I've posted my answers below. I don't claim to be the "Bible Answer Man," but answers to questions about our faith can be found in the scriptures. We don't need a special decoder ring or a seminary degree. We need the right heart and the willingness to dig. The Lord invites us into his Word! Let's go!
So here's what I came up with...
27 books. I wish all my math story problems were that simple.
2. When does the New Testament actually begin?
At first glance this is a no brainer, right? Matthew 1:1. But the trick is the word Testament, as in Last Will & Testament. According to Hebrews 9:16-17, For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.
The New Testament began after the death of Christ. So, all of Jesus' preaching and teaching prior to his death was under the Old Testament, even though he often preached of things to come.
3. How often did Jesus command his disciples to go start churches?
I found this particularly interesting because “Church Planting” is such a big topic today (what kind of dirt would you should use?). But Jesus never commanded anyone to go plant or start a church. Here's what he did say...
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations...Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you... (Matthew 28:19)
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. (Mark 16:15)
And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. (Luke 24:47)
The horse comes before the cart – not the other way around. If we focus on what Christ commanded, the word will be preached, disciples will be multiplied and churches will naturally form as we gather in his name. It's why I talk about teaching Bible studies.
Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word. (Acts 8:4)
4. According to the Book of Acts, was baptism a suggestion or a command?
Folks, even Jesus was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. The apostles preached baptism in Jesus name every single time they preached in Acts. If you haven't been baptized in Jesus name for the remission of your sins, would you please make it a priority today?
And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord... (Acts 10:48)
5. How many times is pastor or pastors mentioned in the New Testament?
With all of the prominence given to the role of pastors, including Pastor Appreciation Month (while Jesus only gets December 25th), you'd think that the Bible would be full of references and instruction about the role of a pastor. But surprisingly there is only 1 New Testament reference (Eph. 4:11). Pastors are listed among the many spiritual gifts Christ has given to his church. Interesting...
6. How many people does it take make a church?
There is no number given. Which should give us an indication of how important numbers for the sake of numbers is to God. We see a large congregation and get excited! But ask Gideon how impressed God is with the size of a gathering. What we do see is this: For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:20)
7. How often did the apostles teach on tithing?
Were you shocked to see that the apostles didn't teach people to tithe even once? Perhaps because the tribe of Levi doesn't need to be supported for the work of the tabernacle. Yet, it seems many church leaders teach that Old Testament command to fund a New Testament church. That's how I was taught, and that's what I taught when I was a full-time minister on the church payroll years ago. I don't teach that anymore.
Some will look at what Jesus said in Luke 11:42 for support. But remember this is present tense preaching prior to Christ's death which is still Old Testament. Tithing is not a New Testament command. Giving from the heart is - but that's a topic for another time.
8. What verse(s) gives us the authority to add to the scriptures?
Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. (Proverbs 30:5-6)
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: (Revelation 22:18)
Enough said. Beware of Bible versions that have added to or taken away ...
9. How many years of Bible school are required before one can become ordained?
Zero. Every church should be it's own Bible school. Like a family, elders should teach the young the Word of God. Then as a person matures in Christ, and according to the instruction found in Titus 1 and 1Timothy 3, they should be ordained an elder.
10. Who is the head of the church?
Christ is head of his church. Not a pastor, pope, or general superintendent.
For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. (Ephesians 5:23)
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