Monthly Archives: February 2010
Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight — Understanding God’s Methods of Hiding Information in the Bible! Pt 3
(Ver 2.0) This is part three of a series of lessons on advanced studies concerning the methods that God has used to conceal information in the Bible for us to find. By studying these methods we will greatly increase our ability to understand the truth of God’s Word. The first technique I discussed was “Widely Dispersed Information”. This is the method of spreading out and not covering a complete subject in any one location of the Bible. Next, I talked about “Symbolic and Allegorical References”. These are very common practices of calling spiritual things by natural names, descriptions and titles and not telling you that is what is occurring. So we have gone through two fairly complex methods of hiding information in the Bible, and today I want to shift gears and slow down and show you something more basic, but yet still very effective. Today, I want to talk about another common method called “Figure of Speech”. If you did not read this series from the beginning I would strongly suggest that you go back and start with “Part 1“.
Technique 3: Figures of Speech
Like in other writings of the English language, the Bible often times uses language and phrasing which is known as “figures of speech”. Figures of speech are words that usually cannot be taken literally. A figure of speech is one technique that can be used to conceal or hide the truth or true meaning of a verse of scripture while using words that clearly describe something to you in very expressive terms.. Here is a definition for a figure of speech that I found on the internet:
A figure of speech is a use of a word that diverges from its normal meaning, or a phrase with a specialized meaning not based on the literal meaning of the words in it such as a metaphor, simile, or personification. Figures of speech often provide emphasis, freshness of expression, or clarity. However, clarity may also suffer from their use, as any figure of speech introduces an ambiguity between literal and figurative interpretation. A figure of speech is sometimes called a rhetoric or a locution.
As you can see from this definition the usage of “figures of speech” can bring clarity or they can introduce ambiguity to the interpretation and I have seen both of these. I have often times heard preachers try to take a verse of scripture that uses this technique of “figure of speech” and attempt to make it a literal truth found in the Bible. It was obvious to me that they were wrong, but obviously they did not see it that way. So I think I should try to give you some examples of this type of writing found in the Bible that to me is obvious not be taken literally. For example, the Bible describes events where God tells Israel that if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land, they shall be “thorns in your side” (Numbers 33:55, Joshua 23:13). God was not speaking in literal terms, was He? God did not mean that these people would literally be a natural thorn in their natural flesh. The people of Israel would not be walking around with sticks and thorns sticking out of their robes or their clothing made from the people found in the land. That would be an incredibly bad interpretation of the Bible to try to take this literally. Here is a sample of one of these verses from the Old Testament:
Num 33:55 But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.
God uses two figures of speech in this verse found in Numbers. We see a reference being made to pricks in their eyes and thorns in their sides. Neither of these can be taken literally, because they are purely “figures of speech”. This is just another literary technique that God has implemented in the Bible to make things a little bit more difficult for us to read and to understand. What God is referring to here, is a people that would become a spiritual hindrance and a distraction from the Law of God. These people would become stumbling blocks of potential temptations that would introduce them to other gods, idols, religions and things that were presented to deceive them. God knew the dangers and told the people something using figurative wording from what they could understand. Almost everyone in the world has had a time when they got stuck by a thorn and this is a very unpleasant experience physically. God is saying that this is what will happen to them in the spiritual realm if they do not do what God said to do. If you have ever had a thorn under your fingernail you can understand that this is a pain that you are better off not ever having this occur. This is the idea that God is trying to convey by writing to the people using this technique. This usage consists of the fact that a word or phrase is used out of the ordinary way that it is normally used within a context that is only done to create an added emphasis. Therefore, when God declares people to be thorns and pricks, He is not speaking literally. Figures of speech are always departures from the given laws of normal language in order to communicate an emphasized point.
People today use figures of speech in their everyday conversations all the time. I often times hear someone say something like “She is a real pain in the neck.” That is a figure of speech and it means something else other than a literal pain in their flesh. Do you understand figures of speech? Have you ever been guilty of using a figure of speech? We can clearly see the usage of “figures of speech” throughout the Bible and we have to be smart enough to recognize them and treat them accordingly and to interpret them correctly. In my example that I have given you there is another similar occurrence in the New Testament where Paul wrote about a thorn in his flesh that was given to him.
2Co 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
I’ve heard so many confused individuals who try to imply that Paul was sick, crippled, and blind or that had some other physical imperfection based upon another clear usage of a figure of speech. People wake up and realize the difference between literal words and figurative language. Paul is clearly speaking in the same terms that God spoke to Israel in Numbers. This is a figurative explanation for a spiritual reality. Paul tells us what his “thorn” was, when he says it was a “messenger of Satan”. That sounds like a spiritual force and not a physical imperfection. If you take a figure of speech and attempt to make it literally true, you cause confusion to occur. You promote a lie or a fabrication of a misinterpretation and that is a key problem occurring in the Body of Christ today. What you must do, is first understand the concepts behind “figures of speech” and then be smart enough to recognize them when you are reading through your Bible.
There are many different literary styles and techniques and God has used them all in the Book that He has given to us. As a part of studying the Bible we are required to be smart enough to read a verse and analyze it correctly in order to truly understand what is being said. One of these techniques that causes people trouble is what is known as this “figure of speech”. I do not claim to have done an exhaustive or comprehensive study on the usage of this technique; I merely wanted to introduce you to it so that you become aware of it as you read and study your Bible. Become intimately aware of God’s techniques and writing styles. Try to discover the methods that God has used to conceal information in the Bible and this will help the church to become united with one mind.
Php 2:2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
God bless you and continue to prosper you through the knowledge of Jesus Christ. I will hopefully endeavor to expand this subject in my next blog.
If you would like to continue to read this series, please continue with “Part 4“.
Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight — Understanding God’s Methods of Hiding Information in the Bible! Pt 2
(Ver 2.0) This is part two of a series of lessons on methods that God has used to conceal information in the Bible for us to find. By studying these methods we will greatly increase our ability to understand the truth of God’s Word. Today I want to talk about a subject that I have blogged on before, but this will be important enough to see again that I feel it fits with this series. If you did not read from the beginning I would strongly suggest that you go back and start with “Part 1“.
Technique 2: Symbolism and Symbolic References
Another technique in the Bible widely utilized by God is the usage of symbolism. Symbolism is usually an interesting coded message. Biblical symbols often times describe spiritual things in the terms of natural things, events or people. God uses symbols of things that we can see to describe and point us to the things that we cannot see. Daniel and Revelation are both covered with symbolic references and are probably the books of the Bible that come to people’s mind when describing this subject. In Revelation we have a harlot, the great dragon, a beast, the serpent, the sun, the moon and the stars, a woman, a city, a bride as well as many other symbolic references. Why did God use this type of writing? It is interesting to see how this writing style makes it so challenging for us to figure out what God is talking about. Most people who just read the verses in Revelation without studying them are very confused and do not understand very much about what is being said. So interpreting symbolic references correctly is critical to understanding these references in the Bible. So how do we interpret symbolic references correctly? I believe that we must use other interpretation rules that I have not really discussed yet. One of these rules is that we let the Bible interpret itself. Another rule is, we use the law of first mention to help determine the definition. Still another rule is that we look at other descriptions and related dependent symbols to help point us to the true identity of the main symbol. Often times by figuring out a descriptive symbolic reference first, it will help us discover the bigger symbolic reference. For example, if you want to identify the symbolic woman in Revelation 12 you must first start by correctly identifying the “sun” that she is wearing and the “moon” that she is standing upon. By correctly discovering the identity of the sun and the moon we can only then correctly identify the woman. The error that most people make is that they assume that the woman is Israel and then try to make the other symbols fit their erroneous interpretation. But, I learned by the help of God that this is not the correct approach to take.
I mentioned Daniel and Revelation as being heavily symbolic books. But there are symbolic references in almost every book of the Bible. For example, Genesis contains heavy symbolism in the first three chapters of the book and I will briefly go into a few examples to help you to start to look for and recognize them. You see the first three chapters are largely all symbolic references with some real events and people mixed in among the symbols. There are 6 days of creation and the 7th God rests. If you read your Bible carefully you will discover these 6 days are all symbolic. The division of waters from land is a symbolic event. The division of day from might is a symbolic event. The Sun that rules the day and the moon that rules the night are both symbolic references to spiritual truths. The mention of fruit and trees are strongly symbolic. The serpent in the garden is symbolic coded reference to a hidden spiritual being. The woman is symbolic; the seed of the woman is symbolic. I could go on and on, but I hope you get the message.
Let’s look at another important Bible reference which describes a different type of symbolism. But this time it speaks of another usage of symbolism that is called “allegory”. Allegory is always a Bible story with two meanings. The first meaning of the story is the literal description of the subjects given. The second meaning of the story is a symbolic reference to a much greater spiritual truth. Notice what God said in the book of Galatians:
Gal 4:22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
Gal 4:23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
Gal 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
You see from these verses God specifically shows us how he has used allegory in the story of Abraham to demonstrate a much larger spiritual truth. In these verses in Galatians 4, we are told that the story of Abraham having two sons is a story that contains an allegory. We are then told that the two women Sarah and Hagar represent two covenants. Sarah is called the freewoman, and Hagar the slave woman who is in bondage. Hagar represents the earthly Jerusalem and the Old Covenant wife of God. Therefore we know that Abraham represents God in this scenario. We are told that Sarah represents the heavenly Jerusalem who is called the spiritual mother of the church. There are certainly many other spiritual truths to learn from these verses, but I will not elaborate further in this blog. So an allegory is an extended metaphor in which actual people, places, objects, and actions in a story are equated to meanings and truths that lie outside of the realm of the story. In other words an allegory is a real story in which the people, places, and things represent spiritual concepts, individuals and moral qualities that we cannot see or perceive with our natural senses. We can see from this great example that God gives us a view of something that is of extraordinary value through an actual event and the people in a story that happened in human history without telling us this in the story. You see there is absolutely nothing found in the book of Genesis that tells you the story of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar is a picture of God and his spiritual family, but when you read in Galatians 4 you discover that God has encoded this information within the story in a hidden format. Do you understand that concept? This is a very important key lesson of correct Bible interpretation. This is a very prevalent method that God has used in concealing spiritual truths in the Bible. The story of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar is not the only allegory in the Bible. It is however, the only one that God tells you about so that He can give you a clue into how He has hidden information for you to search and to find. God uses real historical true stories with real people and places to reveal some very powerful spiritual truths that have been hidden in the Bible for thousands of years. The book of Ruth is heavily allegorical information. The book of Genesis has significant amounts of allegorical information throughout it. The books of Exodus and Numbers are widely interspersed with allegorical content. I do not understand how God is able to do this; I just know that He did it. God obviously is not bound by time and He could see human history before it happens. To say that God caused it to happen this way would violate man’s right to choose and his right to freewill; so I do not believe that God manipulated people to get things to happen the way he wanted them to happen. But, that is my opinion.
Please understand the difference between symbolism and allegory. A symbol is a reference to something that you might understand, but it might not actually exist in the natural realm. For example, in Revelation a prevalent symbol of Satan is a dragon and I have never seen one of these in the world, but I understand what they are because of books, movies and cultures like that found in China where they parade a large dragon figure down the middle of the street. So a dragon is a fictional character representation of the real spiritual being called Satan using a coded name. An allegory is quite the opposite, because it is always a real Bible story where each character named in the story represents something else in the spiritual realm. An allegory is always real historical people and symbols are just fictional representations of real spiritual things. They are both very similar while being totally different at the same time. They both convey a hidden truth that is well hidden on the surface only reading that most people do when they read their Bible.
The usage of symbolic references is widespread and can be found in almost every book of the Bible. Especially the books that contain prophetic scriptures that prophesies about coming or future events, people, things or places. Of course practically every book of the Bible contains some prophetic verses and you should be aware of that also. Because of God’s usage of allegory where any story found can represent a greater future spiritual story you will have to read every story in the Bible with new ways of looking for how does this potentially fit into what is going to happen in the future. You see there are scriptures in the Bible that declares “the thing that has been, is that which shall be and the things that were done is that which shall be done again” (Ecc 1:9). In other words God said history will repeat itself. What happened naturally in the Bible is that which will happen in the spirit realm. This kind of information causes you to look at things in the Bible with some totally new perspectives; if it does not do this then you are clearly spiritually blind. Surely you can see the importance of learning how God has hidden information in the Bible and I pray that you will benefit as I have from knowing this.
If you would like to continue reading this series, please continue with “Part 3“.
Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight – Understanding God’s Methods of Hiding Information in the Bible! Pt 1
(Ver 1.5) This is Part 1 in a series of basic important Bible lessons that deals with the question “Why is the Bible so Hard to Understand?” Many of us have certainly discovered by reading and studying the Bible, that everything that is presented in the Bible, is not always clearly perceived or self evident. In other words, everything in the Bible is not easily understood using natural human reasoning or logic. I am personally convinced that the Bible contains many outstanding truths, even though the Body of Christ hasn’t been able up to this point, to agree on a lot of them. I can at least hope that you too can see and understand the challenge that we all face in studying the Bible. Based just upon the number of Christian denominations in the world you can see that God has chosen to conceal Himself not only from the people in the world, but He has also chosen to hide Himself in His Word to give the church, the opportunity to search for Him and to discover Him. By searching for the truth we come to know Him who is the Truth (John 14:6). We can conclude that God, if He wanted to remain a mystery forever and keep men in the dark all that He would have to do is to stay silent and not speak to us. But we can clearly see by the Bible alone that He has given to us, that He has not chosen to do that. Let’s briefly establish the fact that God has hidden information in the Bible.
Pro 1:23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
To make something known implies something was first hidden from plain view. To make God’s Words known implies that what we read in the Bible we need God’s help to understand. There is an implied unveiling process in this act. There is an intentional act of uncovering also implied. To “reveal” that which was hidden. The Bible is God’s Words written down by chosen men. These words are not encrypted in a modern coded system of unreadable text. Yet these words according to the Bible must be revealed in order to be understood.
Eph 6:19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
In Ephesians we are told that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was a mystery. Even Jesus confirmed this reality when he told the Jews to search the scriptures because these were words that testified about him (John 5:39). If they had to search to find Jesus it is very clear that Jesus was hidden in the words that were written in the O.T. As we have seen the Jews did not understand the scriptures and did not embrace the Gospel of Jesus. We can clearly see that while Paul and the other apostles used the Old Testament as the basis for their message, very few of the Jewish leadership understood it. So was it hidden from them only? Or did they just choose not to see it?
Rom 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
In this letter to the church, God declares that which was being preached came as a result of a revelation being given. A revelation is a revealing of that which was hidden from plain view. It was written in their language, but they did not see it or perceive it. Why is that so important to understand?
Pro 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.
Here is an Old Testament reference that describes the nature and character of God. This verse declares that it is to God’s glory to conceal or hide information. But in the same sentence it also declares that “kings” are intended to search it out? Who is the King of kings? Jesus is the King of kings. Who are these “kings” that Jesus is King of? Who are these kings that need to do this searching for this hidden information? I believe we are these “kings”. So I have given you several scriptures that all point you to hidden information in the Bible. There are certainly many other scriptures that I could have included and you can find them if you search.
There are a large number of reasons that I believe God has hidden information in the Bible. One reason is to conceal the information from His enemies. Another reason is to give man a choice in what they believe. Still another reason for hiding information is to allow God to reveal the information at the right time to the right people. There are certainly other reasons for God doing this, but as long as you see and understand that He has done it, you will at least be far ahead of a lot of other Christians in the world that do not understand this.
So knowing God has concealed spiritual truths within His Word, we should be smart enough to recognize some of the techniques that God has used to hide these truths. I call this concealing or hiding the truth in plain view. Every word in the Bible is clearly readable by anyone that picks the book up, but every word is also equally hard to understand because of the methods and techniques that God has selected to record His words in a book format. It is much like a game of hide and seek where everyone that you are looking for is out in the open in plain view, but many of them are wearing camouflage and have blended into their surroundings so that you don’t see them clearly. They are there right in front of you, yet you walk right by them. So it is with the Bible, just because we can see all of the words and read them, it is clear to me that we need to follow some very strict rules in order to understand what they say, correctly. Satan can read the same words that we can and he didn’t understand them and he is doing everything in his power to make sure that you don’t understand them either. If Satan would have understood what was written, he would not have crucified Jesus.
In reading Proverbs 25:2, it reveals to us one of God’s intentions and purposes for giving us the Bible. This verse specifically informs us that it is God’s Glory to conceal information. This Hebrew word translated as “conceal” means to keep secret, or to hide from plain view.. When you conceal something that means it is not clearly visible or self apparent. The US army often times camouflages themselves and their equipment to conceal them from or cause themselves not to be seen by the enemy. If a government in our world wanted to conceal information from their enemies they would have probably created a code or an encryption system that would in effect make the textual message unreadable to others. In this way the encoded message is only readable to the intended person to whom the message is sent using the decryption method and the key that would unlock the true meaning. While many have done crypto analysis of Old Testament scriptures and have seemed to have discovered encoded messages, I am not talking about this method of hiding information. While I do not discount these or attempt to preach against them in any way, this is not the information that is hidden in plain sight that I am talking about. Being a computer programmer I understand the complexity behind creating a readable textual message with embedded ELS coded messages. Without a very, very powerful computer it would be impossible to find them, much less try to create them. The Bible Codes are to me just an additional proof that God exists and He has written something for us, to us that only He could have done. To those who don’t believe in God, it is a sign that someday they will understand.
So what I want to do in this blog series, is to explore some of the primary ways that I have discovered how God has hidden Himself in plain view for us to find. By studying some of these methods we can use them to unlock more of the truth and to see and know Him better. So did God encode things in the Bible for us to discover? You might still not understand code concepts, and that is OK. I’m not here to teach you computer algorithms. What I want you to see is some general concepts and methods that God has implemented in the Bible to hide information and truth. By understanding these concepts we can then apply them to our Bible study and hopefully learn whatever God wants us to know before Jesus comes back for us very soon.
Earlier I mentioned a common trait of codes and encryption. This has to do with knowing the key that unlocks the code. The key is the electronic word, phrase, numbers, symbols, or combination of all of these that we use to unlock the encrypted information. That is what we are going to explore in this series of lessons. I want to show you some keys. By understanding the methods that God has used to hide information it will give us the keys that we need to unlock it and to understand it. Jesus makes this statement:
Mat 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven:
I know I pulled a part of a verse to make a point, but take this information and understand the concept given. Jesus tells us that there are keys to the kingdom of heaven. That implies there are hidden or locked things within the kingdom that are not readily available to all. What Jesus is doing is giving us a simple concept lesson and He is telling us that it is our responsibility to open the doors that these keys are associated with. You never hand someone a key, either a physical key that unlocks a lock or an electronic key to unlock a code and not expect them to use it. Are you grasping the concept? So let’s explore some of the key methods that God uses to hide information in the Bible.
Technique 1: Widely Dispersed Truths
One method that God uses frequently to hide truths in His Word, is to spread out the information so that a subject is not completely covered in any one location of the Bible. The Bible is a significantly large book with a lot of words and subjects within it. Finding specific related scriptures is not always as easy as you might think. By spreading the information out in a widely dispersed random pattern, it become exponentially more difficult to grasp the correct meaning of anything. Spreading out information in the Bible is just one of the many techniques that God has used to hide things for us to find. One advantage that we have today over previous generations, is the proliferation of computers within our society. By using a computer’s database indexing and search engine capabilities, we are blessed with a tool that makes it much easier to explore the Word of God and to find truths that are spread out over 783,137 words in the King James Bible. If you don’t study the Bible using a computer you should, it will help you tremendously once you get over the initial learning curve of using a computer to read and study the Bible. What we discover in our search is there are scriptures everywhere in the Bible that speak to, or comment directly on other passages in the Bible. In other words we have the commentary of the author, the Holy Spirit given to us on any given subject. God did not leave us in the dark, he just made it a little challenging to find. I also made mention that the commentary and related information may appear in any random order. Information can be given on any subject in any book of the Bible. This certainly is a very tricky method of hiding information.
Let’s take creation and the story of Adam and Eve. If you search the Bible you will soon discover that both Adam and Eve are referred to in other books of the Bible by name. These are God’s direct commentary on the Genesis story given to Moses. But by studying these verses we can gain a significant amount of insight into the original story. But of course that is not all the information, we would have to search for all of the subjects found in creation, like: man, woman, temptation, sin, serpent, gardens, fruit, seeds, trees, and all of the other subjects that are mentioned in the book. By omitting these facts from our study of the subject we are lacking vital clues to what God intended for us to understand. This example is just a simple sample of a much larger truth that God has spread out the information so that while it is in plain sight, it is not easily found, related or understood. This is one of the most important lessons from this blog that you should take away and learn to put into practice. Don’t read a single verse and attempt to say I understand that, without researching and looking for the related passages and God’s commentary on the subject.
Think with me and consider the hidden reference to the serpent in Genesis chapter 3. I have heard people say that this is not Satan while others say it is Satan. However, there is absolutely no way to know this by only reading this chapter of Genesis. If you read the Bible cover to cover, it would take you a long time to finally find the answer to who this serpent is. This infromation is not revealed until Revelation chapter 12. God finally sees fit to reveal the identity of the hidden serpent in the last book of the Bible. This is a clear example of a widely dispersed truth. Where God introduces you to a subject in the 3rd chapter of Genesis, but does not reveal the identity of the being until the 12th chapter of Revelation. I hope you are beginning to understand these tricky concepts that God has implemented in the Bible.
Widely dispersed truths are an essential part of finding the hidden information in the Bible. You see the Old Testament is a large set of books that Jesus told the Jews to search, for he said these are they that testify about Him (John 5:39). But if you read the Old Testament you will not find one chapter called the story of Jesus. While there are hundreds of prophetic verses of the coming messiah, not one said you will call his name “Jesus”. Yet if you have eyes that see, you can find Jesus on almost every page of the Old Testament in some form or reference. Some are more easily found than others, but none are in plain view and self apparent. The Bible is a complex tricky book written with complex and tricky techniques that record truths in a manner that is not easily recognizable. We have just touched on this subject in this blog and talked about one of these methods. By putting little pieces of information here and little pieces of information elsewhere in a large random order you can certainly understand that this would make it very challenging for us to find anything of value. This one technique alone would make the Bible very difficult to understand, but God has many other techniques of hiding information that we will get into later.
If you would like to continue reading this series, please go to Part 2.
(Ver 1.2) I will continue to talk about Unity and the Keys to Understanding today. Today I want to explore verses found in the book of Proverbs. Proverbs contains a lot of the Wisdom of God. It was written down by Solomon, the son of David the King and Bathsheba. God used Solomon to give us many valuable spiritual truths. I’ve heard several ministers recommend that we should read from the book of Proverbs on a daily basis to gain the wisdom of God. I believe, that by renewing your mind to God’s wisdom you will be able to make better choices and decisions in this life. Today I want to discuss the process that God uses to make His Word known to us. We will begin with the first chapter of Proverbs and verse 22:
Pro 1:22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
Who are these simple ones that God is talking to in this verse? If you did not know that was you, you are already deceived into thinking too highly of yourself. People on the earth are the simple ones that God is talking to. It doesn’t matter how many degrees that you have or how many universities that you have attended, God calls you a simple one. According to God, people love simplicity. They want everything served up fast in a simple neat package to them. However, God is not a part of your simple box concept. You may want God to come down to your simple level and He might for awhile to help you. However, God wants you to come up higher and to see and understand the more complex subjects found in God’s Word. The implication given to us in the beginning of this verse is that God’s word is not simple. I have heard many try to make it simple and reduce it to a human level of intelligence, but they were mostly just confused in what they thought God said. There are many complex spiritual truths in the Bible and these are not always presented in simple terms using simple methods. However if you learn this fact, you can at least become aware of what to look for.
Proverbs 1:22 says that fools hate knowledge. I have seen a lot of fools in the world today. We are in fact raising a generation of fools. It has been rare for me to run across a young person that is truly hungry for the knowledge of God. There are just so many distractions in the world today. Television, movies, games, electronics, music, concerts, the internet, entertainment, sports and on and on I could go. It would appear that words on the pages of the Bible are the last thing that anyone would really want to spend time with these days. There are a huge number of distractions that keep young people’s mind off of anything that is productive or valuable. School is the last thing that most of them would call fun. But, God said fools hate knowledge. Knowledge involves learning, Learning involves hearing. Then when you throw in understanding on top of all of this, that is beyond the mindset of any modern teenager.
Pro 1:23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
Here is a key to knowing and understanding God’s Word. It involves you doing something after God does something and then God doing something in response to what you have done to solve the problem. This is the way God works in most normal cases in the Bible. God offers man reproof or correction and people are required to “turn”. Notice that unless you turn, God will not do anything else. If you think He will, you would be wrong. So you knowing anything from God will involve you turning. To turn implies a correction in your course and action. It could be a new way to think about something. It definitely involves you changing. I believe this is a continual process within life. Since God rarely gives us very much information at one time, we may need to make many course corrections as we continue our walk with God.
Proverbs 1:23 ends with God making known His Word to us after we turn. The middle part of the verse says if we turn, then God will pour out His Spirit upon us. So we can clearly see and understand that in order to know God’s Word it will take the Spirit of God to reveal it to us. From these two verses in Proverbs I have learned several spiritual truths and I will list them again for you to see. Here is my TOP 10 List of THINGS I LEAREND FROM Proverbs 1:22-23:
- The Bible is NOT SIMPLE!
- The SIMPLE DO NOT Understand the BIBLE!
- FOOLS do not want to Learn the BIBLE!
- God offers ALL of US Reproof!
- We MUST Turn and make Changes in order to Learn!
- IF WE CHANGE, God WILL then Pour Out His Spirit Upon US!
- The BIBLE Contains HIDDEN and CONCEALED INFORMATION!
- God will MAKE Known these Secret Things to ceretain individuals that qualify.
- Only With God’s Help Will We KNOW and UNDERSTAND God’s WORD!
- Understanding the Word of God is CONDITIONAL!
I do hope that you can see and understand what these verses are telling us. In order for the Body of Christ to come into unity we will require God’s correction first. We WILL have to HEAR God’s correction. We will need to be OPEN to change. Then we will need to CHANGE. God will pour out His Spirit upon us and then we will all KNOW and UNDERSTAND the Word of GOD! It is not a long process, but it is a process none the less. People will need to put down their ego’s and become open to correction. Accepting reproof is not easy for anyone. Admitting you were wrong and changing will certainly be another challenge for others. What God is informing us in these verses is, that it is more up to us than it is up to God on how much we understand in the Bible. Understanding the Word of God is conditional. If you think UNDERSTANDING is automatic you will never achieve it. God is FAITHFUL, so He will do His Part, NOW YOU DO YOUR PART! God Bless!
(Ver 1.1) Why is it that there are so many varying opinions on what the Bible means? How can I see one thing in the Bible and you fail to see it? If we could somehow solve this dilemma we would all have to get into harmony and finally become one in Christ Jesus. Jesus prays this prayer to the Father concerning His bride and these are His words:
Joh 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
Jesus informs us that He and the Father were one in the same. Jesus said if you have seen me you have seen the Father (John 14:9). Jesus was claiming He was God. But now Jesus is praying and He makes a specific new request. He asks that all of those that are given to Him should also become one. Has this happened? Will it ever happen? Does Jesus get His prayers answered? That is some interesting things to consider. Looking around in the world today it certainly does not appear that the Body of Christ is one. What does it mean to you to be one? To me it means someone that is unified in purpose. The disciples after Jesus ascended were said to be in one accord while tarrying in the upper room in Jerusalem. I would have to say this is what Jesus was praying for, but what happened to this show of unity between believers? Is it just a problem of sheer numbers? Could 120 get into unity but 2 billion not do the same? Has God shrunk in size or ability? What does it mean to be in “one accord”? According to Strong’s this word means to be unanimous, to be of the same mind. Everyone doing the same thing for the same reasons and motivation. That so far does not resemble any of the church that I have seen in recent years. I have noticed some glimpses of partnerships and unity, but there certainly needs to more effort in unifying the Body.
So what is the main problem? Why does one denomination embrace speaking in tongues and one preach it is of the devil. Those kind of differences are clearly a huge issue to unification. One group of people see and perceive the truth and the other group chooses not to see it. What is the solution? Where do we start to amend? How can we resolve these differences? How can we become reconciled to become one bride who has made herself ready? I believe we can at least start by understanding the problem. By seeing what the Bible says the problem is we can hopefully avoid repeating a failing pattern. But of course even this involves seeing and understanding and therefore we are really back to the original problem. Unless God does something to help us overcome this problem we will not. But that was my opinion of the situation.
Here is a scripture from the book of Acts that describes the situation that they faced while teaching the truth of the God’s Word to the people in the nation of Israel. Paul tried to reach his own people, but encountered great resistance and opposition. Was what Paul was teaching the truth? Did it come directly from God? Was this the same God that gave these Jewish people their law? Was this the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? So why was this new message so easily dismissed as being false and not from God? It would appear that by studying their reaction and reasoning we might see some patterns that could be avoided in our daily routines. After all is God still the same today? Does God still teach or reveal anything new? So in the book of Acts Paul is speaking and says the following about the nation of Israel:
Act 28:26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:
Act 28:27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
You read these verses and it describes a people in a sad condition. These were people who had normal natural senses of sight and hearing, but they are described to be a people who were not using them to learn and understand. God is actually implying that we have a spiritual set of eyes and ears that need to be open and receptive. These people are described as their hearts being “waxed gross”. Here is the definition for this word in the Strong’s:
From a derivative of G4078 (meaning thick); to thicken, that is, (by implication) to fatten (figuratively stupefy or render callous): – wax gross.
It is a fascinating word that has a widely applicable association with the human spirit. It is really a symbolic reference given to us of a spiritual state that we are unable to see. To make thick or to fatten something implies a hardening process. If you think in modern medical terms and cholesterol and the ill effects that it has on the human body, then you can kind of see what this is referring to. The thickening of the arteries and blood vessels in the body with cholesterol causes the walls to become thick and eventually clogged. The results of this is a major physical problem and even death. Believe it or not this is describing a spiritual clogging and thickening process that will also result in another type of death. This word has a figurative meaning of being stupid or acting foolishly. That also applies to the spiritual realm and we all need desperately to learn this lesson. Finally another meaning of the word is to become callous. We can understand this term by looking at the process of creating natural calluses. By working with a specific tool for example long enough you repeatedly wear a specific surface of your skin. This worn area can develop blisters and eventually calluses so that the area is much less sensitive to feeling. This is another lesson to apply to spiritual principles. How can a spirit being become calloused against the truth?
Let’s analyze how people learn. The Bible tells us that “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom 10:17). This verse is a simple lesson in learning. People hear what their teacher says and either accept it or reject it. By rejecting the truth you cause a spiritual callous to begin to form. Your heart becomes thicker in that area and the next time you hear the truth it is easier for you to reject it since you have less feeling in that area. People’s heart eventually can become so hard in areas that they have absolutely no feeling when presented the truth of God’s Word. This is why the Bible speaks of God taking out the “stony” heart and putting in a heart of “flesh” (Eze 11:19). People have allowed their spirits to harden against certain things and even the truth and as a result have become very difficult to reach.
So learning starts with hearing. What is hearing and how does it work? Can we hear anything? Jesus taught us that we must be careful what we hear (Mark 4:24). Then Jesus told us to take heed how you hear (Luke 8:18). Jesus is saying there are two factors to consider about what we listen to. God says it matters what we hear and how we hear it. In other words don’t listen to every teaching from every religion and think that you are helping yourself to grow spiritually. All you end up doing is confusing your spirit, clouding your mind and deceiving yourself. No, hearing starts with listening to the Word of God and to those teachers anointed to teach it. If you can’t tell who those are then just study and read the Bible.
Learning starts with hearing or reading out loud to yourself. But there is certainly more to learning the Bible than just reading or hearing. The only part of the Bible that is going to do you any good is the part that you come to “know”. To “know” in the Bible is an important word that means an intimate relationship with. In the Old Testament it is often times used as “Adam knew his wife and they had a son”. You can see that to “know” a subject implies a deep understanding of it. The verse in Acts tells us that if the people would have heard and they would have understood what was being said in their “heart” or “spirit”, then they would have been converted and God could have saved them. However, since they closed their own eyes and refused to see, they were cut off. So understanding the Bible is the next key element to being saved. I believe this is the next key to unity also. If we can gain understanding from God we will be of one mind and then we will have a singleness of purpose.
Pro 4:5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.
We are commanded to get wisdom and understanding from God’s Word. God’s Word contains all of the knowledge that we need to live. Wisdom and Understanding are two benefits of knowing God’s Word intimately. If you asked me why do I need to study the Bible, this would be my answer, “to get wisdom and understanding”. We have too many people on the internet that have neither of these qualities, yet they cloud our network with words of confusion. By introducing you to their opinions and personal interpretations to God’s Word they cause more harm than they do any good. This is what we are faced with, this is what we are challenged to do. We are commanded to get wisdom and understanding, so if a website or a blog is not helping you to achieve either of these goals I would recommend that you not waste your time in reading them. May God give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ Jesus. May your eyes be able to see and perceive the deep spiritual things of God. May your ears hear from the Spirit of God so that you can clearly understand. May you understand with your heart and be converted and be healed.
(Ver 1.1) Just when I thought I had concluded this series, the Lord God shows me something new. If you have not been reading this series from the beginning I would strongly suggest that you go back to Part 1 and start there. If you have been following the series, then this is just some new insight into scriptures that we have already seen. It is amazing how God can reveal something new even after you have read it for 100 times. Reading is not understanding. Reading is not seeing. Seeing involves understanding, but it is with your spirit and not your mind. The natural mind of man will never know the things of God. That is why so many people read the Bible and never see what it says. I’ve even seen many ministers read Bible verses and then go off on a tangent about what they thought they just read. That is the nature of the Bible, you have to stick with it and read it over and over, until you see it correctly. Many times that requires a time period to renew your mind and clean out the junk that is clouding your spiritual vision. Eliminating the preconceived ideas and prejudices that you possess will help you to see the Bible more clearly, but this is not very easy to do. Satan builds strongholds in people’s minds and as a result they do not see the truth even though it is presented to them clearly. Too many Christians have two good eyes, but never use them to see anything.
I have spent a considerable effort in trying to show you the true identity of the symbolic woman in Revelation 12. I have provided what I think is overwhelming scriptural evidence that the woman in Revelation 12 is the church. That means the child that she is said to deliver cannot be Jesus Christ. I’ve given you substantial logic and reasoning why this child is not Jesus and this woman is not Israel or Mary. If you keep studying it for yourself you will have to agree. I know there will be some that simply choose to shut their eyes and refuse to know the truth and I can’t do anything to help them. I had one commenter that said what I said was simply just my opinion. How unfortunate it is that people cannot tell the difference between Bible verses and someone’s opinion of what they might mean. If you can read and understand what I have said with your spirit, you would see that what I have written is the truth and not my opinion. Today I want to discuss verses 4 and 5 of Revelation 12 again giving you some new perspectives in what they say:
Rev 12:4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
Here we have a verse that states, Satan caused 1/3 of the stars to fall from heaven. These stars are symbolic references to angelic beings. We know that the dragon is a symbolic reference to Satan. This chapter is packed with symbolic references for spiritual individuals and truths. We are not given the exact timing of this verse within our history or it could be a prophetic event that will soon occur. We do know that as of the book of Job, Satan and his angels still appeared before the throne of God in heaven to discuss Job. So it would be fair to assume that this action of sweeping them from heaven would occur later. We also know that Jesus said “I saw Satan fall as lightning” (Luke 10:18). So apparently Satan was thrown down to the earth during some time period prior to Jesus being born on this planet. This means that Satan could have swept 1/3 of the angels with him at that time. But I do not know that for sure, maybe you have an idea or a scripture that can shed some more light on this subject. I’m open to hear Bible verses that I haven’t seen yet. I do know that Revelation 4:1 says that the things written after that verse were suppose to be future prophetic events, so based upon that information I technically believe that the sweeping of 1/3 of the angels has not occurred. Then the last part of this verse says that Satan is poised to devour this child as soon as it is born. We know from Biblical accounts that Satan has always tried to kill, steal and destroy God’s children. Starting with Able, then Moses and even Jesus. Why does Satan want to kill this child so badly?
If you recall from an earlier blog discussions I showed you that this child has to be either a natural child with a natural mother or it has to be a spiritual child with a spiritual mother. This is clearly based upon the statements that Jesus made in John when he said that which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the spirit is spirit. We can therefore logically surmise that this child is not Jesus and this woman is not Israel based upon this statement alone. But let us go into these verses in Revelation and see what else they say to us.
Rev 12:5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.
So we see in this verse that the symbolic woman gives birth to a male child. It then declares that this child is to rule all nations with a rod of iron. Let’s stop right there and determine something, can this child be Jesus? Is Jesus still a child? Was Jesus caught up to the throne of God right after being born as a child like this verse says? I think these are all relevant questions to ask and none of them apply to Jesus. I hope you can begin to see the difficulty with saying this child is Jesus. Jesus is not a child any more, He is a bridegroom. Jesus Christ was not immediately caught up to heaven after being born because He grew up and matured here on earth for 33 years before being killed by Satan and Israel. Then Jesus was never “caught up” to the throne of God. Here is the Greek word used for “caught up” from the Strong’s:
From a derivative of G138; to seize (in various applications): – catch (away, up), pluck, pull, take (by force)
You can see clearly from this definition that this is an action of someone that is taken by force from the earth. The would be representative as if you are pulling a plant from the ground like a weed is pulled up. It is purposeful, direct and an intentional action being described and Jesus was never taken up in this way. Then I go back to the reference that the child is taken up as a child. This further disqualifies Jesus with these descriptive terms. Jesus was a child at one time, but he grew up and became a mature man. This word for “caught up” occurs some 13 times in the New Testament and it is never used to describe Jesus ascension into heaven. This word for “caught up”, is used to describe a rapture like events where people are forcibly removed or taken up without warning. This would not describe Jesus ascension either since Jesus was surrounded by followers when he went up. There were many witnesses to Jesus ascending into heaven and there was no forced exit. There are just so many things to learn and we should dig deeper until we fully understand these words.
I will say it again, that I believe this child is God or the Spirit of God. If the woman is the church as I have shown you using the Bible, then she is a spiritual woman who can give birth to a spiritual child. That which is born of the spirit is spirit. That would make Jesus the “Everlasting Father” of this spiritual child. That would also make this child the heir to everything. As I described from the book of Ruth, the purpose of Boaz marrying the gentile woman Ruth was to raise up an heir for the dead husband. So who died? God died in Jesus Christ and was the firstborn from all of the dead of the earth. Jesus Christ the risen Lord and Savior implements a New Covenant and marries His sister. I know I just lost a bunch of people with that statement, but you have to think if you want to figure out the Bible. You also have to read. If you look through the Song of Solomon you will find at least 3 or 4 times the woman that Solomon is infatuated with, is called his sister as well as his wife and lover. I know in the natural this would not be normal for or acceptable for you to marry your sister. Nevertheless I’m just reading the Bible. There are a lot of things in the Bible that are not normal and acceptable to the religious minded. I strongly suggest you get your Bible search software and look for the word “sister” in the Song of Solomon. You will probably be shocked that it is there recorded for us to read. Solomon was a type of Jesus Christ. He demonstrated a natural pattern for a spiritual reality. Solomon built God a temple in Jerusalem.
Act 7:47 But Solomon built him an house.Act 7:48 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,
According to the Bible David his father was not allowed to build the temple. These are all patterns for God and His son Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, the son of the living God was born in the earth to build God a spiritual temple in the New Jerusalem. If you don’t believe that you should read your New Testament and see how many verses speak that we are the temple of God. We are described as a living building with living blocks and stones within the spiritual house designed for God’s eternal dwelling place. So we can clearly understand that Solomon is a type of Christ. We can clearly see by reading the Song of Solomon that this book represents a love story. This love story is a picture of Christ and the church, His bride and wife. We can clearly see that this book says Solomon’s woman that he loves is called his sister. You can if you want to, write this off or you can take it literally as I do.
If Solomon marries his sister whom he loves, then Christ would also marry his sister whom He loves. One is a natural pattern the other a spiritual reality. You can wonder how I arrived at this conclusion, but it is really very logical and extremely scriptural if you learn to read. Jesus Christ is called the firstborn from the dead. That means there is a second born, a third born, a fourth born, and on and on. Who are all of these spiritual siblings of Jesus Christ the firstborn? They would have to be either His brothers or His sisters. But, in studying the Bible I found that both males and females can be called a woman in covenant with God. The natural nation of Israel was a pattern of this spiritual reality. The Old Covenant wife of God was a natural nation of people which consisted of both males and females, but God called them all his wife.
I showed you earlier in a different blog, that the spiritual mother of Jesus and the church was the “heavenly Jerusalem”. This spiritual city is called the mother of all that have been born from the dead. This would make all of us, Jesus and the church siblings with the same spiritual mother and father. But, as God did with the natural nation of Israel, Jesus Christ the initiator of the New Covenant also marries a spiritual nation of people who consist of both males and females. The natural nation of Israel was a natural nation of people which originated from 12 natural brothers. The spiritual nation of Israel was a spiritual nation of people that originated from 12 spiritual brothers. The natural nation of Israel was circumcised in their flesh, the spiritual nation of Israel is circumcised in their hearts. The natural nation of Israel was captive in Egypt for 400 years. While the Spiritual Nation of Israel was captive to the world of sin and Satan for 4000 years. The natural nation of Israel sacrificed lambs for atonement of their sins. Jesus Christ the lamb of God, sacrificed himself one time for all of our sins. These are just a few of the patterns found in the Bible that you will discover are invaluable when you are attempting to understand this spiritual Book of Truths. You might not see all of them yet, but I have to tell you that you don’t know everything that I know yet so I would not throw it away just yet. I know you can’t afford to follow every crazy Blog that is out there. I would suggest that you just go back and read and study these things that I just described to you and see if they are true for yourself. DO NOT take my word for anything. If what you believe is not based upon your direct knowledge of what is in the Bible, you are in trouble. You will be an easy target for the enemy to come along and deceive you with something that is not in the Bible.
I listened to a well known television preacher today teaching on the identity of the woman in Revelation 12 as being Israel. He preached the message with such conviction and such authority that I could tell that he truly thought this woman in Revelation 12 was Israel. He gave a lot of sound reasoning of why he thought this way and I listened carefully to all of it. However, after studying it from what I knew in the Bible I immediately threw it away. He simply did not see the truth yet. If I named his name, you would know who I was talking about, so I won’t do that. You see I do not fault him for teaching what he thinks is the truth. I do think that he needs to study a lot more and find out some other things and see what else the Bible really has to say. Here is a mistake that many make, they get so focused into a few words that they think they know, that they totally ignore the other words that are right in front of them. You see I did not disagree with any of the scriptures that he read, just his interpretation of them. Men’s private interpretations will cause them more grief down the road when they finally do see there is more to learn. We all have so much more to learn. If you have not been very observant you might not have noticed that I do not give you my opinion. I use scripture verses that help to explain other scripture verses. You might still call this my opinion, but I would definitely disagree. You see if I use God’s word to explain God’s word, I am much closer to the true meaning than anyone who doesn’t use this method of Bible Interpretation.
(Ver 1.3) Today is a subject that contains some very deep water concepts. As you can see from my diagram in this post, these are warning signs concerning water hazards. So please be advised that this is an advanced Bible study lesson with some new concepts that forces you to get into things that may be over your head. So many times I have heard ministers in the pulpit accuse Abraham of being a liar because of one story in the book of Genesis that they clearly misunderstood. In this story, we find that Abraham is faced with what he perceives as a threatening situation and he makes a decision that many have thought was a lie. But, what we have is an example of how preachers can take a part of a story and try to make it the whole story and as a result they have jumped to some erroneous conclusions and an incorrect interpretation of the Bible. I do not attack these preachers personally, I just attack their ignorance. Truth will always prevail if you want to see it. We will pick up with the story of Abraham starting in Genesis chapter 12 and verse 11:
Gen 12:11 And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon:
We can see in this verse that Abraham is traveling about and he comes near the country of Egypt. Abram begins to speak to his wife and this is where it starts to get good. Abram tells his wife Sarai that she is very beautiful and this must have been the truth. No one that I know of has ever questioned the beauty of Sarai his wife.
Gen 12:12 Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive.
Abram begins to speculate and imagine some very negative things as he approaches Egypt. Egypt is a type of the world, if you did not know that, keep that in mind as you read accounts in the Old Testament about Egypt. We can see that Abram’s fear is that the men of this country will see how beautiful his wife was and kill him in order to take her to be theirs. So Abram was very concerned about his own personal well being and safety and did not think much beyond that, it appears. So Abram comes up with a plan or so the ministers said, he lies about who his wife was.
Gen 12:13 Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.
We can see that Abram asks his wife to tell everyone that she is his sister and not to mention that they are married. Abram thinks that he will be spared and be safe if anyone in Egypt wants his wife Sarai. So this was Abram’s plan, a plan or work of some sort of alleged deception to save himself from being killed, or was it? You see if you only read these verses and come up with a sermon based upon this limited information you would probably conclude that Abraham was a liar. That he out of fear chose to purposely lie to a group of people because he was afraid of being killed. This would in affect make Abram a type of Satan, the deceiver. I just can’t go along with that picture because it doesn’t fit his character. Nowhere in the Bible that I know of is Abram ever called a liar. So if God does not call Abram a liar, I do not feel it is right that a preacher should call him a liar. So we have to come up with another explanation or interpretation of the verses or at least some more information that helps us to understand what the real truth is about Abram and Sarai. So we continue to read the book of Genesis and we read chapter after chapter and finally come to the answer later in Genesis 20. During these chapters and this time period, Abram and Sarai have a lot happen to them. God changes their names. Abraham enters into a covenant with God. But, it seems that Abraham repeats the same plan when he comes to another country called Gerar, ruled by Abimelech the king of Gerar. We can see that Abraham didn’t learn very much from his Egypt experience and he repeats the same plan.
Gen 20:2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.
So Abimelech believed what Abraham said, that she is my sister and he takes Sarah to be one of his wives. God again saves the day and keeps the king from doing anything to Sarah with a dream.
Gen 20:3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man’s wife.
Apparently God frowns upon one man taking another man’s wife. I guess that is putting it very lightly since God told Abimelech that he was a dead man. Apparently God thinks it is very serious to take another man’s wife. That would be a very strong lesson for many Christians to learn, I don’t think God has changed his mind any time in the last 6000 years. So as we continue down the chapter we discover that Abraham gets his wife back and he is not killed. God saves the day again and preserves the linage of Christ. But did Abraham lie? We still haven’t resolved the situation or the circumstances that he was faced with. I believe the answer to the question and the solution to the problem is finally solved by reading Genesis 20:12:
Gen 20:12 And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.
You see from this verse the solution to the problem that Abraham never lied. Abraham did marry his sister. However, she was a half-sister, the daughter of his father, but not the daughter of his mother. Abraham had a different mother than Sarah, but she is still called his sister, legally and truthfully. Abraham could call her, his sister and omit the wife part and still not be called a liar. If you omit part of the truth and only tell a different part that is true, what would you call that? I call it being very tricky. I do not defend what Abraham did at any time. It seems if it was not for God saving the day that Sarah would have ended up in someone’s harem. God is faithful though to save them both.
I had one reader write me a comment that Abram was guilty of the sin of omission. In other words by not telling all of the truth he committed a sin. I thought that was an interesting misinterpretation of the Bible again so I spent time studying the subject in more depth. I looked for any scripture that said withholding information was a sin and I could not find any. Then I went and studied the subject of deception and I learned some new things found in the Bible that are very profound. While Satan is called a deceiver, the Bible does not indicate that every deception is a sin. I could give you more examples found in the Bible, but I wrote a blog on this subject and you should go and read that to find out more about the subject of “Righteous Deception“.
We can really learn a whole bunch from this story of Abraham if we look for it. I will not go into all of it, but I will tell you that Abraham is a type of Christ a picture of Jesus the man born of the natural woman Mary. God is both the spiritual and physical father of Jesus Christ. Mary is Jesus’ natural mother in the flesh. The church is called the spiritual children of the “heavenly Jerusalem” in Galatians 4. We can see that if there is a spiritual mother there also has to be a spiritual father in order to have spiritual children. So the picture of Abraham as being a type of Christ with the same father of his wife Sarah, but with different mothers, actually fits the pattern given to us of Christ and the church. The Bible is full of little complex imbedded hidden truths like this. If you understand how to look for them you can learn a lot. In another blog I told you that Jesus married his sister. I told you that Solomon was also a type of Jesus and that 3 or 4 times in the book of Songs that Solomon calls his lover bride to be his sister. Interesting isn’t it? Why are things like this written in the Bible for us to figure out? So I’ll end this blog with a picture diagram of Abraham’s family and hopefully you will that this is a pattern of another family that I will talk about in the future:
(Ver 1.2) This is now Part 11 in the series of advanced Bible lessons on the subject of the Bride of Christ Revealed. In my last lesson in this series we came full circle back to the New Jerusalem and today I want to address this bride city in more depth. This will probably be the last lesson in this series on this subject for now. Today’s lesson will cover the city of New Jerusalem mentioned in Revelation 21 as the Bride of the Lamb and how she is representative of the church. This city has long been a point of controversy since she is described symblically and these symbols can potentally be interpreted to mean many things. However if we use the Bible to interpret the Bible we will only come up with one true identity that she can be. We have really covered a tremendous amount of new information found in the Bible in this series. If you have not read the first 10 parts of this series I would strongly recommend that you go back and start reading with Part 1.
I have already given you a lot of scriptures and references that the woman in Revelation 21 appears to represent the church. But we have certainly not exhausted the scriptures on this subject and probably would not be able to if we tried. The Bible is much more complex than what people see on the surface of the text. So let’s go through some more of the scriptures in this blog and see if we can find other confirming verses of the identity of the New Jerusalem.
Let’s look at some other scripture that I’ve heard does reflect the identity of the bride. In fact it is almost impossible to ignore since it directly reflects this title.
Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
It is very interesting to note that God finds it necessary to create a new heaven and a new earth. There is an implied problem with the old heaven and the old earth. Why buy a new car if your old car is still in great shape and useful. Why create a new family or a new covenant if the old is in such good relations. There lies the problem that God had and the solution that He has implemented with the establishment of a new heaven and new earth. If is also noteworthy that this verse says the “first” and not just the “old”. That actually tells us there were none others before this first heaven and earth. But yet it does tells us that there will be a second.
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.
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.
I can’t emphasis enough the reality that this city is called the wife of the Lamb. We already have a good understanding of who the Lamb is, but many may still be struggling to figure out the identity of the city called New Jerusalem. So let’s look at some other verses in this chapter that describe this city:
Rev 21:12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
Rev 21:13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
Rev 21:14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
Revelation gives us significant additional information that I think we should take a look at now in some depth. If the church is the bride and Jesus is the bridegroom, then God is also calling the church the “new Jerusalem” the new covenant city of God. I’ve heard some say that here in these scriptures it proves that the “new Jerusalem” is the bride and not the church. If this is true this doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. I’ll put it to you this way why couldn’t the church be both? In fact if you look at scriptures accurately I believe you will find out that the church is both. Someone said that we are the body of Christ and therefore, if Christ has a bride we have a bride. You know based upon scripture that I’ve shown you that this is not true. We have been called the body of Christ, but we are never called the Lamb. I don’t know of any scripture that says we are the Lamb of God and here in Revelation Jesus is referred to as the Lamb more than once. I’ve given several scriptures that demonstrate how the church became the body of Christ and that was clearly by a marriage covenant. So we have already established that the church is the bride of Christ, but now we need to further confirm that the church is also the New Jerusalem.
In Biblical days a city was usually a walled dwelling place where all the human people of a common nation lived. The reason for building a wall was for safety to keep enemies from stealing from them and killing them. This city is said to have 4 walls as if a square or a rectangular structure. Each of the 4 walls has 3 gates. Each Gate has an angel. It still appears that God is guarding the way in an out of this city. But all of these can also be taken symbolically. If we are talking about a symbolic city with symbolic gates, symbolic walls and symbolic foundations we really have a lot more to learn. I believe we make a mistake if we think of this spiritual city in terms that it is a physical place.
We have already discussed that a city represents a covenant and is referred to as a woman. The covenant is not with the city however, it is with the inhabitants or residents of the city. I could give you several good scriptures, but I’ll choose one that I liked and one that stood out to me. Let’s review the Word of God in Isaiah:
Isa 54:11 O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.
Isa 54:12 And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.
Isa 54:13 And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.
These scriptures are an amazing parallel to the description of the city found in Revelation 21 called the New Jerusalem. We see the mention of many of the key qualities of a large city with stones, foundations, windows, gates and borders. We also see the mention of key stone types meaning they are valuable, precious and rare. These key elements describe a city for sure in verses 11 and 12 of Isaiah 54. However, did you notice the reference found in verse 13? It speaks of this city as a woman with children. Isn’t that an interesting commentary. I tell you when you see what the Bible is describing as a woman you begin to see a lot more clearly the things that are symbolized in the Word of God. We again see in Isaiah that a city represents a woman and not just any woman in our case it is called the bride of the Lamb in Revelation 21:9. A woman has children and that is one of the primary reasons for marriage.
There are so many good things within these scriptures in Revelations, but I saw a definite significance of the number 12 mentioned, did you notice that too? It is not an accident that there were 12 tribes in the nation of Israel for this was a type and a shadow of the spiritual Israel to come. It is no accident that Jesus choose 12 Apostles and the book of Revelations informs us that their names are written on the 12 foundations of this new city Jerusalem. If the names of the 12 apostles are written on the foundation doesn’t that describe the church? Who started the church if it wasn’t Jesus breathing on the apostles (John 20:22) I don’t know who it was. We also see the reference of 12 angels and of the 12 tribes of Israel so the new Jerusalem is comprised I believe of, at the least a part of all three of these groups. So if we get right down to it, I don’t think that the Gentile Church is the entire city, only a big part of it. Hopefully you will understand this more as the Word of God is revealed further. Let’s look at just one part of this new city and see the part that the church plays. Once you finally realize that this woman represents a covenant marriage relationship, then you can easily associate the role of the church to this woman.
Here is a good time to remind you of what we read earlier when God said my wife “Jerusalem” committed adultery (Ezekiel 16:32). Who did God call his female wife? The earthly city Jerusalem was referred to as “her”. This physical city is in no doubt a foreshadowing of the new Jerusalem the spiritual city that we just read about. The reference to a city is the a reference to the people within the city who were in covenant with God, Yes? The people living in the earthly city Jerusalem were in covenant and married to God. God calls all of these people by a name of Jerusalem and says she is my wife. This was the Old Covenant people or the earthly nation of Israel. So, who is in the New Covenant with Jesus Christ? It is those people in covenant or marriage with Jesus that are the residents of this new Jerusalem. The distinct parallels between these two cities are very numerous and cannot be ignored, unless you just want to remain ignorant.
Do you remember in the Old Testament the life of David the king of natural Israel? In the book of Acts David is called a type of God. If you understand the significance of Biblical Typology these Old Testament stories have meaning for us in the church today. The Bible in Acts 13:22 says that David was a man after God’s own heart. David had it in his heart to build a temple in Jerusalem, but God said it was not for him to do, but for his son Solomon (1 Kings 8:17-19). Solomon represents a type of Christ as I said before and he was the builder of the physical Temple of God in Jerusalem. But Christ Jesus was the builder of a spiritual house for God. Natural types are only God’s patterns or foreshadows of that which was to come. Jesus today is the builder of a new spiritual temple and we can prove this by reading the New Testament:
2Co 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Here is a most significant scripture with great revelation. The implied reference is that of a building. But buildings are many times built within cities. It says God will live in them and walk in them. That sounds like a really big house or a city to me. If you live in Dallas Texas, and wanted to go for a walk, where would you be walking? But this is not a physical building or temple, for God in the same context speaks of this temple in the terms of people. In other words the temple is built with people. People are the spiritual building blocks that make up this structure. Do you understand that concept?
1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
Here is another scripture that says we are the dwelling place of the living God right here and right now. There is a clear implication of a building or a house or even a city within both of these verses. After all what does it mean to “dwell”? When it says God dwells in us what does that mean to you? If I said I dwell in Dallas Texas what does that mean? It specifies the location of my home. If I said I dwell in a big white house on Jones Rd. What does that tell you? It describes a building or house that I live in and helps give you the location of that house. I don’t know how we can be the bride and the temple and the city and the body of Christ and all of these things at the same time, but I believe we are.
What is a temple? A temple is a building or a structure that is created to be inhabited or occupied by someone. Modern temples are called places of worship many times. However, the original temple was put together by Moses according to God’s instructions and made out of tents. A tent represents a temporary dwelling place. It was not until Solomon, that the permanent dwelling place was built in the earthly Jerusalem. Both of these are representative of what the church is experiencing now and foretells that which is to come. Look at these scriptures:
2Pe 1:13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;
2Pe 1:14 Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.
This is a very interesting pair of scriptures and I believe they give us some light on the subject of the temple of God. These scriptures say that Peter was dwelling in a tabernacle. This is not talking about a physical house or a building made by the hands of man. In fact he is not talking about any kind of physical building at all with walls, doors and windows. No, it is speaking of his body that he and God dwells in. God has showed him that he was soon to die and leave his body and go and be with the Lord. The tabernacle represents a temporary dwelling place. The Greek word translated “tabernacle” comes from another root word that contains the meaning of a “tent”. A tent represents a temporary dwelling place and we know that if Jesus doesn’t come we will all die. However, when we are raised from the dead and given a new glorified body then we will have a permanent dwelling place for God.
2Co 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
2Co 5:2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:
2Co 5:3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.
2Co 5:4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.
2Co 5:5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.
2Co 5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
2Co 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
2Co 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
These are very powerful scriptures and teach us many of the things that I’ve been attempting to convey. They speak of our current mortal bodies as a temporary home and even calls them an earthly tabernacle or tent. What is an earthly tabernacle? It has to be a tabernacle made of earth or dust as it says in Genesis that God formed the body of man from the dust of the ground. But it also gives us the hope of a new house that was not built with man’s hands, but it will come from God and will be immortal. So we see a pattern from the Old Testament where Moses established a temporary tabernacle for God made of tents. Then came Solomon and he built the permanent tabernacle. These are types and shadows of what Jesus has done and is doing.
Eph 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
Eph 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
Eph 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
Eph 2:22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
These are some of the most interesting scripture references comparing the church to a symbolic building and they say that we (the church) are ALLL the habitation of God. Notice first in chapter 2 verse 19 God is referring to the church as being fellow citizens with the rest of the saints. A citizen is a resident of a city. Which city are we now citizens of? Isn’t that very relevant to what we are talking about in Revelation? God then implies that this city is where we were once on the outside of the walls being called strangers and foreigners but, we have now become a residential part of this implied city of God. Then notice all of the symbolic architectural terms and references in these verses. There is a clear reference to the act of constructing a building. Also notice in verse 20 the reference to the symbolic foundation of the 12 Apostles and prophets. Doesn’t that sound familiar? What about the description of the city in Revelations coming down from Heaven? It also had a foundation of the 12 Apostles of the Lamb. This is no accident, but demonstrates a confirmation of the relationship of the church to the city New Jerusalem. Going back to verse 19 you see the connection to the household of God and the spiritual building that God is putting together. These verses also further imply the members of the church are symbolic building blocks in this construction being joined together laid upon the foundation. These are amazing verses to remember for our study of the New Jerusalem. Let’s review an earlier concept and remember what God said in 1 Corinthians using new light:
1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
Don’t you know that you are the temple of God? What does that now mean to you? That means to me that each and every one that is born again represents a living stone in a new temple dwelling place for the True Living God. I know the natural earthly Jerusalem contained the temple of God as one of its key components. So at the minimum the temple of God is within the new Jerusalem and to say it is not the entire city would be difficult in my perspective. So if we are this new temple then we are at minimum a major or significant part of the new Jerusalem referred to in Revelation.
1Co 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
1Co 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
I included these scriptures as a contrast to what I was talking about previously. For they contain more building and architectural terms, but the reference is given in much different context. We see a foundation which is clearly Jesus Christ. Then there are references to other builders that continue to reveal the word of God. So does these scriptures contradict the others or complement them to give a different perspective or view. I say they only complement. I’ve spent a lot of time and effort showing multiple scriptures that at the minimum shows the church is a significant part of the new Jerusalem, if not the entire city. I don’t feel like I’ve exhausted the subject but I feel I’ve given enough scriptural evidence to justify the claim. So now I want to stir up a different point of view and look at some other scripture that seems to indicate to me that the church is this woman mentioned in Revelation 21.
Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Eph 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Verse 26 in Ephesians 5 specifically mentions the church as the bride and says she has been made clean by Christ. In verse 27 we see another inference of marriage in direct relationship to the church with the word “present” her. Present in the Greek means to stand beside. So if the church was only the body of Christ then there would be a direct contradiction, because how can a man stand beside himself? In a marriage ceremony usually the bride is standing beside the groom when taking the vows. Finally in verse 27 there is a reference to the church not having spot or wrinkle, holy and without blemish. I know that is speaking of God’s righteousness that was bestowed or given to the church and not something that we earned or achieved on our own. But did you notice a distinct parallel to another verse in Revelation 19 where it speaks about the bride in this regard:
Rev 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
Rev 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
This is a most interesting choice of words. It speaks of a cleansing process that has taken place. You might could infer a washing. Fine linen infers a garment that is spotless without stains, imperfections, rips or holes. Isn’t this what Ephesians was saying also? Also notice that it says in the last part of verse 8, the righteousness of the saints, not the righteousness of God. I fully understand it is God’s righteousness I’m just making a point. The word “saints” is used in other places in direct reference to the church. Look how God addresses His people in Rome:
Rom 1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I think the similarities and parallels between the scriptures in Revelation describing the bride as a city to other scriptures that are written directly to the church in the epistles are so amazingly related that they complement each other. They simply give a different perspective of the same thing. God simply uses symbolism that we can grasp hold of and shows us some natural things to help us to understand these spiritual realities. In this verse in Romans 1:7 that is written to the church, we are called saints of God. I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard anyone besides the church ever referred to as saints. Have you? Then I noticed something very interesting in this verse, God calls the church “His beloved”. I don’t know if you noticed this or not, but this is a term used some 27 times in the Song of Solomon. The beloved is often times used in conjunction with a direct reference to his bride. Is this a coincidence or a clue to God’s purpose and plan? I believe it is a valuable clue to see. The church is this beloved, God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…”. To love someone that much to give yourself for them is an incredibly unselfish act.
Before I end the discussion in this blog, let me show a verse of scripture that has tremendous significance to the identity of the “Lamb’s Wife”. As you read this verse notice that Jesus is speaking and who Jesus is speaking to. I believe you will see Jesus is talking to the church:
Rev 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
I don’t know how you can read this verse and not see clearly that Jesus is speaking to the church. Jesus is telling the church some very specific things. These specific details confirm in other words what we read in Revelation 19 and 21 about the New Jerusalem. Again the city is referred to as the city of God and it comes from above. But the name of this city will be written on or given to them that have overcome. Who is it that has overcome? What city name was it that was to be written on them? Of course Jesus says that to those who overcome, He will write the name of the New Jerusalem upon them. Jesus also said these same people will be living stones or pillars in the temple of God. This confirms that the spiritual temple of God and the spiritual city New Jerusalem are one in the same thing. These are totally complementary views of the exact same spiritual structure. If you can see it you will understand some very powerful spiritual truths. Then there is the whole name changing operation that takes place at a marriage between a husband and the wife. The wife traditionally always takes the name of the husband and isn’t this what this verse is saying? The church is taking the name “New Jerusalem” and becoming the wife of the Lamb. This is all New Covenant language and spiritual truths that have been overlooked by many. I hope you have enjoyed this lesson the identity of bride of Christ. I know I did not cover everything that I could have, but hopefully I gave you some new things to think about and study.
(Ver 1.2) This is now Part 3 in this Bible series on understanding the subjects of Night and Day and the spiritual heart of man and this will be different than anything that you have ever heard before. If you have not read from the beginning of this series I would suggest that you go back and start with “Part 1“. Today’s lesson wa a revelation that God taught me almost 20 years ago, when I was working for a small software company. I had a co-worker that had graduated from a large seminary and he was a very confused individual. For someone who could quote a large part of the Bible, he understood practically none of it. He even studied the Hebrew and the Greek and still knew nothing of who God was or what He said in His Word. He was a prime example of a man with two good eyes that could read but who couldn’t see what the words meant. God and I tried to help him and teach him the truth, but he did not want to see it. It is funny how God does things, especially for people who trust in their own ability or their own wisdom. God will most of the time send some lowly nobody that does not fit the pattern that they esteem or hold as valuable. You can recognize this was the same problem that the Jewish leadership had when Jesus walked among them. Most of them looked down on Jesus as a nobody man from Nazareth and he certainly did not fit their inner circle of self appointed importance. So what did they do? They crucified their God and their creator. They did not recognize the one that gave them their Holy Book of the law. Even though this book contained so many verses that pointed them to Jesus, they did not see it. I hope you are not like any of them. Look for foolish things sometimes as a source for the greatest wisdom and you will more than likely see it is from God.
So today I am going to talk about spiritual blindness from a familiar story found in the Bible in John chapter 9. In this story Jesus is said to heal a physically blind man. My seminary co-worker told me that this chapter proves that God causes some people to be sick, so that Jesus could heal them. That was a very confused interpretation and from what God showed me a clear misunderstanding of what this chapter was about. People read and see what they want to see. The seminary graduate was looking for verses that proved God caused some people to be sick for His glorious purpose. It was very sad to see people treat God with such disrespect. According to him, God would do something so perverted and illegal in the eyes of our court system that if tried, He would have to be found guilty and thrown into jail as a child abuser. Let’s start reading this story starting with verse 2:
Joh 9:2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
In this verse the disciples asked Jesus a difficult question. It is apparent that the disciples believed that sickness came as a result of someone’s sin so they asked Jesus as they passed by a blind man, who sinned? This man or his parents to cause him to be born blind? So here is the answer that Jesus gives to their question:
Joh 9:3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
Here is where you need to start to pay attention to what is said very closely, for Jesus does answer their question, but not the question that they had in their mind. Jesus told them “Neither this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him”. You may recall that the Bible says in Roman 3:23 that ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God, so we know Jesus is not saying these people never sinned. You see Jesus answered the question that He heard in His mind and not the question that come from their minds. Do you understand the difference? If you do you are doing better than most. The answer was from God’s perspective on the situation. God’s perspective is always a spiritual perspective first and foremost. This is an extremely valuable lesson in correct Bible interpretation. God tells us in His Word, “My thoughts are not your thoughts and my ways are not your ways” (Isa 55:8). So Jesus, who was God in the flesh was not thinking naturally like they were. The disciples were seeing a naturally blind man and asking a question about what caused his physical blindness. But, Jesus was looking at the man’s heart and what caused his spiritual blindness. The disciples asked a natural question and Jesus gives a spiritual answer. My co-worker from the seminary never saw it either. Jesus told the disciples that his spiritual blindness was not caused by anyone’s sin and then starts talking about working the works of God. Verse 3 is where the seminary graduate said it proved that God made him blind so that Jesus could work and heal him. But, look at what else Jesus teaches us as he continues to answer their question. Notice Jesus did not stop talking, but says the following:
Joh 9:4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
Jesus starts by talking about working God’s work and we will look at that in a second. But, you see in this verse Jesus starts talking about the spiritual day and night. This is not the natural day and night that Jesus is talking about. If you start to realize that Jesus is speaking symbolically of the spiritual day and night then you will begin to understand the rest of this chapter. Again in this verse Jesus mentions the “work of God”. Automatically preachers and readers (as well as the disciples of Jesus) think naturally and see the work of God as being a physical healing. But, let’s continue to the next verse and the final statement in the answer to the question of who sinned?
Joh 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
This statement is an incredibly informative verse that is a combination of natural and spiritual things. You see Jesus was in the natural physical world. God made manifest in the flesh. But, then he says “I am the light of the world”. Did Jesus tell the disciples that he was our Sun that lights our natural day? Or did Jesus continue to show them a spiritual truth. I believe Jesus was speaking that He was the spiritual Sun light of the world. This is exactly why the Bible is so tricky to correctly interpret. We have a verse that combines natural things and spiritual things and we are given the assignment to figure it out. This is an example of rightly dividing God’s Word. Thank God, He helps us.
If you continue reading in the next few verses in the chapter you see that Jesus spits and makes mud from the ground and then rubs it in the blind man’s eyes. Jesus tells the man to go and wash in the pool of Siloam and the man did and it says that the man came back seeing. So was that all of the story? Is that where the story ended? Of course it is not and that is the problem with trying to take one Bible verse and trying to say God made him blind so that Jesus could heal him. People need to do a much better job of studying and seeing what the Bible says. According to a lot of preachers I heard this is where the story should end. They were focused in on Jesus healing the natural man’s blindness and did not see the rest of the story. What if Jesus healed the man physically and 35 years later the man dies and goes to hell? Would Jesus have been pleased with giving this man sight for 35 years and him still going to hell for an eternity. No you see Jesus was focused in on people’s spiritual blindness. Jesus cared more about the man’s spiritual eyesight than He did about healing the man’s physical blindness.
So what was the work of God that Jesus was interested in doing? Was it healing the people’s physical bodies or was that just an introduction to help them to see who they were dealing with. Jesus gives us a definition for the work of God in this same book of the Bible. So instead of making a wrong assumption by thinking we know what the work of God was that Jesus was here to accomplish, let’s go find out what God said about why He was here. If you can find it, this will be an absolutely critical piece of the puzzle. In order to correctly interpret the Bible you must get God’s definitions for every subject. Let’s go and find that definition and see what Jesus said was the work of God that He came to do:
Joh 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
You see the disciples ask Jesus another question and this time they want to know how to work the works that Jesus was here to do. Jesus is about to give us the definition for the work of God in his answer and it is not the answer that most are expecting to hear:
Joh 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
Here is God’s definition for work and it is not healing people physically. Jesus tells his disciples that the work of God that He was here to do was to get people to believe in the one that God had sent. This of course was Jesus speaking of Himself. Learning this truth alone changes your perspective on the entire story of the blind man in John 9. Once you see that Jesus only heals the man physically to get him to see spiritually you can begin to see the true meaning of the chapter. Now we know what to look for. We also can begin to understand how Jesus did what he did and why. Jesus said that the Work of God was to get men to believe in the One that God sent. So why didn’t Jesus just open the eyes of the blind man and ask him if he believed? You see the man would not have had any opportunity to believe anything. Jesus spit and made mud and rubbed it into his eyes to get his attention. When Jesus told the man to go and wash. The man had an opportunity to say “what are you crazy, I’m not going to waste my time”. The man obviously believed something by traveling to the pool of Siloam. The pool was not that close and the walk to the pool would present many opportunities for the man to question what he was doing. If he would have doubted and not gone to the pool he would have never been healed. The blind man had exhibited some level of faith by just obeying Jesus’ instructions. That is believing in something that you haven’t seen yet.
Let’s quickly review spiritual blindness. We know from the New Testament that Satan is the source for spiritual blindness.
2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
You see in this verse God tells us that Satan who is called the god of this world has blinded the minds of everyone that refuses to believe on Jesus as the Messiah. Jesus is again called a light in this verse that will shine into the hearts of men who let him in. But, we can see that is why Jesus could answer in John 9 that neither this man sinned or his parents to cause the man’s spiritual blindness. It was Satan that caused the man not to see spiritually. Jesus was answering their natural question with a spiritual answer.
So what happens in this story of the man that was born blind? How does it end? The blind man goes and washes in the pool and comes back seeing. Everyone is amazed and there arises a great debate of the religious minds and leaders of the day. They question the man repeatedly and bring in his parents and question them. They have tremendous curiosity of what happened and they are focused in on the fact that Jesus did all of this on the Sabbath. They call Jesus a sinner for working on the Sabbath and not keeping God’s law. If they only could see who they were talking about. Well the conversation and questions continue for many verses and they eventually end up with them casting the formerly blind man out of their church. I guess it was technically a synagogue, but I just wanted to get your attention. What did Jesus do immediately after all of this? You notice Jesus did not show up to defend the blind man or to testify to the religious zealots. Jesus in effect knew they were not reachable and he did nothing to defend himself either. Jesus finds the formerly blind man and asks him this question:
Joh 9:35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?
Did you see what Jesus was interested in? Jesus didn’t ask him about how do you like seeing the world. No, Jesus said “Do you believe in the Son of God?” Jesus is dealing with his spiritual blindness and solving the problem of the man’s eternal destiny. We can finally see the real work of God being performed. Jesus was interested in getting the man to believe that He was sent from God. The man immediately asks who is this Son of God that I might believe and Jesus tells him it is the one that you are looking at right now and talking with. So the man says “Yes Lord I believe” and worships him. This was a man whose spiritual eyes were opened to know the One True Living God of Creation. His eternal destiny is established and I plan on seeing him in heaven some day.
The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were spiritually blind, but Jesus couldn’t help them to see. Real seeing is an act of the human spirit. Believing in someone that you have only heard about and have never seen. This is God talking to you right now. Do you believe? I’m not God, but He is using me right now to say something to you. Believe in Him!
Luk 8:12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
Choose to be a believer!
(Ver 1.2) This is a series of lessons on a basic spiritual truth that reveals the hidden conditions of the hearts of men and women in the world. God reveals this spiritual truth using the things created and found in the natural universe. These natural things are clearly symbolic and represent a far greater spiritual truth. I am convinced that this is an essential basic truth that every Christian should become intimately familiar with. This is now part 2 of the series and I would suggest that if you have not read from the start that you go back and start with Part 1.
There is a real man or a real woman inside of the physical bodies of every person on the earth. These real people are spirit beings that will live forever somewhere after their body dies. However, most people in the world today don’t know about this fact and are oblivious to this stated reality found in the Bible. The Bible often times speaks of these spiritual individuals in the hidden terms of the “heart”. The “heart” of a man is the spirit of the man. God is not talking about the physical blood pumping organ, God is talking about the center of your being, as in the heart of an apple or the heart of a tree. The “heart” term used by God is a figurative Bible term and describes the center of a human. This center of your being is the real you that you can not see. When a physical body dies, the person’s spirit is immediately transported to one of two possible places. One place is very good location called heaven and the other one is a very bad location called hell. The spiritual things are the real eternal things, the natural things are the temporary things (2 Cor 4:18). God has designed a system in the world that limits humans to a three dimensional realm with specific time constraints. All of these constraints represents natural boundaries and laws. When your body dies, you leave the natural realm you enter into the spiritual realm and you normally never come back (2 Cor 5:8). I have heard of a few people dying and going into the spiritual realm and then they are revived or come back to life in their physical bodies, but I would not put all my eggs in this basket hoping that is what will happen to you. Many times these people can see in both realms simultaneously. These people can see the hospital room, the doctors, the nurses, their family and their body but usually they are above all of this looking down on it all. These people are either sent back by God or God has allowed them to see and experience this in order to tell others that there is more to life than these few years we have on the earth. So this was a brief explanation of the spiritual realm.
In my last blog I introduced you to a number of scriptures that reveal the hearts of people to be either in darkness or in the light of the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Darkness and Light are symbolic references and are synonymous terms for Night and Day. Today we will explore more scriptures found in the New Testament that further enlighten us to these truths.
Isa 9:2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
I’ll start with this prophecy from the Old Testament. This verse is speaking about Jesus coming to the earth personally walking among us. This verse calls Jesus Christ the “great light” and that is of course a very significant statement. In my last blog we read verses that showed Jesus to be the spiritual Sun, the spiritual light of the world. Just as the physical sun is the source for all natural light on our planet, Jesus is the only source for all spiritual light on our planet. In this verse in Isaiah the people are described as being in the darkness. The darkness is caused by something that is blocking the light and causing a shadow. You do understand the concept of shadows? A shadow is an area where the direct light is not shinning. The direct light has been blocked by another object that casts a shadow on the ground. We were the people in this shadow and this shadow was caused by “death” and Satan. If you read the New Testament you will find verses that describe Satan as holding the power of death. So that is why I related the two together. The Bible says Jesus was made manifest in order to destroy him that had the power over death (Heb 2:14). So we can clearly see who is causing the darkness in the spiritual realm, it is Satan. So the term “great light” let’s explore that term to learn more about the spiritual hearts of men.
Gen 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser lightto rule the night: he made the stars also.
You see in the fourth day of creation God makes a prophetic and symbolic reference to spiritual things that were to come. God makes the “greater light” AKA “great light” to rule the “day”. God then makes a “lesser light” to rule the “night”. These lights are very significant to see and understand for other Bible interpretations. The “greater light” is the Sun and represents Jesus Christ. The “lesser light” is the moon and represents Satan. These two spiritual rulers are over their own separate domains or kingdoms. The Sun rules the Day (Ps 136:8), the moon rules the night (Ps 136:9). These separate 12 hour periods represent two different spiritual realms and conditions of the hearts of people. So the planet earth is a type and pattern of the human heart. The sun shines on the earth in a constant and consistent manner and the earth revolves and is either in the shadow or darkness or in the light depending on how it is positioned at any given time. The earth represents the hearts of men that have the opportunity to change and allow the light to shine or to turn away and stay in the darkness. When Jesus was walking the face of the planet some 2000 years ago he told us this:
Joh 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
Jesus made a bold and direct statement that He was the Spiritual Sun, the Greater Light that shined in the world. Jesus said by following Him we would never again walk in the darkness but always have the “light of life”. So light represents Life and darkness represents death. Life and death are very strong analogies and very important to understand.
Act 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
We can certainly see what I told you about the hearts of men having to be turned from darkness to light. It is clearly the responsibility of the men and women to do the turning, God will not force you to turn, but He will help you if you ask. Then there is another stark contrast given between these two realms. Satan has the power to rule in the darkness. To say Satan is powerless would be an error. But what is important to note is that his power is limited to the realm of “darkness” and the “night”. If you are in the light you are outside of the realm of his influence and power, or at least you should be. Satan will still attempt to deceive you and influence power over you until you learn not to let him.
Col 1:12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
Col 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
You see these two spiritual realms being starkly contrasted again. The power of darkness is where, we the church use to be, but we are now called “saints in light”. These two spiritual domains are also called different kingdoms. The Kingdom of Light and the kingdom of darkness. Again day and night are symbolic references to two separate and distinct spiritual states or places to be. Even though we walk the same planet with those who are still in darkness we are not of the darkness and darkness is no longer ruling our hearts and minds. To be in the world but not of the world as the Bible says.
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
So Satan and his demons are spiritual forces that rule the darkness of the world around us. This verse clearly confirms that Satan is the moon, the lesser light, the ruler of the darkness that we referred to from Genesis 1. A ruler clearly implies a kingdom, a kingdom of darkness. Satan has been trying to establish his own dominion and kingdom outside of God since the beginning when sin was found in him.
1Jn 2:8 Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.
In this verse in 1st John we are told for those who are in the light that the darkness has passed. It is interesting to note that when the lights are on you don’t have any darkness. But this verse also tells us that Jesus is the “true light”. The Sun of Righteousness has arisen in our hearts and He is shinning a true light that we might see the truth. It is interesting that the characteristics of the moon is used to describe Satan symbolically. The moon has no life or produces any light of itself. The only reason we can see the moon at night is because it reflects or masquerades as an object of light. The moon is a pretender and shadow caster and a false light. It is so different than the sun that is the key to the source of our life on this planet. But as the Bible says, men who love the darkness are deceived by it and succumb to the trickery of the ruler of the darkness. But here is some good news and hope for those that are in the darkness:
Eph 5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
You see God says that those who are in the darkness are simply asleep and capable of waking up and seeing the light. This is a very strong typology and the spiritual information is significant. Pray for those in the darkness to wake up and see the light of day. To turn and allow Christ to arise in their hearts. Again if people do this they are translated into the light and the life of God. If they refuse to turn they are already dead. That is a very sad state of many people in the world today.
There are many other verses in the Bible that speak to us on this subject of Day and Night and I would suggest that you get your Bible search program and look for the key words, like day, night, darkness, light, sleep and any other word that you can think of that are associated with these spiritual realms. By studying the subject you will better understand why people don’t see Christ like you see Christ. Why they have been turned off when the light shines in on them. Jesus told us that “now ye are the lights of the world” so it is our responsibility to be a light to others. But this should be done in a Godly manner using the same ways that God worked through Jesus. Learn to be like Jesus and walk like Jesus and you will get others attention by just being so radically different than they are. Here is a quick chart of some of the lessons we have learned about the spiritual realms of Day and Night:
Day And Night Characteristics
|Sun Rules the Day||Moon Rules the Night|
|True Light||False Light|
|Greater Light||Lesser Light|
|Power of God||Power of Satan|
If you would like to continue reading in this series of lessons, you can continue with “Part 3“.