What kinds of faces did the creatures have?

In the first chapter of Ezekiel, Ezekiel sees four strange “living creatures”. Each creature has four faces: the face of a human, the face of a lion, the face of an ox, and the face of an eagle.

In chapter 10, Ezekiel sees the same four creatures again, and realizes they’re cherubs. It specifically says their faces looked the same as what he had seen earlier. (Which should go without saying, since they’re the same creatures.) Yet the description is different: This time, it says each creature has the face of a cherub, the face of a human, the face of a lion, and the face of an eagle. So instead of an ox face, this time they have “the face of a cherub”, whatever that means. (Isn’t that what all their faces are?)

Then in chapter 41, Ezekiel sees a depiction of some cherubs. This occurs while God is showing him a vision of a future temple he wants built. So this is what cherubs look like according to God. Yet their appearance doesn’t match the actual cherubs Ezekiel saw earlier. These cherubs have only two faces each: the face of a human and the face of a lion, facing in opposite directions. The living cherubs Ezekiel had seen earlier had the lion face to the right of the human face, not on the opposite side.

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The Story of Balaam’s Ass
God Can't Make Up His Mind

The Israelites wanted to peacefully pass through the country of the Amorites on the way to Canaan. But the king of the Amorites wouldn’t let them, because God made him stubborn. So to punish the king for what God had made him do, the Israelites murdered all the Amorites, stole all their possessions, and took over their land. When Balak king of Moab found out about this, he was terrified of Israel. So he decided to hire Balaam, a prophet of God, to curse God’s chosen people. Great idea, Balak. /s

Balak sent messengers to Balaam to ask him to come and weaken the Israelites so Moab could defeat them, but God told Balaam not to do that, so the messengers returned to Balak without him. Then Balak sent more messengers to Balaam and offered him a large reward for cursing Israel. For some reason, “God” changed his mind and said Balaam should go with them this time.

So Balaam got on his donkey and started to go with the messengers to see Balak. But when God saw that Balaam was going with them after he had told Balaam he should go with them, God was very angry. So God tried to get Balaam to stop by putting an invisible angel in his way. Balaam’s donkey could see the angel standing in the road with a sword, so the donkey turned away from the road. Balaam beat his donkey to get it to get back on the road.

Then while Balaam was on a narrow path between two walls, the donkey saw the angel again, and it crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall. Balaam beat his donkey again, but there was nowhere the donkey could go, so it lay down, and Balaam kept beating it with his staff.

Then God enabled the donkey to talk, so it could tell him that it had a good reason not to keep walking, and that he had no good reason to beat it. God also enabled Balaam to see the angel. The angel told Balaam that he was being reckless by going down the straight and narrow path to meet Balak, and that if his donkey hadn’t turned away, the angel would have killed Balaam, but spared the donkey.

Balaam said he had sinned by going with Balak’s men when God had told him to go with Balak’s men. He was going to go back home, but the angel that had been sent to stop him from going to meet Balak told him to keep going and meet Balak.

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God Can't Make Up His Mind
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Is only God immortal?

Yes.

The Bible says God alone is immortal. Humans can’t live forever, because they didn’t eat from the tree of life, because God didn’t want them to. He made us mortal, limiting our lifespans, because he didn’t want to have to deal with us forever. And since God never changes his mind and nothing he does can ever be changed, we will definitely always be mortal.

Everyone sins, so everyone has to die. No one can redeem anyone’s life and convince God to let them live forever. No one can even choose the time of their own death. Death happens to everyone on earth, no matter how wealthy or wise they are. Death is the destiny of everyone. All people return to dust, like withering grass.

One day God will wipe out all mankind from the earth. Then after God creates a new and better world, where people live longer, even then people will still die. And people who have died never come back to life, either. Dead people stay dead forever.

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Marriage partners the Bible doesn’t forbid

I’ve previously published a list of people the Bible doesn’t say you can’t have sex with. Since it’s possible to have marriage without sex and vice versa, I’m now also making a separate list of some of the people the Bible doesn’t say you can’t marry.

As before, it’s important to keep in mind that by including something on this list, I am not necessarily saying it should be forbidden, nor am I necessarily saying it should not be forbidden. I am including both acceptable matches and unacceptable matches in this list.

As far as I can tell, there are no rules in the Bible1 against marrying…

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Who was Achan’s father?

After the Israelites destroyed Jericho, killed almost everyone living there, and stole all their valuables, God got angry and decided to abandon his people and stop protecting them. Not because he didn’t approve of the massacre or anything, but just because one guy, Achan, had stolen some of the stolen goods, which God had intended to keep for himself for some reason. Shortly after that, God decided he didn’t mind his people keeping the plunder for themselves after all. But not before having Achan and his innocent children stoned and burned.

So that’s who Achan is, but who’s his father?

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The Story of the Water from the Rock
Why Moses was Banned from the Promised Land

Moses brought the Israelites to a place called Meribah. They couldn’t find any water to drink there, because it was a desert, so they complained to Moses. The Israelites had been in the same situation here in Meribah before, and God had told Moses to hit a rock with his staff. When he did, water had come out of it.

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Why Moses was Banned from the Promised Land
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Should people always trust?

Yes.

The Bible says if you don’t have love, you’re nothing, and it says one of the characteristics of love is to always trust. It says when you pray, you should trust absolutely that God will give you what you ask for. Otherwise, you’re an uncertain, unreliable person, and your prayer won’t do you any good. Jesus thought his disciples were foolish for not fully trusting everything the prophets said.

This all goes along with the principle of faith, since one aspect of faith is complete trust. And the Bible generally presents faith as a good thing. Yet there are also quite a few passages that say it’s not always good to trust…

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Christian values vs the Bible

As an atheist who reads the Bible daily, I sometimes wonder if Christians read the Bible at all. They sure don’t act like it.

Why do Christians think they need to dress up in their finest clothes when they go to church? The Bible certainly doesn’t say they should do that. On the contrary, it says women, at least, should not adorn themselves with expensive clothes and jewelry and stuff. Christians seem to have decided that Sunday is disobey-the-Bible day.

Why do Christians think it’s proper to call priests, monks, the Pope, etc. “Father”? Jesus clearly told his followers not to call anyone “Father” except God.

Jesus also said it was wrong to take any kind of oath. Yet Christians don’t usually seem to see taking oaths as a bad thing. Avoiding oaths seems to be more associated with atheists. Most Christians have no problem with swearing on the book that tells them not to swear by anything.

Christians generally think following your conscience is good, important, and one of the best ways to make sure you’re doing right. The Bible, on the other hand, says it’s quite possible for your conscience to mislead you, making you think you’re doing right when you’re really doing wrong. It says a lot of people have no idea that they’re doing anything wrong, so their conscience clearly isn’t doing them any good. You have to train yourself to distinguish good from evil, because your conscience is naturally so unreliable. So if the Bible is right, trusting your conscience is a terrible idea!

Some Christians think it’s wrong for a couple to live together when they’re not married. But not only does the Bible not forbid that, it commands it in certain cases.

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The Story of the Mutiny Against Moses
Bring it On, On

Moses and Aaron had brought the Israelites out of Egypt, a land flowing with milk and honey where they had prospered, and had left them to die in the wilderness. So 250 men of Israel, led by Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and On, came together to oppose them. These men said Moses and Aaron shouldn’t have authority over the rest of the people, because all of Israel was holy. Moses told these men to appear with Aaron before the Lord, and said God would decide who was or wasn’t holy. So they all gathered in front of the tent of meeting.

God told Moses and Aaron to stand back so he could destroy the rest of the Israelites. Moses and Aaron reminded God, once again, that he shouldn’t do that, because not all of them had sinned. So instead, God had Moses tell the rest of the Israelites to stand back so he could destroy Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, the rebel leaders.

Moses announced that if the earth opened up and swallowed those men, that would be a sign that God had appointed Moses to lead Israel. Then the earth opened up and swallowed Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, and their innocent wives and children. God also killed the 250 rebels with fire. But the other rebel leader, On, wasn’t killed. So he must have been a holy leader chosen by the Lord, just like Moses and Aaron. On was never mentioned again.

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Bring it On, On
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