Question Box
Good News Magazine
April 1952
Volume: Vol II, No. 4
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Question Box
Good News Staff  

What Fowls Are Not Fit For Food?

   There are two chapters in the Bible where unclean fowl are enumerated; Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14. The fowl mentioned may be placed into three general categories: birds of prey and scavengers, night birds, and waterfowl. In Deut. 14:11, 20 it is stated that "of all clean birds you may eat." This does not mean that because a specific bird is not mentioned in the two lists that it is necessarily clean, because many unclean fowl are not to be eaten "after their kind." That is, if a bird not specifically recorded falls into a classification of one of the "kinds" mentioned as unclean, then it is unclean, too. Thus the crow is unclean because it is of the raven kind. Lev. 11:15. Since one of the major classifications of unclean birds is water fowl, the goose and the duck are unclean just as the swan.
   But our common barnyard chicken is certainly clean, as it falls into none of these classifications. The Bible proves that the quail, the dove and the pigeon are clean. God fed the children of Israel with quail and he commanded doves as offerings. The pheasant is also fit for human consumption.

Why Did Paul Want to Depart and be with Christ?

   Many are wondering why Paul told the Philippians "For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you." Phil. 1:23, 24. As Paul would be going to the grave at death, why did he say he would be with Christ?
   This text is a good example of reading a meaning into scripture that is not there. Paul did not say WHERE he would go or WHEN he would be with Christ. There is not one word mentioning heaven here, nor is there one word saying that he would be with Christ immediately. Then why the hurry for departure?
   To understand what is meant here we must turn to another scripture where Paul was ready to depart. In 2 Timothy 4:6-8 Paul wrote: "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."
   In these verses Paul explains what he meant by being with Christ. He does not receive his reward immediately at death. No, indeed. But there is laid up a crown of righteousness which the Lord shall give him AT THAT DAY. What day? At Christ's appearing his second coming! In Isaiah 40:10 we notice this same day mentioned: "Behold, the Lord God will come... behold, his reward is with him." (Rev. 22:12.)
   Paul wrote to the Thessalonians: "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." I Thes. 4:16, 17.
   Here is when the dead "that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake" (Daniel 12:2) and meet the Lord. The dead have not been with the Lord these thousands of years; but they are awaiting the time when they will in the future awaken FROM THE DUST OF THE EARTH to meet the Lord in the air!
   This is the time when, according to I Cor. 15:52, the dead shall be raised incorruptible by the power of the Spirit of God from heaven. In 2 Cor. 5:1-10 the apostle Paul speaks of the same event the Spirit of God from heaven clothing those who have died, with immortality. This event takes place at the resurrection. Yet Paul said that he was "willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." Why?
   The answer is in the second verse of 2 Cor. 5. He says that "we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house from heaven" the spiritual body received at the resurrection through the power of the Spirit of God from heaven. Paul while still alive was waiting for Christ to come the second time that he might be delivered from this vile body of flesh with which we are born and which causes us to sin. Rom. 7:24. He was burdened and was glad to end the difficulties of life by death. To die is gain! There is no knowledge of passing time. The next moment is the resurrection!
   Paul knew that he would receive the reward of eternal life at the second coming of Jesus; for he said: "Wherefore we labour, that, whether present (alive) or absent (dead), we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ: that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." 2 Cor. 5:10. Christ is going to judge the living and the dead at his appearing. 2 Tim. 4:1.
   Now Paul's statement in Philippians is clear. He was willing to remain alive for the sake of the Philippians who needed him as a teacher and Apostle, even though lie desired personally to be delivered from troubles by death to await the resurrection and be with Christ which would seem to him the next moment of his consciousness.

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Good News MagazineApril 1952Vol II, No. 4