Monthly Archives: January 2010
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.
(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.
(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“.
(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“.
(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“.
(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“.
(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“.
(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.
(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“.
(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“.