Is Gog Russia?


Pastor Chris,

The Bible makes reference to Gog. Is Gog Russia?

~ Dustin


Dear Dustin,

Gog is the leader of Russia. “The reference to ‘Gog and Magog,’ when read in connection with Ezek. 38:1-39:24, seems to indicate clearly that Russia will play a prominent part in that final rebellion against the God of heaven” (Louis Talbot An Exposition of the Book of Revelation, p. 237).
Prophecy scholar, Hal Lindsey, writes these words in Chapter Five of his classic book titled The Late Great Planet Earth: “Gog is the symbolic name of the nation’s leader and Magog is his land. He is also the prince of the ancient people who were called Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal” (p. 63).
“Ezek. 38-39, which deal with Gog, the prince, and Magog, his land, describe the actual invasion of Palestine by a great northern confederacy, ostensibly headed by Russia” (The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary 1988).

“Described as ‘the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal,’ Gog is also depicted as being ‘of the land of Magog’ (Ezek. 38:2-3), a ‘place out of the far north’ of Israel” (Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary 1986).

~ Pastor Chris

Do not Call Anyone Rabbi, Father, or Teacher


How do you interpret Matthew 23:7-10? Jesus said we must not call anyone Teacher or Pastor as He is our Teacher and God is our Leader.


Dear Friend,

When interpreting the Bible we must always read a verse or verses in context. In other words, we need to understand the entire flow of the passage. When you do that in regard to your question, you will see that Jesus is speaking strong language against pretense and arrogance in spiritual matters. Specifically, Jesus spoke about the Pharisees and the teachers of the law (Matthew 23:1). Jesus said, “Everything they do is done for men to see” (v.5).
Jesus’ followers are not to behave like that.

The critical thing here is not titles but ego. The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were out for themselves. Jesus said, “…do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach” (v.3).

I have known authentic, godly men, who were seminary professors. We called them teachers, because they helped us understand the Bible and the ways of Christ. They sought no title. They desired nothing but to exalt Christ.
Jesus opposed pompous, self-righteous men who used titles as status symbols.

By-the-way, the word translated “teacher” in v.10 (Gk. kathegetes) means in the first place “a guide, one who shows the way; a leader, a conductor” and secondly means “a teacher” (The Complete Biblical Library, Matthew, p. 495). Technically Jesus did not speak against using the word “teacher.”
God opposes pride in all its forms.

~ Pastor Chris

Was Lillith Adam's first wife before Eve was created?





The Bible is clear that Adam’s only wife was Eve (Genesis 2:21-24). Any thought that Adam had a previous wife is unfounded. It has no biblical support.

The reference you cite regarding “Lilith” is in a single verse, Isaiah 34:14. Lilith comes from the Hebrew word lilit and is is variously translated as night creatures (NIV, NLT); screech owl (HCSB, Apologetics Study Bible, KJV); night monster (NAS); night hag (RSV); night-owl (YLT); night-monsters (LB); and night-demon Lilith (TM).

Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible states that Lilith is, “A demon attested only in Isaiah 34:14, but whose Mesopotamian roots go back to the 3rd millennium B.C. The Babylonian Lilitu was a female spirit who could not bear children, but instead gave forth poison from her breasts by which she would seek to kill babies. She was also associated with stormy winds and is described as fleeing from a house through the window. Within medieval Jewish demonology (italics mine) Lilith is identified as the “first Eve” who was created from the earth along with Adam, but refused to accept a position subservient to him. She then fled from him and roams the earth looking for newborn infants to devour. Isaiah 34:14 describes Lilith as dwelling with the wildcats and hyenas among Edom’s ruins; the picture is thus one of complete desolation where only death and destruction reign.”

Easton’s Bible Dictionary states, “The Hebrew word is from a root signifying ‘night.’ Some species of the owl is obviously intended by this word. It may be the hooting or tawny owl (Syrnium aluco), which is common in Egypt and in many parts of Palestine. This verse in Isaiah is ‘descriptive of utter and perpetual desolation, of a land that should be full of ruins, and inhabited by the animals that usually make such ruins their abode.'”

Lilith is therefore a demon or some sort of animal. In either case Lilith would not be a wife.

Why is there a need for Jesus if you are a devout Jew without sin?

Pastor Chris,

Assuming one is a devout Jew—like Jesus, and is faithful to all Mitzvot in the Torah—i.e. the Five Books of Moses, thus is without sin. Contained in the Christians’ “Greek Old Testament,”
Why is there a need for the New Testament—expounding belief in a Messiah, who has yet to appear to protect us? Per Numbers 24;17 & Deuteronomy 18;18.



Jesus is the only person without sin. This is because Jesus does not have a human father. Jesus is the only person in all of eternity who is fully God and fully man (John 1:1-2; 14; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:15-18). Our sin nature is passed down to us from Adam through our fathers. Thus, we are sinners by nature and we sin by choice. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

In John 8:46 Jesus asked His opponents, “Can any of you prove me guilty of sin?” Those who were against Him would certainly have pointed out sin in Jesus’ life if they could. They watched Jesus closely, looking for ways to discredit Him. They could not do it.

Being faithful to the Torah does not mean a person can say that they are sin free. A person who is faithful to the Torah must offer sacrifices for sin. The problem is that the sacrifices required in the Torah cannot take away sin. Hebrews 10:11 says, “Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.”

The sacrifices required in the Torah prepared the way for the ultimate sacrifice that God’s Son would make when He died on the cross. Think of the Old Testament sacrificial system as a preview of what was to come.

When Jesus hung on the cross, God the Father accepted His sacrifice on our behalf as full payment for our sin. Jesus cried out from the cross, “It is finished!” (John 19:30); which means “it is paid in full.” Therefore, when we repent of our sins and place our trust in Jesus as our Redeemer we are forgiven and we gain eternal life (John 3:16-17; 5:24).

It has been said that the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed. In other words, the New Testament explains the Old Testament by telling us about Jesus the Messiah who fulfilled everything the Old Testament was pointing toward. Jesus said it this way, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (Matthew 5:17).

Pastor Chris

Why does Genesis describe the plurality of God?

Pastor Chris,






The plurality reference to God that you identify in Genesis is the first mention of what theologians term the Godhead. The Godhead is further revealed in Scripture as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We often use the term Trinity to refer to the Godhead. All three persons within the Godhead are co-eternal and co-equal. God the Father is God. God the Son is God. And God the Holy Spirit is God.

You mention that you are a Catholic. You might consider reading the book titled The Trinity: An Introduction to Catholic Doctrine on the Triune God (Thomistic Ressourcement). Another resource (one that I highly recommend) is Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine.

Pastor Chris

Am I allowed to read the Bible?

i have been told by my husband (we’re separated at this time) that because i am not saved, i am not allowed to read the bible and if i do read the bible it has to be kjv as that is the correct version to read.

in 1996, when i was 16, i was baptized and saved. but i don’t consider it being saved because my youth minister at that time came to me and stated that my mother would love to see me be saved. i really didn’t feel ready then but i went a head and did it anyways. i did feel better afterwards though. that great feeling one gets when the spirit touches them.

now today my husband is telling me that if i move back in i have to read from a kjv bible (problem is i can’t comperhend the kjv bible but can the niv and nkjv) he also stated that we would attend church. i have nothing against church but every one i have been to in my area i never felt good about and i feel i should go to a church that i feel good about not of what he (husband) wants.

my husband also tells me that because i read the bible and have not been saved that i am playing god and the church.

i haven’t stepped into a church for over a year and reason being is that i don’t feel that movement in that church. that spirit. another reason is that i have an anxiety disorder and it is hard for me to go places without having an attack.

i am confused on all of this. am i allowed to read the bible even though I don’t attend church and haven’t been saved since 96?

i also have been told by my husband that i am not allowed to talk to god because i am not saved and because of my sins. i feel that he is wrong. i talk to god all the time. i pray. i don’t think god would turn his back on that. or am i wrong?

and what version of the bible should i read from? my husband states that kjv is the only one i should read from and that all the other bibles are false.



The Bible was written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. Every translation is exactly that, a translation. A translator or a translation team seeks to take the words of one language and put them into the words of another language.

The King James Version is a good translation. The problem is that English has changed. We speak and write English differently than the translators of the KJV in the year 1611. It is good to read modern translations of the Bible and compare them to each other and to the King James version. I have several versions of the Bible in my study and read from all of them.

As to your comments about salvation, I refer you to the search feature of the Ask Pastor Chris website. Type in the word salvation and some articles I have written on that subject will come up for you to read and consider.

As to reading the Bible, YES, read it! The Bible is God’s word and He uses it in our lives. God’s promise is that His word will not return to Him “void” KJV or “empty” NIV (Isaiah 55:11). The complete verse reads, “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (NIV).

The Bible tells us that the church is the body of Christ. Just as a human body will not function at its best without all of its parts, so the church does not function at its best without all of its parts (1 Corinthians 12). We are also encouraged to not give up “…meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25, NIV).

Prayer is a privilege. When we pray we are share our heart with the Creator of the universe and He shares His heart with us! Prayer is like a conversation. Any good conversation requires listening and speaking. When we pray we reach out to God and we find that He is reaching back to us. YES, pray!

I want to encourage you and your husband to meet with a pastor or a Christian counselor for additional support as you face these issues. Focus on the Family is a reputable ministry you can contact to secure referrals for trustworthy biblical counselors in your area.

Further, I recommend these books for you and your husband:
Straight Talk to Men and Their Wives; What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew About Women

What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew About Women

What Husbands Wish Their Wives Knew About Men

God bless you!

Pastor Chris

Why Doesn't God Speak To Us Audibly?

Dear Pastor Chris,

Sir, I often hear my Pastor and fellow brethren say they heard God speak to them. I have been a christian for almost two years but  have not heard this voice in my experience. Is it automatic to hear him once you become a Christian or does it take time to hear him so audibly?



Dear Andrew,
Yes, God definitely speaks to us. I am convinced that He is saying more to us than we usually hear.

Why don’t we hear God?

 1. Our lives are too busy. We get crowded in our schedules. We don’t make time for God.

2. We are not listening. When we do try to listen, we are easily distracted.

3. We are not sensitive to His “still small voice” His “gentle whisper” (1 Kings 19:2, KJV, NIV).

How do you listen to God? Set aside a place to meet with Him. Pray. Tell God that you are wanting to hear from Him. Tell Him that you are ready and available to do what He says. Open your Bible. Read a passage. Ask God to reveal the meaning of that passage to you. Compare that passage to other Bible verses on the same subject. Think about what you have just read. Meditate on it. Ask God to show you what these verses meant to the original hearers. Then ask Him what He wants you to do about what you just read. He will prompt your heart to take action on what He has shown you.

You asked about the audible voice of God. The Lord does not speak audibly to most people. He can of course, but it is not His usual way. He did speak audibly to some of the people we read about in the Bible; however, they were the exception. Most people in the days when the Bible was being written never heard the audible voice of God.

Do people sometimes hear the audible voice of God today? Yes. Sometimes.

Why doesn’t God speak audibly more often?

1. God doesn’t need to speak audibly for most of us because He has already done so in the writings of the Bible. The Bible is God’s Word. In the pages of the Bible we find the mind and heart of God. We meet Him there and His Spirit helps us understand what He wants us to know.

2. God doesn’t need to speak audibly because He has given us His best Word in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. The Bible says in
John 1:1-2, 14, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning…

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Jesus is the living Word of God. To know Jesus is to know God. To walk with Jesus is to experience God. Therefore, to study the life of Jesus is to discover what God is like, how He relates to us, and how He acts in history.

Read the Bible. Study it. God speaks through it. Listen.


~Pastor Chris





Will a person that is saved, had accepted Jesus, go to hell or heaven if the take their own life?

Pastor Chris,
Will a person that is saved, had accepted Jesus, go to hell or heaven if the take their own life?

— Jimmy

The question of suicide is painful because it hurts so many people. It is murder. Therefore God says not to do it (Exodus 20:13).

That being said, suicide is not the unpardonable sin (Mark 3:28-30). Therefore it can be forgiven.

It is possible for a Christian to be so discouraged, blue, and depressed that he can lose perspective and in a moment of weakness commit the sin of suicide. A true believer committing this sin will go to heaven but will not fulfill his purpose here on the earth and therefore foregoes many of the rewards in heaven that might have been his.

— Pastor Chris

Why do we pray outloud?

Pastor Chris,
Why as Christians do we pray out loud when we know that Satan can hear what our prayers are when we pray out loud and not silently?
– D.L.

Let me direct you to two places in the Bible where people prayed out loud. The first passage is Luke 11:1-2. One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” 2 He said to them, “When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.’”

Here we see that Jesus Himself prayed out loud and encouraged His followers to do the same. Jesus tells them, “When you pray, say…” Since Jesus is our example in all things, we seek to do as He did.

Another passage that I want to call your attention to is Acts 4:23-24. On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. 24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them.” From these verses we see that the early disciples prayed out loud together.

My conclusion is this: since Jesus and the early disciples prayed out loud, they must not have cared whether Satan could hear their prayers or not. On a personal note, I have been encouraged again and again by the spoken prayers of others. To be with others when they are speaking to God is a marvelous thing, a strengthening thing. Silent prayer is good, but there is a place for spoken prayer, too.

— Pastor Chris

Is this interpretation biblically sound?

Pastor Chris, I listened to a recording that put forth the idea that Barack Obama could be the antichrist. Here is the link to that message: The speaker referred to Luke 10:18 and said that since Jesus spoke Aramaic, the words He used could be pronounced the same way as Barack Obama’s name even though the verse was written in Greek. He further stated that Jesus might be trying to identify the name of the antichrist in this verse. Is this interpretation biblically sound? –    Kathy


I clicked on the link you sent and watched the video. It is true that the Bible has predictive prophecy that is 100% accurate. The most notable example of that are the prophecies concerning the Messiah (over 200). Jesus is the only person in history that fulfills ALL of those prophecies.

However, Luke 10:18 is not spoken by Jesus as predictive prophecy. He speaks a word about His observation concerning the work of the disciples. The demons were subject to the disciples and Jesus comments on that by saying that He “…saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” It does not appear from the text that Jesus is intentionally trying to give us the name of the antichrist.

Furthermore, when I checked out the Hebrew word for “lightning” I found four different Hebrew words that can all be translated “lightning.” Only one of them has the pronounciation “baw-rawk” (Strong’s Concordance, word #1300, “baraq”). The other numbers for Hebrew words for lightning from Strong’s are: #216 (“owr”); #965 (“bazaq”); and, #2385 (“chaziyz”). Jesus could have spoken any one of these four words to refer to lightning if He was speaking Hebrew, but He was actually speaking Aramaic. Aramaic is close to Hebrew and Jesus may very well have said the word and the pronunciation “baw-rawk” but there is no way to know exactly which one of the four words He used. An Aramaic scholar would be needed tell us if the words for lightning in Aramaic are exactly the same in Hebrew.

The word given in Greek for “heaven” in Luke 10:18 is “ouranoú.” Again, the Hebrew has more than one word for heaven. There is Strong’s #8064, “shamayim.” This is by far the most often used Hebrew word for heaven. There is also #1534, “galgal” and #7834, “shachaq” and #8065, “shamayin.”

The speaker on the video uses the Hebrew word for “heights” (Strong’s #1116, “bamah”). I checked the definition of “bamah” and it does not include “heaven.” Strong’s Concordance says that “bamah” means “an elevation, height, high place, wave.”

It is difficult for me to believe that if Jesus wanted to communicate the word for “heights” (“bamah” in Hebrew; not sure in Aramaic, which again Jesus would be speaking) that He would use the word for “heaven.” Why wouldn’t Luke use the Greek word “hupsoma” for Jesus’ expression, which (according to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, p. 211) means, “height, as a mountain or anything definitely termed a height…a high thing lifted up as a barrier or in antagonistic exaltation, 2 Cor. 10:5.” Again, Luke used the Greek word “ouranoú” which simply means “heaven.”

CONCLUSION: I do not think that Barack Obama is the antichrist. I do not think that Jesus is alluding to him or trying to name him. If I am wrong on this then we will not have to worry about it anyway, because the true believers will be taken to heaven before the antichrist is revealed to the world (1 Thess. 4:14-17; Rev. 11, 13). Rev. 11 and 13 reveal the antichrist to the world during the mid-point of the Tribulation. We (those that are the true believers) will have been in heaven for 3 1/2 years by that time.

God bless you! Keep digging! The Word of God is a gold mine!

Pastor Chris