What Do Wine and Honey Mean in the Bible?

What Do Wine and Honey Mean in the Bible? LIVE Q&A for May 25, 2023

What Do Wine and Honey Mean in the Bible?

From Smitha via Facebook

I have a question about Wine and Honey.

Mark 14:25 – Truly I say to you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it anew in the kingdom of God.

Luke 24:42- And they gave him a piece of broiled fish, and a piece of honeycomb.

I am just a housewife. As far as I know, these two are the things that have no expiry dates. What is the significance? Why did Jesus drink it? Anything special connection between Wine and Honey?

Generally, wine and honey are used in the Bible as descriptions of blessing.

Wine came from grapes and was regarded as a blessing. It was a regular part of life for people in the ancient near east, including Israel. The wine they drank in the time of the Bible was likely more diluted than most wine today, but one could still get intoxicated or drunk from overindulgence in wine. That’s why the Bible gives so many warnings against drunkenness and intoxication.

In moderate use, wine was considered a blessing and was part of meals, especially important meals like Passover. That is the setting of Mark 14:25.

Mark 14:25

Assuredly, I say to you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.

In Mark 14:25, in its context, Jesus told His disciples that He wouldn’t celebrate another Passover with His people until all God’s people were united in the kingdom of God – the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9).

Revelation 19:9

Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’”

Luke 24 describes how Jesus ate some honeycomb (and some fish) with His disciples after His resurrection.

Luke 24:42–43

So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. And He took it and ate in their presence.

The honey described in the Bible usually came from dates (concentrated date syrup), not normally from bees – though, they certainly knew about honey from bees and enjoyed it when they could.

  • Judges 14 – Samson found honey from bees in a honeycomb in the carcass of a lion.
  • 1 Samuel 14 – Jonathan, the son of Saul, found a honeycomb and ate some of the honey.
  • Many references to the honeycomb in the Bible.
  • Jesus here in Luke 24 was obviously eating honey from bees, not date syrup.

Honey was not to be added to the sacrifices Israel made (Leviticus 2:11) because that was a common pagan practice in their sacrifices.

The phrase “milk and honey” describes agricultural blessing and abundance, where there are plenty of good things to eat.

What does it mean that Jesus ate honeycomb (and fish) in the presence of His disciples in Luke 24:42–43?

  • It means that He was a real, flesh and blood person in His resurrected body, not some kind of phantom or ghost.
  • It means that whether food is necessary in the resurrection or is not necessary, it is compatible with those who are resurrection. Presumably, it is a blessing of resurrection life.
  • In several of His resurrection appearances, Jesus ate with His disciples or in the presence of His disciples.

It’s important that we don’t try to give such things greater meaning than the plain meaning – as if there was great spiritual significance that Jesus ate honey in the presence of His disciples, and we need to figure out that significance.

Here is an example of the danger of looking for great symbolic or allegorical meaning in every detail of the Bible. In John 21:11, it describes how after His resurrection, Jesus met His disciples in Galilee and at His direction, they cast their fishing net in certain place and caught 153 fish:

John 21:11

Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken.

Through the centuries there have been many attempts to explain why the number was 153.

  • Some interpreters (like Augustine) thought that because 153 is the sum of numbers 1 to 17, this catch of fish points towards the number 17 – which he thought to be the number of commandments (10) added to the sevenfold gifts of the Spirit.
  • Some have noted that 153 is the added numerical value of the Greek words Peter and
  • Some note, “In Hebrew characters Simon Iona [Simon of Jonah] is equivalent to 118 + 35, e., 153.” (Dods)
  • Some ancient writers (such as Jerome) believed there were 153 different types of fish in the world and this catch represented a full harvest of the entire world.
  • Some (such as Cyril of Alexandria) thought that 100 stood for the Gentiles, 50 stood for Israel and 3 stood for the Trinity.

The truth is that all we know for certain is that 153 represents the number of fish in the net. The many allegorical interpretations of the number warn us against creating hidden meanings in the Biblical text.

If anything, it tells us that Peter and John were real fishermen, who never make a catch without counting it, and always remember a big catch. There is no need to look for a deeper meaning, and some potential danger in looking for a deeper meaning – especially if the attitude is that the so-called “deeper” meaning is the “real” meaning or the “higher” meaning.

Is it wrong to close our eyes when we pray?

One other quick question from Smitha in India:

I am from a small village in India.

I was taught since young to close eyes and pray. Did Bible say so? Jesus raised his eyes to the heaven and prayed. David too. Isn’t it wrong to close eyes & looking down and praying towards darkness? Instead, why don’t we look up to the skies and pray?

I always feel stressed and sad when I look down and pray. But I feel joy when I go to the terrace and look up and pray

The practice of closing one’s eyes and bowing one’s head is a cultural custom or tradition, not a Biblical command. The idea was to shut out distractions and focus one’s attention and thoughts on God.

The practice in Bible times was to look to heaven and raise one’s hands in prayer. That posture is also not commanded, but of course is fine.

This dear sister in India has the freedom in Christ to pray with open eyes and face turned to heaven. There’s no command saying otherwise!

However, one caution: We can’t make how we feel during prayer the first measure telling us how we should pray. It’s great that you feel joy when you go to your terrace and look up and pray; but how we feel in prayer or worship isn’t more important than what the Bible says. But since the Bible doesn’t command prayer with a bowed head and closed eyes – and even patterns prayer with eyes open and face lifted to heaven – then it’s great that you feel joy praying that way!

How should one prepare for teaching on revival?

What do you think would be some good topics to touch on concerning the subject of revival, and how should one prepare for teaching on revival?
I thoroughly recommend the resources of the late Dr. J. Edwin Orr for the topic of revival. You’ll find an impressive collection of audio and video resources at jedwinorr.com. On our YouTube channel, we have two playlists dedicated to Dr. J. Edwin Orr. His work is very biblical and very scholarly.

In talking about the phenomenon of revival or spiritual awakening, two contexts must be considered. First there is what the Bible says about it, which of course is very important and most important. Secondly, there is the understanding of what God has done in the history in moments of revival and spiritual awakening. So, I strongly recommend the resources of the late Dr. J. Edwin Orr. On our own website you can find some messages which I have taught on revival and the deeper life. I think those might be helpful for you. I have taught Bible college classes on the theology of revival and spiritual awakening, and I would love to do one of those for our YouTube channel at some point. Friends, I’ve got to tell you, there is a huge list of things that I want to do and need to do, but these things take time. Before too long, I hope to publish a video class on the theology, practice, and history of revival and spiritual awakening.

Regarding meat sacrificed to idols, do Paul (1 Corinthians 8) and Jesus (Revelation 2:14-15) contradict each other?

How do you reconcile Paul in 1 Corinthians 8 seeming to say that eating meat sacrificed to idols in itself isn’t really bad (only in how it might influence someone with a weak conscience) and Revelation 2 verses 14-15 where Jesus holds the same thing (Nicolaitans doctrine) against Christians in Pergamos?

Revelation 2:14-15 – “But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.”

First of all, Paul would acknowledge that there was a sinful and idolatrous way for a person to eat meat sacrificed to idols, and that was always wrong. It was always wrong to eat meat sacrificed to idols in a sinful and idolatrous way. The text here in Revelation is referring simply to that way, the sinful eating of meat sacrificed to idols.

But there’s something else I want you to see here. Notice that in Revelation 2:14, there is a link between eating things sacrificed to idols and committing sexual immorality. Oftentimes, the two went together at the pagan temples in the ancient world. So, there’s that aspect as well. Clearly, what’s being condemned here in Revelation is not necessarily every eating of meat that was sacrificed to an idol, but rather the clearly sinful aspect of it which Paul himself noted.

Is it wrong to ask God to send​ ministering, healing, or warring angels to help people we are interceding for?

I saw your teaching on Psalms 91, and you said we should not pray to angels, & not command or request them to do anything directly. Are we wrong to ask God to send​ ministering, healing, or warring angels to help people we are interceding for? We are told in Hebrews that angels are ministering spirits. At the end of the day, God knows what everyone needs and will send angels when necessary. Are we wrong to ask God to send angels to help those in serious need? To clarify, they will always come through and from God, not because we sent them.

In the way that you present this question, I would say yes, that’s permitted. You rightly point out that in Hebrews 1:14, the Bible says that angels are ministering spirits sent for to minister on the behalf of those who will inherit salvation. If someone is a man or a woman who knows that they will inherit salvation, they can come to God on the basis of that promise and say, “Lord, You said that these angels were ministering spirits and forth to help me. Lord, would You send for the angels to help me in this situation?” I like the way that you phrase it. When we make such a request, what we’re really asking for His help.

Now, do you always know the way that you need help? Do you always know whether the help you need would better come to you from an angel from God directly, from a person that God would inspire, or from some unknown source altogether? How can you know for sure? To act like you always know best, and to demand that God would send forth an angel instead of helping you in some other way, is a little bit cheeky in prayer.

I don’t see anything wrong with a believer praying something like this: “Lord, I need Your help. You say that angels are ministering spirits sent forth to bring salvation on our behalf. Lord, send forth such angels or any other way to help me.” I find nothing wrong with prayer like that. But I do find a problem, of course, in any kind of proud prayer that would try to command God in a bossy manner, “Lord, do this, do that, and help me just the way that I tell You.

What role did angelic beings play in the delivery of the Law to Moses?

According to rabbinic tradition, angels were used in delivering the Ten Commandments to Moses. Hebrews 2:2 and Galatians 3:19 mention that the Law came to Moses through the hand of angels. I wouldn’t be surprised if angels delivered the tablets of the Ten Commandments to Moses. There’s nothing in the Old Testament directly that says that the Law came to Moses through angels. But the writer of Hebrews seems to reinforce it. He says that it was mediated through the hands of angels.

By the way, that happened on Mount Sinai. We’ve prepared a video about Mount Sinai in Arabia, which we’re going to premiere on our YouTube channel this coming Monday, May 29, 2023, at 12pm PST. I recently went to investigate this site with three friends of mine, those of us who make up the board of Enduring Word. Pastor Lance Ralston created a video of great footage as a documentary and explanation of the case for Mount Sinai being in Arabia, instead of on the Sinai Peninsula.

I hope you can join us for the premier. All four of us from the board will be present in the live chat, interacting with people as the video premiers for the first time.

What does it mean to deny yourself?

That’s a tremendous question. To deny yourself means to be able to say no to your fleshly desires and wants. There’s something in my body that wants to run my life and wants to dictate everything. As Christians, we don’t hate our body. No. God gave us these bodies as a gift. And God has a glorious destiny for these bodies. So, we’re not anti-body, but we don’t want the desires of our body to run our life. We live on a higher level.

For the animal kingdom, the desires of their bodies run their life. They live for nothing more than to eat, to drink, to sleep and to reproduce. And you know some people like that, don’t you? Well, we’re to live on a higher level. Again, we don’t hate the body, we’re not against the body, and we don’t despise the body, but we put it in its proper place.

This has to do with more than just bodily things and the things of our flesh. It also has to do with the aspirations of our flesh. To deny yourself means to not put yourself in first place, but to put God in first place. It’s a little bit cliché, but sometimes people use the formulation of “God first, others second, me third.” And that’s how it should be. To assert myself and to demand that I be number one is almost the opposite of denying myself.

I think this is something that Christians need to do. I think that this is something that is almost entirely lost upon Christians today. The culture around us tells us that the key to being a healthy, well-adjusted person is to indulge everything of the body, as if the more we indulge our bodily desires and wishes, we will finally become fully human. But that’s not what the Bible says.

Jesus said, “If any man comes after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.” It means to live a life where God is the highest priority. His word is greater than our word and wisdom. We can say, “Lord, no, I deny myself and I exalt You.” That’s some of what it means to deny ourselves.

Why was Jesus killed by crucifixion instead of by stoning?

Why was crucifixion the method of Jesus’ death? I know the Old Testament spoke of it, but why not stoning?

There are a few reasons for that. Number one, if the Jewish people would have executed Jesus, they likely would have done it by stoning. Outside of Nazareth, people in His own home village tried to execute Jesus by stoning. And we know that the first martyr of the early church, Stephen, was killed by stoning. So, if the Jewish people would have executed Jesus, it probably would have been by stoning.

But the Jewish people didn’t execute Jesus, the Romans did. And that was done by crucifixion. Crucifixion was not only a Roman form of execution, but it was the worst form of Roman execution. Many people among the Romans were executed by beheading, where they would cut the person’s head off with a sword. That’s how Paul was martyred. But crucifixion was reserved for slaves and the worst criminals of the lowest classes. Pontius Pilate is the one who commanded the death of Jesus, so they chose a Roman method of execution instead of stoning.

Of course, another reason is that it was also to fulfill the prophecies. From my understanding, the Old Testament speaks prophetically of crucifixion. The Persians invented crucifixion, but the Romans perfected it and used it as a customary way to execute slaves and the lowest classes.

What is your understanding of rewards in the kingdom (1 Corinthians 3:14)? Will believers have different rewards based on their good works? What will these rewards look like?

1 Corinthians 3:14 – If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.

I very much believe in the concept of reward. The Bible plainly teaches that not all believers will receive the same reward. Believers will have different rewards based on their faithfulness to the Lord, based on their good works, and based on what they did with what God gave to them.

What would these rewards look like? I don’t exactly know. People talk about receiving crowns in heaven, and having jewels in their crowns, as if there will be some Christians in heaven who have these huge elaborate jewel encrusted crowns. Maybe somebody else will have like a little paper crown that you get a hamburger chain. I don’t know. It’s not for me to say exactly what crowns will be

Here’s one explanation; I can’t say this from the Bible, but it’s a way to explain these ideas, so take it for what it’s worth in your own eyes. Reward in heaven is receiving a greater capability to enjoy God. Think of a big cup and a smaller cup. They have different capacities. It could be that reward in heaven is receiving a bigger cup, so to speak: a bigger capacity to enjoy and receive God. In heaven, everybody’s cup will be full, but some people will have greater capacity than others. That’s a suggestion; the Bible doesn’t really say that. But it’s one idea that people have come up with.

Does Matthew 1:23 (a prophecy about the Messiah being born of a virgin) misquote Isaiah 7:14 (a prophecy about the destruction of Israel and Aram)?

Can you explain Matthew 1:23, being a prophecy about the Messiah being born of a virgin, while misquoting Isaiah 7:14, when his prophecy is actually about the destruction of Israel and Aram?

Let me just stop you right there. I don’t think that this is a misquoting; I think it’s a greater application. If you were to take a look at my commentary on Isaiah 7, I explained it in more detail there.

What’s really happening is this is a prophecy with a double fulfillment. Yes, the prophecy in one sense said that God would deliver Judah and wipe out Aram, this threatening nation, and that He’d do it before a child grows to a certain age, within a few years.

But from the way that it is used in the New Testament, it was also obviously a prophecy of the Messiah to come. I don’t think it misquoting. I think it’s just simply inspired by the Holy Spirit. I think the Holy Spirit moved Matthew and other New Testament interpreters to understand the Scriptures in this way.

That’s how I would explain it. It’s a prophecy with a double fulfillment. Yes, it clearly had application to Isaiah’s own day, but it also looks beyond Isaiah’s day to a greater and more perfect fulfillment in the days of Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

Could you clarify 1 John 3:6? I’m mixed up on the ideas of salvation versus abiding. It seems like I can be saved, but I am not always abiding.

1 John 3:6 – Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.

Yes, I think 1 John does make a distinction between salvation from God and fellowship with God. It’s possible for a person to be saved, but at least in an immediate sense at the moment, to not really be walking in fellowship with God. There’s some area of disobedience or distance. Now, of course, that doesn’t put them in the category of an unbeliever. It’s not as if a person were to unexpectedly die in such a state, that they would go to hell. No, not at all. They’re a believer, but they’re a believer living in at least some degree of broken fellowship with God. It might be through disobedience, unbelief, or some other reason. This distinction is made several times throughout that letter of 1 John.

It’s interesting to note that, in this particular verse, John is using a verb tense in the grammar of the original language which says, “Whoever continually practices sin.” In other words, this is somebody who lives in habitual sin, and really has no desire for that to change. That’s evidence of someone who has never really had their life changed by Jesus Christ. You’re right, the distinction between being saved and having fellowship in the moment with God is a distinction that needs to be made throughout understanding 1 John.

Was Naomi truly humble & honest in simply calling herself “bitter”? How do we know she was repentant? (Ruth 1:20)

Was Naomi truly humble & honest in simply calling herself “bitter”? How do we know she was repentant? I have been taught conflicting things on this point. (Ruth 1:20)

The story of Naomi is in the book of Ruth in the Old Testament. Together with her husband Elimelech, Naomi went from the Promised Land to the people of Moab during a time of famine. Disaster afflicted their family while in Moab, as Elimelech and their two sons died. Naomi and her two daughters-in-law made their way back to Israel, but only Ruth actually came alone. The other daughter-in-law, Orpah, stayed back in Moab.

Do we know if Naomi was truly humble and honest? Well, first of all, I would say she was definitely humble. She didn’t come back to Israel arrogantly; she came back in humiliation. I think the text itself points out that she was humble. As far as her being repentant, I would say that we know she was repentant because she came back. If she wouldn’t have been repentant, she would have stayed there in Moab. But the reality of her repentance was demonstrated by what she did.

We as believers can oftentimes talk a good game about repentance. But ultimately, repentance isn’t shown in what we say; it’s shown in what we do. Naomi showed repentance because she went back to Bethlehem, her ancestral land. I see an appropriate humility and honesty and repentance in Naomi coming back and saying, “Call me bitter, call me Mara, because my sin has created a lot of bitterness in my life.” That’s how I see it from her obviously humble disposition as she comes back to Bethlehem as you can read in Ruth 1, and also that she actually did go back instead of staying in Moab.

Will God see future wrongdoings of someone at the present time, and start punishing them before the sin has been committed?

Is it the case that God will see future wrongdoings of someone at the present time, and start punishing them before the sin has been committed? For example, could David’s suffering at the hands of King Saul have been a punishment for his future sin?

I can’t think of anything in the Bible which suggests that God punishes people ahead of their sin, knowing that they would commit it. Secondly, it would seem to go against the fundamental truthfulness or honesty of God in this. That doesn’t seem to be an honest thing for God to do. It goes against our notions of justice to punish somebody before they commit the crime. Because I don’t see anything in the Bible that says God might do that, I would say, no, that isn’t the case.

Will the New Heaven stop in mid-air, or will it come down to the new earth?

It’s a bit unclear. The image we have of the New Jerusalem, as described in the book of Revelation, is almost that it’s suspended between heaven and earth. But it’s a little difficult to say. It seems like everything at the end of the book of Revelation is Heaven, where God dwells. Maybe the distinction, the line between heaven and earth, is almost erased at that point. Maybe, as a way of God showing His lordship over everything, Heaven comes down to earth, and it all becomes part of the same thing.

Which Scriptures are helpful for graduates?

It’s graduation season. Do you have any Scripture that stands out as advice for graduates? I am looking at Proverbs 4 at the moment.

I would recommend reading Ecclesiastes 11-12, which speaks to young people the importance of honoring God in your youth. I think that’s a great passage for graduates.

After the Rapture of the church, what’s going to happen in heaven with the Lord and the Bride? Will it be judgment, or celebration?

For sure, it’s not going to be judgment. In Heaven, the Bride of Christ, the Body of Christ, is not judged. All judgment upon the people God was poured out upon God the Son, so there is no more judgment for the people of God to face. It’s going to be celebration. It’s going to be eternity in resurrected glory with Jesus Christ. That’s what God’s people have to look forward to.

In Revelation 2-3, why does Jesus keep repeating “I know thy works”? Is not salvation by grace through faith?

Yes, salvation is by grace through faith. In other words, I’m passing from hell to heaven. But that’s not the only relevant issue in the Christian life. God has created His people for good works. God’s work in the believer is so much more than giving them just a ticket to heaven and an escape from hell. It’s building into them and doing good works in and through them. From eternity past, God has appointed and predetermined good works that His people should fulfill. Jesus cares very much about the conduct of our lives. It’s an important thing. It’s a heavy thing. It should be a meaningful thing for the believer to be able to say, “God sees my works, and I’m going to live in light of that.”

Will the mark of the beast come when the Antichrist makes his peace treaty with Israel, or when he declares himself to be God in Jerusalem’s temple? (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)

It could go either way. The Bible doesn’t really say one way or the other. We’re not given a specific time marker. But it will happen during this last seven-year period, before the glorious return of Jesus Christ.

Why does God agree to let Satan do certain things to us?

I am confused about the times I read in the Bible where God agrees to let Satan do certain things to us. Can you help me understand this?

There is a sense in which Satan only ultimately serves the purposes of God. God has a purpose for allowing certain kinds of affliction in the lives of His people. If God has appointed to allow some certain type of affliction in the lives of His people, then it’s not crazy at all to see how God would allow Satan to do a particular thing to His people.

God is ultimately using Satan to accomplish His purposes. The ultimate example of that is what Satan did, through Judas, in betraying Jesus and sending Him to the cross. Look, that was Satan’s work. The Bible says that Satan entered Judas to do this work. But at the same time, we know that God used it for His glorious, ultimate purpose. In the end, Satan was just a tool that God used in His hand to accomplish His purpose. God may do a similar thing in the lives of His people in and through the work of what He allows Satan to do.

How should we handle feeling shamed for doing what we think is right?

I’ve seen brothers and sisters guilt or shame other believers for going to sleep early to get up early and study God’s Word. I’ve said something to them, but they do not agree. Any advice?

There’s nothing there to shame somebody. There is nothing wrong and everything right with saying, “I’m going to go to bed early so that I can get up early and study God’s Word and spend time with Him.” And a believer has to endure a little bit of mockery for it, then praise the Lord. They are enduring suffering in some measure for righteousness’ sake, even if it comes from other brothers and sisters.

Here’s my advice to a believer who is being mocked, criticized, guilted, or shamed, because they like to go to bed early. They can say, “Well, tomorrow morning, when I’m spending time with God, I’m just going to talk to God about it, and not worry about it.” There is everything right with endeavoring to structure your life around spending more time with the Lord and giving Him more honor and glory in your life.

Why does Paul favor singleness in 1 Corinthians 7, but admonishes young widows to remarry in 1 Timothy 5?

Paul recommended singleness for those who could handle it, so to speak; I’m paraphrasing a bit. Paul recognized that, generally, most people will be married. Paul wasn’t trying to convince people who were called to married life to become single. Paul was encouraging people who are called to be single that it is alright for them to receive that calling and walk in it.

There were also widows in church who were called to married life. But there was a very practical reason for that. Widows in the ancient world were known for the poverty. A childless widow had no one to support her financially. The church took care of each other the best they could, but normally, a childless widow had no one to support her. And remarriage would give her that support.

So, there was a practical reason for that, but there’s also a recognition that just because your husband died doesn’t mean you’re no longer called to married life. Again, Paul’s words on singleness were never intended to get people were called to be married to adopt singleness. That wasn’t the idea at all.

Should believers create alternate events during Halloween? Aren’t we supposed to be set apart?

Should believers create alternate events during Halloween? Like harvest events or hallelujah night? Aren’t we supposed to be set apart?

Yes. But listen, Jesus didn’t specifically say, “Be set apart by doing something different” or “Be set apart by ignoring it altogether.” I think both ways can be expressions of being set apart.

Here’s what I would say to each individual church leadership, because normally it would be a church planning these events. They should earnestly seek the Lord and say, “Lord, what do You want us to do?” I would respect the church who said, “We believe that being set apart means that we shouldn’t have any kind of harvest festival, or Halloween alternative.” I totally respect to the church which does that. I would also respect the church who says, “We’re going to be set apart by doing this in a completely different way and doing it in a way that honors God.”

That’s the issue. I think churches need to hear from the Holy Spirit. I would be critical of churches that did such things without asking the questions that you’re asking. They shouldn’t do things just because they’ve done it before, or because other churches did it before, or because it’s popular, or because people are clamoring for it. The church leadership should genuinely seek the Lord about it, and then continue to move forward in the liberty God has given them.

Please explain Revelation 6:6, “see thou not hurt the oil and the wine.”

In this passage, oil and wine are emblematic of luxuries. They are things which were great to have and that made life better beyond mere sustenance. In that context, this verse is saying that people will be enjoying luxuries like these, even in the midst of the judgment going forth. This passage in Revelation really has a greater context of judgment coming upon it. It’s talking about extremely high prices for the wheat and the barley, while other people are still able to enjoy luxuries, which is how it is in this world. Even when times are bad, wealthy people have a way of being able to get by just fine. That’s how it is in our fallen world.

If God creates in us a new heart, why do we still have a fleshly heart and a propensity to sin?

David asks God to create in him a new heart (create as in “out of nothing”). If God does create in us a new heart, why do you think we still have a fleshly heart that has a propensity to sin?

There can be conflicting words used to describe different aspects of the nature of the inner man. This is how I would describe it. The believer has a new heart, but there’s still a fleshly nature that needs to be dealt with. Is the heart the same as the fleshly nature? Well, these things can be difficult to precisely define.

We recognize that there is an aspect of my being as a believer which is definitely made new by Jesus Christ. There’s another aspect of my being that still has to grow in God’s grace and grow in sanctification. The Bible does not always use the same terminology in the same context for all these things.

Will there be ranks in heaven?

Will there be ranks in heaven? It seems many believe that everyone will be the same rank in heaven.

There will be different rewards in heaven. I believe that those different rewards will set people on somewhat different levels. When Jesus talked about rewards in His parables, He talked about people who were given authority over more or fewer things. So, I think there will be some kind of rank in heaven, but I can’t tell exactly what it is. And of course, it won’t be oppressive, and it won’t be bad.

In our modern world, we’re often tempted to think that any kind of hierarchy is automatically sinful, irrelevant, and oppressive. But I don’t think that’s how God fundamentally sees it. Obviously, there’s a huge fallen aspect to hierarchy, of course, but I don’t think the Bible says that any kind of hierarchy or arrangement by rank is automatically sinful and oppressive.

Why do you prefer Calvary Chapel movement church life instead of others? What are the distinctive features that made you choose it?

I’ll be very transparent. Some of my preference for Calvary Chapel church life is because that’s where I came to Christ and was discipled. That’s where I grew up. I’d be lying if I’d say that that didn’t have a significant effect on me. My life might be very different if I had grown up in a Baptist circle or a Presbyterian circle, or some other kind of church group. But I was brought to faith in Christ at Calvary Chapel Riverside, and the first Protestant preacher I ever heard was a man named Greg Laurie. That has had a huge impact on me. I praise God for that impact. I believe it’s been good.

The Calvary Chapel movement is not perfect. Of course, it’s not. It’s a collection of fallen individuals trying to serve God the best they can. But I love the primacy given to God’s Word and the expositional teaching of God’s Word. I love their position that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are for today, yet the exercise of the gifts should not be made the center of congregational life. Instead, worship and the Word should be made the center of congregational life and gathering. I appreciate the doctrinal clear-headedness and faithfulness of it. In so many ways, the church at large is embracing unbiblical practices, such as such as women pastors, and pro-affirming homosexuality and transgenderism. I appreciate biblical faithfulness. What I also appreciate about Calvary Chapel is that we are “low church.” We’re working class. We’re not trying to put on airs about how smart we are or how great we are, or at least we shouldn’t be. Those are some of the reasons I’d give.