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Your Bible Questions Answered
Good News Magazine
October 1963
Volume: Vol XII, No. 10
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Your Bible Questions Answered
Good News Staff

Is it idolatry to salute the flag?

   Saluting the flag is misunderstood by some sects. It all depends upon WHAT your understand by saluting the flag. To salute is not IN ITSELF an act of idolatry. It is merely a matter of showing respect the same as when men lift their hats before the President or bow their heads at a solemn occasion.
   Through Paul, God commands us to render respect and honor where they are due (Rom. 13:1-7). To pledge allegiance should mean to US that we are willing to pay taxes. It means we pray for those who are our leaders that our nation may live in peace in order for us to carry out the Work of God.
   With the new addition of the words, "one nation under God," we are free to take this pledge of allegiance knowing that our allegiance is pledged only so far as this country is under God under His authority in obedience to His laws.
   The Bible commands us to be good citizens in whatever country we live, but our allegiance FIRST belongs to God. Then we are to obey all the laws of the land which do not require us to break one of the commands of God (Acts 4:19; 5:29). That is how far our allegiance should go.

The Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 16:20 states: "Greet ye one another with an holy kiss." Since we are to live by every word of God (Luke 4:4), shouldn't we also greet each other with a holy kiss?

   To find the answer it is necessary to understand the history of what a holy kiss represented in that time.
   An authoritative historian writing of the Apostle Paul's day states: "In the early Christian Church the kiss of charity was practiced not only as a friendly SALUTATION, but as an act symbolic of love and Christian brotherhood" (Unger's Bible Dictionary).
   The meaning is obvious. In the days of the Apostle Paul it was a CUSTOM of the people to greet one another with a kiss. It was not a law of God, nor a command from Him to greet people in that way. It was merely the customary method of salutation.
   Today, it is the custom to greet one another by shaking hands. When WE extend the right hand of fellowship or shake hands in greeting today, it is the equivalent of the holy kiss used in the Apostle Paul's day.

I have always wondered who the 24 elders mentioned in Revelation 4:10 and 5:8-10 are? Are they angels or a different type of being?

   The Bible does not directly state what their office is. But it is clear they are angelic spirit beings who have authority in God's Government. Revelation 4:10 mentions they have crowns, which typify a certain measure of authority.
   These elders are not and never have been men. They are in heaven. NO MAN has ever ascended to heaven except Jesus Christ (John 3:13). Correctly translated, Revelation 5:9-10 should read: "And they [these elders] sang a new song, saying, Thou [Christ] art worthy to take the bonk, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed them [not us] to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made them [not us] unto our God kings and priests: and they [not We] shall reign on the earth."

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Good News MagazineOctober 1963Vol XII, No. 10
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