The Bible Answers Short Questions From Our Readers
Plain Truth Staff
"Genesis 32:30 says that Jacob saw God face to face. Yet I John 4:12 declares: 'No man has seen God at any time.' I know the Bible does not contradict itself, but how can this be explained?" B. D., Seattle, Washington
At first glance, one might assume this is a Bible contradiction. But is it? Notice carefully! The Apostle John wrote: "No man hath seen God at any time" (I John 4:12). Verse 10 shows that John was speaking of God the Father, the One who sent Jesus Christ into the world with a Message, and to die for the sins of the world. "Herein," wrote John in verse 10, "is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent his Son to be the protitiation for our sins." Yet, in Genesis 32:30 the patriarch Jacob, in amazement, said: "I have seem God FACE TO FACE, and my life is preserved." Who was this whom Jacob saw? IT COULD NOT HAVE BEEN THE FATHER. John said no man has seen Him. The answer becomes inescapable! The One whom Jacob saw face to face — the One with whom Jacob wrestled all night long — the One who blessed him and changed his name to "Israel," which means "Perseverer" or "Prevailer with God" — yes, the member of the God Kingdom with whom Jacob prevailed was the One who became JESUS CHRIST! Jacob saw the One who became Christ — the Son (I Tim. 3:16). The Logos — the Word — the One who became Christ — manifested Himself in physical form and actually wrestled with Jacob until dawn, proving him, testing him, in order to see if he would persevere, tenaciously endure, prevail and overcome! Jacob did, and Christ blessed him!
"Was the Alaskan earthquake foretold in the Bible?" B. E., Chicago, Illinois
Scientists and laymen alike have been SHOCKED by the increasing number of destructive earthquakes in the last few years! The sobering, almost unbelievable fact is that a new series of major earthquakes is continuing — without any sign of a let-up. Seismologists are FEARFUL! They, themselves, are asking: "Are more earthquakes coming? What causes them? When and where can the next quake be expected?" All they can answer is that the next one may occur anywhere at any time! World-famous scientists admit they don't have the answers.' Yet Jesus Christ knew what would happen. He foretold the present increase of earthquakes in our day! In Matthew 24:7 He warned that one of the signs heralding the END OF THIS AGE of human government would be tremendous earthquakes following on the heels of devastating world wars! Notice it, "For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and EARTHQUAKES in divers (different) places." Your life, and that of your family may depend on what you know about earthquakes! Did you know that your Bible has a great deal to say about FUTURE EARTHQUAKES — even pinpointing the location of some future tremors? Don't put off writing for the free booklet, "The Truth About Earthquakes." It is the chance of a lifetime to learn the PLAIN TRUTH about EARTHQUAKES!
"How can you say that Paul was a Jew when he himself states that he was a Benjamite in Romans 11:1 and Philippians 3:5?" G. W. M., Montreal, Canada
Paul was, by tribal descent, a Benjamite. But, by nationality, Paul was a Jew — a citizen of the House of Judah. He plainly called himself two times in the New Testament a Jew. In Acts 21:39, we read: "But Paul said, I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia...." Again in Acts 22:3, Paul said: "I am verily a man which am a Jew...." From the sons of Jacob — surnamed Israel — sprang twelve tribes. Under David they were united as one nation — Israel. After the death of Solomon, David's son, the twelve tribes were divided into two nations. The tribe of Judah split off from the nation Israel in order to retain the king, whom Israel had rejected. Benjamin went with Judah. The new nation thus formed, with its capital at Jerusalem, was known as the "House of Judah." Its people — Benjamin and Judah — were called Jews. If any of our readers have not understood where the so-called lost ten tribes are today, write for the free two-color booklet "The United States and the British Commonwealth in Prophecy." It makes prophecy understandable.
"My son asked me how all the animals were able to get into Noah's Ark. Would you please help me explain this?" — R. G., Kansas
When God saw the sinfulness and corruption of man upon the earth, He revealed Himself to Noah. He told him HOW to make an ark — a great ship — so he and his immediate family and representatives of the land animals could escape destruction by water. Turn to the Biblical account of the size of the ark as recorded in Genesis 6:13-14. Notice! THE ARK WAS DESIGNED BY GOD HIMSELF! Noah and others built it, but GOD was the Master Planner and Designer of the ark. God knew EXACTLY how much room was going to be needed. Notice the dimensions of the ark. Genesis 6:15 tells us that it was 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high. Anciently there were two primary cubits — one Babylonian (about 18" long), and an older Hebrew cubit (about 25" long) The Hebrew cubit used here would have made the ark over 600 feet long, 100 feet wide, and 60 feet high! No small size! Its three decks (Gen. 6:16) would have contained an area of about 38 standard college basketball courts! Its volume would have been 3,600,000 cubic feet! This is the carrying capacity equal to 25 trains — each one 52 freight cars long! The ark had this tremendous carrying capacity. Many think of the ark as a small vessel — not realizing how LARGE it really was. And now, how many animals were on the ark? Notice that God told Noah there would be one male and one female of each unclean "kind" of animal and seven pairs of each clean "kind" of animal on the ark (Gen 7:2, 14). We need to understand that when the Bible speaks of a "kind" of animal, it is not speaking of what a scientist calls a "species." For a Biblical proof of this fact, turn to Genesis 2:19-20. Notice a very important point: "And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field... "The number of Genesis "kinds" were so few that Adam was able to easily give them each a name that day! This, in itself, tells us that the original Genesis "kinds" were relatively few in number. God has placed definite bounds beyond which the different "kinds" of animals can not vary. But it is possible by selective breeding to reproduce numerous varieties of a single kind in a relatively short length of time. Take the dog kind, for example. There are many varieties of dogs. But all belong to the "dog kind." Not every species and variety of animal we see on the earth today had an exact representative in the ark! Since the end of the Flood about 4300 years ago, there have developed many different varieties of the "kinds" of animals taken into the ark. Thus from the single unclean pair of the "pig kind" have come, since the Flood, the many varieties of hogs now sold on (he market. Now you can understand how the huge ark had adequate room for the birds, animals and all the supplies.