Monthly Archives: November 2010
Understanding How To Be Thankful in a Thankless World!
(Ver 1.1) We are living in a day when many are not thankful for anything. Teaching children when they are young to be thankful is a difficult assignment which too many parents ignore. When I was a child being raised in the south, many parents taught their kids to have manners. They would say Yes ma’am, No ma’am, Yes sir, No sir, please and thank you and if they didn’t their parents would correct it swiftly. This seems to be a lost skillset in the world today. Not only do many children grow up without manners, they grow up without any regard to being thankful to the ones that even brought them into the world. I know not everyone had a rosy childhood and a great set of parents and that life is much tougher on the outside than it could be or should be. But, there is what appears to me to be an over emphasis for people on their current situations in life that ignores the fact that these are always a relative set of temporary circumstances. In other words ALL problems are always relative and they do not last forever. If you look arond you closely you can always find someone that is much worst off than you are. So many look at their temporary problems and are consumed by what they don’t have and miss out on being thankful for what they do have. I have learned one thing in life that is of most importance for me and my relationship to God and that is I need to stop worrying about what could happen or what I don’t have and only focus on what God has already done in my life and given to me and give Him thanks for that. This is the Thanksgiving season and this is my message today for you, begin to be thankful for something. Look for something to be thankful for and start with that.
So I usually do not get personal, because this blog is not about me. But, I am going to relate to you something that my family went through over 20 years ago. My wife and I were expecting our second child and it was a great time for us, we thought. Everything progressed in the normal way and when it was time to have the baby, we went to the hospital like we had done before. However, this night our world was going to be shaken and change dramatically.
Our new son was born and the doctors started checking him over and then started calling in specialists and things happened very fast from there. The doctors did tests and x-rays and determined my new son was born with a major heart defect and deformity. The heart surgeon did immediate open heart surgery to save my new son’s life while I called my mother to help me pray to God. My wife was in another hospital recovering and I went to the children’s hospital where the surgery was taking place. After several hours of wondering, what was happening, the doctor came out and told me that he was alive and that we were very lucky. I knew that my wife was going through a very tough time being alone without her new son in her arms in another hospital. But we were doing the best that we knew how to do at the time. We all made it home eventually and we lived the best that we could a couple of more years before he needed another heart operation. So we went to the hospital and went through the pain again and the outcome was good again. You see the hand of God was with me and my family when I did not even know it sometimes.
My son continued to grow and he turned 4 years old. All during this time we went to church and prayed and kept hoping for a miraculous outcome. We would strive to look for little victories whenever we could. A couple of weeks after his fourth birthday my son and I were getting ready to go to church like we always did. My wife had to be at choir early so she went on first ahead of us. My son and I stopped in at McDonald’s and had pancakes for breakfast and were about to head to church when all of a sudden he collapsed in my arms and his eyes rolled back in his head. I knew something was not right immediately and I yelled for someone to call an ambulance. I then waited until I could not wait any longer and put him in my car and drove him to the closest emergency room Hospital about a mile away. They started working on him as fast as they could and I could hear him scream as I filled out paper work for the hospital. They worked for over an hour and I tried to call the church to leave a message for my wife where we were, but she was on stage singing in the choir and the church services was on TV so they could not go and get her until she came off of the stage. My other son was away at a church camp retreat this weekend so God was watching over us in many ways that I cannot tell you. While my wife sang in the choir praising God, my son died at the hospital. We were probably 15 to 20 miles from the church. I cried very hard when the doctors told me the news. I sat outside on the curb of the hospital waiting and finally my wife drove up and I had to tell her that our son was with Jesus now.
I wish things could have been different, I wish things could have been better, but yet I was thankful for the four years that I had with my son. He taught me many things that I would have not known otherwise. There were times in the car when he sat in the back seat in his car seat praising God and raising his hands in praise. Oh, to have a son with the heart of a child that was thankful for what he had and was not missing what he didn’t have, that is what changed my life forever.
I will see my son again, so I know he is not gone forever. I will talk to him in eternity and we will run together and play like he never could on the earth. Now learn the lesson of a child’s heart today and become thankful for everything that you have even if that is only a very little. I believe that God honors a thankful heart and blesses them that give Him thanks. So if you would only concentrate on what you have and be thankful, I believe that God will bless you and cause you to have more eventually.
This is the season of Thanksgiving here in the U.S. I pray that you become highly focused on everything that truly matters in your life and less focused on the things that you do not have. Problems I believe are only temporary and they are always relative. No matter how bad you think you have it, you can always find someone who has less or a worse situation and you can do something to be a blessing to them in whatever way you can. Being a blessing is why I do what I do on this website. If you could see my heart right now you would understand my tears while I wrote this blog. I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving wherever you are while you give thanks to God for all that He has already accomplished in your lives. God Bless!
The Riddle and the Puzzle in the Bible of the Missing Row on Satan’s Breastplate?
(Ver 1.2) There are many people who do not understand how the Bible was written. God has hidden a countless number of mysteries, riddles and puzzles in the Bible for us to solve with His help. These riddles are always word based puzzles. All of these puzzles are implemented with techniques that use hidden and spread out information that makes them very hard to find. These mysteries are of course much more difficult to solve than they are to find but many of the puzzles are also very hard to recognize by just reading the Bible. Today I am going to show you one of these very complex puzzles that I have been working on from the Bible for several years and so far have not completely solved the entire mystery of the puzzle. I want to share what I know today with those on the Web to challenge you to see it and then to think and help me to see things that maybe I have not thought of. There are certainly people on the web that have also found this puzzle, but clearly they have not understood it completely either. I believe that since we are so very close to the time of the end, that God is intending that we should know what these puzzles mean before He returns for us. The biggest problem that I have with most of the interpretations that I have found on the web concerning this mystery is that they are all someone’s opinion on what it means. No one gave any Bible verses to establish the truth. So that is a major problem with most interpretations, they are “Private Interpretations” and these are not allowed (2 Peter 1:20). This however, does not stop men from coming up with their own personal interpretations of what they think the Bible means. The Spirit of God began to show me this puzzle almost 20 years ago and even though I have studied it over and over, I have not come to a definite meaning to what is being taught. So, I will share with you what I know and maybe God can use someone else to help solve the mystery. In the Old Testament, Moses was given specific instructions of how to make the Temple of God and the garments of the Priests. There are several articles of clothing of the priests with some very specific items that all must have symbolic meanings. The garments of the priest are said to be holy. One of the key pieces of the Priest’s wardrobe was a breastplate. This breastplate was put on over the head and shoulders of the high priest and covered his chest and back areas of his body. This resembles what many soldiers wore while they were in battle to protect themselves from blows to their bodies. The breastplate was an outward covering of the body and specifically the upper torso.
There are two places in Exodus that specifically lists the qualities found in the breastplate and these verses describe the breastplate to us in some detail. One of the places this is found is in Exodus 28 and the other is in found Exodus 39. We will only focus in on the description found in Exodus 28 in this lesson today:
Exo 28:15 And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it.
The priest’s breastplate is called the Breastplate of Judgment. The word judgment means a judge’s verdict or degree, either for or against you. Every mention of titles, names or specific qualities of the breastplate I believe all have symbolic meanings. I believe that God is more interested in teaching us about spiritual things than He is making us look like we worship external manmade idols. The breast plate consists of three colors of threads. One is Blue, the second is purple and the third was scarlet. I believe these colors also have symbolic meanings attached to them. Now God begins to describe the stones that should be included on the external covering of the breastplate:
Exo 28:17 And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row.
As you can see God picks very specific stones and a very specific arrangement, placement and order to each stone. The stones are arranged as we discover in 4 rows of 3 stones each for a total of 12 stones in all. This is a very key number to remember. I believe that the number 12 is also symbolic of spiritual things. We know from study that Israel had 12 tribes, that there are 12 hours in a day, Jesus picked 12 apostles and the foundation of the New Jerusalem has 12 specific parts that we may look at later. Let’s continue through the rest of the rows of stones given by God:
Exo 28:18 And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond.
Exo 28:19 And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst.
Exo 28:20 And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings.
So we have a list of 12 unique individual stones with no duplicates arranged in a pattern of rows and columns. It just so happens that rows and columns are a sommone type of computer database concept and terminology. If you are familiar with Spread Sheets like Microsoft Excel, then you also can understand how rows and columns play a factor in what God is showing us by this specific diagramed information. If you understand these concepts it may help you to see where we go later in this lesson. Then in the next verse in Exodus we see another association being made.
Exo 28:21 And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes.
Each stone is engraved with the name of the sons of Jacob. What order to place the names, however is not given to us. We could assume that it is in the order of birth given to us in Genesis 29 and 30, or we could assume it is in some other order like the names of the tribes given to us in Revelation 7:5-8 or even Ezekiel 48:31-34. However, in each case example that I just gave you, God lists the 12 sons of Jacob in a different sequence. So which is the right one and does it even matter? Many have tried to come up with the sons of Israel names associated with each stone, but I am not convinced any of them are right. I have read at least 3 or 4 possible renditions on the web of who they thought the stones were and they were all different and nobody could tell us why they picked one to be associated to the other. It could be that the names being associated with each of the stones is not important, or it could be that it is still just hidden from our view and we have not found it yet. Here are the stones we found on the Priest’s breastplate listed in the specific Row order given to us by God.
|Sardius; H124 (3)||Topaz; H6357 (4)||Carbuncle; H1304 (3)|
|Emerald; H5306 (4)||Sapphire; H5601 (11)||Diamond; H3095 (3)|
|Ligure; H3958 (2)||Agate; H7618 (2)||Amethyst; H306 (2)|
|Beryl; H8658 (7)||Onyx; H7718 (11)||Jasper; H3471 (3)|
I have listed the name of the stone from the KJV Bible as well as the Hebrew Strong’s number followed by a parenthesized number of times this specific word is mentioned in the O.T. As you can clearly see 3 stones are only mentioned a total of 2 times in the Bible and only in the description of the Priest’s breastplate in Exodus. This is Row 3 of the list of 12 stones. Next you can see that 4 stones are mentioned in the bible only 3 times, 2 stones are mentioned 4 times, 1 stone is mentioned 7 times and finally 2 stones are mentioned a total of 11 times. That is the makeup of the 12 stones and their frequency of word usage occurrence in the O.T. Hebrew Bible. All this tells me is that 7 stones are only mentioned in the descriptions of the breastplates and then 5 stones have varying references from 1 additional mention to 4 mentions and finally to 8 additional mentions. In reading these references I only saw Jasper mentioned in relation to the throne of God. I then noticed Topaz mentioned as coming from Cush. I did not see any references to any of the tribes of Israel so we still have a major mystery with relating the stones to the individual tribes of Israel. It would appear that God does not mention this in the Bible or it is definitely hidden using a method that God has implemented to conceal the information.
Heb 8:5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.
So here we go with the beginning of the enormous mystery puzzle. We know from the above verse in Hebrews that God gives us some valuable information of those things that were given to Moses in the O.T. Law. God specifically tells us that those things that Moses created for God’s temple on the earth were shadows of the heavenly things that already preexisted in heaven. That is very important information. God has a temple in heaven that resembled the temple on the earth created by Moses. This would have to mean that God had a high priest in heaven that also resembled the high priest here on earth. Are you getting it so far? We are now ready to see some more important clues found in Ezekiel 28:13 that seems to describe Lucifer or Satan as the type of or in the role of the high priest in heaven. Satan is described to resemble the role of the high priest on the earth, but with 3 less stones on his covering. Read this verse carefully:
Eze 28:13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
If you go through the list of stones and lookup each of the Strong’s Hebrew words, you discover that each stone listed in this verse is an exact match for a stone found on the Mosaic priest’s breastplate. They are of course listed in a completely different order. Then as you can determine by looking and counting, there are exactly 3 stones less with a total of only 9 stones being listed. So we have to reorder them to see which ones are present and which ones are missing. So not only does Satan have stones in a different order, he is missing a total of 3 stones. By closer comparison you can determine that it is Row 3 of the high priest’s breastplate that is missing from the covering of Satan.
|Sardius; H124 (3)||Topaz; H6357 (4)||Carbuncle; H1304 (3)|
|Emerald; H5306 (4)||Sapphire; H5601 (11)||Diamond; H3095 (3)|
|Beryl; H8658 (7)||Onyx; H7718 (11)||Jasper; H3471 (3)|
All of this is just too amazing to be a simple coincidence. If you understand God you will know that God purposely hides information like this for us to discover. Using database concepts, this information would represent a missing record from a file. A record always contains related field information that is grouped, organized and associated to form the information in the row. A row would be like the name and address for a customer. Therefore, in database terms, we would have a table that has 4 rows of people’s names and addresses that we know. Each row would represent one person that we know and the information that we want to relate to that person, like their stree address, city, state and phone number. These are just basic database concepts, but they must certainly apply to the puzzle being presented to us by God. God is definitely trying to reveal something to us, but what it is, is the major question of the day? What can we derive from the fact that exactly Row 3 is missing and not Rows 1, 2, or 4? It would appear to me that since Row 3 is missing that it seems to be an indication that something was taken away from Satan and not just simply being added to the high priest on the earth. However, that is not a complete factual reality, since in any spread sheet or database you can add a row anywhere you like. So that is the mystery of the missing row in a nutshell. What is being added to the earthly priest that Satan did not have? Or what is being taken away from Satan that man still has? Since the Bible does not appear to answer the missing row question specifically from Satan’s breastplate, nor the names of the tribes of Israel can be directly tied to each stone, then this forced me to change my perspective and to look in the Bible for alternative related subjects and topics in order to come up with a better understanding for what God is trying to teach us. Sometimes I have learned that if you can’t understand it from one perspective then you better change your perspective to see it differently and this is what I’ll do for the rest of this lesson. I learned that the Bible says God does not change, so the Bible does not change either, it is only our view of the Bible that should be affected. Did you understand what I just said? It was very important!
You see, I believe the Bible clearly reveals to us that the people in the church are a spiritual pattern of the Old Testament Mosaic priests. These O.T. natural Priests were given to us as natural views into the coming spiritual truths and realities found in the New Testament. Let me briefly show you some scriptures in the N.T. that seem to indicate this to us:
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.
As you can see this verse both calls people in the church living stones as well as being a people who are called a “holy priesthood”. I do not think this is an accident that God mentions these two things in one verse. It would appear that there is a definitive association to the stones found within the breastplate of the O.T. priest. In this verse you can clearly see that we in the church are supposed to offer to God a spiritual sacrifice and not a physical one. So the people in the church are the new spiritual priests of God. Could we possibly be replacing Satan the original heavenly priest? If the church is also the spiritual priests of God, what kind of spiritual breastplate are we now wearing? If you noticed I did say a spiritual breastplate and not a physical breastplate. The O.T. breastplate is clearly a symbolic representation of something that we cannot see with our natural eyes.
1Pe 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
Here is another witness to the fact that the church is called a royal priesthood of God. You see the word “priesthood” comes from a Greek word meaning to “execute the priest’s office”. To do what the priest did physically, but do it now in the spiritual realm for real. We have observed two major verses in the N.T. written to the church of God that tell us we are now God’s spiritual priests, but let’s look at one more for fun:
Rev 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Here is another witness found in the Bible that says the members of the church have been placed into the office of a “priest” unto God. You can clearly see from these three witnesses that the church is directly called priests. So we are at the point now to try to figure out what the breastplate might represent to us as God’s priests.
Eph 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
As you can clearly see, this verse describes Christians as wearing a “breastplate of righteousness”. This statement is made in the clear context with a description of the armor of God and is starkly contrasted with the O.T. “breastplate of Judgment”. So it is not directly a high priest type of breastplate or is it? It still could be considered very similar. As you recall in the description of the high priests breast plate it was labeled the breastplate of judgment a figurative named title just as our breastplate is stated to also be a figurative described title. The one of judgment is obviously very different than the other that is given to us for righteousness. However, the Bible says that we have been justified and redeemed and therefore we are not under the condemnation or judgment of the law. Since we have been freely given the righteousness of Jesus, I believe that we would be wearing a different type of priest’s covering than the one found in the O.T. law.
1Th 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
I am convinced that the Bible gives us many clues in little pieces that we need to put together correctly. Here we again see another reference to us wearing a breastplate, but this time it is mentioned in conjunction with two new terms called faith and love. Do you realize that faith and love are two of the fruits of the spirit mentioned in the New Testament? Do you also realize that there are 9 direct fruits of the spirit mentioned in this verse in Galatians? I believe the reoccurrence of the number 9 is again more than a simple coincidence.
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
So are these 9 fruits being mentioned in a list just a mere coincidence? The only way you know there are nine is by us counting them. Of course the only way you know there were only 9 stones on the breastplate of Satan was to count them also. How many stones did Satan have? You know by now that Satan had only 9 stones. We can logically conclude that since the High priest’s breastplate had 12 stones, 3 more than Satan’s breastplate that God is trying to tell us something very important. I personally believe that the 9 fruits of the spirit in Galatians are missing 3 fruits and here is one of the main reasons that I believe this:
Rev 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruit, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
So I believe this verse has some more major clues in it that are applicable to our puzzle solution. This verse clearly mentions the number 12 and this is the same number of stones on the O.T. High Priests breastplate. Then there is a connection of the number 12 to fruit which we discovered this connection when looking at the fruits of the spirit and the breastplate of righteousness found in the N.T. It is also interesting to note another connection found in this verse connecting these 12 fruits to the tree of life. If you have ever read some of my other lessons you know that the tree of life is a clear reference to the people in the church. Here is an example of one of these verses:
Pro 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
As you should be able to see this verse says that we have “fruit”, “righteousness” and the “tree of life” all mentioned in one verse and there is no way that this is there by chance or accident. In the N.T. the people in the church are clearly those who have been given God’s righteousness. We clearly saw verses that said the breastplate of righteousness was part of our spiritual wardrobe. Then there is this very simple fact that almost all natural fruit grows on trees. You do not plant a fruit seed like an orange seed and get more oranges; you first get a tree and that tree will produce the oranges. So where does spiritual fruit come from? Spiritual fruit must also come from a spiritual tree. I believe these righteous trees are those who have been given eternal life by God.
Pro 15:4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.
We are given another clue to this fruit that we are to produce and this is by our mouth and the words that we speak. This is one of the key reasons that I teach a lot on the importance of your spoken words. There are many verses that I can give you that are related and I will give you a couple of them:
Pro 12:28 In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.
Here in this verse we can see a reference to a pathway, righteousness and life and these are all being connected or linked together again. We saw in Revelation 22:2 that the tree of life was in the middle of what? This verse says that the tree of life was found in the middle of the street. Is a street a pathway? I believe it can be. It is often times called a highway, a parkway, a drive or other words in our English language but a way to go is the clear reference being given to us. So we can see in Proverbs 12:28 that the righteous are intended for life and this would imply the ability to produce the 12 kinds of fruit mentioned in Revelation 22:2 on the tree of life. If you study the Bible in the Old Testament, trees are many times used as symbols for people. So a symbolic a group of “trees of life” in Revelation 22 could also be a righteous group of God’s people.
It is also interesting to note that in Revelation 22:2 that there are 12 fruits that are produced every month. How many months are there? In our calendar there are 12 months in a year. So we have two number twelve’s being related together. If you multiply 12 x 12 you get 144 and this is a number that occurs other places in the bible. If you add 12 + 12 you get 24 and this number also appears in the Bible multiple times. So are these coincidences or simply clues to a greater mystery. I think I’ll end this lesson here today, for I do not want to overwhelm you with too many questions to consider all at once. What I want you to do is recognize that there are little clues found in the Bible that are repeated to display hidden information that has meaning and significance. I believe very firmly that the righteous ones are those who are supposed to be producing 12 kinds of fruits of the spirit. What the other 3 fruits are, represents the missing row on the breastplate of righteousness of Christians. This is another mystery of Biblical proportions. But, the patterns and information being given to us is clearly not by accident or chance. What we must do is study to show ourselves approved and continue to ask God to reveal to us the mysteries of the Bible. God Bless!
Understanding the Collapsing Timeline of the End of the World!
(Ver. 1.2) This is Part 1 in a series of advanced Bible Lessons about the signs of the end times. Many people in our world do not understand that we are at the end of the end of our age. A time called the end of the “last days” on earth. The door to this Age of Man’s dominance upon the earth in conjunction with the works of Satan is closing rapidly. Most of the world proceeds in the darkness and grows more evil for they do not know the signs of the time. It is true what the prophet Hosea said “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge”. No doubt if people only had the right knowledge, they would also be able to see the times of God’s seasons are concluding quickly. However, I heard a TV preacher the other day make a statement that I agreed with 100%. This pastor of a church here in the U.S. prophesied a coming reveal of God’s Word; his statement said every mystery of God will be revealed in the next 2 years. While I do not know if 2 years is the time frame for Christ’s return or not, I believe that there are countless numbers of mysteries in the Bible to be discovered by God’s people and that God will reveal them by His Spirit to His people before Jesus returns. I mean think about it, why would God hide information in His book if it was not going to be revealed? What do we need with mysteries and hidden information from the Bible in heaven? I had a commenter say that it will sure be nice when we get to heaven and God can teach us all the things that we missed out on down here. Why can’t God teach His people the truth, here and now? Do you think that God is incapable of teaching His people what the truth is in the Bible? All it takes is for God to show us some little keys and suddenly the whole book could unfold right before us like a giant puzzle solved. You see when we get to heaven, there will be no enemies up there, no evil, no crime, and no deception and then what will we need with the truth? From my vantage point on the earth, the church needs to know the truth now so that we can become one body in harmony and accord with each other. That means we have a lot to learn in a very fast time frame. If you are interested in learning these secrets of God with me, then get involved with what God is doing in these last remaining days on the earth.
1Th 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
Why did God not have to write about the times and the seasons to these His people? What the Bible does is reveal something that implies we will be able to see these times and seasons and understand that the coming of the Lord is at hand. You can certainly look at the world around us and see many of these things mentioned in the Bible about the end are happening all around us. There have been earthquakes, wars, rumors of wars and many going here and there saying peace, peace! The signs of the times surround us every day. Technology, computers and the internet have made it possible for the Anti-Christ to take control of the world’s finances like never before. The Arab nations are building nuclear weapons and the nation of Israel is in perilous times. There are terrorists and people killing people and people dying all around us. In our calendar year, the seasons are used to determine the times of planting and reaping. God has been planting seeds for the last 2000 years. The knowledge of God has exploded like never before, but there is also a coming time of harvest, where God says that’s it, it is finished! How do you tell people this and not sound crazy in our world today? You sound like a chicken little saying the sky is falling! You come across as a fool, but at least you can be a fool for Christ.
1Th 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
So we have a verse that contradicts the previous verse. This verse says the coming of the Lord will be like a thief in the night. You just never know when a thief will show up. But, what we have here is the same event from two perspectives. Those who know Christ will be able to see the coming times and for those who do not know Christ it will happen suddenly without any warning.
1Th 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
We certainly see everyone today in the world calling for this illusive peace. What they do not understand is who is behind these wars, the spiritual forces that manipulate and control people in doing the evil that they do. This verse is again given in contrast to other verses in the Bible that reveal the church is not appointed to wrath. Sudden destruction is not coming to the church, if you think it is then you are very confused in who wins this spiritual war. Sudden destruction will come upon the evil people in the world who do not want to see the coming of Jesus. The church of Jesus will be taken up and out of this destruction before it happens.
1Th 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
Here we have the previous verse to verse conflict resolution given to us very clearly. We the church, are not those who are in the darkness. The destruction is only for those in and of the darkness. Those who walk in the darkness are those who have been blinded not to see the truth of God. These are those who have been deceived into believing lies. These verses in 1 Thessalonians 5 are contrasting the end events from two perspectives, one is light and the other is darkness. Do you understand this?
1Th 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
We again see that the church of God is those who walk in the light of God. Anyone who has light can see what is happening in the world because of the light that God is shining upon us. This is in stark contrast to those in the darkness who cannot perceive the times or the seasons.
1Th 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
God says let us therefore be awake while we are in the light of day. This is a spiritual statement and not a physical statement. People still sleep at night and work during the day physically. But, these natural realities correspond to spiritual realities that we must understand clearly. To watch and to be sober is another contrasting statement to those who like to party during the night and get drunk. These concepts are not that difficult to grasp if you have eyes that see spiritual things.
1Th 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
For God has not appointed us to wrath. I spoke of this verse earlier because I wanted to show you that God is not angry at the church. Wrath is a coming time of punishment for being evil and rejecting the truth. Wrath will never be given to anyone who has been delivered from it by the blood of Jesus. Jesus became sin that we might become the righteousness of God and this makes us saved from the impending doom of the world. The Bible says that we (the church) have been reconciled back to God. That means to be brought back into right relationship with Him. I do not understand how people ignore verses like these in order to teach a mid-tribulation or post-tribulation rapture of the church. The church will not be here during the time of wrath and that means we will be taken out of here very soon. Jesus almost 2000 years ago said this about the times that we are living in:
Rev 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
In being able to recognize the times and seasons, it requires that you understand the Bible and what it teaches on these subjects. If Jesus could make this statement of coming soon almost 2000 years ago, how close do you think that we are today to the return of Jesus? How could Jesus say this and it be a truthful statement? To human perspectives 2000 years is almost an eternity. But, we of course understand that God lives outside of the dimension of time in an eternal self-sustaining mode of existence. God is called the ancient of days in the Bible, so time to God must be completely different than time to us. To man 2000 years is a very long time since man only lives to be a 100 years old, but to God, it is just a yesterday. If I said to you today, “I’ll see you tomorrow”, is that a long time to you? To most people, tomorrow is not a long time. We are simply talking about at the most 48 hours. So when you see Jesus speaking of 2000 years as a short time you must find God’s definition of what time is in order for you to understand the real truth of the Bible. This is called letting the Bible interpret itself:
2Pe 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
So by God’s definition of time on the earth, one day can represent a time period of 1000 years to Him. What God is doing is changing our definition to His definition so that we can see things from His perspective. This is one of the most important concepts for correct Bible interpretation that you can find. This definition gives us a reference to time that was hidden in the Bible. When you start analyzing the Bible using this information you can begin to see why Jesus could say that He would see us at the end of the day tomorrow and it be nearly 2000 years on our timeline. Therefore 2000 years would not be a long time in God’s eyes. Seeing things the way God sees them is one of the most important keys to understanding the Bible. Let’s break down this information we just read for a future point of reference:
1000 / 24 = 41.6667 years = 1 God Hour. So One hour in God’s timeline would be just over 41 years of our calendar.
41.6667 / 60 = 0.6944 years = 1 God Minute. One minute to God would be approximately .7 of a calendar year to us.
0.6944 * 365 = 253.47 days = 1 God Minute. One God minute is just over 8 months of our calendar.
253.47 / 60 = 4.2245 days = 1 God Second. 101.388 hours = 1 God Second. 6083.25 seconds = 1 God Second.
While I have not found a reason why these numbers are significant, the concepts behind them are what I am trying to convey. To hear when God tells you to wait a minute, that it could mean wait up to 253 days for the answer. Even God’s Wait a Second, could be over 4 days long. It is a radical shift in our perspective of time concepts. It causes us to come up to a higher dimension of spiritual understanding. It forces us to renew our minds with some new spiritual facts and knowledge. What I am attempting to show you is that many times in the Bible God is defining words differently than we do. Do you understand that any verse in the Bible can change dramatically depending on the definitions of the words found in the verse? If we use man’s definition of the word found in the verse, there is a high probability that we just got it wrong.
By the law of first mention, we must go back to Genesis 1:5 to see the first time the word “Day” is used in the Bible. God goes through a series of 7 days of creation, doing something new every day that is unique to the world that we live in. This is a God week by definition and according to the definition of what a day is it means a period of 7000 years. However, we must also change our perspectives to see what else is hidden in this information. I do not believe that it took God 7000 years to create our world; I believe that God is trying to teach us something else about these days of creation. If you have read my other blogs, you already know that these 7 days of creations are prophetic statements of the history of man on the planet. Every day of the creation account has symbolic meaning of something that transpired in the earth during that millennium. The 7th day is a representative pattern of the coming millennial reign of Christ. This is God’s day of rest upon the earth where we have no enemy to fight or defend against. The first 6 days of creation are days of work for man, where we definitely have a great challenge presented to us by God. Our enemy Satan has come with great fury knowing that his time is very short. So while we do not know the exact day or hour for Christ’s return we can clearly see that the harvest season is fast approaching. There is no way to know how long of time that we have exactly on the planet. Our year 2010 is a corresponding year of 5771 in the Jewish calendar. The Jewish people have supposedly calculated from the time of Adam’s creation to today and they think it has been just under 6000 years by a few hundred years. I think that they are close but that it is much closer to that magic number of 6000 years than we think. There is no way that God is going to wait over 200 years to come back to the earth, people would not survive that long. If I had to guess a number I would say that the Jewish year is closer to 5985 to 5991. But, that is just me pulling numbers out of the air that mean nothing. It is only logical to see that Biblical prophecy is falling into place very rapidly around us. I do not think that the coming of the Lord can wait more than a very few years. If God does wait, then we are in trouble. The world’s economies are declining and the wickedness in the world is increasing at rates that are off the charts. I’m not going to explain the 6 day time line of creation like I have tried in other blogs. So please if you do not understand these concepts go and search my website for additional information on this subject. Using this information let’s look at some Bible verses that certainly apply:
Mat 17:1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,
When you realize that Jesus did nothing by chance or accident, you begin to see important prophetic verses in the Bible with hidden double meanings within them. In this verse it says Jesus went up to a mountain top and took with him Peter, James and John. The symbolic representations in this verse are very clear. If a day is as a thousand years then after 6000 years (6 God Days) of time on the earth Jesus will come to take His church up to be with Him. This is what I see that this verse implies, you of course can believe whatever you like. While on the mountain top Jesus meets with Moses and Elijah. These are also two symbolic representations of those who were dead (Moses) and those who were caught up alive (Elijah) to be with Christ. This whole story in this chapter of Matthew is giving us a prophetic confirmation of God’s timeline on the earth in hidden terminology. I hope and pray that you can see it and how it fits together with other Bible verses.
Mat 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Here Jesus is telling us some more secrets about His impending return. It says that as it was in the days of Noah it will be again in the coming of the Lord. So how was it in the days of Noah? In Noah’s day, the people mocked Noah for building an ark. They laughed because they knew not the impending coming disaster nor could they discern the times or the seasons because they were in darkness. They lacked “knowledge” of the truth and perished because of this lack of knowledge. Jesus says in this chapter of Matthew that they ate and drank and had parties. They married, built houses and went about their ways ignoring the coming disaster. This is a very important lesson for the coming of the end of the age that we are living within. Noah was considered righteous and is a type of the church family of God. Noah knew exactly when the disaster would start and how it would end. Noah was prepared for the disaster, so Noah was saved from the disaster. Noah escaped the wrath of God, and so it will also be with the church. This is a clear pattern of the true church in the world today. These are those who can read the signs of the times and understand the seasons. The Lord’s coming will not come as a thief in the night just like the rain did not come as a thief in the night to Noah. If you are prepared for Christ’s return then you will know and see His return clearly. In the parable of the 10 virgins, there were 5 who were foolishly not prepared and went away for oil. These are types of the people in the world who do not know God. They will not perceive that the time is too short to try to get more oil. While you are away Jesus will come back and those who are ready will go up. This parable is an attempt by God to tell you to get ready now before you realize the time is too close at hand to get more oil. Noah was 600 years old when the flood came, do you think that this could be a symbolic indication of the coming 6000 years of Christ’s return? I certainly do. Let’s look at one more verse about the end of time in relation to a historic type:
Luk 17:28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
I take these verses very literally. When Jesus says the coming of the son of man will come like it happened in the days of Lot, what does that tells us? The righteous were taken out and the destruction began to rain down immediately upon those cities. This again gives us a picture of the pre-tribulation departure of the church. God does not appoint the righteous to His wrath. This verse says those in the earth will be eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building and their consumed focus on these activities will cause them to miss the coming of Jesus.
Joh 2:1 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:
God gives us little clues in the Bible in vastly spread out verses. Here we have a reference to a real event that occurred during the days of Jesus on the earth, but God uses it to inform us of a spiritual event that is coming. These types of verses are allegorical and they are real events that happened on the earth, but they show us a spiritual reality. After two God days (2000 years) there is coming a wedding feast that will occur in heaven on the third day. While the earth is experiencing the vials of Revelation, the church will be in heaven getting ready for a wedding feast. Verses like these are very interesting and potentially controversial because it appears that I am pulling something out of context to teach a spiritual prophecy. However, God uses this technique throughout the Bible in symbols, types and shadows and allegories. I mean think about it, God could have used any number of days in this verse and it could have been accurate, but God chooses to use 2 days and then Jesus went to a weeding. Do you think this is an accident? I certainly do not!
Joh 4:43 Now after two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee.
Again we see that Jesus could have stayed however many days that he wanted, but it is recorded that Jesus stayed here 2 days and then the departure occurred. Is this another coincidence or is this a prophetic picture of the coming departure of the church? Only you can decide what you believe, it is. I will believe that it is a prophecy.
Joh 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Approximately four times in this chapter, Jesus uses the term the “Last Day” in conjunction with a time of resurrection and new life. What is the last day of the week? The “Last Day” of the week would be to the Jewish people the Sabbath, also called the day of rest. The God Sabbath is also called the Millennial Reign of Christ. We can very clearly see that Jesus is saying that there is coming a God Last Day where some things will change dramatically for us. There are a bunch of verses like this one in the Bible that make much more sense when viewed in the context of the prophetic creation week. When you apply God’s definition correctly you can understand how they are telling us our time on this earth is closing to an end, when we return to reign with Christ on the 7th day.
Joh 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
Wow, there are so many verses that we could go into that give us this repetitive clue of the coming “Last Day” when the feast will come. This of course will be the covenant marriage feast of the Lamb of God to His bride, the church. You must search your Bibles for these little hidden clues and then you will begin to understand them. God uses some very tricky methods of hiding information in the Bible in plain sight.
Joh 12:1 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
Again we see an amazing coincidence of 6 days and then a feast. The Passover was a representative symbolic meal of covenant between God and Israel. This is a pattern of the coming Marriage Supper when the church eats and drinks with Christ. So God could have put any number of days here in this verse but, chooses 6 as being significantly important for us to see. This verse also speaks of being raised from the dead after these 6 days, so that is again too amazing to be an accident. These are just more prophetic pictures of the coming to the end of our current earth age.
So while the Bible does not give us exact dates and times, it gives us enough information to discern the times and seasons that we are living in. I hope that you are beginning to understand the concepts being taught and can see the references to the soon return of Christ. God Bless!
If you would like to continue reading in this series you may go to “Part 2“.
People Generally Don’t Know That They Know Something Important!
(Ver 1.1) I was watching the news on TV and there was a policeman speaking about a crime that had just occurred. He was on the news asking for people who were near the crime scene to come forward. He then made this statement, “People don’t know what they know”. In other words he was saying you might have been a witness to the crime and not realized that you were because you did not know it was a crime. Maybe you happened upon the crime right after it happened and saw the culprits walking or running away from it. Maybe you saw a car drive away from the scene and this is the key that will unlock the identities of the guilty parties. He was clearly saying that someone saw something and that if they would come forward with this information it might be very important to solving the case. When he said that statement, God spoke to me and said this is the way the Bible is. People will read something in the Bible and not realize how important it is because they do not understand what it says and how it relates to other subjects in the Bible. I wrote a very similar lesson a long time ago called “People Generally Don’t Know What They Don’t Know”. If you did not read that article you should go back and review the concepts given. They are very profound revelations. Today’s subject while being very similar to this concept is also diametrically opposed to it. In the first lesson you have the concept of not knowing the bridge is out and driving off of the missing expanse in the dark to your death. If you would have just known that the bridge was out, then you would have been spared the tragic outcome. This is a concept found in the prophet Hosea. In this verse God reveals some very significant Bible truths to us:
Hos 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
It would appear to me from this verse that “Knowledge” is the key to not being destroyed in this world. While this could apply to natural knowledge, this verse is speaking of spiritual things as being what is important to know. The Law of God at the time of this writing represented the Words of God. The Words of God are what is important for us to know. Knowledge of the Word of God is the opposite of Ignorance of the Word of God. A Lack of Knowledge is totally related to your current ignorance level. So in the one case God says people perish from this world because they do not esteem the Word of God and count it as valuable to know. They in effect kill themselves because they have rejected the truth. This in effect, is not knowing what you do not know. But, we also have the lesson today, which is very similar in nature. You might know a little bit, but not understand the importance or significance of that knowledge because you lack the knowledge of how important it is to know or to share with others. In the case of the policeman on the news someone held the missing link to identify the perpetrators but did not know that they had it.
Take for example, the virgin birth of Jesus. There have actually been churches who have taught that the virgin birth is not important to know to be saved. However, if Jesus was not born of a vrigin then He was just a man like me. If you have read my lessons on “Understanding the Virgin Birth” then you already know this is not true. To listen to an ignorant preacher who teaches something is not important in the Bible, is a very foolish thing to do. You should never let any preacher do your Bible study for you, and that includes me! If you hear me say something from the Bible then go and read your Bible and study it for yourself to see if it is true or not. It is only the Bible that you have seen for yourself that will do you any good in life. Your pastor’s Bible knowledge will not do you any good when Satan comes and attacks you. If you are a Christian then the Spirit of God is also inside of you and if I say something wrong the Spirit of God inside of you will bear witness that I am wrong. So you will have two witnesses that will always agree to show you the reality of every truth in the Bible. The Bible says the Word of God and the Spirit of God will always agree and bear witness to the truth (1 John 5:7).
So today’s Bible lesson is not a long or complex something to do or understand. It is actually a very simple concept of seeing what you have seen and then going back and figuring out if it was important. I do this all the time when I study the Bible. I constantly review my past Bible readings and notes for things that I may have learned but not fully understood. I then use these little facts to build a greater knowledge of the truth when reading today’s Bible studies. I think I have said this before, but it bears repeating for those to remember, that truth always builds upon truth. When building a house of truth if your house is built upon false teachings then these are weaknesses that will cause your house to topple like a house of cards. If you build your foundation on the rock of the Word of God, then your foundation is firm and unshakeable. God’s Word is Truth, Jesus is Truth, but yet the Bible is written in a complex spiritual way that forces us to divide the truth correctly. I wish I could say this was easy, but after over 20 years of studying the Bible, I am only a little bit closer to understanding everything that the Bible says. So learn the lessons given today about recognizing that what you don’t know is important. Then go and continue in your Bible studies to learn more.
Understanding the Symbolic Nature of Genesis 1, 2 & 3! Spiritual Symbols Found in Genesis!
(Ver 1.4) In reading and studying the Book of Genesis I have found that it is essential to look at the first 3 chapters of this book using symbolic spiritual eyeglasses which allow us to see the concealed spiritual meanings that were hidden from the surface only reading that many Christians do. By studying the book of Genesis I have discovered that most of the subjects written about in these three chapters contain natural symbols that convey a much greater and complex spiritual truth. The difficulty comes in rightly dividing what is natural and what is spiritual and then interpreting both of these at the same time correctly. Clearly the book of Genesis and especially the first 3 chapters contain both real naturally created realities and people, but at the same time it contains a vast number of spiritual symbolic references that are intermixed throughout the text in almost every verse. This makes correct Bible interpretation of Genesis infinitely more complex, especially for carnal minded Christians.
1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
I put this verse in this lesson to show you how important rightly dividing the Bible is to correct interpretations. Here God says there are many who teach things in the Bible that are just from man’s own wisdom. You can still find this in churches and on the internet everywhere. But, God says there is a better way, let the Holy Ghost teach you spiritual things and then compare these spiritual things with other spiritual things. Most Bible scholars would certainly agree that this complexity is repeated in other books of the Bible like the prophets and especially the Book of Revelation. Revelation is dominated by symbolic references throughout the entire book and it is widely one of the most controversial books with the most widely dispersed interpretations surrounding it. So symbolism is an added layer of complexity that makes understanding these Bible books with it, much more difficult to comprehend and to understand correctly. For example when God mixes natural fruit with symbolic spiritual fruit in the same chapter this forces us to see what is being discussed by the context and then to use the rest of the Bible to help us interpret the meanings of the spiritual side of the information given. This is called “Comparing Spiritual Things with Spiritual Things” and “Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth” and we are required to see it correctly or we will remain hopelessly confused. We must therefore, choose to rightly divide the Word of God deciphering or decoding every word between the spiritual definition and the physical definition or we will wrongly divide it and make them all spiritual or all physical references. To make them all spiritual or all natural, we would get most of our interpretations wrong when doing this. So God did this all by a grand design. God purposely hid complex information in the Bible to keep it from Satan and to allow Him to reveal it to us His church in His perfect time. It is the designed process that I call “Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight”. So in today’s blog I am going to focus on the symbols recorded in the first three chapters of Genesis and give you a list of the most important ones that I have found. Here is the List of Symbols in Genesis 1, 2 & 3:
Chapter Verse Reference
|Adam||A real man, but also a symbolic representation of the man Jesus Christ||Genesis 2:18-26; Romans 5:14|
|Afraid||The symbolic spiritual force of the fear of the consequences of sin and death||Genesis 3:10; Heb 2:15;|
|Ashamed, Not||Symbolic Spiritual Innocence||Genesis 2:25; 1 John 2:28|
|Cleave||The symbolic covenant of marriage between Christ and the church to be JOINED!||Genesis 2:24; 1 Cor 6:17|
|Darkness||The spiritual kingdom domain of Satan and those in it||Genesis 1:2; Rom 2:19|
|Day||Those in the Kingdom of God where the Sun of Righteousness has arisen||Genesis 1:5; Malachi 4:2; 1 Th 5:5;|
|Day||The days of creation were symbolic 1000 years of the history of Man||Genesis 1:5, Genesis 1:8, Genesis 1:13; Genesis 1:19; Genesis 1:23; Genesis 1:31; Genesis 2:2; 2 Peter 3:8|
|Divided||Symbolic separation of spiritual beings||Genesis 1:4; 1:7; Luke 12:51|
|Dust||The Symbolic Spiritual ground and the possession of man for 7000 years (7 days)||Genesis 2:7; 3:14; 3:19;|
|East||The Symbolic direction of the rising Spiritual Sun||Genesis 2:14; 3:24; Mat 24:27;|
|Eat||Spiritual enlightenment and understanding either of good or of evil||Genesis 3:6; 3:11-19; 3:22; John 6:51|
|Firmament||A spiritual division or separation, an expanse or spiritual dimension as a partition. Above the firmament is heaven the throne of God. Below the firmament is the future expanse of Satan’s domain. The air realm represents man’s current position and where Satan currently resides.||Genesis 1:7;|
|Flesh, One||The symbolic covenant of marriage between Christ and the church||Genesis 2:24|
|Fourth Day, the||The 4000 year appointed time of the coming of Christ into the world||Genesis 1:19|
|Fruit||That which is produced by a Spiritual Tree either good or evil||Genesis 3:2, 3, 6; James 5:7|
|Garden||The heart of man, the symbolic soil of the earth where God plants His seeds to grow spiritual fruit||Genesis 2:8; 3:2; 3:10|
|Greater Light, the (Sun)||The symbolic Jesus, the ruler of the spiritual day Kingdom of Light||Genesis 1:16; Mal 4:2|
|Hand||Symbolic Spiritual Power||Genesis 3:22|
|Lesser Light, the (Moon)||Satan the ruler of the darkness of this world; the Prince of the Kingdom of Darkness||Genesis 1:16; Eph 6:12|
|Light||The God of Creation, God is Light||Genesis 1:3; 1 John 1:5|
|Meat||The symbolic food of a spiritually mature man||Genesis 1:29-30; Heb 5:12|
|Naked||The External Shame of Sin also the unclothed spirit of man||Genesis 3:10; 2 Cor 5:3|
|Night||Those in the spiritual darkness, who stumble and sleep and get drunk in the world; kingdom of Satan||Genesis 1:5; 1:14; 1:16; 1:18; 1 Th 5:7|
|Rain||The symbolic outpouring of the Spirit of God, the former and the later||Genesis 2:5; James 5:7|
|Sea(s)||Peoples/Nations of the earth||Genesis 1:10; Rev 17:15;|
|Second Day, the||The Covenant of Abraham to separate God’s people from the other people on the earth||Genesis 1:8;|
|Seed||The symbolic representation of children, words, and several other types of spiritual things||Genesis 1:11-12; 3:15;|
|Serpent, the||Satan the spiritual ruler of the darkness, the deceiver of the nations||Genesis 3:1; Rev 12:9; Rev 20:2|
|Seventh Day, the||The Millennial Reign of Christ; God’s symbolic Day of Rest||Genesis 2:2; Heb 4:4; Rev 20:6;|
|Sixth Day, the End of the||The prophetic coming into maturity of the church of God before His return.||Genesis 1:26|
|Skin||The outward clothes of the spirit of man; God later removes this with the circumcision of the heart||Genesis 3:21; Rom 2:29|
|Third Day, the||God starts planting seeds and expecting fruit to grow in His garden; Moses given the Law||Genesis 1:12|
|Thorns and Thistles||The Weeds of the Enemy Satan||Genesis 3:18|
|Tree(s)||Any man who makes a choice to either produce good fruit or evil fruit||Genesis 2:9; 3:8|
|Tree of Life||Those men who have chosen to receive the Word of God and produce fruit unto righteousness||Genesis 2:9; 3:24|
|Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil||Those men who have seen good but chosen evil||Genesis 2:9, 3:11;|
|Waters||Symbolic people, the voice of many waters||Genesis 1:6; Rev 17:15;|
|Way, the||Symbolic Spiritual Path to Knowledge, Understanding and Wisdom from God||Genesis 3:24|
|Woman||The symbolic type of the Church who was taken out of Christ||Genesis 2:22-23; 3:15; Eph 5:32|
These are certainly not every symbolic reference in these three chapters of Genesis; these are just the ones that I have seen and feel are important to know. You of course are welcome to look for others and if you find them please let me know so that I can add them to the list. I will certainly confirm that I do not know everything and I like to learn new things. God teaches me new things almost every day and it is very exciting when He does this. I pray this list will be a helpful tool in your study of the Bible and specifically the book of Genesis. God Bless!
Understanding the Concepts of Deception in the Bible! Righteous vs. Evil Deception! Part 4
(Ver 1.2) Today is Part 4 of a series of very advanced lessons on Understanding Deception in the Bible. We have covered a lot of important information about this subject, so please do not start reading here in the middle of the series, go back and start reading with “Part 1” so that you can better understand what has already been covered in more detail than what I can do today. The church world has widely been taught that Satan is the initiator, instigator, mastermind, leader or distributer of deception in our world and that this deception is always evil. I of course concur with these facts whole heartedly. However, in the last lesson in this series I introduced you to the concept of “Righteous Deception” and I will carry this lesson further today so that you can better understand these new concepts revealed to us in the Bible. What I have discovered by Studying the Bible is that there are several types of deception mentioned in the Bible and some are positive and some are negative. By the Bible definition we can understand that evil deception is when someone comes to you with hurtful or harmful intentions and lies to you to get you to do something that you should not have done. However, I also showed you in the last lesson that the Bible speaks of “Self-Deception” as being a condition where a man or woman has deceived themselves into doing something that they should not have done. You should have gone and looked up the verses that I gave you so that you can better understand this situation so that it does not happen to you. So I gave you several brand new concepts about deception that you should at least be a little bit familiar with by now. According to God’s definitions, a deception in order for it to be a sin must be directed at a person to cause hurt or harm or an expected evil outcome. We clearly saw in Genesis 38 that Tamar used deception for a positive outcome and for the good of God, Judah and the nation of Israel. Tamar was exalted by God for what she did so that she was included in the genealogy of Jesus Christ in Matthew 1. Without Tamar’s intentional deception of Judah there would have been no King David, no Solomon and no Jesus. I know these statements rock your religious boats to no end. I totally warned you in these lessons that I was going to upset you evil deception apple cart so that you would have to see this subject in a new more complex and different way going forward and I hope that you are doing just that.
I’m going to start today’s lesson by giving you another natural example of the use of deception for a good or more positive outcome. Say you are working late at night at a restaurant and about to close up and go home. You hide the majority of your daily money and receipts in the hidden vault in your office and you put the rest of the money in your petty cash drawer. Say you have $5000 in the vault and $500 in the petty cash drawer. Then suddenly an armed robber comes into your business to steal from you. He demands your money or your life so you hand him your petty cash drawer and tell him to go. He asks for more money and you say I gave you money now go. You are clearly attempting to be deceptive while not telling a lie and you convince him to finally leave. You call the cops and they show up and so on. So was what this man did a sin of deception in the eyes of God and the Bible? You see I do not think so, because it matters who are trying to deceive and why. You are not trying to harm this thief you are just trying to keep him from taking everything that you have. This is the way Satan is in the world also. Satan is an evil thief that has come to “kill”, “steal” and “destroy” your life’s work (John 10:10). So how do you handle an evil spiritual thief like Satan if you are God? I believe that sometimes you have to deceive (trick) these evil people into doing the right things. I know there are religious people who are just having fits right now because I implied that God can legally use deception. To deceive someone without sinning requires great wisdom to do and God is the ultimate authority of all wisdom. Why am I giving you this example? I want to show you what the Bible says that God did and then you can better understand this concept of “Righteous Deception” a little better. Read this next Bible verse very, very carefully using your eyes and your brain:
1Co 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
In this verse it declares a concept that right “knowledge” is the key to doing what is best for you. What we learn is that if we would have known that the highway was closed, we would not have gone that way, for example. The Bible says in Hosea 4:6 that my people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge. So again knowledge is the key to not being destroyed in the world. Here in this verse, we have an instance of implied active righteous deception being taught to us. The princes of this world are references to Satan and his demonic angels. They are the rulers of this world that God is speaking of. If you look up the Greek word translated as “Prince” it means “ruler”. This verse then tells you that if they had known what was going to happen to them by killing God on a cross, they would not have done it. Do you understand this very complex concept being given? Satan hung Jesus on the cross because he didn’t know what was going to happen and he thought if he killed Jesus this would just get Him off of his planet. It appears to be a clear case of the lack of information from God and wrong assumptions on the part of Satan. This sounds exactly like what Abraham did in Genesis 12, doesn’t it? Abraham withheld information and the king made wrong assumptions and thus the wrong choice. It is very clear that God withheld important information from Satan and as a result Satan did the right things that God needed done. This is really an amazing example of God’s ability to control information in order to get a powerful spiritual being like Satan to do the right thing for God but the wrong thing for himself. You see it was God’s death on the cross that ended His covenant relationship with Satan and the angels forever. Satan is now only in covenant with the humans on the earth, the sons and daughters of Adam. I cover this in other blogs so I cannot repeat everything here. So just understand that the death of God on the cross caused something to happen to Satan that he greatly regrets today. Do you understand how God used deception because He had an evil enemy and how God is justified in using this deception because he was deceiving a deceiver. You can clearly see that this type of deception is a potentially powerful tool when used properly and not for evil. What I am trying to do is to get you to think outside the box and to see that not every deception in the Bible is an evil or a sin. This of course represents a two-edged sword in what I am trying to teach, because there will obviously be some who try to use what I say to justify their evil intentions and only God knows your heart better than you, so you will never get away with using this wrongfully.
So let’s go back to Genesis and look at another example of “Righteous Deception” used for the good of God’s chosen people. In the story of Isaac in Genesis 25-27, Isaac and Rebekah have two twin sons. They however are not identical twins because they look and act completely different. Esau comes out first and becomes the first born in the family who is slated to inherit everything that his father Isaac owns. However, the implication from the birth is that Esau did something underhanded to come out first and Jacob stuck his hand out and caught his brother by the heel. These are clearly symbolic types being given to us of what was going to transpire in the future. So Jacob the “heel catcher” was born second and he is in the natural line to serve his older brother. I’m sure that you are familiar with this story because it is widely taught, but it has probably never been taught in the context of it being a “Righteous Act of Deception”. Jacob’s mother Rebekah comes to him with a plan and here are some of the concerns that Jacob brings up in this chapter of Genesis:
Gen 27:12 My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing.
The mother’s plan was for Jacob to get his father’s blessing by the use of deception. You can clearly see that Jacob is concerned with being labeled a deceiver by his father, so we are definitely talking about a clear case of the act of deception in this story of Genesis. In this story you see that Jacob’s mother comes up with this plan of deception for her husband and two sons. I don’t know why this is the second story concerning the righteous act of deception by a woman. Rebekah tells her son Jacob to go and kill some animals that she can fix his father favorite meal. Then she tells Jacob to go and get some skins to cover his arms, hands and neck with. Why did Rebekah instigate this deception and for what purpose was it done? You might have to go back to chapter 25 to see part of the answer to this question. When the children were still in the womb of Rebekah, she noticed that they were already fighting inside of her. She went to God to find out why and God spoke to her some inside information (literal pun) that was very relevant to this lesson of deception.
Gen 25:23 And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.
God says these are two nations of people and only one will be called by my name. Not good news for one of them, is it? Here we have a story that is very difficult to grasp and accept. Esau is clearly a child of Isaac and the firstborn from him, the rightful heir of all of his father’s wealth. But, God said that the elder firstborn would serve the younger second born. You should understand the concept of “Analogies” from the Bible if you have read my other Bible lessons. This is a concept that a natural real story gives us spiritual information about two spiritual brothers that I just cannot get into today. Just understand that there is more information hidden in this story than is on the surface and then go and dig for it. I will help you and tell you that the younger son is a type of Jesus so now go and figure out who is Jesus’ older brother.
Rom 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
So God knew the sons of Rebekah before they were born and God also knew what they would do in this world before they were born. So God let Rebekah in on a secret and this was why she could do what she did and be justified in the eyes of God. So why was Jacob justified in doing what he did in deceiving his father for the blessing?
Gen 25:31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.
In Genesis 25 Esau comes home very hungry and not thinking and asks his brother for food. His brother says “sell me your birthright”. The birthright is the right of the firstborn to own everything of his father. So Esau reasons in his mind that unless he eats his birthright will not do him any good and says this:
Gen 25:32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?
So then Jacob tells his brother to swear that the birthright will be his.
Gen 25:33 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.
So you can clearly see that Esau sold his birthright to his brother for a bowl of soup and some bread. Esau also gave his word to his brother and in the eyes of God your word is your legal commitment to do what you have said. If you did not mean it you should not have said it, the Bible says. It could be that Esau was playing Jacob for a fool because he clearly still expects to go and inherit the blessing from his father later in this book of Genesis.
Gen 25:34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.
You can see that God says the man Esau “despised” his own birthright. This Hebrew words means to NOT Esteem or to disdain, scorn. It is the act of a vile person the definition says. This is certainly not a positive confirmation for what Esau has done in the eyes of God. It also gives legal justification for what Rebekah and Jacob did to deceive Isaac for the blessing that now rightfully belonged to Jacob. There is a lot of things to learn from this story, and one thing is that even though Jacob was justified in what he did, the Bible says that God is not mocked whatsoever a man sows that will he also reap. So Jacob planted the seeds of deception and these came up when he was working for Laban for his wife Rachel. Laban deceived Jacob 10 times it says in the Bible changing the terms and conditions of his employment. Jacob thought he was working for 7 years for Rachel and ended up working 14 years for her. So while you can be justified in doing deception, it usually always comes back to bite you later in life. God however, did not abandon his man Jacob and continued to bless him even though Laban was attempting to steal from him and to use him.
So it is interesting to note that Esau was legally the heir of his father Isaac, but God caused this blessing to go to his younger brother Jacob who became the father of the nation of Israel. So we learn that not everyone that came from Abraham can be called Israel, only Jacob’s descendants. This is an example of righteous division or separation. The sons of Esau were not the chosen ones. What we have seen is a clear use of deception initiated by God. God told Rebekah about the sons in her womb before they were born. I do not know if you like everything that the Bible says or not. Many of these types of stories are very difficult for many to accept. I sure if you wanted to you could come up with alternative meanings and interpretations to everything that I just have taught on this subject of deception. But, I hope that you can see who God was dealing with and why deception was used to cause a positive designed result. I think that I will end this lesson here today. God Bless!
If you would like to continue reading in this series about deception, please go to “Part 5“.
If you want to know how to get saved and know that you are with confidence you can go to: How do I get saved?
Understanding the Concepts of Deception in the Bible! Righteous vs. Evil Deception! Part 3
(Ver 1.4) Today is Part 3 of a series of lessons on Understanding Deception in the Bible. I do not know if you can tell why I write this blog or not? My number one goal is to help you to understand the Bible better today than you did yesterday. If I can help just one person accomplish this, I believe that is worth the countless hours that I have invested in writing these advanced Bible lessons. If you know God better than you did after you read my lessons then I have succeeded at accomplishing my goal. Today’s lesson is about the complex subject of deception, but this lesson is much more advanced than the first two in the series. The first two lessons were general overviews of your enemy Satan and the techniques that he attempts to use to deceive people in the earth today. The first two lessons dealt with only one side of the subject of deception that I refer to as “Evil Deception”. Today I will introduce you to the other side of deceptin to show you that it can be used for positive outcomes and that will shock many Christians who have never been taught this side of the subject. If you have not read this series of lesson from the beginning I would suggest that you go back and start with “Part 1”. Also today’s lesson is intended for spiritually mature Christians since I will probably go into many things that you have never heard before from anyone and I do not want to cause anyone any confusion so please judge your level of spiritual maturity and make the determination if you want to hear something that is potentially new and controversial. If you do not want to learn anything new, then just go read someone else’s blog for today.
In the previous lesson on deception I talked about Satan being called a deceiver (Rev 12:9, 20:10) of the nations and how God looks upon these actions very unfavorably. One technique that Satan uses for deception is to take a truth and pervert it with an attached or alternative meaning. Another technique of deception that Satan uses is to associate a Bible truth with a false religion, causing Christians to reject it as the truth. Another technique of deception is to take a Bible symbol of truth and to possess it as a satanic symbol so that Christians again reject this truth completely. There are so many complex methods of trickery involved in deception and you should become intimately knowledgeable of every method that you can so that you are not the one deceived in the future. However, today I am going to flip the evil deception apple cart and introduce you to a brand new concept that you probably have never heard anyone speak on before in your life, especially in church. Obviously everyone teaches that deception and lies are an evil sin. But, today I am going to attempt to show you the positive side of deception found in the Bible. Right there your religious mind is probably giving you fits saying “I didn’t know deception had any positive side or use”. What I will show you in today’s lesson is that there are different kinds of deception found in the Bible and how that the Bible says not every deception is considered evil or a sin by God. I guess most people struggle with this subject because they do not realize that there are multiple types of deception found in the Bible and therefore they do not understand how that any level of deception could be permitted at times to achieve a positive outcome. Many religious people look purely at the existence of only one type of deception that they associate with someone telling someone a lie. They then lump all deception into this same basket category as being an evil sinful lie. I had a reader who read one of my Bible lessons on Abraham and left me a comment saying that Abraham sinned. In this story of Abraham, he went around telling everyone his wife was his sister so that no one would kill him to get her. If you read this Bible lesson called “Genesis 12: Was Abraham a Liar?” you should have learned that Abraham never lied, his wife Sarah was his half-sister (Gen 20:12). They both had the same father but different mothers, so they were clearly brother and sister to each other by definition, yet Abraham married his sister and she became the wife who gave birth to the promised child Isaac. So Abraham was clearly guilty of remaining silent on the important fact that Sarah was also his wife and not just his sister and this is all that you can accuse him of based upon what the Bible says. Let me start by asking you this question, is silence a sin? Can you find anywhere in the Bible where it says if I’m silent even on a key point of information that I have committed a sin? I searched my Bible and I could not find one verse that said silence was a sin.
Of course it gets more complex than this because your silence is also tied to your motivation of why you are being silent and that fact alone make this subject infinitely more complex. We’ll talk more about your motivation shortly but, I searched and searched the Bible for a verse that said silence was a sin and I could not find it anywhere. So my reader claimed that Abraham committed a sin of an invented name called a “lie of omission”. According to his definition, a “lie of omission” would be to remain silent in any area that left out any important information that could have been said in order to purposely deceive someone. However, after I confronted my commenter, he had to agree that this term “lie of omission” and its definition was not found in the Bible anywhere and therefore what he had said was a sin came from his own human reasoning. The human intellect is an amazing God given blessing, however it is rarely God inspired thoughts unless you have thoroughly renewed your carnal mind with God’s spiritual knowledge, understanding and wisdom. Therefore, you cannot count on anything that comes from your carnal mind as being the truth. After all of this, my commenter refused to say that Abraham didn’t sin in what he did and he held to the concept that Abraham was therefore still a deceitful liar because he withheld information from the king. Wow, this is a very dangerous approach to take in your Bible interpretation. In Matthew 7:26 Jesus called this action of ignoring God’s word a foolish man who has built his house on sand. To base your beliefs on your own human reasoning instead of the Bible will cause you to be wrong 100 times out of 100 tries. What we must do is to build our house on the Rock of the Word of God and base our beliefs on what God says and only what God says, in order to be assured and have confidence in what we know and teach to others. You know I do not have to be right about everything that I say and teach. I am perfectly willing to change if you can show me the chapters and the verses that say something different than what I teach. I would rather change and be right than to stay with believing an error. However, if you are just telling me your opinion that I’m wrong because that is not what you think is true then you have a major problem, not me. Here is a web definition for the word “deceive” that I found:
Deception, beguilement, deceit, bluff, mystification, and subterfuge are acts to propagate beliefs that are not true, or not the whole truth (as in half-truths or omission). Deception can involve dissimulation, propaganda, sleight of hand. It can employ distraction, camouflage or concealment.
Here are some synonyms for Deception from the Thesaurus:
Trick, Trickery, Sham, Fraud, Con, Cheating, Pretext, Duplicity, Deceit
Wow this is a pretty amazing definition that is all encompassing, isn’t it? However, I noticed two things directly missing from this definition of deception;w with one being the motivation of the individual doing the deception and the other being the purpose for the deception or you could say the expected outcome for the deception. It further does not say or even imply that there are potentially times when deception is good and the results of the deception can cause a positive outcome to occur either. According to this lone definition that I found on the internet you can clearly see that Abraham was absolutely guilty of committing a level of deception for either evil or for whatever purpose. However, I believe that to remain silent is still a key area that is totally different than to deceive someone by telling them a lie. I can find many verses in the Bible that say “Thou Shalt not lie” (Lev 19:11, Zep. 3:13). But, to be silent I have still not found any verses yet that says this is a sin. In this story found in Genesis 12 and 20 of Abraham telling the kings that his wife was his sister, I could not find any verses where God rebuked, chastised or punished Abraham for what he did or in this case didn’t do. Can you find this anywhere? You can clearly see that these kings were either plagued (Gen 12:17) or had a dream from God that told him that he was a dead man (Gen 20:3). So God’s attention was focused on what the kings did and not what Abraham did or still in this case did not do. Do you understand this? So I want to introduce you to the first new factor about deception today that will upset your deception apple cart. This concept is called “Self Deception” where a person has deceived themselves into doing the wrong thing based upon their own personal thoughts, motivations or their natural physical or emotional desires. You can clearly see that the kings in these stories of Genesis 12 and 20 were only interested in themselves and what they wanted. Nobody asked Sarah what she wanted, did they? Of course back then it was a male dominated world and when a male king wanted a woman, there were no options for the woman given to her. When Abraham tells the kings she is my sister, the kings ASSUMES that she is available to be taken like a stray dog that doesn’t belong to anyone. They make a very wrong assumption based upon not knowing all the facts that they could have found out if they had just asked some more direct questions in order to find the truth. You can read scriptures about being “Self Deceived” in Jer. 37:9, Oba. 1:3, 1 Cor. 3:18, Gal 6:3, James 1:26 and 1 John 1:8. There are many factors that cause self-deception and these can involve pride, arrogance and wrong thinking where you think too highly of yourself and see yourself to be wise in this world. You should go and look up these verses to learn how people can deceive themselves and you should be able to see how these verses can easily apply to the kings in Abraham’s story.
There are three basic factors to deception that are critical to understand that are not normally taught. First, there are different types or methods of deception. You can clearly see this by someone telling a lie, but you can also see this by someone just failing to tell the truth. They are dramatically different types of deception in the eyes of God. Second, there are different reasons or motivations for using deception and the intended outcome for the deception. In other words is the person doing the deception doing it for someone’s harm, hurt or destruction or for a purpose of overall good? Then the third factor to consider is who the intended target for the deception is. Is the one being deceived a good person or an evil person? Can the one being deceived do me any harm if they are not deceived? All three of these factors matter in order for any deception to be called a sin in they eyes of God. You see there is an implied problem with deception that you have not fully thought of or comprehended fully. If you take the literal internet definition of deception and apply it as it was written that the omission of information or truth is called “deception” then God is quilty of deceiving us all. Is your God a deceiver? If you only take this definition, He is because He knows things that we clearly do not know and many of them.
Some have tried to conclude that all deception is sin like my commenter and this is just not what the Bible teaches. That statement is really going to shock many of my readers. However, what people have done is taken a complex subject and oversimplified it and caused all deception to be thought of in a negative light. But yet as we continue through this lesson we will see that this is not true. Let me give you an example of some deception that occurred in my life that might shock you. My own mother was a known and practicing deceiver; my mother deceived me when I was just a child in grade school. She tricked me into eating squash when I was a kid by mashing it up and stirring it into my cream corn. They were both yellow vegetables and when they were mixed together I could not tell that the squash was present. You see I liked cream corn but I did not like the squash and I refused to eat it. However, by her trickery and deception of her mixing the squash with my cream corn and then by purposefully not telling me about her methods, I ate it without knowing I was eating it. Clearly she withheld key information and truth from me and clearly it was an intentional act of a hidden deception. By the definition of deceive that we looked at, she is clearly guilty as Abraham was, but, was this deception a sin? Did my mother sin by hiding squash in my cream corn and not telling me about it? According to my commenter he would have said that she did. However, was this not just an example of the practical use of deception to achieve a positive outcome for me? I think that you can see it was the only way that I was going to eat squash so it worked. What was my mother’s reasoning and motivation for deceiving me? Was it to do evil and harm to me or was it to do something good and positive for me so that I benefited? In her mind it was to do good so that I would eat my vegetables and grow up strong and healthy. So hopefully you can see that not every type of deception is a sin from this one simple example. I do not believe that my mother was committing a sin by hiding squash in my cream corn, do you? So let’s change the scenario and say someone hid poison in your food. This of course changes everything dramatically. Now we have a different motivation for a different purpose and the expected outcome of the deception is completely different. Clearly anyone who would do this is well within the realm of committing a horrific sin by using a very similar deception method that my mother was guilty of. I hope that you can begin to see the impact that motivation and purpose play into the role of deception. Do you see the potential dilemma being presented to us from my two examples of food deception? It matters who is deceiving, why they are deceiving, who is deceived and what is the intended purpose of the deception in order to make a determination if it is a sin or not. Just because my mother hid squash in my cream corn and did not tell me that she did it, does not constitute an evil act of the sin of deception. Are you grasping these very important concepts? You see if you only used the web definition of the word “deceive” you can clearly see my mother was guilty of “deception”, therefore she should go to jail or hell. But, her reasons for doing it were justified to achieve a positive outcome for me. This is called “Righteous Deception” and I will show it to you in the Bible so that you can better understand how it works. I pray that you are beginning to see the complexity of the subject of deception and the potential use of deception to achieve a positive outcome for someone.
So let’s go back to the story of Abraham and see who did what, where and why? Abraham was traveling into the nation of Egypt where a foreign government was ruled by a people who didn’t know God. In fact in the Bible Egypt was a type of the world and Pharaoh a type of Satan. According to Abraham’s reasoning, he told his wife to tell everyone that she was his sister so that these godless people would not kill him to get to her. So the motivation of Abraham was not to do any evil to anyone, but to preserve his own life in an uncertain set of circumstances surrounding evil people. It was Egypt who was doing the evil and not Abraham by taking a woman just because she was pretty and good looking. You could compare this to rape today and this is clearly a crime. No one asked Sarah what she wanted; they simply decided what to do based upon what the king wanted. Was that the right thing to do? Obviously God did not think so and that is why He put plagues on the nation for what they had done. So Abraham was dealing with an uncertain evil nation of people who could potentially do great harm to him for what they wanted. So do you see any differences now in this type of deception initiated by Abraham? Abraham never had any intention of harm for any evil purpose to anyone in being deceptive. So by not telling them all of truth; did Abraham lie? I still do not think so! Did Abraham sin? I still do not think so. Abraham’s heart was clear before God. I hope that you can see this.
What I am attempting to show you is that not every deception is a sin in the Bible and you will see some more examples of this in these next verses also found in Genesis. This is a story in chapter 38 is one that is very informative of many things, but I’m only going to talk about the concept of “Righteous Deception” given to us in this story. In Genesis 38:6 you see that Judah the son of Jacob had a firstborn son named Er and Judah got him a wife named Tamar. However, verse 7 said that Er was wicked in the eyes of the Lord so God killed him. Not good for Er! So Judah had three sons the firstborn Er is now dead so Judah gives Tamar to Onan his next oldest son and tells him to have children for his dead brother Er. Onan is also wicked in the eyes of the Lord because he refuses his father’s request and God kills him also. Wow, Tamar is either really bad luck for the children of Judah or something else is going on here. We can read in this chapter that Judah tells Tamar to go to her father’s house and wait for his third son to get old enough and she will be his wife next. So Tamar waits and waits and Judah never mentions it again and finally Judah’s wife also dies. So Tamar does what? What is Tamar supposed to do? In Genesis 38:13 it says that someone told Tamar that her father-in-law Judah was going to a certain city to shear his sheep. So Tamar comes up with a plan of deception:
Gen 38:14 And she put her widow’s garments off from her, and covered her with a vail, and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place, which is by the way to Timnath; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given unto him to wife.
Here we have a part of the story that is easily missed. You see Tamar could see that Judah’s third son was grown up and she knew that Judah had not fulfilled his word to her. By not doing what he said; Judah has become a liar and that is not good is it? Therefore, Tamar takes off her widow clothes and disguises herself with a veil. In doing this Tamar has taken on the outward appearance of a prostitute and she places herself in the path of Judah on purpose.
Gen 38:15 When Judah saw her, he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered her face.
So Judah sees the woman Tamar and thinks to himself that she is a harlot available for hire. It is very important to note that Tamar does not ever say she is a Harlot; it is only Judah who has assumed the wrong things based upon a perceived impression of outward looks. Judah could have asked to see her face or spoken with her in many ways to find out the real truth, but he has been self-deceived with natural human male desire. Isn’t that interesting? What we see is Judah has deceived himself into thinking the wrong way based upon human desire and lust and outward appearances. It sounds a lot like what the kings did when looking at Sarah in the first story of Abraham.
Gen 38:16 And he turned unto her by the way, and said, Go to, I pray thee, let me come in unto thee; (for he knew not that she was his daughter in law.) And she said, What wilt thou give me, that thou mayest come in unto me?
So technically speaking while Tamar never says she is a prostitute you have to look at what she says very carefully. It would appear that she is asking for money for her sexual favor, but examine her heart and think again. She is really just asking for what she was already promised by Judah. Nowhere in this story is her deception an evil intentional act for harm to Judah or an attempt to get back at him for his lie.
Gen 38:17 And he said, I will send thee a kid from the flock. And she said, Wilt thou give me a pledge, till thou send it?
Judah tells Tamar he will send her a kid from the flock, but Tamar know who she is dealing with and says she needs some security to insure that he will do what he says. So she says this:
Gen 38:18 And he said, What pledge shall I give thee? And she said, Thy signet, and thy bracelets, and thy staff that is in thine hand. And he gave it her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him.
So we can see that Judah is still negotiating the price and the collateral like any normal business transaction. Tamar asks for his signet, his bracelet and his staff for collateral. Do you understand the principle and symbolic meaning of these items? A signet was like giving your credit card to someone today. With it they could command you to pay everything that they charge with it. The first time bracelets are mentioned in the Bible it was when the servant gave Rebekah two bracelets for her to become Isaac’s wife, so this is a clear parallel to this story in Genesis 38. The staff was of course a symbol of power and the main instrument of a shepherd to herd his sheep. So Tamar was not asking for trivial things, these were signs and symbols of this man’s identity. In the Bible you can find where it says that having sex with a prostitute causes you to become one flesh with her. So the sexual act is considered to be a marriage covenant between Judah and Tamar. Therefore, Tamar was gathering items that could easily be used to identify him later as the one who had sex with her. Anyway Judah must have missed sex a lot so he agreed and gave her these three items and then he made Tamar pregnant with his children and then he went back home.
Gen 38:19 And she arose, and went away, and laid by her vail from her, and put on the garments of her widowhood.
Tamar departs back to her father’s house and changes her clothes back to the widow garments and then waits. Meanwhile, Judah sends people to find the prostitute with the sheep that he promised so that he could get back his possessions and they cannot find her. Nobody has ever seen this woman, so she was clearly not a prostitute for financial gain or income. So if money was not Tamar’s motivation what was the motivation of Tamar and who did she deceive? It is very clear that it was deception in the “nth” degree. But, I did not see anywhere that said that Tamar ever lied with her lips to achieve this deception, nor do I see where she did it to cause hurt or harm to anyone else. The purpose of this deception was not for evil but for the good outcome of the continuation of the family name of Judah. So in effect this deception of Tamar was only done for the good of Judah and not to do him any evil. This is a very important story in the Bible and you just do not realize its importance right now. So Judah finally hears about Tamar when she begins to show her pregnancy. It’s funny how words in the rumor mill can travel so quickly to everyone. Everyone knew that Tamar was a widow so when she shows up pregnant it is a perceived problem for Judah and the community. So Judah calls for Tamar so that they can put her to death for being a whore, but when Tamar shows up at his house she has his signet ring, staff and bracelets that show who the father is and Judah cannot not deny it because of these facts she presented to him. Judah then makes this statement:
Gen 38:26 And Judah acknowledged them, and said, She hath been more righteous than I; because that I gave her not to Shelah my son. And he knew her again no more.
You can clearly see that Judah was calling her deception a “righteous justified act”. Because, of this woman’s trickery the family line of Jesus has been preserved and Jesus can still come into the world as God had designed. You can clearly see this honor by reading the genealogy of Jesus given to us in the book of Matthew chapter 1. There are only 6 women mentioned by name in this list of father names and Tamar is one of them. She earned a mention of prominence by a simple act of righteous deception. Tamar has arisen to the level of rock star status in the Bible because she used deception for the good of someone other than herself. This is a very important part of deception that is rarely taught and seldom mentioned. Here is another mention of her name in the Book of Ruth:
Rth 4:12 And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give thee of this young woman.
Tamar is again mentioned in the book of Ruth as being a righteous woman who did great things for the good of mankind and the house of Israel. You cannot deny that this was deception, but God elevates her to a level of importance for doing this deception that few have understood until today. At no time did God accuse this woman of committing any sin for what she did, do you see this?
I actually have many more Bible verses to go into this subject of deception, but I have gone too long for today. So I will wrap this lesson up with that story of Tamar and hope that you can now see and understand that not every deception found in the Bible is a negative sin in the eyes of God. In my next lesson in this series I will give you some more examples found in the Bible of “Righteous Deception” and these will help to establish the truth in the mouths of two or three witnesses. I hope and pray that you have learned something from today’s lesson that you can take away in growing in your relationship with your God. God Bless!
If you would like to continue reading in this series on deception, you can go to “Part 4“.
If you want to know how to get saved and know that you are with confidence you can go to: How do I get saved?
Understanding Spoken Words in the Bible! Elijah’s Words and Prayer for Rain! Part 11
(Ver 1.3) Today is Part 11 of a series of very advanced lessons on Understanding Spoken Words in the Bible. You may have noticed if you read my Bible lessons that I teach a lot on this subject and one reason is that the Bible says a lot about this subject. I figured out that any subject that God emphasizes this much must be an important one for me to learn about and to know. Therefore, I spend a lot of time looking at these verses on this subject and they have shocked me into changing what I say dramatically. If you understand this subject just a little bit you will know this is true for you also. I will warn you that today’s lesson is potentially very advanced and only for mature spiritual Christians. This is because the topics and things said may be hard to swallow for younger immature Christians. So please judge yourself before you continue reading this Bible lesson. If you are not comfortable with controversial topics then please just go read someone else’s blog for today. If you have never studied this series of lessons on Spoken Words, I would strongly suggest that you go back to “Part 1” and start your reading there first.
When you study the Bible, you do not read but 1 chapter in Genesis and you can see that God speaks words in order to create our world that we live in. At least seven times in this chapter of Genesis it says “And God said” and God would say something and then shortly it would come to pass. It is interesting to note and to analyze what God said and then to see who He was speaking it to. Did you ever realize that in Genesis 1 you cannot find where it says that God was ever speaking to anyone in particular? In other words God was not speaking to someone specifically in a conversation like we have them between ourselves. God would speak words directed at no one but a problem that He perceived and then things would change based upon what He said. Therefore, no one had to hear God’s words spoken for them to be effective and to cause something to change. It’s kind of like the old saying if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? According to what the Bible says, the tree heard it even if no one else did. For example, God would look at the darkness that covered the earth and say “Light Be” and then light was. So obviously the darkness heard what God said even though we did not. So we learn from this that your words have the same potential and they do not have to be directed at or heard by anyone in order to effect changes in your personal world. God spoke the answer before the problem and then the answer was made manifest. Read Genesis 1 and see what God says “Let there be light”, “Let there be a firmament”, “Let the waters be divided”, “Let the earth bring forth grass” and on and on. Every one of these cases represents a problem followed by a spoken solution. This is a concept taught in the Bible where God describes as “calling those things that be not as though they were”. Do you understand this concept? If you do not understand this concept you should go and read Roman 4:17 and the surrounding verses to see what God says about this subject of speaking words before you see them happen. The concept of calling for what is not seen is exactly what God did in Genesis 1. God saw there was no light and said there was light and then the light came in. You can see this principle demonstrated in Genesis 1:3, 1:6, 1:9, 1:11, 1:14, 1:20 and 1:24. It is a very powerful lesson from God being given to us. God plainly sets us an example of what we should be following in the world today. Then in Genesis 1:26, God said “Let us make man in our image and after our likeness and let them have dominion…”. So if God said this, did this happen like the other 7 times God said? You can clearly see that everything God said in Genesis 1 came to pass exactly like he declared it, so these words spoken about man would be no different. If man was designed by God to be like God, then we would have to be open to operate like God does. We of course do not always have to believe this, but this is usually just because we have not been taught these concepts from the pulpit.
Today’s lesson is concerning prayer and spoken words; their relationship and their essential unified association to each other. It is usually self-evident to most people that prayer should involve speaking words to God. When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray like John taught his disciples, Jesus gave them some example words to speak to God. Many times people take this example prayer that some call the “Lord’s Prayer” and just parrot the words back up to God like this is being effective. However, this was not what Jesus was teaching us to do. You can teach any parrot to say these words and that would not be praying at all. God is not stupid; He has heard these words before, so these words are not intended to replace your words that you normally speak. Also, Jesus taught more than one set of verses on the subject of prayer so we must try to put all of them together and then learn from them all. Here is something else that Jesus said about prayer:
Mat 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
As you can see Jesus says for us not to be vain in repeating the same words over and over to God thinking that we will be heard. This verse implies that it matters what we say in prayer. If you pray the Lord’s Prayer repeatedly in your prayer life, are you not being vainly repetitive? So that sounds like a problem to me. Do not use a model prayer as the only basis for what you pray. You may certainly at first use this prayer as a model construction for your prayer and then change it to your own words. The Lord’s Prayer starts with praise to God and the acknowledgment to who God is and then the prayer asks for God’s will to be done in the earth. Finally, the prayer gets to us asking for what we need in our lives and the forgiveness of our sins is one thing that we should ask for. But then you should also understand that this prayer was taught to the disciples before Jesus died on the cross. Therefore, this was a model of an Old Testament prayer to God and not necessarily a New Testament prayer to God. For example, Jesus said to pray that the Kingdom of God be established in the earth; and guess what the Kingdom of God is inside of me right here and right now, so this prayer has been answered, so why would I pray that again? I’m smart enough to know that the Kingdom of God has come inside of me already so I do not need to ask for this to happen again. If God has already fulfilled it, then you do not need to pray for what has already occurred. Do you understand this? You might can pray that the kingdom of God be expanded and grow, but technically speaking Jesus never taught us to pray that sinners would get saved. The only verse that I have found about praying for sinners in the Bible is when Jesus tells His disciples to “Pray the Lord of the Harvest to send forth laborers into His harvest”. This is the salvation principle of God sending sowers, a preacher or worker to speak the truth in love to an unsaved person so that they can hear and believe in Jesus and then be saved. So prayer is an awesome subject to study in the Bible and we will get to more of this subject later. But, today I want to speak on specifically about spoken words in relation to prayer. You cannot technically pray without using words, but we also speak words all day long and how do these words affect what we pray?
I cannot find anywhere in the Bible where God honors silence or silent prayer. In fact when I was studying about angels it would appear that the scripture says if the man would have been silent, the angels would not have been sent. You can read this in Daniel very clearly. Daniel prayed to God and fasted for 21 days until the angel of God finally showed up with the answer to his prayer. So Daniel’s silence would have resulted in no angels being sent, the angel Gabriel told Daniel for your words I was sent (Dan 10:12). This is a problem in many religious circles where they hold a moment of silence for some individual that maybe has just died. This might be considered giving someone respect or honor but your silence is doing no good other than that. What if when Jesus went to the tomb of Lazarus and stood before it in a moment of silence and then left? Would Lazarus had been raised from the dead? No, I do not believe that he would have. So we can then see what Jesus did to cause Lazarus to be raised, can’t we? Jesus makes the statement to God, “I thank thee that you have heard me”. Jesus implies something that is very important to our lesson today, and that is God is listening to your words. You then see Jesus speaking to the dead man and calling his name “Lazarus come forth”. Was Jesus calling Lazarus alive with his mouth and the words that just came out? So silence would not have brought the answer to Lazarus. To give honor or respect to someone is probably not a bad thing to do, but it will not change the situation. It is like here in the south when we see a funeral procession going by we normally pull over in our cars and stop out of respect for those who are driving by. This is a common practice in the southern parts of the United States and I believe it promotes an attitude of Christian love towards those who have just lost someone from this world, so I believe it is a positive thing to continue doing even though there are no Bible verses that say to do this.
Jas 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
This is one of my key Bible verses today that introduces the rest of the subject of prayer to come. You can clearly see that God is instructing us to pray and not just for ourselves. This verse ends in the statement that the prayers of a righteous man or woman have great power in them. Because Christians do not believe this, they do not do it. Many times it is a self-image problem; they do not feel like they are righteous enough to ask God to do anything. Fortunately for us it is not our righteousness that we are depending on; if it was we would all be in trouble. It is the righteousness of Jesus Christ that permits us to come boldly before the throne of God without guilt or shame (Heb 4:16). So here is the next verse that follows this one about your prayer:
Jas 5:17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
So here I go today with the basics on this lesson about prayer and words. As you can read in this verse, God says that Elijah was a man just like one of us. What people should understand is that the people that God uses in the Bible were not special or different or unique in their appearance, characteristics, problems, situations, challenges or life’s little nuances from us today. Too many Christians think in the terms that prophets like Elijah possessed something special that we do not have that allowed him to accomplish great things in the Bible that we simply cannot do. However, that is certainly not what this verse is saying, is it? Elijah according to God and James who is writing this account is said to have prayed to God and this caused it not to rain on the earth for a period of 42 months. This is actually a very interesting statement that God makes to us, since if you have ever read the story of Elijah you can’t find where Elijah ever prayed this in a way that we would call prayer. So what is God trying to teach us from this statement? I believe God is saying sometimes we need to expand our definition of what prayer is.
Jas 5:18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
So here is another verse that says Elijah prayed and God caused it to rain again. We have now seen two verses that said Elijah prayed and God answered the prayers because they were effective. It sounds like to me that this would be a good subject to go back into the Old Testament and see what God says to us about how Elijah accomplished these miracles of no rain and then rain again. You can find this story of Elijah starting in chapter 17 of 1 Kings:
1Ki 17:1 And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.
Here is the beginning of some words that Elijah spoke that almost floored me. This is the exact same Elijah that James wrote about so get that first and foremost into your head. Then realize that this verse is the very first verse in the Bible that mentions the name of Elijah. So therefore, we can conclude that there are no prayers of Elijah to God that are mentioned in the Bible up to this point. So we have a major problem that needs a resolution; either God did not record Elijah’s prayer in the Bible or Elijah did not pray the way that we would consider prayer to be performed. I personally believe the second is true and God gave us the exact information in the Bible that we needed to know to learn about what prayer is and what prayer is not. Remember what Jesus said “Father I thank thee that you heard me”. Do you think that God was listening to the words that Elijah said to Ahab? Let’s reexamine what Elijah says; God tells us that Elijah was speaking to Ahab and Elijah said “The Rain will obey my Words!” I know this was my paraphrase of what he said, but it is very close to exactly what He says to Ahab. I mean did you see it? Elijah had to believe something in order for him to make this kind of statement; the drought had not started yet so these words could be considered to be a prophetic prediction of something that has not occurred. Or as we have seen in Genesis 1, John 11 and Romans 4, it could be that Elijah was calling those things that be not as though they were. We of course know that Elijah was a prophet of God, but remember what James said, the New Testament says Elijah was man just like one of us. In other words what Elijah did, we can do. Wow, I don’t know if you believe that or not, but I do. I know that just blows the minds of religious people to think this way, but I’m just reading the Bible.
In reading this chapter of 1 Kings you can see that God speaks to Elijah and tells him what to do only after he has spoken to Ahab. God tells Elijah to go to a brook where God will sustain him and Elijah goes there and stays until the brook dries up for a lack of rain on the earth. God then tells Elijah to go to a city where a widow woman has been commanded by God to provide for him. The widow is obedient and God blesses her and even when her son dies, the prophet of God raises the child back to life. So God is definitely heavily involved in this chapter of the Bible and this is how this chapter ends:
1Ki 17:24 And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in thy mouth is truth.
The Widow woman says “The Words of the Lord in your mouth are true”. It is very interesting to see what this woman saw and says. Keep in mind that James said this was a man like us, and then reread this chapter with this in mind, looking for what he says. Are the words that come out of your mouth, can they be considered the truth of God’s Word? The words that you speak, will a stranger woman that you just met see that they are the words of God? Your words that you speak are much more important than you can possibly imagine. I believe your words help to identify you.
1Ki 18:1 And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth.
Here is the first time that God tells Elijah to go back to Ahab and tell him that it will rain again. You cannot find where Elijah asked God to do this, can you? This appears to be a God initiated conversation and not Elijah’s prayer for God to send rain, doesn’t it? So how did God tell Elijah this? Was it some loud audible voice from heaven or is this not how God speaks to you? God only spoke to me once in an audible voice so I believe this is not how God normally speaks to His people in the earth. Every other time that God speaks to me it has been as a still small voice in my spirit and I believe this is how God spoke to Elijah in telling him what to do also. Otherwise God is doing something different or something special for Elijah that he doesn’t do for us today and this is not what James told us in the New Testament. It is also special to note and to understand that prayer is not about just you speaking to God. If you are the only one speaking in a prayer conversation with the Almighty then you have a major problem on your hands. You should be quiet enough to let God speak back to you since He is so much smarter than you are. It would be much more valuable to hear what God says at prayer time than for Him to hear what you have to say constantly. Do you understand this concept of listening in prayer? Just pay attention and give God the opportunity to speak, you might be shocked at what He says for you to do.
1Ki 18:41 And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain.
In this chapter of 1 Kings, Elijah goes to king Ahab after God told him it was going to rain and makes some more statements that are absolutely faith based words. In this chapter Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal to a Godly duel of power exhibitions and demonstrations. This was an exhibited display of the confidence that Elijah had in his God’s ability. Why were there 450 prophets of Baal in the camp of Israel? Why did Israel put any of their confidence in these false religions and religious leaders? That is a very good question to consider! In this chapter Elijah calls down the fire of God to consume the sacrifices that were drowned in water first. Keep in mind we have just had a drought of over 3 years long and Elijah is pouring water on his altar. Does this sound like the actions of a man in a drought? Here we see in chapter 17 that Elijah told the king that it will not rain for my words and then in chapter 18 and verse 41 Elijah says that he hears the sound of the abundance of rain. Yet it has not rained a drop in over 3 years. Is this a problem? Or can you see that what Elijah is doing is what God did in Genesis 1? I’m going to ask you this more than once today; are you a man or a woman that is also like Elijah? You should really read James 5 a few hundred times before you answer that question.
1Ki 18:43 And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times.
These lessons found in the life of Elijah are very profound. Elijah told Ahab there was a sound of rain when there was no rain. Then Elijah tells his servant to go and look for the rain and the servant comes back and reports he did not find any rain and Elijah tells him to go and look seven more times. What is Elijah doing? Is there anything that you should learn when faced with a drought in your life?
1Ki 18:44 And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not.
So the seventh time the servant went to look to the sea, he comes back to Elijah and tells him that he saw a small cloud coming out of the sea. Do you understand how rain is formed? These are the water cycles of the earth’s evaporation from the seas that forms clouds and then the weather patterns that carries this moisture in the atmosphere to then fall back down to the earth as rain? Here we have Elijah knowing how this weather phenomenon works before there were any modern weather forecasters. What was Elijah doing? Do you remember what Elijah said in 1 Kings 17:1? Elijah told the king that the rain would obey his words. Elijah said that it would not rain for these years until he said it would rain. The prophets of Baal and the things that God did to them were some of the reasons that Elijah could make these claims that God could back his words, but this is the lesson that Elijah and God is trying to teach us today. I believe that this lesson applies to us in the modern world. Elijah said he heard rain when there was not rain then said go and look for the rain until they say a cloud form.
1Ki 18:45 And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel.
So what is God trying to say to us? Elijah said it would not rain and it did not rain, Elijah then said it would rain and it did rain a bunch. I did not see one time in these two chapters of 1 Kings, where it said Elijah prayed for no rain or rain. Only James calls what Elijah did prayer and that is a very profound revelation. I only saw one time where it could be implied that Elijah may have asked God for rain and this was in verse 42:
1Ki 18:42 So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees,
You can clearly see in this verse that Elijah assumed a position of humility and this is associated with an attitude of prayerful inclination towards God. However, I’m going to be really picky and tell you that it does not say Elijah prayed and it does not give us any words of prayer that Elijah said to God. So what do we do with this lack of information? We can assume that Elijah prayed and God thought that this prayer was not important enough to include in the Bible or we can assume that Elijah didn’t pray like we think of prayer and then we have to go back to James and figure out how did James know that Elijah did pray since God does not say he did in 1 Kings? Did James assume like others or did God teach James a greater definition of what prayer was? You also have to understand that God told Elijah that it was going to rain in 1 King 18:1 so why pray for what God has already said will happen. Do you understand this concept? I believe that these two chapters of 1 Kings should expand our definition of what prayer is in the eyes of God. Your words are heard by God and then God uses these to fulfill what you have said. I know that does not go over big with everyone, but I believe this is what God is saying.
So how do you apply this story of Elijah to us today? I believe that it crosses over into many things that we do in many ways. A couple of years ago the region of the country where I lived was going through a drought situation that was becoming significantly greater. Over the course of a few months, the lake levels had dropped lower than they had been since I lived here. Water rationing was mandatory and you could not water you grass or outdoor plants, wash your cars or do things to waste water. It was getting crazy here so I finally decided to do something about it. That sounds pretty arrogant doesn’t it? That statement makes me sound like I am God or something. However, I learned from the story of Elijah the principles given to us from James that I could do what Elijah did. So one day during the drought I looked out at the clear blue sky and started talking to the weather patterns, jet streams, pressure zones and the climatological situations to change in order to bring us rain on my house and city. So did it change overnight? Like the story of Elijah I went out and looked at the sky several times before it finally rained but then the drought was over and it rained a bunch. You see I believed the Word of God was true and that what God said Elijah did, I could do. I never prayed a prayer and asked God to send rain; I only looked out at the problem and spoke to it to change to bring me rain. You of course could say that this was just an amazing coincidence that I did what I did at just the right time before it rained or you can look at the Bible and declare with me that God is not a liar. After over 3 years of no rain Elijah said he heard the sound of an abundance of rain and after a few more days it occurred. So either what happened to Elijah was an amazing coincidence also or you are just stupid and don’t want to see what God is saying in the Bible to us. Here is a verse found in the Bible that directly applies to what we just read about in the life of Elijah:
Mar 11:23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
Jesus makes a radical statement here that most religious people readily reject. Jesus says if you speak to a mountain and believe what you say will come to pass, it will happen. So is speaking to rain any different than speaking to a mountain? Are they not both inanimate objects without the ears for hearing? However Jesus clearly implies that they can hear in this verse found in Mark. This is a paradox of Biblical proportions. You see if you are a commander in the army and issue an order you just expect it to be obeyed and carried out. This is the same type of reasoning that Jesus is giving to us in this verse in Mark 11:23. Jesus is implying that the mountain is waiting for an order to obey in order to be moved. If no order is given, then no movement is made. If you speak to it and tell it to go and believe what you say will happen, then Jesus clearly said the order will be carried out. You are not concerned with how it is carried out, only the fact that it happens like you said. Mountains can be symbolic representations of problems in your life, even like a real drought. Can you see how this verse applies to what Elijah said in 1 Kings? Everything that Elijah said was what happened in the earth, because he believed it would happen. Elijah obviously believed in his words and they came to pass just as he had spoken. God called this prayer in James 5 and you should understand this drastically changes what we should be saying in our daily lives. Too many Christians pray and ask God for help and then go around speaking the opposite of what they prayed. It would sound like to me based upon what we learned from Elijah that these words cancel each other out. If you pray for God to help pay your bills and then look at your bills and say I can’t pay you, then you have canceled your prayer out. What we have learned in the story of Elijah is God’s definition of prayer is much greater than our definition of prayer. Your words of prayer could be the words that you speak to a king in the earth and tell him that it will not rain for your words. These are powerful concepts that are being transferred to us from God and if you get a hold of them they will change what comes out of your mouth. So I’ll end this lesson with this question again; Are you like an Elijah? God Bless!
Understanding Seeds! Planting Financial Seeds! Part 12
(Ver 2.2) Today is now Part 12 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”. I almost purposely left this part of this subject of seeds out of the series because it is so popularly preached on TV that it gives many a negative perception on a positive subject. However, money and finances are clearly found in the Bible so I will touch on it today. I believe if you study the Gospels you will see that Jesus taught on money more than any other subject. I have heard many preachers, especially TV preachers, jump all over this subject and it appears to come across that they do it because they are only after your money. Of course I do not judge them because I do not know their hearts, only God knows a man’s motivation for doing what he does. It could be that God told them to teach this subject with great emphasis and I would sound like a fool if I would criticize what God does. So, I cannot say or will not judge if this is true or not, I just said it just appears to many to be this way because of the emphasis that they are placing on a minor part of a much greater subject about seeds. It would seem to me that to only pick one part of a subject and teach that causes the wrong perceptions to be given and to many people it is true that perception becomes reality and this is not a good image to portray to the world. So far, I have given you eleven different lessons about seeds in the Bible and have not mentioned money or finances even once. I guess since I do these Bible lessons for free and never ask you for money, is the one reason that I can include this lesson on money in the series today.
In searching the Bible for any form of the word “seed” I found approximately 257 verses in the KJV that directly mentioned this word. Out of this total I counted less than 20 verses that speak about money or that can be applied to money directly. Of course this is a subjective number of verses depending upon your desire to try to apply verses from one topic to another. This is certainly a legal method of Bible interpretation; God does it all the time. You can find that God used the same word seed to describe at least 10 different things in the Bible and the laws and principles that govern them are universal truths that cross over into each topic area. But, it is always difficult to teach some subjects like money and not sound like you are asking for money, especially in light of what the Bible says on this subject. That is just the inherit problem with this subject and I will do the best that I can in spite of this appearance. I hope that you can see the difference in what I say since there are no names or ministry names attached to this website and no donate buttons anywhere that allows you to give money to me. If you are a Christian you should be giving your money to where you go to church and are being fed spiritually; we’ll see more about this as we go into this lesson.
So even though seeds of finance are a minor part of this subject in this entire seed topic realm, it is still a valid concept that applies to your money. First, off think about this, farming and agriculture were common methods of income in Bible days. The seed concepts of sowing and reaping applied whether you planted corn or raised sheep. If you farmed then you raised crops or animals that could be sold or traded to others. So the seed concepts found in the Bible about farming must also apply to modern day money and finances directly, also. Farmers used seeds to grow crops and these crops produced more food than the originally planted seeds. So the principles of sowing seeds into good ground, seed increase and multiplication are clearly applicable to our modern money. In the world of finances money would represent the seed. Today we can take money and invest it in the stock market or whatever expecting it to grow over time. This is a seed principle that works when you plant your seeds in good ground. You see good ground in the financial world are the companies that are going to be profitable. If you place your money in a company that is foolish then it can go out of business and you lose your investment and that is the definition of planting your seed into bad ground. In America we have many people who buy lottery tickets. These are people who are hoping to hit it big and win millions of dollars overnight. I have not found that concept in the Bible. In the Bible if you want millions of dollars you must start with what you have and plant it to cause it to grow into millions of dollars. This is the Bible concept of financial seed planting and reaping an increase. These are clear Bible farming concepts that you need to learn and to apply to your life and what you do in the world. If you are expecting to hit it big and get rich over night the odds are that it will not happen. Yes, the lottery does occasionally reward someone with a large payment that gives the appearance of the possibility that it can happen to anyone. However, mathematically speaking the odds of it happening to you is extremely low; in fact it is more likely that you will get hit by lightning and die than to think that you will win the lottery. So let’s examine some scripture that can apply to money and finances in relation to seeds.
Gen 8:22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
While this scripture does not directly mention money it can be applied to money very easily. This verse states a Bible law that establishes the concept of planting seeds and reaping harvests as long as the earth exists. This would seem to imply that this principle will exist in the new earth to come also, so it seems to me to be a concept that we need to learn. God tells us that our world was designed to be a seed world of sowing and reaping. If you plant your seeds in good ground you will always harvest an increased crop or return on your initial investment. Your seeds sown are always your initial investment that you risk losing. The same enemies that you find in the natural world of natural seeds also apply symbolically to the financial world. The concept of weeds, insects and the birds of the air that eat your seed; these are all symbolic enemies to financial dealings. Before you can invest money anywhere you should first determine if this is good ground to plant in. Too many times people put money somewhere and then change it to something else before they make anything where it is planted. This would be like planting corn seed in the ground today and then digging it up tomorrow to take it to another field that you heard was better ground. If you think this is stupid to do, you are right, but in the financial world people do it everyday.
Lev 26:16 I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.
What I wanted to do was to show you that every seed sown can have an enemy. Here we have God telling the children of Israel that the seeds they have sown will be eaten by their enemies. This was usually caused by a reckless disregard for obeying the Word of God. Whenever the children of Israel disobeyed God, this would open the door and allow enemies to come in and take what they had worked for. So this is a lesson for Christian to learn from as a bad example of what not to do.
Deu 28:38 Thou shalt carry much seed out into the field, and shalt gather but little in; for the locust shall consume it.
So you can see another verse where insects can come and eat your seed. Here God says that you will take a lot of seeds into your field and harvest very little of them because they were all eaten by an enemy. In our world today, financial enemies abound all around us. There are false investment schemes that take your money and you can lose everything. A man in the U.S. is serving jail time right now for taking billions of dollars from people and spending it on himself and his family. His lavish lifestyle lasted for several years until it finally caught up with him, but most of the people that put their money in his false funds all lost their money. These are some of the potential enemies to financial transactions and many of them are backed by satanic influences that causes you lose your money.
Deu 14:22 Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year.
So here is another verse that does not mention money directly, yet clearly applies. The word tithe means to give a tenth. The word increase is a numerical financial term of positive results. This verse also says that your field brings forth year by year. So this is a principle of being faithful to do what you know to do in a consistent manner. Being consistent is a seed principle. There are many factors to planting seeds in the natural that apply in the financial world. For, example, one key factor of correct seed planting is timing. Did you know you can plant the right seed in the right ground at the wrong time and totally fail and lose everything? So knowing when to plant is a key to getting positive results. There are of course other seed concepts that also apply to money. You can under seed a field and not reap what you should have. You can over seed a field and also cause your crop to be unprofitable. There are really too many factors to consider about seeds that apply to investing that I cannot go into them all. It is not my goal to teach you how to invest your money; it is only my goal to introduce you to Bible concepts and to note the things that God has created in the world that give us views into spiritual laws. I’ll take you to one more Old Testament verse before I move to the New Testament:
Isa 55:10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
Here is a verse that is speaking of natural things and spiritual things simultaneously. It can also clearly be applied to financial things. The blessings of God are many times manifested in the natural realm in financial blessings. You can see this concept in the Book of Job when God blessed Job in the end with more than he had in the beginning. You can also see the concept repeated in the life of Abraham when God blessed him exceedingly and abundantly so that his herds could not coexist with his nephew Lot’s herds because the land would not sustain them both since they were so blessed. You can see the blessing of God on the life of Jacob when he worked 7 years for Rachael and his father-in-law tricked him into seven more years. Jacob’s father-in-law saw that he was blessed because of Jacob’s presence and tried to manipulate his income and cheat him out of his blessings from God. So we can see this pattern repeatedly found in the Bible that God blesses people financially with an increase in the natural realm. So the verse in Isaiah can be applied to natural seeds, spiritual seeds, and financial seeds and so on. If God gives us seed and bread these are clearly symbolic of financial things that represent income producing and life sustaining factors. Let’s look at some New Testament verses about seeds and money:
2Co 9:6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
Here we again find a verse that crosses subject topic boundaries. This verse applies to many things and it represents a spiritual law of God. The basic law presented to you is this; you will always reap what you sow. If you sow a little bit, you get a little bit back. If you sow a lot you get a lot back. These are just basic seed laws found in the Bible. You can see that this verse does not mention seed directly, however to sow is to plant seed; therefore the seed is indirectly related. Let’s see what else this chapter says about seeds of finance:
2Co 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
What is a cheerful giver? You can again apply this to many things, including money. Being a cheerful giver involves primarily your attitude. If you have a right positive attitude you will be blessed in what you do. Have you ever read the story of Joseph in Genesis? Here is a man that was handed some very rough set of circumstances in life and he maintained a great attitude through them all. Joseph always expected God to fulfill his words that were spoken to him, so even though his brothers sold him into slavery he continued to believe in the best outcome. Joseph spent a great amount of time in prison, but wherever he was, the blessing of God was upon him and he was raised because of his attitude. This is a very powerful example for Christians today. It tells us that we do not always have it exactly the way that we would like it to be all the time, but we can still expect God to work it all out to cause it to be good for us in the end. So this verse is all about your positive attitude and your faith in God. You can read the other verses in this chapter and hopefully see the connections to money and finances, but I’ll end this chapters’ discussion with this one more verse:
2Co 9:10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)
As you can clearly see the term seed sown is self-evident. The term increase is also self-evident. The “fruits” of your righteousness is of course symbolic of your harvest. So this verse clearly applies in the spiritual realm to our effort to grow in spiritual maturity. However, this verse will also cross over in the context of the natural realm and must be related to our financial blessings from God. It can also mean emotional blessings. It can further apply to our seeds that we plant in the lives of other people that allows God to grow them and produce fruit in their lives. There are just a wide variety of applications for almost every verse on seeds. This is why I teach that money is just a small part of the bigger picture of seeds given to us in the Word of God. So let’s examine another chapter of the N.T. about seeds:
1Co 9:7 Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?
As you can see from this verse, God is comparing several similar concepts of financial matters. God says nobody finances their own war. God says nobody plants a crop and not also eats from it. Nobody raises sheep and not drink the milk of the flock. These are all symbolic representations of a spiritual set of realities found in the Bible. We the church are in a spiritual warfare with a spiritual enemy named Satan. Then Paul was a sower of the word of God and he says that anyone who sows will eat from that which he has sown. Then sheep are a widely symbolic representation of the people of God in the Bible. So the clear implied meaning is Paul fed the sheep and the sheep fed him back. This is not rocket science so grasp these simple concepts and learn to live by them.
1Co 9:9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?
Here we have a Bible concept that is very profound being explained. Many times God writes a Bible verse about natural things that cross over into the spiritual realm and this is a prime example of this. Paul is saying that God wrote about oxen and corn but that these apply to him and to us. In other words God did not write this verse for the benefit of the oxen, it was written for our benefit so that we can learn from it. Oxen when treading corn are said to be partakers of the corn and this is a Bible principle given to us from God. If the oxen are working then they should eat from their labors of work.
1Co 9:11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?
So this is a popular TV preacher verse found in the Bible. However, Paul is not writing this asking for their money he is only explaining a very powerful concept of sowing and reaping. Paul was sowing spiritual seeds into their lives and Paul said it was good for them to give back carnal or natural things back to him. In this verse Paul is claiming to be like the oxen that was working and that he should be a partaker of his own labor. However, what we see here are two principles being exercised simultaneously. To give to Paul would cause Paul to receive a harvest from what he has previously spiritually sown from the Word of God. For them to give financially to Paul is a concept of them planting back natural seeds into good ground; therefore they can also expect a harvest for what they have planted. In other words if they wanted Paul to continue to bless them with spiritual things it was good for them to give to Paul of their natural things like money, food, etc. so that Paul could live on the earth to continue to preach and not have to work to eat.
1Co 9:13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?
As we continue to read in this chapter, Paul and God is giving us a key principle that ministers of the gospel are partakers of those which they minister to. In other words this was a designed system of church government by God. It promotes a minister who is focused on you and not himself. If your minister had to work for a living in the world, you and the rest of the church would be a secondary thought to his primary time taker of working for a living. However, if the church pays for his wellbeing and financial needs then the minister can focus on God and the church and ministering to the sheep of God and not have to worry about where he will eat tomorrow.
1Co 9:14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
God again says what I just tried to say. The minister of God should be paid by the people who he ministers to. This is clearly the concept of sowing and reaping for both participants. The minister should minister in faith that the people will meet his financial needs and the people should give to the minister in faith that the God of their salvation will give them increases from the seeds that they have sown. So here is the flip side of the coin that also goes with this subject of sowing and reaping:
1Co 9:18 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
God in this verse clearly says that anyone who preaches and charges you money for the information is being an abuser of God’s designed plan. Paul very clearly says that he should not charge anyone to preach what God has given to him for free. This is what discourages me about many TV preachers that I listen to. While they say good spiritual things for 20 minutes, they end their show with a request for you to buy the rest of the message on CD or DVD and it always costs much more than it does to produce these and to send them out. A DVD can cost $20 plus postage and handling fees and this is clearly outrages for a piece of plastic that costs maybe 20 cents in bulk. Clearly these ministers of God are looking to your purchases of their messages to fund their TV ministries. So I understand and I am not stupid that TV cost a lot of money, but yet in what they do and the way that they do it, it gives the appearance of being an abuse of power that God says was not acceptable. It also promotes a philosophy that only the rich can afford to know the truth of the Gospel and that is not a fair thing to do. As you can tell this bothers me a great deal and I think it is very wrong. Here is what Jesus said on the subject:
Mat 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
Jesus tells us that God did not charge us for the information that we learned to preach, so we should not charge others to hear it also. That is why I do a free blog on a free website and I never ask for money or request you to send me a donation. Money is not a motivational factor and why I do what I do. However, that does not mean you should not do what God says to do either. Wow, this is a very complex subject that involves the participation of everyone doing what they should do, when they should do it and then everything works according to God’s designed plan. So that is why I did not want to include this lesson in my series about seeds, because it can very easily be taken wrong. I probably ended this lesson and sounded like you should give me something for the spiritual seeds that I have given to you; and that is not what I said at all. I said that I do these lessons for free because I love being a blessing to others. So I try to do the right things according to the word of God and you should do the same. If you noticed this blog is called the “Agapegeek” Blog and not my name. That means I am anonymous and you do not know me or my address to send me anything. I do this on purpose also. How you can bless me is to tell a friend about what you have learned and increase the traffic on my web site. That would be one of the greatest ways that you can be a blessing to me. If you learned anything about giving and sowing financially then you should give to your local pastor to help support your church to grow. We have just briefly covered a much broader subject of sowing and reaping financially from the Word of God. This is a complex subject and one that is not easily understood by many. Many people find it very difficult to relate their money to be like a seed that can be planted into ground to grow and increase. However, you can certainly find this concept in the Bible therefore you can personally choose to participate in it or to ignore it. Thanks for reading my Bible Study and God Bless!