Your Questions, the Bible’s Answers! Part 2 | Telecasts | Tomorrow's World

Your Questions, the Bible’s Answers! Part 2

Your Questions, the Bible’s Answers! Part 2

Wallace Smith tackles three tough Bible questions: Was Jesus created? Did Paul teach all animals are now food? Is the Kingdom of God in your heart? Find the Bible’s answers in this episode of Tomorrow’s World.

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

Introduction: More Answers from the Bible

The Bible is God’s word—His mind in print. The truth found within its pages is simple and beautiful. But that doesn’t mean some passages aren’t hard to understand.

On today’s program we’re going to look at three common Bible questions we receive at Tomorrow’s World, and we’re going to teach you how to answer those questions yourself, straight out of God’s word.

So, join us for a new installment of “Your Questions, the Bible’s Answers!”

Interpreting the Bible: Was Jesus Created?

Greetings, and welcome to Tomorrow’s World!

If you’re a new viewer, welcome! You’ll soon find we’re not like most religious programs you see on television or the Internet. And, as our regular viewers know well, we don’t ask you to simply take our word for the things we say. We ask you to believe your Bible, and to measure everything we tell you against the truth of God’s eternal word.

As King David says of God in Psalm 119 and verse 160, “The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.” But that doesn’t mean that we can’t misunderstand the Bible from time to time. As we’ll see, even the Bible testifies of itself that sometimes its meaning is misunderstood or, frankly, twisted by others. In such cases, the student of the Bible needs to strive to rise to the challenge!

In 2 Timothy 2:15, the Apostle Paul encouraged his young protégé to do just that, telling him,

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

THAT’S what we want to do. To RIGHTLY divide the word of truth.

We enjoyed doing our first “question and answer” program so much, we couldn’t help but do another one! And as we answer the questions, we’ll illustrate the principles you can use in the future to answer Bible questions for yourself.

Our three questions today are:

  1. Was Jesus created?
  2. Did Paul teach that all creatures are good for food?


  1. Is the Kingdom of God in your heart?

Let’s jump right in!

Our first question is a common misunderstanding. Some teach that Jesus is divine, but is not actually God, just as His Father is God. They say Jesus is a created being, just like the angels. And one verse that is commonly pointed to for such claims is Revelation 3:14. There, in vision, the Apostle John sees the glorified Christ, who reveals messages to the Church of God, intended to span the centuries that would follow. John writes in Revelation 3:14,

“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God….’”

Those words, “the Beginning of the creation of God,” seem to suggest to some that Jesus—even in His divine existence before His life on earth—was created by God.

So, “Was Jesus created?”

One of the principles we’ll use on today’s program to help us answer these questions is a vital tool for biblical understanding. When trying to find out what the Bible really says about something—in this case, the nature of Christ—it is important to “Examine other scriptures on the same topic.” After all, the Bible—every word of it—is inspired by the same God, through the same Spirit. It does not contradict itself.

The Son of God, Himself, Jesus Christ, tells us this in John 10:35, where He says “the Scripture cannot be broken.”

When we want to understand the fullness of God’s mind on a subject, we want to rightly divide His word and look at the whole of that word and what it has to say about that subject. In this case, what does the Bible have to say in other places about Jesus Christ’s existence with God before His incarnation in the flesh?

Was He created by God?

Or did He exist eternally with God, with NO beginning?

There are many places in Scripture where we could turn, but since Revelation is Jesus’ revelation to His servant John, let’s turn to John’s own gospel to see how he understood Jesus’ pre-incarnate nature. Look at the very beginning of the book of John, starting with the very first verse:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”

John here refers to Jesus Christ—or, in Greek, the “Logos,” translated “Word” in the New King James Version. He makes this plain in the rest of the chapter, such as in verses 14–18.

And here John plainly says: the Word was with God—and was God—and They were together from the very beginning. More explicitly, John says,

All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”

How plain! All created things were made through him. This could not be true if Jesus, Himself, were one of the created things! This understanding of Christ as the Creator is taught plainly in many other passages as well, such as Colossians 1:16–17, Ephesians 3:9, Hebrews 1:2, and others.

These and other scriptures in the Bible make it plain that all things were made through, by, and for Jesus Christ. This is why some other English Bibles translate Revelation 3:14 differently, saying Christ is the “origin of God’s creation” like the New Revised Standard Version, or the “source of God’s creation” like the New American Bible.

So, the answer to our question is, No, Jesus was not created. In the beginning He was with God, and He was God—one of the two members of the God family Whom we now call the Father and the Son.

Wisdom About Clean and Unclean Foods NOT Abolished!

Many viewers of Tomorrow’s World and readers of our magazine—our free magazine you will receive in addition to today’s Bible Study Course—have heard us explain the Bible’s teaching in Leviticus 23 concerning clean and unclean animals—clean animals, being those God’s word says it is lawful to eat, and unclean animals, being those we’re told are not lawful to eat. God’s law is plain: Some animals are NOT to be eaten.

That brings us to our second question today: “Does Paul tell Timothy that every animal is good for food?”

Let’s look at 1 Timothy 4:4 and make sure we understand what is being asked.

We read there that Paul wrote to Timothy,

“For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving….”

So, at first glance, you might think Paul is saying we should throw out God’s laws about what animals are clean or unclean, and many try to use this verse to make that very point—even though Paul said elsewhere that God’s laws and commands in the Old Testament are holy, just, and good Romans 7:12.

Any time someone wants to use the Apostle Paul to make the Bible seem to say God’s laws should be ignored, you should take warning—and not because we are warning you, but because the Bible itself warns you.

We see that warning, written by the Apostle Peter, in 2 Peter 3:15–16:

“… and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.”

So, Peter encourages us to be careful, lest we fall into the trap of those who twist the Apostle Paul’s comments—which are sometimes hard to understand—to say something lawless they were not meant to say.

And, we have to admit, there are clearly many, many creatures that are not good for food! Animals such as the comb star—an intensely poisonous starfish, whose flesh contains tetrodotoxin [tet-'RO-duh-"TOX-in], a deadly neurotoxin for which there is no known antidote. So, is Paul literally saying here to Timothy that God intended every creature He created to be edible? After all, eating a comb star sandwich may kill you, but the starfish is a “creature of God.”

Let’s read more carefully by “Examin[ing] the context around the verse [or passage]”—another key to understanding the Bible. Here, let’s go up a few verses and begin reading again in 1 Timothy 4:1:

“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.” [vv. 1–3.]

Already, we’ve learned several important facts!

First, Paul isn’t speaking about God’s law, at all, but about “doctrines of demons.” It would be blasphemous to imply God’s own laws originated in the demon world! Interestingly, Paul mentions examples: man-made regulations forbidding to marry and commanding to abstain from foods created by God to be eaten.

Using the first tool we’ve discussed, looking at other verses that speak on the same topic, we see that Paul addressed the same problem in Colossians, calling such man-made restrictions the “commandments and doctrines of men” [Colossians 2:22] not commands of God, and “self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body.” [v. 23]

Are there false versions of Christianity that do impose man-made dogmas and doctrines, such as forbidding some to marry and abstaining eating animals God created to be eaten, such as beef from cattle? Yes, there are! (“Fish on Fridays” and so-called “Christian vegetarianism,” I’m looking at you!) Paul is addressing these false beliefs. These are doctrines and restrictions that do not come out of the Bible, but from the traditions of men, and Paul calls them “doctrines of demons”! He is clearly not talking about the instructions of the Bible, where God teaches exactly which animals He created—as it says in verse 3 of 1 Timothy 4—to be received as food.

But let’s get even more context and look at the verse that follows 1 Timothy 4:4.

“For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; [Why? Verse 5:] for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”

To be sanctified is to be set apart by God, and Paul here says he is speaking of food from creatures that have been set apart by the word of God, which, for Paul, was the Old Testament.

Well, what animals have been set apart by the “word of God” as created to be animals we can eat? The clean animals of Leviticus 11!

Animals like the cow or bull, that have cloven hooves and chew the cud, for instance. The word of God sets them apart, as created to be good for food. In fact, no other animals in the world have been set apart by the word of God, other than the animals the Bible declares clean and available for meat. Certainly not our poisonous starfish friend.

Reading the verses around verse 4 helps make Paul’s meaning clear. The answer to our question “Does Paul tell Timothy that every animal you could choose to consume is good for food?” is no, the context and other passages indicate he does not. Paul was fighting against doctrines of demons and self-imposed, man-made restrictions, explaining that all of the creatures God set apart in His word are acceptable, not those animals God did not create to be eaten in the first place.

What Does the Bible Teach About the Kingdom of God?

For our third question, let’s look at Luke 17. There, in verses 20 and 21, we read,

“Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, ‘The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”

Some take note of those last few words and ask the following: “Is the Kingdom of God in your heart?”

The question is whether Jesus meant that the Kingdom of God is something only set up in the hearts of Christians—now—and not a literal, world-ruling Kingdom that is yet to come in the future.

Now, this idea is explicitly reflected in some Bible translations, such as the Contemporary English Version, which translates Jesus’ words of verse 20 as “God’s kingdom isn’t something you can see.” But is this interpretation correct? Is the Kingdom just in your heart?

Well, let’s use the two tools we’ve already discussed. First, let’s consider other verses. Passages such as 1 Corinthians chapter 6, verses 9 and 10, chapter 15, verse 50, and Galatians 5:21 plainly describe the Kingdom of God as something Christians will inherit in the future and do not yet have, and that it is something flesh and blood, like we are now, cannot inherit.

In many passages, such as Matthew 25:31 to 34 and Mark 14:25, Jesus clearly describes the Kingdom as something Christians will inherit with His future Second Coming, not before. And Revelation 11:15 describes the inauguration of God’s Kingdom as coinciding with Christ’s return, as well, with other verses saying explicitly that Christ will rule over the world alongside His saints.

And the Old Testament is filled with prophetic descriptions of that future world!

Frankly, there are too many verses to refer to them all! But they plainly depict the Kingdom of God as being a very real Kingdom that will rule the world in the age to come.

And let’s use our second tool and look at the context by reading the larger passage in Luke 17, beginning again in verse 20:

“Then He said to the disciples, ‘The days will come when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. And they will say to you, “Look here!” or “Look there!” Do not go after them or follow them. For as the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven shines to the other part under heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day.’” [vv. 20–24]

Notice that last part: the coming of Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, will be as when lightning flashes, which fills the entire sky! That’s something very visible—in fact, accompanied by thunder, it can be impossible to miss!

This does not sound like something invisible that exists only within your heart!

Finally, let’s use a third tool for understanding the Bible: “Remember the additive nature of biblical witnesses.”

Luke is not the only biblical writer to describe Jesus’ comments about the Kingdom and its visibility. Look at a related passage as recorded by a different gospel writer, this time Matthew. Let’s read Matthew 24, beginning at verse 23, and see what he adds:

“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.”

This additional witness records additional elements in Jesus’ description. First, He isn’t talking about something that cannot be seen at all, but rather He is warning that He will not return and establish His Kingdom in some secret location somewhere—some location that has to be figured out or hunted down. In fact, the Greek word translated “observation” in Luke 17:20 can mean just that—a close and careful inspection, picking over minute details.

The Weymouth New Testament translates Jesus’ words of verse 20, “The Kingdom of God does not so come that you can stealthily watch for it.” That matches better Jesus’ warnings to avoid those who say, “Hey, Jesus is in this hidden group or that secret place—you just haven’t seen Him!”

He is saying the coming of His Kingdom will be very public and impossible to miss—like lightning filling the entire sky, or, as this passage adds, like a flock of eagles swarming around their dinner. Not secret at all, and extremely visible!

So, what does He mean when He says “the Kingdom is within you”? Many other Bible translations get this verse more accurately than the King James Version and New King James Version—as much as I love them—by translating that phrase more clearly as “the Kingdom is among you” or “the Kingdom is in your midst.”

And that makes far more sense!

Wherever Jesus went in His ministry, the people experienced a foretaste of the great Kingdom to come in tomorrow’s world.

Conclusion: Three Principles for Answering Questions About the Bible

In addressing these common Bible questions, we’ve seen that Jesus was NOT created by God but, instead, existed in eternity past with Him. And that all created things were, in fact made through Him. We’ve seen that the Apostle Paul was not trying to say that you should be willing to eat any and every animal on earth, but those God created to be eaten are fair game. And we’ve seen that the Kingdom of God is not just something set up in your heart, but truly is a world-ruling Kingdom to be brought by Jesus Christ at His return.

And we’ve answered those questions by employing three solid principles that you should always keep in mind when trying to understand a particular verse or passage of the Bible:

  1. Examine other scriptures on the same topic.
  2. Examine the context around the verse or passage.
  3. Remember the additive nature of biblical witnesses.

With these principles in mind, you’ll be well on your way to fulfilling that charge the Apostle Paul laid upon Timothy—and which, centuries later, he lays on all of us:

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” [2 Timothy 2:15]

Thanks for watching our program today!

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Thank you very much!

Our Three Questions Today Are:

  1. Was Jesus created?
  2. Did Paul teach that all creatures are good for food?
  3. Is the Kingdom of God in your heart?

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