March 2020 Bible Questions & Answers

  1.  How did the dinosaurs die?
  2. Jesus said, “Pray that your flight doesn’t take place on the Sabbath or in winter” (Matt. 24:20). Why say this if the Sabbath was to be taken out of the way?
  3. Did any of the apostles pastor a church?
  4. Was the power to cast out demons given to anyone other than apostles?
  5. If flesh does not inherit the kingdom of God, how are our bodies the temple of God?

How did the dinosaurs die?

“Dinosaurs” (deinos sauros, “fearfully great lizard”) were not known by that name until 1841, after hundreds of their fossilized remains had been discovered in the two decades prior.  Beings fitting their description as seen by their fossilized skeletons are mentioned in the Bible as being alive alongside of man.  They are called “behemoth” and “leviathan” (Job 40:15-19; 41:1-34).  This contradicts the commonly taught notion that dinosaurs existed and became extinct millions of years before man came on the scene.

Other evidence exists that points to the fact that dinosaurs and man co-existed.  In January, 2005, Nature Magazine by way of the Associated Press reported villagers finding “the preserved remains of a tiny dinosaur in the belly of a mammal, a startling discovery for scientists who have long believed early mammals couldn’t possibly attack and eat a dinosaur” due to evolution teaching that mammals arrived millions of years AFTER the dinosaurs.  In 1945 more than 30,000 clay dinosaur figurines were discovered buried in the foothills of the El Toro Mountain on the outskirts of Acambaro, Mexico.  They were carbon-dated to have been created from 1640 to 2000 B.C.  An 800-year-old Buddhist temple in Cambodia has the figure of a stegosaurus carved into its walls.  In the early 1900’s, archaeologist Dr. Samuel Hubbard found drawings of a dinosaur on the walls of some old Indian ruins in the Grand Canyon.

It is clear dinosaurs and man co-existed.  So what happened to them?  The global flood would have wiped out most of them, as it did with all other animal life (Gen. 7:20-22).  This explains the large number of fossilized remains which are found, including those found alongside of fossilized mammalian remains.  Yet Noah would have brought some dinosaurs onboard the ark (Gen. 7:13-16), thus ensuring their survival.  Infant to juvenile dinosaurs would have been the size of a cow and all animals were vegetarians at the time (Gen. 1:30), so their presence on the ark would have been possible and plausible.

After the flood, God allowed man to eat meat and put the fear of man into every living creature so they could be hunted for food (Gen. 9:1-3).  Over time, mankind killed off the dinosaurs either for food or sport, just as we have done to many other species of animals.  Also, the changes in the weather and global environment which came about as a result of the flood likely greatly affected these cold-blooded creatures, probably causing many of them to die off.

Jesus said, “Pray that your flight doesn’t take place on the Sabbath or in winter” (Matt. 24:20). Why say this if the Sabbath was to be taken out of the way?

Contextually, Jesus was warning His Jewish disciples about the upcoming destruction of the temple and Jerusalem by Roman armies (Matt. 24:1-34; Lk. 21:20ff).  He gave them several signs to watch for and things to pray about so that they would survive this horrendous event, which history tells us took place in the year 70 A.D.

The New Testament books written in the decades between Jesus’ death in 33 A.D. and Jerusalem’s destruction in 70 A.D. make two things very clear.  First, the Sabbath, as well as the other laws and practices of Moses’ law, was taken out of the way at the cross and replaced with Christ’s new covenant (Rom. 7:1-4; Eph. 2:14-16; Col. 2:14-16).  Second, the majority of the Jews rejected Christ as the Messiah and thus rejected His new covenant, choosing to continue to follow Moses’ law instead (Rom. 1-11).

So by the time Jerusalem was besieged by Rome in 70 A.D., the overwhelming majority of the city’s populace were Jews who still observed the law of Moses, including the Sabbath.  The Jews likely kept the gates of the city shut as part of observing the Sabbath (cf. Neh. 13:19).  This would mean the Jewish Christians Jesus was warning would not be able to leave the city if the Roman armies showed up to lay siege to the city on a Sabbath.  This is why Jesus exhorted them to pray that they wouldn’t have to hastily leave the city on a Sabbath.

Did any of the apostles pastor a church?

The term “pastor” (poimein in Greek) literally means “to shepherd.”  Ephesians 4:11 lists it as an office in the church alongside apostles, prophets, evangelists, and teachers.  The Greek term is used when Paul and Peter told elders of the church to “shepherd” the flock of God which is among them (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:1-2).  Thus, biblically elders are the only ones who are referred to as pastors.

Peter – an apostle, evangelist, and teacher – also referred to himself as an elder (1 Pet. 5:1) right before he told elders to “shepherd”  (“pastor,” poimein) the church.  Thus, at least one apostle – and likely others – were pastors or elders of a local congregation if they met the qualifications for the office (1 Tim. 3:1-7; Tit. 1:5-9).

Was the power to cast out demons given to anyone other than apostles?

Jesus listed the ability to cast out demons as one of the miraculous signs the early Christians would be able to perform (Mk. 16:17).  While casting out demons is not listed specifically among the miraculous spiritual gifts Paul spoke of (1 Cor. 12:4-11), it would generically be included when he spoke of the spiritual gift which is “the working of miracles” (v. 10).

Not all early Christians could work miracles (1 Cor. 12:29), and not all had the same miraculous spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:29-30; 14:1ff).  However, even though I cannot recall the Bible recording a specific instance in which anyone other than the apostles cast out demons, it is clear from the above passages that some in the early church in addition to the apostles could do so.

If flesh does not inherit the kingdom of God, how are our bodies the temple of God?

Paul wrote, “I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable” (1 Cor. 15:50).  He wrote this in the context of describing the resurrection of the dead on the last day.  Paul had been discussing how our current physical bodies will die and be resurrected as spiritual bodies when the trumpet sounds on the last day (15:35-55).  When he spoke of our bodies being temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19), he was doing so in the context of commanding Christians to not use their physical bodies to commit the sin of fornication (6:12-20).

Thus, our physical bodies are currently the temple of the Holy Spirit.  However, we will receive new, immortal, spiritual bodies on the last day since it is not God’s will that physical bodies enter eternity in heaven.