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About Deborah_

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  1. The worst thing that can happen is that through insensitivity you might upset someone who is a cessationist. Seriously... speaking in tongues isn't a form of hypnosis and doesn't make you 'lose control' - you can stop at any time. I sometimes pray in tongues while driving... it's no more distracting than listening to the radio. It does have spiritual benefits. When I first received the gift it gave a tremendous boost to my prayer life in general. The exact effects vary from person to person, but I would say it's probably more on your relationship with God than your relationship with other people.
  2. Manna is a naturally occurring substance. Apparently it's a sugary solution secreted by certain species of scale insects that live in the wilderness. When we went to Jordan a few years ago, it was possible to buy 'manna' as a souvenir. https://momentmag.com/manna-is-real-and-not-so-heavenly/ But of course, it's normally only available in very small quantities. The miracle of the manna is the sheer scale and consistency of its production - enough to feed a whole nation for forty years! The quail only came twice in that period of forty years, both times were near the beginning. The Israelites had their livestock with them, so they always had supplies of meat and milk.
  3. Actually, I agree there will be animals in the future life. I just find the evidence elsewhere. Fantasy - no. Symbolic - yes. Personally, I don't think that Revelation should be interpreted literally, but we might have to agree to disagree on that point.
  4. Revelation is a vision. The horses, like everything else, are symbolic. So they are not evidence for the existence of animals in heaven. "Riding on a white horse" is a pictorial way of saying that Christ has absolute power (and that it is unsullied by sin).
  5. The Creator became a creature. The Eternal One entered space and time. Almighty God became a newborn baby.
  6. Personally. I think they will, and I have Biblical reasons for this belief. I've written a long article on this. I won't post it here (because it's long), but you can read it here (it's in two parts): https://deborahsbiblestudies.wordpress.com/2015/02/14/do-our-pets-go-to-heaven/ https://deborahsbiblestudies.wordpress.com/2015/02/18/do-our-pets-go-to-heaven-2/
  7. Teaching and witnessing/evangelism are not the same thing. Any of us can be a witness to the gospel - in fact, we all are, whether we like it or not! The only question is whether we're good witnesses or bad ones! It's James who says (James 3:1) that not many Christians should aspire to be teachers. Teachers are these who explain doctrine to and instruct other Christians (eg preachers, Bible study leaders). In order to be a teacher you first have to learn - you need a firm understanding of Christian doctrine, and you have to practise what you preach. Bad teaching is very damaging to a church.
  8. You have very little choice or control over who you work with. Proverbs isn't talking so much about your work colleagues as your friends - the people you hang around with, respect, and who have a large influence on your attitude and opinions.
  9. I've just looked on Amazon. The Leviticus commentary (for example) costs £12.99 new, but if you look at their second-hand list you can get a copy for just £5.31 including delivery.
  10. What's "appropriate" for men and women depends on culture. In the USA and Europe it's perfectly normal for women to have short hair and men long. Scotsmen have always worn kilts. The point is that one's appearance shouldn't be deceptive. With regard to the details, our appearance doesn't "matter" to God, but it does give out a message to other people. How I dress tells you what kind of person I am (or if I'm wearing a uniform, it tells you what job I'm doing). And as Christians we do need to think about our impact on other people.
  11. Leviticus is hard going - yet still important. I'd suggest skimming through it (rather than skipping it altogether), and come back to it later with a good commentary (I recommend The Bible Speaks Today series) when you want to do some in-depth study. It's good to read the New Testament alongside the Old, because they are interlinked and each one sheds light on the other. For example, having a basic grasp of Leviticus will help you understand Hebrews, and knowing Hebrews will help you to interpret Leviticus! If this is your first serious reading of the Bible then there will be some bits that are a struggle, simply because you don't know enough. But it will come with repetition.
  12. The name Abram means 'exalted father'. Abraham means 'father of a multitude'. God re-names Abram in Genesis 17 (He also changes the name of Sarai to Sarah), to mark the imminent fulfilment of His promise to give them many descendants. The name change also symbolises God's "ownership" of them (because you can only name what belongs to you). Just as later on He will change Jacob's name to Israel.
  13. I'm not gluten-intolerant myself, but in the UK most churches are very accommodating. You just need to let the leadership know that they need to provide gluten-free bread or wafers at communion. (Again, in the UK most churches have gluten-free available at every communion service, because intolerance is so common). It's the same with church lunches - any decent church should be aware of common dietary problems. It's not difficult to ensure that there's at least one gluten-free dessert on offer, just like offering vegetarian options.
  14. Our modern culture is pretty well obsessed with time - to the extent that we feel things must be set down in chronological order in order to be 'accurate'. In ancient times, people just didn't think that way. The writers of the Biblical books didn't feel obliged to put everything in the order in which the events happened (this is why Jesus cleanses the Temple at the beginning of John's Gospel but at the end of the other three gospels). They often felt that other things were more important. In some of the other prophetic books (especially Jeremiah and Ezekiel) where the prophecies are dated, they are often not in date order but all jumbled up. Unfortunately, it's often far from clear to us what their reasoning was! So if you ask the question, "why is the beginning of Isaiah's ministry in chapter 6?" you may find several possible answers and none of them may actually be the 'right' one. Personally, I think the best approach is to just accept it, and not judge ancient literature by modern standards. But it's worth looking at the context of each section (what comes before and after) to see if there might be some link between them that helps with interpretation. For instance, there are three 'Messianic' prophecies in the early chapters of Isaiah (chapters 7,9 & 11) that are probably all connected with the story of King Ahaz in chapter 7.
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