These are just a few examples that reference Jesus as God Himself. There are other examples in the Bible that reference Jesus as God and if you would more information on this please just let us know. God Bless!

How Do We Get to Heaven?

Q. We can only enter heaven thru Christ. Does this mean non believers in Christ don't go to heaven, including all the Jews? How do the Jews believe they will enter heaven, if not thru Jesus Christ? And if not entering heaven, is hell the only alternative?

A. Thanks for the question. This answer may contain some writing errors as we concentrate more on answering as many questions as we can and less on writing errors. I think it helps, when we are exploring questions about eternity, to remember that God is trillions of times more powerful and intelligent than us. Therefore, it is important that we realize that we cannot reason everything out on the human level. It is also important to understand that it is good to seek and explore the things of God, even if we cannot always get a perfect picture of what is happening. The answer to this question starts with Abraham. This is where the covenant with the Jews seemed to start. Of course, more than one nation came from Abraham, but the Jewish people are our focus at this point. Abraham was commend by God because Abraham believed that God would justify him through faith. That is, Abraham realized that he could not meet the justice, righteousness, and holiness that was required to be close to God, by his works. He simply could not be good enough to earn God’s love, favor and friendship by his actions. God then proceeded to tell Abraham that he would be the father of all those who trusted God for their salvation and not their own works. This would include all people, not just the Jews. To state it another way, all people who trust God for their salvation, by loving, and allowing Him to control their lives, share in God’s promises to Abraham. Those who try to earn this gift, even if they are very sincere, have missed the boat and are not part of God’s promise. Years later, God brought the law through another godly man, Moses.

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What it Means to be Saved

Q. What does it mean to be saved?

A. Sweat poured off His body as sharp, relentless pain flooded His mind. He could not “will” himself to think of anything but the overwhelming pain. He twisted and turned trying to find a position that would ease the intolerable pain but His movements only created new sharp stabs of pain . There was no escape. His eyes were only half open, His lips white and drawn, and His body trembled continuously as it was brutalized by pain. It was everything He could do to just make it through the next few seconds. Why did Jesus have to suffer so? Have you ever taken a spanking for someone else who was guilty, or perhaps, were reprimanded at work for someone else’s mistake. If you have, you will begin to understand the sacrifice that Christ made. Of course, this does not help us to understand the enormity of Christ’s sacrifice for us. You and I are the guilty ones. We have turned our backs to God and lived in opposition to Him. We have not lived in the way that God has designed us to live. Christ suffered for our mistakes and our outright opposition to God. There was this Prussian general who had come into the command of a large group of undisciplined troops. They had to be ready to fight in short order. Some of the sentries were caught one night sleeping. At the trial the next day the general donned his judge’s robe and after hearing all the evidence found them guilty. Their sentence was the standard for this offense, sitting all night on a frozen lake without clothes. Since the temperature outside was below zero, it was a death sentence. Their punishment caught the attention of all the troops. Fear spread through their ranks and discipline increased dramatically. The general knew that the men needed more than discipline to win the battles ahead. He also knew they needed to learn to sacrifice for the common good, for each other. So he took off his robe and his clothes and joined his men on the ice that night. The troops went into battle without their general but his example, wisdom and sacrifice had started a fire in their hearts that the enemy couldn’t put out. Christ also sacrificed himself for us. His sacrifice showed once and for all His unbelievable love for us. It showed the heights and depths that He was willing to go for us. He did not suffer for just a few individuals, He suffered and gave His life for everyone who will yield their life to Him. He opened the way to eternal life for a race that was condemned to death.

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What Happens When We Die?

Q. What happens when we die? Do we sleep in the grave?

A. There remains only two eternal destinations for our souls once we die. Hebrew 9:27 says, "...it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this, the Judgement". Once we close our eyes in death, or the Lord Jesus Christ returns, our eternal destination is concreted in place and cannot be changed. We read in Revelations 20:11-15 about the Great White Throne judgement of all man kind. Here, those whose names are not found in the Book Of Life are cast into the Loake of Fire. Those who have repented for their sins and have placed their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, are ushered into Heaven, which we can read about in Chapters 21 & 22. A friend of mine mentioned that when we sleep (here on earth), it seems that we have slept only a short while, then it is morning. We have no concept of time while we sleep. Perhaps that is how sleeping in the grave is. There are different viewpoints among Christians but Matthew 11: 28 tells of Jesus's invitation to come to Him and rest. Many struggle with the idea of repentence or about Heaven and Hell. Jesus doesn't want us to worry so much, He wants to give us joy and peace in knowing Him personally and He wants us to be with Him in Heaven. He gives us free will to chose His ways, or to follow Satan in our own worldly ways. His ways are not difficult because He holds all the answers to life's trials and questions, and loves us so much. As we spend more time reading and studying God's Word, He gives us more understanding and wisdom and reveals to us what is important for us to know. May God bless you.

The Foundation for Prayer

Q. What is the foundation for prayer?

A. In summary the foundation of Prayer is Worship! Prayer is not solely about what God can do for us but more importantly it is an expression of our reverence, love, and dependence upon God. One of best summaries of prayer in the New Testament is Mt 6:9-13 9"This, then, is how you should pray: " 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11Give us today our daily bread. 12Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. This passage gives us a good starting ground on the foundation of prayer. Here are 6 foundational points of prayer based upon this passage. 1. Relational (Vs 9) - We are told to acknowledge God as father (daddy) 2. Holy & Reverent (VS 9) - Worshipping the majesty and holiness of God. 3. God’s Sovereignty (VS 10) Simply praying that God’s will be done on earth as it is done on heaven, realizing that he has control and not to let the circumstance of life consume us but to bring them to the throne of God in prayer. 4. Provision (V 11) - As verse 9 says God is our father and just as our earthly father desires to meet our needs so much more does our heavenly father. Putting our dependence upon God out to meet our daily needs (food, shelter, clothing, etc) Needs not Wants is the difference here 5. Forgiveness & Salvation (VS 12) - Salvation belongs to those who ask, confess, and accept the forgiveness of God. We are not only to accept God’s forgiveness but pray for the forgiveness of those that have wronged us. 6. Deliverance & Protection (Vs 13) - Pray for the Grace of God to protect us from Satan and the fleshly desires of this world. And not only for the prevention of these desires but for the deliverance from the things that have already entered our life. This is not all inclusive on prayer but I think these are how Jesus instructs us most clearly to pray. I think it is important that under these headings we make them personal and focus on each element individually in our life and how it directly applies to our relationship with Jesus not just to recite the Lords prayer as a church ritual or like a college fight song.

The Meaning of Peace

Q. What is the meaning of peace in such a troubled world?

A. I hope the following answer helps you to come to term with this great concept. This answer may contain errors in grammar and punctuation as we spend most of our time trying to answer as many of the questions presented to us and less time on writing errors. When we speak of peace, we may mean peace with God, ourselves, others or our environment. Peace with God is the foundation on which a Christian’s faith is built. This does not mean that we have an easy life, it means that in the middle of the pain and confusion of this life, we have a secret place to go to find love, acceptance, and peace. We were designed to be dependent on our Creator. If we are dependent on Him, He is able to give us the resources we need to live a much better adjusted life on earth. Just like there are essential nutrient for the body, there are also essential nutrient for us emotionally and spiritually. People search constantly and many times thoroughly for these nutrients, but they are only found in God. It is a fool’s mission to try to seek them outside of God and leads only to frustration and disillusionment. To be dependent on God, we have to ask Him to enter our lives and organize the events of our life as He sees fit. We all have a control room in our heart where all the levels and switches that run our life are located. When we allow Him to set at the controls and run our life, we are living in the Spirit. We have loved and trusted Him enough to allow Him the ultimate power in our life. To serve Him and do His will must be the primary desire of our life.

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Questions about Jesus' Siblings

Q. What was the name of Jesus' bothers and sisters and were can i find this in the Bible?

A. Hello and thank you for your email! The Bible does not give very much information about Jesus's siblings, however, here are some references that you can read about. Matthew 13:54-58, John 2:11-12, John 7:3-5. Since James, the brother of the disciple John, was killed before the New Testament book of James was written, it could be a possibility that the book of James was written by Jesus's brother who finally believed after the crucifiction. We do not know this for sure, though. Galatians Chapter 1, Matthew 13:55, Acts 12:17. I hope these references answer your question. May God bless you.

Questions about Judgement

Q. WHEN CHRIST SITS ON THE GREAT WHITE THRONE,HE JUDGES THOSE WHO WERE DEAD IN CHRIST. ARE THEY SENT DIRECTLY TO HEAVEN OR GIVEN HUMAN BODIES AND REMAIN ON EARTH AND LIVE DURING THE MILLENNIUM ?

A. Very good question! The reference to the Great White Throne Judgement can be found in Revelations 20:11-15. This reference to the last judgement of mankind is found to be after the millenium, which appears earlier in verses 2-7. Verse 5 clearly states that the dead are not resurrected until the millenium is over, consumating in the Great White Throne Judgment. After this final judgement, those whose names are not found in the Book Of Life are cast into the Lake of Fire (v. 15. Those who escaped this judgement through repentance towards God for their sins, and through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, find themselves as described in Chapter 21, in the New Heaven and the new Earth. The Bible teaches a bodily resurrection of both the just and unjust (Acts 24:15), therefore; we will enjoy Heaven with a physical body like that of Christ (Romans 6:5) Hope to meet you there! May God Bless you.

Jesus as Described in the Gospel of Mark

Q. Who is Jesus Christ according from Gospel of MARK?

A. Dear Friend, Thank you for your recent question,"Who is Jesus Christ accoding to the Gospel of Mark?". First of all, you need to know that I am no theologian, just a Christian who loves the Lord and sharing about Him with others. Looking into the first 2 chapters of Mark only, we see how Jesus' authority is confirmed by God the Father at His baptism when heaven is opened and the announcement made:"this is my beloved Son..."(Mark 1:10-11) Then in the rest of the first chapter we see His authority demonstrated in His calling of the disciples, teaching the Scriptures (vs 22),over unclean spirits (vs 27) and over disease. In the second chapter of Mark we see the authority of Jesus to forgive sins (vs 1-12). It is recorded that even the doubters of that time said that no one could forgive sins except God. Jesus knew their thoughts and told them that to prove He had the power (and was therefore God) that he would show by healing the man's physical body as well that he was for real, not just a talker. I hope, friend, that you will come to know this Jesus who has the power to forgive your sins as well and to heal you from the inside out! I will pray for you.

Who is the True God?

Q. Who is the true god?

A. Wow – that is a great question. Although, it is difficult to define God because He encompasses so many different, vast dimensions of the personal, physical, and spiritual realm/world. First of all I think we need to take in account or understand that God exists in the Holy Trinity – God (the Father), the Holy Spirit (which lives in us who have accepted Jesus), and Jesus (God’s Son – who is also our Savior and shed blood). “To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” – Revelations 5:13 With that said, God’s name in English is Jehovah (in the original Hebrew it is Yahweh). This name for God is used more than sixty-eight hundred times in the entire Bible. The name means “to be.” This means that God is ever-lasting, self-existing. God is the God who always is. Secondly, God is the Provider (Jehovah-Jireh). Jireh means “he sees ahead.” God sees what you need before you even have a need, and He provides. One story in the Old Testament that references God as the Provider is in Gen. 22 when God asks Abraham to offer his son as a sacrifice. When Abraham was ready to take his boy up for the sacrifice, he said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you” (Gen 22:5).

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