Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

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Randy Stiver

United Church of God Pastor

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  • Randy Stiver
    Hello Laura, Thanks for your question. And indeed, the symbols you mentioned do have certain application in Psa. 22. However, I was focusing this time on the ferocious imagery of the creatures listed. For the symbols to carry full impact, we must sometimes review the details of why those creatures were used as the symbols. - Randy Stiver
  • Randy Stiver
    Hello Becky, Thank you for you artificial intelligence observation. I'd not thought of that as an element of the prophesied theme of increasing strength in Daniel 2. The overall meaning of course is on one after the other of the great kingdoms conquering the land of Israel (and a lot of other lands too). In order they are the Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, the Grecian, the Roman. and finally God's Kingdom conquers all. The focus of the empires is that they rule mankind -- sometimes referred to as "the nations" or "all peoples", etc. God's focus is always on humanity and offering each one ultimately the opportunity tor repent, be baptized and later resurrected in to the Kingdom of God. However, metals get increasingly stronger--fiercer weapons-- which will very likely include in our era some level robotics. The robotics are not offered salvation, but are used by humans as advanced weapons during the great troubles at the end of this age. Thanks for your comment! R. Stiver
  • Randy Stiver
    Thank you for your comment -- and encouragement! I'll share it with our small team that help produce our Bible Study webcast. Remember that this Friday, January 10 is the next webcast. Kind regards, Randy Stiver
  • Randy Stiver
    Hello Marion! Thank you for the "seven thunders" question. Here's the answer: We don't know with clarity who the seven thunders were, but based on the context of Revelation as a whole and chapter 10:4 in particular, it appears that the seven were a specific group of angelic beings with particularly notable voices. Remember that God's voice -- when made audible to humans -- sounds like thunder (See John 12:29 & Psalm 29). Note also Rev. 4:1-5 describes thunders coming from the throne of God--which could be Christ's or the Father's voice, or also of the angels in conversation. However, thunder is used to more specifically describe the voice of angels in Rev. 6:1. Thus, in Rev. 10:3-4 we have a mighty angel sounding and is answered by the seven thunders. Such a mighty angel might echo or vocally respond to a pronouncement of God's. However, in this instance, the seven thunders appear to be angels echoing or responding to the mighty angel's pronouncement. Thanks for the question, and I hope you can connect for our Bible Study webcast--the next time it's live is Friday, Sept. 13 of this year at 7:30 p.m. EDT. The link is: https://www.ucg.org/congregations/north-canton-oh/webcast.
  • Randy Stiver

    Hello again Clive,

    Very interesting. Your DNA map sounds like a migration map for most of the lost 10 tribes of Israel. I'd love to see a copy. -- Randy Stiver

  • Randy Stiver
    Hello Esther. Thank you for your kind words. Sorry to hear that you're not well enough to be at the Feast. My family and I will be at the Cincinnati/Nor. Kentucky Feast site. We do have another Bible Study coming up on Aug. 24 entitled "Identifying True Wisdom." Hope you can join us again then. Kind regards, Randy Stiver
  • Randy Stiver
    Good point, Arnold. It also echoes elements of Job 37-42 where young Elihu proclaims God's majesty by reflecting on the creation, then God unloads onto Job challenging him to remember the wisdom from the creation--and finally Job's acquiescence. Also note Psalm 104 which is "wisdom from creation" passage. All the best, Randy Stiver
  • Randy Stiver

    Hello Maleesa, You are right that God punished the 10 tribes because of their disobedience, sending them into Assryian captivity by 720 BC. Likewise, He also punished Judah, Benjamin (and don't forget, most of the tribe of Levi from which came the priesthood). By 586 BC, they were in Babylonian captivity. However, God also fulfilled Gen. 49:1 and the whole chapter. He prophesied through Jacob what would happen to all the tribes--including the lot 10--"in the last days." The individual tribal prophecies in that chapter and elsewhere provide clues as to where the tribes would be near the end of this age (from before 1800 up to now). Leading the prophetic fulfillments, the tribes of Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) would dominate the world leading up to the end of the age (Gen. 48 & 49, Deut. 33:13-17). In Gen. 22:12, God told Abraham "In Isaac your seed shall be called." The historical etymology of Isaac leads to Scythians, Saka, Sacasone, and finally to the Saxons--who were the primary stock of England and later America. The other tribes can similarly be tracked down to our time today. As always, I appreciate your interest in this important topic! - Randy Stiver

  • Randy Stiver

    Thank you for your comment. To cut to the chase, we look to Christ's teaching and example during His ministry and that of His apostles. Jesus was never violent toward others. When he made a whips of cords (John 2), He used it to drive out the illegal livestock dealers and moneychangers primarily by driving out their livestock and overturning the tables of the moneychangers. That was not violence. When Christ verified that the disciples had a sword with them as they left the final Passover (Luke 35:38). As He stated in that episode, with a sword present He would be considered "a transgressor" to fulfill one of the messianic prophecies in Isaiah 53:12. Thus Christ did no violence to others--nor should those who follow him. Considering several of your examples, the Spanish conquistadors were among the most violent soldiers of their day and the Aztec child sacrifice, horrific as it was, was no more and probably less violent that much of the Spanish Inquisition of the Jews. Also, spanking a child out of love with one's had or a paddle--the sense of the meaning of "rod"--is not violence--that I know from personal experience when misbehaving as a youngster. I hope this helps.