Author Archives: victormorris

Will We Know Each Other In Heaven?

Question: “I have been told that when we get to heaven that we won’t really know each other—that we will know each other as brothers and sisters in Christ, but not as the same people we are now. Is this true? Will I know my loved ones? And will they know me?”

My Answer: This is a fairly common question. Through the years I have been asked it many times. First, the simple answer: YES! You will know others in heaven, and they will know you.

But don’t take my word for it. Let’s see what the Scripture says. Is there Biblical warrant for believing that we will know each other in the afterlife, and recognize friends and loved ones? I believe there is a strong case for this being so. Continue reading


Horn of Salvation

Question:  “What does the Bible means when it refers to the “horn of salvation” in Luke 1:69?  And how does the image of a “horn” apply to the Messiah?”  – K. in India

Answer:  Let’s first look at the verse itself:

“[The Lord] has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David…”(Luke 1:69 NKJV).

This verse is from the Magnificat, Mary’s song of praise about the coming birth of the Messiah.  This canticle of worship is full of allusions to Old Testament images and prophecies of the Messiah.  One of these is referring to the coming Messiah as the “horn of salvation.”  What does this mean?

The Hebrew language is full of imagery, metaphor and allusion.  Often a concept or principle is presented by a particular image.  The use of the word “horn” is one example.  To the Hebrew mind a horn was a picture of strength, power, might and ability.  To understand this, think of animals that have horns—bulls, rams, he-goats and stags.  These are strong animals, and they use their horns to display their power.  Therefore, when the Scriptures say that God “has raised up for his people a horn” (Psalm 148:14), it signifies that the Lord has made His people strong.  Again, the strength of a group of people may be illustrated by the picture of a bull’s horns (see Deuteronomy 33:17).  To have multiple horns indicates a person of great power (Daniel 7:7-8).  For God to lift up or exalt your horn means that He makes you strong and gives you power (see Psalm 89:24, 92:10).  It may also indicate that God honors you and establishes you, making you to prosper (see Psalm 112:9, Ezekiel 29:21, Micah 4:13).

The use of the word “horn” in Luke 1:69 may be a direct reference to Psalm 132:17 where we see a Messianic prophecy: “Here I will make a horn grow for David and set up a lamp for my anointed one” (NIV).  Here the descendant of David, the Messiah, is shown as coming from David’s line, and he will be a man of power and strength.

The idea of horn is also strongly tied to royalty, the idea of kingship.  Indeed, the word “horn” is sometimes used as a euphemism for the king himself (see Psalm 132:17, also cf. Jeremiah 48:25, Daniel 7:8).  This use of horn as a royal symbol is probably due to two things.  First, there is the idea of the king sitting in power and regal might.  He is the strong one, who in his great power guards and protects the nation.  A good king is a strong king.

The second image is probably derived from the coronation of a king in ancient Israel.  Kings were anointed servants of God (literally “messiahs”).  The sign of their call from God, and their appointment by God, was the ceremony of anointing.  Here a prophet or a priest would take a hollowed-out animal horn that was full of anointing oil, and would pour it upon the head of the new king (see 1 Samuel 16:13, 1 Kings 1:39).  Indeed, the king only became a king when he was anointed by a horn of anointing oil.  So the horn itself became a symbol of the king and his authority.

To return to our text (Luke 1:69), to refer to the Messiah as bringing the “horn of salvation” signifies the great power of the salvation that He brings.  His salvation is mighty and effective.  This further may be extended as indicating that He is a mighty Savior himself.  Indeed, this is how this verse is rendered in some translations: “He has sent us a mighty Savior” (New Living Translation).  Mary is both calling her unborn Son a mighty Savior, and saying that the salvation He brings will be powerful and strong.  This is also a subtle reference to the Messiah as being the Lord himself, God in the flesh, for it is the Lord God who is our “horn of salvation” (Psalm 18:2).

In conclusion, to refer to the Messiah as the “horn of our salvation” speaks of His great power and strength in performing His work.  He is the mighty Savior, who is able to “save to the uttermost” (Hebrews 7:25).  There is no limit to our Savior, and there is no one He cannot save.  No sin is too great, and no sinner too bad, that the mighty Savior, the Horn of our Salvation, cannot reach him and bring him to redemption.  Such is the greatness of our Lord.

Are Goats Devilish?

Question: “I have a question, for a lot of religions goats seem to be the main way that they view their gods. Also in Matthew 25:33 it talks about how Jesus will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. So my question is, why are goats looked down on and used as demonic symbols. Thank you.”  N in Tennessee

My Answer:  Good question.  A couple of thoughts.  In many ancient cultures, the Hebrews among them, goats were a common sacrificial animal, along with sheep.  This may probably be simply because goats were so common.  Many people raised goats.  This is still true today.  Indeed, it is believed that goat is the most common meat eaten worldwide.  Anyway, goats would have become associated with certain gods through the practice of offering them as a sacrifice.

For early Christians goats became associated with the devil and evil for two reasons.

1) The first is the teaching of Jesus you mentioned.  Those who were judged and condemned by Christ were the “goats” on his left hand.  Jesus wasn’t probably trying to make goats seem evil.  In fact, the Jews would not have considered goats as necessarily evil at all.  For example, goats were a legitimate sacrificial animal, and appropriate to sacrificing to the Lord.  We usually think of the Passover offering as being a sheep, and it generally was.  However, a goat was also acceptable (see Exodus 12:5).  Rather, Jesus was stressing the idea of separation of the righteous from the ungodly, just as a farmer would separate flocks of sheep and goats.  However, the condemnation of the ungodly on his left caused goats to be associated with evil in the minds of many people.  It is also interesting to note that in many cultures the left hand is associated with evil.  Indeed, the very word “sinister” comes from the Latin word for “left.”

2) There were some pagan gods that were associated with goats.  Prominent among them was Pan, the forest deity that was half man and half goat.  Pan was a popular god among the common people.  Farmers and rural people frequently identified with this wild deity of the countryside.  It should be noted that in the days of the Roman Empire the church grew first and foremost in the cities.  The rural people largely remained pagan.  Indeed, the word “pagan” originally meant a country dweller.  Since the early Christians rightly considered idolatrous gods as demons, Pan and satyrs (goat-men) became associated with false worship and honoring demonic gods.  Then gradually the horns and cloven hooves of Pan were transferred to images of the Devil himself.  In the Middle Ages Satan was often depicted as being a horned creature.  Sometimes he was goat-like in appearance.  At other times he appeared more like a wolf, or even some type of fantastic bird-headed beast.  Yet the horns and cloven hooves were pretty consistently featured.

In modern times Satanists and devil worshipers have capitalized on this tradition and taken the goat head as a common symbol.  Indeed, the most common image used by the Church of Satan is a goat’s head within a pentagram.  Historically this is rooted not only in ancient and medieval images of a goat-like Devil, but in the literature of 19th century occult literature.  It was asserted the “god of the witches” as the so-called Goat of Mendes. This was a winged and goat-headed hermaphroditic figure with a pentagram on its forehead.

The bottom line should be this:  Although as a symbol goats have commonly become associated with the devil in religious and occult symbolism, actually there is nothing inherently evil about these creatures made by God.  Indeed, anyone that I know who has ever owned goats loves them.  They are said to be gentle, intelligent animals that people enjoy raising.

New Apostolic Church

In the early 1830’s something unusual began to occur among a group of Presbyterians in London, England.  The pastor of Caledonian Chapel, Edward Irving, had long been interested in the charismatic gifts of the New Testament.  After studying and praying about these matters for a number of years, Irving began to see these very gifts manifest themselves among the members of his congregation.  Eventually this proto-Pentecostal movement would organize as the Catholic Apostolic Church in 1832, with John Bate Cardale chosen as First Apostle.  Along with the charismatic gifts, the Catholic Apostolic Church stressed the necessity for New Testament government in the church, including apostles and prophets.  While Irving and his followers remained mostly orthodox in doctrine, the Catholic Apostolic Church itself was eventually responsible for spawning several cults—including the Liberal Catholic Church, associated with the Theosophical Society.  Another such group is the New Apostolic Church (NAC).  Continue reading

Why Is There Prayer, Anyway?

“You do not have because you do not ask” (James 4:2).

Ever ask yourself this question:  Why prayer?  If God is sovereign, totally in charge, and He knows all things and can do anything, then why require prayer of us?  Well, there are many answers to this question.  And we do not have time to go into an extensive study of prayer.  Suffice it to say that prayer is His plan.  God has ordained that prayer is the means by which He chooses to work on this earth. Continue reading