Live from Sweden

Q&A July 28

Today’s episode is filmed on location in Sweden.

Do you have Biblical encouragement for parents of special needs children?

I’m a special needs mom with a seven-year-old son with autism. Do you have any Scripture references for health and strength for me? I got viral meningitis last month, mostly from stress.

Before I speak to your question, I want to pray for you, because I’m very touched by the service you do unto the Lord.
Father, we pray for our sister, this mom of a child with special needs. Lord, she’s stressed. She feels great pressure from many obligations. Any mom of young children feels very pressed. But she has particular reason to feel so because of the special needs status of her son. So, Father, I pray that You’d bring her blessing and grace and Your goodness. Do it in the name of Jesus, Father, and bring Your power and Your grace. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Jesus said that if somebody gives one of His little ones even a cup of cold water in His name, it would not be forgotten. That’s what I want you to see. This is the strength and the encouragement I want you to have. In the service that you give unto your special needs son, it may be very easy for you to feel forgotten in that work. To be honest, there’s probably nobody who sees the depth of the service or the pressing of the weight that you bear. It’s probably something that only you are vitally aware of.

Nobody knows the extent of it, except the Lord. He sees it. Just like Jesus said, that even somebody who gives a cup of cold water will not be forgotten if it’s done in His name, I want you to know that the sacrificial service you give to your son and your family is seen by God. He’s there to strengthen you. He’s there to bless you, to encourage you.

I also want to tell you this. Don’t be afraid to take a break when you need one. I know that it’s probably difficult for you to take a break, or maybe even to find other people to help out or to pitch in. But when you have the opportunity to take a break, please do not feel guilty about it. God has ordained a Sabbath and God has ordained seasons of rest for you as well. In a sense, moms especially feel like their job is constant and there’s never a break from it. In some sense, that’s true. But in your particular situation, I want to encourage you in this. When God opens up the door and gives you an opportunity to take a rest, don’t feel bad about it at all, but take that rest and be encouraged. Even the smallest service you do unto the Lord’s little ones in the name of Jesus is not forgotten and it will be rewarded by the Lord. God bless you.

Is Judas Iscariot predestined in Hell?

I would say with great confidence that Judas Iscariot is on his way to Hell. There’s no doubt about that. He is not saved. He will not be saved. Some people speculate that maybe Judas repented at the last moment, or that maybe there was some sort of contrition or regret on his part. The Bible gives us no evidence of that.

The Bible tells us that Jesus gave Judas a very curious title. Jesus called Judas, “The Son of Perdition.” First, let me explain you what perdition is. Perdition is destruction. It’s to be completely destroyed by something. But I also want you to know this. To be the “son” of something in Hebraic culture and phrasing meant that you were completely characterized by that thing. So, for Judas to be the Son of Perdition means that he was the one absolutely appointed to destruction. And he bears that destruction.

Now, was he predestined to that? Well, as much as anybody is predestined for such a thing. But we must be clear: God did not make Judas do those things. Not at all. He chose those out of his own will. There is no guilt or blame or responsibility on God’s part for Judas’ destruction. All of that rests upon Judas himself. But he does have that unique and significant title, the Son of Perdition.

David Guzik introduces Daniel Jacobsen

Pastor David introduces Pastor Daniel Jacobsen from Calvary Chapel Hillerød, Denmark.

David Guzik: This is my longtime friend, Daniel Jacobsen. Say hi to everybody.

Daniel Jacobsen: Hello, everyone.

DG: Tell them where you’re from and what you’re doing.

DJ: I’m from Denmark, about 30 minutes outside of Copenhagen, in a smaller town called Hillerød. It’s a difficult one to pronounce, right? I pastor a small church there that we’ve been at for many years. It’s been 15 years since we started as a small Bible study.

DG: Daniel, how long have you and I known each other? From the very first conferences here, but not the very first one.

DJ: The second one. Yeah, that was an interesting story of how we met there. I came with my dad. I was 19 years old, and I was going to Bible college a few weeks later. When I came to California, I was at the Harvest Crusade there. And by the providence of God, I was three rows in front of you just a few weeks before.

DG: Wasn’t that amazing?

DJ: It’s been a 20-year-long friendship.

DG: Wonderful.

Does Matthew 26:31 refer to God the Father striking the Son?

From Matthew 26:31, “I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.” Is Jesus saying that Father God will strike His Son Jesus?

Matthew 26:31-32 – Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.”

David Guzik: Jesus is quoting an Old Testament passage here from Zechariah 13:7. The question about Matthew 26 is: Who is it that’s doing the striking? My guess is, since God is giving the prophecy, and speaking in the first person, God is saying, “I’m behind all this.” Obviously, God the Father did not come down, nor did He send an Angel down, to arrest Jesus. He allowed it all to happen through the agency of man. But God was behind all these events that would culminate in the crucifixion of Jesus, and the accomplishment of our redemption.

So, there’s definitely a sense in which we can say that “I will strike the Shepherd” is speaking of God the Father’s participation in it. Does that track along with how you would see it?

Daniel Jacobsen: Definitely. The wrath of God was poured out upon Jesus. Jesus said, “Take this cup away from Me.” Jesus became sin in order that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).

DG: In the whole scenario around the arrest, the trials, the beatings, and eventually the crucifixion of Jesus, you have this remarkable mangling of the pre-ordained plan of God and the will of man. God didn’t force anybody to do anything. God didn’t force Judas to betray Him. God didn’t force those officers to arrest Jesus. We could go on and on with each character throughout the whole drama. Yet God arranged it so that these men, acting in their own choices and exercising their own will, actually ended up fulfilling God’s plan perfectly through His guidance.

DJ: Doesn’t that go well along with what we’re teaching at this conference about the Life of Joseph?

DG: Yes! I sure like teaching on that passage.

DJ: It’s exactly the same. The butler and the baker were there, and that is how God wanted it to be.

DG: Yes. The butler and the baker in Genesis 40. It would be easy for them to see that it was just the workings of Pharaoh’s court that brought them there. But it wasn’t. It was ultimately the plan of God.

Regarding the parable of the soils, how can a person prepare themselves to be good soil?

David Guzik: I like that question. Of course, you’re familiar with the Parable of the Soils; I’ll just go over it quickly for the sake of our audience. Jesus told a very important parable about a man casting seed, and the seed fell on different kinds of soils. And the health of what grew up depended on what kind of soil that it was cast on. It wasn’t the seed that was different. It was the soil that was different.

So, this is an interesting question. Is this parable given in a fatalistic sense? As if we would say, “Well, you’re the stony ground. Too bad for you.” Or is there a sense that Jesus is speaking in an indirect sense, saying that we can cultivate our own hearts to be more receptive to the Word of God? What do you think about that? Now, of course, He doesn’t say those words in the parable. But do you think that’s a legitimate conclusion to draw? Or is Jesus just saying, “Hey, this is how it is, and there’s no changing it”?

Daniel Jacobsen: I definitely think that by reading the Bible and by attending church, there might be some pre-work that’s done in your heart. That would always be where I would go. With the foreordination and predestination, I’m sure you get plenty of questions about that.

DG: Sure, of course.

DJ: Whether it goes along those lines or not, I think you should answer that.

DG: I would just say that whenever we have a description of somebody’s sinful condition in the Bible, it is an inherent invitation to repentance for them.

DJ: Exactly.

DG: So, how can a person prepare themselves to be good soil? Well, I would say seek after God.

DJ: Repent.

DG: Repent, seek after His word, repent of your sins. These are things that can cultivate our hearts for the work of God.

Can genuine believers be demon-possessed?

What are your thoughts on the teaching going around saying that born-again, Spirit-filled Christians need demons cast out of them?

Daniel Jacobsen: They’re wrong.

David Guzik: Well, wow. Do you want to be any more subtle about this?

DJ: No, I don’t. If you’re a Christian, you have the Holy Spirit living within you.

DG: That’s right.

DJ: Romans 8:9 says that you have the Holy Spirit living within you.

DG: In fact, the Bible says that if you don’t have the Spirit of God, you don’t belong to Him.

DJ: That’s right. That’s very clear. “What fellowship does darkness have with light?” is found in 2 Corinthians 6:14. So no, I do not believe that a Christian can be demon-possessed at the same time. I do believe though, and I’m sure you would agree with this, that we can be influenced by demons and that they can hassle us and harass us.

DG: So maybe what we’re talking about here is a distinction between being demon-harassed and demon-controlled.

DJ: Exactly.

DG: So, a believer can’t be demon-controlled. But they can be harassed. Another way to explain it is, James says, “Submit yourself to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). I think that’s a promise for the believer. If we submit ourselves to God and resist the devil, he will flee from us. I don’t know if you could say that to a demon-possessed person. I don’t know if you could just go up to the Gadarene demoniac and say, “Hey, resist the devil.” There seems to be a different dynamic to that particular situation.

However, I think that there can be definitely an aspect of spiritual warfare where, if I’m feeling very troubled or attacked, I might say, “Daniel, would you please pray with me and help me to resist the devil? Let’s do it together.” You know what I mean?

DJ: We should be serious about this series. The devil is real. And yes, I definitely think that he’s trying to attack us and wants to get rid of us.

What are your thoughts on the psalmist expressing his hatred towards those who rebel against God?

David Guzik: You know those psalms, right? “I hate them with the perfect hatred. Wait, you just used the word there. Say it for everybody.

Daniel Jacobsen: Imprecatory.

DG: Imprecatory psalms.

DJ: I don’t even know what it means.

DG: You know, I don’t know if I can tell you exactly what imprecatory means. But it means like, bad. These Psalms are challenging, nasty, calling down curses.

First, if it’s in the Word of God, it’s in the Word of God.

DJ: Exactly.

DG: He’s expressing hatred towards those who hate or rebel against God, and he’s calling down curses upon them. One of the Psalms that amuses me the most is Psalm 58:6, where he says, “Lord, break their teeth in their mouth.” I feel bad for saying this amuses me. That’s rough stuff.

DJ: Yeah, it really is.

DG: I wouldn’t want to have my teeth broken in my mouth.

Not only does this express God’s holiness, and God’s hatred of sin, which is a legitimate thing to discuss, but please notice what the psalmist is doing. He’s taking this heart, this feeling, and this hatred, and he’s leaving it before God. In other words, he’s not going to break the sinner’s teeth in his mouth with a club. He’s saying, “Lord, You do it.” He’s legitimately turning it over to God, which is the right thing to do. If you feel violent towards somebody, don’t commit violence against them. I’m not talking about self-defense or something; I’m talking in anger. If in anger you feel violent toward somebody, take it before the Lord in prayer. Leave it with God in prayer, just like those imprecatory psalms. I think that’s really the right way to do it.

DJ: And doesn’t the Bible say, “Vengeance is Mine? I will repay”?

DG: Yes. And either we have real confidence in that, or we don’t.

If a person is struggling with a habitual sin, should they be serving or leading in church?

David Guzik: That’s a great question. But there’s a lot bound up in the phrase “struggling with.” Every person who wants to walk after God is going to struggle with sin. I’m oftentimes more concerned that a person really continues the struggle and doesn’t surrender to sin.

Sometimes there comes a point when a person may be so under the power of a particular sin that they should step away from service or ministry, until that issue can be resolved and put on a different footing. But when you just use the phrase, “struggle with a habitual sin,” I would want to know the nature of the struggle. I would take a very pastoral approach to this. I don’t know if there’s any one easy or hard and fast line that we can draw. But there is a point that is sometimes hard to define where basically, you have to say, “Sin is getting the better of you in this. Let’s draw back and give attention to what God wants to do in your life, and maybe leave ministry to the side for a time.” I think that’s often the best approach. There’s no one-size-fits-all, but this is a very pastoral approach that I think needs to be taken to this. Do you have any thoughts on that, Daniel?

Daniel Jacobsen: Well, you’ve got to ask yourself the question, if you’re living in sin, are you really a Christian? That’s the first question that you’ve got to ask.

DG: And that really gets back to the question of “habitual.”

DJ: Exactly. That’s what caught my attention. And of course, if you are a Christian, then why do you keep sinning? But I agree, it’s a case-by-case situation.

DG: That’s right. If somebody came to be in the situation described, I would want to sit down with them and learn a lot more about their situation, the history of it, where they’re at, and perhaps what their ministry position is. And maybe it would be time for them to take a break or to reconsider. And look, honestly, I know this is a difficult thing to say as well. But just as Daniel suggested, it’s not out of the question, to ask, “Hey, listen, are you really born again?” We can’t ignore such things. I know they’re unpleasant to talk about. There’s almost an unwritten rule among Christians, that we’re never supposed to ever question the salvation of another believer or person in the church. And of course, we want to be very careful with that.
This is the formulation I’ve used for some time. Let me run this by you and see what you think, Daniel. A true Christian can’t be comfortable in habitual sin.

DJ: Exactly.

DG: Now, they might be in habitual sin, but they’ll be tormented in their conscience. Or they won’t be in habitual sin at all. But a true born-again person cannot be comfortable in habitual sin. And if you are, that’s a real warning sign.

DJ: I love what Martyn Lloyd-Jones says on this. He keeps emphasizing that all of us are going to sin. But it’s just like you say, how do we feel about this? Because if we love the sin, if we don’t care, it’s one thing; but if we hate it, if we say, “wretched man that I am, that I keep doing this,” that’s actually good.

That’s a good sign that you might actually be a Christian.

DG: Yes, it is. That’s a sign of assurance.

Are Jesus and God the same?

Daniel Jacobsen: Depends on how we define God.

David Guzik: Okay, elaborate on this. Are Jesus and God the same?

DJ: Usually when we use the word or term “God,” most of us think of God the Father.

DG: And is that common in a biblical usage? When “God” is mentioned in the New Testament, is it speaking about the Person of God the Father?

DJ: Yes, I would say it is. Would you agree?

DG: I would say most mostly.

DJ: Well, Thomas says, “My Lord and my God,” in John 20:28, which would be an exception. So, are Jesus and God the same? Well, Jesus and the Father are definitely not the same. They are different.

DG: The Father and the Son are different Persons.

DJ: Yes, exactly.

DG: Are they both God?

DJ: They’re both God.

DG: Are they both God on the same level?

DJ: They certainly are.

DG: Okay. So, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, they are all God, but they are not each other.

DJ: Exactly. The way I look at it, and I think it’s the way it’s been looked at in church history, is that God is one in essence but three in Person. Essence and Person are not the same category, and that’s important to notice. Because otherwise it would be a contradiction.

DG: Right. So, we have one God, because the Bible is clear. There’s one God.

DJ: Deuteronomy 6.

DG: That’s right. “Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God is one God.” One God in three Persons. You know, the way I sometimes explain it is that the one God has the name Yahweh. I think of it in those terms. Yahweh, as revealed in the Old Testament, is the Triune God. And God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit all lay claim to being Yahweh. And they are the persons of the Godhead.

David Guzik introduces Edmund Coronel

Pastor David introduces Pastor Edmund Coronel from Calvary Chapel Düsseldorf, Germany.

David Guzik: Edmund, introduce yourself. Where do you pastor a church?

Edmund Coronel: I’m a pastor in Düsseldorf, Germany, in the region of Nordrhein-Westfalen.

DG: How long have you been pastoring there?

EC: 15 years.

DG: Wow. And that’s there in Dusseldorf. You have done ministry elsewhere for a long time, too.

EC: Yeah, we spent four years helping my dad in the planting of Calvary Chapel Herborn, Germany. And before that, we came from a church plant in Ohio. We were at Calvary Chapel Mansfield, Ohio, with Pastor Brian Schatzinger, and went from there to Germany, but before that we were in the early home church days of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills.

DG: So, you’ve been in ministry more than 25 years?

EC: Yeah.

Why didn’t David know better than to put the Ark of the Covenant on a cart (2 Samuel 6)?

In 2 Samuel 6, why didn’t David know better beforehand about putting the Ark of the Covenant on a cart to bring it from the house of Abinadab to where he was, against God’s instruction?

David Guzik: Edmund, how come David didn’t know better?

Edmund Coronel: He could have known better. The kings were required to read the law of the Lord.

DG: That’s right. They were required to read the law of the Lord. He certainly had the opportunity know better.

EC: I think his zeal and excitement went before that. He did it how the world did things. They put it on the cart, and he just said, “It’s convenient. Let’s keep it on the cart.” I think he had every opportunity to know.

DG: In 2 Samuel 6, does it say that it was a new cart?

EC: I believe so.

DG: So, think about it. It’s new, it’s fresh, it’s nice. It’s like a limousine or a Rolls Royce or something like that. So, it could be neglect; it could be a fascination with technology and new things; it could just be overlooking things. But sometimes we do that in ministry; we overlook things.

EC: And it’s convenient. There are a lot of shortcuts that people can take. It’s been said that there are no shortcuts to holiness. You’ve got to do things God’s way. Not just getting things done, but you’ve got to do them the way the Lord tells you to do them.

DG: So that was a very pragmatic approach. “As long as it works, it must be good.” But we’re not to operate that way in God’s kingdom, are we? There’s no specific reason given, but it could have been neglect, it could have been fascination with something new, it could have been just overlooking; there’s no specific reason given, but we can think of several possibilities.

In Romans 12:20, are the “coals of fire” a good thing or a bad thing?

Romans 12:20 – Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”

David Guzik: The question here is, are those coals of fire a good thing or a bad thing? If you’re heaping coals of fire on your enemy’s head, are you helping them or hurting them?

Edmund Coronel: Obviously, in the teachings of Jesus, in the Spirit of Christ, there’s just no way that it can mean that we take coals of fire and hurt our enemies, because he follows it up with talking about not returning evil for evil. We have to interpret it with the rest of the text.

DG: So, you’re saying that the coals of fire he’s speaking about there are a good thing.
EC: I think so.

DG: Let’s look at my commentary for Romans 12 on You can also view it on our newly updated Enduring Word App:

Is the heaping coals of fire on his head something good in the eyes of our enemy or is it something bad? It most likely refers to a “burning conviction” that our kindness places on our enemy. Or, some think it refers to the practice of lending coals from a fire to help a neighbor start their own – an appreciated act of kindness.

So you’d be more along that line?

EC: Yeah. I think sometimes Scripture, inspired by the Spirit, tells us it can be both.

DG: Yes. It’s not an “either-or.” It can really have both connotations.

EC: I’ve seen that happen. When we return kindness for an evil deed or a word said against you, it can really bring conviction to that person’s conscience.

Who are the 144,000 mentioned in Revelation 7?

Regarding the 144 people who are chosen by God mentioned in the Bible during the Tribulation, after the Rapture, who are they?

David Guzik: Okay, well, first of all, was it 144 People?

Edmund Coronel: No, it’s 144,000 people. The Scriptures mention this in Revelation 7 and 14.

DG: That’s right. So, who are they?

EC: The Bible tells us pretty clearly if we take it literally. It says that they’re people who are taken out of the various tribes of Israel. It tells us that 12,000 were sealed out of each of all the twelve tribes. They were from Judah, Reuben, Gad, and so on down the line.

DG: Revelation 7:4-8 begins, “And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed.” Now, let me ask you this. There are some people who say, “Well, it’s not really talking about tribes of the children of Israel.” What would you say?

EC: When the Scripture says that it’s the tribes of the children of Israel, I’m going to take it. If there’s reason to believe that it’s not them, for example if it says they were “like the tribe,” we might not be as certain.

DG: But it doesn’t say “like,” does it?

EC: No, it’s pretty plain. When you’re reading Scripture, you take the plain meaning for what it is unless you have reason given by the Scripture to take it otherwise.

DG: Okay. It’s even given specific tribal designations there. I’ve always thought it interesting that these people may not even know what tribal designation they are. I think most Jewish people today on the earth wouldn’t know. There’s a few probably, especially those of priestly tribes. But most Jewish people wouldn’t know. But that’s okay. God knows. It means that this is known to God and not necessarily to man. I even have a section in my commentary for Revelation 7 titled, “Who are these 144,000?” in which I deal very specifically with that question.

EC: There’s been so much confusion. So many people have claimed to be that group of people.

DG: In the early days of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, the Jehovah’s Witnesses claimed that their followers were the 144,000. But then something happened: over the years, there were more than 144,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses. So, what do you do then? Well, then they changed it to 144,000 who were a special class of believers who go to Heaven, while everybody else just has the promise of the Millennial Earth.

Should a Christian use tarot cards?

My daughter has become an intuitive guide, using angel tarot cards, and says she has a spirit guide. She said she’s still a Christian; is this even possible?

Edmund Coronel: What she’s doing is very un-Christian.

David Guzik: Yes.

EC: I wouldn’t want to say whether she’s a Christian or not, but what she’s doing is very unbiblical.

DG: If she is a Christian, she’s a Christian in serious error, and perhaps deadly error, spiritually speaking. So, it’s very important that she stop these things.

EC: Absolutely.

DG: In reply to this mother, I assume your daughter is an adult. We’re not saying that you make her stop. I’m kind of assuming that you don’t have that kind of place or authority over her. So, we’re not implying that. We’re just saying that what she is doing is completely incompatible with Christianity. If this is just a brief season of error in her life, then perhaps it’s not a judgment upon her Christianity, but it’s a very serious error that she’s in. And I recommend that you as her mother pray for her and maybe that our audience pray for her as well.

EC: I think you would have to ask her, “What’s your definition of a Christian?”

DG: Yes, right.

EC: Is that somebody who will leaves that Jesus is God, and if so that He’s Lord, and that His words are to be obeyed? Because that will solve a lot of these things that she’s doing.

DG: It’s important for us to understand that Jesus isn’t just one God added to other spiritual beliefs that we have. He commands an exclusive Lordship over our life. We’re not just supposed to add Jesus to other things.

EC: These things like summoning angels and tarot cards and spirit guides, they are ways in which people try to access information, and information is power. We have the Word of God that’s been given to us, and we have the revelation of God in His Son, Jesus Christ. There is no greater revelation, and no better way to know God and know the will of God then, God the Word (Jesus) and the Word (the Bible).
DG: Absolutely.

Pastor David introduces Pastor Edmund Coronel’s wife, Anne Coronel.

Can you explain 1 Corinthians 6:3? Are believers higher than angels?

1 Corinthians 6:3 – Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?

Edmund Coronel: One of the things that the Psalms and the Book of Hebrews tell us concerning Jesus is that He has made man a little lower than the angels.

David Guzik: So, you would regard that as present tense. Right now, the Scriptures talk about us being a little lower than the angels.

EC: Yes, but then Hebrews 2:9 goes on to say, “But we see Jesus crowned with glory and honor.” So, Jesus is already where we’re headed. We’re never going to be God; we’re never going to be equal to Him. But we are going to rule and reign with Him.

DG: And that will happen in our resurrection bodies, our glorified bodies, and when our salvation is complete. There is a sense in which our salvation is not yet complete. It won’t be complete until the Resurrection. But at that time, we will be higher than the angels. And in some sense, we will judge angels, just as Paul speaks about there in 1 Corinthians 6.

EC: That’s amazing.

DG: So, how about it? What judgment would you give an angel? Do you think an angel has ever let you down? Do you have a personal criticism of an angel?

EC: I’ve been hit by several cars. I could have used the pull back, you know.

DG: Right. So, you might have some words for some angels.

EC: Yeah.

DG: So, it is a little unclear exactly what our judgment of angels entails. I would say the most commonly given answer is that it means that we will judge fallen angels, disobedient angels. We won’t be doing what Edmund and I are joking about here, obviously. We won’t be wagging our finger in the face of a guardian angel saying, “Hey, I stubbed my toe that time; how come you didn’t stop me?” But most likely, it’s referring to the judgment of fallen angels. And in some way that we can’t exactly figure out we’re doing to participate in that. And Paul uses that, in 1 Corinthians 6, to sort of shame the Corinthian Christians for not being able to resolve things amongst themselves.

EC: They had the Word of God. They had the Spirit of God. They had elders or people that were appointed to serve and do that. And it seemed like nobody took advantage of any of those things.

Any advice on teaching Song of Solomon to singles or young people?

David Guzik: Well, Edmund, what’s your advice on that?

Edmund Coronel: I’m not old enough.

DG: Hey Daniel, do you have any advice on this one? “No, don’t do it,” he says.

I have a text commentary on the Song of Solomon, but I also have an audio and video series available on our website. It’s also published on YouTube. I think it’s pretty good. I felt very rewarded going through and really taking a look at it. This book is an amazing description of the beauty of marital love, including the sexual aspects of that, but certainly not restricted to that. And also, in many ways, it points towards the beautiful relationship between Jesus and His people. I don’t think that’s the primary purpose of it. But it is an important secondary purpose of the Song of Solomon. I would really recommend it. I think the way I taught through Song of Solomon would be appropriate for singles, as well as married people. That was my impression of it.

I think that the biblical truth of it transcends whether or not a person is married or not. So, it would be important for everybody as a part of the Word of God. But didn’t the Jewish rabbis say something like you shouldn’t study the Song of Solomon, unless you’re married or like 60 years old?

EC: Yeah, something like that.

DG: Anything more you want to say about that?
EC: I think the pendulum can swing pretty far to both ends, especially in the US. On one side, sex is almost taboo, and people don’t talk about it; and then on the other side, it seems like every sermon is about sex. I think it’s a great book to take your kids through, and to take advantage of good commentary.

Will there be varying positions in Heaven based on our faithfulness and obedience here on Earth?

Edmund Coronel: I know for sure from the Scriptures that there will be in the Millennial Kingdom.

David Guzik: I was hoping you would say that.

EC: Jesus talks about it in his parables, and Paul talks about it as well. The faithfulness in which we serve the Lord in this life with our time, our talents, and our treasures, will have an effect on what positions and what place we have in the Millennial Kingdom.

But concerning that in Heaven, all I can think of is Daniel 12:3, where it says, “Those who turn many to righteousness will shine like the stars.”

DG: Yes. And I will say this, the Bible does speak about service in Heaven. Revelation 22:3 says, speaking about Heaven, “and His servants shall serve Him.” So, in some way, there’s going to be service to do in Heaven. But I agree completely with Pastor Edmund here, that the specific idea of being given different duties or levels of responsibility comes from application to the Millennial Earth, not to Heaven.

EC: Yeah. There’s a cult in Korea, I think, that takes a dangerous interpretation of this. They’ve created a whole system where, depending on how faithful you’ve been to church, and how much you’ve given, how well you’ve kept their rules, their “readers” can lay their hands on you and tell you which position you’re going to have in Heaven.

DG: Really? I’ve never heard of this. Wow.

EC: They talk about these different stages of Heaven because Paul saw the “third heaven.” And if people are giving and serving, they claim they can find out how far they’re up in the chain.

DG: You know what the deal is with the third Heaven, right? When Paul writes about the third Heaven, he’s not saying that there are three different heavens, or three levels of Heaven. He’s speaking in the ancient conception, both in the Hebrew Scriptures and the Greek Scriptures, in which “heaven” could also be the word for “sky.” Which by the way, it’s the same way in German, right?

EC: Yes.

DG: So, in this concept, the blue sky is the first heaven; the night sky is the second heaven; and the third heaven is the Heaven where God dwells. So when Paul says, “I was caught up to the third heaven,” he doesn’t mean like the third level. He just means the Heaven where God lives; not the blue sky, and not the night sky.

Are medical treatment and witchcraft the same thing?

David Guzik: Yes or no?

Edmund Coronel: It depends on where you’re living. If you’re living out in the jungle, and you go to a witch doctor who prays to some spirit and has you drink some potion, then that could be the case. But to apply it to modern Western medicine, I would say no.

DG: It’s kind of funny, because in the ancient world, and still some parts of the world today, there is very much a spiritual and sometimes occultic aspect to medicine. But there is also a very definite scientific aspect of medicine. Luke, who wrote more of the New Testament than anybody else, by word count, was a physician. He was a doctor. So, obviously, he had a scientific practice of medicine, not an occultic, spiritual one.

Today, on July 28th, my dear Swedish mother-in-law, Gunnel, is in the hospital. And she’s receiving good medical treatment and our prayers for her, and I don’t mind if any of you pray for her as well. You can remember her by name, Gunnel, and pray for her in the hospital. We’re grateful for the medical care she’s getting, and that they’re there to help her in the midst of the pain that she’s suffering and the things that her body is going through. But there’s no aspect at all in that regard to witchcraft.

Now, in some times in history, and in some parts of the world today, there has been an association between that, but again, not necessarily.

EC: Absolutely. I mean, there are obviously some New Age healers. There’s this Reiki kind of stuff, which seeks to take power or energy and then apply it to your body to heal it. And that goes beyond medical treatment, and that would be more akin to witchcraft.

DG: A comment from our live audience is that perhaps this question refers to the association between sorcery and pharmakeia in the New Testament. Yes, that is possible, but that sense was very much an abuse of drugs, not a legitimate use of it. But that could be a reason they’re making the association.