QUESTION: "Please explain Proverbs 27:14 — 'He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him.'"
ANSWER: This short biblical verse represents just one proverb among many. Solomon actually spoke 3,000 in all, although only a part were penned for posterity (I Kings 4:32).
Solomon gave the purpose of the Proverbs in chapter one: "To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; to receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity... to the young man knowledge and discretion" (verses 2-4).
Proverbs 27:14 involves discretion. Trying to cheer up your friend with a loud voice, when he is trying to sleep, is hardly using discretion. And it is hardly loving your neighbor. It is about akin to the crowing of a noisy rooster.
Let your friend sleep. And if you have to awaken him, be gentle. The golden rule reads: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Use discretion, and you will keep a good friend, neighbor, or brother. If you don't, your friend will count you as a curse — at least for that moment.
Q. "Did you say that Jesus was here on earth before He was born to
Lige S., Erwin, Tennessee
A. Yes, we did. Jesus Himself said: "Your father Abraham [who lived hundreds of years before Christ's human birth] rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily [truly, truly], I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am" (John 8:56-58).
Jesus occasionally appeared on earth prior to His human birth — as the God of the Old Testament.
Q. "Is there anything in the New Testament that says we cannot drink tea or coffee?"
Mrs. Laural G.,
A. Actually the Bible does not specifically say anything about either drink. But, in principle, Scripture forbids us to eat or drink anything that will harm or defile our bodies (I Cor. 3:16-17; 6:19-20).
However, according to most authorities, coffee and tea are mild stimulants which are not necessarily harmful if used moderately. Most people can tolerate and enjoy a couple of cups daily.
Of course, some with certain health problems might be better off not to drink either. It's an individual matter — not necessarily a religious issue. The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink (Rom. 14:17).
Q. "Is the Trinity anywhere in the Bible?"
A. No! Not in the original Scriptures. I John 5:7 was added centuries after the New Testament Canon was closed. Most Bible commentaries will verify this.
For any who are interested, a brand new thoroughly researched and carefully edited booklet just came off our presses. It is titled Is God a Trinity? This attractively printed publication will be mailed without charge upon your personal request.
Q. "I'm in Shakopee Women's Reformatory at the moment and would sincerely like to reform myself inside out. I am 19 years old and have considered myself saved for three years up until now. I have been looking for someone and something all my life. How could I arrange to meet someone to talk to?"
A. We will send one (or two) of our ministers out to visit you. All have been thoroughly trained under the sponsorship of the Ambassador College Department of Theology. Any one of these dedicated men would be happy to converse with you.
Q. "I've asked several people if they knew who wrote the book of Genesis and no one can give me an answer. Can you help?"
Mrs. Edward C.,
A. Pick up any authorized King James Version. Open it to the book of Genesis. The title will be "The first book of Moses called Genesis."
Jesus said, in a conversation with certain religious leaders of his day, "Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?" (John 5:45-47.) Here is Jesus' own personal testimony that Moses wrote Scripture.
But what part?
Jesus gave the division of the Old Testament in Luke 24:44. "... All things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms [a representative book of the writings], concerning me." A little earlier, Jesus "beginning at Moses and all the prophets... expounded unto them [the disciples] in all the scriptures the things concerning himself' (verse 27). Jesus began with Moses because he wrote the Pentateuch — the first five books of the Bible. Each book bears his name.
Of course, there are certain higher critics who deny that Moses wrote the Pentateuch. Many of their arguments are answered in the article on page 20 of this magazine.
Q. "My little son asked me this: 'If we are all children from Adam and Eve, why aren't we all white?' I couldn't give him a good answer. I would like to be able to satisfy his curiosity with the correct information."
Valley Stream, N. Y.
A. All nations and people have sprung from Adam and Eve. Adam was the first man (I Cor. 15:45). Eve was the mother of all living (Gen. 3:20). And God "hath made of one blood all nations of men" (Acts 17:26).
Ancient history and racial genealogy indicate Adam and Eve were white. But two pure white people cannot now engender a black, brown, or yellow child. So how can we explain the different races?
A logical answer is this: when a woman is born, she is born with her full complement of ova (egg cells). God must have created within Eve, the potential for each primary race. In other words, she had some ova with white genes, some with black; and some with yellow.
Race is a matter of God's marvelous creativity and His appreciation of variety in nature.
Q. "Do you have anything on the word 'fulfilled'? God said He came to fulfill the laws."
A. Christ actually said: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill" (Matt. 5:17).
The Greek scholars acknowledge that the word translated "fulfill" in this verse means not only to do or perform, but to "fill to the full." The English word "fulfill" is an Indo-European cognate of the English words "full" and "plus."
In this particular context, it has the meaning "to bring to full expression" or "to bring out its [the law's] fullest significance and meaning. The word "fulfill" in verse 17 could be easily substituted by the word "magnify."
The prophet Isaiah said of the first coming of Christ: "The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will magnify the law and make it honorable" (Isa. 42:21).
Christ came not to destroy the law, but to magnify it. And to magnify means to enlarge.
One good example of this is given by Jesus in Matt. 5:28. "... Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery ... in his heart" (Matt. 5:28).
Q. "Is Watergate mentioned in the Bible?"
N. J. S.,
A. No, not specifically. But the attendant deceit, lies, and hyprocrisy, symptomatic of a state of spiritual decline in the Western world, was predicted in principle in the pages of Scripture.
Notice Isaiah 59:2, 3 — "Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear... Your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. None calls for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth."
See also Isaiah 59:13-15; Hosea 4:1-2; Jeremiah 9:3-5, 8; II Timothy 3:13; Jeremiah 17:9 for a potpourri of scriptures on the subject.
One vital lesson of Watergate is simply this: tell the truth.