Questions & Answers

Harold S. Paisley

Question: What is to be understood by the expression concerning marriage "only in the Lord" (1 Cor. 7:9).

Answer: This Scripture enjoins that marriage must be "in the Lord." This expression has a greater significance than "in Christ." When dealing with words which the Holy Spirit teaches the change of a word means something. All believers are in Christ as to their standing yet there are many who fail to give Him His place as Lord. 'In Christ' points to our standing. "In the Lord" refers to our subjection to Christ as Lord. All saints have owned Him as Lord in conversion and many in home and business, but a lesser number have acknowledged His lordship in separation to His name and person in absolute authority in church life.

It is thus clear that to marry in Christ is good compared with an unequal yoke with one without Christ. But this is quite different than marrying in the Lord. To marry in the Lord is to have a partner of the Lord's choosing in suitability for the lifelong yoke of honoring God. To marry one who has not owned His Lordship in being gathered unto Him, outside the camp will prove to be unhappy in the extreme although a union in Christ.

To all about to embark into marriage, give heed to the Scriptural injunction "be of the same mind in the Lord" (Phil. 4:2)


Question: What are the spiritual implications of the change of Abram's name to Abraham (Gen 17:5).

Answer: In the change of Abram's name, we have a change in character and responsibility. He was no longer known as Abram the "exalted father," but as Abrahan the "fruitful father" for nations and kings would come from him. How did this change of name take place? The Lord took the principle letter of His own eternal name, Jehovah, and by the outbreathing added it to Abram making him Abraham, and also to Sara making her Sarah. A new name expresses quality. How interesting that God would take something of His own name, (for the added "H" is a special part of His name), and place it with Abram and Sara giving them a new character. jehovah's name is formed of five vowels "I, E, 0, U and A" with a twice repeated "H" in the middle and at the end. The vowels are so called as they sound by themselves unlike consonants which can only be sounded with a conjoined vowel.

It is one of the remarkable things that the name Jehovah, the self-existing one, is composed of these sounds and contains all of them which exist by themselves and give life and breath to the rest with the double addition of "H." This is the letter of outbreathing, the aspirate, twice in Jehovah's name. So Abram became Abraham by the breath of Jehovah, that is by the power of the Holy Spirit. Those who desire to pursue the wonderful study of the breath of God will find a field of fruitful meditation (Gen. 2:7; John 20:22).


Question: Is there a gap between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2? Is the word in verse 2 "became"?

Answer: Any careful reader of Genesis 1 can see a threefold division. The first, verse 1, presents the original creation of the heavens and the earth. How long this period was is unknown. This was followed by a second period also of unknown duration but described as being without form and void. This has a condition of chaos. The word "was" is better understood as "became." The Hebrew "tohu vabohu" are only found in two other Scriptures; Isaiah 3: 11 translated "emptiness" and Jer. 4:23 translated "without form and void." These conditions resulted from divine judgment. Concerning God's original creation of Gen 1:1, Isaiah 45:8 states "He created it not in vain (void). The third great section of Genesis 1 begins with the moving of the Spirit of God in re-formation of the earth to be the habitation for the first man. The last period was continued for six days.