Questions & Answers

Harold S. Paisley

Question: Is the Lord’s coming imminent? Do the Scriptures state that events must be fulfilled before Christ comes to translate His people to meet Him in the air?

Answer: The answer to the first question is clearly stated by the Lord Jesus when He said "surely I come quickly" to which promise John answered "even so come Lord Jesus" (Rev. 22:20). It is the blessed hope of living believers today that we shall be "caught up" at any moment. We express our firm conviction from the study of God’s faithful word. We must be in the right spirit and mind to look for and expect our blessed Lord in the air. He will awaken the sleeping saints, and them being glorified, with us who are the remainder of the Church, will meet the glorious Lord and Bridegroom in the air to be taken into the Father’s house. "So shall we ever be with the Lord" (John 14:1-3; 1 Thes. 4:15-17).

We search in vain to find any event on earth to be fulfilled in the word of God pertaining to the rapture of the Church. Any interpretation which places any event between the saints of this age and His return, robs His people of the comfort and power of our hope (1 John 3:3).

Question: Where did the wise men from the east worship our Lord Jesus Christ?

Answer: The most common answer which is usually accepted is at Bethlehem. Throughout the world, professing christians accept what is presented in picture and poetry and song; that they worshipped the Babe in the manger alongside the shepherds.

However, a study of the Bible record in Matthew 2 and Luke 2 will satisfy the reader that it was not to Bethlehem that the wise men came, but to Nazareth. They were guided by "His star," (an incidental proof that the child was the creator and controller) which they had seen in the east. They were led by it, not to a manger, but to "the house" where the young child was.

To this agree the words of Luke 2:39. "And when they had performed all things according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee to their own city of Nazareth." Thither therefore directed, not by the words of the scribes, nor by the command of Herod the King, but by His star. The wise men journeyed and when they came into the house, they saw the young child and fell down and worshipped Him alone, presenting unto Him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. J. N. Darby and Thomas Newbury show this clearly (Darby’s synopsis of Matthew 2 and Newbury’s marginal note on Matthew 2:9. "Where the young child was -Nazareth" refer to Luke 2:2-39).

Question: What is the special significance of the words of the Lord Jesus "Remember Lot’s wife" (Luke 17:32)?

Answer: Looking firstly at the primary setting, these words refer to the awful days of Antichrist just prior to the coming of the Son of Man. At that time of Jacob’s trouble, the Great Tribulation some of Israel will be saved, as Lot was, by fleeing from the scene where judgment is about to fall. When the terrible abomination of desolation is seen standing in the Holy Place, this will be the signal to flee and to do so immediately as there will be no time to spare. The warning is clear; none should linger even to consider going home for clothes. The peril of delay is immense, hence these words "Remember Lot’s wife."

The second use of the words can be used as a warning to the unsaved today who have heard the warning note of the gospel to flee to the Saviour and yet linger in their sins. Failing to flee to the refuge found in Christ, they expose themselves to great peril of perishing forever under judgment. The severity of God’s wrath will finally fall without mercy upon them. Therefore in warning sinful men, the words "remember Lot’s wife" are most appropriate. The writer has made the application often in the hope that some may truly remember the fate that came upon Lot’s wife, whose husband escaped by heeding the warning.

Question: Could an explanation be given for the expression in Hebrews 5:7 concerning Christ, "in the days of his flesh... offering up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears...and was heard in that he feared"? In what way was He heard and saved from death?

Answer: Hebrews 5:7 refers to the Lord’s agony in Gethsemane. "In the days of his flesh," however, implies that the Lord, throughout His lifetime, manifested these same characteristics on other occasions as well. In the context of the Garden at Gethsemane, this expression suggests a contrast between the distress of the garden and His present exaltation in the Glory.

The passage does not suggest that the Saviour prayed to be saved from death, but rather "out from among the dead." The Lord was answered when God raised Him out from among the dead, on the third day as "the firstfruit of the resurrection." What the Lord Jesus actually prayed is not indicated in Hebrews 5:7, although this has often been suggested. We learn, however, that His prayer was, "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine be done" (Luke 22:42).

This prayer, we also learn from Hebrews 5:7, was one of godly fear or piety: a prayer of submission to the Father’s will. God graciously sent a heavenly messenger with God’s message to strengthen Him. He was prepared to drink the cup presented by His father (John 18:11).