Recent Questions & Answers

About Jesus’ 1,000 year reign on earth. Does this mean that the people already in heaven will come back to earth, be on earth for 1,000 more years and then back in heaven when the thousand year reign is over? Because then is says he will make a new heaven on earth so are there going to be 2 heavens?

Great question, but not without some controversy. As we are looking into the things to come, we are seeing through a glass dimly, as described by the Apostle Paul. I’m not sure that even the New Testament writers or the Apostles had a very clear view of the things to come in the future, other than the fact that Jesus is coming again.

So there are various theories in the Christian community. Pre-millennial theory says that Jesus will return before the 1,000 year reign. Post- millennial says that the church will usher in a 1,000 year reign of Jesus, where he will reign through His Church on the earth, then he will physically return. Amillennial says that the 1,000 year reign of Christ is symbolic of what has and is happening in the and through the church in the past and right now. They do not look for a literal 1,000 year reign of Christ on the earth.

I personally hold to a pre-millennial theory, and feel like the Bible best defends this view. During the 1,000 year reign of Christ, those who have gone through the tribulation, and have lived, along with the Jewish people, will live on the earth in a paradise like state, ruling the earth with Jesus on the earth. Those who have died before the rapture, will be living in heaven, but will likely be visiting often, giving advice and encouragement to those living on the earth. At the end of the Millennium, Satan will be released from prison, and will go out and deceive the nations of the earth, who will all mount an attack against Jesus’ Kingdom, seated in Jerusalem. Satan will be destroyed, along with all who rebel with him. Then there is a new heaven and new earth, The New Jerusalem comes down out of Heaven, and we all live forever in the new heaven and new earth. It sounds like Heaven and earth are merged into one. That is a quick rundown. Hope it answers your question.

Does New Life have a certain or specific cemetery that we get buried in?

We get buried wherever we want to be buried. Catholics often have cemeteries just for Catholics. I don’t know why they do that, but they do. It is kind of an old fashioned thing where there use to be Catholic and Protestant cemeteries. I think it is because Catholics did not think Protestants were Holy, and Protestants did not think Catholics were Holy, and you couldn’t be buried next to someone who was. That kind of is not a thing anymore. Generally, Catholics and Protestants, Heathens, and all are buried right next to one another. So people just decide what cemetery they want a plot in, and get buried there.

Is the order of Aaron always ancestral and the order of Melchizedek not? Are there more orders? If Jesus is in the order of Melchizedek, is that because this order is recognized “by power of indestructible life” as v16 states? Is that meant to be literal (indestructible life)? And if so, what do we take away about the original Melchizedek? Were there other priests in this order?

I think I kind of get the significance of the new priest/new law. Priest forever. The promise of a better covenant. I’m just wondering what more there is to know…? 

First of all, and this is maybe for others who might be reading this, it is necessary to understand the theory behind who Melchizedek was or is.
He is a somewhat mysterious figure, and only mentioned a few times in the Bible.

The name Melchizedek is more of a title than a name. It comes from two Hebrew words, the first being melek meaning “king” and the second which is tsedeq or “righteousness” (Strong’s #H4442). In Genesis 14, this person is labeled a priest and the king of Salem (the word Salem means “peace”). This makes him both the King of Righteousness and Peace (Hebrews 7:2).

The first time we read about this person is in Genesis 14:18 “Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High,” This person, by his very name, holds the title of “King of Righteousness”. This to me indicates something very important. No human is inherently righteous, so it indicates, at least to me, that he could not be human. To further add to this interesting insight, we have the astounding statements made by the Apostle Paul about him, as you are referencing in the Book of Hebrews, chapter 7:1-3 This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, 2 and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” 3 Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever. (ESV)

It is evident to me that Paul is not describing a mortal human, but is describing the priest of God Most High and a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus Christ. This lines up with what Jesus said about himself when he stated that he not only existed before Abraham but that Abraham saw him in his day (John 8:56, 58).
Who is Melchizedek? He is none other than Jesus Christ, made a Priest forever by an oath of the Most High God (Hebrews 7:20 – 21).

Through Jesus, the Church shares in the priesthood of Christ (Melchizedek), and the resurrected saints will be kings and priests forever, like Jesus (Revelation 5:10). So as believers, we are part of this order of Melchizedek because we are “in Christ”. So therefore, to answer part of your question, verse 16 “indestructible life” is literal. It is the life of Christ, or eternal life in Christ.

The only other priestly order mentioned in Scripture is the Levitical priesthood, and as you note, is an inferior priesthood, based on genealogy through Aaron’s descendants. So this idea of Melchizedek, Priest of God Most High, and those who are part of that order, fits into the whole context of the Book of Hebrews. We are part of a better covenant, better priesthood, better Kingdom, because we are “in Christ” and not by works or the Law (priest hood of Levi), but by faith (priesthood of Melchizedek or Christ).

This question is about the Coronavirus. I ask because I know many Christians are freaking out about this. I am also asking for the benefit of the many who are afraid to ask. I personally am not fearing, but I am not doing anything at all to prepare, while others are stockpiling everything. I know that we are not suppose to fear, but I also know that God wants us to be wise in how we handle everyday things. For example: Someone once told me God will protect them if there was a tornado coming and they walked into it! God gave that person a place for shelter and they have learned many ways to keep safe. That is foolish (unwise) to me! In a world of growing fear, end times, sicknesses, natural disasters etc., what should we as Christians do? What are your thoughts as far as how we should NOT FEAR and at the same time balance it with wisdom (particularly coronavirus)? Also, what are the practical things we should be doing? How should we share this with unbelievers to help them see the peace we have or should have?! 

This link is an excellent response from an infectious disease professional. Please read it. There is far too much hype and panic concerning Covid-19. The general flu type viruses, which we never think about, have a much greater mortality rate than the Corina Virus.

I’m a doctor and an Infectious Diseases Specialist. I’ve been at this for more than 20 years seeing sick patients on a daily basis. I have worked in inner city hospitals and in the poorest slums of Africa. HIV-AIDS, Hepatitis,TB, SARS, Measles, Shingles, Whooping cough, Diphtheria…there is little I haven’t been exposed to in my profession. And with notable exception of SARS, very little has left me feeling vulnerable, overwhelmed or downright scared.

I am not scared of Covid-19. I am concerned about the implications of a novel infectious agent that has spread the world over and continues to find new footholds in different soil. I am rightly concerned for the welfare of those who are elderly, in frail health or disenfranchised who stand to suffer mostly, and disproportionately, at the hands of this new scourge. But I am not scared of Covid-19.

What I am scared about is the loss of reason and wave of fear that has induced the masses of society into a spellbinding spiral of panic, stockpiling obscene quantities of anything that could fill a bomb shelter adequately in a post-apocalyptic world. I am scared of the N95 masks that are stolen from hospitals and urgent care clinics where they are actually needed for front line healthcare providers and instead are being donned in airports, malls, and coffee lounges, perpetuating even more fear and suspicion of others. I am scared that our hospitals will be overwhelmed with anyone who thinks they ” probably don’t have it but may as well get checked out no matter what because you just never know…” and those with heart failure, emphysema, pneumonia and strokes will pay the price for overfilled ER waiting rooms with only so many doctors and nurses to assess.

I am scared that travel restrictions will become so far reaching that weddings will be canceled, graduations missed and family reunions will not materialize. And well, even that big party called the Olympic Games…that could be kyboshed too. Can you even
imagine?

I’m scared those same epidemic fears will limit trade, harm partnerships in multiple sectors, business and otherwise and ultimately culminate in a global recession.

But mostly, I’m scared about what message we are telling our kids when faced with a threat. Instead of reason, rationality, openmindedness and altruism, we are telling them to panic, be fearful, suspicious, reactionary and self-interested.

Covid-19 is nowhere near over. It will be coming to a city, a hospital, a friend, even a family member near you at some point. Expect it. Stop waiting to be surprised further. The fact is the virus itself may cause you great harm or none at all. But our own behaviors and “fight for yourself above all else” attitude could prove disastrous.

I implore you all. Temper fear with reason, panic with patience and uncertainty with education. We have an opportunity to learn a great deal about health hygiene and limiting the spread of innumerable transmissible diseases in our society. Let’s meet this challenge together in the best spirit of compassion for others, patience, and above all, an unfailing effort to seek truth, facts and knowledge as opposed to conjecture, speculation and catastrophizing.

Facts not fear. Clean hands. Open hearts.
Our children will thank us for it.

March 5, 2020  Abdu Sharkawy