Monthly Archives: October 2010

Understanding Seeds! Seeds and Weeds! Part 11

(Ver 1.4)  Today is Part 11 of a very important series of lessons on Understanding Seeds in the Bible.  We have covered a lot of very significant information that will not be repeated so I would highly recommend that you go back and start your reading with “Part 1”.  Today is a follow up to some concepts that I have talked a little about before.  However, today we will get into the aspect of weeds in a much more in depth study from the Word of God which will certainly challenge you to think.  I will probably introduce you to several brand new concepts found in the Bible on this subject so be prepared to learn.  Let’s start by stating the basic concepts of weeds.  Weeds are plants that you did not plant!  This is the basic concept that is critical to understand.  If you wanted thorns and thistles growing in the front yard you would have planted them.  But, if you are like me you put out weed killer to eliminate these types of plants so that your grass will grow and be healthier.  Weeds grow in the same soil as plants from good seeds and in fact weeds also come from seeds, but just not the seeds that we plant intentionally.  I personally believe that weeds are a result of the sin of man and God’s curse and we will probably talk about this more as we go.  I would venture to say that weeds are a caused effect.  Nothing happens by accident in the world.  There are always causes and effects to everything.  These are basic laws of physics implemented by God’s design.  If you see waves in a pond of water you know that something caused the waves.  So you must realize that God when He created our world and looked out on it and said “It was very good”, that God did not create weeds.  I do not consider weeds to be good, but maybe you do.  It is a highly subjective topic.  Regardless, if weeds are present we know that something caused them to be here.  So let’s review some things that we covered before and then go into more details in other parts of the Bible.

If you recall we covered several parables on seeds and one that Jesus taught that said the Kingdom of God is like a man who planted wheat seeds in his field.  This parable is often called the parable of the Wheat and Tares.  In this parable, while the man was sleeping an enemy came and sowed the seeds of tares among the seeds of wheat.  It is interesting to note that by only looking at the ground at this point in time you cannot tell this was done.  The implication was given to us that this was done secretly when the owner was away from the field and the owner only finds out about these weeds after time goes by and both kinds of seeds come up and grow together.  In this parable the owner of the field is clearly God.  The field can be viewed as the mass of humanity which is a type of the soil of the earth that we live in where seeds are planted.  The good seed is again the Word of God.  The weed seed was sown by God’s enemy Satan and these are the words not from God.  The good seed produces the desired crop of righteous people on the earth; these are those who have chosen the narrow path and the weeds are those people who have been deceived and chosen the evil wide path to destruction.  In this parable the servants (symbolic angels), go and ask the owner if they should pull up the tares, but the owner says let them grow together, or when you pull up the tares you also take out some of the wheat.  So the harvest is representative of the end of the age that we are currently living within and the time for this harvest is extremely short.   The harvesters are the angels of God who will gather God’s crop into God’s barn in heaven and then cast the weeds into the fire to be burned.  You can read this parable in Matthew 13:24-30 if you would like to, but I covered the greatest parts of it in enough detail that you should understand these concepts pretty well.  What we learn from this parable is a fact that God did not plant the weeds.  God did not cause the weeds to be planted and in fact this parable states that God had nothing to do with the weeds.  That is one of the key pieces of information from this parable to understand, so get a hold of that.

In the parable of the Wheat and Tares God introduced us to the concept of both seeds and weeds and this is my primary subject today.  How are they related, where did they come from and who is responsible for each.  It is clear in this first parable that the weeds are the evil people who have bought into Satan’s deceptions and are not saved.  The wheat plants are the good people who have been saved by accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior and these are called the righteous seed in the Bible.  So in this parable the concept of weeds is related to people.  However, in another lesson the concept of weeds is potentially something completely different.  Maybe you recall in the Parable of the Sower that Jesus taught us some more seed concepts that were extremely important to know.  In the parable of the sower, the soil was the hearts of men and women in the earth.  The good seed was of course the Word of God still.  The sower was the preacher that would proclaim the Gospel of Christ and the Word of God.  This parable also contained the concept of weeds being introduced in it, but this time the weeds were not specifically people, they were the things that caused people distractions in this world so that they did not produce fruit unto to God.   It is critical to understand the difference in these two parables and to also put them together correctly so that you understand the similarities and the differences.  Both parables are about the primary subject of seeds and both parables contain the concept of weeds.  However, if you look at the first parable you could attempt to claim that the weed people were predestined to be weeds and the wheat people were predestined to be God’s harvest, but that interpretation contradicts the information given to us in the parable of the Sower.  We must balance both parables to understand the subjects being taught.  In the Parable of the Sower, everyone had the same opportunity to hear and understand the word of God, but clearly only three out of six soil types produced any fruit unto God. Here was Jesus’ explanation of these weeds:

Mat 13:22  He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

The first thing that you need to understand from this verse is that thorns are weeds; something that was not planted by the original farmer.  So we can see that Jesus calls seed among the thorns to be those people who care more about things in this world than they do the eternal things that God says in His Word.  Part of the root of this problem is given to us as being the deceitfulness of wealth and money.  Often when people get a hold of money on the earth, they think they are in need of nothing including a savior.  You can read about this parable of the sower in Matthew 13: 3-9.  So we have two different parables with seeds and weeds using two different perspectives.  However, they have more in common than you can imagine.  They are actually the same people from two points of view.  Those who are the tares in the first parable are those who have let the weed seeds of Satan dominate them.  In fact the first three types of soil are all tares in the first parable that we looked at.  These are those who have rejected the truth, refused to hear the truth, let others in the world talk them out of the truth or as we have seen love things in the world more than they love the truth.  Both of these parables resulted in the same two separate groups of people, those who are weeds and are burned and those who produce fruit unto God and are harvested into heaven by the angels.  So let’s examine this subject in other areas of the Bible and see what else God says to us about weeds and seeds.  Where is the first mention or implied reference to weeds in the Bible?  I will give you a clue and tell you that it can be found in the Garden of Eden.

Gen 2:15  And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

Here we have the description of God’s creation.  God planted a garden and caused to grow every tree that was good for food the Bible says.  This subject so far sounds very similar to the two parables that we just read about where Jesus told us of God’s attempts at planting seeds into His gardens from two different perspectives.  Both of these parables involved planting good seeds that came from God to produce good crops and an enemy comes into the garden to cause weeds to try to overcome God’s garden.  Isn’t this what happened in Genesis 2 and 3?  I believe that it is exactly what happened in these two chapters and we will begin to see that more clearly as we go.  In Genesis 2:15 God describes the man’s purpose for being in His garden was to “dress” it and to “keep” it.   Both words denote delagated human resposibility and accountablity.  The first word is a word that means “WORK”!  To work a garden implies one thing, that there are potential enemies and weeds that may come in and therefore you must do something about them to keep them out.  Work involves two aspects in gardening, first caring for the plants that are good by feeding and watering them and eliminating the enemies and the plants that are bad to protect the good.  The next Hebrew word translated as “keep” is very similar to work and it means to “watch” and “protect” the garden.  A watcher or protector is someone who is given the task and responsibility to not only work the garden, but is required to protect it from any enemies who could potentially come and destroy it.  Wow, two words of instructions was all that is necessary from God and they say so much to us in light of the parables that we have just seen about seeds and weeds.  What we begin to understand now was that it was not God’s responsibility to keep the enemy out because that was given to Adam for him to do.

Gen 3:1  Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

Here in chapter 3 of Genesis we now are deeply into the subject of an enemy coming into God’s Garden where he should not be.  Therefore, we are currently entrenched in the middle of the parable of the wheat and tares that we have looked at in the beginning of this lesson.  We see this enemy, the symbolic “serpent” coming to Eve and he begins to plant weed seeds into her mind that caused the doubts of deception to grow.  These are examples of the weed seeds of the enemy that God was teaching us about in the two parables we just reviewed in Matthew 13.  God places a man in His garden and then leaves him in charge and goes away and now the man is responsible to “dress” and “keep” it.  Satan brings the evil seed of the tares to Eve and she speaks them out for her husband to hear and he willfully hearkens to the voice of his wife and they are now captive to the deception of their enemy.  Adam had the opportunity to guard and protect the garden of his heart, but he allowed Satan’s words through his wife’s voice dictate his decision to intentionally sin.  I hope you understand what I just said as an overview of this story.  If not, you can go and read my detailed lessons on Genesis 3 and hopefully you will grasp these subjects more clearly.  I will drop down in Genesis to help you see a part of what I just said:

Gen 3:17  And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

Here is a key verse that reveals to us God’s actions for the intentional sin of His man Adam.  You can clearly see that God says Adam listened to Eve’s voice and not to Satan’s voice.  There is no mention that Adam ever heard Satan speaking directly.  Do you understand this?  Probably not, because of the erroneous teaching of many tells us that there was a physical talking snake in the garden and if Adam was there he would have heard it all.  However, that is not what the Bible says at all.  You should go read my lesson on “Was there a Talking Snake In the Garden?”.  Then you can see that God says something else about the ground being cursed for Adam’s sake.  God then says that Adam will eat from it all the days of his life in sorrow.   What was “IT” that Adam is said to be eating from.  You can potentially say the ground that God just cursed, but I do not see it this way in the light of other verses found in the Bible.  I believe God was saying because you Adam chose to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you will eat from it all the days of your life.   Isn’t this what Adam was just found guilty of partaking from?  So what was the ground in the two parables that we looked at?  The Garden soil was clearly the hearts of men and women.  So what does all of this mean?  If you search your Bible and read the references for this Hebrew word that is translated as “cursed” they almost always have something to do with someone who disobeys the Word of the Lord.  God says something for them not to do and they do it and a curse is brought upon them as a consequence for their sins.  However, curses are just the opposite of blessings.  So how does God or people for that matter bless someone or curse someone?   If you have read my other lessons you know that you bless people with the words of your mouth and you also curse people with the words of your mouth.  James 3:10 said “blessing and cursing from the same mouth, this ought not to be”.   So curses are spoken words that produce negative results in our lives or in the lives of those the words are spoken to.  I think I will continue to the next verse in Genesis just to show you the connection to weeds again in this story.

Gen 3:18  Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

Thorns and thistles are clearly both weeds produced from evil seeds.  They are not produced by the Word of God so we can assume that these are produced from the seeds that Satan has just sown in God’s Garden of man’s heart.  In the parable of the sower God repeated “thorns” for us to make the connection to this story in Genesis.  What were thorns in this parable?  God said thorns represented “the cares of this world” and the “deceitfulness of riches”.  Do you think these apply to Adam in this story?  I certainly do.  I believe that God had just given the man and his wife the earth and Adam now believed that he was self-sufficient and did not need God’s help anymore .  Adam at this time thought he had everything under control, but soon he would find out that he did not have anything under control when his Son Cain would kill his first born son Able.  This was the beginning of Adam’s realization that what he had done was not so great after all.  The sin that Adam introduced into the world was only beginning and the evil seed influence was only going to get worse before it got any better.

So God tells Adam that “IT” will produce thorns and thistles.  So let’s back up and determine what “IT” is?   If you recall the Bible says that Eve spoke words to her husband and God said that Adam “hearkened to the voice of his wife”.  To hearken means to obey or do what she said to do.  If Adam did something that he should not have done because his wife said for him to do it, what was this thing that God is talking about?  Let’s back up and see what the Bible says Eve said.

Gen 3:2  And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

Gen 3:3  But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

These are the only spoken words of Eve recorded in this chapter.  So either this is the key to what she said or it is not.  I believe that it is!  If Eve said to the serpent then she spoke words that potentially her husband could hear.  These words were partially correct but yet they contained some subtle differences to what God had said.  God did say you could eat of the trees of the garden, but God never said that you cannot touch it.  God simply said you shall not eat it or you will surely die.  So how is the middle of the garden different than the garden?  If God plants a garden and tells Adam every tree that is good for food I have given you for food but says this one in the middle of the garden is not for you, what is God saying?  If you read my other blogs you already know this answer, but I’ll go into some new perspectives to help you see it a new way.  I believe God was differentiating between two gardens in these statements.  There is a major difference between natural things and spiritual things and you should understand this if you are a Christian.  God gave man natural things as food and Jesus said that it is not what you put in your mouth that makes you unclean, so we know it was not anything that Adam physically ate that caused him to sin.  If you do not understand this you should go read my lessons on “Does Eating Fruit Kill You”.  So where is this middle garden that God is talking about where the tree of knowledge of good and evil is present?  Let’s do a word search for the Hebrew word translated as “midst” and see what we find.  I’ll start with one that I like in Proverbs because it is definitely related to my subject today:

Pro 4:20  My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.

Pro 4:21  Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.

Remember that the Word of God is the Good Seed of God.  So what does God tell us to do with this seed?  God starts by saying “attend” and this is a critically related word that can mean to “hearken”.  Sound familiar?  This is an intentional act of listening, hearing, understanding and doing.  God then follows this up with “incline” your ears unto my seeds (words).  Then God says for us to keep them before our eyes and then to keep them in the “midst” of our hearts.  The word “midst” is the exact same Hebrew word used to describe the location of the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil in Genesis 2 and 3.  Do you get a hold of what God is trying to say here?  It is the heart of man that is the location of God’s garden.  It is the heart of man where God wants His seeds to grow.  It is also the heart of man where weeds grow from the enemy of God, Satan.  You can read about the heart of man being the middle of man in Psalm 22:14, 40:8, 40:10, and 143:4.  Some of these are difficult to see because the same Hebrew word is translated as “within”.  But, you should be able to find it if you look for it and see that within you is the spiritual heart location of God’s garden.  Knowing this fact you can now begin to see that where spiritual fruit comes from as well as where spiritual weeds are also grown.  These are spiritual concepts of seeds and weeds and are completely relevant to our discussion today.

Please allow me to take you to some more words of Jesus that are clearly and directly related to the story of Adam and Eve in the garden and hopefully this will help us to see the connections a little clearer of seeds and weeds.  You might recall that I spoke these next words in connection to two groups of people in the world and here is what Jesus said to us about them:

Mat 7:13  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in there at:

Mat 7:14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

So we can clearly see that these two groups of people are traveling separate paths.  Those who are not of God are going down the easy path through the wide gate and the broad way to destruction.  Those who God calls saved are those that are traveling down the narrow path and way through the narrow minded gate of righteousness.  These are two distinct groups, two ways and two paths; one leading to life and the other leading to death everlasting.   These are symbolic representations of either seed paths of good or the seed path of evil.  There are many more opportunities in the world for evil seed than there is for the good seed.  God only wrote one book of Good Seed and the internet, libraries and book stores are full of millions of books that you can choose to read that distracts you from the good seed.  So let’s examine the next verse and see how it fits with what we are talking about in this lesson:

Mat 7:15  Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Here is a word of warning from Jesus our God that we need to watch out for certain types of people in the world.  The people specifically mentioned in this verse are called “false prophets”.  A False Prophet would be the opposite of a True Prophet.   A prophet is always someone who prophesies so we learn that not everyone that prophesies is from God in this verse.  What are prophecies?   These are spoken words aren’t they?  Spoken words are a type of seeds, get it?  God says beware the seeds of the false prophet and do not allow them to grow in your heart.  These types of people will come in the form of harmless looking sheep, but they will secretly be wolves.  So they disguise themselves to appear harmless and this is the first part of deception that you should become aware of.  Now learn the connection in the next verse that I was attempting to get to in the previous 3 verses of Matthew:

Mat 7:16  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Jesus says you will know people by their fruit.  In other words when people come to you in sheep’s clothing and speak subtle words to you, stop and observe them for a time period to see what kind of fruit they are producing in their life.  In this verse Jesus connects or technically disconnects real fruit from weeds.  Jesus says that you do not get grapes from thorn bushes and you do not get figs from thistles.  Why did God use the exact same words in speaking to Adam that ‘it” would produce for him?  God clearly tells Adam that thorns and thistles would result from something that he has done and now we are clearly given the location of these weeds and as we can see from what Jesus said these are spiritual weeds and they are the opposite of bearing spiritual fruit.  Are you beginning to see and understand the connection that God is making to us in the Bible?  Do you understand spiritual weeds better today than you did before you read this?  I pray that you take this and continue to study the subject and go and find more verses that reveal and confirm this spiritual reality.  I hope you enjoyed my advanced Bible lesson on Seeds and Weeds and please go and tell a friend what you learned.  God Bless!

If you would like to continue reading this series of lessons on Seeds you can go to “Part 12“.

Understanding Angels! The Negative Aspects of Angels! Part 8

(Ver 1.2)  This is now Part 8 of a series of studies about the spiritual reality of angels found in the Bible.   We have covered a lot of information that is not going to be repeated, so if you have not read these lessons from the beginning, I would recommend that you go back and start with “Part 1” and read forward to this lesson.   We have primarily been focused on the angels of God only and only the positive things that they do for the people of God on the earth.  We saw for instance how angels delivered Lot and his family from the pending disaster of Sodom.  We saw the angel of God assist Abraham’s servant in finding his son Isaac a wife.  We saw angels bringing messages to Daniel and Joseph from God with words that came from heaven.  But, today I want to discuss some negative potential impacts that angels can have against those who are not always doing the right things in the earth.  In a previous lesson I talked about the two angels who were sent to Lot to rescue them from impending doom and disaster.  But, you may also recall that the angels said they were the ones sent to destroy both of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and they did it very well.   So we can clearly see that angels have significant power and ability to do both positive things like save Lot and his family and then extremely negative things like wipe out two large cities of ungodly residents.  Wow, that is very important information to know as a Christian.  As a Christian you should always be aware that you are not doing something that will provoke God or your angel into doing something negative to you.  So today instead of discussing how angels can be a blessing to Christians, let me give you the flip side of this coin and show you how they can also be your worst nightmare.  If you read in the book of Numbers and chapter 22 you find the story of Balaam.  The King of Moab comes to this man and asks him for his help to curse the children of Israel.  Balaam was told by God not to do it, but Balaam eventually yields to the King’s pressure and goes with him.  We can pretty clearly see that God says don’t go and Balaam ignores God and goes anyway.  This was clearly a great mistake to disobey God’s Word and this is what the Bible then says happened to Balaam:

Num 22:22  And God’s anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.

You can very clearly see that God was not happy with Balaam and the same angels of God who were sent to minister for those who would be heirs of salvation can also become Balaam’s adversary or enemy because Balaam was doing things that he should not be doing.  This proves that angels can either work for you or against you depending upon your spoken words, decisions and actions in the earth’s realm.  If you make the right choices and do the right things they will prosper you and make your way successful and if you make the wrong choices you may find yourself in the predicament that Balaam was found in of an angel with a big sword in hand ready to strike you down.   One of the key factors to this story of Balaam is not so much what he did but who he was going to do it to.  The children of Israel were God’s covenant people and they were at this time married to God the Almighty.  You do not go and mess with God’s wife and expect to live.  This is a grave mistake that people in the earth make today.  I have seen many news media people attack anointed men of God and this is cursing them like Balaam was going to do.   I would not want to be one of these news people in what they are doing to God’s wife on the earth.  You may recall that Jesus takes attacks on the church very personally.  When Saul persecuted the church and killed them, Jesus showed up and said “Saul, why do you persecute me”!  This could have been really bad news for Saul but, Saul repented and called Jesus his Lord and his life changed dramatically for the better.  If he would have continued in his previous ways and ignored the words of Jesus then it would not have gone well for Saul.  You might also recall that even though Saul repented, that he went away from the meeting with Jesus as a blind man.

Num 22:23  And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.

Nowhere does it say that Balaam saw the angel, but clearly the ass that Balaam was riding on either sensed the presence of this spiritual being or somehow knew that she should not go where Balaam wanted her to go.  You can read this story and see that Balaam whips his stubborn animal into submission and it almost cost him his life.  This angel had a sword in his hand and would have killed Balaam if he did not change and do what God said for him to do.  This is a very powerful lesson about angels either working for you or against you and how it is up to you to determine which one that they do.  You can clearly see that Balaam had a freewill choice that he could have made.  Balaam could have continued on his way in error and died or Balaam could humble himself and change.  This is where many people in the earth miss it and die.  Out of pride they cannot admit their mistakes and continue with the path they are on and they reap the consequences of disobedience. 

Num 22:31  Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face.

We can see that God in his mercy suddenly allowed Balaam to have a spiritual vision into the reality of angels.  Suddenly from this entire story Balaam could see what the ass saw and knew that He was in jeopardy.  This also represents another way that men can see angels while on the earth.  Angels do not always have to manifest in our physical presence for us to see them.  The Bible very clearly tells us that God opened Balaam’s eyes so that the angel could be seen.  However, either angels must manifest into a physical form or God must open our spiritual eyes so that we can see them or you will never know that the angel may be standing right in front of you trying to keep you from doing the wrong things.  You should definitely learn the lesson of Balaam and see how you can be effecting what your angel is doing.  So let’s look at another story quickly found in the Bible.  What we experience in this next verse is a fact that even the greatest men of God in the Bible can fail and cause angels to do negative things.  Here in 2 Samuel you can read the story of David’s sin.  David makes a choice and does what God said not to do.  So let me ask you this, if God tells David not to do something does God want that to be secretly done?  That is the reasoning of some ignorant people, however I always believe that God says what He means and means what He says.  So in this story David numbers the children of Israel and God had told David not to do this.  So God sends a prophet to David and tells him to choose between 3 negative consequences and David does:

2Sa 24:16  And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD was by the threshingplace of Araunah the Jebusite.

So as you can read in this verse God sent an angel and this angel is on the verge of destroying Jerusalem and God recalls him before this occurs.  What we learn from this story is even the greatest men of God can make mistakes.  David we are told in the Book of Acts was a man after God’s own heart.  However, clearly David made a huge mistake that cost lives.   So we can learn from this lesson that no one is immune or too good from the negative impacts of angels.  While the angel did not attack David personally, since David was the King in charge of his people, the angels hurt David more than if he would have attacked him physically.  David repented before the Lord and God withdrew the angel.  There are probably many other Bible verses that we could look at that convey the strength and potential negative impacts that angels can have.  If you study the Book of Revelation you will see angels administrating severe consequences upon the earth as the vials are poured out.  Do not be deceived into believing that angels do things only by God’s design.  We have seen too many cases already where people determine what an angel does in the earth.  Those who obey God’s words are favored and the angels help and work for them to make them successful.  Those who are disobedient or ignore God’s words will cause angels to work against them.

  1.  Angels are not normally visible to the natural eye
  2. Angels can still be present even though we cannot see them
  3. Angels have weapons, power and ability to do great good or great harm
  4. Angels can be sent because of God’s anger of man’s disobedience
  5. Therefore man’s disobedience can cause negative things to happen to them or others by angels
  6. God had to open the spiritual eyes of the man Balaam to see the angel
  7. Even David caused negative things to happen from an angel
  8. This means you are not immune to the same results of the angel’s work in the earth

Those are a few very important statements to know.  It is also interesting to note that this story of Balaam proves God is not in control of what men in the earth do.  These verses clearly say that God said not to go and Balaam made the purposeful and intentional decision to disobey so God had to send an angel to stop him.   God told David not to count the children of Israel and David intentionally disobeyed and felt the consequences.  These stories clearly demonstrate the “Freewill” of man to obey or disobey God’s instructions.  That is the problem in the world today still, men and women want to clearly disregard God’s words and instructions for their version and definition of morality.  I do not know if God still sends angels to deal with this reckless disregard to God’s standards, but somehow I believe that it still applies.  I heard one minister say that he was praying and God told him to go to another minister and give him a message of warning.  This minister did not want to obey God but, he did it anyway.  The message that God gave him for this other minister was for him to judge himself and change his ways.  What his ways were was not revealed to us, but God got the point over in a very clear way.  However, this minister disregarded God’s attempt to help him and guess what this minister died at a very young age.  Was this the work of an angel?  I do not know and cannot say what killed him other than disobedience.  If you understand the stories of Balaam or David then you understand that the root of the problem was always “disobedience”.  Disobedience always has consequences eventually.  This is just a very basic spiritual law given to us in the Bible.  God says the wages of sin is death and sin can be reduced to simply being disobedient.  So I know I’m not perfect, but I try to be aware of my words and my actions so that I do not provoke my angels to do something because God is angry with me.  I hope you are beginning to see the important parts that people play in what happens to them in the earth.  These are just some of the basics found in the Bible that are very important to know.  God Bless!

If you would like to continue in this series of lesson on angels you may go to “Part 9“.

Understanding Symbolic Sheep in the Bible! Are You Once Saved and Always Saved?

(Ver 1.2)  This is Part 3 in the series of lesson on the subject Once Saved Always Saved and what others have called unconditional eternal security.  If you have not read all of the lessons from the beginning I would recommend that you go back and start reading with “Part 1“.  Today is a response to a reader’s comment, who thinks that I know nothing about sheep in the Bible among other topics that I may get into later.  However, this man wanted to chastise me for not following his steps of hermeneutical Bible study.  He claimed that I clearly did not know what I was talking about when I taught on Predestination and Once Saved Always Saved, because He had figured out the magic formula for Bible interpretation.  However, this man failed in one minor detail, he gave me no Bible verses for his method of interpretation so therefore I categorically reject his methods completely.  You can read from my other Bible lessons how I interpret scriptures based on other scriptures found in the Bible.  This is called letting the Bible interpret itself.  There are many basic laws of interpretation given to us in the Bible and I am totally guilty of following these the best that I know how to do.  So you can find many blogs on my methods of Bible interpretations so go and read them and learn.  Any man can invent rules for Bible interpretation and that is the problem with most of them that you find on the internet.  The Bible says that no scripture is of any private interpretation and this is what most people are guilty of.  Today’s lesson will be an obvious example of how two people can read the same scriptures and get two opposite interpretations and why.  You see all you have to do is ignore certain key words in these next verses and you can get the exact same interpretation that he gave me.  However, if you try to do it correctly and pay attention to every word you come up with a major difference in perspectives.   Here are some of the Bible verses that this man said I do not understand:

Joh 10:27  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

Joh 10:28  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

Joh 10:29  My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

Joh 10:30  I and my Father are one.

In this chapter of John and John is one of my favorite books of the Bible which I have studied more than any other except maybe Genesis, I find a very interesting set of statements being made.  This man said that these verses prove that people are “once saved and always saved” by God and can never lose their salvation because that is just what it says.  However, if you look very closely and examine the wording and context that is not what it says at all.  Sheep are of course symbolic of people in this chapter.  The sheepfold is the symbolic world that we live in.  Jesus is of course the Chief Shepherd that is in charge of all of us sheep.  These verses start with the statement that “My sheep hear my voice”.  So right there we learn the first lesson.  Not everyone is “His” sheep.  You do not have to qualify the noun “sheep” with the adjective “My” if all sheep can hear His voice.  Do you get it?  So let me ask you a simple question, are you one of His sheep?  How can you tell if you are one of His sheep?  Is it just because you say you are?  I believe our current President proves that is a lie in his actions every day.  Saying you are a Christian does not make you a Christian ever.  You might recall in the book of Acts that some men came up to a demon possessed man and said “In the name of Jesus that Paul preaches come out of him”.  However, the demons said to them “Paul we know and Jesus we know but who are you” and they made them sorry that they confronted a being more powerful than they were (Act 19:13-15).  These were examples of men who were not His sheep, but tried to act like it anyway.  So you either are one of His sheep or you are not one of His sheep!  What is it that determines this fact?  It really is not that complicated, if you can hear His voice then you are, if you do not hear His voice then you are not.  So let me ask you this, do you hear His voice?  I know for certain that I hear His voice on a daily basis, what can you say about this?  So the first thing that you learn is not everyone is His sheep and then only His sheep can hear His voice.  So let me ask you this, if someone speaks and you are not paying attention do you ever miss what is said?  My wife accuses me of this every now and then.  She says something and I am sometimes distracted or not paying attention like I should and I miss what was said.  Has this ever happened to you?  Just because you can hear does not mean that you heard.  This is proved every day in church.  People sit in the congregation listening to the preacher and I would guess that only a small handful actually hear what is being said and understand it.  So hearing is not the complete answer given here, I believe it takes more than just hearing.  You can learn this from the Parable of the Sower when Jesus taught on the 6 types of soil, 3 types of soil produced some fruit and 3 types did not produce any fruit.  But, they all heard the same words of the sower who was planting the seeds.  So obviously there is much more involved than just hearing.  Do you get it?

So the next statement that Jesus makes is “I know them and they follow me”.  So if you hear His voice Jesus says “He knows you”.  However, then He says “They follow me”.  Uh oh?  Is that another potential problem?  What if they don’t follow Him or His voice?  Do sheep ever have a “freewill” choice of whether they follow the Shepherd or ignore the Shepherd’s voice?  I mean come on, do people ever lose the right to choose?  You see you clearly do still have a choice to make even after becoming one of His sheep.  There is a clear implied meaning given to us here in this verse that sheep still have choices to make even after being saved out of this crazy world.  I mean come on and think a little bit with your brain!  If they choose to follow Jesus they can choose not to follow Jesus also.  The only way that this would not be possible is if God tied a rope around the neck of every one of His sheep and then dragged them wherever He went whether they wanted to go or not.  That would be forced “predestination” and forced “eternal salvation”.  Does God forcibly enforce His will upon all Christians and all people in the world?  There are many confused Christians who think that He does.  If this is the type of God that you serve then you are highly deceived and very ignorant.  God is not forcing any of His sheep to follow Him.  If you know anything about being a good shepherd, they always walk ahead of their sheep calling to them and the sheep normally follow them.  The sheep are therefore highly trustworthy of their master that He is not going to lead them to the wolves.  However, sheep do still have a choice not to follow.  Once Jesus told this story found in the Bible that is very relevant to our current subject today about sheep:

Luk 15:4  What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

Is Jesus talking about sheep in this parable?  I don’t think so!  Jesus is again using sheep as an example of people.  However, it is very clear and self-evident that sheep can wander off and away from the voice of the shepherd that was guiding them.  This tells me that Jesus the Great Shepherd is not in complete control of everyone on this planet and what they do.  Any sheep at any time has the choice or chance to walk away.  Do you get this concept?  This is called “FREEWILL”.  These are saved people who have walked away from Jesus’ voice and no longer are able to hear it.  Do you GET IT?  Of course Jesus says any good shepherd will leave the 99 and go and look for the 1 that is LOST!  So here we go again.  Does this mean the shepherd when He finds this lost sheep drags him kicking and screaming back to the flock by force?  If you think it does then you again do not know the loving compassionate merciful God who allows His sheep to do as they will.  Sure a sheep could wander off accidently and be totally glad to get back to the safety of the flock and the shepherd.  But, still people are not sheep, they are people and they can do what they want, when they want, to who they want at any time.  If a sheep wanders off and commits suicide there is no getting that sheep back even if the shepherd wants it back really bad.  If while away from the safety of the shepherd a wolf comes and eats that sheep, it is also gone forever.  These are basic sheep principles of shepherds and their flocks.  People want to think that God is in control of everything, but if this was true and God is the omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient Almighty, He would have never let one of His sheep get lost in the first place.  In this parable, it is clear that a sheep got away and the shepherd did not know about it until He stopped and counted and said I only have 99 and I started with 100 so one got lost.  Wow, what do you do with people who ignore what the Bible says for their version of reality?  It sure makes it difficult if you can’t see the words that written on the pages, doesn’t it?

Let’s further examine the emphasized subject in verses 28 and 29 of John 10 that we were looking at first.  If you can see, then you can understand that both of these verses are about the Power of God vs. the power of Satan.  Both of these verses say that God is able to keep those that have chosen to follow Him.  Remember that choosing to follow was an important prerequisite to the next two verses.   So the next two verses are only applicable if you continue to follow by your freewill choices.  As long as you are with the shepherd you are clearly SAFE and no one including Satan can come and force you away.  This would be the opposite of forcible salvation; it would be called forcible damnation.  If it is illegal for Satan to force you to hell, guess what it would be illegal for God to force you to go to heaven.  This MUST be a two way street that goes both ways and the only determining factor which way you go is by your own choice of continuing to follow your faithful Shepherd.

So did we learn anything today?  I bet my commenter didn’t hear a thing that I said and that is really a sad state of the world that we live in.  My Bible says “Whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not”.  It is almost impossible to get a blind man to see.  What you must determine is a basic question; do sheep still have any freewill choices to make in the real world after being saved?  Can they do what they want rather than do what God says?  Before you answer this question you should go and read your Bible and see if there are any people in there who God said not to do this and they ignored it and went and did it anyway.  There is Balaam, there is all of natural Israel, there is even Moses who God said speak to the rock and he hit it instead.  There are too many examples in the Bible of people disobeying God’s voice.   Why did God pick sheep as a type or symbol of people in the world?  You should study more about sheep and learn how they are a picture of people.  For example, sheep are pretty dumb animals, I have to admit that and that speaks a lot for God’s opinion on what people think in the world.  You should be smart enough to first see that God’s intelligence is so far above your intelligence that it is barely comparable to a man vs. a sheep.  So having said that your opinion is worthless!  What you think about the Bible is totally irrelevant!  There is no significance to your thoughts unless they become God’s thoughts.  So what have we learned about sheep today?

  1. People like Sheep are DUMB!
  2. Sheep still have a free will!
  3. Not ALL Sheep belong to God!
  4. Sheep still have to pay attention and understand the words of the Shepherd.
  5. A Sheep can Get LOST accidently or on purpose!
  6. God will try to go and find the lost sheep!
  7. Not every sheep has to follow the Shepherd!
  8. No one can force a sheep away from His Shepherd as long as it hears and follows.

These are the basics found in these verses about sheep in the Bible.  You of course can disagree with what I just said and ignore the facts if you want to.  But, please do not write me any more ignorant comments about my lack of understanding of the Bible and go pull the plank out of your own eye before you try to take the speck out of mine.  God Bless!

If you want to continue reading about Once Saved Always Saved and the Eternal Security subjects you may go to “Part 4“.

Understanding the Difference Between Being the House of God and Being In the House of God!

(Ver 2.2)  Today I will teach on a Bible basic truth that every Christian should know.  There is an interesting difference between being in the house of God and being the House of God that many preachers that I have heard must not clearly understand.  I have been in numerous church services where either the pastor or the worship leader gets up behind the pulpit and says “It’s good to be in the house of the Lord”.  I guess I know what they are trying to say, but technically speaking that is a very false statement and directly contradicts what the Bible says in so many aspects.  That statement also portrays a false reality to unsaved people that is easily taken wrong or misunderstood.  Those types of statements leave people with the impression that if they come to church, they have satisfied their religious obligation to God.  However, the Bible says that the church building that you are meeting in is not the house of God!  You see the Bible clearly says that God does not dwell in the buildings made by the hands of men anymore.  We know this is what God use to do in the Old Testament when God told Moses to build Him a temple and the Ark of the Covenant.  Jesus in Matthew taught that David entered into the house of God to eat the show bread.  But, these were all natural symbolic representations for a much different spiritual reality that was to come.  Here is one of my key verses for today’s lesson and I hope you can see what it says:

Act 7:48  Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,

So here we have a major problem with the statement that too many preachers make.  God clearly tells us in the Bible that it is impossible for man to build or make anything that is worthy of God’s dwelling place.  If you read the next verse and the context you will see what I am talking about.  God does not dwell in your man made church building; so when you say He does you leave a very false image in the minds of your listeners.  However, there is another reality that God may show up at your church service if you invite Him in and then choose to let Him come in.  I’ve heard ministers describe the presence of God at their meetings appearing like a cloud that would roll in over the people and then amazing things would happen.  However, some people saw the cloud and others did not see the cloud.  There are many examples of this type of cloud in the Bible if you look for them (Exo 16:10, Exo 19:9, Exo 24:15).  I gave you 3 instances found in Exodus but God appears as a spiritual cloud several other times in the Bible as well.  Then there are also literally many church buildings around the world that God does not ever show up in, because He is not welcome.  Oh, sure they pretend that they are doing the right things and singing the right songs and acting out the parts pretty well.  However, they neither know God nor are known by God so they worship with their lips, but Jesus said their hearts are far, far away.  Jesus warned some religious people like this in Matthew 23:27 calling them “whited sepulchers that are beautiful on the outside but inwardly were unclean and full of dead men’s bones”.   So God is not interested in your external religion or your outward religious ideas of being righteous.  Just as God did not show up in the Jewish temple anymore, God will not show up at your church if your heart is not right before Him.  These are examples of how important it is to be precise in exactly what you believe and to know what the Bible says.  So where is the house of the Lord now?  Or maybe I should have asked who is the house of the Lord now?  If you study your Bible you will find that it says the people in the church are now this house of God:

1Ti 3:15  But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

As you search the Bible you find verses that read much differently than what some men preach and teach.  Here is one of those examples.  You of course can take this verse literally or figuratively.   I believe that this temple is symbolic based upon the scriptures that I will show you in a minute.  First, let me ask you what is the church of God or again I should say who is the church of God?  Let me give you a few quick scriptures that hopefully will make my point that you can see for yourself:

Rom 16:5  Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.

Here is God calling the people that meet in the house the church and not the building where they meet.  This can get more complex than this, but this is the basics of the lesson today.  You see the people that meet together in a building can be holding church services, but technically this is not the church.  God clearly calls the people in the building the church and never is there any physical building called by this name or title in the Bible.  This is really a very important difference to recognize.

1Co 1:2  Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

Again we have the people living in the city of Corinth being called the church of God and not a building.  It further qualifies that not everyone in the city is the church, but only those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus.  So it is much more important to be in Christ than it is to be in a building with a name on the outside.  This is the mistake that pastors are leaving people with when they tell them they are in the house of the Lord today.  They should be saying it is good to be in Christ Jesus and be the house of God.

1Co 15:9  For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

This is the last verse that I will show you today that says the church are the people that Paul persecuted and Paul did not burn down buildings or deface a building.  When Jesus appeared to Saul on the road and said “Saul why do you persecute me?”  Jesus was telling him He took it personally because these people that he persecuted were the church and the body of Christ where God lives today:

1Co 3:16  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Here is the main reason that I wanted to get to today that clearly tells us where the Spirit of God is today.  You can clearly see that God is not living in the buildings that are made by the hands of men anymore.  God has designed and created our bodies to be His temple and dwelling place.  So wherever we go God goes.  Where ever we are the church is, if you are a true Christian.  You see when you become a Christian the Spirit of God comes inside of your body to live and to bear witness with your spirit that you are now a child of God (Romans 8:16).  This is exactly why when you tell people they are in the house of God a building made by man’s hands that it contributes to a lie.  You can hold church in a hotel and God will be there if He is inside of you.  You can hold church in a tent and God will be there if God is inside of you.  God is not interested in your building projects, however God will help you build one if that is what you like.  I have to say that it is much nicer meeting in nice churches with climate controlled environments than sweating or freezing outdoors.  Just build your church building and don’t call it the house of God.  I am the house of God and you are the house of God we are a spiritual building made of living stones being built up into an eternal spiritual city of the Most High God.  Here is a Bible verse that says what I just tried to say:

1Pe 2:5  Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

The term “lively stones” literally means stones with life in them.  This makes us complexly a very unique chosen building material for God’s house.  You can clearly see that we are being “built up” to become a spiritual house for God.  This is one of the key accomplished works of Jesus Christ.  Why was it necessary for God to build a new spiritual house?  I have taught on this before, but I’ll say it again for those who do not understand it yet.  You see you only build a new house if you have something wrong with your old house.  Heaven was the previous spiritual house of God where there were an enumerable number of angels dwelling.  So what do you do when some of your angels have been found with sin in them?  You should really think about that before you try to answer it.  God is a just God and God is God who does not lie and break promises with those in His family.  So God’s old spiritual house and family has a major problem occurring internally within it and this causes God to decide to build/create a new House through His Son Jesus Christ.  I’ll talk and teach more on this subject soon, so please keep a look out for it, the Bible says some very important things on this subject for Christians who desire to understand.

Let’s get back to God’s new spiritual building project where you can clearly find in the Bible that Jesus is building this new house for God using us the church.  We know in 1 Peter 2:5 that it says we are being “built up” a spiritual house.  This implies a foundation and then subsequent building layers.  Who is the spiritual foundation for this new spiritual house?  Of course it is God Himself to some degree who is our foundation as well as a few other chosen individuals that are mentioned in this verse:

Eph 2:20  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

Again we can clearly see that we the people of God in the church building are being built upon a foundation that consists of three spiritual entities.  Jesus Christ is clearly called the most important stone in the new building and He is described as the “chief corner”.  This was usually in ancient building projects the first stone that was laid and one that all other stones are aligned from.  So the first thing that you should grasp is that Jesus Christ is also a stone in this new spiritual house.  God became one of us so that we could be made again like one of Him.  The next thing that you should observe in this verse is that the Apostles of Jesus and the prophets of God from the O.T. are also living stones that makeup the foundation for this new building.  Do you understand this?  This is very important that you see.  Here is another verse that gives us an additional perspective on the subject:

Rev 21:14  And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

In this chapter of Revelation God describes another place or actually the same place that we have been discussing but in different terms.  In this chapter God describes a spiritual city called “New Jerusalem” and “Holy Jerusalem”.  Both of these are the names given to the new spiritual dwelling place of God.  If you noticed in this verse that this city contains a foundation of the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ.  That sounds very similar to what we just read in Ephesians 2:20.  What we can see are some amazing parallels that are certainly not found here by chance or accident.  Both Ephesians and 1 Peter spoke of a building project that is being created by God.  We are called the temple of God in the letters written to the church, however in Revelation God speaks of us in terms of being a city.  Both are structures with walls and foundations and are built with stones.  Here is another verse that certainly applies to our subject today concerning this city found in Revelation 21:

Rev 21:3  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

This verse is pretty amazing.  It speaks of us as being the tabernacle of God.  Tabernacle is a term meaning God’s tent.  Isn’t this what Moses built God in the Old Testament?   Moses built a tent which clearly meant a temporary dwelling place.  What Moses made was a temporary dwelling because it was made by men.  Anything that a man makes will be temporary.  However, we are now found to be an eternal dwelling place for our God made not with the hands of men.  When we leave this planet we will be given eternal glorified bodies like the one that Jesus possessed after His resurrection.  This will be a body that will never fail or fade.  Therefore it will be a permanent dwelling place for the Spirit of God.  God is saying in Revelation 21:3 that God’s new house will be “with” men.  The term “with” in this verse means to be joined to Him in marriage and become one flesh with Him.   What we see today is a small taste of what we will see in eternity.  The Spirit of God being in us today is a pattern for what we will experience forever in eternity.  Therefore, God’s New Jerusalem is a spiritual city of People in covenant with Him where He lives and dwells throughout eternity.  We will be His people and He will be our God and according to the Bible no eye has seen nor have we even begun to imagine the great things that He has planned for us (1 Cor 2:9).  I hope and pray that you enjoyed my short and basic Bible lesson on God’s spiritual building project and have learned that we are that project here today and right now.  So the next time when you go to church remember you are not going to the house of God, YOU ARE THE HOUSE OF GOD who is going to a building to meet with the rest of God’s house for fellowship, praise and worship of Him who is In US!  God Bless!

Understanding the Power of the Spoken Word in the Bible! Keeping Your Mouth Pure!

(Ver 1.1)  Today is “Part 10” in a series of lessons on spoken words found in the Bible.  If you have not read this series from the beginning I would suggest that you go and start with “Part 1”.  Truly one of the most important subjects found in the Bible is the power of spoken words.  God clearly created everything that we can see in our world by His spoken words and the Bible says in this same chapter of Genesis 1 that God made man in His image and after His likeness.  So man possesses the same capabilities and characteristics that God possesses in of course a controlled set of circumstances and in a more limited capacity.  In other words we are not going to go out and create any new worlds like God did with just our words.  But, that does not mean we do not control our personal view of this world with our words.  I guess most Christians just ignore verses in the Bible about this subject and refuse to believe them and that is very unfortunate for them, because God’s Words are still true and they work for them or against them whether they understand them or not.  It is very much like the laws of gravity.  I do not fully understand the law of gravity, but I know enough to cooperate with it so that I do not fall off of a cliff and hurt myself.  I could spend a lot of time on this subject and probably will, but today I’m going to start in an O.T. book of the Bible that is not widely taught from by many preachers.  This is the book of Ecclesiastes and we will read in chapter 5.

Ecc 5:1  Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.

Here we have a verse that is easily misunderstood and ignored by Christians.  What is the primary subject of this verse?  This verse is primarily about your personal relationship with God.  But, it also has some very important instructions given to us concerning our relationship with God.  Did you notice what this verse says?  It says it is better to listen than to speak when holding a conversation with God.  Why would this be important?  Did you know that you cannot learn anything or even hear anything important if you are the one doing the talking?  You might think that you know something worthy of God’s time and ear, but God clearly says that you do not.  What is the “Sacrifice of Fools”?  If you study the Bible you can see that God says the words that we speak to God in praise are called the sacrifice of our lips to Him (Heb 13:15).  So what is the opposite of the sacrifice of praise to God?  I believe the opposite would be you speaking the words of self-exaltation, or any words promoting something other than God.   In other words stating with your opinion or your personal thoughts and ideas of what the truth is to you, these would be the words of a fool according to God.  That is one of the primary reasons that I do not watch much reality TV on our channels here in America.  These are the words of fools who do not understand that what they are saying is evil.  Isn’t that what God just said in this verse?  Here is a very good definition of what is evil in the eyes of God.  These are people speaking things without any basis of factual information or knowledge of the truth?  These are empty words from people with empty minds.  These are fools in the eyes of God.  God clearly tells us as Christians we should be swift to hear and slow to speak (Jas 1:19).  So this verse has some very important instructions given by the inspiration of God for us and we can learn from them or we can choose to ignore them like many do.  These are strong words from a strong God and it gets even better than that, read this next verse:

Ecc 5:2  Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.

Wow, it is so incredible what the Bible says, isn’t it?   God implies that He hears every word that you speak and in fact in previous lessons on this subject you might recall that I taught that we will all give an account for every idle word that we have spoken according to Jesus himself (Mat 12:36).  This verse starts with do not be “rash” with your mouth!  Did you know that you can be rash with your mouth?  In previous lessons on words I taught on the sword of your mouth being able to cut two ways; either blessing someone or cursing someone.  This is the power that you have in your mouth according to the Bible.  You should always speak blessings over your children and encourage them with your words.  There are many children in our world that have never heard their parents say they were proud of them.  There are many children in the world that have never been told that they have great potential to do great things in the world.  These are the children that have been cursed by their parents saying they are stupid, dumb and incapable of anything positive.  These would be examples of “rash” words being spoken in the world.

The next statement in this verse demonstrates an old principle that I have previously taught on in the series.  This part of the verse says let not your heart be hasty to utter, say, speak, declare, etc.!  Wow, again did you understand the connection?  The words that we speak came out of us from the abundance of the understanding in our hearts (spirit) (Mat 12:34).  This is again why it is better to listen to God and allow Him to speak, since His understanding is infinitely greater than yours.  This is a very important principle being given to us.  The words that you speak come from what you have deposited in your spirit.  So if you do not like what you are saying you are in need of a heart transplant, spiritually speaking of course.   Jesus you might recall said “The words that I speak to you, they are spirit…” (John 6:63).  If Jesus’ words were spirit, then guess what your words are also spirit, just understand the difference that many times your words are coming from an ignorant spirit and most definitely are not the words of an unlimited knowing Spirit like God.   I say that but you can change that by learning to speak the written words of God and that makes your words seem wiser even if you do not yet fully understand the full meanings.  Finally this verse again confirms that it is best for us if we let our words be few when speaking to God.  This is always a good idea whenever dealing with anyone in the world.  If you are the one doing all of the talking then you will never learn anything new.  So being a good listener is the key to learning the truth.  I’m going to skip down to verses 4 and 5 for my next point on spoken words:

Ecc 5:4  When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.

Ecc 5:5  Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.

These are very important concepts to learn from concerning your spoken words.  God is giving us a very specific principle in these two verses.  What is that principle?  It is to say what you mean and then for you to literally do what you say!  In other words don’t tell someone I’ll meet you at 2:00 in the board room and never show up.  What does that make you if you say one thing and then do something else?  It is called being a liar and that is not a positive characteristic for anyone in the eyes of God.  In these two verses it very clearly says that it is better for you to not say anything than it is for you to say something and to never do it.  The example given is clearly about your money.  If you tell God you are going to give Him something and then you never do it then you have made yourself a fool in the eyes of God.  This is a very important life lesson.  I worked with a man who would tell people I’ll have that for you tomorrow and something would always happen and he never could fulfill what he promised.  The character of that man was now in question by everyone and everyone soon learned that you could not depend on anything that he said.  People need to be able to place their confidence in your spoken words.  If God said “I will do this for you” and then never did it, what would that make God’s character like?  That would not be good for God’s reputation would it?  If you cannot backup your words with your actions then you need to shut up and stay quiet.  It is much better to be perceived as an ignorant man then it is to open your mouth and prove it to everyone.  Here is another verse that speaks to us along these lines of our actions

1Jn 4:20  If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

Is God talking about your words and your actions in this verse?  You bet He is!  If a man says “I love you God” but yet treats everyone in the world with contempt, God says that man is a liar.  A liar is someone who speaks words and then does not follow through with the effort to make them happen or to display them to others.  There is a direct connection between your words and your actions so learn the lesson of God and see what He says.  You should learn from God’s Word that He is faithful to perform what He has promised because God’s character is never in question.

Ecc 5:6  Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?

Here we have another verse that declares the importance of your words.  Did you know your mouth is what causes your flesh to sin?  If you did not know this then you just learned something very important today.  Your mouth is connected to your spirit and your spirit is the eternal part of you that will be judged someday by God.  God does not judge your flesh, get it?  Did you know that you are not a body?  Your body is the flesh and bone house of your spirit so your flesh is not responsible for your sin, you are!   Here we have a principle being given to us and it has far reaching consequences.  How are people saved?  This is not a trick question, but one that most Christians cannot answer correctly.  People are saved by their words that they speak.  If you read Romans 10 you will see the connection between your words and salvation.  If you confess the “Lord Jesus” with your mouth and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dean, you shall be saved!  Here is the heart and mouth connection being given to us again in relationship to being saved.  So what is the opposite of being saved?  It still involves a heart and mouth connection but it is the complete opposite of those words found in Romans 10.  Instead of Jesus being your Lord, you think that you are the lord of your life and do not require anyone else.  So you think wrong and speak wrong and thus are not saved.  People like this are deceived by Satan who is really in control of their lives and he is their lord whether they believe it or not.

If you have been reading my series of lessons on angels you already understand a little bit about the importance of words spoken and angels doing, working or being sent by God to help you.  So what is the connection of this verse with the previous two about vowing to God?  Why does it say you are speaking to your angel?  Have you ever seen an angel and have you talked with one?  Most of us have not so this verse implies that angels are listening to your words the same as God is listening to your words.  So you cannot say “I vow to God” and then say “Oh, I made a mistake” and expect God or the angels to help you.  If you say something you always have the choice of whether or not you will do it.  God will not force you to do anything.  However, this verse in context with the others that we just read about words clearly tells us that your voice can cause God to become very angry with you and He can “destroy” the work of your hands.  The work of your hands is the job that you do to make money, your business, your employer, your income producer, etc.   God can bless this or God can cause it to fail and it is clearly linked to your mouth in determining which one God will do.  If you do not understand this you need to study the Bible a lot more and learn how to be blessed by God.

So today I took you through 5 or 6 verses found in Ecclesiastes about spoken words and their connection to your relationship with God as well as showing you the need to aligning your words to your actions for the continued blessings of God to come upon you and overtake you.  What you say has more bearings on what you get out of life than anything else that you do here.  Learn today to be quick to hear from God and slow to speak so that you can continue to learn from Him.  Let your words be few in general to everyone, unless you are told to speak to people and say something from God like I was today.  I pray that you will continue in the Word of God and continue to be led by the Spirit of God in everything that you do.  God Bless!

If you would like to continue reading this series of lesson on spoken words in the Bible you can continue with “Part 11“.

Understanding Angels! Protecting Angels! Part 7

(Ver 1.1)  This is now Part 7 of a series of studies about the spiritual reality of angels found in the Bible.   We have covered a lot of information that is not going to be repeated, so if you have not read all of these lessons from the beginning, I would recommend that you go back and start with “Part 1” and read forward to this lesson.  In the past we have been discussing the physical makeup of angels, where angels come from, the dimensions of angels, the assignments of angels and we have learned that they are intended to be a beneficial spiritual force that works for us and with us.  Christians and the angels of God are on the same spiritual team and we have the same God.  But, we have also seen battles, conflicts and the realities of other angels that are not working for God.  These evil or unclean angels are God’s enemies and we will discuss them more in the future.  Today I want to discuss a different purpose of angels of God found in the Bible.  I believe that God has assigned specific tasks and responsibilities for angels to follow.  These are generally followed for our benefit, but angels never override your will unless there is eminent danger.  If you recall we studied the story of Lot in Sodom and God sent two angels to his house to get him and his family out before the city was destroyed.  These angels practically had to drag this family away from the city by the hand, because they did not want to leave.  I do not know if it was a case of core unbelief or just the fact that they thought they belonged there in the city.  We did see that Lot left two daughters in the city that were married and they would not leave with them, so this might have contributed to the hesitation.  However, if they would have stayed in Sodom they would all have been killed that very day by the falling fire and brimstone from heaven.  Of course the only reason they were saved was because God talked with Abraham and Abraham asked God to spare them.  So really Lot had nothing to do with his salvation other than allowing the angels to guide them out.  He was very fortunate that he had an uncle that knew a God who was merciful.   Many times angels will do this for your unsaved relatives also if you ask them to.  So what we learn from God’s story of Sodom is that angels can protect people from a pending disaster, either natural or supernatural.  Therefore, one of the key assignments of angels given to them by God is to protect those who are heirs of salvation. 

Of course it is always much more complicated than trying to make that simple of a statement trying to say that an angel’s job is just to protect us.  We can clearly see in the world that even Christians die in plane crashes and terrorist attacks.  In fact children are killed every day in our world and they have not yet come to the age of accountability to make a decision for Christ.  So where are all the protecting angels for these children?  These are very difficult questions to try to answer since we do not know all of the facts or circumstances surrounding any one’s death that occurs in our world.  So how can we attempt to explain why something happened if we do not know all of the information necessary about what caused this to occur?   That is our challenge, since the Bible says that we are looking through a glass darkly and only see partially the spiritual realm, we must do the best that we can from what information God hsd given to us.  I do not believe that we can know everything unless God somehow shows them to us and many times these things are personal items between God and that person and God will not tell you their secrets just because you want to know them.  God says in Deuteronomy 29:29 “that the secret things belong to the Lord” so don’t go asking God to reveal to you things that do not concern you personally.  So today I ask the question do people have guardian angles assigned to them by God?  Here is an interesting statement that Jesus said about angels:

Mat 18:10  Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

Here we have a verse where Jesus is speaking about the little children that have been brought to Him to be blessed.  Jesus tells us that these little children all have “their” own angel.  These angels go from here to heaven and when in heaven they check with God and see what God says for them to do.  Since God does not show any favoritism to anyone we must logically conclude from this information that every child born on the earth has an angel assigned to them.  The population of the earth is currently less than 7 billion and in the book of Hebrews God tells us that the total number of the angels in Heaven are innumerable.  Men can easily count to a billion and even a trillion if they had enough time or could just use a computer.  According to Revelation 12 we know that 1/3 of the angels have been cast down with Satan to the earth.  Therefore, we can clearly observe that even taking away 1/3 there are potentially more than enough angels to go around to watch over 7 billion people.

Let me tell you about some personal experiences that I believe that angels have come to my aid in my past.  One day as a young man I sat in my car at a red light in the left turn lane waiting for the light to turn green.  I was the first one in line and just sat waiting for a green light to go.  Suddenly a dump truck ran over the front of my car and crushed it.  It seems this truck was coming down the hill to my left and lost his brakes and the driver of the truck could not get it to stop when the light was changing.  I never heard anything or saw anything that was about to happen.   So the driver came down the hill without brakes, without sounding his horn and he was trying to weave and dodge everyone as he came down the hill without any brakes.  He missed most everyone except my car.  However, if I was 5 or 6 feet closer into the intersection or the light had turned green I would not be here today.  A man I knew saw me right after the wreck of my car and stopped to talk to me.  He said I was very lucky to have escaped harm and he was right.  You see I did not see any angels present that day, but yet looking back on it I can see the hand of God that spared me so I conclude that an angel was at work that day doing something to help me.   It could have been just to cause the light to stay red long enough for me not to go forward.  It could have been to tell me to stop and not inch any closer into the intersection.  It could have been helping the driver of the truck to know how to turn and when to turn the wheel to keep from killing anyone.  I mean we do not know all of the possibilities that could have been affected by an angel’s help.  It is very difficult to know when something like that happens all of the factors that went into that day’s activities for everyone involved.  I mean I could have been a few minutes later and missed everything or I could have been a few feet forward and been killed.

Then later in life I was attending a church gathering at a large convention center in downtown Dallas Texas.  It was very late at night and the service was still going on, but I decided to take my kids home to get them into bed.  So we left early and started for where I parked my vehicle about three blocks away.  I noticed as I walked down the sidewalk that there was no one else around anywhere and that concerned me.   We had to go close to 3 blocks to get to my car and it was very dark except for street lights.  Suddenly I noticed two teenaged punks up ahead of me nearly a block away on the other side of the street.  Then I noticed them looking at me and taking something out of their ankles like knives or weapons of some sort.  I knew this was not a good situation to be in with two small young children.  I was carrying my youngest child and my eldest son walked by me.  I saw that the punks crossed the street so I crossed the street at the same time in the opposite direction.  They suddenly realized that I had changed my course as they were coming towards me.  I remember praying to God and “pleading the blood of Jesus” over my situation.  I grabbed the hand of my son and we turned to walk back towards the convention center down the middle of the street.  Suddenly a group of people appeared out of nowhere.  There were probably four of them, two men and two women so I started walking towards them and arrived at them at the same time as the two teenaged punks so I turned and stood by them and we all stopped to look at the punks.  The teenagers were outnumbered at this point so they asked some dumb questions acting all innocent and then ran off.  I walked with this people for a little while never saying anything to any of them about what just happened.  Suddenly again one of the women turned to me and said “Thank you” and they went on into the night and disappeared.  So why was someone that I did not know telling me “Thank you” with me not saying anything to them at all?  I have asked myself that question many times and can only come to the conclusion that it was because I prayed and ask that God cover us with His shed blood.  So were these angels sent from God or were these just people who happened to be at the right place at the right time for me?  I don’t know!  I just believe that God answers prayer and how He does it is not up to me.  I cannot tell this story without tears coming to my eyes thinking about it.

So those were just two examples of how angels could have affected a positive outcome in a potentially negative set of circumstances.  One time I saw nobody and the other time there were people involved that I saw.  I have heard many times a minister of God say this, “People are looking for the spectacular and all the time missing the supernatural”.  In other words they read their Bibles and want God to do something like part the Red Sea for them or appear in a burning bush and God does not have to do something like this to cause a supernatural event to transpire and save your life.  I’ll give you one more example of someone I knew.  He was working very late one night at the office and he had his little daughter with him there at work.  They decided to go home and of course it was dark and everyone else was already gone.  As he loaded his daughter in the car and put her in her car seat a man with a gun came up and told him let’s go back inside the office building.  This man that was being robbed with his daughter was the type of man that carried a licensed firearm with him for protection, but it was in his brief case in the front seat of the car.  So he told the gun man I have my wallet in my brief case and reached in and his hand fell on the gun in the exact perfect way so that he just grabbed it and pointed it and began to shoot it at the robber.  The man was hit several times but did not go down.  The robber pointed his gun at the window of the car where the daughter was and pulled the trigger and guess what, the bullet bounced off of the window.   The car did not have bullet proof glass and this should not have happened.  So was this a chance accidental occurrence that everything just worked out like it did for the child?  You have to be pretty blind to think that it was.  I am confident that the angel of God was present there to help and to save the little girl who is still our friend today as a 13 year old young lady.  Can angels stop bullets?  I believe that they can, what you believe is your choice.

Psa 34:7  The  angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

So God tells us in the Bible that the angels of the Lord are present around those that have respect for God.   Therefore, those who do not fear God might have a problem.  It would be good to hear God say that we have an angel that is with us, but it also much better to hear Him say that one of their assignments is to help deliver us from something?  What we need to figure out is what it is that they deliver us from?  I believe that we only need deliverance from something that is intended to do us harm or hurt.  Do you understand this?  What is this trying to tell us?  If angels can deliver you then other angels can also do things to you to cause you harm.  That is just a basic reality found within the spiritual realm.  Satan wants to kill you and God wants to save you and we have the classic battle of good vs. evil in our world transpiring all around us every night on the evening news.  So how does Satan cause things to happen to take you out of the world?  Many times Satan influences and uses people to hurt other people.  Just as good angels can influence good people to do good things, Satan can influence and suggest that evil people do bad things to hurt other people.  We have not discussed demons and evil spirits yet, but the Bible says they exist and we will definitely talk about them later.

Exo 14:19  And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them:

You can read another story of angelic involvement with the children of Israel leaving Egypt.  In this story God says that an angel appeared before them to help guide them.  The children of Israel make a camp and the angel moves to the rear of them for protection.  We can clearly see that angels give God’s people a layer of protection from their enemies of Egypt who were pursuing them to take them back.   This is not ministering “to” them; this is another example of angels ministering “for” them.  We can clearly see that “protection” is one of the primary responsibilities for angels.  You can also assume that Satan was influencing Pharaoh to pursue God’s people to do them harm.  This is another example of how angels can affect the outcome of what happens in the world.

Exo 23:20  Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.

So I hesitate to mention this verse, because it says the angel was guiding Israel in the way that they should go.  However, it will be a good opportunity to teach you something about the role of angels in the church.  Angels can clearly give people direct messages from God.  We can seen this happening repeatedly in the Bible.  These words from God can be considered guidance.  You can even see this in examples found in the New Testament.  However, many times these angels brought news from God about pending disasters.  For example, Paul’s ship wreck in Acts 27:23 was foretold to him by the angel that he would live through it.  But, here is the problem; I have not found a verse of scripture that tells us to pray for angels to lead us.  The Bible in the New Testament says that those who are led by the Spirit of God they are the sons of God (Rom 8:14).  So it appears to me that today we are to be primarily led by the Spirit of God that lives in us.   This does not mean that God cannot still send you an angel if He chooses to do so.  However, it is God’s choice and not yours.  Do not put God in a box and think that an angel is the only way God can do anything for you, just leave the option open if God so desires.  I have heard stories of people who prayed for angels to appear and Satan shows up to give them a message like it was from God and this was nothing but a way to deceive them into doing something not in line with the will of God.  The Bible clearly says that Satan can disguise himself to appear as a messenger of light (2 Cor 11:14).  So if you pray and ask for angel and are not promised one in the Word of God, then you are asking and praying for something out of the line of God’s purpose and plan and this normally just opens the door for Satan to come in to deliver his message of deception.

There are many verses in the Bible where angels are used by God to protect and deliver His people, so I will not go through all of these.  I will briefly talk about Peter being thrown into prison by Herod in Acts 12:5.  In this chapter you can see that Peter was being persecuted for preaching the truth.  Thus we have Satan influencing Herod to do God’s people harm and Herod later finds out this was a mistake that he should not have made.  In verse 5 of Acts 12 you see that the church was praying for God to deliver Peter and they continued to do this until Peter showed up at their door one night.  God ends up sending an angel to wake Peter in the jail and this angel walks him to the house where the church is meeting.  The angel is able to bypass the guards, release his physical bonds and open doors supernaturally to get Peter out of prison.   This is a supernatural event of the divine intervention of God of how an angel can be used to deliver anyone from harm.  Peter would have been executed the next day if not for the angel of God and the prayers of the church.  This is another example of how angels are sent for the words of people on the earth.  If there had been no prayers or words spoken there would have been no deliverance for Peter and we would have a few less books of the Bible to read today.  Please notice that spiritual angels can affect an change physical things and outcomes.

I’ll end this lesson with another example of how angels can potentially work in the earth and you not see them or know of their involvement.  In an earlier lesson I told you that the towers in NY on 9/11 were amazingly empty compared to normal capacity.  My wife knew one man in NY that was supposed to be in the tower giving a presentation for his company.  This was a very important meeting and one that he should never have missed.  However, something transpired that day that was not expected at home and he was forced to stay home with his family that day.  Because he stayed home we can only assume that this saved his life.  The company that he worked for and the company that he was presenting to both vanished that day and do not exist anymore.  So what appeared to be important that day turns out was not very important in the grand scheme of life.  Were angels involved in this one case, again we do not know but yet something happened out of the normal course of life that caused a dramatic different result.  I personally believe it was an angel, but you can believe whatever you like.

So I am personally convinced that angels do supernatural things to help people when someone asks God to help them.  It doesn’t have to be you praying for yourself either.  It can be like Peter when it was the church that prayed for his deliverance or Abraham speaking to God for Lot’s benefit.  Ask God to get involved in the lives of your friends and relatives and see what happens.  I am a firm believer that we are not done with evil in the world.  I believe the terrorist and evil people of the world are hard at work coming up with new ways to hurt people.  By releasing the angels of God to help protect us is one of the best defenses that we can possess against this spiritual evil.   If you have personal stories of how angels helped you out of a bad situation I would be very happy to hear about them.  I’ll end this lesson here for today and pray that you have a very blessed day.

If you would like to continue reading this series of lessons on angels you can continue with “Part 8“.

God and Computers! God Challenges the Kings of the Earth!

(Ver 1.0)  I’m sorry but, I have been on vacation for close to a week.  I have been in the mountains for a time of rest or some in Europe call it a holiday.  I like to try to follow the examples that Jesus demonstrated and I noticed in the Gospels that He would spend a lot of time in the mountains or on a mountain top.  So we went to a mountain cabin and enjoyed some time away at 4000 feet above sea level as a change from our usual weekly routine.  It was very nice up there since it is fall here the U.S. and the leaves were changing to the dramatic reds and bright yellows and it was very beautiful.  I find it humorous that some say that they go higher to be closer to God, but I can’t speak for you but, God is inside of me and He goes wherever I go and one of the best ways that I know of to get closer to Him is for me to learn more about Him in the Bible.   Oh, well that is not my subject for today so I’ll leave it alone and talk about a subject that I have blogged on before.  This is a very important subject found in the Bible and it helps us to explain many of the challenges we are faced with in the church today.   This subject helps us to explain why there are literally thousands of church denominations in the world and why some believe so radically different than others.  So I today am going to talk more about the hidden mystery of the Word of God.  Do you like to solve puzzles?  To me the more difficult the challenge the more interested I am in trying to solve it.  This doesn’t mean that I am the most intelligent or the highest I.Q. person in the world; I just like to solve problems.  But, maybe that is just me as a problem solver type personality that comes from my computer programming experiences.  As a computer programmer, I was constantly challenged with difficult problems to come up with solutions for writing computer programs.  If you did not know it, computer programming is simply a computer programmer’s attempt to solve a very specific definable and repeatable problem.  Sometimes they are creating new solutions and sometimes they are just inventing fixes for existing problems.  Problem solving is a Godly principle that makes us different from the rest of creation.  Humans generally want to learn and are curious to want to know things and how they work.  People also generally like a challenge and whether it is just doing a simple puzzle or solving a complex riddle we like the sense of accomplishment that comes with solving these types of enigmas.   Did you know that God is a problem solver?   If we are made in the image and likeness of God then we have His problem solving ability built within us in a lesser degree.

Problem solving can either be positive or negative.  If you create a code system it is different than if you figure out how to break the code.  However, both of these actions are creative problem solving abilities from a different perspective.  You can see this in a computer hacker’s mentality.  People are constantly trying to invent a code and that just becomes a greater challenge for someone else to try to break into it.  So let’s shift gears and talk about the Bible code system.  God has actually come up with an ingenious system of the ultimate encoded word system that conveys many spiritual truths using natural ideas, words, symbols, types and terms in the Bible.  An enigma is of course a strange word that some may not understand what it means.  It means a perplexing or mysterious coded puzzle; something that is difficult to understand and almost impossible to explain on the surface.   Did you know this is how God designed and wrote the Bible?  God purposely designed the words in the Bible to hide a vast amount of spiritual information that we in the church still fight over daily trying to figure out what they all mean.  Why do we fight over this information so much?  It is primarily because too many men and women want to take natural things spoken of and try to interpret these words with their own natural human understanding.  This method will not work and will only results in confusion since God is not writing at a man’s natural level.  I guess I should rephrase that statement, I believe that God is writing about highly complex spiritual things at the level that a natural man cannot understand.  So natural people do not understand spiritual things until their spiritual eyes of their understanding have been opened to see it by the Spirit of God.  This is one of God’s guarantees of making His Word known at the exact right time that He wants it to be known.  Did you know that God has thrown down a challenge for all humans on the earth?  I guess technically it is not a challenge to every human, only those who want to know the truth.  There are many, many people in the earth who are not interested in the truth; they are too consumed with their version of reality to care about what is really true.  So you must decide today which category of people you fall into.  Are you one that wants to know the truth?  If so then here is God’s challenge to you and I in this verse:

Pro 25:2  It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.

You can clearly see that God has purposely hidden and concealed information in the Bible for us to find before He comes back to the earth.  Are you diligently looking for it already?  What does it mean to “search out a matter”?  It means you have to “WORK” to find it.  It also means it is not easily found.  It also means you don’t know it already.  Uh oh?  That goes over really big with a lot of religious theologians who think their doctorate degrees give them an advantage over the rest of us.  I believe these concepts of God hiding information in the Bible for us to find with all of my heart.  Jesus when He walked the face of the planet close to 2000 years ago told us that if we would continue to study the Word of God that we would eventually come to know this truth that God has hidden for us (John 8:32).  Verses like these two that I just mentioned tell me that we do not know all of the things that God has hidden yet.  Here is another statement that Jesus made that had direct bearing on our subject today:

Luk 8:17  For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.

You can clearly see that Jesus is speaking of hidden and concealed secret heavenly information.  This has to be valuable spiritual knowledge for us to know before we go to be with the Lord.  This has to be something that will help us now in our spiritual battle against Satan.  You may recall that I did a blog on “Understanding Spiritual Warfare”.  In this lesson I told you that the battle was over the Word of God.   Satan is doing everything that he can to keep you from knowing what God wants you to find out.  Satan thinks if he can stop you from finding the truth, he has a chance of survival and I think that is a partial truth.  Fortunately for us we have God on our side who is our guide and teacher, so we cannot fail.  Here in Luke 8:17 Jesus said everything that God has concealed will be made known.  The deep spiritual secrets of God will be revealed so that we can understand them.  I strongly believe that the time is very short for us to find these hidden truths but, that God is also doing things in the earth to help us to see and know these hidden truths, like the invention of computers.  I am convinced that computers are a tool given to us by God for His good and His purpose of learning and spreading the truth to the world.

When I was a computer programmer many years ago I remember a time that I was faced with a difficult challenge.  It seems one of our system’s programs was missing the source code and therefore we could not make any significant changes to this program.  You might not understand computer programming, you always first start coding and create a source language file and this is compiled into the machine’s object language code and this is what the computer uses to execute the instructions that you wrote it to do.  Programmers never write programs using the machine’s language anymore like they did with very early computers.  Today’s computer programming languages are much higher level than machine language.  A single line of program code can be compiled into a whole bunch of machine instructions.  Back to my story, we lost the source code to a key part of our system.  But we were fine without the source code as long as we did not want to make any major modifications to the programmed operations that we previously used to create the executable.  I’m going to show my age a little bit here and tell you we use to do something called “ZAP” the object code to make minor modifications to it.  You could change the machine’s operation by changing instructions or addresses or eliminating the instructions all together with NO OPERATION replacement codes.  So I would do this to our IBM main frame operating system so that it would not roll over the date when midnight came along, for example.  You see IBM didn’t give us their source code so if we wanted to change it from rolling over the date we had to change the executable machine codes and that is what I did.  It amazes me what we could get away with back then.  If auditors would have been smart enough to understand the power that we had they would have had a cow!  Today is of course a little bit better and different more secure world to some degree.  So back to my story about losing the source code, this was a challenge to me and I was bent on solving it.  So I took the object code and reverse engineered it back to the original source code as best as I could make it out to be.  Of course I had learned a few things about the programming standards that were in place so that made it easier to reverse engineer it back to the original source code.   This of course would be a much more difficult operation in our modern world, since most programmers only use very high level object oriented languages that are not as easy to create source from the executable programs.

So why did I tell you a story about old time computer programming and solving problems?  God taught me so much from my computer programmer experiences that applies to the Word of God that it is incredible.  You see God knows computers better than we know computers.  I am convinced that God gave man computers for a purpose of the end times.  Therefore, God knew that we would have computers in these final days before He returns and we could use them and their principles in our attempts at understanding the Bible.  So I believe that God used computer laws and principles to help hide information in the Bible.  One principle that I have blogged on before is that there are established spiritual laws that govern everything that God does.  I called this a “Rules Based Approach” to Bible interpretation.  God implemented and created the laws that govern correct Bible Interpretation and we are required to first discover them and then to follow them in order to understand what is written correctly.  Another computer design principle used in any valid application development is called “Application Standards”.  These are generally speaking repeatable patterns that occur in a uniform fashion or approach that can always be counted on to be followed.  We live in a world full of standards.  They make standard bolts and nuts, the large portion of the world has adopted weights and measurement standards around the metric system, there are also standard bar code systems that are used in our grocery stores to help speed out check out and other inventory control systems and we could go on and on about standards and that they are around us everywhere.  In my early programming we had “Naming Standards” and other standards that are probably too technical to talk about in a Bible study that goes out to many who are not that computer literate.  However, the concept of standards is a design concept that is also encapsulated or employed by God in the Bible.  For example, there is the Bible concept of Types and Shadows found predominately in the Old Testament stories and the Gospels.  These are real stories of real people, places and things in the world that exhibit a view into a spiritual reality that we cannot observe with our natural eyes.  The Bible is full of repeatable patterns in many aspects and dimensions.  Take the concept of “seeds” if you have not read my blog on Understanding Seeds” you should.  Seeds are repeatable standard found within the Bible that applies across the board to many aspects including complex spiritual things that you did not know of.

So if you are a computer programmer, today I challenge you to begin to study the Bible using computer science laws and knowledge.  Examine the Bible using object oriented concepts of encapsulation, inheritance and abstraction.  Take your computer knowledge and apply it using God’s methods and knowing God understands computers better than you do.  See if you cannot find new things by using this new approach to Bible study.  If you are not a computer programmer fear not, do not be downcast or feel inferior, I believe that God will use what you have and what you know to get you to see new things also, maybe even things that I do not see.

Today’s lesson was a reminder to you that God’s word contains many, many hidden spiritual secrets.  That is the most important thing that you need to take away with you today.  Then you need to figure out how God has hidden these things in the Bible.  God did not use an unreadable code system like governments do to try to guard secrets, so that means that God used some very difficult different methods to conceal the truth in plain sight.  I started writing a series of blogs of “Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight” which reveal some of the techniques used by God in hiding information in the Bible.  If you have not read this series I would suggest that you go and read them as an introduction to some very basic techniques used by God.  These are not a complete list, so do not expect them to tell you every secret utilized.  If I knew them all I would already know everything that I need to solve every Bible debate that exists today and no one is at that point yet.  However, I am a firm believer that before Jesus returns the church will make herself ready and will become one in harmony like Jesus prayed and asked to happen.  If you are interested in making this happen then stay in the Word of God and continue to study to find the truth.   God Bless!

The Predestination Fable vs. Freewill Theology!

(Ver 1.3)  This is now Part 3 in a series of advanced Bible studies concerning the erroneous doctrine of extreme “Predestination”.  If you have not read from the beginning I would suggest that you go and start with “Part 1“.  It seems that there is not a shortage of ignorant people in the world or on the internet.  Today I will address a very deep topic that I have addressed previously but I will do it today in a more detailed way for these people who refuse to believe the truth.  There are so many levels of deception in the world.  There are so many variations of the same lies that it is almost impossible to address them all.  I had a reader write me a new variation of an old deception about “Predestination”.  His claim was that everyone will be saved who wants to be saved, but God still predestined some people for hell because the Bible says Jesus chose Judas to betray Him.  I guess according to this man’s reasoning Judas didn’t want to be saved and this was why Jesus chose him.  I really do not know what people are thinking when they say some of the things that they do.  Hopefully by writing this I can help someone in the world not to fall into this level of deception, for you see I do not believe that you can help people who do not want to be helped.   It is very difficult and even impossible to help everyone.  If you noticed while reading your Bible even Jesus could not help everyone.  That statement might shock you, but you do realize that some of the Jews hung Him on the cross?  Did Jesus not preach and teach the same words to these people as He did everyone else?   How is it that some accepted and others rejected and the same words were spoken to each?  I guess according to this guy it was because of God’s predestined purpose that everyone did what they did.  After all God controls what every human on the planet does every minute of the day.  We are all just God’s puppets and we only do His will.  That is why there is so much good in the world and love towards each other.  Heck, I haven’t seen enough love in the church, much less in the world.  Why does the church bicker and fight within their own ranks so much?  I guess it was all just God’s will and Jesus doesn’t get His prayers answered.  Remember in John when Jesus prayed and asked His Father to “Make them one as we are one”?  Has this ever happened in the last 2000 years?  I think one of the few times that I saw it was in the Bible in Acts 2:1 when there were only 120 in the upper room and they were all in one accord.  It seems to me that once the church grew beyond the 120 it became increasingly more difficult to remain in harmony.  Why is that?

Today I’m going to speak about “Predestination” vs. “Freewill”.  What is predestination?  According to definitions that I have found it is the theology that states God has foreordained every event in the course of human history including the end result of salvation for every man, woman and child.  This was a popular teaching that originated from “Calvin” I believe and it has continued in many ignorant and deceived churches to this day.  This teaching has many problems and ignores many other Bible verses.  It promotes a theology of “Limited Justification”, where only those selected by God have been atoned for by the Blood of Jesus.  Therefore the Blood of Jesus is not all encompassing or powerful enough to save everyone.  It further promotes the theology of “Once Saved Always Saved” where a God selected Christian can do nothing to lose their salvation.  This philosophy is based upon the fact that God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent and can do whatever He desires, so therefore they make the erroneous leap that God controls everything that happens to us in the world.  Just because God can they think that God does.   If it happens in the world then that is or was the plan of God in manifestation.  This teaching comes from the minds of heavily deceived individuals who do not see or understand the Bible.  Why do they not understand the Bible; primarily because they do not know the author of the Bible who is God!   To understand the Bible you must first and above all else come to know Him (the Author) and allow His Holy Spirit to guide you into all of the truth (John 16:13).  By knowing God you learn His character, His Integrity, His Nature, His Ways and His Personality.  God’s integrity and character is the highest moral standard that exists above everyone else.  For example, the Bible says it is impossible for God to lie.  You can clearly see that makes His character way beyond mine.  It is entirely possible for me to lie to you.  It is entirely possible for any human on the earth to lie to you.  In fact I do not know of another being natural or spiritual that exists that cannot lie.  The existence of Satan proves that even angels can lie.  That is why we MUST see what God says in His Word in order to find the truth.

Whether you realize it or not we have a significant problem within the Body of Christ, a major conflict, a battle of theologies between the “Predestination” Theology and the “Freewill” Theology.  Many may have never heard of either of these teachings.  Therefore they do not understand what they mean or know that there is a conflict being debated.   If you do not understand these subjects then you need to learn quickly which one is the truth and which one is a fabrication.  But, hopefully you will better understand them as I go through the rest of this lesson.  What we have on the surface is the theology that God is in control of everything that happens vs. the theology that man has a freewill to choose his own destiny.  This is the root of the battle.

So this reader of mine who ignored everything that I said in the last lesson on the subject of predestination (“Many Called and Few Chosen”), wrote me a long comment why I was so wrong giving me lots of his misunderstood Bible verses about how God prophesied every major event in the Bible before it ever happened in the world.  Therefore according to his brilliant reasoning “Prophesy” proves “predestination” or a “predestined plan” that cannot be changed.   I have written in other Bible lessons that God lives outside of the boundaries or constraints of time.  Do you believe God is limited to time?   If you think God is limited to the dimension of time where was God before the “beginning”?  Scientists clearly understand that our known universe had a beginning, a clear starting point in time called the “big bang”.  We must logically conclude that if God created time God existed before time.  Can we agree upon this factual conclusion?

crossroads2Jesus said “I am the beginning and the end” and this clearly tells us that God pre-existed in a self-existent perpetual state before and after either of these two points of reference in time.  Let’s consider the nature of prophecy.   The Bible clearly says that “I make known the end from the beginning” (Isa 46:10).  Therefore God definitely knows the end before it happens.  We are therefore at a crossroad point of decision to choose to believe one of two paths of opposing theology.   The first path is the belief that just because God knows the end and everything in between that also means God orchestrated and caused it all to happen this way.  This belief alleviates all other source or influences of freewill choices.   Or the second path that we could take is that God did not cause it all to happen this way but rather only reports to us in the Bible what will happen based upon foreknowledge.  This approach keeps the positive or negative influences of human freewill and other spiritual beings.   Just because God knows what will happen does not mean God causes it to happen that way.   Let me ask you this, do you believe that God is in control of everything that happens?   Can you show me a Bible verse that says this?  I simply do not know one and if you do then I would be happy to learn about it.  However, you cannot take a prophecy and say God caused it to happen unless you see the words “God caused Judas to betray Jesus”.  Otherwise your theology is based upon assumptions of human reasoning and that is a very dangerous place to put your confidence.  The Bible says many things that will counter this theological theory that God controls everything and we must see these clearly to understand the real truth.  I mean can you read?  Here are some Bible verses that you should pay very close attention to:

Mat 13:25  But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

Jesus is teaching a parable that relates a spiritual truth about the Kingdom of God.  The first thing that you need to note is the fact that God says He has an enemy.  Not an evil puppet, an enemy.  You can find this reality multiple times in the N.T.  God says in Hebrews “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies thou footstool” (Heb 1:13).    Do you know the definition of an enemy?  According to God your enemy never does what you want them to do; if an enemy did what you desired then they would not be your enemy.  We are fighting terrorism in the U.S., because why?   Terrorists call the U.S. their enemy.  Therefore, we are forced to defend our nation and to try to defeat them because they called us the enemy of their god Allah.  Do you have a different definition for an enemy?  You should go through the Bible and see the references to what God calls an enemy.   An enemy is never one that under the control of those they are opposed to, unless they have been totally defeated.  In this parable of God’s garden or farm, God is said to have sown wheat seeds and an enemy has come along in secret and sown “tares” in God’s garden.  It doesn’t sound like God is in complete control of His own garden, does it?  You cannot read a story like this and believe in “predestination” unless you twist it to believe that God’s enemy is just a part of God’s planned design.  If you believe that, then you have to change the definition of what an enemy is.  If Satan is doing exactly what God wants him to do, then he is a friend of God and not an enemy.  You can clearly see this is true or it makes Jesus Christ out to be a liar.  You see in John 15:14 Jesus said this to His disciples “You are my friends, if you do what I command you”.   So if Satan is doing what God wants he would not be called an enemy he would have to be called a friend of God.  I mean are you blind or can you read?  Go through your Bible searching and tell me where it says that Satan is a friend of God?  Knowing this fact alone blows extreme “Predestination” out of the water.  There is no way to believe in predestination unless you change God’s definition of a friend and an enemy.  By clear definition it is impossible for God to have enemies and be in total control of everything.  You really need to study your Bible more before you make wild theological statements like God has predestined some to hell.  Let’s see another new perspective that counters the theology of extreme “Predestination”.

Gen 6:5  And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

In the book of Genesis God is telling us of a time when man was morally corrupt.  It is easy for me to understand that this is why America is in the dilemma that we are in today.  Liberals want to remove God from our government and our schools and then expect things to get better.  However, the Bible proves this is not what happens in our world without God’s involvement.  Without churches, a Bible and God being intimately involved you can see what God says happened in the world.  The rise of “wickedness” and “evil” in the thoughts and minds of humanity in our country has caused a generation of people who are not better than we use to be, but much worse.  If you take God out of your schools you teach ignorance, children grow up without any moral character, standards and integrity.  Therefore, they do what they want to do to who they want to do it and whenever they think they can get away with it.  Take a look at this next verse in Genesis:

Gen 6:6  And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

Ok, I’m going to ask you again, Can You READ?  What does this verse say?  It says “God was sorry that He made man because He saw the wickedness that was running rampant in the earth.  I thought God caused all of this wickedness to occur by His designed plan?  After all how would God use Noah to save humans if God had not caused the evil in the world to be present in the first place?  So this is the reasoning of predestination theology that you have to say that God purposely caused the “Evil” so that He could implement a plan of “Salvation” for us all.  That is what extreme “Predestination” is preaching.  But, how can you cause something to happen and then regret that it happened?  Does that make any logical sense to you?  You see you cannot do this if you have any morality and integrity at all.  You do not ever go to your car in the drive way and purposely break it just so you can fix it, that would be called insanity.  You see this is a major problem for extreme “Predestination” theology.  If God wanted something different than what was happening on the earth, God would have controlled it to make it occur differently.  God would not have allowed “wickedness” if it was all up to God.  You can see that, can’t you?  These verses just don’t make any sense in the extreme “Predestination” world that God caused it to be this way so that God could regret that He created man to be evil.  Wow, this is some very powerful stuff if you can accept it as the truth!

Let me give you another verse of scripture that is directly opposed to the exreme philosophy of “Predestination”.  You see according to “Predestination” theology God has foreordained that some people would go to hell and some people would be saved.  If this is true, man would have no choice to ever make to obtain either one of these end results.  So how do you deal with a verse that says something like this?

2Pe 3:9  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

I have heard many opinions to what this verse means and most of them are wrong.  There are those who claim this verse teaches that everyone will be saved because God always gets His will done both in heaven and on the earth.  This is the theory of “Universal Salvation” and it is another lie from Satan.  Then there are others who must ignore this verse to teach “Predestination” theories.  This verse very clearly says God desires everyone to be saved.  This verse countermands the philosophy of “Selective Atonement” that other deceived Christians want to buy into.  In the “Selective Atonement” philosophy God only paid the price for the sins of those that were chosen.  The others have their sins carried with them to hell forever.  But, you can read and see that God is speaking in this verse about being patient towards us on the earth because His will is for “everyone” to be saved.  If it is therefore possible for everyone to be saved by the shed Blood of Jesus then Jesus paid the price for ALL sin with His onetime blood sacrifice.  Where many Christians get confused is in the fact that salvation is not totally up to God.   The reality is found in the Bible that God saved everyone but this does not mean that everyone is saved.  For those who want to leave salvation totally up to God is how they created the belief of extreme  “Predestination”.  For those who can see the truth, they know that man has a part to receive through faith everything that God has given to them by His grace.  Can you help explain to me what God needs to have patience if He is controlling what is happening in the world?  It just doesn’t make any sense to me.

1Co 15:22  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Here is another popular verse that “Universal Salvation” teachers try to exalt to the total truth.  Since everyone was condemned to die by Adam, we can now clearly see that by Christ everyone will live again.  But, the problem with that is this is not what it says.  This verse says only those “IN CHRIST” will be made alive and that is totally different.  If you do not understand what it means to be “IN CHRIST” you should go and read my lessons on “Understanding Seeds”.  What we have seen in these two last verses that I gave you is that the Bible says it is possible for everyone to be saved, but that it is not an automatic occurrence just because this is the will of God.  So we are uniquely challenged by God to take every verse we can find in the Bible on a given subject and then to balance the information given to us in order to come up with the correct interpretations.  One of the keys to doing this is by allowing God and His Word to interpret itself.  This means getting God’s definitions for every word.  This means reading God’s commentaries on the given subjects that we are learning.  There are many factors to understanding the Bible and one of the greatest errors that men make is to take a single verse or two and try to make a single truth found in the Bible the complete truth and this is a major mistake.

Let’s go into another Bible verse that is often overlooked by “Predestination” teachers.  In the Gospels the disciples of Jesus come to Him and ask “Lord teach us to pray as John taught his disciples” (Luke 11:1).  If extreme predestination was really true, then Jesus’ response should have been “You don’t need to pray and ask God for anything because God’s will is always done”.   However, this was not Jesus’ response was it?  This was Jesus’ response to His disciples:

Luk 11:2  And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.

Obviously Jesus thought praying to God was important enough to teach His disciples how to do it.  This fact alone discredits “predestination” completely.  Why do you pray to God?  Do you pray to find out the will of God for your life and that is all?  If you pray and have to ask for the will of God to be made known to you so you can do it then you are obviously not doing the will of God already.  Do you understand that logic?  In this verse Jesus is teaching His disciples to “pray” that the kingdom of God should come.  Wow, that was a very heavy duty statement for God to make.  If God’s will is always done on the earth then there is absolutely no need to pray for the Kingdom of God to come.  Jesus then continues to pray that the “will” of God be done on the earth like it is performed already in heaven.  Right there we have another MAJOR conflict to the extreme “Predestination” theology.  Jesus who is God in the flesh is speaking to us and teaches us to pray and ask Him for God’s will to be done on the earth.  This clearly means the will of God is NOT currently done on the earth if we have to pray for it to be done.  Jesus says very clearly that in heaven the will of God is done, but on the earth we have a different situation occurring.  Do you understand this?  Is God stupid?  Did God lie?  Many must think that God is either confused or that He just wants people to believe that they are praying for something that is already going to be done on the earth to make them feel important.  I tell you the deception occurring in the people who do not know how to read, seeing what it says and to those that try to explain verses like this away to hold on to their fantasy reality is just so incredible to me.

Let’s talk about foreknowledge next.  Since God obviously did have a laid out plan for man, does that mean God must control everything to make it happen?  Extreme predestination means that God is in control of everything that happens in the world and nothing happened unless it was part of God’s plan.  This means Adolf Hitler was God’s plan.  This means the terrorist who flew into the World Trade Center was part of God’s plan.  This means the death of little children in the world was a part of God’s plan.  The level of deception and ignorance to believe in something like that borders on insanity, if it does not cross well over that boundary line.  If you believe that God is killing people in the world as a part of His divine plan for man you are a fool.  You first off do not know the definition of what “LOVE” is.  God who is LOVE (1 Jn 4:8) must demonstrate this highest level of LOVE as an example to us or we are following the wrong God.  If God does not abide in LOVE then we are all in major trouble!   If people want to redefine LOVE as it if it is permissible to kill people in mass, then we should all be taking up guns and doing exactly like God does.   However the Bible says “Thou Shalt NOT Kill” (Exo 20:13).  This Hebrew word translated as “kill” means to commit murder.  So according to many ignorant theologians God is in clear violation of His own governing laws that He gave to man to follow.  When Jesus Christ was born a man through a virgin named Mary (Gal 4:4), God placed Himself under the very laws that Theologians claim is Ok for God to violate.  Completely foolish people think that God is some how separate from His Word.  In other words God can say one thing and do something that is completely opposite to what He said and it is OK because God did it.  Can you tell how much I dislike ignorance and stupidity?

I do not think I ever got to talk about the “foreknowledge” subject in the last paragraph.  “Foreknowledge” is the specific knowledge of an event, planned outcome, or schedule before it happens.  However, this is very different than man’s definition of “foreknowledge” and let me tell you why. Humans even have a variation of foreknowledge in limited degrees based upon planning.  You see you might know that there is supposed to be a party tomorrow at 2:00 PM in the meeting room where you work.  You know this because someone planned it and invited you to it.  We can clearly see that just because this event is scheduled and planned that it does not necessarily have to occur, because in this world unexpected STUFF still Happens!  The day the terrorists flew into the World Trade Center probably caused many parties to be canceled un-expectantly.  We need to take this example and apply it to God, if we can.  Extreme “Predestination Theology” wants us to believe that everything that occurs in the world is because it was “God’s Planned Event”.  Then they have to further say that God does not allow anything else to interrupt His plans since He is in ultimate control of everything.  Wow, these are really deep thoughts!   What confuses many Christians is trying to determine the difference between foreknowledge and predestination.  Just because God knows what will happen, when it will happen, to who it will happen and where it will happen does not mean that God caused it to happen or that someone cannot do something to change it from happening?   What does the Bible teach about this?

You might recall that in the O.T. the prophet comes to the King and says get your house in order for God says that you shall surely die (2 Kings 20).  Who said this and is it set in concrete?  If understand the Bible you know the prophet was just a messenger for God and that God said it therefore God knew what was going to happen before it happened..  Is the king being told the set firm willed plan of God?  Or is the King being told one possible outcome?  Isaiah leaves the King and the King gets in prayer with God.  God then sends Isaiah back and tells the King God has heard your prayer and you shall live another 15 years.   So here is where people come up with more stupid interpretations.  I have heard ignorant people claim that God has a secret will and God has a revealed will.  So God’s secret will was for the King to live another 15 years because this is what happened.  But, this is more crazy human reasoning trying to makeup explanations for spiritual things that they do not understand.  I tell you stories like this just baffle me to how people can believe in the concepts of extreme “predestination”.  Either God changed the predestination of the King or the King did something to change his outcome in life or God just lied.  God said you are going to die and the King lived another 15 years after he prayed.  So what is it?

Let’s continue to look at what else God says in His word and see if we can determine the truth.  By the way “Freewill” theology is one that teaches that man has a freewill choice in their destiny of going to heaven or to hell.  “Predestination” means God has already determined who goes to heaven and who goes to hell and therefore man has no clear choices to make.  If “Predestination” was true why get up in the morning and do anything that day?  Why preach the gospel to anyone?  Why even eat food and live?  What are we doing here?  Let’s go back to the beginning in Genesis 2 and 3.  In these two chapters God reveals the fall of man.  The Bible says God has created a Garden called Eden and has placed His created man in this location.  God tells the man that it is OK to eat from every tree.  But, then God says “Don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for in the day that you do, you shall surely die”.   Right there is a major problem for predestination theorists.  Why would God tell the man anything if man was already going to eat from the tree and fulfill the real plan of God?  You see according to “Predestination” the man Adam has no choice in what he does, so obviously when Adam fell it was God’s plan all along.  So the warning of God to Adam makes no logical sense and is incompatible with the doctrine of “predestination”.  Why warn someone they are going to die if they eat this fruit, if this is what God wanted them to do anyway.  So that is the basis of the major downfall in the theology of “Predestination”.  Why does God write us this book called the Bible to every human that is full of warnings?  If man has no choice in fulfilling their destiny, this makes no logical or theological sense?  The existence for the entire book of the Bible makes no sense in the theology of “Predestination”.    God does not have to speak to people who are already programmed to do what they were created to do?  You see in order to believe in true absolute “Predestination” you have to believe in a “preprogrammed” humanity.  If man has no choices to make then whatever they do in life is what they were designed by God to do, good, or bad or in different.   This is just a real philosophy that is not found in the Bible:

Deu 30:19  I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

Bible verses like this one have to be totally ignored by “Predestination” deceivers.  God who writes this verse for us, says “I have set before two choices, one is Life and the other is Death, therefore choose life so that you can live”.  Why would God give a choice to a man who had no choices to make in their eternal destiny or earthly existence?   That is clearly very STUPID to think that man does not have a choice to make!

Pro 1:29  For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:

Here we have another example of how ignorant people fail in our world and teach errors like “Predestination”.  Because they “hated” knowledge and ignored the truth they have not chosen the fear of the Lord.   Does God say we have a choice to make?  Does God say we can choose to be ignorant?  Does God put the ball in our court as being our decision to make?   It sure looks like that to me.

Isa 56:4  For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;

Does God again say that these men had a choice in what they could do?  Doesn’t it say that they could have done like others and not pleased God?  “Predestination” says man has no choice to make.  They are pre-designed to please God or to be thrown in hell.  If this is the case why does God not believe this?  Didn’t God know He just lied to us in the Bible?  What is God stupid or are people stupid?

Php 1:22  But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.

I have blogged on this verse before.  In this chapter Paul is in a quandary trying to decide to stay on the earth and continue his ministry to the people or to leave the earth and go and be with Christ which he called “FAR BETTER” for him.  Paul says very clearly that this is his choice to make and that he does not know yet which way he will decide to go.  Wow, there are hundreds of verses found in the Bible like this one that throws “Predestination” into a downward spiraling airplane that will soon crash and burn.  If man has no choices then why does God say that we do in the Bible?  No, you see the problem is that people want to take part of the truth of the Bible and exalt it to be the complete truth and this is just a huge mistake.  Yes, God has a plan for man!  Yes, God know the destiny of every man!  No, God did not intend you to go to hell if that is where you end up.  In my first blog on this subject I clearly showed you that God had written everyone’s name in the Lambs Book of Life and that the Bible says that God was forced to blot out those who would not receive His free gift of salvation.  So if God had predestined you to hell already from the beginning, why would your name be recorded in the “Lamb’s Book of Life” and then be blotted out?  Do you understand the problem in that question?  Doesn’t God already know who makes it and who doesn’t?  After all if God “Predestined” you for salvation then He would just have a book of names that He predestined to be saved and would not have to blot out anyone else’s name who was not predestined.  Predestination and foreknowledge are very similar but yet totally different concepts.  If I know that you are coming to my house tomorrow, that is different than me making you come to my house tomorrow without inviting you to come.  So God can very easily get accused of doing things that He is not guilty of doing.  Just because idiots want to teach “Predestination” does not mean it is the truth.

Then there is the difficulty of the fact of “prophecy” found in the Bible.  Clearly, God has prophesied many things in the Bible that will happen even in future events to come.    I can understand if God prophecies something that He is responsible for fulfilling.  This only makes sense to me.  God says I will do this and that in this time frame and then it happens.  But, when God prophesied things concerning other people, places and things it makes you think that God is controlling these people, places and things to cause them to also occur.  However, we have the factor of “foreknowledge” that is not being taken into account correctly.  Because God knows how you will react to something, can mean that He can use this knowledge for something that He needs accomplished in the earth.  You see a reader pointed out to me that Judas was “predestined” to betray Jesus and to die.  In the “predestination” mentality they believe that God created Judas so that he could betray Jesus.  Did you know you can’t find that statement in the Bible?  If God does this then He is the master designer of a Heavenly Matrix system that puts every man into the specific role they are destined for.   The necessary level of control is beyond our imagination for this to occur;  God would have to use the power of suggestion, mind control and even mental and physical manipulation would not be off the table for predestination to occur.  Is God capable of this, yes I believe that He is?  However, is this the God that you know?  It is not the God that I know and it is certainly not the God found in the Bible.

So we have covered a lot of different angles found in the Bible that to me clearly dispute the philosophy of predestination.  I have given many verses that states man was given choices to make in life.  You must therefore decide which way you want to believe.  You cannot believe both ways like some would think.  You must either choose to believe in the fantasy of predestination and ignore all of the verses that I gave you today or open your eyes to what I have tried to clearly teach from the Bible.

If you want to continue to read the follow-up to this lesson series on Predestination you can go to “Understanding Sheep“.

You can also go and read “Part 4” of the lesson series to study this subject further.

 

Understanding How to Keep the Sabbath Holy! The Fourth Commandment!

(Ver 1.3)  This is now “Part 3” of a series of lessons on Understanding the Purpose of the Law.  If you have not read this series from the beginning I would suggest that you go and start your reading with “Part 1” first.  What is the Sabbath?  Today’s lesson is a response to a readers question about keeping the Sabbath Holy.  To many traditional Jewish people the Sabbath is a day of rest on Saturday.  To many Christians it is a day of worship on Sunday.   To many Muslims it is a Holy Day on Friday.  So what are we to do as Christians on this day?  Are Christians supposed to view the Sabbath like Jews or Muslims?   This is a potentially controversial subject, because many view this subject using extremes.  This is traditionally the downfall of the Jewish people.  They were so consumed with their attempts to please God that they invented pages of rules to make sure that no one ever violated God’s law to keep the Sabbath Holy.   However, Jesus said “Your traditions make the Word of God null and void” (Matthew 15:6, Mark 7:13).  If you read the Gospels closely you should see that the main reason why the Jews crucified Jesus, was for the Sabbath conflict that existed between Jesus and their self imposed Sabbath rule violations.  They refused to believe a man was from God who would violate their traditional Sabbath rituals.   Jesus was criticized more for doing things on the Sabbath than anything else that He did.  Of course Jesus purposely violated their rules to demonstrate the Law Giver was standing before them.  Jesus was not required to keep their rules, they were required to keep His rules and they were doing a very poor job at that.   In Luke 6 Jesus is standing before the scribes and the Pharisees and they are watching him closely to see if He was going to violate their Sabbath rules so that they could accuse Him.  Jesus turned to them, looked at them and asked them a very direct question.  Jesus asked “Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath or to do evil on the Sabbath?”  You can clearly see Jesus was making a point that they could not answer.  Jesus was saying that their definition of work was NOT His definition of work.  You can also see that Jesus infers that doing “Good” was more important than their idea of a law of not working.  Jesus confronted this issue with the Jews repeatedly and revealed to them many new things that they refused to see:

Luk 13:15  The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?

Here Jesus calls the Jews hypocrites because of their Sabbath rules.  You can clearly see that giving your farm animal some water was a good thing that was acceptable in the eyes of God even if this could be considered to be work by many people.  So is doing Good a job or work?  Not according to God!  Jesus clearly calls religious people who think their external rules are the solution for keeping God’s law hypocrites.   Yet people in some churches today still have this same attitude.

Luk 6:2  And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days?

So the Jews were consumed by trying to obey the letter of the law and they failed to recognize the one that gave them the law was standing before them speaking to them.  So what was Jesus’ response to this question?

Luk 6:3  And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungred, and they which were with him;

You see the Pharisees saw the disciples of Jesus going through a corn field and picking ears of corn to eat and according to the Jewish rules this was a violation of the Law of Moses.  Anyone can clearly see that this is obviously a laborious task to pick corn in a field.  I do not know if you can read sarcasm or not, but that was a sarcastic remark I just made.  Of course it wasn’t really work it was just their idea of what the Law of Moses said.  To the disciples they were hungry and saw food and went and got it.  It is really not that complicated and Jesus told them, “Didn’t you read what David did”? 

Luk 6:4  How he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the shewbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone?

Jesus looking at the Pharisees told them that David violated the law and entered into the temple to eat that which was reserved for only the priests of God and David also gave to the others that were with him.  It is funny that God, who was standing before them, did not strike David dead for violating this law, did He?  Normally, if even a priest entered into a Holy place with sin they fell down dead and had to be dragged out with a rope that was tied around their ankle.  So obviously God’s view of things is different than man’s view of things, aren’t they?

Luk 6:5  And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

So God’s point is that He is the one that gave the law of the Sabbath, He is still Lord of the Sabbath and only He determines what is acceptable to do and not you.  In other words you are not God so do not pretend to be God and make rules up that define what is acceptable on a Sabbath and what is not acceptable on a Sabbath.  This is what got the Jews in the major hot water that they were in and we have some Christians in the world today trying to do the same.

Here is the other side to the problem of trying to keep the Sabbath Holy today as a Christian.  God says in the Bible that “NO FLESH shall be justified by keeping the LAW” (Acts 13:39).   If keeping the Sabbath Holy is the fourth commandment and it is impossible for any man to be justified by keeping it then what are we to do as Christians?  That is a really good question.  I believe that we should be doing what Jesus did.  If Jesus did anything on the Sabbath, we should be doing the exact same things.  Jesus spent a lot of time going about teaching and preaching the Word of God and healing those that were oppressed of the devil.  According to the Bible this was God doing Good in our world (Acts 10:38)!  So doing GOOD is what the church should be doing on the Sabbath and every other day of the week.  So everywhere you go and in everything that you do it should be in making an effort to do good for someone that needs good to be done to them or for them in the world.  This is what I believe the Bible teaches us about the keeping of the Sabbath.   I’ll give you an example, one day I was walking through a mall with my uncle and my son.  We came upon a little boy that was crying alone in the middle of the mall.  We could have kept walking but I decided to stop and asked him what the matter was.  It seems that the child had gotten lost from his mother and was scared because he couldn’t find her.  So I called to the nearest store clerk and asked them to call mall security to help find the mother.  The young child was eventually reunited and there was a happy ending.  So what if I had not decided to do this good deed?   I could have hoped that someone else would have come along and done it.  Or a bad man could have potentially come along and taken advantage of the situation and this child could have never been heard from again.  So what would you have done?  What is your definition of doing good?  Jesus gave us an example of doing good in the story of the Good Samaritan.  You can see in this story that some passed by the wounded man that was hurt and kept going.  Those that passed by were a “Priest” and a “Levite” two religious zealots who would not be willing to lift a finger on the Sabbath to help even a hurt man.  But, Jesus said the Samaritan came by and helped this man and made an concerted effort to do something good for him.  Jesus praised the Samaritan and put down the priest and Levite.  Who was justified in the eyes of God that day?  It certainly was not the Jewish religious leaders? 

Today we have many people in churches trying to do what the Jewish religious leaders did and they are looking for ways to accuse other Christians of violating their Sabbath rules.  However, the Bible says “I am Holy so you be Holy” (1 Peter 1:16).  So observe what Holy God does on the Sabbath and then do likewise.  Be led by the Spirit of God to do good and you will see that God may praise you someday as being a Good Samaritan also.  If you disagree you should take it up with God and not me, for I did not write the Bible.  God Bless!

Understanding Angels! More About Put Your Angels to Work! Part 6

(Ver 1.1)  This is now Part 6 of a series of studies about the spiritual reality of angels found in the Bible.   We have covered a lot of information that is not all going to be repeated, so if you have not read these lessons from the beginning, I would recommend that you go back and start with “Part 1”.  I was planning on talking about the negative side of angels today, but God seemed to say that I wasn’t done teaching on the last subject about angels being servants of God.  You see I seemed to imply some things that could be taken wrong in my last lesson.  I seemed to say that you could tell an angel something to do and they would have to do it.  But, that is not the entire truth; usually you find that the truth is always more complicated than your first impressions.   In the last lesson I showed you where God said in Hebrews that angels are ministering spirits sent “for” those who are heirs of salvation.  The meaning of the word “ministering” meant a servant.  We have seen several times where angels were sent from God because of the words of men and women on the earth.  So obviously angels are not our personal servants, they are actually the servants of God who do things for us when we speak right words.  How do you know you are speaking right words?  That is why we need to learn more today.  I always like to think that you learn what God says in the Bible and speak what God says in order to be on the safe side.  You are much more likely to think and say the right things when you do this.  Do you recall what God said to Joshua?  God gave Joshua a formula for success.  I have heard many people try to preach against taking formulas from the Bible, but yet you must be spiritually blind to think that God would tell one person the way to be successful and this rule not to apply to everyone else also.  Read the words of Jehovah God and see what they say:

Jos 1:7  Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.

To be strong and courageous is the opposite of being fearful and weak.  God is revealing a faith principle to Joshua without calling it faith.  God tells Joshua that by doing the Law of Moses and not deviating from it, he would be prosperous in whatever he did.  To turn to the right or to the left means to depart from going straight down the path that God has instructed you to go in.  This gets more Christians into trouble more than many other things.  To depart from God’s Words is sin.  However, God does not put any restrictions on how you can prosper unless you try to prosper by violating God’s law.  In other words you cannot lie, cheat or steal and think that God and the angels will cause you to be a success in life.  You see God always gets back to the basics.  The basics are always found in God’s Word.  If you can follow God’s spiritual laws you will succeed in the natural realm.  Apparently this is what Abraham did in our last lesson without having the Law of Moses to follow.  Because Abraham did the right thing before the eyes of God by finding a wife for his son among his own people God was able to send an angel to help make it happen.   So how do we insure that we do God’s Word?  God gives us some more clues in the very next verse in Joshua:

Jos 1:8  This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Did you see what this verse says?  It says the Book of the Law will not depart from your mouth.  Where is the key to your success?  It is in your mouth according to God.  By reading, learning, memorizing and speaking God’s words constantly, God said you will make your way prosperous and always have good success here on the earth.  The term “meditate” means to murmur or mutter under your breath; to keep it in your mind by speaking it with your mouth.  It is very difficult to teach any subject in the Bible and not get back to the reality of the importance of your words that you speak.  So was the servant of Abraham successful and prosperous in his attempt to find a wife for Isaac?  He obviously was, so Abraham followed God’s law of success given to Joshua in order to make this happen.  Do you see and understand the connection that I just made and why this applies to a lesson on angels?  Do you also remember the verse that I gave you in Psalms?

Psa 103:20  Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.

Does this verse make any more sense to you now?  You see this verse does not say that angels only obey words.  It says angels hearken unto His Words.  But it does not say that God has to speak them?  It says “the voice” of His Word and that is totally different than the “voice of God”.  What if you begin to say what God says about you, are you now the voice of His word?  I believe that you become the “voice” of His word when you say what He says.  If you say what God says, I believe that allows angels to do what God said to do for you.  So what is the key to success in life?  It starts with first learning what God said and then saying and doing that whole heartedly in faith.   Remember God said to be strong and courageous and not weak and fearful.  There are just many factors in life that we need to learn about in studying this subject.  If Abraham was fearful that his servant would not find the wife for his son, guess what there would have been no wife found.  So you have a major part to play in being successful in life and you just cannot speak a command to the angels to do something that God has not already told them to do.

Here is another aspect about angels that I have already alluded to that you should learn.  While angels have been sent to the earth to minister for those who are heirs of salvation, they are not our direct servants.  As we have seen they work for God and only do what He says for them to do.  However, if we say what God has said then we have the ability to give voice to God’s commands and they will normally hearken to our words.  Here is another key factor to consider in this discussion on angels being servants.  Jesus in speaking to his disciples said the following:

Mat 10:24  The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.

Jesus was calling his followers both disciples and servants.  Meaning Jesus was the Master and Lord that this verse is referring to.  Paul in Romans 1:1 says “Paul a servant of Jesus Christ”.  If Christians are servants of God also, what does that make our relationship to the angels of God?  We are about to learn another key factor to angels:

Rev 22:8  And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.

John in writing the book of Revelation says that an angel came to him and he fell down to worship him.  However, the angel stops John from doing this and says the following statement to him:

Rev 22:9  Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

The angel of God says very clearly not to worship him, for he is a “fellowservant”.   In other words the angel says we both have the same Master and Lord.  The word translated as “fellowservant” means co-slave.  It can also mean “ministrant of the same master”.  You can clearly see that the correct order of things is that God is always the highest one over all others.  What we discover from this information is that we are all working for the same cause and good.  Angels can certainly do things that we cannot do and in many ways they have an advantage over us.  However, once you see that it is God’s purpose that we are working for, then we realize that both angels and Christians have a common enemy with God.  God’s enemies are now our enemies and we are working and fighting against these spiritual beings.  We who are Christians are also working to get more people into the kingdom of God, but that is not an angelic assignment to preach the gospel.  Preaching the Gospel is a human assignment from God.   So our roles are different because we are dominated by different realms of reality.  Humans are resident in a natural realm and angels primarily stay in the spiritual realm.  I have seen where men can cross into the spiritual realm in the form of a vision and see things that they normally do not see.  We of course in our studies have seen where angels can cross into the natural realm and do things for those who are heirs of salvation.  So the lines between these two realms can be blurred to some degree, but yet we still have specific primary responsibilities that have been placed upon us by God.  These roles will further blur in the future.  After the church is taken up to heaven, then who preaches in the earth?  Apparently according to Revelation, the angels will be allowed to preach to men on the earth:

Rev 14:6  And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

So today there are no angels preaching in the world that I know of.  But, later I believe you can see that this verse says that will change.

Today I’m going to end this lesson from a story that I learned from a preacher that I consider one the greatest men of God in the past century.  This man said that God told him to stop praying for money and to command his angel to bring in his finances.  God gave him the verse in Hebrews that we looked at about angels being a minister and other verses that said the laborer was worthy of his pay (1 Tim 5:18).  He was struggling financially before this revelation from God and he read a verse in the Bible that said I “If you be willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land”.  He realized that he was not eating the good of the land so there must be a problem.  So this man was a full time minister of God and traveled to church to church speaking and teaching the Word of God.  He used to totally depend upon the pastor of the church to treat him fairly and pay him according to the offerings that were supposed to be given to him.  Sometime this worked and sometimes men were not as good of Christians as they appeared on the surface and withheld from him.  So this minister when he would go to a church would determine how much money he needed to meets his bills for the week and then place a demand on the angels of God to go and cause the money to come.  He would not pray to God and ask for any amounts of money, he would not tell the pastors of the church that he expected any amounts of money specifically; he would just say to his angel to go and work for him and they did it every time.  God was teaching this man a principle that is found in the Bible and it works regardless of your profession.  If you can find the same Bible verses and believe them, the angels will hearken to your voice also.  Just as Rebecca was influenced by an angel to come and minister to the servant of Abraham and all of his camels, the angels of the Lord can cause people to give to you also.  Angels will of course never make anyone do anything that they do not want to do already.  God will always use people to be a blessing to others who want to be a blessing.  In return God can bless them further.  You may recall in Genesis that God told Abraham that I will bless you so that you can be a blessing to others (Gen 12:2).  This is also not a license to steal or even a get rich overnight scheme.  You can take any truth found in the Bible to the extreme and make it a lie.  There are also many other truths in the Bible that apply; your heart condition, your attitude, your willingness, your obedience to God and His Word and I could go on and on.  This is the problem with many Christians, that they hear one good thing and jump on it like that is all there is.  God is not a lottery and we are not pulling a Heavenly Vegas slot machine trying to hit it big.  Keep balanced at all times and stay in the Word of God and allow God to teach you what else you need to know.

So here is the next part that you need to know.  This will not work if you only try it!  This preacher knew God’s word and believed God’s words and then he did them and spoke to the angel.  You better get the scriptures in your spirit so that they are resident and firmly set within you before you begin to say them and expect them to happen.   That was a very basic lesson in faith and believing God’s Word.  There are many who do not understand it in the world but yet there are also many others who do this every day.   I am not here to convince you of anything that you do not want to believe in.  If you read the Bible and see things differently than I do, that is fine with me.   Just do not criticize me like you are God and know everything.   How you believe in angels will not affect your salvation, but it might affect your finances.  If you have a story about how an angel has helped you, I would very happy to hear about it.  Later in these lessons I will try to give you some examples from my personal life of how I believe that angels have helped me in life.  I thank you for taking the time to study the Bible with me and pray that it was a blessing to your walk with God.

If you would like to continue to the next lesson you may select “Part 7“.