Bible Q&A Summary:
- Can People See Across The Gulf In Heaven?
- Are Woman To Be Quiet In Church?
- What Is Your Take On The Generation Of The Fig Tree?
Welcome to our bi-weekly post Bible Question and Answer where we provide Bible verses, answers and advice to the questions and concerns you have. During the course of the last two weeks readers have submitted their questions and today we are going to answer one of them. So please join us and feel free to chime in on the discussion in the comments section.
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Bible Question and Answer
Question: Can the people that have died and are on the right side of the gulf see the people on the wrong side of the gulf in heaven?
Name: Brandon T. Ward
Answer: Thank you for the question Mary.
When we pass away our “spirit shall return unto God who gave it,” (Ecclesiastes 12:7). Naturally, our Father is in Heaven and that is where this “gulf” is located, in Heaven. Good, bad or ugly we all go back to our Heavenly Father and await Judgement, no one is rotting away in the earth.
To gain context with respect to the Gulf in Heaven, you wish to start your reading in Luke 16:19. We are going to pick it up with,
22 “And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the Rich Man also died, and was buried;”
The “beggar” is Lazarus as verses 19-21 will document for us. Lazarus was quite literally on the right side of the Gulf in Heaven with Abraham who was a righteous man (James 2:23). Do not lose sight of the fact that angels were involved here further documenting Heaven aside from what we already know about leaving this earth of flesh.
23 “And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.”
Not only could the Rich Man see Abraham, but he could see Lazarus as well. What a sight to see! Is it any wonder why the Rich Man would call it “hell” (Strong’s: G86) which simply means “grave or the place (state) of departed souls“.
“Departed souls” who did not follow our Father and this is why the Rich Man is in “torments” (Strong’s: G931).
We all know what “torment” means, but I would like to dial it in just a bit more. This word explains to us “the notion of going to the bottom“. The Rich Man at this point found himself not only in Heaven and away from his earthly treasures, but now the wrong side of the Gulf in Heaven, he quite literally hit rock bottom.
Have you ever done that in life?
If so, you know what it feels like. The Rich Man was wealthy and powerful on the earth, but now in Heaven, he was a very lowly man and realized in that instant he made a mistake, but it was too late for him to change at this point and be moved to the right side of the gulf.
I will say we do have the Millennium for those who truly never had the opportunity to hear the Word of God.
24 “And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.”
The Rich Man was not thrown into the Lake of Fire, that would be an instant death. He is simply explaining the pain and embarrassment he is feeling in his heart.
Have you ever been in a situation where you felt so embarrassed that your body temperature was elevated?
Many of us have and this is only a small taste of what the Rich Man was feeling.
Question: In regards to 1 Timothy 2:9-12, can you please explain what the scripture truly tells?
Are woman really not to teach and be quiet? What was implied by the word “authority”, in its true translation? Thank you.
Name: Brandon T. Ward
Answer: Thank you for the question Lauren.
I am going to refer you to a past Bible Q&A where we covered this subject fairly in depth. This Q&A should help you understand the context of the message and what was truly being communicated.
You can find that Bible Q&A here: Does 1 Timothy 2:12 Mean Women Should Have No Authority As Apostles Or Pastors In Church?
Once again, we appreciate the question!
Question: I was pondering on the belief, this generation shall not pass, the fig tree generation. I know that (name removed) taught that 1948 would be the starting point and 70 year mark. Another teacher, (name removed) can’t recall his name, taught that the beginning was actually 1947, the going forth of the commandment, Daniel 9:25… Just curious on your take being this May will be the anniversary of Israel’s becoming a nation… Thanks in advance.
Name: Brandon T. Ward
Answer: Priscilla, thank you for the question.
I have removed the names from the question to avoid conflict.
For understanding concerning The 70 Weeks of Daniel I highly encourage you to read Chapter 6 of “The Timeline of the Tribulation“. The first sub-heading in this study is titled, “The Seventy Weeks of Daniel“. We provide a full and detailed explanation of that subject.
With respect to the rest of your question, please turn your Bible with me to,
32 “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:”
These are the Word’s of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is explaining to us when the fig tree matures we would understand that summer is near. Naturally, the season of Summer is the time of harvest, I feel Christ was providing us with a lot of information here.
As a side note, before a fig tree puts out leaves it gives off a small crop of figs, this is important and we cover this in Chapter 5 of the “The Timeline of the Tribulation“.
With respect to the fig tree, it has always been symbolic of the ancient nation of Israel, the Twelve Tribes. The thought here is when the nation of Israel was re-established in 1948 that event marked the “generation” Christ was speaking of.
33 “So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.”
When we see that fig tree planted (Israel re-established), Christ is telling us that the end of this age of flesh is near. Which means that Satan would appear claiming to be God and the appearance of Jesus Christ’s would be soon afterward.
34 “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.”
“Generation” is Strong’s word G1074 and it means,
“a generation; by implication an age (the period or the persons): – age, generation, nation, time.“
Notice the word “generation” can mean the period of time or the people being referenced in the verse. “Generation” is found 107 times in the KJV Bible and is typically used in the content of “the people” being referenced, not necessarily a specific period of time.
You can document that for yourself by referencing the word “generation” in your Strong’s Concordance and reference the Bible verses you find the word in.
I bring this up as Christ could have been referring to a period of time or to the people who were born or alive at that time. In either case, the allotment of time is roughly the same, but the reader should have some understanding of the word in order to properly understand the scripture.
We are starting to get into the weeds, but let us go just a bit deeper. I feel the “generation” is referring to the people of the time, they are the generation. It could either be those who were alive during the re-establishment of Israel or the babies being born at that time.
With respect to a period of time, a generation today is roughly 30 years.
In the Bible, generations of men are defined many times, here are a few examples;
- 40 years
- Numbers 32:13
- 70 years
- Psalms 90:10
- 120 years
- Genesis 6:3
Today, the average life expectancy is 71 years of age, so that is roughly how long a generation is going to live in the modern age.
The point I am trying to draw here is there is no set date, just as the scriptures have told us (Matthew 24:36). Christ simply gave us a general guideline to follow.
In Matthew 24 and other places He told us how unstable the world was going to become and we are seeing that come to pass today, it is one of the reasons we started this website. To help people understand the Bible and the events of the world as they relate to the Word of God.
We want the student of the Bible to be well armed with the scriptures and understand what the words mean, their context in addition to applying common sense and general logic. It is absolutely critical.
I have said many, many times, 2018 will come and 2018 will go. Talk about the 70-year generation and 2018 being the Return of Christ was one of the many reasons I wrote The Timeline of the Tribulation. To get people to understand there is a lot of scripture that must still come to pass. It can transpire quickly, but not in the amount of time most people think.
The reader should never think Christ was trying to pinpoint a date. He did not mean 40, 70 or 120 years would be the exact date of the end of this age of flesh. He was simply highlighting a period of time for us to be watchful for.
I also must caution, the “generation” could be from 1967 when Israel recaptured Jerusalem. I do not hear many people discuss that, but it certainly is possible. We need to keep a level head when we study scripture and not seek after the things we hope for, but seek after the things that are true.
With that said, I do feel the 1940s brought about a massive change in the world…
- 1944 Founding of the World Bank
- 1945 Founding of the United Nations (UN)
- 1945 Founding of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
- 1948 Founding of Israel
- 1949 Founding of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
There are others, but these stand out to me. We know from scripture the nations of the world will be consolidated into a one world government and the 1940s started a massive trend in globalization.
My take is we are in the generation, whatever number of years that turns out to be and from whichever point in time it begins (1948, 1967).
None of this means the Return of Christ is a year, two or three away. None of us know, so everyone reading, just relax and enjoy the time you have on this earth. Use it wisely, spend time with your family, learn new things and dig into the Bible, tomorrow is promised to no one (James 4:13-14).
Never set dates, I have seen far, far too many respectable teachers of the Bible do that over the years and their dates come and their dates go. We are on God’s time, He is not on ours.
I am adamant about this subject as I do not want people to be misled and lose their faith when 2019 comes rolling around, because it will.
We would like to thank our Father for giving us this platform in order to spread His most precious Word. We would also like to thank our readers for submitting their questions and giving us the opportunity to share them with the audience. If you would like to ask a question submit it for the next edition of this post and continue the discussion by leaving a comment below. Previous editions of Bible Question and Answer can be found in our archive.