Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 16, 1968
NUMBER 3, PAGE 10c-11a

Some Questions Answer: : Ed

George Pennock

People are often fascinated by the QUESTION and ANSWER: : periods that are a standard part of every public attempt to preach Christ in Nigeria... They are most curious about the kind of QUESTIONs that are asked. The following were originally submitted to me in writing back in 1964, but nevertheless are very representative of the QUESTIONs asked at public gatherings.

QUESTION: In Genesis 1:1, before God created the heaven and earth in the beginning, where was he living?

ANSWER: : : The word "heaven" in Genesis 1:1 does not mean the place where God lives. God is a spirit (John 4:24) and lives in a spirit world called heaven (Matthew 6:9; 16:17). But there is another "heaven" in the Bible — rain falls from that heaven (Genesis 8:2); birds fly in that heaven (Genesis 1:20,26); the stars shine in that heaven (Genesis 26:4) and man can look up and see this heaven (Acts 1:10,11). This physical heaven was created in Genesis 1: I ; but the heaven where God lives existed long before that time.

QUESTION: Cain had a wife (Genesis 4:17). Where did he get his wife? According to Genesis 5:4 his father lived eight hundred years (after the birth of Seth) before he begat any other sons or daughters. Were there persons in the world before Adam?

ANSWER: : : Undoubtedly, Cain took his sister to be his wife. How is this possible if Adam lived eight hundred years after the birth of Seth BEFORE he began other sons and daughters? "And the days of Adam after he begat Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters." At the end of the eight hundred years Adam died. He did not at that time begin to father sons and daughters. His sons and daughters were born WHILE he was living, not AFTER he died. This verse does not say when those sons and daughters were born. Only that they were born after the birth of Seth and prior to his death 800 years later.

No there were no people in the world before Adam.

QUESTION: In I Timothy 3:2-7 are found the qualifications for elders. Are these qualifications for Bishops only or for all Christians.

ANSWER: : : These qualifications are for bishops or elders, not for all Christians. A man must have these qualities BEFORE he can be a bishop. These characteristics qualify him for the office. A man is not required to have these qualities BEFORE he can become a Christian; but after becoming a Christian he must try to develop them (with the exception of those physical in nature), for the elder is our example, and we are to imitate him (I Peter 5:3).

QUESTION: If a Christian does not have a child, yet he has all the other qualifications of a bishop, can he be ordained a bishop?

ANSWER: : : No! A man with only some of the qualifications would not be qualified. Writing to Timothy, Paul prefaced these qualifications by saying, "A bishop therefore MUST be..." (I Tim. 3:2 ). If I should say, every man 30 years old, who was born in the month of June, can come to my house and receive a new bicycle, would every 30 year old person qualify? No, for this was only one of the qualifications. First it must be a man; second, he must be 30 years old; third, he must be born in the month of June. If a person had two of these qualifications but not the third, he would still not qualify — he would still fail to meet the qualifications. A man lacking any of the qualifications given in the Bible, would fail to qualify as a bishop and consequently, must not be appointed to this office.

QUESTION: Paul said in I Tim. 2:12, "But I permit not a woman to teach, nor to have dominion over a man." Is this command given to a woman in order to keep her from converting people to become Christians. If so, why did our Lord give the command in John 15:2.

ANSWER: : : "But I permit not a woman to teach, nor to have dominion over a man." This statement will NOT keep her from teaching and converting sinners. Priscilla and Aquila taught Apollos the way of the Lord more accurately (Acts 18:26). It DOES prohibit her from teaching in the public assembly, where she will be exercising authority over men (See I Cor. 14:34,35). Women as well as men should be teaching others God's word privately, but in the assembly of the church a woman is not allowed to teach, or exercise authority over a man. A woman must bear fruit just as surely as a man (John 15:2).

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