Money changed, we started out on the road toward Yaoundé, stopping to fill the tank for $60 on the outskirts of Douala.
There were some Bible questions:
- Did Jesus give the bread and wine to Judas? No, Jesus did wash his feet, but then sent him off to do his dirty work before the bread and wine were given.
- What is happening in Europe now that might fit with prophetic fulfillment? I explained the rise of illiberal parties and even governments in places like Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. They are moving away from the democratic traditions of Western Europe and closer to Russia with its strongman Vladimir Putin. This is shocking in the light of their recent history. Marine Le Pen will poll very well in the next French presidential election and there’s an outside chance she could win. This could be a movement toward less democratic more autocratic governments which could announce the arrival of the 10 kings that will give their power to the beast in the end time Revelation 17:13). Also clashes between Islamic refugees and the European states where they live could well set the stage for the King of the South "attacking" the King of the North (Daniel 11:40). These trends will be important to watch.
Here there were more questions:
- What role do women have in the Church today? While the Bible says women are not to serve in the ordained ministry, there are Deaconesses that are ordained into service, and the Bible also says older women have a role teaching other women.
- We have women writing articles in our publications, isn’t this having them take authority over men? Is that appropriate? I explained that we do have very talented female writers who are careful in how they present material. When it comes to expounding the Bible they will often interview church elders and quote their explanations, so even through the writer is feminine the Biblical exposition is coming from elders. Mélanie especially liked that arrangement.
- Will people in the millennium live the whole time, since there will be no sickness or bad conditions, to be a thousand years old? I replied that there is no indication that people will live the entire millennium. There will be one or two hostile invasions heading toward Jerusalem, one possibly toward the beginning and one certainly at the end of the thousand years, and those armies will be destroyed, so people will die. It’s more likely during the millennium that people will live out their lives normally as we do today and die. We don’t know if at their death the righteous will be transformed immediately or at some later time. The Bible does not make this clear.
- When should you be baptized? When you have repented and have faith in God and the gospel message. Preparing for baptism is all about understanding these concepts and making sure we have fulfilled them. Then we should be baptized.
- Will there be an actual temple in Jerusalem during the millennium or is it just figurative? I said that based on the detailed descriptions we have in Ezekiel (43-48) about the temple, it is most likely there will be an actual temple in the city. Later when the New Jerusalem, on the New Earth arrives, there will be no temple (Revelation 21:22) because the Father and the Lamb will be the Temple. There will be no need for a temple when God is present.
About 5:00 when I was supposed to be picked up, a terrific thunderstorm swept through with heavy rains. This lasted several hours and put an end to our plans of reconvening. In heavy rain, one can hear very little in houses with corrugated tin roofs.
About 7:00 pm three young adults came to the hotel to counsel with me individually about personal issues. They were wise to ask, and I think the time we spent was helpful in helping them see various situations more clearly and in multiple perspectives.
When they left I went to the little restaurant to see if they had a cold beer, which they did, but no food. So I dined on Triscuits (roasted garlic flavor) and a beer.
Now I will hope that the electricity stays on all night.