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Sent: Thursday, August 02, 2012 11:32 AM
Subject: Question

Would BIBLE Baptist Church of DeLand, FL be a false ministry?

Sent: Thursday, August 02, 2012 2:50 PM

Subject: Re: Question

Yes it is. James Knox is a false teacher on the same broad way we describe at On their "What we Believe" page they write,
There are certainly clearly stated truths found in scripture to which all believers must steadfastly adhere.  A collection of individuals, each living in accord with their opinions or religious notions, can accomplish little for Christ.  A gathering of men and women who have a like-minded faith in a foundational set of Biblical truths can do great things for the Lord.
They don't explain specifically what "stated truths found in scripture" they are talking about, but this language is the same as the essentials lie we explain at Scripture (the Word, John 1:1) Himself is what is to be steadfastly adhered to (Matthew 4:4; Hebrews 4:12-13; James 1:21), not just "truths found in" it.
They write in a similar fashion on their "Church Structure" page. There they say, "we fellowship with all Christians holding basic Bible truths" (bold added, That's the same concept as the "essentials" lie. See
Moreover, this church is also under the KJV only delusion ( For more on that, see
At they reveal they are under the doctrines of men (as in Matthew 15:8-9) with their own man-made dress code (Colossians 2:8-9). God sets no such standard (Proverbs 30:5-6).
On their doctrine page they write,
We believe that water baptism is a public testimony made by the saved Christian and plays no part in salvation . . . . (bold added,
Peter declared,

Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins . . .  (Acts 2:38).

Furthermore, James Knox is a hireling (John 10:12). He is in it for the money (2 Peter 2:14 "trained in covetous practices"). He makes people pay for his teaching (books, etc.). If you go to his FAQ page (, instead of giving the answer to the question, he refers you to a book he has written on the subject. But, in order to get the book, you have to buy it (e.g. He could offer the book for free in a pdf file. That would cost him virtually nothing. So, he is more interested in the money, than giving an answer.
He also reveals he is a blasphemer (as 2 Timothy 3:2 warns). They write,
Why did God allow polygamy in the Bible?
This implies approval. There is no account where anyone was instructed by God to multiply wives, nor where His blessing is seen upon it. All accounts giving detailed information show that such relationships were hurtful to the married and their offspring. God permits man to do many things of which He does not approve. (
Here they proclaim polygamy to be a sin, when God never does (Proverbs 30:5-6). See Therefore, when they proclaim polygamy a sin, they blaspheme godly men who unrepentantly practiced it (e.g. Abraham, Caleb, David, etc.).

From: "Mike Bottoni"
Sent: Thursday, August 02, 2012 4:13 PM
Subject: It's Mike Bottoni

hello Darwin!! just took a look at some of your new beliefs and not so right on anymore i love you brother you introduced me to the Lord, and you come across as His only tool to spread His word. Give me some thoughts

hope all is well!!

Mike Bottoni

From: "Darwin Fish"
Sent: Friday, August 03, 2012 3:52 PM
To: "Mike Bottoni"
Subject: Re: It's Mike Bottoni

Thanks for writing. Good to hear from you.

Sadly, I seriously regret the influence I had upon your life and others
years ago. I was a false Christian back then. I was caught in the deceit of
this age. Even though Scripture warns us about it in 1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2
Timothy 3:1-5; 4:3-4; 2 Peter 2:1-2; etc., I didn't see it then (for more on
that deception, see If I had died back
then, I would be in hell today (as in Luke 16:19-31). That's a terrifying
thought for me. Therefore, I have determined not to be deceived again (by
the grace of God, Proverbs 31:7-8). Thus, as the Psalmist, "I hate every
false way" (Psalm 119:104, 128).

I did not lead you into anything good. That "Christianity" I was involved in
is Satanic (as in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; and as the Jews of old, John 8:44;
Revelation 2:9; 3:9) and leads to nowhere but hell. When I began to discover
that (in 1993-94), it was terrifying, extremely distressful, and
horrifyingly sad. Nonetheless, I could not deny what the Bible says, and I
faced the Truth, no matter what the cost (Luke 14:26-33).

In fact, just to illustrate how totally Satanic that "Christianity" is, take
a look at our report on the preacher Charles Spurgeon
( He is one of the most well respected
preachers of all time. Yet, he taught the exact opposite of the doctrine of
Christ (2 John 9). Jesus said the way to life is narrow in Matthew 7:13-14.
Spurgeon taught just the opposite. He said the way to life was broad. See
the documentation in our report. What Jesus said was the way to destruction
(broad), Spurgeon said it was the way of life! Plus, Jesus said few enter
life and many go to destruction (hell). Spurgeon said just the opposite. He
said he believed there would be more people in heaven than in hell. That is
the exact opposite of the doctrine of Christ (2 John 9) found in Matthew
7:13-14. Such a man (Spurgeon) "does not have God" as 2 John 9 declares.

Whether I am now "His only tool to spread His word" or not is immaterial (1
Peter 1:24-25). The Bible says what it says and we had all better heed
"every word" (Matthew 4:4). And, in the end, we will be judged by it
(Hebrews 4:12-13; Romans 2:6-10; Matthew 12:36-37).

Noah was the only noted "preacher of righteous" in his generation (2 Peter
2:5; Genesis 6:5-8), and only he and his family were spared from the wrath
of God in the flood (Genesis 6). "Few" (Matthew 7:13-14) can mean VERY few.
It was only 8 out of the entire population of the earth in Noah's day (1
Peter 3:20). It was only 3 out of all the people in the cities destroyed
with Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19; Jude 7), and they have been suffering
the physical torment (as in Luke 16:24) of fire for the last 4000 years or
so. Christ could have saved them from this fate (Romans 9:16, 18), but He
choose not to (Matthew 11:23). He does that kind of thing often (e.g. 1
Samuel 2:25 "because the Lord desired to kill them").

For your soul's sake, I encourage you to heed Proverbs 2:1-6. Look up the
Scriptures I have cited in this email (if you don't know them). Also, please
take a serious look at our Statement of Faith
(, particularly the first three points.
Search "the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things" are so (Acts
17:11). I love you too. So, as the "wounds of a friend" are (Proverbs
27:5-6), know this: you are most certainly headed for hell. Unless you
repent and forsake the lies (Revelation 22:14-25 "whoever loves and
practices a lie") you will be with the rest of the "unbelieving" in the
"lake which burns with fire and brimstone" (Revelation 21:8). How do I know
this? By what you wrote, "not so right on anymore". We proclaim the Word of
God (1 John 4:6). Those who are "of God" hear his words (John 8:47). Those
who are not, do not (John 8:47). Since you think my beliefs are "not so
right on," I can see you do not believe what the Bible says.

I would hope in the process of heeding Proverbs 2; Acts 17:11; and even Jude
3 ("contend for the faith") or 2 Timothy 2:24-26 ("correcting those") you
would begin to see we do speak His Word. I would like to see what you think
I believe is "not so right on" and the Biblical justification for your
idea(s). In that as well, for your sake, you might begin to see it is the
Word upon which I stand. Also, if I am wrong on anything before the Word of
God, I will most certainly repent and heed His Word (Proverbs 6:23).

Periodically, we are asked about the "Rapture" and the end times. Below is an email regarding such things:

There is a lot of false doctrine regarding those issues (as on many other matters). There is no such thing (Biblically) as a "7 year tribulation." There is a 3 1/2 year tribulation (e.g. Matthew 24:21; Revelation 11:3; 12:6; 13:5; Daniel 12:11; etc.), not 7. Daniel 7:25 depicts the 3 1/2 years with "time" (one), "times" (two), and "half a time" (1/2) = 3 1/2.

Daniel 9:27 does describe 7 years ("one week"), but it is not until the last 3 1/2 years ("middle of the week") that the tribulation (Matthew 24:21 "great tribulation") hits. The "weeks" in Daniel 9 are literally "sevens" in the Hebrew and the context dictates they are speaking of years, as the chapter begins with Daniel's concern about God's promise of blessing Israel after "70 years" (Daniel 9:2). God responds to Daniel's prayer by telling Daniel about God's overall plan for Israel which entails "Seventy weeks" (Daniel 9:24-27) or more literally, "seventy sevens" or, that is, 70 x 7 which equals 490 years (years is the context, Daniel 9:2).

The "rapture" can be found in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-5:3. These words will literally be fulfilled, but there is much folly and false doctrine regarding this event. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-5:3 describes the very beginning of the "Day of the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 5:2), that is, when Christ physically and literally returns to the earth (e.g. Zechariah 14). The timing of when this happens is discussed in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 and Matthew 24:15-44 (Mark 13:14-37; Luke 17:24-30). 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 lets us know the "man of sin" (the Antichrist, 1 John 2:18; 4:3) must come first. Jesus describes this in Matthew 24:15 (and Mark 13:14) as "the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet" (e.g. Daniel 12:11). That event marks the beginning of the "great tribulation" (Matthew 24:21) and marks the return of Christ (Matthew 24:36). "That day" in Matthew 24:36 refers to the day spoken of in Matthew 24:15, and Jesus marks that day, not only as the beginning of the "great tribulation" (Matthew 24:21), but as the day of His return (Matthew 24:36-44). Thus, He returns at the beginning of those last 3 1/2 years, which is the beginning of the great tribulation.

Many get confused by Matthew 24:29-31 thinking those words describe the "rapture" of 1 Thessalonians 4:15-5:3, but Matthew 24:29 explicitly says otherwise ("Immediately after the tribulation"). Beginning from Matthew 24:15 and following Jesus is describing the "great tribulation" which equals the "Day of the Lord" (which is described in detail from Revelation chapters 6-19). In describing those days, He describes what happens at the end of that time in Matthew 24:29-31. In Matthew 24:36 He goes back to "that day and hour" (Matthew 24:36) of when "the abomination of desolation . . . [is] standing in the holy place" (Matthew 24:15), which starts the time of the "great tribulation" (Matthew 24:21).

Note: Scripture describes Christ coming at both the beginning of the "great tribulation" (Matthew 24:36-44; Luke 17:24-30; Revelation 6:12-17) and at the end of it (Matthew 24:29; Revelation 19:11-21). The first coming is in the context of "Peace and safety" (1 Thessalonians 5:3), life as normal (Matthew 24:36-44; Luke 17:24-30). The second coming is in the context of utter chaos and turmoil (Matthew 24:29; Luke 21:25-27). The first coming comes as an utter surprise to everyone, even believers (Matthew 24:44 "you do not expect"; Luke 21:34-36). The second coming is expected, anticipated (Matthew 24:32-33), and comes as no surprise to both believers and the world (Mark 13:28-29). In fact, the second coming is so anticipated and known that the Antichrist army is poised and ready for Christ and His army when He comes. As Revelation 19:19 declares:

And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.

Revelation 19 is clearly at the end of the great tribulation (see Revelation chapters 6-19) and happens immediately before Christ sets up His kingdom here on earth. See the following chapter, Revelation 20, for that.

The Tim LaHaye Left Behind series is a fable (2 Timothy 4:3-4 "fables"). First of all, there will not be millions (as described in the book and movie) of believers taken at His return. In complete contradistinction to that, Christ questioned if there would be anyone believing in Him when He returns (see Luke 18:8b). Second, the Bible describes the last days in which we live (before His return) to be a time in which very few will actually be following Christ in truth (which is what is required, John 4:24). 1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; 4:3-4; 2 Peter 2:2; etc., describe a massive false Christianity in the last days. Jesus also likened the days just before His return as the days of Noah and Lot (Matthew 24:37-39; Luke 17:26-30). His point there being that life was continuing as normal, and then "sudden destruction" (1 Thessalonians 5:3) came upon them. Yet, it should not go unnoticed that both of those times also illustrated and were characterized by very few believers. Noah's day only had at the most 8 (1 Peter 3:20) out of the entire population of the earth. Likewise with Lot, out of all the "cities" (Genesis 19:25; Jude 7) that were destroyed, only Lot and his two daughters were spared (Genesis 19:22-26). That's only three out of whole cities (not just Sodom).

Thirdly, the Bible very explicitly declares that "every eye will see Him" (Revelation 1:7) when He returns, and this is clearly in the context of being at the beginning of the "great tribulation" as Luke 17:30 declares (in that context of suddenness), "when the Son of Man is revealed." "Revealed" = made known, seen, manifest. The Tim LaHaye Left Behind series portrays millions of missing people and the world not knowing why they are gone (with no revelation of Christ). This is a total lie. When Christ comes back, very very few will go to be with Him, and the world will see Him, which helps explain the massive amount of believers on the planet immediately after this during the "great tribulation" (Revelation 7:14). See Revelation 7. These people don't get to go in the "rapture" (1 Thessalonians 4:15f), but they are believers and have to endure the great tribulation. Revelation 7:14-17 depicts some of what they endure ("hunger", "thirst", "sun", "heat"). asked,

"Does the word of God SAY that there are no more apostles or is it just a tradition of men?"

From: "Darwin Fish"
Sent: Friday, August 17, 2012 2:15 PM

There's no direct reference on that. Ephesians 4:11 is in the past tense
("He gave") saying nothing on the present either way. Ephesians 2:20 shows
the foundation is the apostles and prophets. To follow the analogy, the
foundation is the starting point, and everything else is built upon that.

Paul did say he was the last one to have seen Christ, and this is in the
immediate context (both before and after) of the apostles (1 Corinthians
15:8-9). Christ's appearance to Paul was after His ascension (Acts 1). In 2
Corinthians 5:16 Paul notes he had "known Christ according to the flesh, yet
now we know Him thus no longer." This fits with Peter's statement in 1 Peter
1:8 in which he writes to believers, "now you do not see Him [Christ]."
Thus, Paul was truly the last to have seen Christ (as 1 Corinthians 15:8
plainly says), and this in the context of after the ascension. Mix 1 Peter
1:8 into this, and it is evident Christ is not appearing to people (as so
many claim). The next time He appears, everyone will see Him (Revelation

Moreover, when you see that an apostle was one whom Christ specifically
appointed (e.g. Luke 6:12-16; John 6:70; Acts 26:14-18; 1 Timothy 1:1 "by
command of God," 2:7; 2 Timothy 1:11 "appointed") and gave power to (Matthew
10:1-4; 2 Corinthians 12:12 "signs of an apostle"), and Paul marks his
apostleship with (in part) "have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord" (1
Corinthians 9:1-2), it is evident there are no apostles anymore.

So, 1 Corinthians 15:7-9 is key, but the rest of the "puzzle" of Scripture
needs to be put together to see the significance of it.

Someone asked, "Is taxation theft?" Below is how Darwin answered (edited).

Legitimate (Biblical) taxation is the receiving of funds (taxing) for "an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil" (Romans 13:4). It is "for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do good" (1 Peter 2:14). So, when it is done for and in this manner, it certainly cannot be called theft. God taxed the Israelites in the law (e.g. Leviticus 27:30; Deuteronomy 14:22-23). This was not God stealing, but rather, it was STEALING to NOT pay these taxes (Malachi 3:8-9). It is a legitimate requirement of the people to support the government with taxes, and for the government to require payment of taxes, for "an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil" (Romans 13:4).

Out of these taxes, the law of Moses exemplifies another legitimate use of taxes is to help the poor and needy (see Deuteronomy 26:12). Yet, in this example, the funds went directly from the giver to the poor and needy, rather than via a government agency or third party.

Now, sadly men are wicked, and so they are sorely inclined to oppress (Amos 5:11) and tax in excess (greedy, e.g. look at our governments) and for illegitimate purposes (e.g. abortion) and illegally (many federal programs), even though it is under the guise of being legal. Tax collectors, as a group/type, are viewed in Scripture as downright evil (e.g. Matthew 5:46-47;
11:19; 18:17; 21:31-32; Mark 2:15-17). Yet, it is not because collecting taxes is, in and of itself, evil, but rather it is because it is the norm (characteristic) for a tax collector to oppress and collect illegitimately (e.g. Luke 19:2, 8). It is the same as with lawyers, Pharisees, and scribes (scholars, Ezra 7:6; Matthew 13:52). It is not that being a lawyer (e.g. Titus 3:13) or a Pharisee (e.g. Acts 23:6), or a scribe (e.g. Ezra 7:6; Matthew 13:5) is, in and of itself, evil. But, normally lawyers, Pharisees, and scribes (scholars) are/were grossly evil (e.g. Matthew 23; Luke 7:30; 11:37-54) in their occupations. And, it is no different for those who
collect taxes (tax collectors), even in our day.

Moreover, when you realize the truth of Luke 20:22-25, and realize these are Federal Reserve Notes they are asking for, then these dollars (notes) are theirs anyway. It is not stealing to require back what is already yours. Yet, being fiat, it is an unjust weight and measure (Proverbs 20:10), as they aggressively decrease its value.

"Is taxation slavery?"

Not in and of itself. We are told both to pay our taxes (Romans 13:7) AND not to become slaves of men (1 Corinthians 7:3). We can obey both. But, taxation can produce slavery. See, for example, Nehemiah 5:4-5. Of course, not paying can result in "slavery plus one" (incarceration).

Sent: Friday, November 16, 2012 7:55 PM

Subject: Hanakkah

The Jewish celebration of Hanakkah;  There is a website claiming this is not in the Hebrew Bible, that it is apocyphal. Said to be from the Book of the Maccabees.
Do you have info about this?

Sent: Saturday, November 17, 2012 10:29 AM

Subject: Re: Hanakkah

John 10:22 speaks of Hanukkah (Greek, ἐγκαίνια [egkainia]) "rededication" or "Hanukkah" (also spelled "Chanukkah"). According to history this commemorates the rededication of the temple around 165 BC. For some history, see 1 Maccabees 4:36-59 (vs. 56, ἐγκαινισμὸν [egkainismon]); 2 Maccabees 10:1-8. These are historical accounts, not Scripture. The Hebrew word for Hanukkah (חֲנֻכָּ֤ה chanukkâh) is found in Numbers 7:10-11, 84, 88; 2 Chronicles 7:9; Nehemiah 12:27; Psalm 30:1 (title) and means dedication.

From: Robert Marchese
Sent: Monday, December 03, 2012 9:15 PM


By the way, when men say that "faith" is not a work, that is a lie right? Having faith (believing) is an action on mans part, so it is a work, right?

Subject: Re:
Date: Tue, 4 Dec 2012 08:58:37 -0600

John 6:29 (work/believe)

From: Robert Marchese
Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2012 2:35 PM


Well, that's a good parellel with Ephesians 2:8-9, isn't it? God giving faith is His work, not man's? But reason I was asking is because free will people may argue that faith is not a work regarding Ephesians 2:8-9. In other words, if I said, "well, if you have faith on your own apart from God giving it to you, then you could boast as making the right choice," they may say, "Oh, faith is not a work though, so we couldn't boast."
So, that's why I am saying, it would be an action on their part if they were to have faith on their own apart from God (which is impossible, Eph 2:8-9), right? They could boast, because the choice to have faith and believe would be their will/action/work?

Date: Fri, 7 Dec 2012 11:11:06 -0600

Correct. What is typically argued (by the "theologians") is that Romans 4:1-8 contrasts works against faith and therefore, they conclude, faith is not a work. Now, it is indeed true faith is contrasted with works in Romans 4. But, what is typically not acknowledged nor understood is that the works being spoken of in Romans 4 are works of the flesh, not works of faith. John 6:29 proves faith is a work (a work only of God,, III. Only God Has Faith) and James 2:14-26 also proves faith works, that is, there are works of faith. Works of faith justify. Works of the flesh condemn (Romans 9:30-33). For more detail on this, see under II. Whole Counsel starting at "A classic example of this is found within false Christianity when Romans 4 is pitted against James 2, . . . ."

Sent: Friday, December 07, 2012 7:29 PM


And also, 1 Samuel 1:11 in the Septuagint uses αδωναι. It's the only time this is found in the typical Septuagint (although the Apostolic Polyglot bible/LXX contains it, which is based off of variants at times). So, isn't this the transliteration of אֲדֹנָי (Adonai)? Interesting if it is, because the LXX usually just translates אֲדֹנָי as κυριος.

Sent: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 10:44 AM


Yes, it's Adonai. That is also spelled Αδωναιε (Adonaie) in Judges 13:8 & 16:28 where we have κύριε Αδωναιε (Lord Adonai) for solely אֲדוֹנָי and Αδωναιε κύριε (Adonai Lord) for אֲדֹנָי יֱהֹוִה (Adonai Yehovih) respectively. There is also αδων (Adon = Lord in Hebrew) for אָדוֹן (Adon) in Jeremiah 34:5 (LXX 41:5).
1 Samuel 1:11 also has κύριε ελωαι σαβαωθ (Lord God of Hosts) which makes it Αδωναι κύριε ελωαι σαβαωθ (Adonai kurie eloai sabaoth) more literally, "my Lords, Lord God of Hosts" for יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת (Yehvah tseva'ot) "Yehvah of Hosts." Eloai (ελωαι) is only found here in the LXX. It represents a transliteration of אֱלֹהָי ('elohay) which is literally, "my Gods" (e.g. Genesis 31:30 "my gods"; Numbers 22:18 "my God"; Deuteronomy 4:5 "my God")
I don't know why there is a spelling difference between Αδωναι and Αδωναιε.

Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2013 10:45 AM
Subject: wives

Doesn't Peter teach that even if wives are being physically abused ("likewise"), that they are to remain with their husbands in the hopes that their husbands might be saved through their (wive's) conduct? (2 Peter 3:1-3)

From: "Darwin Fish"
Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2013 12:33 PM
Subject: Re: wives

Any such abuse would be evil on the husband's part (of course), and this
principle illustrated in 1 Peter 2:13-3:7 of submission and non-resistance
(which includes both husband and wife, 3:1, 7 "likewise") is how any
believer is to live (Matthew 5:39). It is not unique to a marital
relationship. Nonetheless, it does not trump protecting others (e.g. Jo
29:17; Psalm 94:11; Luke 22:35-38; Ecclesiastes 3:3), which in this case may
involve children.

The world readily rejects this and twists it into something it is not (as if
someone who believes this thinks it is a good thing for a woman to be abused
[which it is not], or twists it into a dangerous place for children [which
takes prudence on the wife's part [or husband's] to properly protect her
children, when she can]). The world jumps on even "emotional abuse" and each
have their own idea of what that is. It sadly can degrade into a whole can
of worms it is not. But, such is a perverted world (Revelation 12:9).

Nevertheless, you can see an example of God ordered submission, even when
treated wrongly, in Genesis 16 where "Sarai dealt harshly with her" and "she
fled from her presence" (Genesis 16:6). Yet, God told her to "Return to your
mistress, and submit yourself under her hand" (Genesis 16:9). Later, she is
divorced by Abraham and kicked out by the prior "abuser" (Sarai) and command
of God (Genesis 21:8-21). That doesn't fit well with man, but that is no
surprise (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Granted, the example of Genesis 16 is unique and is later used as an
allegory (Galatians 4:24 KJV "allegory" Greek, ἀλληγορούμενα [allêgoroumena]) for "the two covenants" (Galatians 4:24). Nonetheless, it does illustrate the principle above.

Sent: Friday, February 08, 2013 2:49 PM

Subject: Re: Book of Enoch

Thanks for your reply. I read several of your positions.
Do you believe there were giants mentioned in the Bible and how tall do you think they were?  And if so, do you have a position as to why there were giants?
Joe Taylor

Sent: Friday, February 08, 2013 4:49 PM

Subject: Re: Book of Enoch

The Hebrew term Nephilim (or nephiliym) translated "giants" (e.g. NKJV) are mentioned in Genesis 6:4 & Numbers 13:33. This plural noun is akin to the verb "fall" נָפַ֥ל (nâphal) [for more details on this word, see the footnote for Genesis 6:4 at]. Numbers 13:33 portrays a characteristic of these Nephilim, that is, that they were giants (“and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight”). Moreover, Numbers 13:33 records “the sons of Anak are from the Nephilim," and Deuteronomy 2:10-11 notes the Anakim (sons of Anak) are “great and numerous and tall;" and they are called Rephaim (or rephâ'iym) in Deuteronomy 2:11 (see also Deuteronomy 2:20; 3:13; Joshua 12:4; 13:12; 17:15). Rephaim is plural for Rapha (or Raphah), which is the term translated "giant" in 2 Samuel 21:16, 18, 20, 22 (Raphah); 1 Chronicles 20:4 (Raphaim), 6 (Rapha), 8 (Rapha).
Deuteronomy 3:11 records one of the "giants" (Rephaim) somewhere close to 9 cubits (somewhere around 13 feet) tall. Galiath was 6.5 cubits (about 9 feet) tall (1 Samuel 17:4).
Evidently, the reason for the giants (at least in part) is the Nephilim in Genesis 6.

Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2013 10:39 AM
Subject: Councils and judgment?

I have another question. In Matthew 5: 22, Jesus says that of one insults his brother with the term "Raca" (whatever that means) shall be in danger of the "council", as compared to the "judgment" He speaks of when one is angry with their brother (without "cause").  Then the statement of "you fool" places one in danger of hell fire...what is the difference, and is there some progression from bad to worse going on here? What is the critical difference with calling one a fool vs the other insulting statement?  What am I missing here?

From: "Darwin Fish"
Sent: Friday, February 08, 2013 8:02 PM
Subject: Re: Councils and judgment?

The "judgment" is the same term used in Matthew 12:41-42. The "counsel" is
the same word used for "Sanhedrin" (NIV, found also in Matthew 10:17 [NIV
"councils"]; 26:59; Mark 13:9 [NIV "councils"]; 14:55; 15:1; Luke 22:66 [NIV
"council"]; John 11:47; Acts 4:15; 5:21, 27, 34, 41; 6:12, 15; 22:30; 23:1,
6 , 15, 20, 28; 24:20). The "counsel" of judgment in Scripture would be the
apostles (Matthew 19:28), the saints (1 Corinthians 6:2), and the Gods

All dictate judgment (which mandates hell without the blood of Christ), but
the last gives the actual specific result and exact condemnation (hell).
With the context being murder (vs. 21), Jesus is revealing a strict judgment
by God on these more "minor" matters. It is similar to Matthew 12:36-37
("every idle word").

With the rest of the counsel of God on the matter (e.g. John 5:28-29), it
shows how specific and miniscule (if you will) God's judgment will be on the
wicked. It's a fearful thing and reveals God's view of sin.

Sent: Monday, February 25, 2013 10:49 PM
Subject: Friends of God

In Luke 7:34, Jesus is falsely represented as a glutton and a "winebibber".  People quickly identify this as false accusation. But they also call him a friend of sinners.  Is that also a false accusation?  I ask because people frequently call Jesus (based on this verse) a Friend of sinners (even in songs).  Is the entire verse false accusation (not wanting to connect dots that are unconnected, but since Abraham was called  a friend of God because he believed God, is not the same "qualifier" present for "sinners"? )

Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 10:32 AM
Subject: Re: Friends of God

Hebrews says that He is "separate from sinners" (Hebrews 7:26) and James 4:4 reveals enmity with God (Jesus) for adulterers (sinners). Romans 5:10 says sinners "were enemies." Psalm 11:5 says His soul hates the wicked and Psalm 97:3 says He burns up His enemies. Yet, indeed, He died (loved) for them nonetheless (John 3:16). God loves His enemies as well. But, I have never seen that He is in truth a friend of His enemies, in the idea of what is said in Luke 7:34 (and Matthew 11:19).

Jesus did call Judas "friend" (Matthew 26:50), but Judas was quite unique. Jesus picked him as an apostle, knowing all along he was a devil (John 6:64, 70-71). There is the passage in Matthew 22:12 in which it uses this same Greek word as in Matthew 26:50 for "friend" (Ἑταῖρε [Etaire]). There the Lord calls the person "friend" and the "friend" is cast to hell. That same Greek word is used only also in Matthew 11:16 ("companions") & 20:13.
The Greek word used in Matthew 11:19 & Luke 7:34 is φίλος (philos). This word is more of an endearing term and is the same word for "friend" as used in John 3:29; 11:11; 15:13; Acts 27:3; James 2:23; 4:4; 3 John 14. φίλος (philos) is the noun form of one of the words for the verb to love (e.g. John 5:20). The real defining verse on this subject is found in John 15:14 where this word is used:

You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.