How will the weather be affected during the Millennium?
David longed for a just King to reign in the fear of God. That would be as “a morning without clouds” (2Sa 23:4). The word “as” introduces figurative language, but this does describe the weather patterns of the Millennium, which may be more pleasant than any weather since creation.
The weather during that reign will contribute to a fruitful ecological system. In Psalm 72 (as both the KJV and JND translate it), places that rarely produce a harvest will wave with abundance of grain (v 16). While the results of sin will be rolled back from creation, they will not be eliminated. The curse of sin will not touch the heavenly city, but the nations will still need “healing” during the Millennium (Rev 22:2, 3). The complete removal of every trace of sin awaits the Day of God (2Pe 3:11-13), the new heavens and the new earth (Rev 21:1-5). We know that some regions of the earth will lack needed rain (Zech 14:16-19). This will be the direct result of disobedience to the King.
This leads to the conclusion that the weather during the Millennium will be controlled by the Lord in such a way that fruitfulness will abound and, where appropriate, sin will be directly and immediately punished by means of the weather. Justice will not only control the governmental systems, but the ecological system as well. Except where human depravity will express itself, conditions in that day will be “right.”
What are the differences between “the Spirit of God” and “the Spirit of Christ”?
These two terms appear side by side: “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His” (Rom 8:9). The only way to consistently interpret this verse is to recognize that the Spirit of God indwells believers, and, apart from this indwelling, the individual is not a believer, does not belong to Christ. Therefore, these are two titles of the same Spirit. The expression, “the Spirit of Christ,” occurs only one other time, “. . . the Spirit of Christ Which was in them did signify, when It testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow” (1Pe 1:11). Peter identifies the Spirit of Christ, Who inspired Old Testament prophets to write about Christ, as the Holy Spirit (2Pe 1:21).
“The Spirit of God” emphasizes His deity and His role within the Godhead. The One Who dwells in the temple of God must be God, but Paul tells us it is the Spirit of God (1Co 3:16). He is God. The miracles of the Lord were evidence of “the finger of God” (Luke 11:20), the direct work of God. Matthew quotes the Lord as saying they were by the Spirit of God (Matt 12:28). Paul indicates the Spirit’s role within the Godhead when He writes, “even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God” (1Co 2:11). He must be God, in order to know (understand, perceive) God’s thoughts and plans. He is the One Who reveals “the deep things of God” (v 10). On the other hand, the scene at Jordan demonstrates that He is distinguishable within the Godhead. The Father’s voice comes from heaven, addressing the Son on earth, Who is marked out by the Spirit of God’s visible descent on Him (Matt 3:16).
“The Spirit of Christ” emphasizes His relationship to Christ. He revealed Christ in His sufferings and coming glory to the OT prophets (1Pe 1:10-11) and reveals Christ now in believers, whose characteristic mark of ownership is “the Spirit of Christ” (Romans 8:9).
Two similar titles occur only once each. They are “the Spirit of Jesus Christ” (Phi 1:19) and “the Spirit of Jesus” (Acts 16:7, JND).
How can a couple who is unable to bear children respond to well-intended hints that it is time for them to be parents?
Those who cannot have children will know how devastating such a comment can be. The example of the Lord and the statements of Scripture teach us to respond to evil with blessing, not responding in kind (1Pe 3:9). This person probably meant well and was attempting to express interest, encouragement, maybe even confidence. Depending on the Lord to give help, the couple could simply express appreciation for the concern expressed and ask for the help of that person in prayer. The Lord will know how to answer the prayer in ways the person praying may not understand.
For the benefit of the well-intentioned individual who thrust a knife into the heart of this couple, many passages, if heeded, would have sealed his lips. One will do. Christians are to consider the effect of their words on others and to limit their communications to what is beneficial (“good”), strengthening (“edification”), and enabling (“ministering grace to the hearers,” Eph 4: 29). None of us is perfect (James 3:2), but Christian grace will increase our sensitivity to others.
What principles does a Christian violate by voting in a state referendum on issues like allowing gambling casinos or legalizing abortion?
Voting, in and of itself, is neutral. If voting involves the believer in the political system, this seems to violate the principle of separation (Eph 5:11; 2Co 6:14-18). As our Lord Jesus, we are not “of the world” (John 17:16). He refused to be drawn into politics (Matt 22:17-21). By our lives, we are to be salt, exerting a preserving influence on the world (Mat 5:13). By our prayers, we are to effect good in government (1Ti 2:2). It is an admission of failure to have to use the voting booth to do what neither our lives nor prayers are doing.
On the other hand, a referendum, as stated by the question, may not involve entanglement in the affairs of this life (2Ti 2:4). Suppose a politician, for example, took a poll of neighborhood opinion and stopped at a Christian’s door. Responding would hardly violate the principles mentioned above. The same can be said of voting in a referendum.