Monthly Archives: January 2010
Bible Translations! Which One Works Best?
We can argue to no end on the different positive and negative qualities of each available Bible translation. There are many popular versions that I think some like and some do not like. I do not profess one to be the best for you. Only you can determine what works best for you. I would probably say that it would be best if we could all read the original Hebrew and Greek and study based upon only the original words that were recorded for us. But since there are only a few people in the world that have this ability to read and study Hebrew and Greek, that forces the rest of us to read translations which all have some short comings to them.
The next thing I would like to point out is a translation is not the same as an interpretation. However, after years of study in the Bible I have discovered how interpretation has definitely crept into translations. Because translator’s are human and subject to errors, many of them have allowed their personal belief system to influence what their translations say. This in affect causes certain and specific areas of the translation to be slanted or skewed toward some belief that is contrary to the rest of the Bible. Let me be bold and describe an example of a major translation error in the NIV Bible. I’ll start by saying I’m not saying don’t read the NIV. A scripture that most everyone is familiar with and that is John 3:16. I use to see signs in the end zone at the football game on TV with “John 3:16” in bold letters. I think the devil has tried to stop these signs, but anyway that is not my subject. In the NIV John 3:16 makes one critical mistake that some might say is a minor change, but it changes everything and contradicts many other verses of the Bible. This word that is translated incorrectly is “Only”. It basically says Jesus was the “Only” son of God. Says Who? The original Greek word which was translated as “begotten” in the KJV actually means “born”. So what is the big deal? Well Islam says God has no Son. The NIV says God only has ONE Son. Where does that leave the rest of us? What is the difference between One and None. The only difference is single letter “N”. That omits the rest of the body of Christ and leaves them on the outside of God’s family looking in, wondering how do I get to be in the family? I’m sorry if I picked on your favorite Bible translation, I didn’t mean to put it down. I simply wanted to make a point with one example. I could certainly find similar problems in other translations.
So what would be helpful to you may not be helpful to me. Nevertheless, I will tell you that there are generally three types of Bible translations that we can choose from. Let’s look at these briefly so that we can better understand how to choose what we study.
|Literal||Formal Equivalence||Word for Word|
|Dynamic||Functional Equivalence||Thought for Thought|
|Free||Paraphrased||Concept for Concept|
We can see from the above chart that there is generally three different approaches to translating the Word of God. The first paradigm is many times called a literal approach. In this approach a translator attempts to take an original Hebrew or Greek word and then to find a corresponding English word that will convey a similar meaning. In my opinion, this is actually, the best possible approach to Bible translation. However, even this approach can fall short and cause problems. If you study the original Hebrew you will find that sometimes a Hebrew word will be translated one way in one verse and then a totally different way in another verse. For example, the Hebrew word “H120” in the Strong’s concordance is usually translated as “man” in the majority of verses. But did you know that the Hebrew word “H121” is also the same word. But this time it is translated as “Adam”. Interesting problem, how do you know which one to translate where. It seems that it could be very subjective and sometimes it depends upon your beliefs or other scriptural knowledge on which one God is talking about.
The next translation paradigm is referred to as dynamic. Sometimes this can be a positive approach to translating the Bible and sometimes negative. The general approach in this method is a “thought for thought” translation. That means the translators read the original verse and then attempts to put the primary concepts and thoughts within that verse in the English translation. The only problem I see with this approach is that no one man can potentially understand everything about a single verse. God’s word is so much more complex than that. A single verse can potentially have an infinite number of thoughts associated with it. There are always implications to every verse of scripture. There are always multiple applications to every verse of scripture. There are so many possible thoughts behind every verse that it shocks me to think that men think they can even attempt to translate the key thoughts of God. God said my ways are not your ways and my thoughts are not your thoughts. So there is a way that seems right to men, but to God, He declares it to be wrong.
The final approach to Bible translation is called “Free”. This approach in my viewpoint is the least useful of them all. If this is the only translation that you think you can read and understand, then I say stick with it and go for it. For me, I do not use these types of translations. The primary reason why is it is based upon a concept for concept translation and it gives the most freedom to the translator to interject their theological beliefs and project concepts, thoughts and ideas that can potentially be contrary to what God actually says. You can still find good things in every translation as long as you are aware of the strengths and weaknesses of each. After all it is better to read any Bible translation than to read none at all. Perhaps you have thoughts on this subject and would like to leave your opinion in a comment on what translation works best for you and why.
What is a Bible Expert? Are there any Bible Experts?
(Ver 1.1) I received a comment on one of my blogs a while back asking if I was a Bible expert. I replied by asking for a definition of what he thought a Bible expert was. So far I haven’t gotten an answer to my question. You see it appeared by the arrangement of his question that this individual was not going to believe what I wrote, if he could not find an expert that also said what I was writing about. In other words it looked like to me that he was looking for a man to be his source for what he believed. I can only assume that if he found an “expert” based upon some unnamed criteria as to what makes one an expert, that he would suddenly accept something new to be the truth. I do not know about you but I feel that is a very dangerous position to take. You see anybody can say they are an expert. However, I do understand being cautious about accepting something that someone has written on a blog. If you do not know this person, their character, their background and their intention for writing the blog then you could be easily deceived into believing something that is not true.
So what do you do? Are there any Bible experts? What exactly is an expert? I guess since I didn’t get an answer to my question I can look in the dictionary and can get someone’s definition for what they consider to be an expert. So let’s start there.
Expert: A person with a high degree of skill in or knowledge of a certain subject
According to this definition this could apply to anybody about anything. It is obviously a general definition that goes across many boundaries. It also sounds very subjective. Do you understand what I mean by that? Something is subjective if it depends upon the perspective or opinion of someone else to whether or not anyone could be considered an expert. Yo Yo Ma could be considered an expert cellist. I guess this would be my opinion of the man based upon listening to him play the cello. However, since I do not play the cello does my opinion count for anything. Now there are other things like in certain sport fields like archery and target shooting, that people can be measured to determine if they are experts. Based upon the number of perfect shots that they pull off and judging the result from looking at their targets. This is not a subjective designation for being an expert. Bowling is another example, if you can bowl a consistent perfect game and never miss you would automatically qualify to be called an expert bowler. However, there is a huge difference in a subjective designation and a non-subjective designation that is quantifiable and measureable.
When you say somebody is a Bible expert, what are you saying? Let’s see if we can quantify it or measure it. You should understand that God is what I would call the ultimate Bible expert. Only God knows everything the Bible says and exactly what everything in it means. So if we would place God on the upper end of our scale as the ultimate Bible expert, where would you fall on the scale? Where would any man fall on the scale? I believe firmly that there are some men and women who know more than other people on this planet, but I would never call any of them experts as God is an expert. That also means I do not consider myself to be an expert. If I said I was an expert I would be saying I have confidence in my ability to figure out everything that I read in the scriptures. That would in fact make me no different than the man who wrote and asked if I was an expert. I would be placing too much emphasis on my skills and giving no credit to God who has given me the information that I blog in the first place.
I know men who are in their 80’s and who have studied the Bible and ministered for over 50 years. But I also know that as much as they know, they do not know everything. Sure I have learned from them and I do not say there is nothing that they cannot offer me. But, I have learned that God can show me a single verse in the Bible and ask me a simple question and I learned more from that one question than I could ever learn from the 80 year old man in a much shorter period of time. If you think that God doesn’t do that you would be wrong. If you think God doesn’t do that for you, you would be wrong again. I have studied the Bible in great depth for the last approximate 25 years. I cannot even count the number of hours that I have spent exploring the Book and asking God questions. In that time God has spoken some very direct things to me and revealed some awesome things that I have not told anybody. Some of it is coming out in my blogs, simply because I can’t help it. You have to teach what you know, that is just a basic principle of life.
So am I an expert? You be the judge if you want to, I know I am not. I am just a man who knows an expert God. I know I write a lot of things that are radically different than anything you will find in any Bible commentary or seminary. However, consider the source, if everybody got everything they taught from a seminary how would God ever introduce you to anything new? You might be amazed to find out that God does not always work through man’s organized systems. Why didn’t God recruit Jesus’ disciples from the priests, the scribes, the Pharisees, etc., the religious leaders of the day Too many times men have established set procedures and traditions that keep God from doing anything to help them. So what does God do? You would be amazed at how God uses the most unlikely candidates to bring out a new message. If you read your Bible and look you will see God selected a group of men, some fishermen, some business men, a doctor, a lawyer, every kind of profession God would surround himself with. God chose a shepherd to be the King of Israel. You can go on and on with who God used in the Bible and ask yourself, would any of these men have been your top candidate for the job? So is God any different today? I’ll ask you again, has God changed? Does He do things differently than He did in the past? Does God still use the foolish things to confound the wisdom of men?
What are you suppose to do? Do you believe something based upon the source qualifications of an individual or do you simply just read the Bible for yourself and see if it says what is being taught? I have written about this next scripture in several of my blogs and I’ll repeat it today because it applies to our subject. What did the early church do? Is this a pattern that we should be following? If you think about the situation of the early church you can learn a significant lesson. Here we have a group of people who do not have an organized seminary or theological group of experts to consult. These people were handed something that was completely new to them, a totally radical change to anything that they had ever heard before. They were taught about things that they had never imagined or even heard taught by anybody on the planet, especially the Jewish religious leadership of the day. These people faced an extremely important decision and probably the most important eternal decision that they would ever face. This is really no different than what you are facing right now. So you can learn this lesson and apply it or you can choose to ignore it and do what you want to.
Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
Paul and the other disciples were travelling about the countryside preaching the Word of God. They brought such a new radical teaching that I am sure it was immediately rejected by a lot of people just because it was completely new. However, this verse in Acts describes a group of people that God calls very noble. You could imply this also means brave and courageous. These people we are told, kept an open mind to the new things that were being taught them by Paul and the other disciples. Being open minded is an essential quality to a successful Christian growth process. But that is not where the verse ends, that was just the key essential ingredient that allowed them to be more noble. If you read the verse, we are given the key to Bible understanding in determining what we should believe and what we should reject. This verse says these more noble people heard what was being spoken and then they looked in the scriptures to see it for themselves. In other words they based their beliefs upon a personal knowing of what they saw in the verses and not based upon what an expert man was telling them to believe. Did you hear what I just said? Paul was probably the most expert man of his day and knew more about the scriptures than anyone else. But Paul never said believe what I say, because I’m an expert and you are not. Paul always pointed people to the scriptures and the Word of God. The Bible should be your only source for what you ultimately believe. You should never take the words of any man, even experts without finding out for yourself what the Bible really says. If this lesson applied to the early church it still applies to us today. We are still in the same church that they were in. We are still in the same body of Christ that they started, and what we believe must be based upon what God has spoken and not any man.
Having said all of that I should also tell you that God does use teachers to help you learn. God many times will pick one man, like a Paul and give him information and revelation from the scriptures to teach to His children. So God has anointed some men and women as pastors and teachers and He has given many of them specialties in specific areas of Bible knowledge. But, if they are not showing you Bible verses for you to see for yourself and for you to study, you should run away from them very, very fast. Stop looking for an expert to follow and follow God and your Bible. Use your relationship with God, the author of the Bible to help guide you into the truth that you need to learn today. Don’t try to make me or anyone else do your Bible studying for you. If you are depending on what I know for what you believe you will soon be deceived, if you are not already. I believe what I believe because I have studied it out in the scriptures for endless hours and I am confident in what I teach as being the truth because of this intimate and personal scriptural knowledge. You of course do not know everything that I know and cannot have the same confidence in anything that I say. I also understand that concept fully, and I hope that you do to. As we continue to follow God’s leadership through his Holy Spirit who indwells us, we will continue to grow in spiritual strength and faith and finally become the mature Christian that God is seeking.
So do I think that I am an expert, No! Are there really any experts in the world? None that I know of! After all what is there that we can measure that determines a Bible expert? Is it a title from a seminary or university? Is it a duration of a time of study? Does studying the Bible for 10 years make you an expert? How about 50 years of studying the Bible does that make you an expert? I hope that you see the problem with man’s qualification system. Make God your expert, and use the Bible as your source of knowledge and beliefs. Listen to God’s anointed teachers and then check out every word that they teach using your Bible and you’ll continue to grow spiritually with the rest of us. This is God’s system and design for getting people to see and understand the Bible. I have a responsibility and you have a responsibility. It is an equal partnership working with God and He will bring the increase from our labors.
The Bride of Christ Revealed – Part 3 God’s Definition of a Woman
(Ver 1.2) This is now Part 3 in the series of lessons on “The Bride of Christ Revealed”. In my last lesson, I spoke about the identity of the Bridegroom and established several great scripture verses that taught us that Jesus Christ is the Groom that is getting married. We have learned that Jesus Christ was God in the flesh and that He is marrying a wife. We understand that a wife is always a woman. These are just some of the basics and today I want to explore the subject of what is a woman in the eyes of God in more depth. This will involve getting God’s definition of the subject which will change how we think about it. Most of the time in my Bible studies, I have found that God’s definitions do not normally match what we think the definition of the subject is. This is mainly because God is a Spirit and His ways are higher than our ways and we know the natural realm more than the spiritual realm normally. If you have not been reading this series from the beginning I would strongly suggest that you go back and start with Part 1, The Introduction.
Today’s subject ought to be fun. What does the Bible say a woman is? Most people have studied the book of Genesis and found out where the first woman came from. But, this woman Eve, was Adam’s natural wife and while she fits a pattern for God’s point of view, she is just a small example of what God considers to be a woman. Since this series of blogs is about the identity of the Bride of Christ we must figure out if the church qualifies as being a candidate. So, now we are ready to get past the basic introduction of the bride and the bridegroom and get into a brief explanation of what God says a woman is. One of the greatest errors that people make is coming up with human definitions for spiritual realities. Too many times a preacher will teach the Bible and not consult God, or even attempt to get God’s definition on the subject they are teaching. Hopefully you can understand how foolish this is. God has designed the Bible in a way that it interprets itself. As a part of this process, God also gives us spiritual definitions and descriptions on every conceivable subject. If the church is a woman and the bride of Christ this certainly will be relevant information and very important to know. I think sometimes people look at a subject and think they already have it all figured out before they hear anything that is about to be said. I’m sure this will be no different today. I will warn you again that I do not follow traditional teaching, I simply go into the Bible and find out what it says and teach what God shows me and most of the time this does not match what you learn in any seminary. I certainly realize that everything that I am about to say will probably be different than anything that you currently expect me to say. But that does not mean what I am about to say is not in the Bible, it just means you haven’t seen it before. Keep your eyes open and look for yourself.
Today I want to start with the second reason why ministers say the church is not the bride of Christ and go to the book of Revelation and see what we can learn on the subject of what God thinks a woman is, in the Bible? So let’s turn to the book of Revelation in the 21st chapter and start to read with verse 2:
Rev 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Reading this verse is very informative and it is very important to understand for many reasons. Some Bible teachers have read this chapter and concluded that here is the bride of Christ. They are usually thinking in natural terms and not spiritual terms when they see it. Of course with their natural reasoning, if the church is the body of Christ, they also conclude here is the church’s bride. They have raised the church in their mind to be the groom. But because they do not yet understand the scriptures they have jumped to an incorrect conclusion. What does this verse actually say and reveal to us? Let’s look at the verse and just simply see what it says. Verse 2 says that John saw a holy city coming down out of heaven from God and it calls her by name the “New Jerusalem”. That is a very interesting revelation right there and I could say several things about those words. The first thing we should realize is these are all symbolic references in this verse. If you do not understand what symbolism is you should go study how God uses symbolism from cover to cover and understand that the book of Revelation is almost all symbolic references to spiritual truths. Otherwise, for now let’s just at least try to agree on this, there is a symbolic woman coming down out of heaven, she is called a holy city, she came from God and her name is the “New Jerusalem”. Finally, it also says she is adorned or dressed for her husband. Of course this is still all symbolism and purely figurative language since we have already discovered that this woman is said to be a symbolic city and not a natural physical woman at all. The implication is given that this woman is dressed as a bride adorned for her husband. Here is where many preachers get the wedding gown picture fixed in their minds, but that is not what it says. I hope you can agree with those few statements that I just made about this first verse that describes this bride. Let’s look at the next verse to see what God says immediately following these descriptive terms about this woman:
Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
Wow, did God change the subject or did someone just misunderstand what He just said? You see clearly within the context of a woman, the bride, a city being spoken of, God immediately starts talking about a group of people being the temple of God. He calls this city the “tabernacle of God” within the context that this tabernacle is a group of people. You can clearly see the implied meaning of the symbolic city as being a group of people who God indwells spiritually. This is so significant that I cannot even begin tell you. We will certainly explore what we have just learned later in much more depth. But, let us skip down a few verses and go on to the next direct mention of the bride in this chapter in verses 9 and 10:
Rev 21:9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.
Rev 21:10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
We will not go word for word through these 2 verses, because they basically say the same things that we just read in verse 2. In verse 9, we do see the clear reference to the “Lamb of God” as being the Bridegroom. You should remember that the Lamb refers to Jesus Christ (John 1:29, John 1:36). Therefore, we have just identified again who the husband is. I’m going to stop right there and ask you this question again and maybe you can answer it because I haven’t been able to yet, “have you ever heard or read any scripture that says the church is the Lamb”? I haven’t seen any scriptures that say the church is the sacrificial lamb that takes away the sin of the world? So are we “The” Lamb? This city is called the bride of the Lamb, not the bride of Christ? You can see that there are significant differences between those two contrasting statements, can’t you? If it said it was the Bride of Christ, we know that the church is certainly the body of Christ, so we could conclude as others have, that this city must be the church’s bride also. But, no, it says the Lamb’s wife and nowhere in the Bible that I have found is the church called the Lamb of God. That is really a most interesting fact to put in your mind going forward. Sometimes I think I can ask good questions. I do know God asks really good questions and I’m trying to learn from the best. Ok, so here we find the same basic confirming information we read in verse 2. We have a woman, she is called a bride, she is called the wife of the Lamb, she is called a great city and her name is the “Holy Jerusalem”. I also found it interesting in verse 10, when it says John was carried away in the spirit in order to see this city. The implication is that we are looking at a spiritual reality and not a physical one. Chapter 21 of Revelation says a lot more and describes other characteristics that we may get into later in this blog series. But for now I just want you to agree with what I’ve said so far about what the Bible says about this woman. Until you learn some more I can’t go into the other parts of the description of this woman. Here is a quick synopsis of what we have just learned, see if you can agree with this:
- This woman is a city, this city is a woman
- This woman/city is to be married to her husband, who is the Lamb
- Her name is “New Jerusalem” or “Holy Jerusalem”
- This woman came down from God and Heaven
- This woman/city is a symbolic reference for a spiritual reality
Regardless of what else is in this chapter, can we agree with these basic facts from the scripture? If you have problem with any of these statements you are not going to do well going forward. If you can see what these verses are telling us then you will have a much easier time seeing the other verses that I will soon give you. Truth many times builds upon truth. So instead of attempting to figure out everything a verse or a chapter says all by itself, I try to write down the things that I learn from that verse and then go and look at other verses in the Bible that help to explain it. The Bible, like I said before interprets itself. That is why I reject men’s opinion so fast, if they can’t give me verses I really don’t want to hear what they thinks it says.
Where we are right now, if you did not realize it, we have just discovered the basic Bible definition for what a spiritual woman is in the eyes of God. There are many other things still left to learn and we will continue to build upon this definition with other witnesses from the scripture, but hang on to this basic definition for what God thinks a woman is. A woman is a city and a city represents a group of people who live there. We can fruther undersand that based upon the identity of the groom being Jesus the Lamb, that the bride city has a marriage covenant relationship with God. That is a spiritual definition of a woman to God and knowing this much changes our perspectives of many things found in the Bible and we will confirm what i have just talked about using many more scriptures.
Before I continue, I want to make a point and show what else these truths reveal to us from the verses that we just read. Many times you can read verses and never see what they indirectly are teaching us so I want to show you an example of this. Did you notice that the woman has been given a name? She has a name and she is called “New Jerusalem” and “Holy Jerusalem”. What does that tell you? If you understand the Bible and especially the Old Testament you know there is more than one city called “Jerusalem” in the Bible. Why would God call this city by the same name, but with qualifiers and prefixed descriptive adjectives? An adjective is a word class that qualifies a noun. So God uses adjectives of course to differentiate one city from any other city with the same name. It is unnecessary to call something “New” if there is not an “Old”. It is unnecessary to call it “Holy” if there is not an “Unholy” city with the same name. Did you understand what I just said? We have a city name being given to us with the clear implied truth that there is another city that is an opposite picture or a negative image of these positive adjective qualifiers. Wow, that is very strong language and I wonder who God is talking about? Or do you already know? This Old Jerusalem and Unholy Jerusalem must be something or someone else, a different woman in the Bible. I really hope you are understanding these very simple truths that you can read so plainly. I think I will give you another reference in Revelation to an unholy city for you to think about and to further confirm what we have just learned. This verse is found in Revelation 17 and verse 18 says:
Rev 17:18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.
Chapter 17 of Revelation is about a much different woman, but yet this woman still fits the pattern for our definition of a woman that we have just developed. This last verse in Revelation chapter 17 reveals to us that the woman God has been talking about in this chapter is a “great city”. This city is said to rule over the kings of the earth and I will not attempt to identify this woman at this time in this blog. If you read the first part of the chapter you see her name is a symbolic reference to “Mystery Babylon”. I just want you to see the pattern and the revelation that a city is a woman and a woman is a city. A city is made up of people, normally a nation of people consisting of males and females. A city can be the capitol of a nation. This nation and group of individuals live together in a named city and this city is called a woman in the eyes of God.
I understand that these concepts and definitions are not that complex, but since what I am saying in this blog is so radically new and different than anything you have heard before, it will probably be hard to understand. We have just seen two completely different cities described, these are two witnesses from the book of Revelation and both are called women. In my next blog we will expand our definition of a woman and research God’s idea and definition of marriage.
If you would like to continue reading this series, you can go to “Part 4“.
The Bride of Christ Revealed – Part 2 Identifying the Bridegroom
(Ver 1.1) It is almost obvious to me that if my primary subject of this series is the identity of the Bride of Christ, that weare talking about a marriage of a woman to a groom. In every normal Bible marriage there are always two participants, the man and the woman. This was and is God’s design and definition of a marriage. We will talk about this in more depth later, but for now I want to continue this series by first identifying the groom using the Bible and the scriptures that speak specifically about this marriage event. If you have not been reading this series from the beginning I would strongly recommend that you go back and start with Part 1, The Introduction.
In every normal wedding that I’ve ever attended, there are two primary participants. The bride and the groom. I did say a normal God kind of wedding. A male and a female are said to be joined together in holy matrimony. I thought that in order to establish the identity of the bride of Christ we might ought to start with the basics and find out is Jesus Christ the groom? This of course shouldn’t be too difficult, but I would guess that some Christians have never studied the subject so they couldn’t tell you if He is or if He isn’t. Even though I do not like to go through basic theology, we might want to start with something more basic, like who was Jesus Christ was he God or was he just a man? Hopefully you do know that he was a man, but he was also God in the flesh of a male human. Jesus was both 100% God and 100% a man. While I was studying I counted over 30 times just in the book of Matthew that Jesus is referred to as “the son of man”. Of course the term “son” clearly indicates that he was a male and then the reference to him being a child of Adam is also there. You might not see that very clearly right now, but it is there and we will probably get into that in more depth later.
When there are a lot of scriptures on a subject it seems it is easier for people to see what you are telling them. I think God was making a point and emphasizing it with bold and exclamation points that Jesus Christ was a man due to the number of scriptures that are recorded with this revelation. So let’s back up again and scripturally establish the deity of Jesus. There are not as many clear references in the Bible that declare the specific deity of Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any. Let’s start with one in Matthew the first chapter:
Mat 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
This verse is of course speaking about Mary becoming pregnant with Jesus Christ. Here we have a very clear reference that he will be called “Emmanuel” which is a Hebrew name meaning “God with us”. This of course is very controversial in various religions of the world and many of them would certainly deny that God would do something so ridiculous. It is funny how God uses these foolish things to confound the wise. So we need at least one more good reference that Jesus was God and I think there is a good one in the first chapter of John.
Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Joh 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
The first chapter of John is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, it is really amazing what it says. In the very first verse of the chapter it describes God as being “the Word”. This verse is a parallel to Genesis 1:1. It just speaks of God in different terms. If you see what John 1 says, it is almost a paradox, how can the Word be “With” God at the same time that it “Is” God. It is an interesting theological predicament, much like trying to explain the Trinity of God. I mostly just accept what it says and believe it just because it says it rather than attempt to explain it. As you read down the chapter you find an amazing statement of truth in verse 14 about this God called “The Word”. This verse informs us that “The Word” or “God” was made flesh and lived among us. The God who has purposely hid himself throughout the ages from our physical view, would take on the form of a human male and walk around like He was just one of us. That concept boggles the religious mind to no end. What we can clearly see in this first chapter of John, is the fact that the man Jesus Christ was God in the flesh. Let’s look at just one more reference in the Bible where Jesus himself makes a statement to some men who couldn’t understand or accept what he was saying:
Joh 10:30 I and my Father are one.
Joh 10:31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.
Joh 10:32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?
Joh 10:33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
From the mouth of Jesus himself, he spoke and said that God the Father and him were one in the same. That is an awesome statement of revelation that you need to get a hold of and understand the full implications given. The men that heard him wanted to kill him and took up stones to do so. Jesus just asked for what good work are you going to stone me for? But they said it wasn’t for anything that he did, just for what he said. They could see that he was a man and based upon what he said they rejected what he told them. Jesus in affect was saying I am the one that created the universe and you didn’t recognize me. Jesus was God standing directly before them and they did not see it. Obviously we can learn a lot from this lesson if we are open. In another place in the Gospels, Jesus said “If you have seen me you have seen my Father.” (John 14:7-9). Again, Jesus says He is God. There are certainly a lot of other scriptures that I could include in this discussion, but I’ll stop there.
We could certainly say more and easily get off of the mainline of the subject, so let’s go ahead and look at verses about Jesus being the bridegroom. So in every marriage, there should always be a male participant making a proposal to a female, followed by a wedding ceremony. So who is this bridegroom?
Later I will take you to an in depth study of Revelation 21 where the angel takes John in the spirit to view the Lamb’s wife. In this chapter we are given a glimpse and a view into the spiritual realm to see a symbolic woman who is described in elaborate terms. But like I said earlier it does not say she is ever called the Bride of Christ, it says she is the “Lamb’s Wife”. As we know from the Book of John only Jesus is ever directly or indirectly called the Lamb of God.
Joh 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
Joh 1:36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
Jesus is seen walking up to John and John stops in his tracks and says “Behold the Lamb of God”. This is an awesome revelation. John knew that Jesus would soon suffer and die and be the one time sacrifice for the payment of our sin. Therefore, we can clearly see the reference that Jesus is indirectly called the bridegroom that will marry the bride shown to us in Revelation 21. We will certainly get into this in more depth later. We could talk a lot about the significance of the lamb and in the use of lamb’s blood right here, because there are a number of significant parallels given to us in the Old Testament, but I will try to stay on target and stick with our primary subject.
Now I want to go through other scriptural conformations found in the New Testament concerning the identity of the Bridegroom. There are really several scriptures and I will not attempt to include them all for the sake of time and space. We can see the identity of the bridegroom in the words of Jesus himself speaking to the disciples of John:
Mat 9:14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?
Mat 9:15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.
When the disciples of John ask Jesus why his disciples don’t fast like they do, Jesus replies with a very important, but simple truth. How can the children of the bride chamber fast when they are with the bridegroom? The inference is clearly given that Jesus is calling himself the bridegroom and since he was present with them they didn’t need to fast. He then says there will come a time when the bridegroom would be taken from them and then they could fast. We can see that Jesus is looking forward to his crucifixion, his subsequent resurrection and his ascension, when he would be taken from this earth. These words in Matthew 19:14-15 are echoed in Mark 2:19 and Luke 5:34 also, so here we see three specific witnesses declaring Jesus Christ to be the bridegroom. In fact all of these are quotes of Jesus himself declaring himself to be the bridegroom. Also, if you look closely at this verse and the specific term “bridechamber” you will also see the implied inference to who the bride is. If you have been following my other blogs you can also see an implication of the “seed of the woman” by the reference to the children of the bride. But since we aren’t there yet, let’s look at another witness to the identity of the bridegroom. We can see that Jesus is again called the bridegroom by John the Baptist in the Gospel of John.
Joh 3:28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.
Joh 3:29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.
We can see in verse 28 of John 3, that John the Baptist tells everyone that he is not the Greek word Christ, or the Hebrew equivalent word is Messiah. However, we now know the identity of the one who John is about to talk about. Then in verse 29, three times John the Baptist calls Jesus Christ the bridegroom. This verse actually has more revelation, but that is the primary point that you should accept as a great additional witness. John’s first statement is concerning the bride and declares that Jesus is the bridegroom that has her. While John does not directly identify who the bride is, he definitely identifies who the Groom is. Interesting isn’t it? The Greek word translated as bride in this verse has the following definition in the Strong’s:
From a primary but obsolete verb νύπτω nuptō (to veil as a bride; compare the Latin “nupto”, to marry); a young married woman (as veiled), including a betrothed girl; by implication, a son’s wife: – bride, daughter in law.
You can see that this word is related to the Latin word “Nupto” meaning to marry. We get English words like nuptial from this word. So clearly we can see the association of a woman that is being married to the Lord Jesus Christ. This woman must be the bride of Christ. So who is this woman that is married to the Lord Jesus Christ? Knowing who the bridegroom is, gives us a firm foundation for us to start an in depth study of who the bride is. But let’s list some of the basic facts that we have just learned from the preceding verses:
- Jesus Christ was God in the flesh
- Jesus Christ is a Man and is also called the Son of Man.
- Jesus Christ is called the Lamb of God.
- Jesus Christ is called the bridegroom.
- Jesus Christ is said to have a bride and a wife.
- A bride is always a female.
- There has to be a marriage and a wedding between Jesus and His bride.
I think these are basic scriptural facts, but yet maybe you haven’t seen them until now. So knowing these facts we can now explore the identity of the bride of Christ so let us start by researching the subject in the Word of God. Two questions come to my mind at this point in the study and I think these questions will help us point to where we should go next. Here are the two questions that I thought of:
- What is a marriage in the eyes of God?
- What is a woman in the eyes of God?
I believe by focusing in on what God thinks are the answers to these two direct questions that it will help to provide us a firm foundation to the clear identity of the bride of Christ. In my next blog we will begin to focus on these subjects.
If you would like to continue reading this series, you can go to “Part 3“.
The Bride of Christ Revealed – Part 1 The Introduction
(Ver 1.3) This is Part 1 in the Bible Study series revealing the identity of the spiritual woman called the Bride of Christ. I have actually heard several preachers stand up behind the pulpit and say “There is nothing in the Bible that says the church is the Bride of Christ”. However, after I studied this subject I could not disagree more. It is funny how one preacher will say something totally opposite to what another will teach. All it does is prove that someone is wrong and possibly that both are wrong and only God is right. It creates confusion, division and an atmosphere for deception. Satan is all too ready to pounce on error and use it to cause a split or an offense against other Christians in the church. I am going to start a new series today of lessons on why the Church is the Bride of Christ. I will give you scriptural evidence and a bunch of it so that it is clearly understood. This will probably be the most in depth and comprehensive Bible lesson that you have ever read on the subject of the Bride of Christ and it will probably take a long time and a lot of lessons to complete.
I want to start this lesson by confirming one thing, the term “Bride of Christ” is not found in the Bible anywhere. That might shock some people to learn that truth. But, neither are the terms abortion, homosexuality, rapture, demons or the trinity found in the Bible either. Does that mean none of these exist either? Do you think that God cares nothing about any of these subjects to discuss them directly? Many times basic theological principles are not directly named or labeled with a clear title that can be found in the Bible. Many times these theological terms come as a result of man naming them with titles that have stuck. All this does is to make it easier to talk about them, teach them and for others to understand them. So instead of looking for the term “Bride of Christ” in the Bible and saying it doesn’t exist and therefore the church is not the bride, be smart enough to learn the lesson of how God wrote the Bible and do a search for other information that is given to us. The Bible contains an almost infinite number of mysteries, puzzles, riddles and hidden information. God used this technique for two primary reasons. First to hide this information from His enemies who were led by Satan and then second to conceal the truth for us (the Church) to find at the right time. If you can understand this it will help you a whole bunch in trying to figure out what the Bible really means.
The “Bride of Christ” is of course a very deep subject with a lot of complex interwoven truths and it will be extremely challenging for me to get it across concisely in a blog format. I guess I’ll do the best that I can and hope that you can understand it. I think I will start this introduction to this subject by giving you the two main reasons why some preachers think that the church is not the Bride. In this way I will be upfront with you and you can see this popular illogical reasoning as being an error. I will not name any names so if you want to listen to any of these teachers who teach this error you are on your own in finding them. The first reason that I have heard of directly, that predominately comes up to why the church is not the bride, is because they say the church is the Body of Christ. You of course know, if you have ever studied the New Testament there are an overwhelming number of scriptures that confirm this basic truth. Yes I believe them and I will also say that I firmly believe that the Church is the Body of Christ. Their illogical thinking has stated that if we are the Body of Christ and if Christ has a Bride, then we also have a Bride. That logic would make us the bridegroom with Christ. Their illogical thinking places us on equal ground with Jesus Christ and they make us equivalent to God in every aspect and feature. That logic should set off all kind of red flags in your mind, if you are smart at all. We are not God and we never will be God. What they have done is a classic error of Bible Interpretation that many have fallen into without knowing it. They have taken “A” truth and exalted it and have made it “The” truth. Do you understand what I just said? You see there are many truths in the Bible and if you take just one of them and exclude the rest of them you are now in error. That might be the most important thing that you learn today from this blog so don’t throw it away.
Now for the second reason why preachers think the church is not the bride of Christ. They turn to the last chapters in Revelation and read about a city coming out of heaven from God. This city is called the “New Jerusalem” and she is referred to as a woman. She is also called specifically the “Lamb’s Wife”. In their illogical reasoning they have determined that since we are the “Body of Christ”, this is our wife also. In other words God came to the earth in the flesh, suffered and died on a cross, went to hell and arose back to heaven all so that he could marry a city with buildings and houses that we can all live in happily ever after. What a fairy tale? That logic is crazy to me and I don’t know how they even came up with that kind of teaching? I guess I have seen worse, but nonetheless I hope you can at least question their thought process and logic. You see based upon their logic and the verses in Revelation, if this city New Jerusalem is the bride of the church then we are the Lamb. However, I have never seen any verses of scripture that says the church is the “Lamb of God”, have you? I know I didn’t give you every scripture reference and I didn’t give you every reason they teach, but I really do not want to dilute the truth by telling more lies. I’m sorry if I come across very blunt sometimes, I do not do it to offend anyone, it is just an attempt to wake some sleeping giants up to the truth. Learn the lesson of the Secret Service. You know they do not spend a lot of time studying how to make counterfeit money. Instead they concentrate on studying the real money, its features, characteristics and qualities. If you become intimately familiar with the real you can automatically recognize the counterfeit. That principle works with the Bible in the same way. The more you study the truth, the false teaching becomes laughable and easily recognizable. What you have to do is to make sure that what you believe is firmly based upon 2 or 3 witnesses of scripture found in the Bible. If you do this, then you are on good ground to recognize the false teaching of the enemy.
Mat 22:2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,
As you can clearly see, Jesus is describing a spiritual reality using a descriptive story found in the form of a parable. This marriage being described to us is what we will begin to study in this series of lessons. Jesus is telling us of the “Kingdom of Heaven” so He must be speaking about spiritual truths using natural descriptive terms that we are all familiar with. In this parable a certain King has arranged a marriage for His son. So if you are the least bit intelligent you know that the King is representative of God the Father. The Son in this parable is clearly Jesus Christ. The marriage is to a bride. The bride can be referred to as a future “daughter-in-law” or the “sons” wife. So now we need to determine what is a spiritual woman, who is this spiritual woman and what is a spiritual marriage in the eyes of God.
Before we can accurately understand the identity of the bride of Christ we really need to step back and come to understand some spiritual basic concepts; like what does the Bible say a spiritual woman is and how does a woman relate to a spiritual family unit. Obviously if we are talking about women and brides we are also talking about a marriage. How is a marriage related to this subject in the eyes of God. We also need to figure out scripturally who the bridegroom is. What is a Blood Covenant? I believe that Biblical blood covenants are also a key subject to study and understand in order to build a basic knowledge of the subject of the identity of the bride of Christ. I cannot fully expound in this blog on all of the Bible basics that you should be aware of in order to fully understand this subject. I will just warn you upfront that this is not an introductory lesson on the subject and it assumes that you already have some firm foundational understanding of the Bible and the subjects that I just mentioned. Most advanced studies of any subject must assume some basic knowledge of the subject, so mine is no different. When you go to college and take Calculus, they don’t start the class with 1 + 1 = 2, you should have already learned that in elementary school. So it is in this blog, this is a college level Bible course and I won’t spend a lot of time on any elementary school basics. The bottom line is that if I say something that you don’t agree with, I would hope that before you reject it or write it off, that you do some basic study to see how I arrived at that statement since I will not always attempt to teach you everything that I know in one blog series. I just don’t have the time or enough space to cover everything.
So back to one of my key first points, taking a truth and trying to make it the truth, is a critical mistake because you close your mind and your spirit to any new knowledge that God wants to teach you on the subject. You see here is God’s challenge to us, there is more than one truth in the Bible. The truth in the Bible is much like a finely woven fabric or tapestry. It consists of many different threads that fit together closely and that are overlapped with other threads that all reveal God to us. In fact the Bible is so complex that it is difficult for us to fully comprehend everything that the Bible says. Saying the church is only the body of Christ and that’s it, simply closes your mind to anything else that the Lord wants to teach you about the subject.
You see, in the Bible God describes the church using many, many different names, titles and descriptions with each revealing several different new characteristics, qualities and features. We are described as “kings” and “priests” (Rev 1:6). In 2 Corinthians 5:12 the church is called “ambassadors” for Christ. In other places in the Bible we are described as “saints” (Romans 1:7). The church is described as an “army” with armour and weapons (Eph 6:13). We are described as “children” and even “sons” of God in the New Testament. We are called “joint heirs” with Christ in Romans 8:17. In Romans 2:29 the church is called the spiritual “Jews”. In other places in the New Testament like 1 Corinthians 3:16 the church is called the “temple of God”. I could go on and on with other scripture references, but I think you are getting the point. You can’t take any one of those truths alone and attempt to make it and it alone the entire truth of God’s word. If you do this you are in BIG trouble with trying to understand the Bible. I would ask those who teach that the church is only the body of Christ a good question, how can we be “joint heirs” with Christ if we are “Christ”. Uh oh? I think that’s a problem maybe you haven’t thought about before. A “joint heir” clearly implies a different heir and not the exact same one. So how can the church be joint heirs at the same time they are the Body of Christ? I tell you it is a very significant puzzle and a mystery and we will get into and solve. Hopefully you are learning a few things from this short introduction, I have designed this series to introduce you to things in a specific order and sequence to hopefully help you to fully understand it. If you desire to now more of the Names, Titles, Descriptions and Symols for the Church you can go to that lesson and research them in your Bible.
I guess I will stop right here and address another issue that I heard one minister say. According to him he was struggling in thinking of himself as a spiritual woman or the bride of Christ, because he was a man and a normal natural man has a problem with identifying themselves as a spiritual female. I can understand that thought process, because I am a man also. There are so many natural people in the world that are so confused with their sexual identity, am I a man or am I a woman. Am I a man in a woman’s body or vice versa. It seems this identity crisis has crept into the church. Is the church a man or is it a woman in the eyes of God? That is certainly the great debate that seems to be raging. You can so easily see why Satan wants to keep the church in confusion so that they don’t understand who they are and why they are here. If the church doesn’t understand the truth then he is able to steal it away from their hearts and they will never be able to know it according to what Jesus taught us. As you read the rest of this blog series you will soon discover why Satan wants to convince the Body of Christ that they are not the bride. If he can convince them they are not the bride then they will not be able to fulfill the Biblical prophecy spoken by the words of God himself.
So normal men don’t like being thought of as a spiritual female. However, what I like or don’t like and what you like or don’t like doesn’t really mean anything. That also goes for how you and I feel about being called a woman. I’ve heard that it brings out an image of a woman with combat boots on and wearing a wedding gown. This one minister just couldn’t identify with such a thought being a male. What an incredibly arrogant philosophy that is. You are assuming that a woman wouldn’t have a problem if she is called a spiritual male (the body of Christ), but a male would have a problem if he was called a spiritual female (the bride). That is about as natural thinking or carnally minded as you can possibly get and still attempt to call yourself a Christian. What a male chauvinist attitude. Did you know that the Bible says in Galatians 3:28 that there is neither “male” nor “female” in Christ? If you are in Christ and you are worried about being a male or a female you are thinking carnally and naturally. If you are a male and have a problem identifying yourself as a spiritual woman and I did say spiritual then you need to repent and figure out what God thinks about it and not worry about your appearance or feelings on the subject.
What we should ask ourselves, is there precedence in the Bible for the Church to be the bride of Christ? Ok, that was a legal term and what I really meant to say was there a valid pattern, a type and shadow given to us in the Old Testament that would mirror and confirm to us this New Testament truth? In Legal terms, precedence is when a judge gives a ruling, he is obligated to explain why he ruled that way. Many times a judge will give established case histories where similar rulings were given and then explain why he ruled the way that he did. Why does the Judge feel obligated to include similar case rulings in his decision process? That is an interesting concept if you think about it. When a judge provides supporting evidences for his decision, he is saying this is not just my lone opinion. Precedence can also mean the order of priority or sequence of importance. This is exactly how the Bible is written if you didn’t realize it. God is the ultimate Supreme Judge and Jesus is our Lawyer or Advocate. God does everything in an orderly legal fashion. He explains His rulings giving us His precedence on the subject in His Word. The Old Testament parallels the New Testament, as well as the Old Testament precedes the New. The Old Testament helps us explain the New Testament and vice versa. The Old Testament gives us natural pictures of actual living people that point us to spiritual truths. There are many natural examples in the Old Testament that point us to spiritual New Testament truths. In fact there is an Old Testament scripture that says “The thing that has been, that is the thing that shall be” (Ecc 1:9) and God said there is nothing new under the sun. In this lesson series we will definitely explore some new foundational truths from both the Old and the New Testaments that confirm the true identity of the church, so get ready to learn.
If you would like to continue reading this series of lessons, you can continue with “Part 2“.
Gen 3:15 The Seed of the Woman! The Seed of the Serpent!
(Ver 2.6) This is Part 9 in the Bible study series on Understanding Genesis 3. If you have not read the series from the beginning you might benefit from starting at the beginning and reading “Part 1” first. I have given some important key points in the first lesson in the series that is needed for you to understand this lesson completely. This lesson concerns the words spoken to the serpent and you need to understand who this serpent is identified to be in order to understand how to interpret these words in this verse. One of the keywords in my title today is the subject of “seeds”. I have already touched on this subject in other Bible lessons that I have published, but since we are studying in Genesis 3, I feel that this needs to be discussed again so that people will understand it more thoroughly. It is disturbing to me how people can read the Bible and not see what it really says. In my opinion there are too many Christians that don’t have a clue what the Bible actually says. There is a great number of Christians who rely on others to tell them what to believe. If their preacher says it’s true then they are instantly on board with it without studying it for themselves. That kind of attitude has caused a bunch of people in the church to be deceived. Do not believe anything I say or anything anyone else says without you reading it in your own Bible and you seeing it for yourself; you must be able to determine if it is really true for yourself and no one else can do it for you. Here is today’s central Bible verse found in Genesis 3, let’s look at it carefully and consider what God says to us:
Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
From the context of this scripture we know that God is speaking. This verse occurs after the man and his wife had sinned by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God is speaking to each participant in the ordeal in the reverse order of mention found in the chapter. If you read all of chapter 3 you will see that Satan (the serpent) is mentioned first, then the woman and finally Adam. But, God comes to the man first, since he is supposed to be in charge of the situation. Did you know if you are just a member of a church that God will not come to you and tell you how to run the church? God always communicates from the top down and not from the bottom up. I just threw that in for good measure; there is no extra charge for any new information that helps you personally. So if you look at this verse God is finally speaking directly to Satan who has initiated the problem. We know that in Chapter 3 of Genesis Satan is referred to in the terms of a symbolic “serpent”. That only means that there was not a literal talking physical snake in the garden during this chapter. If you don’t understand that statement you need to read my lesson on the subject called “Was There A Talking Snake In The Garden“. In that lesson I gave at least 4 sound Bible reasons why there could not be a literal talking serpent. I will not repeat that subject in this lesson to try to prove to you what I have already taught and confirmed with the Bible. If you do not understand there wasn’t a talking physical snake then go and read about it and then come back to study this subject about the seed of the woman. So we can see that God is speaking directly to Satan in reference to a woman. If you automatically try to assume that this woman is Eve, you would be totally wrong. Even though at this point in time Eve is the only physical woman on the planet, we can clearly see that God is speaking of a prophetic woman and this woman has to be a spiritual woman, since Satan is her spiritual opponent. A physical woman is not capable of stepping on the head of a spiritual being. If you think so, you would be wrong again. There are too many distinct differences between natural things and spiritual things for you to think otherwise. Let us start an analysis of the verse by reviewing the nouns in this verse and see what God has said to us. We can see that there are 8 primary nouns given to us in this verse. Here they are in order of mention:
- I (God)
- Thee (Satan, the serpent)
- Seed of the serpent
- Seed of the woman
If you look at my list and you study the verse you might notice that I left off two nouns. One being “it” and the other being “his”. These I believe are mistranslated words and do not reflect correctly the true meaning of the verse so I left them off for now. The first noun in Genesis 3:15 is “I” and this is God and God tells us and all the other participants what He was going to do as a result of their actions. This is the first thing that you should recognize, if God says something you can believe it will happen exactly like He said it would. We can see that this is one of the first direct statements of God’s plan of redemption that has far reaching implications. You can also see that this is God’s Will in action. God says “I will” and then tells you what He is going to do or make happen. Now, here is a list of the important verbs found in the sentence:
We can see that there are far fewer verbs given than there are nouns. Let’s start with the verse’s first verb “put”. We can clearly see that this is something that God says He will do. This word has a meaning “to place”. For example, you can “put” something on a shelf. You can “put” something in the refrigerator. But this verse says God will put something between two other direct nouns. The implication is given that God will change the order of something from one thing to another. You could say a reversal of roles, for example? You could also say this is a division or a separation of one noun from the other noun being separated with something in between. You might see this more clearly if you read my other blogs. What we need to do at this point is see who God is talking to and then to see what was placed between them to cause this separation.
Let’s start by looking at the second noun in Genesis 3:15 and this is “enmity” and this word clearly means “a hatred” or “hostility”. These are words normally between enemies. What we can clearly see at this point is that God says that He will put ”hatred” between the next two nouns. These nouns are of course the “serpent” and the “woman”. You can clearly see that God who has not identified who the woman is, has told Satan that there will be a hatred between him and her. In other words these two will become great enemies who will do battle. These are implied meanings derived from the chosen words and wording from this verse given to us by God Himself. Please note these important items and then notice the next two nouns in the verse. God seems to shift into talking about something new, or does He? I believe what we have here is a new point of view being given but, God is still talking about the same original two nouns. Notice what God says, I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed. So did God change subjects? We are still talking about the same enmity, right? So what makes you think that the “seed” of the serpent is separate from the serpent? Have you ever thought about that? You see if you logically conclude that the enmity is the same between the serpent and the woman as the enmity between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman, then you could say that God is still talking about the same two individuals. Let’s look at the very first verse in the Bible that talks about “seed” and see what it reveals to us by the law of first mention:
Gen 1:11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
What we discover is a basic principle of the nature of seeds. A seed is something that when planted produces something else. But it only produces, based upon the law of Genesis “after his kind“. In other words apple seeds produce apple trees and not orange trees. Now here is the really important part of the verse, it says that the “seed is in itself”. In other words you cannot separate the seed from the tree or the fruit; they are considered to be one. An apple tree will produce apples, that have seeds that when planted will cause there to be more apple trees that produce more apples, that have more seeds that go on and on. These are the basic Bible laws surrounding seeds. If you do not understand them you can go read my blog series on “Understanding Seeds”. The principles of seeds are quite simple but the implications are vast and complex. If Genesis 3:15 is talking about the seed of the serpent, you have to go back to Genesis 1 and apply the seed law principles and see that they are considered to be one in the same. The seed of the serpent is in himself. The serpent is representative of a spiritual tree that has fruit with seeds in it. These seeds can be planted and will cause to multiply and grow and become greater in number. Yet this multiplication system still demands that no matter how many that are produced from it, they all originated from the one. If you have never studied the Bible on the subject of “seed” you should because it is a wealth of information. Most everything that God does is based upon a seed principle. Jesus told us a parable of a man sowing seeds and said if you don’t understand this one you will not understand any other.
So let’s go a little further with what a seed is in the relationship to a woman. If you search the Bible you will find some very interesting statements. I’ve heard preachers get up and declare that the “seed of the woman” is Jesus of Nazareth. That would mean that the woman in Genesis 3:15 would have to be Mary. Mary was the physical mother of natural Jesus, yes? Did God ever put enmity between Mary and Satan? I think you are smart enough to see that this does not fit the scriptures that we can read. Then you could say that “the seed of the woman” is Jesus Christ who was raised from the dead and called the firstborn from the dead (Col 1:18). That would mean the woman in Genesis 3:15 is the “Heavenly Jerusalem” who we are told is the spiritual mother of Jesus Christ and the church (Gal 4:26) and I hope you can see that this doesn’t work either. God never put enmity between this woman and Satan. So the seed of the woman cannot be Jesus just from thinking logically along these lines. Before we go any further let me show you a verse in Genesis that I think is the first actual reference to a woman having seed. This will at least establish that a woman can have seed. I’ve heard many ministers say that a woman cannot have seed and that only a man or male has seed and they are thinking of sperm as being the only type of seed there is in the Bible. What people don’t realize is there are many different types of things in the Bible all called seeds. Here is just one of them:
Gen 4:25 And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.
Hopefully you can see from this verse of scripture a principle being established. A child that is born of a woman is called her seed. Eve is called the mother of all living human beings since she was the first woman. Given modern DNA research, most have concluded that every human being has originated from this one woman they called “Eve”. This is a basic implementation of the seed principle from Genesis 1. But of course it is more complex than that. Adam and Eve were one flesh, meaning they were one body in the eyes of God. Adam’s sperm or male seed was implanted into his wife, she bore him a child and this child was also their seed. This seed has the potential to reproduce after the original pattern and produce more seed; it is an endless perpetual self-sustaining model of life on this planet. But we know that no matter how many seed are produced, they are still considered to be one with the original model from whom they originated from. Whatever Adam did everyone he produced did, it is a very extensive spiritual and physical law. The sum of the whole is always equal to one. All of the separate and individual parts are still one in the same in the eyes of God. You can learn this principle in the N.T. by reading 1 Corinthians 15:22, where God says “For as in Adam ALL die…”. Did you notice that verse said you were “IN” Adam? That is the powerful concept of the seed being in itself. That means whatever Adam did you also did and that is why death passed upon all humanity by the acts of just one man. This is God’s definition of the natural seed always being within itself, whatever your father did, you did principle. Let me give you another N.T. example of this spiritual and physical seed law:
Heb 7:9 And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.
Did you notice that Levi was in Abraham? Whatever Abraham did was what his future descendant Levi, also did. So when did Levi come into the earth? You should look at the genealogies given to us in the Bible and see that Levi was generations away from Abraham, yet Abraham paid tithes and therefore Levi paid tithes. We can confirm this by reading the next verse in Hebrews:
Heb 7:10 For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.
Hopefully you understand the principle of seeds a little bit better now. Levi is said to have paid tithes because his great grandfather paid tithes to Melchisedec. Levi a future descendant was in Abraham and therefore whatever Abraham did, Levi did. That is one of the most important things that you can learn from our lesson today and it is certainly indirectly related to our primary subject of who the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent is in Genesis 3:15.
So let’s approach the subject of the seed of the woman as being Jesus Christ but, from a different perspective. If the seed of the woman is Jesus Christ then who is the seed of the serpent? We know the serpent is Satan, but who is the seed of the serpent? You see you cannot say one type of seed is an individual male child without saying the other is also an individual male child. You must be consistent in your interpretations and not try to make one noun a specific object type and then try to change the definition of the other identical noun to make it to be something else entirely new, do you get it? So if Jesus Christ is the seed of the woman in Genesis 3:15 as many preachers have said, then who can the seed of the serpent be? I do hope you see the logic behind that question. What the Bible says matters, every word and every detail matters and then how you interpret the Bible also matters. If you are not being consistent and treating every word the same, then you are being selective in what you teach and therefore getting it wrong by default. So pay very close attention to every detail; then ask questions. When you read across a detail that you do not understand, start to formulate questions and make notes on them. You never know when you will be reading a verse in the Bible and suddenly realize that you just read the answer to your question you had a few days or weeks ago. So I hope you can see logically that the seed of the woman cannot be Jesus Christ, because we have not named the “seed of the serpent”. Here is another difficulty that I have with saying that Jesus is the seed of the woman, I have not found any verses in the Bible that says that Jesus bruised the head of the serpent. Can you find one? What I discovered in studying the Bible, is that it says Jesus sat down at the right hand of God waiting for His enemies to be made His footstool (Hebrews 10:13). What we learn from this one verse is that Satan (God’s enemy) is not yet completely under the feet of Jesus. Do you get it? So what is God waiting for? So let me ask you again who is the seed of the serpent? Is this Satan’s physical child? I don’t think so. But you have to be consistent, if one seed is a man child you have to make the other seed the same. This is just a basic law of correct Bible interpretation, be consistent and apply what you do equally across the board to each occurrence of the word. If a word occurs twice in one verse interpret them equally.
Getting back to the problem with this KJV translation of Genesis 3:15 I alluded to the fact that two nouns “it” and “his” were mistranslated because some translators thought they were speaking about Jesus Christ and this idea crept into the translation. The word “it” in this verse is a Hebrew feminine word that is actually translated as “her” or “she” many times in the Bible. You can see that in Genesis 3:12 when Adam says “the woman that you gave me, SHE gave me of the tree”. This “SHE” is the same Hebrew word, so SHE is a valid translation for this word. Search your Bible and see it for yourself. Then the term “his heel” does not have an actual Hebrew word associated with it that tells you the actual gender of the owner of the heel. In other words “her heel” would work for this verse equally as well and I believe it could be a much better translation. It totally depends on whose heel we are talking about doesn’t it? Look at your Bible and see if these are true. Is there a Hebrew word for “his” that has a Strong’s definition? I couldn’t find one! So I am convinced based upon other scriptures in the Bible which I haven’t given you here that this verse in Genesis 3:15 should end like this: “she shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise her heel“.
If you need more scriptures I’ll give you a quick synopsis of more evidence from the Bible of who this woman is. In Luke 10:19 Jesus told his church “I give you power to tread upon serpents…“. Reading that verse you have all of the key elements and nouns repeated from Genesis 3:15. You have a woman, who is the church, you have the mention of the serpent who is Satan, and you then have the action verb of stepping on the serpent with your feet. This is just the exact same stuff that we read in Gen 3:15, using different words. I hope you can see it. Then there is another verse that is very critical to understand found in Romans 16:20, “The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly…“. Again we have a verse of scripture written to a woman (the Church) whose feet are to be used by God to bruise the head of Satan (the serpent).” You see, these two verses alone tell me that Jesus Christ did not accomplish this already and they confirm to me who is directly prophesied by God to complete this bruising of the serpent’s head. The Church is a spiritual woman, in covenant with Jesus Christ. Here is another perspective to consider, the church is called the “Body of Christ”. Jesus Christ is said to be the Head and the church is said to be His body (Eph 5). Where exactly are the feet located? Are your feet located on your head or on your body? So if God is going to use anyone to bruise the head of the serpent, would He not use His body? It’s not rocket science you just have to read and see what it says.
I have already blogged on most of the rest of this information when I gave you information about the woman in Revelation 12. Maybe I should rehash it again so that you can see it more clearly. You see the Bible in Revelation 12 speaks about a woman and since we are talking about a woman in Genesis 3:15 we should approach this woman as a potential candidate for the prophecy that God has given to us. You do not know it is not this woman do you? What I found absolutely fascinating was all of the clues given to us in Revelation 12 that fit the pattern of the prophecy in Genesis 3:15. First God is talking to the serpent when He prophecies in Gen 3. God actually reveals to us the true identity of the serpent in Revelation 12:9. Knowing this fact alone should give you some clues that God is revealing something that is much bigger in that Genesis 3 and Revelation 12 are related. You should be able to see that Genesis 3 and Revelation 12 are closely related if you study both chapters very closely. In Revelation 12 we have two primary nouns being repeated. These two nouns are the woman and Satan (the ancient serpent). The dragon we are told in Revelation 12:9 is definitely the “old serpent” so we can now see that the woman certainly could be the same woman being prophesied about in Gen 3. Now skip down to the last verse in Revelation 12 and notice another direct mention that is certainly not a coincidence.
Rev 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
So now we have some information that the dragon hates the woman. The dragon is said to be at war with the woman and that makes him and her enemies. What did God say in Genesis 3:15? God said that he would put “enmity” between you (the serpent) and the woman. Again we see some amazing parallels being spoken of. Then here is the real kicker, did you notice that verse in Revelation 12 spoke of the “seed of the woman” again? Satan was at war with the woman’s seed. Do you understand that statement? It certainly sounds like this is the prophesied woman in Genesis 3:15. If you do not understand how the heel and the head of the serpent come into play you need to stop here and go and read my blog on “The True Identity of the Woman in Revelation 12“. Once you realize that the woman in Revelation 12 is standing on the moon with her feet you will begin to understand this is the woman that God spoke of way back in the beginning. I know this is different than anything you have ever heard before, but yet if you can read with your eyes open you will see that it is all true. I pray that this has been a blessing to you and that you will pass it along to someone who can learn from it also. God Bless.
If you would like to continue to read in this series concerning the spiritual subjects hidden in Genesis 3 please go to “Part 10“.
Gen 3:21 God Clothes Them With Coats of Skin!
(ver 1.2) This is Part 8 in the Bible study series on Understanding Genesis 3. I have been going through the key verses in Genesis 3 and bringing out many new spiritual perspectives based upon God’s explanations found in verses in other parts of the Bible. I do not do this randomly because I use a set of rules that God has taught me about correct Bible interpretation. I will try to teach you these rules later. If you have not read all of the Genesis 3 series from the beginning I would recommend that you go back and read from “Part 1“. I believe by looking for related linked scriptures in the Bible we have a better opportunity to fully understand what God actually meant when He gave us these original writings. I believe the Bible is progressive revelation. What I mean by that is that God systematically builds upon layers of knowledge in a structured manner that increases our understanding of the beginning words. It is like reading a basic math book before you ever try to learn calculus. By learning the basics you can then add to this knowledge and apply it to the more advanced and everything flows together in harmony. You see the complexity of the Bible is so great because the intelligence of the author is so far beyond us. But knowing that God is so much smarter than we are, He didn’t leave us in the dark to figure it out all on our own. God has provided us a vast amount of commentary in the Bible on every subject and in fact I believe He has given us all the information we need to figure out these hidden and secret things, if we learn to follow His Word.
Too many times people teach a verse of scripture in the Bible in total isolation. They focus into a verse and want to figure it out with their own human logic and reasoning. But, God being a highly intelligent spirit being doesn’t write us a book that we can figure out alone in isolation. Even though many men and women have tried, they have all failed miserably. Today I want to focus in on one verse found in Genesis and see what God says to us in the Bible about this verse. This verse occurs in Genesis 3:21 and it says the following:
Gen 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
I have heard many Bible teachers read this verse and claim that God killed an animal and used its skin to make for the man and the woman external physical clothes. They have tried to assume that this is the origination of the blood sacrifice. But I am not convinced that this is what the Bible actually says. What do we know from other verses up until this point in the story. We know that Adam and Eve after they had sinned became afraid and told God it was because they were naked. God confronts them and asks “who said you were naked?” In other words God did not say they were naked? From God’s perspective of the situation they were spirits clothed in a body. But what changed from chapter 2 where Adam and Eve were not ashamed of being naked to chapter 3 where they obviously felt shame and embarrassment. I went into a little bit of this whenever I wrote about them being naked in chapter 2. I will not repeat everything here again. What I said in synopsis is that the man and the woman were more like innocent children who are not concerned with clothing because they are spiritually aware and realize that they are spirits clothed with a body. At a certain age of accountability, children suddenly become conscious of their bodies more than they are conscious of their spirits. Now they are focused upon their bodies and wholly consumed with the natural. This is what happened to Adam and Eve, they are now oblivious to spiritual things and now consumed with natural things.
So did God kill an animal and make them clothes or was this statement reflecting some other action that God did. First let me start by asking this question, who or what were Adam and Eve that God was concerned with? You see if you think naturally you focus in on their bodies and think that is what God is focused in on also. However, God who made these natural things is not that concerned with the condition of these natural things like He is with the spiritual things. We can determine by reading the Bible that natural things are “temporal” or “temporary” (2 Cor 4:18). But, we are also told there that spiritual things are eternal. So what is more important to God, the temporary house of the man’s spirit or the man’s spirit that will live forever? I do so hope that you are following my logic. I believe and am convinced that God cares infinitely more about spiritual beings and things than he does about the planet or natural things that He has made. You see God can make a new heaven and a new earth and He will very soon. What does that have to say about the old heaven and the old earth? The Old will be gone and done away with and its value has ceased. So what should Christians be focused on? Should they be spending all their time and effort trying to save the whales and the trees or should they care infinitely more about the babies that are being aborted before they are born into this world. These babies are the bodies for the eternal spiritual beings that God has planned and sent to be here. For some reason so called Christian want to vote for a president who works against God’s design for them to be here and kill them. Liberal politicians want to place all value on saving the planet and no value on babies and that is a crime. Oh well I’ll change subjects and get back to our topic about skin.
What does it mean to be clothed with skin? If you have never thought of it before that is what you are right here and right now. You are a spirit that is clothed with a body that is covered with skin. Skin is the largest organ in the body. It is a vital part of why you are here. Now I’m going to shift gears again and bring in a new perspective on the subject of skin. Did you ever wonder why God initiated a practice with Abraham that started a process that is called circumcision? This is a practice that most educated medical professionals will agree is a sound procedure that promotes health in the men that have this done. Circumcision is a procedure that entails the removal of unnecessary skin. Have you ever asked yourself if this skin is so unnecessary, why did God put it there in the first place? Didn’t God know this when He was creating a man? That to me is an interesting and an extremely valid question. I would go so far as to say that anything that God does has a purpose and this skin also has a purpose. What was the purpose of this skin? It was done to show us something or teach us something that applies to the spiritual realm. When God makes a covenant with Abraham one of the signs of the covenant was Abraham was required to be circumcised. This was a outward sign of the covenant. It was also a pattern of something else that was to come. God gives us some insight into this practice in the New Testament:
Rom 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
We can see from the subject of this verse a comparison is being made between two types of individuals. It is a known practice that the Jews have practiced circumcision ever since God spoke it to Abraham. This is the outward sign of the covenant from the Old Testament. But God now informs us some new things about this practice and why it was implemented. This verse actually says that those who are circumcised in their flesh are not the true Jews and that this outward practice means nothing except being a pattern to something greater. By continuing to read the next verse you will see the revelation of God being given:
Rom 2:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
This is an awesome verse of truth if you can see it. It declares the church to be the true Jews because of a circumcision of their hearts that has been performed by God. If God removes the unnecessary skin surrounding our hearts (spirits), when did God put this skin on our hearts? I think that is a really good question to consider. God declares in Romans 2:29 that he has performed a circumcision of our hearts. This would be a spiritual surgical procedure which mimics the natural procedure, to remove all of the unnecessary skin that covered our spirits. This is actually an amazing concept being given to us. Since we all still have the same bodies that we had before we are saved and they all have the same bones, flesh, organs and skin, we can assume that this outward skin is not what God has taken away. It must have been an inward spiritual skin that was removed. Isn’t that what God is saying to us? God is not that concerned with your outward as you are. God is focused in on our inward parts and these are the areas that change us to affect the outward parts. Every spiritual process that God performs works from the inside out and not from the outside in. So I’ll ask this question again, where did this spiritual skin that has been removed from our spirits come from? You see I believe it came from Genesis 3:21 when God clothed them (the spirits) with skin. This skin that God put on Adam and Eve must have been a spiritual covering to shield them from something or someone. I believe it was a spiritual covering of unnecessary skin to keep them from knowing too much, too soon. Every human born on this planet has this spiritual covering that makes them unaware of their true identity as being a spiritual being.
However, now God has removed this skin covering from the church and for the last 2000 years, we are the ones that God has stated to know the truth. We are the ones that will discover all that God has done for us. We will see things of the spirit more clearly than anyone before us. We are the church, the body of Christ the ones that are purposely chosen to know what God is revealing. You can choose to participate or you can choose to close your eyes and stay out of this blessing. I’ll end this blog with this last point, in the New Testament the church is repeatedly commanded to “put on Christ”. This is of course a spiritual exercise and not a physical one. How do you put on Christ? The term put on means to be clothed with. Doesn’t that sound familiar. You see if God removed your spiritual clothing of skin you would be spiritually naked unless you put something else on. So God instructs the church to “wear” Jesus Christ as a garment. To invest your spirit with a new spiritual set of clothing. These are some powerful truths to consider and I hope that you enjoy studying the Bible as much as I do. Jesus informed us that if we continue in His word, then we would be his disciples and then we would know the truth and then the truth would set us free. Too many people are looking for God to do what He has already done. People cry out for God to set us free from this world of evil and temptation. But God said when you arrive at knowing the truth, then and only then will you be free from everything else. Apparently there is so much more to learn and understand to obtain this freedom.
If you would like to continue reading in the Bible study series on Understanding Genesis 3 please continue to “Part 9“.
Key To Understanding! In the Mouth of 2 or 3 Witnesses!
(Ver 1.4) We can certainly learn many things by observing our judicial court system, legal court proceedings and jury trial systems. Our court system, while not perfect is based upon some significant established Biblical principles. God has implemented a legal system in the Old Testament that is relevant to today’s topic of correct Bible Interpretation. In the Old Testament law God said that if anyone was guilty of breaking the law they were to be tried in a legal court. One of the requirements found in the O.T. was that any prosecution of a human must be accomplished using 2 or 3 witnesses to the offense and that all of these witnesses must agree with each other. It is a concept that can be found in our modern courts today. If you read God’s original Law in the Old Testament you will find this principle given to us by God. For example, in Numbers 35:30, God speaks of the trial of a murderer and He requires more than one witness in order to put the accused murderer to death. This is just a very common sense approach that keeps a single person from getting mad at another to accuse them of murder and then they are put to death when they actually never committed the crime. If there is only one witness, then it is essentially one man’s word against another. In those cases it is practically impossible to determine who is telling the truth and who is not. This law is repeated by God in Deuteronomy 17:6 that further states and confirms the need for 2 or 3 witnesses for anybody to be put to death.
Here is one of the basic foundational laws of Bible interpretation that is absolutely critical to understanding the Bible correctly. God built in a self-protection system that is very important for every Bible student to follow. If you have ever listened to a variety of preachers and teachers of the Bible, you probably noticed that very few of them actually agree on anything. In fact it is actually very easy to make the Bible say whatever you want it to say. You can pull things out of context and you can easily make the Bible say something that it doesn’t say. Ignorant people, churches, denominations and even intellectual theologians have all proved this reality. But here is what God says about that, in the mouth of two or three witnesses let every word be established (2 Cor 13:1). This means you can’t take a single verse or a part of the verse and say that is what the Bible says. You are required to provide the collaborating, cooperating and corresponding testimony of at the least a second witness. Here is an example of what I’m talking about. There has been a group of individuals that call themselves Christians, that have read a Bible verse from Mark that they say instructs them to handle snakes in their church services. As a result many have been bitten and some have even died. That is a prime example of taking one verse out of context and attempting to make it a crazy doctrine. Don’t be stupid and fall into similar traps and pitfalls. Learn to correctly divide the Word of God before you start following someone’s stupidity. Snakes are widely spoken of in the Bible and many times they are a symbolic reference to a spiritual evil force that we cannot see. So people have taken a single verse literally and as a result have fallen into error. I’m sorry but that is dumb.
So the goal to correct Bible interpretation is to find at least two scriptures that say the same thing, even though they might say it using different words. Sometimes you can find a scripture from the Old Testament that is quoted in the New Testament. That certainly qualifies as two witnesses. That is the easiest way to confirm a truth in the mouth of 2 or 3 witnesses. But, you sometimes don’t have the luxury of a direct quote however, and you have to be smart enough to recognize when a verse with a little bit different wording conveys the same thought or idea on the subject in discussion. Here is a prime example of what I’m talking about. In the book of Revelation chapter 12 there is a symbolic woman clothed with a symbolic sun. In order to figure out who the woman is you have to first figure out who or what the sun is. You see the identity of one is totally dependent on the identity of the other. Does that make sense? Logically the Bible is organized into subjects that can be easily identified because they use the exact same Hebrew or Greek word to covey the subject. However, sometimes it becomes more difficult and this is another technique that God has used to conceal the truth in the Bible and this is to refer to the same object or noun using different names, terms, titles, descriptions, symbols or characteristics. It is still the same object, just called something totally different. Let me briefly enlighten you on the identity of the sun in Revelation 12. I would have to write a huge book to go into this in as much depth as it really needs to be explored, but I will not attempt to include everything I know right here. I’ve actually already written several blogs on the subject that contain more details. The sun is representative of Jesus Christ. How do I now that? If as I discussed in earlier blogs that the Bible interprets itself, then we should be able to find the identity of the sun in other scriptures in the Bible. Well in Malachi 4:2 the Bible speaks of the “Sun of Righteousness” rising with healing in his wings. Who do you think that is? This is of course just another symbolic reference, but this time in an Old Testament minor prophetic book that refers to Jesus Christ. This would be the first and most direct witness to this truth. But we still need at least one more witness. So now it become more challenging. But since I’ve already done the research and figured it out, I’ll take you to the next witness. There is a verse in Revelation 22:16 that further confirms the subject in the mouth of two witnesses that names Jesus Christ as the bright and “morning star”. What is “the Morning Star”? Some think that it is a nearby planet reference, but of course it is the Sun, our closest star to our planet that seems to rise every morning. Morning Star is the Sun using a different name. A totally different way to name the exact same thing, yet they both refer directly to the same physical object. For a third witness of the identity of the Sun we can find it in 2 Peter 1:19 “…until the day dawn and the day star arise in your hearts.” That was just the end of the verse, but it speaks about Jesus who is the Sun of Righteousness. You see the name “Day Star” is still another term for the Sun. The sun is our closest star and usually the only one we are able to see during the daylight hours. We can easliy conclude that the Day Star would represent a reference to our Sun. I hope you get the point and understand this valuable concept, if you are searching the Bible for a truth make sure that you find at the minimum two confirming witnesses to help you interpret the meaning correctly, otherwise throw it out. Whatever someone teaches from the Bible, if they do not follow this important rule, refuse to accept what they teach. This one thing will help you more than anything else that I know to correctly divide the Word of God. Follow God’s spiritual protection system for correct Bible interpretation and you will never be on shakey ground. If you want to understand the Bible correctly, then you must follow the rules that God has given to us or you will remain lost in your ignorance. Learn that there are rules to correct Bible interpretation, learn what these rules are and then live by them and you will benefit tremendously in learning about God and the truth. God Bless you and thanks of reading my Bible lesson on correct Bible Interpretation.
Gen 3:22-24 Guarding The Way To The Tree of Life Pt 2
(Ver 2.1) This is Part 7 in a study series on the subject of Understanding Genesis 3. It is also a continuation of the last lesson concerning the Tree of Life introduced by God in Genesis 2 & 3. If you have not read the Genesis 3 lesson series from the beginning I might suggest that you go and start with verse 1 and read Part 1 first. If you have not read this current subject on the tree of life from the beginning I would suggest that you go and start with “Part 6” first before you study today’s lesson. Studying the Bible is one of the greatest challenges we will ever face in life, God who is a Spirit writes us a book about both natural and spiritual things and we have to be smart enough to discern which words are speaking of which. This is by far one of the greatest challenge and the trickiest methods that God has implemented in this Book to conceal the truth. You can clearly see that God calls spiritual things and natural things by the same name and that He rarely ever tells you which one He is talking about. In my last blog I introduced you to some more complex subjects found in the Bible. We began trying to figure out if the trees in the garden in Genesis 2 and 3, were physical fruit trees or were just symbolic representations of spiritual truths. I am a firm believer that these trees, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life were symbolic spiritual representations. I have a number of reasons for this logical deduction based upon many verses that I have already given to you and then some more we will discuss today. In my last lesson on this subject I also showed how that God places a Cherubim to guard the way to the tree of life and how God was not keeping the way from the man, but from another spiritual being, someone who was interested in obtaining its power and benefits. If you understand compass directions and reading maps you can understand what I showed you last time about the differences between east and west.
Next I also took you to Revelation and showed you in the last chapter the clear reference to the tree of life. It is funny how things from the beginning are repeated in the prophecies of the end. It seems to me that God must have wanted it (the tree of life) to play a major role in His plan if it ends up the way it started. We can see that this information found in Revelation 22 seems to imply we are that tree, that produces fruit and drinks from the river of life flowing from the throne of God, but that is my opinion. Today I want to go through other scriptures found in the Bible that describes this tree. These are the verses that represent God’s commentary on the subject so I place great value upon them. Hopefully we can, by searching the Bible see who or what this tree of life is and who God was keeping from it. If you search your Bible using your computer you will discover around 11 verses that contain a direct reference to this “tree of life”. These three words occur, four times in Genesis, three times in Revelation and four times in Proverbs. It is absolutely fascinating what these verses say to us. We will start with the last verse in the Bible about this tree.
Rev 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
In this verse that is written to the church it declares that those who keep God’s Words may have the right to the tree of life. The word “right” here is a very interesting word because it means authority, power, and liberty. But more than that, it can refer to someone who is a potentate, magistrate and superhuman. These are all terms of royal sovereignty and ruler ship; terms given to kings for example. I believe what God is saying is that He wants it to end how it started, but without the influence of evil. To me it goes along with Genesis where God said that Adam could stretch forth his hand (power) and take from the tree of life. God intended the man to eat from this tree of life from the beginning, but Adam made the wrong choice. Now let’s go to the first occurrence in Revelation and see what that verse says to us. Here we find Jesus speaking to the church:
Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
You see some more valuable information given to us. Jesus is speaking directly to the church and He tells us, that whoever overcomes, to him will be given to eat from the tree of life. Overcoming implies an enemy or opposition force that is opposing us, trying to keep us from eating and partaking of that which was promised. The prize of winning this battle or contest appears to be us eating from this tree of life. That sure seems to be the reward for overcoming these evil forces of opposition. Finally, we see the location of this tree given again. This time it does not contain any reference to or is any way associated with the Garden of Eden. Even though we do not know the actual location of this tree of life we can clearly see its relationship being repeated with it being in the “middle” of the paradise of God. Adam, when God told him of this tree said it was in the middle of the garden. So what was this garden? Where is this paradise? What does it mean to be in the middle? I feel that the term middle could be a symbolic reference to someone who is well centered. Not into the extreme of this or that, but one that holds on to a well-balanced understanding of God’s Word. Of course this is my opinion again and I would hope that you can at least understand how I arrived at that opinion. I would also make this suggestion for you to consider, Jesus when asked about the Kingdom of God always told people it is not here and it is not there, but the Kingdom of God is within you. People wanted to focus on outward things and God wants us to focus on inward things. Inward things would be things associated with the heart and the spirit of man. Keep that in mind when trying to figure out where this paradise of God is located. I believe that God’s garden is within us. We are the garden of God that produces the precious fruit that God places such great value upon that He purchased it with His shed blood.
We can now move to the only other direct references in the Bible to the tree of life and these are found in the book of Proverbs. Proverbs was written by King Solomon and holds great understanding and wisdom from God. This book contains extremely valuable spiritual information about which we need to better understand. I’m going to start with a verse found in the 11th chapter and it goes like this:
Pro 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
This verse speaks to us about fruit in relation to a tree of life. But did you notice where the fruit was and what type of fruit it is speaking about? The clear implication is given to us that this is a spiritual tree with spiritual fruit. The church is declared to be the righteous ones by faith, in the New Testament (Rom 10:10, 2 Cor 5:21), so we can claim this verse as applying to us directly with great confidence. If we are supposed to produce fruit unto God as it says in Romans 7:4, then what kind of fruit is this that God is looking for? We can clearly assume it is spiritual fruit and that spiritual fruit only grows on spiritual trees. This is the “fruit” of the righteous and this verse says this comes from a tree that has eternal life. I guess I paraphrased that verse a bit, but we will get there eventually so hang in there.
Pro 3:18 She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.
Here we have another verse which has great spiritual implications. This verse points us to the origin for the fruit that we are supposed to be producing. God’s words are declared to be the spiritual seeds of life. If planted in our hearts and watered correctly it will produce this spiritual fruit. In this verse in Proverbs God speaks about a woman who is symbolic of a spiritual force to be desired. This woman if you look at the context of the chapter is called “wisdom” and “understanding”. To have a sexual relationship with this woman is a covenant act of knowing her. God declares that by knowing “wisdom” and “understanding” you will participate in eating from the tree of life. It is a spiritual system of planting and reaping. God’s word contains all of the essential ingredients necessary to produce this tree of life. It actually says that by us knowing and understanding His word it would cause us to live and eat from the tree of life. But it really says more than that, it implies that we are the trees of life that produces the fruit for God’s glory. It is fascinating that we have read a couple of direct references to the tree of life and that these point us to spiritual things and not to any natural fruit trees in a physical garden. God did make the natural fruit trees, to help us to understand these spiritual concepts, but too many Bible teachers have ignored the spiritual things to focus only on the natural. Let’s continue in Proverbs to the next reference to this tree of life found in chapter 13:
Pro 13:12 Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
Pro 13:13 Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.
Pro 13:14 The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
Pro 13:15 Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.
These words again point us to spiritual things. In verse 12 it declares that “desire” is a tree of life. That to me is an interesting concept. If you look up this word in the Strong’s, we can learn that this word means “lust”. That implies there are certainly good and positive desires and things to lust after. Conversely it means there are bad or evil things that you should not desire to know or participate with. To lust after God and God’s Word are right desires that produce good results. By reading down to verse 14 we can see another reference to the waters of life that flow from God’s throne. These waters are again are God’s words and what He has spoken to us. So within the context of these verses we have a relationship established between the tree of life and God’s words. These are very awesome verses in Proverbs and we are at the last direct mention of the tree of life, given to us in chapter 15:
Pro 15:4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.
This is probably the most important of all the verses that we have seen so far on this subject. This verse informs us that the words coming out of our mouths produce this tree of life. You see just because God says something good for you in the Bible, does not mean that you have to accept it. You can say something totally opposite to what God has said and you will not benefit from what God has said in any way. What you say is far more important than what you can possibly imagine. What you say affects you personally more than it affects anyone else. What you say personally determines if you are saved or not. If you recall from another verse I gave in an earlier blog, also from Proverbs that says “death and life are in the power of the tongue” and then it says “those who love it will eat the fruit thereof”. We can clearly see that God has given us the choice to live or die based upon what we say. God’s spiritual system is a word based system. Everything that God has done has originated from His spoken words. God’s words have dominion over all other words, but yet they do not overrule the words that you speak. God’s words are ultimate truth, but your words are what are true for you. God does not force His will on anyone. Your will and your words rule your life and determine your destiny. The subject of words in the Bible is probably one of the most important subjects you can study and yet many ignore it and close their eyes to it. Just because you ignore the subject doesn’t mean your words are not working for or against you. The law of gravity works for you regardless of whether you understand it or not; if you do not believe in the law of gravity and step off a tall building you will find that your fall will be met with a disastrous end regardless of your beliefs. It is much better if you cooperate with the laws of nature than if you ignore them. This is the way of spiritual laws found in the Bible also. Be smart enough to learn about spiritual laws and then let them rule your life. Perhaps someday I will get into more depth on this subject of words in a future Blog. I hope that you have been challenged to see these spiritual subjects today in some new light and that they have become more real to your spirit. I have believe that I have given you sufficient evidence that the church is the ones who partake of the tree of life and produce fruit unto God. There are many, many more scriptures in the Bible that speak to this subject and further confirm what I have been attempting to say to you. If you can you should go and search for them and see what they say. God Bless!
If you would like to continue reading the Bible study series on Understanding Genesis 3 please continue to “Part 8“.
Gen 3:22-24 Guarding The Way To The Tree of Life!
(Ver 1.5) This is Part 6 of the Bible lesson series on Understanding Genesis 3. I am going to take this subject out of sequence and teach a 2 part Bible Study series on the Tree of Life first mentioned in Genesis 2. From reaching in this 3rd chapter of Genesis we discover the story of how Eve was deceived by the serpent into eating from the spiritual tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam then listened to his wife’s voice and he also ate from the same tree. The Bible says Adam was not deceived (1 Tim 2:14) so whatever he did was an intentional rebellious act of disobedience to commit sin. If you have ever studied the Bible, you know that God shows up on the scene and places curses on each party involved in Genesis 3 and I have not taught on these subjects yet. However, we know from scripture (1 Jn 4:12) that no man has ever seen God. This fact would include Adam or 1 John 4:12 is not a true statement from God. So how did God curse everyone without making himself visible to them? That is an interesting point to consider, but since it is not my subject today, I’ll leave it alone for your consideration. Now after Adam’s sin, we have the man and woman in covenant with Satan, the symbolic serpent of old. We can now get to today’s subject from Genesis, guarding the way to the tree of life. Who was God trying to keep from eating from the tree of life? You can make the logical conclusion that if God wanted to guard the way to the tree of life, there must have been someone who was greatly interested in it. You don’t place guards on your garbage piles so it must have been something of great value to someone. So, who was after this tree of life? What exactly is this tree of life? Why is it important to keep it safely out of the hands of someone? So many questions to consider? Let’ start with the 22nd verse of Genesis 3 and see what God says to us:
Gen 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
I’ve already addressed the 1st part of this verse in another blog so I will not rehash that part of the verse. It is just important to note that God says the man has become like Him, in covenant with good and evil. That is some very powerful information, and it helps give us some foundational information for why God came in the flesh. If you need more information, please go back and read the Blog on “Gen 3:5 You Shall Be As God Knowing Good and Evil!“. Now pay attention to how God ends that verse. God says “because the man might also eat from the tree of life and live forever…”. Then God abruptly stops talking. This is one of the only places in the Bible that I know of where God doesn’t finish His sentence or His thought. God stops talking and leaves us wondering what was He going to say? Based upon the creation account in Genesis 1, we can see that whatever God says happens, so I would venture to guess that God did not want what He was thinking to come to pass so He shut His mouth and stopped talking about it. But that is just my opinion on the verse. But, I do think that is a powerful lesson for us all to learn from.
Let’s briefly address whether this is a physical tree or a spiritual tree. If it was just a physical tree why couldn’t God have just cursed the tree like Jesus did with the fig tree in Mark and bam the tree would not be a problem anymore. You see I do not believe it is a physical tree, with physical fruit. In this verse God says that the man could have “put forth his hand” and taken from the tree. What does that reference invoke in your mind? Most would think that it is speaking of Adam’s physical hand reaching out and picking a natural apple from a natural fruit tree. But I do not believe this is what God is saying. The term “hand” is a reference to power and ability. Adam had the power and ability to eat from the tree even after they had eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The word hand is a very popular word in the Old Testament. It occurs over 1400 times. Many times it is used in reference to a individual’s power and ability. Here is just one example of this found in the book of Job. Satan is in conversation with God about Job and he makes this statement to God:
Job 1:11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
You can see the reference here to God putting forth his hand. This is clearly the same terminology used in Genesis 3. Satan was telling God if he used his power to “touch” all that Job had, Satan thought that Job would curse God. Without getting into the story of Job, I will tell you that God did not take anything from Job. God did not hearken to the voice of his wife and do the wrong thing, like Adam did. What I want you to see is the reference that God has a hand that can be stretched forth. If the Spirit of God has a hand it must be spiritual. Just understand the difference between a spiritual hand and a physical hand and both are called a hand. This is one of the trickiest ways God has used to conceal information in the Bible. Speak of spiritual things in natural terms and then challenge your reader to figure it out.
Apparently, Adam had power and ability and was still capable of eating from the tree of life and living forever even after God said he would surely die. Obviously Adam did not understand what had happened, much less how to eat from the tree of life. We know from Genesis 2, that God had commanded the man not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But God never said anything about not eating from the tree of life. There appears to be an assumption that eating from the tree of life is good. But now that Adam was in covenant with Satan, what does God do? Who is God attempting to keep from the tree of life?
Gen 3:23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
We can see from this verse that the man and his wife are sent out of the garden of Eden. They are returned to the ground from where he was originally created. Exactly where was that? Where was Adam created in relation to the Garden of Eden? The Bible tells us if you look for it and pay close attention. Let’s go back to Genesis 2 and read:
Gen 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
You can clearly see that this is the creation account of the body of Adam. Adam’s body was formed from the dust of the ground. So where was Adam when this occurred? All you have to do is read the next verse and pay attention to the compass directions given.
Gen 2:8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
If the garden of Eden is located to the East of where Adam’s physical body was formed, what direction was Adam and Eve returned to after they had sinned? If you guessed back to the West, you would be correct. Why is east and west and these direction so significant? We can begin to ascertain the importance only after reading the last verse in Genesis 3.
Gen 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
So God drives the man out of the Garden and then it says God places a Cherubim at the east of the garden holding a flaming sword to keep the way of the tree of life. Are you beginning to see the paradox? Where did God drive Adam? God put the man and his wife back to the ground where they were created and this was West of the Garden of Eden. So where was the guarding Cherubim placed? They were placed to the East of the Garden. It is so fascinating when you see things correctly, isn’t it? God is obviously not attempting to keep the man away from the tree of life, if he was he would have placed the Cherubim on the West side where the man was.
(West) Adam ——-> Garden of Eden ——> Cherubim (East)
I wrote an earlier blog about the differences between the east and the west. I will not rehash all of that, but if you study the earth from the context that Israel is the middle of the world, then east of Israel towards Asia you would see that the religions of the world become increasingly darker and in some countries non-existent. Generally speaking if you move west from Israel you see the majority of the Christian nations in the world being to the West of Israel. Knowing this fact alone should help you see who God is guarding from the way to the tree of life. It is not from the Christians, but it is from the enemy of the church, the devil that God is keeping from the way to the tree of life. If you didn’t realize it, Satan is still looking for a way out of judgment. Eating from the tree of life would by association mean the establishment of a new covenant relationship with those for who it is intended. If you have followed what I showed you earlier you know that by Adam eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, it established a covenant between Adam and Satan. So whoever is intended to eat from the tree of life, Satan is looking to get into covenant with to save his rear end. The tree of life is mentioned again in the last chapter of Revelation and this chapter starts with this statement:
Rev 22:1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
We can see that this verse describes the throne of God and the Lamb. It declares that there is a river of water of life flowing from the throne. That of course is an interesting concept since Jesus told us in John 7:38, that out of our bellies will flow rivers of living water. Our bellies is referring to our spirits, the true inner man. This reference is about the words that we speak and them being a river of life to others in the world. So the river of life flowing from the throne of God must also be the Words of God.
Rev 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
Revelation 22:2 now directly mentions the tree of life. But did you notice where or what this tree is? It says this tree grows in the middle of the streets around the throne of God. Who walks the streets of heaven? I personally believe this is a reference to Christians. It further says that there are more than one of these trees of life. In fact if you look closely it implies there are many, many trees of life everywhere surrounding the throne of God. If you use your brain a little bit you might be able to see that the implication is given to us, that we are the trees of life. But that might be hard for some to see. Let’s approach it from a different perspective? It says this tree is suppose to produce 12 fruits monthly. Exactly what is fruit? To the natural mid it is just apples, oranges, grapefruits, etc. But to the spiritual mind it is much different. God being a spiritual being is speaking of spiritual trees that produce spiritual fruit. So what are the fruits of the spirit? Oh, that changes everything doesn’t it?
I guess I’ll end this blog here and just leave you hanging. Maybe I have given you some new things to consider and challenged you to think on a higher dimension. God had to guard “the way” to the tree of life from Satan. Satan is still after this tree, but I don’t believe he has a shot at it. You see Jesus said “I am the Way”, so nobody can come to God except Jesus allows him access. Jesus Christ is the only legal way to this tree of life and if you belong to Him, you now have access to this tree of life to produce the fruit of the spirit. I’ll try to continue this in another blog to help expand our understanding of this deep subject.
If you would like to continue reading this series on Understanding Genesis 3 you can go to “Part 7“.
Bible Basics: Recognizing the Voice of God!
(Ver 1.3) This is a inttoduction to an important Bible subject for every Christian to understand on “How to Be Led by the Spirit of God”. I generally don’t get into Bible basics in any great depth. But I realize that there are many people who are new to Christianity so we should try to help them in their spiritual growth. There are so many people who want to hear from God. So many people that want to know that God is real. So many people that want God to speak to them from a cloud or a burning bush. These people want proof that God exists and that He cares. However, the system that God has designed is based upon faith. God purposely hides Himself from our view. God has not revealed himself to us in order to challenge us to believe in the One that we have not seen. But that does not mean that God has not spoken to you. It means only that you probably didn’t know it was God when it happened. So how does God speak to us? Why don’t we hear it normally with our outer ears? We can see that people in the Bible also struggled with this reality and often times questioned God, “Where are you?”. One significant story that has great meaning is given to us in the Old Testament book of 1st Kings. Here we have the story of Elijah the prophet in a struggle with the children of Israel who were rebelling against God and His covenant. Israel would even kill the prophets of God whenever they would bring words of condemnation against them. They didn’t want to hear about their sin or the error of their ways. This resulted in Elijah asking God where are you? How come God who has all power, cannot or will not do anything to stop evil in this world? It is still happening today and people are still asking the same questions. We have murderers, terrorists, child predators, and just a multitude of evil at work in the world today. Why does God not stop any of it? It is a fascinating question, but since it is not my subject I’ll leave it for another blog. Today is about hearing the voice of God. Do you think that God only speaks to a few? Are there any requirements that are necessary for God to speak to you? Or could it be that God is speaking and most people are just not listening or just not hearing His voice? I am a firm believer that God speaks if we will only be quiet and listen.
In the story of Elijah you find some very powerful truths about how God speaks and these can be directly applied to us today. Let’s start by looking at chapter 19 and verse 11 of 1st Kings:
1Ki 19:11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake:
Here we have a statement that declares a pending interaction between the natural and the supernatural is about to take place. The prophet Elijah is standing before God, but we know from scripture that NO MAN has ever seen God (John 1:18). So we know that God while speaking to us can not normally be perceived by our five physical senses. This verse then declares a strong wind comes with great force. It sounds like a tornado or a hurricane force wind. But the verse says God was not in the wind. That should tell you something about who originates these storms. Then comes a mighty earthquake, but it informs us that God was not in the earthquake. Today in the news a large earthquake leveled Haiti. This was not an act of God either. God was not in the earthquake. As we continue in the chapter we are given more information.
1Ki 19:12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
Then comes a great fire, but the Lord God was not to be found in the fire either. We can see in these verses some of the greatest natural disasters given to us and each time the Bible clearly says that God did not have anything to do with any of them. It is the mention of these three most destructive forces in our earth system that God teaches us that He is not found in them. But now we are finally told how God comes to us and to speak. The Bible declares that God was found in a “still small voice”. I think that is what trips most people up when desiring to hear from God. God doesn’t speak to them in a thundering voice that knocks them off of their feet and thus they conclude in error that God did not speak. I believe most people are looking for the hugely spectacular demonstrations of God’s power and missing the greater supernatural small things that God does every day to help them. You see when God says something to you, it will be easily overlooked and easily ignorable. Why, because God does not interrupt or do things in a rude or obnoxious manner. God is the ultimate gentleman. God will normally always wait for you to get quite enough to hear before he actually says anything. Then He will normally only speak to you in a really quite whisper. Many times if you are a Christian you will find this voice originating in and near your heart or the center of your spiritual being. Sometimes these words will rise up to your mind as a thought. Many times you will wonder where did that come from? God might tell you not to take a certain flight today. God might tell you not to take a certain way home today. God might tell you to slow down and drive 10 miles an hour slower. These are all just small examples of God trying to keep you out of harm’s way. God knows that an accident will occur at a specific time and place, because of a drunk driver and if you only turn one block sooner than normal you would miss it. The problem is people don’t understand that these things are from God and they ignore them and follow their own agenda and normal routines. Then when they are laying in the hospital they ask God why did you let this happen to me? Most of the time if they would just think back and analyze what they were thinking before it happened they would understand that God was trying to stop it.
Too many times people are wanting some spectacular sign. They want the earth to open up or the clouds to part. They want a bright light to shine down from heaven or an angel to suddenly stop them from getting hurt. Most of the time God refrains from the spectacular demonstrations of His power, in order to get you to hear this quite whisper. If you learn that this is God’s Modus Operandi, you could possibly be saving your life from a tragic outcome. Evil has a covenant right to be in this world, until the time comes when Adam’s allotted time period expires. We are truly almost there, the end of the age is very near. I hope you will begin to pay close attention to the still small voice and then learn to obey it. Many times it is called intuition. Just a knowing, that I should do this and not that. Other times it will be a whisper to do this. Learning to hear from God involves you learning how God speaks. Then it involves you learning to listen. These are valuable truths that will help you tremendously if you learn to recognize and follow them.
If you would like to continue reading about How to Be Led by the Spirit of God you may go to “Part 1” in the series.
Gen 3:5 You Shall Be As God Knowing Good and Evil!
(Ver 2.2) This is Part 5 in the series about Understanding Genesis 3. The Bible has so much information in it, it is challenging just to know what to teach. Genesis 3 is about the spiritual downfall of Adam and Eve. But there are a number of other good lessons to learn from this chapter also. I am shocked sometimes at how people don’t see what the Bible really says and I think today will be another example of that. You can tell if you have read my blogs on Genesis that we are faced with a challenge by God to recognize the difference between spiritual things and natural physical things being described to us. Many times men tend to look at everything in the Bible naturally, but since the author of the Bible is a Spirit, God’s perspective is the only one that should count. Most of the time wrong interpretations of the Bible revolve around private interpretations from the natural minds of men. But, if we use the Bible to help us determine the true meanings, we are far more likely to get it right. In my last blog on Genesis I talked about spiritual fruit being different than natural fruit. I gave you several scriptures that declare that it is not what we eat physically that causes us to sin. We can therefore conclude that God did not command Adam and Eve to not eat of a natural physical fruit tree in the Garden. We can further conclude that God when He was speaking of not eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, was telling them not to eat of a spiritual tree. If you didn’t realize it, God is more concerned with spiritual things than He is with natural things. People want you to save the planet, save the trees, save the environment, save the whales, etc., but God wants us to produce spiritual fruit and become a mature Christian, to be a laborer and to help prepare for His spiritual harvest. So when we read the Bible we need to become more spiritually aware and less naturally focused. Focus only on spiritual things in context with the subject given. Recognize how God applies natural things to give us glimpses into the spirit world.
Today I want to expand on verse 5 in Genesis 3. This verse has some profound truths written in it, that I believe we need to understand. This verse is Satan, the symbolic serpent speaking to the mind of Eve. If you didn’t know the serpent was a symbolic representation for a spiritual being, then you need to read my blog, “Was There a Talking Snake in the Garden?” Many times people overlook what Satan says because he is called the father of lies and they don’t realize that Satan will use the truth, if he thinks it will work to his advantage. Satan actually knows more truth than you do, that is why he can lie so well. Here are the words of Satan spoken to the mind of Eve as a thought:
Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
Satan is of course very presumptuous to think that he knows what God knows. I do believe that God taught Satan everything that Satan knows, however, I do not believe that God taught him everything that God knows. I think people need to learn that lesson, if they don’t learn anything else in this blog. We then see a statement that declares that their eyes would be opened. I would hope that you could see that Satan was not speaking of their physical eyes, but Satan was referring to their spiritual understanding. Here is a scripture from the New Testament which speaks to us along these lines:
Eph 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
Our spirits have the ability to see, perceive or as it says in this verse to understand. To see with our spirits is the ability of our spirits to understand the spiritual truths being spoken to us. The term is repeated to us in this verse “to know”. Isn’t that what Satan said to Eve? Satan told Eve that they would “know” good and evil. So what does this Hebrew word translated as “know” mean? If you have been reading my blogs you already understand the answer to that question. To “know” something is a covenant term. To know something represents an intimate sexual knowledge. God uses this same Hebrew word when He describes “Adam knew his wife and she had a son”. To “know” someone is to be in covenant with that individual. So what was Satan telling Eve? According to the wording and the underlying meaning, Satan said to Eve you will be just like God, in covenant with good and evil. I know I probably lost several readers with that statement, but if you keep reading in the chapter you will see that God did not contradict that statement, but He actually confirms it. You see if this was a lie or a deception of Satan, then God had the opportunity to confront the lie when He was talking to each of the participants after Adam had sinned. But, never do you see any confrontation or rejection of that statement in the chapter discourse. As you continue in the chapter you actually see that God confirms what Satan said to Eve in verse 22:
Gen 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
I should probably go back and address one modification that I made to the verse 5 translation before I talk about this verse 22. In verse 5 the word “gods” is the Hebrew noun “Elohiym”. This is a plural word that is often times used for one of the names of God. God being a triune being is a plural being and not a singular one. It is a complex paradox that God is directly called three personalities, but is still just one God. In contrast there are many gods, but there is one “Elohiym”, the Supreme God. In the first chapter of Genesis, this word “Elohiym” is translated as God around 26 times. So the KJV translators instead of making this word say “God” as they did the majority of other places in Genesis, they chose to make it say “gods”. But the problem with that reasoning was Adam and Eve were already gods, but they were gods that only knew good and not evil. The only thing that Adam and Eve would gain from eating this spiritual fruit was the covenant with evil and what a dumb mistake that was. So translators got the word wrong in verse 5 and focused in on the wrong noun. Instead of saying Adam and Eve were “elohiym” (gods) they should have just made it say “God”.
So why did I have to go into all of that explanation? Because if the translators would have just put these two verses, 5 and 22 together correctly they would have seen what God said in verse 22 “Look, the man has become like Me!”; in covenant with good and evil. God actually repeats exactly what Satan said would happen, so it could not have been a lie. God declares that Adam was now in covenant with evil and therefore we can determine based upon our knowledge of Bible covenants, Satan was now married to man. Whatever Adam was given was now given equally to Satan. There are many verses in the Bible that confirm this statement; I’ll give you one found in the temptation of Jesus:
Luk 4:5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
Here in the temptation of Jesus by Satan, Satan takes Jesus on a mental journey to the top of a very high mountain on earth. On the top of this mountain Satan shows Jesus all the kingdoms of this world. That would include every race, creed and inhabitant of the planet. There was nothing omitted or left out so that goes along with a true Bible covenant relationship between the two parties Adam and Satan. Then after showing Jesus these kingdoms, Satan makes this statement:
Luk 4:6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
We can clearly see that in Luke 4:6, Satan tells Jesus all of this which I just showed you has been given to me, and I have the power to give it to whoever I want. These were all true statements and Satan thought that he was in control of the situation, but God had a different plan. Now let me give you one more example of what I am saying found in 2 Corinthians:
2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
You see God shows us that one of Satan’s titles is “the god of this world” in this verse. Or actually I should say that this is the title that Satan stole from Adam and God just informs us of this. Adam when he was created was given dominion over all of the creation of God’s handy work. You can read this in the 1st chapter of Genesis as well as verses found in Psalms. God transferred complete control and responsibility over the planet to Adam and in effect made him the “god of this world system”. Adam had complete control over his own destiny and whatever he decided carried the decision for every one that descended from him. So after Adam dies, Satan becomes the “god of this world system”. Jesus gives us some very strong insight into this spiritual transaction between Adam and Satan in the book of John:
Joh 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
You can see from this statement a very powerful spiritual truth being revealed to us. Jesus is telling us that Satan did not enter into our world legally. He took advantage of Adam and Eve and entered in the world that God had given to them by deception. Jesus is calling Satan a thief that has robbed someone of something that didn’t belong to him. Jesus was also contrasting His presence on the earth as being legitimate, while Satan’s presence on the earth as being illegal. You see God could not come to the earth the same way that Satan did and just take back everything that was given to Adam, without being called a thief and become just as guilty as Satan. So we can see a puzzle being revealed to us. Jesus says whoever enters into the world by the door is legitimate. So what is this legal door into this world? It is only being born here by a natural woman that has given birth to you, and that makes you legally here. You have to be a direct descendent of Adam and Eve to be here legally. God is so very tricky and smart. God knew that He could come into the world and pay for our salvation, if He came as a son of Adam. So we have a man that was born into this planet that was both 100% man and 100% God and this was legal. So I got off track giving you some insight into Satan’s illegal entry and God’s legal introduction into our world. So let’s go back to Genesis and look at this covenant relationship.
What are the spiritual implications given to us from what we just learned? A Bible covenant relationship represents a marriage in the eyes of God. So Adam became married to Satan. Whatever God had given to Adam now belonged to Satan. After Adam’s death, Satan had complete control of it all. A converse truth was whatever Satan had now belonged to Adam, and that was really not a good trade. Adam was originally created to know only good, the things that God had provided for him. But now whatever happens to Satan will happen to Adam and vice versa. Fortunately for us, God had a plan of salvation that would destroy the works of the devil and make a separation from all the consequences that Satan now faces in the future. As soon as the prophesied 6000 year time table of Adam’s dominion is up, Satan will be cast out along with those who are now in covenant with him. The time is very short, and Satan knows his time of reigning on this earth is almost ended and guess why he is so very angry with the church. Lucifer who was once second only to God himself will not enjoy his eternal destiny.
We can see from a previous blog a conformation given to us in these verses in Genesis 3. God is in covenant with the angelic beings. This would include the good and the evil ones. In one of my last blogs I showed you that death is a legal separation of a covenant marriage relationship. Because of the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s covenant relationship with evil was terminated. Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, our salvation was confirmed. All of those who believe in Him will be saved, but all of those who do not will be damned with Satan. It is a covenant reality, you are either joined to Jesus Christ and one with Him, or you are joined with Satan and one with him. These are powerful truths and help to explain a lot of the hidden things found in the Bible.
I know I teach a lot of new things, that you have probably never heard anyone teach before. The disciples in the Bible made a statement that is very profound, they said “Silver and Gold have I not, but such as I have give I thee”. Just as the disciples could only give what they had, I can only give you what I have. This is just a simple but basic Bible truth; everyone gives from only what they have. I hope and pray you enjoyed my Bible lesson today and grasped something from it that you can hold on to. If you liked it please share it with others that can also benefit from knowing the truth. God Bless.
If you would like to continue in the lesson series on Understanding Genesis 3 please proceed to Part 6.
A Modern Example of Deception to Avoid in the Church – Part 3
(Ver 1.2) This is now “Part 3” in a Bible study series about Christians that follow other Christians blindly without confirming what is being taught in the church is really the truth that the Bible teaches. These are examples that no real Christian should follow. In fact these are examples for Christians to greatly avoid becoming. If you have not read from the beginning of this series you may like to go read from “Part 1” first. But know this Bible study is not dependent upon a previous lesson to be understood and applied. Our subject in this lesson series concerns traps and tricks of deception that Satan uses to get Christians to not know or believe the truth. These are examples that need to be understood so that we don’t fall for them.
We can all learn from positive or negative examples. The Bible is full of both types of people. God wrote the Bible this way to teach us that we are all humans that make mistakes. But He also does this so that we can learn not to repeat their mistakes. Perhaps you recall the classic quotation of Edmond Burke “Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it”. This is a wise saying because it is much wiser to learn from someone else’s mistake rather than to repeat it and reap the same consequences.
Hopefully you should know that I do not enjoy criticizing others and it is my goal to never name any names in what is written. I have learned that there are no perfect people in the world and everyone including me, has made mistakes. But today I want to give an example of a Christian that was living an example that all should avoid. I want to address a stereotypical group of Christian people that are good examples of people doing very unbiblical things. It seems within this Christian group a large portion of these people believe things and even do things blindly without any scriptural basis for their beliefs. In other words they automatically believed in doing something that they were taught in their church without finding out if it is really true. For too many it actually goes much further than that. If they do accidently find out the truth about something in their Bible that disagrees with what they have been taught, they choose to ignore it and refuse to believe it. In other words they put more faith in their deceived church teacher than they do their God and their Bible. That just seems very dangerous to me. How do you know that your church teacher is not another Jim Jones or a David Koresh leading you into a path of deception, destruction and death? Some people want to trust and place all of their faith in a human teacher because of their admiration for their outward looks. We having people in the U.S. voting for people to be president because they like the way they look. Who cares what they stand for or if they are telling us the truth, he is just so good looking. Wow what a deception that is taking place. This is not what the Bible teaches us to do. Read this verse and see what made these people more noble Christians:
Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
Here we have a story written by Luke where it describes Paul who wrote 2/3 of the New Testament preached to two groups of people. The first group called “Bereans” were described to be more noble that the second group called “those in Thessalonica”. I guess Paul named names and maybe I should also. But the Bereans do not follow Paul’s teachings blindly. The wise listeners to God’s teachers proved everything that was being taught by searching for them self in their own scriptures in order to prove if they were true or not. That is what I ask you to do also. Don’t believe anything that comes from me blindly. Get your own Bible, your own computer, phone or tablet and search to prove if it is really what God is saying to you. The Bereans were positive examples to follow after but let us move to a modern negative example to avoid.
A MODERN CHURCH EXAMPLE TO AVOID
As soon as I start describing this negative example church to avoid you will probably know who I am talking about. So even though I am telling you who it is, it will probably be very obvious and I really don’t know how to avoid this. In speaking with someone the other day they told me about a conversation that they had with their Christian friend. The conversation was about a Bible subject that everyone should know of. If you have been a Christian for long or you were raised in this church, you know exactly what we are about to learn. Hopefully you have already abandoned this teaching and moved far from the deception that is still being taught.
Blindness is defined as a person’s inability to see the light and this is true for physical or spiritual blindness. Sometimes the light is too bright and it forces some people to close your eyes. Many times our eyes have to adjust to different levels of light intensity before we can see things clearly. But sometimes people see the bright light of what the Bible says and then they just choose to close their eyes to it. They reject God’s bright truth for what they have chosen to believe called man’s traditional teachings. Jesus warned us in Matthew 15:6 that our “traditions can nullify the commandments of God”. To me that does not sound good.
People embrace traditions because of their trust in their teachers and their church. This is just wrong deceived behavior. And this type of behavior confirms the scripture that says “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not…” (1 Cor 4:4). You can discover how successful Satan has been in blinding someone, by observing how they react to new Bible truth when you present it to them.
So here we go! In a recent conversation with a friend someone told me that the subject of Mary the mother of Jesus came up. It seems that this deceived person had been taught that Mary is still a virgin and that she was at the same level of importance as her Son, Jesus. This would mean that Jesus didn’t have any brothers and sisters on the earth and that Joseph (her husband) never had sex with his wife. I really do not understand the reasoning or logic behind this belief of the departure of common sense at all. Not only is this a direct contradiction to what the Bible says, it would defy basic human needs created by God. For example, a man not being able to touch his wife after marriage is not normal behavior. We will soon learn that this also goes against what the Bible says about healthy marriage relationships.
The net results of this type of church teaching was the deification of a human woman. Mary now becomes a spiritual being that we are to pray to and can ask to talk to God for you. Mary has been exalted beyond human creation and now becomes the path way to God and equal with God. Now people can say instead of Jesus being the only path to God they have been deceived into believing their are other ways to reach Him. You see I’ll tell it to you very straight, if you are praying to Mary, Mary IS NOT LISTENING. Mary is NOT GOD! Mary can’t hear you. Mary does not appear to people in the world today. Mary could very well be in heaven and could be in the presence of God right now, but there is no way that she is in control of anything or can do anything to affect your outcome or situation here on the earth. This is a deception from Satan and a way that he uses to distract people from the truth of praying to God correctly to get an answer.
I can be very blunt at times and I’m sorry. Sometimes I think you have to shock people in order to get their attention. I guess it is also possible that people don’t realize that the Bible contains God’s words spoken directly to you and I and we need to learn what He says and not a theory being taught to us in a church. If Christians do learn the truth to know and understand it, and still reject it, then they need to know that they are also rejecting the True God Himself. So let’s go through the Bible and see what God said on the subject of Mary:
Mat 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
We know from several verses found in the Bible that Mary was a virgin girl and that the Spirit of God came upon her and she conceived a child. Mary was a normal human female when she was visited by the angel with God’s message. But she was special in that she qualified to be in the right place at the right time with the right genealogy to be used by God. It was important that Jesus be born of a virgin, since He was the Only Begotten Son of God. I really do not want to attempt to explain all of the theological reasons for the virgin birth in this lesson. If you do not understand these I would strongly suggest you find the lessons on this website about the virgin birth and study them in depth. Continuing to read in Matthew the 1st chapter we see that the angel of the Lord appears to Joseph in a dream also and tells him it is still God’s plan for him to marry this woman named “Mary”. He is informed that this child is from God and not from another man and then we are told this statement:
Mat 1:25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
You see in this verse there is a specific reference to sex. This verse tells us directly that Joseph did not have sex with Mary “UNTIL” after she gave birth to Jesus. That means she remained a virgin woman “until” after the birth of her firstborn son that they named “Jesus”. But this statement also means Joseph had sex with her (aka knew her) sometime after Jesus was born. If you want to ignore the Bible for your personal beliefs, then go right ahead and abide in your ignorance. The term “knew” her is a sexual reference. In Genesis 4:1 Adam “knew” his wife and they had a son. This sexual relationship between a husband and a wife is a normal part of the system that God created. To “Know” is a term that means to have carnal knowledge of, to be intimately physically connected with them and literally means sexual intercourse. It clearly means that Joseph was intentionally permitted to have sex with his wife Mary after Jesus was born, but not before. Why was this? Once a woman is pregnant you can’t get pregnant again? I guess I won’t attempt to elaborate on the why, for now. We can clearly see in other verses in the Bible that Joseph did have sex with his wife because it names some of their children. Here is a verse that speaks about Jesus and His earthly family.
Mat 13:55 Is not this the carpenter’s son (Joseph)? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?
We can see that these people clearly think that Jesus was Joseph’s son. They did not know that Jesus was not his son, they just assumed it based upon how they lived as a family unit together in a traditional household. Joseph is called the carpenter so Joseph was a normal man that had a normal occupation. As far as we can tell Joseph being a normal male would have had normal male sexual desires. So far we see all the aspects of a normal earthly family. Then we are given the names of 4 other males that are called Jesus’ brothers. These four are called James, Joses, Simon, Judas.
Now here is another plan of Satan deception where people are used to try to explain away what we can all read in the Bible. Satan uses our desires for our traditions to establish our beliefs of truth. This deceptive reasoning is that there were no Greek or Hebrew words for cousins, so they conclude that these brothers were actually Jesus’ cousins. Using this perverted logic they can preserve the virginity of Mary and continue to exalt her to a god. That is another example of ignorance gone to seed and growing into multiplied tricks of the devil. Truth always builds upon Truth and lies must be built upon other lies and the cycles usually never cross paths.
Just because the Bible does not have a word for cousin does not mean there are other ways of stating the truth if it was His cousins. If God wanted us to believe that these named men were Jesus’ cousins he could have said His mother’s brother’s sons or He could have used the Greek word G4773. This word was used by the Holy Spirit in Luke 1:36 to describe Mary’s cousin Elizabeth. There are certainly more than one way in the Greek and Hebrew words to describe relatives in the correct terms if God wanted to say something besides “brothers”. God used the Greek word G80 and this word means a “brother”. No you see people want to make Mary their god so they invent reasons to dispel what the Bible teaches for what they want to believe. If we continue on to the next verse we also discover more information about this family of Joseph:
Mat 13:56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?
In Matthew 13:56 we are not only told that Jesus had 4 half brothers, we are also told that he had sisters. We are not told how many, just that there were more than one. So apparently Joseph had a lot of sex with his wife over the years. We can clearly see that Jesus had at minimum 6 half brothers and sisters. If we think logically we can calculate that Jesus was approximately 30 years old when this verse was written. That means Joseph and Mary were potentially a husband and wife for 30 years. During this time period if they only had 6 children that would be pretty amazing in a era of no birth control or abortion. However, we do not know what happened to Joseph, he becomes obscure and hidden from mention after Jesus’ twelfth birthday. So even in a 12 year period to only have 6 children would be amazing. That would be one new brother or sister almost every other year.
Satan is very tricky. His methods of deception are very subtle. Most of the time Satan does not come at us with direct and obvious lies, but he likes to introduce little nuances to the truth to get us to focus on something else other than what God says. The Jewish leadership was tremendously guilty of doing this. They would take the laws of God and add to them. The Jewish leadership would write their own rules, thinking that if they followed all of these added rules, there would be no way that they would break God’s laws. Jesus called this the leaven of the Pharisees (Luke 12:1). This would represent a combination of untruths together with some truths. Satan likes to intermix some of the truth with some subtle lies in order to dilute the pure and render it ineffective. This is still one of the greatest deception techniques of the enemy today and everyone in the church is faced with these same issues.
There are so many churches that teach a watered down version of the Bible. There are way too many preachers and teachers that interject their opinions instead of just teaching the Words of God. If you go to a church that teaches something that the Bible doesn’t say, you are subtly being deceived and totally distracted from knowing the truth. Jesus taught us that it only takes a little bit of leaven to corrupt the whole loaf of bread. I have heard this truth taught and I agree with it whole heartedly. If you want to poison a dog you don’t throw them pure arsenic. You wrap the arsenic up in a steak so that they do not realize they are being poisoned. This is the trap of the enemy and a standard ploy of effective deception. Give the listener a bunch of what they want to hear and then mix in the lies a little bit at a time so that they are hard to recognize. People fall for this more than you think. It is all over the internet, it is all over some church pulpits.
You see this friend that believed Mary was good to pray to, would probably not read a book like Dan’s Brown’s “Da Vinci Code” because it is a totally opposite approach at deception. The Da Vinci Code is a totally fictitious book of lies with just a little bit of truth mixed with it. So while my friend was smart enough not to read that kind of material, they were easily deceived when someone just mixed in just a little fiction with a bunch of truth. I think there are many Christians who need to learn these lessons. Stay away from the Harry Potter CRAP! The Twilight Saga is another good example of material to avoid like the plague. If you are allowing your children to participate in these dangerous forms of entertainment you are making a huge mistake.
So this is a lesson about our next type of deceived Christian to avoid becoming. Learn how Satan is working to deceive others and implement safeguards to not repeat examples of failed behaviors. Read your Bible for your self. Study to show your self approved a workman that needs not to be ashamed. Prove everything that is heard in church with your own scripture research. Look for at least 2 or 3 verses that prove what was sad is actually what is true in God’s Word. Then go and search for verses that could contradict what was said. Study, study and study the Bible! And Pray, Pray and Pray! That is the only way that anyone will not be deceived.
Let us all pray for my friend and for friends you may know. Maybe you know some Mormon people. They are some of the nicest deceived people that I have ever met in my life. Whoops I named a name of a cult church. But this is important to know. These people have disregarded the Bible for a book called the “Book of Mormon” that they say came by special Revelation from Joseph Smith in 1830. Mormons call people who only read the Bible deceived but I say people who add to the Bible their own books to take away from reading the real are the ones that are deceived. So let us learn to avoid other books that try to take us away from the Bible also. Anything that distracts you from the Bible is a lie and trick of deception. Let us pray for these people.
LORD, we come boldly to the throne of Grace to ask for your mercy for ________ (add name). I pray that you will open their spiritual eyes of their understanding to have the ability to see and know the truth (Eph 1:17). Satan I bind you from blinding their minds and command you to release your hand deception from their life and mind (Mat 16:19). I repent for every sin that can be used to hold them in deception and ask that it be covered by the blood of Jesus to cleanse them from all unrighteousness in their heavenly record (1 Jn 5:16). I ask you LORD to send forth a laborer across their pathway as you commanded us to pray in Matthew 9:38 so that they may hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ clearly to receive the truth. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Thank you for reading and studying the Bible with us and we are blessed to hear from you and everything the Lord is doing in your life. God Bless you until the next lesson.
LORD, I thank you because I have the mind of Christ. The Spirit of the Living God abides in me. He is my great Shepherd and I hear and know His voice. I am led by the Spirit of God only and the voice of a stranger I will not follow. Thank you for keeping far from deception by granting me the ability to spiritually discern the difference between right and wrong, truth and lies and good from evil. If there is any time when someone is attempting to distract me with an untruth, bring to my remembrance a Bible verse that will clear any confusion. Thank you for saving me and filling me with your precious Holy Spirit and I love you because you first loved me. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
If you would like to continue to read in this series about avoiding deception, please go to “Part 4“.
Understanding Bible Covenants! Part 5 Until Death Separates Me from Thee!
(Ver 2.3) This is now Part 5 in the advanced study series on Understanding Bible Covenants. If you have not read from the beginning, I would recommend that you go and start with “Part 1“. We have been discussing Bible covenants as being a marriage covenant relationship between two individuals. We can see that these individuals can be either spiritual beings, natural beings individuals or groups or any combination of them. Covenants with God always result in God being the husband and the people in covenant as being the wife in the relationship. We know that Jesus is the mediator of the New Covenant (Heb 12:24). Jesus is therefore the Bridegroom and the church is His bride. Many have agreed with the scriptures in the New Testament that declare the church to be the body of Christ without understanding how the church became the body. This transformation was accomplished by marriage, when God declared in Genesis “that the man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and they two will become one flesh”. One flesh is a synonymous term for one body. Therefore one flesh refers to one body. A body consists of flesh and bones. Adam was opened up and his wife was taken out of him and Jesus the Last Adam was opened up and His wife was joined to him on the cross. The Bible actually says we were crucified with Christ, yet none of us hung on the cross physically as He died.
So in the eyes of God a covenant is a marriage and a marriage is a covenant. I gave you many scriptures that confirm this reality. As a marriage God provided us natural things to help us to understand spiritual things. Marriage covenants are a complex system of many dependent and interrelated aspects. Sex is one aspect of a marriage that demands and expects faithfulness of those in the relationship. Faithfulness is an essential aspect of marriage that applies to a covenant relationship with God. As your spouse trusts and expects you to be faithful to them, God expects and trusts you to be faithful to Him.
We can clearly see that the natural nation of Israel was not faithful and as a result had spiritual intercourse with other gods, religions and idols. This unfaithful infidelity resulted in God divorcing His Old Covenant wife. The net result of the divorce was a termination of the marriage/covenant relationship without any hope of reconciliation. I base that statement on the law of divorce given to us in Deuteronomy 24 where it says the first husband is forbidden to marry his divorced wife again after she has been married to another. I then attempted to give several scriptures that showed that Israel according to established spiritual laws was in a covenant relationship to another spiritual being other than God.
These are all very deep things that God has taught us from the Bible and I know it will be difficult to get people to see them. It is not my responsibility to make you understand or to make you see the truth. I simply present the information found in the Bible the best that I can and it is up to you to prove it, accept it or reject it. That is the way God designed the system and I can’t improve on it. I have found that people can read the same verse of scripture and pull out whatever they want to hear and close their eyes to whatever they don’t agree with. It is funny that God wrote a book that allows people to believe wrong. God will always enforce our right to be ignorant and foolish. God never forces us into knowing the truth. We are free to act and believe foolishly and God will not stop us. Ok, let’s get back to our subject.
I know there are many other aspects of marriage that also apply to the subject of covenants and perhaps someday I will expand to include them in this teaching. A marriage covenant is the establishment of a new family unit. Marriage always results in a new household, with a new head of the house. These two married covenant individuals enjoy a sexual knowledge that is only experienced between the two in covenant. Physical sex is just a pattern of a spiritual knowledge that Jesus desires to have with His wife. I showed you earlier that Adam “Knew” his wife and they had a son and I told you this was a pattern for the Last Adam, Jesus and his wife. These are all new concepts, new ideas and new thoughts based upon a new perspective from God’s Word. You can read the Bible and study it for yourself. All of this has been a review of stuff that I have already covered so I hope you understand them.
UNTIL DEATH DO US PART!
In this lesson we want to explore another aspect of marriage and covenants to show us some new information based upon what we have learned about the subject so far. This section will be about the subject of death as a legal separating force/power that terminates a covenant relationship between two legally bound parties or individuals. I’d like to begin this section with the foundational verses from the book of Ruth:
Rth 1:16 And Ruth said, Do not beg me to leave you, to return from following after you. For where you go, I will go. Where you stay, I will stay. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.
Rth 1:17 Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May Jehovah do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me.
These are covenant words being spoken by Ruth to her mother-in-law Naomi. Ruth pledges “faithfulness” to the God of her mother-in-law Jehovah. She places such a strong commitment that she claims that only death could separate her from the God and religious ways of over mother-in-law. If we read the rest of the book of Ruth and the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew we will discover that she is blessed and rewarded by God tremendously for making these covenant statements of commitment. She becomes the wife to Boaz, a type of Jesus Christ, and the great-grandmother to the great King David.
I believe this is a good time to introduce the fact that Bible covenants are entered into by speaking words. Words can be spoken to initiate a good covenant with God or an evil covenant with Satan. For example, if we read Romans 10:9-10 God informs us how we entered into a covenant with Jesus Christ by believing in Our heart and confessing with our mouth the LORD Jesus. Then in Proverbs 6:2 God informs us that humans are taken captive prisoners by also speaking words. In Proverbs 18:21 God declares that “life and death are in the power of our tongue”. Jesus informed us in John 10:10 that the thief came to kill, steal and destroy us, but that He came to give us life and that life in more abundance. God appears to be teaching us that our words spoken matter.
Knowing God gives us life and knowing Satan gives us the sin punishment of death (separation from God). Speaking right words are one key part of entering into Bible covenants wit God. These words can be called vows, promises, commitments, oaths, pledges or guarantees. Speaking words and entering into covenant relationships with anyone should be taken very seriously and never lightly or casually. I believe that God holds us responsible for our promises made to Him and to each other. There are numerous examples of this found in the Bible.
For example a famine of three years occurred to the nation of Israel in 2 Samuel 21:1-2. When David inquired of the LORD why this was happening, the LORD told him it was because of bloody Saul that attacked and killed the Gibeonites. God informs King David that Israel had made a covenant with these people a long time before. God obviously believed that this covenant that was made before Saul or David was born was still in effect and could not be terminated by either of the parties in the covenant. Therefore, judgement fell upon the natural nation of Israel for something that happened long before King David became king. Wow, this sounds very important to know in our education of understanding the serious nature of Vows and covenants. The covenant was entered into by Joshua and it was disavowed by Saul and the negative consequences fell upon Israel during King David.
Most modern marriage ceremonies include speaking words to each other. These words are often called “vows” and many of them are based upon Bible covenant principles. For example, many say “until death do us part” in their wedding vows. Wedding vows are considered covenant words of complete commitment made to each other. Just as Israel violating a covenant that they had made with another nation had consequences, I believe the breaking of covenant vows today will also result in negative verdicts of judgment at some time in the future. We just learned that Saul had murdered a people in covenant with Israel and Israel in the next King’s reign reaped a famine. I believe that this is possible even today that two people ending a marriage covenant can cause judgement to occur on future descendants. But, that is a different subject for another lesson.
We can clearly learn from the book of Ruth that death represents a legal termination of a covenant relationship and commitment. If one spouse dies, the other is said to be free to marry another. So death represents a legal point of covenant division. It represents a separation of the two that were said to be one when they were joined in covenant by the Law of Genesis 2:24. I’d like to cover an essential set of N.T. verses that confirm this truth. We will be reading from the book of Romans and chapter 7:
Rom 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
Rom 7:2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
Rom 7:3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
Rom 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
Wow, these verses help explain our subject of covenants and the power of death separation precisely. Notice that Paul in verse 1 is speaking to believers that “know” the law. This phrase “to know” represents covenant relationship. Paul in this short passage was directing the next few verses to only former Jewish Old Covenant people. God writes this to teach them that because Jesus died (God in the flesh) on a cross, they were now freed from the bondage of that covenant in order to legally remarry in covenant the risen from the dead LORD Jesus Christ. There are people that claim Jesus was not God but 1 Timothy 3:16 informs us plainly that “God was manifested in the flesh”.
Paul was writing in Romans 7 by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to teach us the legal fact that since Jesus (God manifested in the flesh) experienced death for them all, they could now be legally joined in Covenant marriage with risen Jesus and not be called an adulteress. This truth simply confirms that a marriage is a covenant and a covenant is a marriage and if they enter into another covenant while their husband was still alive, God called this adultery. Therefore we have all the subjects that we have been learning, marriage covenants, faithfulness, death separation and termination and remarriage in a New Covenant. Wow, Wow & Wow!
Can we begin to see what these verses in Romans say and learn how they apply to covenants both natural and spiritual? I believe these are amazing and especially important to how God eliminated Himself from the covenant of Israel and the angelic beings.
MARRIAGE, DEATH AND WIDOWHOOD
I alluded in previous lessons to this subject when speaking of the Heavenly Jerusalem who was described to be a free woman that came from an allegory given to us from Galatians 4. This Genesis allegory used Sarah’s relationship to Abraham. This relationship was a physical picture and representation of God’s spiritual relationship to the city called the Heavenly Jerusalem. I concluded that this free woman was the first wife of Jehovah God and therefore in covenant with God long before Hagar. In looking at other verses in Hebrews 12 we determined that this Heavenly Jerusalem consisted of the angelic beings too numerous to count. This means that Lucifer the top angelic being in the past was included in this covenant relationship. So how does God terminate an eternal marriage covenant relationship to eternally created angelic beings without the law? We know that the earthly Jerusalem (type of Hagar) is now in bondage with the law and that God used the law to end/divorce the Old Covenant marriage relationship because of her continued unfaithfulness (Isa 50:1, Jer 3:8).
But the heavenly Jerusalem was called the free woman or the woman outside of the law. We also learned from verses in the New Testament that without the law there is no punishment for sin. So how does God terminate a marriage covenant relationship with a group of sinful eternal spiritual beings that cannot ever die, without any law or legal precedence? It is a fascinating problem to consider and it is very perplexing puzzle to solve, but God always has a plan and an answer. We should be able to answer this question already but there are two solutions presented to us that can be utilized. The first solution is to get Satan to place himself into a covenant with the Law. The second potential solution is for the husband in the covenant to become a a being that could experience death on a cross to terminate all previous covenants.
If we recall from the previous lessons, we saw numerous scriptures from Galatians 4 that spoke about these two women in marriage covenant with Jehovah God. The one bond woman (Hagar) was directly said to be the natural nation of Israel and corresponded to the earthly city of Jerusalem. We just read about her in the last section of this lesson that was now freed from her covenant by the death of Jesus. Wow again! Then the other woman was the free woman and she is called the heavenly Jerusalem. It is essential to understand that both covenant women were married to the same God Jehovah and their covenants overlapped for a short time just as the allegorical type of Hagar overlapped with Sarah’s marriage. Now recall this O.T. quotation concerning this allegory:
Gal 4:27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren (Heavenly Jersualem) that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate (free woman Heavenly Jerusalem) hath many more children than she which hath an husband (bond woman: natural Israel).
What we can see in Galatians 4:27 the presentation that the bond woman had a husband with the implication that free woman did not. In fact the Greek word translated as “desolate” in this verse literally means “lonesome” and “solitary”. This is describing a woman that is not in covenant with anyone. Notice also the Greek word translated as “barren” is transliterated as “steiros” and we get our English word “sterile from it. These words are used by God to describe the Heavenly Jerusalem covenant wife. Finally, notice the prophecy that tells this woman to rejoice because her children will be many more than the children of the bond woman (Earthly Jerusalem). Who were we told that these many more children were? God teaches us in Galatians 4:26 that the spiritual free woman’s children were all of us in the church. That confirms and explains why Jesus said in John 3 that we must be “born again” in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. Everyone in the church has been first born naturally into the world and then next born supernaturally into the Spiritual Kingdom of God. It is important to note that if we are born once we can die twice, but if we are born twice we can only die once.
Galatians 4:27 seems like a paradox or a contradiction to what was said that both of these women were in covenant and married to God in the past. What happened to the husband of the woman in heaven? And I thought God divorced the woman natural Israel and here He says she has a husband. These are a really good questions. We have already explored how natural Israel may have entered into a covenant with Satan. But, let’s figure out the other question by going back to the Old Testament.
Isa 54:1 Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.
We can see that these are the direct words of God himself spoken through the prophet Isaiah. We can see again this verse is speaking of two different women. I find it fascinating that nowhere in these verses does it claim this is an allegory of Sarah and Hagar. However, God reveals this to Paul in Galatians 4. This is just one way that God hides truth in the Bible.
We could conclude that only one of these women is now married by just reading this verse. However, we know from God’s explanation in Galatians that these women are Sarah and Hagar, and both were married to Abraham. If we recall from New Testament verses that were discussed in previous lessons, if anyone has sex with someone, God considers them to be married to that someone (1 Cor 6:16). Having casual sex has major covenant consequences in the eyes of God because of the experience of having “carnal knowledge” of that person. So far this was some review, but as we read down in the rest of Isaiah 54, we can begin to see the solution to God’s puzzle. The answer to what happened to the husband of the Heavenly Jerusalem is found in context of verse 1:
Isa 54:4 Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.
Here in verse 54:4 of Isaiah we see the answer to the question. The heavenly Jerusalem who was called the barren wife and the free woman in Galatians 4, is now declared to be a widow in the context of Isaiah 54:1. What exactly is a widow? This is not a trick question. A widow is a wife whose husband has died. Uh oh? That sure makes life difficult for many ministers that we have heard, who claim that God can’t die. Have you ever heard this before? That claim appears to contradict verses that we have been studying.
What is death? That is of course the million dollar question? We know from the book of Ruth that the only separation of Ruth from her mother-in-law covenant was going to be by death. We know Ruth said to Naomi, “until death part me from thee”. Without death we know that the wife is bound to her husband and if she marries another while her husband is alive then she is considered an adulteress.
We saw in Romans 7 that Israel can only be called an adulteress if while her covenant husband God is alive, she has sex with another man and becomes his wife. We know this harlotry is what happened in the O.T. many, many times. But, Romans 7 says because Jesus died Israel was now freed from that covenant to marry the risen from the dead LORD Jesus in the New Covenant.
No one can deny that based upon scriptures in Jeremiah, Isaiah and Hosea that Israel is called a whore, harlot and adulteress because she has committed sexual union and become married to other idols and gods while God was alive and in covenant with her. The Living God then divorced Israel His wife, and ended that covenant using the law. We also know that this heavenly woman if she was married to God, she would be bound by the law of marriage as being one spirit with her husband also. So if this heavenly Jerusalem consisted of good and evil angelic beings, how would God get rid of the evil angels, while keeping the good angelic spirits? Fascinating, isn’t it?
By Jesus Christ being crucified, God accomplished a major accumulation and combination of things simultaneously. This was God’s demonstration of His true wisdom and power. Through the death of Jesus Christ, God multi-tasked salvation for us with the termination of His covenant relationship with Satan, simultaneously. Through this death, it resulted in the heavenly Jerusalem becoming a widow. She is now free to marry another. The heavenly Jerusalem was now the widow and that makes it legal for her to marry another by the definition from the Word of God. But by Satan becoming entangled with Israel under the law, we now see that his relationship with God has now completely ended being separated the separation of death. Because Jesus Christ was God in the flesh, God died in Jesus Christ. I guess I could say God tasted death through the body of His son Jesus Christ hanging on the cross (Heb. 2:9), since spirit beings do not actually die as in cease to exist. Nevertheless, we can see that Satan’s future was sealed due to what transpired on the cross. So while it is technically impossible for a spiritual being to cease to exist, it is not technically impossible for a spiritual being to experience death. Through death, He destroyed him that had the power over death (Heb 2:14). This is why the Bible says if Satan would have known the consequences, he would not have crucified the Lord of Glory (1 Cor 2:8).
We should be able to easily begin to understand now why the Heavenly Jerusalem is called a widow and why God did this. God would have been one with this spiritual city and all of its inhabitants (angels). So God could not have legally punished Satan without punishing Himself along with Satan.
God found himself with a problem that needed to be resolved. Without the law of divorce how did God terminate His covenant marriage with Satan and his evil angelic beings? I really hope we are seeing this spiritual reality. Death is a legitimate separation for every covenant. Because Christ died, we died. Why was it necessary to be born again? To be born again represents another new beginning and an opportunity for a fresh start. Jesus was called the first born from the dead, so being the firstborn He is the head of this new family. Jesus now had preeminence over all other spiritual beings. In heaven Lucifer/Satan use to be the one with the Father, but he is now no longer in covenant with God because of the death of Jesus Christ. Since we were also crucified with Christ, we too are no longer in covenant with death, hell or Satan, either. The work of God was full and comprehensive. By Jesus being crucified on the cross, God accomplished 1) salvation for us, 2) the full payment for sin past, present and future, 3) reconciliation of our relationship with God and 4) the termination of our and His former flesh covenant relationship with Satan. God is so much smarter than we are and if we can see these things that was just described, we will increase our understanding of the Word of God by leaps and bounds above where we use to be.
Jesus said if you continue in my Word, then you will be my disciples and then you will know the truth and then Jesus said the “truth” that you “know” will set you free. I pray that the eyes of your understanding will be enlightened in the knowledge of Him.
Key to Understanding! NOT Getting in Over Your Head!
(Ver 1.1) Reading and studying the Bible is like learning to swim. If you don’t know how to swim, it is a very, very good idea not to jump into waters that go over your head. Waters can be a type of the subjects found in the Bible. Some subjects are shallow and much easier to grasp. While other subjects can be very complex or more challenging to understand and these can represent the deeper waters. For example, I use to never go into the book of Revelation and try to study that book, because it was so far over my head. Over the years, I have learned a lot more. Now by using what God has taught me, I can venture into these deep waters of the book of Revelation. Does that mean I understand everything in the book of Revelation? Definitely NOT! It only means that I have learned enough to start learning more. I have heard stories of many people who say that their dad threw them into the deep end of the pool and said learn to swim or drown. Of course you would realize that if they had drown he would have gone to jail for murder. Physically speaking it is not a good idea to learn to swim in the ocean. There are too many waves, currents and tides that can cause someone to more than likely die in the attempt. In other words people are less likely to survive than to learn how to swim in the deep ocean. These are all physical truths that are related to spiritual things that we face every day in our growth with God. We can learn some very valuable lessons that will help us tremendously, if we apply these principles correctly.
Start by evaluating where you are now in your spiritual growth. Are you new in Christianity? If yes, then it is not wise to try to study advanced deep subjects found in the Bible. Most of my lessons are very advanced and very deep. I deal with many complex subjects that a lot of people don’t have a clue on what they really mean. As a result, I would strongly suggest that if you are not an advanced Bible student, that you not read my lessons. Go away and study the basics, and after a few years of studying the Bible on the basic foundational Christian concepts, then come back to the advanced stuff. I generally do not spend a lot of time trying to teach basic concepts of salvation, sin, good versus evil, just to name a few of these basic topics. I do however have a few lessons on Bible Basics. These are here for foundational spirit building and growth. If you like this website, go and read the basics first and then go into the deeper waters.
This is what God said on the subject of getting in over your head when Paul wrote to the church in Corinth:
1Co 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
Paul tells the church in Corinth they were not ready for the deep spiritual things of God because he said they were just baby Christians. God relates spiritual growth to physical growth of new born babies. When a baby is newly born we can’t give them a big hotdog or a piece of corn on the cob and say here is your dinner. Enjoy it and I’ll see you in an hour. Why is that important to note? If you have had children you already know the answer. God relates some subjects in the Bible to be advanced topics that babies can’t grasp and use. These topics are not good for them in fact. Because they are not ready for the complex foods in God’s Word. Baby Christians should avoid them. Otherwise, they could spiritually choke on them and this could cause them spiritual harm instead of helping them to grow up spiritually. God goes on in the next verse to differentiate between two distinct types of spiritual food:
1Co 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
We can see that there are two contrasting views of God’s spiritual food. These are equated as being either milk or meat, or we could call them liquid food versus solid food. Just like we wouldn’t give a baby a steak off of the grill to eat, we don’t give baby Christians spiritual steak either. Steak or meat is equated to the more complex subjects found in the Bible. The milk is representative of the simple or basic subjects that we should all have intimate knowledge of to build a firm spiritual foundation upon. These are tremendously valuable lessons to learn and fully grasp. We must understand the basic subjects before we ever attempt to swallow the advanced subjects. To many times I read or listen to Bible lessons and books that we can clearly see the author doesn’t know the basics. So, how can they attempt to try to get anyone to see anything advanced. If we don’t understand the basics we will never understand the advanced topics. In fact to a baby Christian, the advanced topic is dangerous.
Learn the lesson of swimming. Before you get in over your head make sure you are familiar with the shallow basic concepts found in the Bible. The deep things of God will come much easier and you will not spiritually drown because you panicked in waters that were over your head. But, here is another aspect to consider. Most babies don’t know they are babies. Because babies don’t understand the dangers of deep waters they will many times wander into them and not be able to get out. Many children have died because they were unsupervised and fell into the water and could not get out. If you are a mature Christian or at least a maturing Christian, keep this in mind when talking to others who are new to the faith in Christ. Help to guide the new Christians into the right paths of study. That is exactly why I recommended many not read my lessons. If you are a new Christian you will be much more comfortable with someone’s ministry that is geared at your level of spiritual development. That is in fact a lesson from life, children must go through kindergarten before they go to high school or even 1st Grade. There is a progressive learning experiences that we must develop in. Most immature Christians will reject advanced spiritual topics, simply because they are not at their level of development. If a 1st grader sat in a college level Algebra class, they wouldn’t get anything out of it. So it is with Bible topics.
I’ll try to end this blog with another contrasting bit of information of how to determine your level of spiritual growth. God gives us some very specific clues to judging ourselves based upon the next scripture in 1 Corinthians:
1Co 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
God contrasts those who are focused on carnal and natural things with those who are focused on spiritual things. Baby Christians tend to be focused on natural things that occur in the world, while spiritually maturing Christians look beyond these natural things and focus in on the things of God only found in His Word. The difference is where they place their emphasis and focus. This verse in 1 Corinthians said these people were jealous of one another. They were fighting and bickering about stupid things that didn’t matter. If you read people’s blogs you can see examples of this type of behavior everywhere. Trivial stuff is promoted to a level of importance that is worthless to our spiritual growth. People fight over what they think is right and ignore what God said. Then there are naturalist who want the church to focus on saving the environment, the planet, the trees, or the whales. Too many times people are focused on less important things while God desire us to grow to see higher and greater things. For example, if people would see what God cares about, there would not be any legal abortions.
1Co 3:4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
God asks a very simple question here and makes a spiritual point that is beyond many people’s understanding. We have broad examples of this verse in our world today. One says, I am a Catholic. One says I am a Baptist. Another one says I am a Methodist, or whatever. Everyone echoing the same thought process that Paul confronted in Corinth. If you think your church is the only true church and everyone else is going to hell, you are deceived into believing a lie. The church of Jesus Christ is not a denomination. There is only One Body of Christ, there is only One Bride of Christ and these two are one in the same. There are legitimate and true Christians in every division of the body, but there are also false teachers and deceivers in every denomination out there. How will you know the difference? Jesus said you will know them by their fruit. Watch their natural life over time and see if they live according to the Bible. Judge what they say and do by what you know and understand in the Bible. You must focus in on the Bible and learn it and use it and only it to control what you think and do. The Bible contains the only truth that you will ever find on this planet. As you continue in the Word of God you will grow spiritually and become more spiritually mature. As you continue to feed your spirit using God’s spiritual food you will see that many good fruits will begin to spring forth and start to dominate your life. It is time for us to grow up spiritually:
Heb 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
Paul in this verse written to the church, informs them that there are many basic things that we should be moving beyond. God describes to us a process of growth as well as the goal of spiritual maturity. “Perfection” is just a word that means to become mature. Not a child anymore, not acting like a child, not dressing like a child and not doing childish things. The process of spiritual growth is patterned after natural growth. Eating properly and getting spiritual exercise will go a long way to helping us grow spiritually.
These are all valuable spiritual lessons for us to apply to our understanding of the Bible. I hope that you at least grasped the concepts and that you will continue to grow in the knowledge of the One True Living God. If you do not know Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior, please go to the menu and click on “Are You Saved?”. Read the verses and pray the prayer. God bless you and please leave us a comment. Share this lesson with a friend.
Understanding Bible Covenants! Part 4 Israel’s New Husband
(Ver 2.0) This is now Part 4 in a very advanced Bible study serious concerning Understanding Bible Covenants. This series is intended for spiritually mature Christians with an open mind that will commit to go and study the subject for themselves to verify if it is really true or not. Obviously by the title we have more controversial topics on covenants to discuss today. We have been discussing Bible covenants in some new terms using scriptures in the Bible that many have not seen before. I know this is a very deep subject and the complexities are vast. It is a very hard thing to accept new things when they are first revealed. I believe the natural human tendency is to reject the new, to fear the new, and to not believe the new. This is because I believe that we trust in our old understanding and beliefs so much more. The problem is that the majority of Christians do not have a clue what the Bible really says. Learning always involves growing in understanding. That implies an ever increasing and expanding knowledge process. Today’s knowledge should be building on what we learned yesterday. New truth should always fit balanced correctly with previous known truths. When it does not God is presenting us a new opportunity to come up to a higher spiritual level of thinking. Learning involves change. Being flexible and open is a key to growing with God. In my last blog I went into Old Testament verses that reveal the law of marriage and divorce. If you have not been following this series from the beginning, I would strongly suggest that you go back and start with Part 1 Covenants and Marriage.
In the last lesson we talked about Israel being divorced from God. Then we also were given several scriptures that strongly implied that Israel is now married to another spiritual being. This means that this spiritual being is now in covenant with the natural nation of Israel and God’s Law. Why was this necessary? Why would God want to get someone under the law? How would God accomplish such a task? These are all important questions to consider. But first let’s determine if this is even possible. Here are some interesting verses from the Old Testament:
Isa 28:14 Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.
We can clearly see who the next words of God in verse 15 are addressing by looking at verse 14 and seeing that God is speaking directly to the rulers of Jerusalem. This is the earthly city Jerusalem and God is speaking directly to the men that ruled that city. These were the old covenant people that God was married to. So what does this next verse say?
Isa 28:15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:
We can again clearly see covenant words of marriage being spoken in regards to the natural nation of Israel to someone. This time it says that these people are in covenant with death and hell. That declaration does not sound very positive or good, does it? Who does the New Testament say had the power over death when this verse was written? This verse in Hebrews should help you:
Heb 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
So we can see from what God reveals in Hebrews that Satan held the power of death in the Old Testament. We can therefore conclude that if Israel was in covenant with death and hell, that would mean they were in covenant with Satan. What does Jesus have to say about these Old Testament verses in Isaiah 28?
Mat 23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
We can see by this statement that Jesus implies these people in Jerusalem were married to a spiritual being that made them the children of hell. This implies a covenant relationship or marriage between a husband and a wife that has produced children of hell. Are you following these statements? Parents have children, produce families, and establish households. Basic physical biology dictates that a male and a female participate in order to produce children. If Israel is the woman who can have children, that was married to God, then who is the husband and the father in this relationship? Remember that it always takes two to tango. Jesus often times asked, if you don’t understand natural things, how will you ever understand spiritual things? So apparently these natural things are patterns into spiritual things to help us understand them. Here is another statement of Jesus to the natural nation of Israel:
Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.
Did you see what Jesus said to the natural nation of Israel? He said that they were children of their father and that their father was the devil. This makes it almost impossible for us not to realize that in order for them to be Satan’s children, Satan must be in covenant and married to natural Israel. What we see is the identity of the male in the covenant relationship to the natural nation of Israel being the female. A simple husband and wife relationship that has produced children. These are of course spiritual and not natural children. Satan is not having natural sex with natural women like they did in Genesis 6. Satan learned that this was illegal and many of his angels were cast into chains awaiting judgement for doing this (Jude 1:6). We know that Satan like God is a spiritual being. We can conclude that because God can be married to Israel any spiritual being can be married to Israel, it is only logical common sense.
Why Was the Law Given to Israel?
Let’s change subjects a bit here and continue by asking what was the purpose of God giving Israel the law? Why was the law given to Israel in the first place? I have heard many say it was to show man how bad they were and to teach them that they were incapable of living up to God’s standard of excellence. I do agree with that and I do not deny that could be a part of the purpose of the law. But, I have found that when God does something He usually accomplishes more than one thing at a time. Many humans tend to focus on getting one thing done at a time. But I have learned from being a computer programmer, that the true demonstration of power occurs when someone is able to accomplish many tasks simultaneously. In computer terminology this is called multi-tasking and God does this everyday just listening to billions of people praying simultaneously. Here is a verse that will help to shed some light on this subject of why God gave Israel the law:
Rom 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
Here we begin to see some major clues to why God gave the law to Israel. It is a lot like our laws that our government makes for us to follow. You see there was a time when child pornography was not against the law. But did that make it right or OK to participate in? Of course not. But the government could not do anything about the people who participated in this until they passed a law. People were free to do wrong because there were no consequences for our erroneous choices and stupidity. Does that help to clear up the reason for God giving Israel the law? You see in this verse in Romans, it says we would not have known sin except that we were given the law. I sometimes wonder if people read the Bible and never think about how these words apply to other spiritual beings like Satan or Lucifer as he was named originally? Thinking and asking questions is absolutely essential when studying the Bible.
We know from Old Testament verses that sin was found in Lucifer (Eze 28:15), but according to Romans, if Lucifer didn’t know the law then he can’t face the consequences for his sin. Do you understand what I just said? God could not enforce Satan’s punishment without first getting him to know the law (be under the law). To be under the law means that you know the law and are now in covenant with that law or in covenant to those people who are in charge of keeping that the law. These are truly amazing things to consider. Here is another very important verse on our current subject of why God gave Israel the law:
Rom 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
Wow, these are powerful words when we apply them to Lucifer (Satan). In order to stop Satan’s mouth and cause him to be found guilty he must be put under the law. Are you still following this? The implication is given unless we are under the law, we cannot be found guilty and we will not face any punishment for our sin. I know that God is a just God and is just in whatever He does, He does everything in a fair and impartial legal way. He treats everyone the same. God applies the same principles and requirements to everyone and everywhere, including Himself or He would be showing favoritism and we should know that He does not do that.
Rom 5:13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
God confirms the truth that declares “where there is no law there are no consequences for a sin”. Sin is still wrong, but no punishment is possible until taken to court and found guilty of violating specific law. This is divine justice and how God works. Most civil normal governments operate on this principle. Corrupt evil dictatorial controlling governments do not operate on this requirement. This verse helps us to understand why God could not convict Satan and throw him into hell the instant that sin was discovered in him. That would have been an unjust verdict since as far as I know there were no laws in heaven. Remember Lucifer was created in a state of perfection. What need is there, of any laws if everyone in your kingdom is created and acting perfectly? I believe this is what is important to know for us to understand why God created a new world with humans in Genesis 1. Then why God created a new separate nation of people called Israel born from a man named Abram in Genesis 12. Then why God gave Israel the Law in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Finally, we can better understand why it was necessary for God to come in the flesh as Jesus to die and save us from this dark Satan ruled world (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John).
I have become convinced from Bible study that one major accomplishment of God giving the law to Israel was to get Lucifer under the law. There are very strong implications given to us in the Bible that this is one major accomplishment.
Is Israel in Covenant with Satan?
We were just introduced to a basic foundation for why it was necessary to get Satan to be in covenant with the natural nation of Israel. Before that we saw Israel itself admitting they were in covenant with the realm of death and hell. Then we saw several statements that Jesus made to Israel that would imply they were in covenant with Satan. We can now continue to analyze if this is what the Bible says happened. I’ll do this by going back to some scriptures that we saw in a previous lesson. In the previous lesson we emphasized the aspects of Galatians 4 and how Israel has been cast out of God’s covenant never to return. But hopefully we will bring out some new emphasis to the information for us to see what God is saying on this subject of: “Is Israel remarried to another man”?
Gal 4:22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
If you recall this verse, you can see two women and two sons being referenced. The first woman is the bond woman and the other is said to be the free woman. This is the concept of slavery versus freedom. You may recall that slavery was a condition of being under the law. This would help us to understand that Lucifer was of the free woman. This meant Lucifer was not under any law. Abraham symbolizes a type or pattern of God the Father (Jehovah). It is essential to understand that these women represents patterns of two wives in covenant with God. I’ll say this again, these two woman represent two covenants as we will see in this next verse:
Gal 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants (marriages); the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
We can see in this verse that God says these two women are allegorical and represent a far greater spiritual truth. In Biblical Allegory, God always uses a real historical natural occurrence to describe a parallel unseen spiritual reality. Most of the time if we read this story in the Old Testament we would not have a clue how it relates to any spiritual truth. However, since God gives us a specific example of how He encoded this information into the Bible in these verses in Galatians, we can begin to understand how this is possible. This is a very tricky method that God has chosen to hide these spiritual mysteries in the Bible.
Gal 4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
The bond woman is said to be Hagar and she corresponds to the law given to Moses on Mt Sinai. Therefore, Hagar represents a woman in covenant bondage to the law. God then tells us that she gives birth to a child after the flesh. Hagar is the natural nation of Israel and is directly called the “earthly city of Jerusalem”. This is in direct contrast to Sarah, the free woman who gives birth to the promised child after Hagar as we will read in verse 26 next. Who do you think the “promise child” represents? Of course it is the risen from the dead LORD Jesus Christ. However, Hagar who represents the natural Israel, gives birth to natural child Jesus of Nazareth the man after the flesh that gave His life for us to be saved. Mary called Jesus her “firstborn” son and God called Jesus His only begotten Son. But, Jesus is also called God’s firstborn from the dead. That would imply that Jesus Christ had two different births and two different mothers, one natural and one spiritual. These are very deep truths and can be very hard to see at first, simply because they are so new.
God just revealed to us that this Hagar is a type or pattern of the Earthly Jerusalem, who is now in bondage with all of her children under the law. Israel continuously tries to keep the law and earn their salvation by their works and have not realized that they are incapable of saving themselves. Remember we just read earlier that Jesus declared that Satan was the father of these natural children of Israel. Wow, that is so important. But, let’s continue with the next verse and look at Sarah:
Gal 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
We can see that there is clearly a new and different woman, called the free woman that is called the “Heavenly Jerusalem”. This literally means that she is not under the law. This Freewoman (Type of Sarah) is said to be the spiritual mother of Jesus Christ and the church. So what have we seen? There is a bond woman called the Earthly Jerusalem who is in bondage to the law. We then see that there is another woman called the Heavenly Jerusalem who is free, meaning she is not under the law. We know from studying the Bible that these two women were in a covenant and married to God (Type of Abraham) at an overlapping period of time. We know that Sarah (Heavenly Jerusalem) was married first to Abraham (God). Then Abraham and Sarah moved to Egypt where they bought a slave girl for Sarah named Hagar. Later after many years of being barren (Childless) Sarah (Heavenly Jerusalem) gives her husband Hagar (the Earth Jerusalem) as a wife to have a child for her. Abraham did this and had Ishmael that had twelve sons a type and pattern of Jesus and his 12 disciples.
Finally Sarah (the Heavenly Jerusalem) the much older woman and first wife came along and had the promised child and she was free along with her child. The Heavenly Jerusalem (Sarah) existed prior to the younger Earthly Jerusalem (Hagar). The younger earthly Jerusalem (Hagar) has a son that is older than the promised son of the free woman (Sarah). These are all allegorical truths to a spiritual reality that has been right before us but one that we haven’t seen until now. Now take a look at the next verse, because I want to reemphasize something very important:
Gal 4:27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
Who is the barren woman? It was a type of Sarah, the Heavenly Jerusalem, the free woman. According to Hebrews 12:22 the Heavenly Jerusalem consisted of an enumerable number of angels. We know from reading Job 38:4 that all of these angels sang for joy witnessing the creation of our world. Therefore, this Heavenly Jerusalem existed a long time before any earthly Jerusalem was formed. Are we all together on the same page?
What can we see by looking at this verse in light of the story of Abraham? We can see that this heavenly Jerusalem (Sarah) was God’s wife even before the earthly Jerusalem (young Hagar) ever came into the story. We can conclude logically that this covenant between God and the Heavenly Jerusalem (Sarah) existed before there was a natural nation of Israel. God (Abraham) was in covenant with this free woman (Sarah), not under the law for a long time before the bond woman was given to Him (Abraham) to have a child with. But we can also see this verse is telling her (the free woman Sarah) to rejoice because more are the children of the desolate woman than the other woman.
The desolate woman is a descriptive term for a woman incapable of having children as Sarah was for many years. Sarah eventually got pregnant but, only after many years passed beyond her normal child bearing years. But with God all things are possible, the barren woman now has many more children than the bond woman. God promised this free woman that her children will be of a much greater number than those of the woman in bondage to the law. We can then see the punch line in the last part of that verse. This verse ends with the statement “she which hath an husband”. Since God is only talking about two women in these verses, we can very easily determine who He is speaking of. God is speaking about the Earthly Jerusalem (Hagar) in the terms that she now has a new husband. The clear implication is given to us that the Heavenly Jerusalem (Sarah) does not have a husband when these verses were written.
We already know from reading verses in Isaiah and Jeremiah that God divorced Israel and ended His covenant relationship with the Earthly Jerusalem (Hagar). We even studied scriptures in Deuteronomy 24 that said it was now illegal for God to marry this same woman again. So we know that God is not in covenant or married to natural Israel. So who is? Who is the husband of the bond woman? Who is now in bondage under the law? Who wishes that they had never crucified the Lord Jesus Christ? If we don’t know this is Satan we need to go back and reread all of this again. Who wants to destroy Israel and wipe her from the face of the planet? How could Satan get out from under the law of his wife Israel? If his wife Israel were completely dead then Satan would be free from the law. If Satan were free from the law, then punishment of his sin could not be applied to him.
I have become a firm believer that Satan did not know what would happen to him if he crucified the LORD of Glory (1 Cor 2:8). I am also convinced that this is why Satan wants to destroy the natural nation of Israel and the Church. There are a lot of people in the world being used by Satan to get this done. Many of these people call the natural nation of Israel the little Satan and the USA and Christians the Great Satan. We could go into this subject much further but this lesson is long enough.
Thank you for reading and studying the Bible with us. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to share them. I do read them and appreciate the feedback. We do pray for you and we ask you to pray for us. God bless you and keep you until the next time we get together.
If you would like to continue reading this series of lessons on Bible covenants you may go to “Part 5“.
We Are God’s Garden! God’s Farm System for Spreading the Word!
(Ver 1.1) This is now “Part 4” in the Bible study series on Genesis 3. Today will be a different perspective to the study of the Garden of Eden. If you have not read the lessons from the beginning I would recommend that you go and start with “Part 1” first. I believe today’s modern families miss out on the concept of farming and raising your own food to eat. In our modern society, if we are hungry we go the restaurant or go to the grocery store and everything is nicely packaged and easy to buy. Less than a hundred years ago, people normally didn’t have it so easy. Many people grew up on farms that planted crops that not only fed them but were used to sell to others to earn a living. The modern farm has everything heavily mechanized and machines take the place of what use to be done by hand. These large corporate giants have eliminated the need for people to grow their own food to eat and have created a population that is totally dependent upon someone else for what they eat. Someday when the antichrist shows up, he will certainly use this leverage to gain control over the population.
For thousands of years, farming and growing food was the normal everyday life style of the majority of people. When Jesus was physically present on the earth he taught many lessons using principles found in farming and raising crops. These natural elements and systems that God had created pointed us to spiritual truths and reveal to us the spiritual principles we are confronted with on a daily basis. So even though we don’t normally grow our own food these days, it does not mean it is not important to fully understand these concepts.
1Co 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
1Co 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
1Co 3:8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
1Co 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.
The Bible actually declares that God has a garden. This is obviously not a physical garden but a spiritual garden. The term translated as “husbandry” in the KJV of the Bible is a Greek word that means “farm”. This term is referring to a place where things can grow. These verses in 1 Corinthians 3 are describing to you a farming process, using farming methods. To clearly understand what is being taught you really need a firm grasp of how farms operate. I am not an expert, I have learned a few things from some who were farmers so I’ll just hit the highlights of what I have learned. Farming is a multi step process. It involves many factors and while it seems simplistic, it is actually very complex to do it correctly. The ground or soil must be prepared. It normally involves a process that breaks up the hard surface and turns the soil revealing the parts that are covered. We can then begin the process of sowing or planting seeds. There are many ways of planting seeds and the exact method used depends upon the seed that is being planted. The depth of the seed can vary depending upon anticipated amounts of rain that you are expecting. The number of seeds per inch or foot can also vary depending on the crop. Then there is the time factor. Time is a necessary component to allowing the plant to develop. The amount of time can vary tremendously based upon the type of seed planted. Another key factor for planting is the timing or season to plant in. There are designated times to plant specific crops, some are in the spring, some in the summer and even some in the fall. So timing is everything in the process of getting a crop. The other essential element to a successful crop is rain and water. In 1 Corinthians 3 6, it implies that is what Apollos was doing, even though it was the exact same thing that Paul did, the first one planted, the second one watered. Too much water is not good and not enough can be detrimental to the outcome. In these verses it strongly suggests that farming is work. A laborious task and an extraordinary effort to produce a crop. But these verses also speak that it is not just one’s effort that produces the crop. The other factors are the seeds that you are sowing, the timing of the planting, the amount of water the seeds get, the amount of sunshine that these growing plants get, the fight to eliminate pests and creatures that eat you crop before you get to harvest, then there are climate and temperature variations that can cause harm to crops. The lessons of farming and the implications to sharing God’s Word are phenomenally important.
Mat 15:13 But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.
How many know that Jesus is not talking about a natural farm crop? Jesus is speaking of a spiritual crop of people. Those that belong to God will be harvested, those that do not will be burned. This verse declares that God has specifically planted seeds into the hearts of men and women. It also implies there are some plants that God did not plant also. Where did these plants or weeds come from? You see in natural and spiritual farming there are a number of known enemies to the expected outcome. You didn’t have to plant a thing for these enemies to show up and they are not what you want to grow in your soil. I noticed I don’t have to plant thistles and wild flowers in my yard, they somehow just magically appear. Isn’t that amazing?
Lessons from the Parable of the Wheat and Tares
Jesus tells us a parable that has a direct relationship to the Garden of Eden. In this parable Jesus describes to us a spiritual garden. This garden is a place that we are told where God has sown good seed and an enemy has come in and sown bad seeds. We understand from other parables that the good seed is the Word of God. The soil is the hearts of men and women. The fruit that is produced from the good seed represents the harvest and the tares are those that will be damned to hell and burnt. Here is the story that Jesus gives us:
Mat 13:25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
Jesus tells us in this parable that God’s garden has an enemy. It implies that while God was away from the garden, his enemy came in and sowed tares among his wheat crop. There is an amazing truth given to us in this verse if you understand farming. By only looking at the surface of the ground you cannot tell what has been planted. The wheat represents the desired crop of the seed that God has purposely planted. But, the tares are the result of the seed of God’s enemy. We can learn a valuable lesson from just this one verse. You are wise if you recognize that not everything in the world is intended to help you. Every false religion and philosophical writing that is out there are the seeds of the enemy. I’ll go so far as to say that every Hollywood movie and non-Christian television show are seeds of the enemy. I know that went over big?
Mat 13:26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
Jesus then tells us that both of these seeds are growing together, in the same soil, competing for the same water supply, competing for the same nutrients of the soil and existing in the same duration of time. It is only after some time that you can even tell that both are present. This process speaks to the power of God as well as the subtly and deceptive power of the enemy.
Mat 13:27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
In verse 27, Jesus, describes us, the servants of the householder asking God a question. This is obviously a great question and one more of us should be asking today. Where did all of these things come from that are opposed to the truth? Where did all of these things come from that distract us from what we should be focused on? Oh well, I guess I will move on.
Mat 13:28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
Jesus reaffirms to us that these weeds are a result of what Satan has done in the earth. Then in verse 28, the servants ask another question of the LORD. Many have asked the same question but in different terms. We have all questioned God why, when something bad has happened to us? Here we have a bad plant in the garden and what would you normally do with a weed in your garden? The servants want to know if it is OK to pull up these weeds and get rid of them. I’ve often times have pondered the same reality in the earth, why after the resurrection of Jesus Christ did God not eliminate evil from the planet. There must have been a legitimate reason for leaving it here.
Mat 13:29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
So Jesus’ reply is No! Many times in war the Generals are faced with acceptable casualty rates. Acceptable civilian casualties. According to God’s philosophy, there are no acceptable loses. Every plant is important. If you have ever had a garden you know that pulling weeds can sometimes hurt the real plants that you want to grow. The roots are many times intertwined with each other. So if you pull one you may destroy the other. In God’s garden this is not acceptable. God wants every plant that He can get.
Mat 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
Finally, we see the anticipated end to the world described to us. To those that teach there is not a hell, I don’t know how they ignore verses like this. According to Jesus there is a time of harvest coming. We know from basic farming practices that plants are harvested normally when they become mature. That is an interesting spiritual concept. God’s garden will be harvested when it becomes mature also. This verse in Matthew clearly indicates there is a difference coming, a division into two different groups. Those that are to be discarded and to be burned and those that are going to be put into the barn. The barn is a storage facility a home for mature crops. The analogies and lessons of farming are immensely important. I have only grazed the surface of the subject so I pray that you continue to research and learn from what God has done in His Word. I’ll end this blog with this:
Jas 5:7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
In this verse in James, our God is called the husbandman. A husbandman is a term for a farmer. The Greek word literally means a worker of the land or ground. The husbandman is the one that harvests what he plants. He plants, he cares for his harvest, he works the harvest and brings in the fruits of his labors. These are all farming concepts and methods. We can see that God who is a spirit has planted a spiritual garden and He expects to receive the fruits of His labors. So these are spiritual Bible concepts, sow the seeds, water them, care for them and expect God to produce the fruits to harvests.
Now go back and reread Genesis 2 and 3. See how God plants a garden, what kind of garden do you believe this was? If God is a Spirit which the Bible declares is accurate then God planted a spiritual garden.
If you are reading and studying in the Genesis 3 series you may continue to Part 5 now.
Genesis 3:1-6 – Does Eating Fruit Kill You? Pt 2
(Ver 1.3) This is Part 3 in the Understanding Genesis 3 Bible study series and the continuation of the last lesson concerning “Does Eating Fruit Kill You?” I took a break from Genesis to teach some new subjects, but today I will go back to Genesis to show you some more things found in the Bible about fruit. In my last lesson on this subject called Does Eating Fruit Kill You? Pt 1, I showed you that Jesus said that it was not what you put into your mouth and into your stomach (natural fruit) that makes you unclean (Mat 15:11). In this very important verse Jesus was teaching us that it was what comes out of our mouth, the words that we speak that causes us to sin. Jesus was contrasting the fact that spiritual fruit was significantly different than natural fruit and giving us some very important clues into hidden Genesis 3 truths. While natural fruits are a pattern or type revealing spiritual fruits, they are certainly two very different substantative things. In speaking on this subject Jesus gave us some brand new insight into the story of Adam and Eve and why what they ate could not have been fruit from a physical or natural tree. If that was the truth then this statement made by Jesus would have made Him a liar. I also showed you a scripture in Proverbs that declared death and life to reside in the power of the human tongue (Prov 18:21). This verse then spoke of the fact that those who love it will eat the “fruit” thereof. We should now be able to see that if God told Adam don’t eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or you will die, that God was saying your tongue controls your destiny. We should be able to look into this verse in the Bible to help identify what this tree that God was speaking of to Adam was; this tree must have been a spiritual tree that causes the fruit of death and not a natural fruit tree that when eaten kills like a poison. Do you understand these important concepts revealed in the Bible? We are just using the Bible to interpret the Bible. According to Proverbs it was Adam’s tongue or the words of his mouth that caused him to live or die. Our tongue, is the exact same and it also has the power to produce the fruit that causes us to live or to die. I know that these are very different concepts than most things that have been taught in your church, but I’m just reading the Bible and putting the pieces of the puzzle together the best that I can, with God’s help. So can you read? Do you see what God is saying? Here is another confirming witness to what I just said found in the New Testament:
Heb 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
In this verse in Hebrews we see a clear reference that it is our mouths that produces spiritual fruit unto God. This fruit in this verse must be referring to the spiritual fruit of praise which comes from the words we speak glorifying God. What is the antithesis truth to praising or blessing God? I believe that it would be to curse God with our mouth like many people in the world do everyday. Therefore, our words and our mouth can either produce words that praise (bless) God or words that curse God. Two direct different opposing types of fruit, but yet the same mouth can produce either. This is an important concept to learn for every Christian. Your words have the power to bless or to curse someone. This is not a single verse on this subject in the Bible. James wrote about this concept very clearly when he wrote “out of the same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing and this ought not to be” (James 3:10). Isn’t James saying the same things that God told Adam? Blessing and cursing shall not come from your mouth or you will surely die? I can find some amazing parallels in these scriptures. Let’s take a look at another verse found in Proverbs from the book of God’s divine wisdom:
Pro 18:20 A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.
Here again is another verse from Proverbs that speaks of the fruit of our mouth. If you understand what I have been saying, you quickly realize that this verse is speaking again of a spiritual fruit. In this verse God again refers to our mouth as being connected to our belly. But it is not speaking of our natural stomach, but rather our inner spirit man. Did you realize that the only way your inner spirit man can affect any change in this world is by your mouth? The only contact that your spirit man has with communicating to this natural world is with your mouth. Jesus told us that the words that He spoke they were “spirit” (John 6:63). In other words the words that came from Jesus’ mouth came from His Spirit. The implication is given that we also speak the same type of spiritual words. We should be able to compreshend that one of the only accesses that God has from this physical world into your internal spirit is through your external natural ears. You ears and your mouth are the portals between the natural world and the unseen internal spiritual world. Since the majority of unsaved people do not understand that they are spirit beings they would not understand anything about what I just described to you. Let’s move on to another scripture that is certainly related:
Pro 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
We can see from this verse in Proverbs more valuable information given to us concerning the trees that were said to be in the Garden of Eden by many Bible teachers. Did you notice that this verse in Proverbs is not speaking to us about a natural physical tree that produces fruit that causes us to live forever? Wow, that was a loaded question. If the tree of life was not a physical tree then the tree of death was not one either. The reference is given to us about about a different type of spiritual tree that produces spiritual fruit. This tree of life label is spoken of in the terms of those who are now called the “righteous” people. Who could this be referring to? Who are the righteous? Do you know the answer to that question? If you do then you are light years ahead of many Christians in the church. Let’s find out using the N.T. who the righteous are:
Rom 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
We can see in this verse in Romans, that God contrasts the two Adams. The first man’s disobedience caused many to sin, but by the faithful obedience of Jesus Christ many shall be made “righteous“. You might quickly ask the question were there really two men called Adam in the Bible? Yes, there was, but one was a natural man one was a spiritual man. The natural man caused all to die, but the spiritual man will cause all who receive His life to live. Let me show you an important verse to help confirm what I just said:
1Co 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
This of course is comparing Jesus to Adam, but Jesus is symblically called the Last Adam in this verse as opposed to the first Adam. If we back up in this chapter you can see more the context of what God is teaching us about these two opposite types of men.
1Co 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
What is God describing here? Can you see the emphaisis to the two trees of the garden first mentioned in Genesis 2? Adam caused all men to die but Chirst came to give each of us a new choice to live to have a different result. There is a definite death and there is a resurrection from the dead that will cause us to live. These are some amazing truths to consider when studying these chapters in Genesis.
Who did Proverbs call the “tree of life”? You see we, the church have been made “righteous” by what Jesus Christ did for us and gave to us by God’s grace. We are now the ones that are expected by God to produce new spiritual fruit of life instead of death. We therefore must be these spiritual trees of God described in Proverbs. What you must see in this verse is the clear but indirect reference to two opposing trees. You have one that Adam ate from that gives us death and then you have one that Jesus ate from that gave us life after death. One spiritual man was obedient and one natural man was disobedient and the end results are dramatically different. Do you understand what Jesus did? Now do you also understand what Adam did? Adam chose the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and Jesus chose the tree of life. That is some very important information to fully grasp. There are so many verses in the Bible that speak about this subject that I just can’t include them all in my lesson today. Here are some verses that have a direct commentary given to us by Jesus Christ:
Mat 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Mat 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
Mat 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Mat 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Mat 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
How many of you realize that Jesus is not talking about literal physical natural fruit trees in these verses? We know that these words are directly related to Genesis because Jesus starts out talking about the subject of thorns and thistles. If you recall these two subjects were God’s words to Adam in Genesis 3:18. Do you see the parallels and the connection? Jesus is referring to men and women as being analogous to trees that produce fruit. Every tree will produce some kind of fruit, either evil or good. The evil trees will bring forth thorns and thistles, while the good trees will bring forth grapes and figs. One spiritual tree produces good spiritual fruit. While the other spiritual tree produces evil fruit. God says good can’t produce evil fruit and evil can’t produce good fruit. The evil trees will be cut down and cast into the fire of hell and the good trees will be harvested to God’s barn. So we can see that spiritual fruit corresponds to what we produce out our mouths. Whether you choose to offer the sacrifice of praise to God or produce evil things, you make the choice. It really depends upon what you let go into your spirit that determines what you get to come out of your mouth and your spirit. I learned from being a computer programmer that if you put garbage in, you will get garbage out. If you put the Word of God in you will get the Word of God to come out. It is an awesome responsibility that God has given to us.
Mat 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
I thought I would include this verse to end this lesson on spiritual fruit. Jesus gives us the insight into how to produce good fruit. In this verse, Jesus is speaking to the religious Jews of His day. He tells them there is no way that they can produce any good fruit. How could Jesus declare this? Jesus knew that nothing good can come from a container after someone has put evil things in it. Jesus knew that if you plant evil things you will also reap evil things. Jesus declares that from the abundance of the things that you put into your heart is what you will get back out of your heart. I told you earlier that your external ears and your mouth were the portals/gates in and out of this unseen internal spiritual world. What you listen to abundantly with your ears is what you are putting/planting into your heart to produce and bring forth either good or evil fruit from your mouth. Jesus often times said “take heed to what you hear” (Mark 4:24). Why would it be important not to hear some things? Why would it be advantageous to hear other things? Jesus says that whatever you listen to abundantly will cause you to produce either good fruit or evil fruit with your mouth. No one becomes a radical Islamic extremist overnight. There are no evil men born into the world. Men become evil or good based upon what they are taught and hear. If you plant evil things continuously in your heart, you will eventually produce evil. These are the spiritual laws given to us from Genesis to Revelation.
I probably have said enough on this subject for now. I don’t want to overwhelm you with new things to think about, but sometimes I know I do. What we must do is interpret the Bible using the Bible, only. See what God says on every subject and just ignore what people think the story is about. Rightly dividing the Word of Truth involves putting the pieces of the puzzle together correctly. When you start to see what God is saying in the Bible, the Bible is much more enjoyable and eventually becomes easier to understand. You will eventually see that truth will build upon truth. So start by learning the basics and getting a solid foundation built into your life and then step up to the more advanced topics found in the Bible. God Bless!
If you would like to continue reading in this series of lessons found in Genesis 3 please go to “We are God’s Garden” (Part 4).
Understanding Bible Covenants! Part 3 Divorce and the Law
(Ver 2.1) This is Part 3 in the series on the very important subject of Understanding Bible Covenants. If you have not read this series from the beginning I would strongly recommend that you go back and start reading with “Part 1“. We have covered the Bible subject of covenants in a new spiritual light. In the first lesson we saw scriptures that defines a Bible God kind of covenant is a marriage relationship normally between a male and a female. In God’s covenants He is always the husband and we His people are always the female. In the second lesson there was featured a modern unfamiliar quality called “faithfulness”. This quality of “faithfulness” is where trust is placed in each covenant participant to remain faithful to their covenant partner. When unfaithfulness occurs the resulting infidelity normally causes the intended everlasting relationship to become strained, ineffective and even fail. Which brings us to today’s specific topic called “divorce”. Using this new perspective of “unfaithfulness” we will be exploring the Bible using God’s created concepts found around the essential subject of “faithfulness” in marriage covenants. Because it is so radically different than anything we have probably heard before it may be difficult for many to accept. It is interesting that this is the same response that Paul got in many places that he went into to teach the Word of God. Here is a scripture that describes Paul’s experiences:
Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
This scripture describes two different groups and types of people. It speaks of one group being more noble than the other. The term noble is a symbol of royalty, those of nobility. These people were more noble than those in Thessalonica because of two qualities that they did. Or actually to be more precise it was one featured quality or attitude that they possessed and one action they performed. The first difference of these more noble people was they received the Word of God with an “open mind”. Meaning they were willing to listen and hear something totally new and radically different without prejudice. But instead of accepting everything that was taught them by faith and blindly following Paul, they did something else to prove what was being taught to them was actually what God said in the Word. It says they searched the scriptures daily to see if what Paul was saying was really in the books they called God’s Word. In those days they only had the Old Testament books and scrolls so that is the only verification that they had to search from. Today we can see that this also includes the New Testament writings. You can learn so much by following the example of the more noble group of people. You see there is nothing new under the sun, what was, is that, which shall be again. What you have seen before, is that which will occur again. God does things the same way today as He did in the days of the early church. History has always run in cycles that repeat specific divine patterns in human experiences and events. So when someone like me comes along and teaches something so radically new, what should you do? You should start by keeping an open mind to what is being said and then you must search your Bible to see if it is actually true. That is all I’m asking you to do.
In the last lesson we were talking about sex and infidelity in the context of a covenant marriage relationship. We saw that physical things gives us patterns into spiritual things. People who follow physical faithfulness probably have an easier acceptance with spiritual faithfulness. There has been an increased awareness of natural unfaithfulness due to a well know unnamed sports figure that has recently been caught up with the seeds that he had been sowing. Then before that we had a President that was caught up in an embarrassing White House sexual scandal. But, these were just popularly reported news examples that occur often in many natural human experiences. No human is perfect and all have sinned in some way.
Without God no one really has a chance to be perfect, we have all been there and all share in mistakes that we have made. Also, in the last lesson we referred to the fact that divorce was not legally permissible from God’s law unless a spouse had been unfaithful. I guess these two famous wives certainly had grounds for a divorce. I’m sure neither was happy or content with their covenant relationship. As far as the President’s wife, I believe she endured and stuck around the marriage for some future benefits. A wife will always have the right to choose. But, one thing that we can count on is the faithfulness of God. God will always be faithful to us. Therefore, the only opportunity for covenant failure in a relationship with God, will be on us. This does pertain to the subject today.
GOD’S OLD TESTAMENT COVENANT DIVORCE
So we have been looking at the natural nation of Israel as being called the unfaithful wife in the Old Covenant. She was accused of spiritual adultery and literal whoredom by following after and pursuing other gods by worshiping idols (Isa 1:2, Eze 6:8). There is really a very sincere lesson to learn from this, if we think about it. Recently on the news I saw a story that spoke of many so called Christian churches starting to introduce other foreign practices into their congregations. I don’t know if they were attempting to draw more people in or what. But the net result will be disastrous. These churches wanted to bring in yoga and far eastern mind altering religions. Things like far east meditation and mind relaxation and control techniques that just open people up for satanic interaction. By introducing these foreign religions into their churches they are succumbing to the same result that the natural nation of Israel fell into. This spiritual infidelity will result in spiritual sexual covenant relations with other gods just like Israel. I hope you are hearing me and understand what was just said.
So today I want to open a new can of worms that I know will not go over big with a lot of people, but I really have no choice. I believe I need to teach what God has taught me from the Bible. In the last lesson I gave scriptures about God’s wife Israel being unfaithful to her husband and God said I divorced her (Jer 3:8). If a covenant is a marriage, then a divorce is the termination of that covenant! This is absolutely critical that w see this and understand it. According to O.T. verses God is NOT in covenant with the natural nation of Israel anymore or ever will be again. I know that is a shocking statement, but we look it up in the Bible and verify what God says. Natural Israel now has the same opportunity to marry into the new covenant with Jesus, but the old covenant is over. Here is another witness to this fact:
Isa 50:1 Thus saith the LORD, Where is the bill (H5612) of your mother’s divorcement (H3758), whom I have put away (H7971)? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.
We have seen that the prophets Jeremiah and Isaiah, both have declared the termination of the marriage covenant relationship between God and the natural nation of Israel. Notice that this verse in Isaiah also implies a selling of Israel to another buyer or owner. This sounds like Israel has entered into a new covenant relationship with someone besides Jehovah God, to me. I will tell you up front it was not to be in the new covenant with Jesus the Son of God. The Lord God says “I have Put Away your mother”. Those are terms for divorce based upon Israel’s foolish acts of infidelity. So we can conclude that the divorce is now final in the eyes of God.
Today I want to show you what God’s law says about marriage and divorce. It is so relevant to our discussion that I hope you can see it. The law concerning divorce is found in the book of Deuteronomy in chapter 24:
Deu 24:1 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill (H5612) of divorcement (H3748), and give it in her hand, and send (H7971) her out of his house.
Here is exactly what we read in Isaiah and Jeremiah that God did to Israel. It is an exact representation of what happened to the natural nation of Israel. This verse says a man shall take a wife and marry her. We know that God took Israel by the hand and led her out of Egypt and married her (Jer 31:32). Then it says if the man finds “uncleanness” in her and we know that God found His wife natural Israel unfaithful following after other gods and worshipping idols repeatedly. So we know that according to the law, the man (God) then can write his wife (Israel) a bill of divorcement and give it to her to end the covenant. God did this using His prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah. These were His two witnesses for Israel’s whoredom. You then see that this verse says that the woman is now not a part of this husband’s household anymore. She has been kicked out of the relationship due to her unclean acts of wickedness. This is precisely what happened to the nation of Israel. Let’s look at the next verse in the law:
Deu 24:2 And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife.
I read these words and see how God foretold what was about to transpire with His wife. This verse says this divorced wife can become the wife of another man. We saw scriptures that implied strongly that Israel was another man’s wife now. I could give you many other scriptures that would also confirm this but I just don’t have the time right here to include these. I’ll skip over verse 3 because it is about her new husband divorcing her. What I want you to see is the next verse and what God says:
Deu 24:4 Her former husband (Jehovah God), which sent her away, may not take her (natural Israel) again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD (JEHOVAH): and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.
You see according to the law, it would be illegal for God to marry the natural nation of Israel again. God said it would be an abomination for Him to take back a wife that has defiled herself with another man. It is therefore illegal, according to the law for God to enter into covenant with the nation of Israel again. I am glad I didn’t write the Bible, I just read it and see what it says. But, I don’t see how He could take her back and not make himself out to be a liar.
I know these are very strong words and the implications are very far reaching. Nevertheless I didn’t write the Bible so please don’t throw stones at the messenger. You have the opportunity to embrace what the Bible says or you now have an opportunity to reject it and ignore what God said. I suspect I’ll have both reactions. The Bible was written in an encoded fashion that forces us to correctly divide the words to come up with the truth. That means some will see it and some will not. That also means everything in the Bible is not always self evident or self revealing and since I don’t know everything maybe there is something that I don’t know yet that could change the outcome of Israel. I will humbly admit that truth that I’m not God and I don’t know everything. If God wants to keep something hidden it will remain hidden, if God wants to reveal the truth to someone or through someone then nothing will stop Him from doing that either.
A NEW TESTAMENT CONFIRMATION
I would like to briefly teach a New Testament confirmation for what we are reading in the Old Testament. I believe God will always confirm whatever is important in the Old Testament in the New either directly or indirectly. This reference that we will be going over is fairly direct but often easily misunderstood. We will be reading from the book of Galatians and chapter 4.
Gal 4:22 For it is written (prophesied), that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
Gal 4:23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh (natural); but he of the freewoman was by promise (Spirit).
Gal 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai (natural Israel), which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
Gal 4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem (natural Israel) which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
Gal 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all (Jesus and the Church).
Gal 4:27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
Gal 4:28 Now we (the Church), brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise (Free Woman).
Gal 4:29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit (the Church), even so it is now.
Gal 4:30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman (Natural Israel) and her son: for the son of the bondwoman (Natural Israel) shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
Gal 4:31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.
This is an amazing passage of scripture filled with untold revelation. There are two women being compared as mothers with sons. The LORD just keeps uncovering new information from these verses the more we study it. Has anyone missed what the LORD said after reading these verses, I will tell you that one woman is Hagar a young Egyptian slave woman and the other woman was Sarah the older barren wife and God says these two represent allegorical types of spiritual realities. Hagar represents natural Israel that came out of captivity in Egypt. Sarah is spoken of as a spiritual type of free woman that gives birth to the church. Abraham the covenant making husband to both women is also a type in this O.T. story. Abraham represents God the Father also known as Jehovah LORD. That was a very quick overview, so let us explore some of the important details for out subject of covenants and divorce.
Notice how God uses a real literal Old Testament story of Abraham as a spiritual allegory to reveal a greater unseen truth. If we read closely, we will discover that God is likening natural Israel to be called a model, type, pattern, or a shadow of a natural Egyptian “bonds woman” named Hagar. God equates her position of natural bondage to Israel’s servitude to the Old Covenant Law. It is remarkably interesting, to note that this Galatians 4 passage is speaking of this Hagar woman as a typology of natural Israel being in covenant with God. It is important to note that the natural people of Israel were taken from Egypt by God through Moses. Then God also gave them the law through Moses on Mount Sinai and later they possessed the land where Jerusalem eventually becomes their capital city.
I will not teach the entire set of verses. There are other Bible lessons on this website that have more detail if you are interested. But I do want us to focus on verse 30. This is a quotation from Genesis 21:10. What does this verse say so clearly? God tells us it is written “Cast out the bond woman (natural Israel) Hagar for her son will not be an heir with the son of the freewoman”. When we go back and study the original verse God uses the Hebrew word H1644 which is translated as “cast out”. Strong defines this Hebrew word as “to drive out from a possession”. But this Hebrew word also carries the meaning of “divorce” and a “divorced woman”. Wow, that is amazing confirmation to the verses we have read from Jerimiah 3:8 and Isaiah 50:1.
Galatians 4 is a New Covenant confirmation for what has happened to the Old Covenant people. Natural Israel is now no longer in covenant with God Jehovah even while still being in bondage to His written Law. There is a further confirmation found within Galatians 4. Remember when I showed implied O.T. references for divorced natural Israel now being in covenant marriage with someone other than God Jehovah? Did you notice Galatians 4:27? What is God saying in this verse?
Gal 4:27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren (Sarah a type of the Heavenly Jersualem) that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou (Sarah a type of the Heavenly Jersualem) that travailest not: for the desolate (free woman Sarah a type of the Heavenly Jerusalem) hath many more children than she which hath an husband (bond woman: Hagar a type of natural Israel).
This verse is another O.T quotation from Isaiah 54:1. I placed in quotations the unstated allegorical references revealed to us by God in Galatians 4 to help us understand who He is speaking of. I pray that everyone observed that this verse says the bond slave woman (Hagar the type of natural Israel) was cast out of God’s marriage covenant but is now being referred to as a “married” wife. But if her husband is not Jehovah God, then who is it? Go and read Isiah 54:1 and we will find God Jehovah is the one speaking about these two women. Notice that He does not claim in Isaiah 54:1 to be her husband. In fact, it was only 4 chapters before this prophecy that Jehovah gave natural Israel her bill of divorce.
Galatians chapter 4 is very profound. God has just confirmed that natural Israel is no longer in a covenant with Him. It further implies by indirect reference that she has no possibility to return to the covenant that she was in with Him. If we study the entire Bible for direct references to Hagar, we will find only 14 times her name is given by God. The last time she is mentioned in the O.T. is Genesis 25 where God gives the genealogy of Ishmael to have 12 sons. Before this mention is Genesis 21 where Abraham “sends her away with her son Ismael in verse 14. The Hebrew word “send away” is H7971 that was translated as “put away” in the law of divorcement we read in Deuteronomy 24 and the divorce decrees we read in Isaiah 50:1 and Jeremiah 3:8. These connecting words and subjects are not a coincidence. God is teaching us that natural Israel will have the same end as the natural Egyptian slave woman named Hagar.
We have seen scripture that declares natural Israel’s covenant relationship with God has been terminated because of her continued unfaithfulness. We then saw the law of God that declares this relationship is over for good. We cannot blame God for ending the covenant. It was natural Israel’s repeated bad choices to commit whoredom with other gods that finally caused the consequences. Remember what God says in Galatians 6:7 “Be not deceived, God is not mocked whatever a man sows that will he reap”. Israel finally reaped what they had sown for hundreds and hundreds of years. A crop of failure will eventually come to anyone that does the same. God was extremely patient, forgiving and kind to the natural nation of Israel. He is the same today to us. Thank you Jesus!
I’ll end this lesson with this last statement, there is more in the Bible that we don’t know than what we do know. I don’t care how long we have studied the Bible or how much we have memorized and we can quote. Quoting scripture does not mean we know it and understand it. The term to “Know” means understand and I guarantee that we (me and you) don’t understand very much of the Bible. God’s intelligence level is so far beyond ours. Every word in the Bible has significance and meaning and most of the time we just read them like they don’t mean anything. The one reality that I am faced with every time I study the Bible is this: “The more I learn, the more I find out I don’t know”. If you are not there yet, then you don’t realize yet that you have a lot more to learn. In the next lesson, I’ll attempt to explore natural Israel’s new covenant relationship.
If you would like to continue reading in this series you may now go to “Part 4“.