Wallace G. Smith | Tomorrow's World

Wallace G. Smith

Harrison Butker’s Speech: Right, Wrong, and Possibly Prophetic

Getting more flak than most of his fellow kickers would if they had missed a 20-yard field goal, the Kansas City Chiefs’ Harrison Butker “kicked up” quite a controversy with his recent address at the Benedictine College 2024 commencement. His speech deserves attention—for what it gets right, what it gets wrong, and how it could (believe it or not) tie into Bible prophecy.

The Beauty of the Ten Commandments

Look into the perfect law of liberty (James 1:25) and learn how to be a better Christian, as Wallace Smith explains step by step how to love God—and how to love your neighbor as yourself—by keeping the 10 Commandments.

[The text below represents an edited transcript of this Tomorrow’s World program.]

The Law of Love

Did you know the Bible contains love songs? Hard for some to imagine, but it’s true! Some of our more biblically savvy viewers might think of the Song of Solomon, which is, indeed, a beautiful part of the Bible. But that’s not what I’m thinking of!

Rather, I’m thinking of Psalm 119, which the songwriter, King David, filled with passion, praise, and heartfelt devotion. What was the object of such emotion? Believe it or not, the Ten Commandments!

Does this surprise you?

It shouldn’t. Because they paint a beautiful picture of the mind of God and play a key role in the transformation of the whole world that Jesus Christ will return and establish.

Join us for this episode of Tomorrow’s World, where we’ll uncover The Beauty of the Ten Commandments.

God’s Laws Bring LIBERTY

Greetings, and welcome to Tomorrow’s World, where we help you make sense of your world through the pages of the Bible.

Today we’re going to spend time talking about one of God’s greatest gifts to mankind—the Ten Commandments.

When you look closely enough, the core doctrines of common and mainstream Christianity seem to tell you these divine commands from God are done away with—as if God makes no binding obligation on us any longer, and we’ve been freed from the need to obey—freed from the Ten Commandments.

But when you come to understand the commandments and what they represent, you see that you might as well speak of being “freed” from food and water, or freed from air and light! Or, for that matter, freed from understanding, freed from righteousness, and freed from freedom and liberty, itself! In fact, in his inspired letter, James, the brother of Jesus Christ, TWICE refers to the Commandments as “the law of liberty”—even “the perfect law of liberty.”

Now, some preachers might dither and say that they would never preach against the Ten Commandments. Yet most who would say that are preaching in a pulpit on Sunday after having gone to the mall or the lake or the ballgame on Saturday, in violation of the Fourth Commandment. And in March of 2021, Christianity Today exposed modern Christianity’s opinion on the Seventh Commandment to keep sexual relations within the confines of marriage by reporting that, “Evangelicals, especially those under 40, increasingly see cohabitation as morally acceptable. Most young evangelicals have engaged in it or expect to” (“The Cohabitation Dilemma Comes for America’s Pastors,” ChristianityToday.com, March 16, 2021). And how many cathedrals are filled with statues and images that people bow before, pray before, or even weep before, filled with religious devotion—when the Second Commandment forbids such objects of worship?

Yes, a lot of lip service is paid to the Ten Commandments, but few people really take them as seriously as God the Father and Jesus Christ do. And what a shame that is! Because when they are embraced and taken seriously as merciful instructions handed down by a merciful and loving God, the Ten Commandments are a source of BEAUTY in life that is unmatched by any competing laws or philosophies of men.

At the beginning of the program, I mentioned King David’s “love song” to the Ten Commandments. Let’s read just a few of the words of praise and fondness penned by the Warrior Poet of Israel for these beautiful laws of God.

We’ll find them in Psalm 119. For instance,

Verse 35: “Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in it.”

Verse 47: “And I will delight myself in Your commandments, which I love.”

Verse 73: “Your hands have made me and fashioned me; give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments.”

Verse 127: “Therefore I love Your commandments more than gold, yes, than fine gold!”

Verse 131: “I opened my mouth and panted, for I longed for Your commandments.”

Verse 143: “Trouble and anguish have overtaken me, yet Your commandments are my delights.”

Believe me, there were more, but those should help paint the picture!

The Bible says that King David was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), and in his trials, he found comfort in the Commandments. In his distress, he found wisdom in them. He found them more beautiful and precious than gold and silver, and he says he longed to understand them and live them, like the thirsty deer longs for water.

No one writes such songs of heartfelt devotion and passion about speed limits or legal regulations pouring out of Congress!

The Ten Commandments are DIFFERENT—they provide guidance, aid, and understanding. They represent the core of the way of life of the very Creator of mankind, who has shared them with us in His mercy. And as we get to know them and understand them—not just in our minds, but with the sort of understanding that only comes from acting and doing—then we begin to better understand the character and mind of God, Himself.

Actually, with the help of God, it is more than that: Keeping the Ten Commandments changes us, and helps us not only to understand the mind of God but even to begin to share the mind of God and to think like Him, ourselves. As David writes in Psalm 19 and verse 7, “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul….”

It is no wonder that Jesus Christ told a young man quizzing Him about salvation, “[I]f you want to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:17).

Clearly the Ten Commandments mattered to Jesus.

In fact, they matter so much so that the Apostle John wrote in his first letter, in 1 John 2 and verse 4, speaking of Christ, “He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”

Anyone preaching that you do not need to keep the commandments to know Jesus Christ is a liar and a false preacher, whether he knows it or not, and should be avoided.

What Are the Ten Commandments?

You know, if we’re going to spend all this time talking about the Ten Commandments, maybe I should take the time to read them!

You will find them listed in Exodus chapter 20, where we find the heart of God’s law listed in only 16 verses (vv. 2–17):

  1. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.
  1. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
  1. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
  1. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
  1. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.
  1. You shall not murder.
  1. You shall not commit adultery.
  1. You shall not steal.
  1. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  1. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.

Yes, the whole of the Ten Commandments fits in these 16 verses. But the art of living by them, and the depth of truly understanding them, only really comes through practice, the light of Jesus’ teachings, and the help of God’s Holy Spirit.

Let’s take some time to appreciate their structure and organization.

In Matthew 22, we read an account of a young lawyer who asked Jesus an important question. We begin in verse 36:

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:36–40).

Notice, Jesus said that the entirety of the law and the prophets hangs on these two great commandments: To love God and to love your neighbor.

Now look again at the Ten Commandments to see how they are structured.

The first four of the Ten Commandments teach us how to fulfill the First Great Commandment to love God. And the six Commandments that follow teach us how to fulfill the Second Great Commandment to love others.

The Ten Commandments aren’t just some legalistic list of dos and don’ts. When you understand what Jesus is saying, you see them as essential instructions in love. In fact, let me ask you: What is more beautiful than the love of God? Not just receiving it, but growing in it ourselves, in compassion and outflowing concern?

Well, if we seek to know the beauty of God’s love in our lives, then we will want to keep the Ten Commandments! Don’t take my word for it—take the Apostle John’s! Often called the Apostle of Love because love was such a consistent focus of His writings in Scripture, he teaches us a very important truth of God in his first letter—in 1 John 5:3: “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”

When you understand this connection between how the Ten Commandments are central to teaching us how to love God and to love each other and the fact that, as 1 John 4:8 tells us, “God is love,” then you begin to see how the Ten Commandments represent God’s own mind and character in print. And how learning to practice them and to make them a part of your life is a vital part of the beautiful transformation God seeks to achieve in all of us

How Do You Keep God’s Commandments?

Let’s dive into some of the individual commandments, themselves. Just as the beauty of a gemstone is shaped by how its individual facets reveal its brilliance, each of the commandments contributes to the overall beauty of these laws of God.

In fact, consider the first one, given in Exodus 20, verses 2 and 3: “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.”

Now compare this to, say, the beginning of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, which lays a foundation based on the idea that all men are created equal—or the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states in its first article that all human beings are free and equal in dignity and rights.

In today’s free resource, The Ten Commandments, Roderick Meredith explains the stark difference between works like these and the Commandments:

In our day of human reason, agnosticism, and creeping materialism, it is important to notice that the Almighty spoke first not about the “brotherhood of man,” but about obedience and worship to God, the Creator and Ruler of heaven and earth—and the personal God of those who serve and obey Him! (p. 7).

What a difference! Unlike human philosophers or politicians who ground our obligations to each other in moral theories or passing ethical fashions, God grounds our obligations on His own eternal and unchanging status as the Creator of all things, who does not change! (Malachi 3:6).

Consequently, the Ten Commandments have a beautiful and immovable foundation that grounds them in the firmest foundation conceivable. For instance…

  • The Fourth Commandment about keeping the Sabbath holy is about the day He, Himself, sanctified at Creation.
  • The Sixth Commandment against murder, we’re told in Genesis 9:6, is grounded in the fact that man is made in God’s image.
  • The Ninth Commandment against bearing false witness runs afoul of the fact that God is a “God of truth” (Deuteronomy 32:4) and that His word is truth (John 17:17).

This grounding in the nature and character of the Eternal God who created all life—indeed, the God who created all of REALITY!—gives these inspired commandments a richness and depth that few ever take the time to truly explore.

Consider the Third Commandment against using God’s name in vain. How often is this commandment trampled in this world—often by the very ones who claim to be living a godly life! Yet, not using God’s name in vain is so much more than simply not using His name in curse words or swearing. For instance, everyone who claims to be a Christian is, in a very real way, taking on the name of Jesus Christ—yet, if we behave in an un-Christian manner and set a bad example, we’ve taken on that name in vain.

Keeping the Third Commandment means taking our lives seriously enough to bring honor to the name we bear—and in that way, the commandment becomes far more than a guide concerning the statements we make with our mouths, but a motivation to consider the statements we make with our lives.

Even the commandments that might seem obvious—such as the Sixth Commandment, “You shall not murder”—have SO much more to say than those four words might seem to reveal!

Jesus Christ, Himself, makes this plain, explaining in Matthew 5:21 and 22 that hating your brother in your heart is the spirit of murder, and that hating others violates the Sixth Commandment.

When you look at the world today and see how anger-filled it is, and then when you recognize it as the spirit of murder that you are seeing in the faces of rage that fill our streets and news feeds, suddenly you realize just how far we’ve fallen from what God seeks to make of us.

And further still, the command against murder is rooted in the fact that every single human being is created in God’s image. In contrast to the culture of death we see around us—in which abortion, euthanasia, and assisted suicide are considered moral progress instead of the signs of moral degradation they truly represent—a devotion to living the values of the Sixth Commandment is a devotion to respecting the beautiful image of God inherent in every human life! Not just the life of the healthy and strong, but the life of the infirm and the weak. As God told Moses in Exodus 4 and verse 11, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the LORD?”

The Sixth Commandment declares that no life is without value and meaning in the eyes of God. And even a supposedly simple, “obvious” command like “You shall not murder” has beautiful depths that are worth exploring.

In a moment, I want to help us step back and take in the larger picture by imagining the world that Jesus Christ will establish at His return. When we do, we’ll find the Ten Commandments are the key to seeing that picture.

A World Free from Sin and Suffering

Imagine a world in which every human being in every country on earth has no other God than the God of the Bible. Every living, breathing soul understands that nothing in their devotions should come before God the Father and Jesus Christ, and everyone worships Them alone. That worship is free of any and all trappings of paganism.

There are no statues or images of so-called saints or other distractions. Every soul on earth uses God’s name with a sense of respect for everything that it represents, because they know that the words they utter matter. Consequently, no one uses foul language any longer. No one anywhere on the planet utters God’s name in a curse, and it would not even cross someone’s mind to swear or speak in a filthy manner.

Imagine a world in which everyone keeps the seventh-day Sabbath. Gone forever are the days when someone worked seven days a week, replaced by a joyful, worldwide observance of God’s ordained rest from labor—a time for families to reaffirm their affections for each other and to seek the face of their God together.

Every week, everyone on earth gathers together as God commands, in holy convocation, to sing praises to their Creator and their Savior, and to learn together from the pages of Scripture.

Imagine, too, that, in that world, families have been restored as the fundamental building blocks of civilization. Parents are honored and loved, in accordance with the fifth commandment, and grandparents and great-grandparents are held in high esteem, as children are taught to respect those who have gone before them. Those same children play safely in the streets as families spend time together in the neighborhood, because violence and hatred are no longer a part of anyone’s experience. Families remain intact for life and marriages remain strong, as men and women learn the joy and peace that comes from reserving physical intimacy for the God-ordained place for which it was designed: their marriages.

There are no locks on doors, and children leave their bicycles on the front lawns, since no one would ever think to take something that is not theirs. And relationships in the community and between people and their leaders are built on a foundation of mutual trust and respect, in which everyone speaks truthfully with each other.

Then imagine that, over all of this lies an air of contentment and gratitude—because the idea that happiness is dependent on the number of things you can buy or collect to keep up with the neighbors has long since passed from the world. Instead, everyone finds their deepest satisfaction in the profitable work of their hands, the joy they feel from the love of friends and family, and the knowledge that the God they worship is One who knows them, and loves them, and is personally working in this world, and in their lives, to bring His purpose for their lives to fruition—when they will join His own Family and step into eternity with Him, forever.

That beautiful world—which Jesus Christ WILL establish at His return—is one in which everyone keeps the Ten Commandments.

Thanks so much for watching! All of us here at Tomorrow’s World work very hard to help you understand your world through the pages of the Bible.

If you’re interested in our free study guide on The Ten Commandments, there’s a link in the description or you can go straight to the url TWTV.org/Ten.

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The Next D-Day

D-Day invasion from transport photo

Eighty years ago, the Allies carried out the largest amphibious assault in human history. Could they do it today? Would they ever need to? There are answers in prophecy for those willing to truly look.

Where Did Satan Come From?

Is the devil real? How well do you know Satan’s origin story—and its warning for you? Watch Wallace Smith explain many Bible verses about the devil’s existence, lies, power and tactics, and why God allows it all—for now.

[The text below represents an edited transcript of this Tomorrow’s World program.]

Do You Really Know the Devil?

Red horns, pitchfork, pointy tail—the stereotype of the Devil as some sort of cartoonish figure has little to do with the reality. Satan the Devil is a powerful spirit being of immense influence in the world around us.

Not just a “symbol” of evil or a mere abstract representation of sin or temptation, Satan is a real, living, personal entity devoted to resisting the plan of God, corrupting the true faith, and destroying humanity.

Yet, for all people know about the Devil, or THINK they know about the Devil, one question inevitably arises, and today, we’ll answer that question. Join us for this episode of Tomorrow’s World where we ask and answer the question: “Where Did Satan Come From?”

Satan’s Greatest Trick—Convincing the World He Doesn’t Exist?

Now before we answer our question today, we should perhaps first address a larger question: Is Satan the Devil REAL? Increasingly, people say “No.”

In July of 2023, The Hill reported on a Gallup poll asking Americans if they believed in certain ideas or beings rooted in religion, such as God or angels.

Results showed that belief in these ideas has diminished in the United States relatively consistently for more than 20 years, reaching a record low in all categories in 2023. And belief in the Devil was lowest of ALL—at only 58 percent. More than four out of every ten Americans believe Satan the Devil IS NOT REAL (“Belief in God, the devil falls to new low: Gallup,” July 20, 2023).

And I guarantee you, the Devil PREFERS it that way. It is far easier for him to influence society on every level—entertainment, education, government policy, science, and religion—if we think he does not exist in the first place.

How can we know if the Devil is real?

By turning to God’s word. Because if anyone knows whether Satan is real or not, it is the God of the Bible, the Creator of Heaven and Earth. In fact, if the Devil is a created being—and he is, as we’ll see in a few moments—then God CREATED him! Or, at least, created what BECAME him.

So, let’s turn to Scripture, the divinely revealed mind of God in print, and see what He has inspired in its pages that can teach us about the very real Satan the Devil. As we consistently tell you here on Tomorrow’s World, don’t just believe us—believe your Bible.

And that Bible is FILLED with warnings about the Devil—warnings that, frankly, few people believe, including, believe it or not, most who consider themselves “Christians.” Let’s read some of those warnings.

In the book of Revelation, chapter 12 and verse 9, the Apostle John speaks of a war to come in heaven and describes Satan in a manner that we MUST understand:

So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him (Revelation 12:9).

We learn several things from this. For instance, there are fallen angels who choose to follow Satan. We’ll discuss them later in our program.

But we also learn that Satan the Devil has deceived the WHOLE WORLD. My friends, do you believe what the Bible says, or don’t you? If you do, then you MUST accept that when God inspires His word to say that the Devil has deceived “the whole world,” it means just that! That means most of the people around us—including the one looking back at us in the mirror.

Now, it’s easy to conclude, “No, that couldn’t be ME! I believe in JESUS! I’m a Christian!” Well, that might be fine if the Devil always came across demonically, but he doesn’t. Frankly, he is quite focused on IMITATING JESUS CHRIST and convincing those who are following HIM [Satan] that they are following Jesus. Look at the Apostle Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 11 [vv. 13–14], where he explains how the DEVIL, not Jesus Christ, is behind many so-called “Christian” ministries. He says there plainly:

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.

No, not a red cape, “bad guy” mustache, and pitchfork. Rather, an “angel of light”! he is the MASTER of lies and deception! Read this description of him in John, chapter 8 and verse 44, where Jesus is addressing the religious leaders of His day and condemning them:

You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

The Devil truly HAS deceived the ENTIRE world! In 2 Corinthians 4:4, the Apostle Paul calls him “the god of this age,” and THREE TIMES in the book of John, no less an authority than Jesus Christ calls Satan “the ruler of this world.”

Does that shock you? Luke 4:6 makes this explicit during the temptation of Jesus. During that trial, the Devil offers Christ all the kingdoms of the world if only Jesus would worship him. Yet, Jesus never disputes with the Devil about that or tells him he has no authority to do that. Quite the contrary!

How did Satan come to possess such authority in the world? Why would God allow that?

Did God Create Satan to Become the Devil?

The first smaller question we should address as we answer the overall question, Where did Satan come from?, is whether Satan was CREATED or not. Some philosophies or religions like Zoroastrianism claim good and evil as eternally co-existing and some claim that God and the Devil must somehow exist forever together, as eternal representatives of those two forces.

The Bible, on the other hand, reveals that to be nonsense. God is the Creator, and all that exists—in both the spirit and the physical realm—came into existence because it was created by God—the two persons we now call God the Father and Jesus Christ. In fact, Ephesians 3:9 tells us that God the Father created all things through Jesus Christ.

And God created the angels, as well. In Psalm 104, in which King David praises God for the many beautiful aspects of His creation, the warrior poet writes in verse 4, God “makes His angels spirits, His ministers a flame of fire.”

In fact, the Bible speaks of a very specific angel’s creation in Ezekiel 28. There, God is inspiring the prophet to preach against the leader of Tyre—but, as the words make plain in a number of ways, the focus shifts from the human leading the nation to the spiritual power behind the throne, as if the human is only a prince, while the angelic power is the real king. Let’s read, beginning in verse 12:

Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre, and say to him, “Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘You were the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created. You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you’” (Ezekiel 28:12–15).

Isaiah 14:12 names this being “Lucifer,” and he is the fallen angel that became Satan the Devil.

But notice in this passage that he was clearly a REMARKABLE creation! Clearly, God created him wise, beautiful, skilled, and PERFECT IN HIS WAYS. But a time came when iniquity, or sin, was found in him. The nature of that sin is addressed in more detail in Isaiah 14, but first, let’s take some time with this one here in Ezekiel—because it answers some important questions that many people ask about God and the Devil.

For instance, some ask, “If the Devil is so evil, why did God make him in the first place? Why would God make an evil angel?”

And we see here in Ezekiel that God DID NO SUCH THING.

God didn’t create the devil as some sort of evil enemy of all that is good. He created him wonderful, glorious, and good. Look again: Ezekiel writes that before iniquity was found in him, Lucifer was “the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.” He was even “the anointed cherub who covers” God’s throne, and he was “perfect in [his] ways from the day [he] was created.”

God did not create an embodiment of evil—He created something GOOD and BEAUTIFUL. Any claims that God would make someone inherently evil by design misunderstand the Bible.

In Revelation 15 and verse 3, at the end of this age, we read a song sung by the resurrected and glorified saints, and they say something important about God:

They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: “Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints!”

Yes, great and marvelous are His works, and just and true are His ways!

He did not create an evil Satan. Lucifer was created beautiful and with the potential for good things. In fact, doesn’t the Bible say the same about us? Ephesians 2:10 says to you and me, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Yes, you and I, too, are created for GOOD WORKS. Yet human history—and, if we’re honest, even the record of our own lives—reveals that being created with the POTENTIAL for good works and actually CHOOSING TO DO those good works are two very different things.

Lucifer may have been created with the potential for great good, but, as the passage in Ezekiel noted, eventually “iniquity was found in [him].”

What sin was found in Lucifer that could bring him so low? What was able to cause a beautiful, perfect being of such wisdom and majesty—as this angelic being was—to become the bitter, demonic Satan the Devil, utterly corrupt and wholeheartedly intent on destroying, if he could, the plan of God and the people of God?

Why Did Lucifer Fall from Heaven?

When the Bible first introduces the Devil, he is the serpent of Genesis 3, who tempts our first parents to sin in the Garden of Eden. That is, even in the Garden of Eden, he’s already the villain! Yet, we also read that he was not always that way, and that, eventually, “iniquity was found in [him].” We read that he was good, perfect, and beautiful. What transformed him?

If it can be summarized in one, single word, that word would be “pride.”

In the first century, the Apostle Paul advised Timothy about appointing men to authority in the Church, telling him to choose “not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil” (1 Timothy 3:6).

Yes, even the greatest of angels can be subject to pride. This is explained in Ezekiel 28 and verse 17, where, speaking to the Devil, God says, “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor….”

Today’s free DVD, “The Occult and the Spirit World” goes into much more detail concerning angels and demons, but for now, I will refer you to that DVD for more details and simply point out that God created the angels as free moral agents. Like human beings, they can choose right or wrong for themselves.

In fact, the Scriptures tell of angels who defied God and abandoned the assignment God gave them. One place we read of that is Jude 6:

… the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day.

We learn more about this “proper domain” in another passage we will read in a moment. But first, notice that the Apostle Peter refers to these angels in 2 Peter 2:4:

… God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell [or, in the Greek, Tartarus, a place of restraint] and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment….

In Lucifer’s case, his pride led him to be discontent with his assigned place and to stage a rebellion against God and Heaven itself! We read of that rebellion in Isaiah 14, beginning in verse 12.

How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.” Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit (Isaiah 14:12–15).

Notice, too, a glimpse of the “proper domain” to which Jude referred. When Lucifer decided to attack God’s throne, where was he at the time? Read verse 13 carefully: “For you have said in your heart, ‘I will ascend into heaven…” and in verse 14, “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds….”

If you ascend above the clouds to leave your responsibility, then that responsibility is below them, here on earth! Before human beings, this world was Lucifer’s!

That explains why he told Jesus Christ in Luke 4 and verse 6 that earth’s kingdoms were given to him by God. This was his assigned area of responsibility, and it is the Devil whom Jesus will replace when He returns!

Lucifer’s rebellion was devastating to the earth before the recreation week of Genesis 1 and 2, leaving it in ruins—“without form and void.” He was no longer Lucifer, the light bringer, but Satan, the Adversary.

Satan is the God of this World—For Now

Now he, and the fallen angels he corrupted, are what we know as demons and evil spirits.

We’ve also noted that the earth was given to him as a region of responsibility. This explains WHY Jesus did not disagree with him when the Devil said that authority and the kingdoms of the world “[had] has been delivered to [him]” (Luke 4:6), WHY Jesus calls him three times in the book of John the “ruler of this world,” and why Paul calls him “the god of this age,” as we noted earlier!

So, does that mean God has given up the earth to the Devil forever? Not at all!

In fact, in 1 John 3:8, the Apostle writes of a very important purpose for Jesus’ coming: “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”

By living in the hearts of converted, Spirit-begotten Christians, and living His life of obedience to God’s laws AGAIN in and through them, Jesus has already begun doing just that. And when He returns, the glorified Christ takes one giant step forward toward freeing all of mankind from the Devil’s influence. We read of that step in Revelation 20:

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while (vv. 1–3).

During these 1,000 years, the world will be turned into a paradise! As Isaiah describes this marvelous time, “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9).

Though, as Revelation 20 says, he must be released for a short time at the Millennium’s end, his ultimate fate is the Lake of Fire, never to influence another individual ever again. God will ultimately solve the problem of Satan the Devil.

But we don’t have to wait 1,000 years. We don’t even have to wait a day! We can begin the process right now of experiencing the work of Jesus Christ as he destroys the works of the Devil in our own lives—agreeing to seek God’s laws and ways in all things, obeying His commands, and asking God the Father and Jesus Christ for the help we need to be more like Them. Asking them for the strength to embrace uncomfortable truths—about ourselves, our beliefs and practices, and our faith—rather than allowing ourselves the luxury of comfortable lies.

For those who seek God’s help, with all their heart, in turning away from their sin and disobedience to God’s laws, and turning to obedience, submission to the will and authority of God and Jesus Christ over their lives, rest assured that the ears of God are open to such requests.

If you’d like to learn more about today’s offer of the free DVD “The Occult and the Spirit World,” you can get that by going to TWTV.org/Spirit, or just click on the link in the description.

All of us here at Tomorrow’s World work very hard to help you understand your world from the pages of the Bible, and we hope that you’ll come back. If you’d like to see more videos like this, just click on “Subscribe,” and if you want to be notified, just click on the bell.

Thanks so much for watching!

Your Questions, the Bible’s Answers! Part 3

With hard questions about Cain, the commandments, Enoch and Elijah, Wallace Smith answers using these Bible study principles: looking at clear verses to explain hard Bible verses, context, and all scriptures on a topic.

[The text below represents an edited transcript of this Tomorrow’s World program.]

Three Hard Questions About Scripture

We live in an amazing time where the Bible, God’s word, is one of the most widely available books on the planet. Whether on a bookshelf in your home or on an app on your phone, most of us have a Bible easily within reach.

But that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to understand. The truths of the Bible are simple, but that doesn’t mean we don’t still have questions.

The good news is that God has answers! Join us on this episode of Tomorrow’s World for another installment of “Your Questions, the Bible’s Answers!” as we tackle three common and challenging questions and answer them directly from the pages of your Bible!

Who Was Cain’s Wife?

Greetings! Welcome to Tomorrow’s World, where we help you make sense of your world through the pages of the Bible.

You know, the Bible isn’t just a book—it’s the inspired word of God. The night before He was crucified, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, told His Father in prayer, “Your word is truth” (John 17:17).

However, that doesn’t mean it is always easy to understand. And—when you think about it—why should the Bible always be easy to understand? Its words are intended to convey to us the mind of God! And as our Creator tells us in Isaiah 55:8, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways.”

Yet the Bible can be understood with God’s help and a little effort. And comprehending God’s word is worth that effort!

But today, we’re going to focus on three specific Bible questions and, in each case, not only explain the Bible’s answer, but also highlight the broader principles you can use in the future to answer Bible questions for yourself.

Our three questions today are:

  1. Where did Cain get his wife?
  2. Which are the right “Ten Commandments”?
  3. (And) Are Enoch and Elijah in heaven?

So, let’s get started!

Our first question is a favorite of atheists who seek to discredit the Bible, but also a legitimate question sometimes asked by sincere people simply trying to understand.

Genesis 1 and 2 are plain that the first human beings God created were Adam and Eve. And Genesis 4 speaks of their sons, Cain and Abel: “Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, ‘I have acquired a man from the LORD.’ Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground” (Genesis 4:1–2).

You may know the story of Cain and Abel. Both brothers made offerings to God, but Cain’s offering was not as worthy as Abel’s. Instead of seeking to learn and improve, Cain became filled with anger, and, eventually, he killed his brother, Abel. Murder started early for the human race!

After God curses Cain for his sin, we read in Genesis 416–17, “Then Cain went out from the presence of the LORD and dwelt in the land of Nod on the east of Eden. And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch” (Genesis 4:16–17).

And THIS brings us to our first question! Many ask, “Where did Cain get his wife?” After all, Adam and Eve were the first humans, and the only two children mentioned here are Cain and Abel—two boys, one of which is dead. So, just whom did Cain eventually marry? Surely not a giraffe, or an oak tree! People marry people! And who was there for Cain to marry?

To answer this question, we need to consider the first principle we will apply for answering Bible questions: Examine the context around the verse or passage.

So, let’s examine additional verses near this tale in Genesis 4 to see if we can get more details. And, indeed, we can—right next door in Genesis 5! Beginning in verse one of Genesis 5, we read,

“This is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them Mankind in the day they were created. And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth. After he begot Seth, the days of Adam were eight hundred years; and he had sons and daughters” (Genesis 5:1–4).

Now note that: Adam lived another eight hundred years and continued conceiving sons and daughters. Yes, Adam and Eve’s family did not just consist of Cain, Abel, and Seth. Instead, when God commanded them in Genesis 1:28 to “be fruitful and multiply,” they did exactly that! And for how long? Notice that Genesis 5:5 says that “all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years”—that is a long life! Given that the events of Genesis 1, 2, and 3 were about 6,000 years ago, Adam lived almost one-sixth of that time! And that is plenty of time to have many children.

So, the answer to “Where did Cain get his wife?” is plain: Cain married one of his sisters.

Now, of course, today no one should marry his sister! But remember, we’re talking about the very beginning of humanity! God directly created Adam and Eve, personally designing every feature of their bodies and biology. The genetic problems that plague children of close kin today would not have been a problem in the beginning. And while God later forbids such relationships in His law, as seen, for example, in Leviticus 18:9, it simply wasn’t necessary at the beginning. In fact, after Adam and Eve, but before the laws of Leviticus, the patriarch Abraham was married to his half-sister (Genesis 20:12).

The point is that there need be no difficulty at all in understanding the Bible’s statement. Yes, Cain had a wife, and that wife was his sister—another descendant of Adam and Eve. Simply reading a little more of the context around the passage immediately clears up the question.

Which Ten Commandments are the Right Ones?

Our next question has not only been used by some in attempts to discredit the Bible, but has also been a source of confusion in different denominations claiming to be Christian. It might be called “The Case of the Battling Commandments.”

If you’re a longtime viewer of Tomorrow’s World, you’ve heard us teach about the vital importance of the Ten Commandments numerous times in the program. Jesus Christ loved the commandments, and Christians everywhere are commanded to live by them.

Yet, just what are the Ten Commandments?

Well, the answer you get will vary depending on whom you ask! The list of ten commandments given in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5 is parsed differently by different groups. Here are the two main approaches:

For example, many would give the following summarized list of the Ten Commandments:

  1. You shall have no other gods.
  2. You shall make no graven images.
  3. You shall not take God’s name in vain.
  4. You shall remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.
  5. You shall honor your father and your mother.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not bear false witness.
  10. [And] You shall not covet.

Yet, if you ask a Roman Catholic, you might get this list of summarized commandments:

  1. You shall have no other gods.
  2. You shall not take God’s name in vain.
  3. You shall remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.
  4. You shall honor your father and your mother.
  5. You shall not murder.
  6. You shall not commit adultery.
  7. You shall not steal.
  8. You shall not bear false witness.
  9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.
  10. [And] You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.

You’ll surely notice that those two lists are not the same. The first one has a commandment against the use of idols, the Second Commandment. But that commandment doesn’t show up at all in the second list, the Roman Catholic one. And, in the first list, the last commandment is against coveting. But in the second list, the Roman Catholic one, that command is split into two commands: not coveting your neighbor’s wife and not coveting your neighbor’s goods.

So, that brings us to today’s second Bible question: “Which are the right ‘Ten Commandments’?”

We know that there are ten because the Bible says so, itself. We see this in Exodus 34:28, Deuteronomy 4:13, and Deuteronomy 10:4.

But which are the Ten?

To find the answer, you might look at Deuteronomy 5, which lists all ten commandments. There we see the final passage stated this way in verse 21: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife; and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, his male servant, his female servant, his ox, his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”

But should “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife” be broken out as a separate commandment from “you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, etc.”? The verse numbering was added by scholars later, so that doesn’t help.

Looking at the verse, it seems that there is no way to tell—so is the answer to the question, “Which are the right ‘Ten Commandments’?,” “It depends on whom you ask”?

Nonsense! Because the truth is not determined by Roman Catholic councils or Lutheran synods or Evangelical conferences. The truth is determined by the word of God, and when it comes to His commandments, He makes the answer plain.

To discover it, we just need to use another helpful principle for understanding the Bible: Examine other scriptures that cover the same topic.

Jesus Christ said in John 10:35 that “the Scripture cannot be broken”—meaning God’s word does not contradict itself. So, if two passages of the Bible speak about the same subject, including the Ten Commandments, they must both be true.

In this case, we should ask ourselves: Is there any other passage that also lists the Ten Commandments, other than Deuteronomy 5?

And, yes, there is! The Ten Commandments are also listed in Exodus 20. In fact, that chapter comes before Deuteronomy 5, and is the chapter most would turn to first to read the Ten Commandments in the Bible. There, we can read the end of the commandments in verse 17: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

Notice one very important difference from the way Moses worded the ending in Deuteronomy 5: When God spoke these words in Exodus 20, the part about not covering your neighbor’s wife is placed inside the rest—after the part about your neighbor’s house!

So, when God spoke the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20, did He accidentally mix them up? Did He start by going from the eighth commandment and skipping the ninth to give part of the tenth commandment, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house,” then jump back to the ninth commandment, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife,” only to suddenly jump forward again to finish the tenth? That’s ridiculous! If anyone understands the Ten Commandments, it’s the divine One who spoke them aloud at Mount Sinai!

And these two passages, Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5, cannot both be right if the commandment against coveting is split into two pieces—coveting your neighbor’s wife and then coveting everything else. They only work if there is only one commandment—the tenth commandment—against coveting anything that is your neighbor’s!

So, which Ten Commandments is the real Ten Commandments? The one that includes an explicit second commandment against making and worshiping idols and that has one unified tenth commandment against coveting.

And you don’t have to take my word for it. Take the Apostle Paul’s, who summarized the single tenth commandment himself as, simply, “You shall not covet.”

So, if you are wondering who gets the Ten Commandments right—your local clergyman or the Creator of the Universe who thundered them to His people at Mount Sinai—I’d stick with your Creator!

What Happened to Enoch and Elijah?

Our third question involves two famous individuals in the Bible: Enoch and Elijah the prophet.

Now in the case of Enoch, Genesis 5 gives us an interesting tale concerning this ancient patriarch. Amidst many who were sinning and living unrighteously, we read of him beginning in verse 21: “Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah. After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him” (Genesis 5:21–24).

The phrases “he was not” and “God took him” have led many to believe that Enoch was removed from earth and taken into heaven. In fact, when I was a child, I had a popular children’s Bible that told its version of the story of Enoch and titled it “The Man Who Walked into Heaven”! This understanding is bolstered in the eyes of many by the fact that the passage does not mention his death explicitly, and the Apostle Paul, writing in Hebrews, said that Enoch was “taken away so that he did not see death.”

Like Enoch, another biblical figure is thought by many to be in heaven: The prophet Elijah. In chapter 2 of the book of 2 Kings, we read how the time came for the mantle of prophetic leadership to be passed from Elijah to his protégé Elisha: “Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven” (2 Kings 2:11).

Part of the challenge in these passages is that the language is ambiguous and open to interpretation. Nowhere in the story of Enoch are we told where he was taken, and nothing explicitly and clearly says that he did not die. And in the case of Elijah, the Bible speaks of three heavens: the air above us where birds fly and clouds move, the space above that in which the stars shine, and then what Paul calls “the third heaven” in which God dwells. Whenever “heaven” is mentioned in the pages of your Bible, it’s vital to keep in mind these three different possibilities and determine from the context which one applies to the passage. Which one applies here to Elijah’s chariot ride is not immediately clear.

All of this brings us to the common question: “Are Enoch and Elijah in heaven?”

That is, are Enoch and Elijah still living up in heaven, in the presence of God and the angels?

The details of what happened to Enoch and Elijah after their disappearance is a larger topic than we have time for, but the answer to the question itself is actually very easy—and it involves a third fundamental principle that is eminently helpful for anyone trying to understand the Bible: Use plain scriptures to help explain those that are more ambiguous.

In this case, the tales of Enoch and Elijah have ambiguities that we need to resolve. Yet, there are very plain passages that are far easier to understand. And these passages leave us no doubt as to whether or not Enoch and Elijah are alive in heaven.

Let’s look at one—spoken by none other than the Son of God, Himself: Jesus Christ! Speaking to a Pharisee named Nicodemus, who himself may have believed Enoch or Elijah were in heaven, Jesus is very plain, saying in John 3:13, “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.”

There you have it from Jesus’ own mouth: no one has ascended into heaven. Jesus Christ, the Son of Man and the Son of God, is the only man to have traversed both heaven and earth. He didn’t say “No one but two…” or “No one but Enoch and Elijah….” He said “No one.” And that leaves no room for our two Old Testament friends.

In fact, we can go further. We mentioned earlier that Enoch is mentioned in Hebrews. That passage, Hebrews 11, is called by some the “Heroes of Faith” chapter, and Enoch is mentioned in verse 5. But later, in verse 13, we are told very plainly what has happened to all of these “heroes of faith”: “These all died in faith, not having received the promises….”

“These all” would include Enoch, eight verses earlier. In fact, of course Enoch and Elijah have died. Romans 3:23 promises us that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” and Romans 6:23 tells us that “the wages of sin is death.”

More could be said, but no matter what tale we might speculate about concerning Enoch and Elijah, these plain verses limit us to what must be true: That Enoch and Elijah are now dead, awaiting their reward, and are not in heaven. To claim otherwise would be to disagree with the declaration of Jesus Christ Himself. In this case, the plain verses of the Bible add clarity to those that are more open to misinterpretation and misunderstanding.

How to Study the Bible

Concerning where Cain could have gotten his wife, we’ve seen that Adam and Eve had many children, including daughters, easily providing a wife for Cain.

Concerning which collection are the right “Ten Commandments,” we’ve seen that skipping the second commandment about idols and splitting the tenth commandment about coveting into two different commandments violates the word of God.

And as for Enoch and Elijah, we have determined that, no, they are not in heaven—trusting Jesus Christ when He says that He is the only man to have trod both heaven and earth at this time.

But more than simply answering three questions, we’ve also illustrated three solid principles that you can use in your own Bible study:

  • Examine the context around the verse or passage.
  • Examine other scriptures that cover the same topic.
  • [And] Use plain scriptures to help explain those that are more ambiguous.

And studying your Bible is worth the time you invest. As the Apostle Peter told Jesus Christ after His Master had just delivered a challenging message that was difficult to understand, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).

And the inspired words of the Bible are just that: the words of eternal life. Your effort to understand them will be rewarded beyond your wildest dreams!

Thanks so much for watching. If you’re interested in the first four lessons of our free 24-lesson Bible Study Course, I hope you’ll go out to TWTV.org/study and request those four lessons yourself. Or, of course, you can click on the link that we’ve provided in the description below.

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