Monthly Archives: January 2011
Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight — Understanding God’s Methods of Hiding Information in the Bible! Pt 9
(Ver 1.1) This is Part 9 in a series of advanced Bible lessons on the complex methods that God has used to conceal spiritual information in the Bible for us to find. If you like solving challenging puzzles, riddles and mysteries then you should enjoy studying the Bible. The Bible is full of God’s hidden spiritual wisdom using words that we can plainly understand and I call this “Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight”. Not too many people have studied this subject primarily because they did not know that God had done this. But, by learning of the existence of these technical methods, what they are and how they work, we should greatly increase our ability to understand the truth of God’s Word. Hiding the truth using standard plain text writings is a very complex system to recognize and to understand and it clearly demonstrates the extreme intelligent design of a God who is capable of doing these things using the words placed in plain view where any man has the opportunity to break the encoded messages. Since I am a former computer programmer with over 25 years of experience and training I understand complex system design better than most laymen. I have worked on and developed some very large and extremely complex computer systems which would have been a challenge for anyone to learn. But, to introduce any new novice programmer to them it would have been overwhelming for them to try to learn and to understand them, much less to change or to maintain them without breaking the system. Now if you are not a computer programmer, you would be more than overwhelmed with trying to figure out how the system works externally, much less trying to figure out how it works internally at the code instruction level. This is why very few people understand the Bible when reading it. You see the Bible has an external message using words that anyone can read, but it also has an internal spiritual message that only Christians can come to understand. When I read the Bible, I can see God’s intelligent design using a series of complex system word components and concealing techniques that while He makes the words plainly readable, the underlying truth is completely hidden from the view of naturally minded men and women. You have to be extremely intelligent to design a system like this and I believe God definitely qualifies for the job. To me, learning about how God hides information in the Bible has furthered my beliefs that He is the author of this book. Hopefully as you read and study these techniques you will be able to recognize these methods also and learn how to decipher the hidden spiritual meanings behind the words that you are reading. I have covered a lot of subjects already in this series of lessons and I will not be repeating the information previously given in any detail. So, if you have not read this series from the beginning I would strongly suggest that you go back and start your reading with “Part 1“.
Technique 9: Speaking in a Third Person Style of Writing about Yourself
This next technique for concealing the truth in the Bible is intermixed randomly in several different books, chapters and verses and it is often very difficult to find and recognize unless you know what to look for. I call it God writing or telling a story about Himself from a seemingly unknown, unnamed or anonymous third person view point or perspective. In other words in this style of writing God speaks about certain people, events or actions all the while referring to Himself as a nameless man who does something natural like sow a seed in a field, get a wife for his son, cut down a tree or some other physical action that portrays or reveals a greater hidden spiritual reality to us. Authors in our world who write fictional books utilize this technique frequently when telling a story. This writing style allows greater creativity and multiple viewpoints to be established and it greatly complicates the landscape when you want to conceal information. I believe that God uses the anonymous third person writing style predominantly all throughout the Bible. I want to start by teaching you examples of what it is, then how it works and finally give you some specific hidden examples of it in the Bible. Let’s start at the beginning and read in the Book of Genesis, chapter 1, verse 1 that is written as if Moses was a witness to the creation events.
Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Gen 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Gen 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
As you can read in these first three verses of Genesis there is someone watching or observing what is happening during creation who is never named directly. The observer is clearly an anonymous hidden personality. God is named directly by name in this example, but God is not the first person speaker or observer. What you can see is someone else is watching what God says and then telling us about it. Since Moses was not there to witness creation, we can assume that God is describing the events and He uses Moses to record them. Therefore, God is using a third person perspective for the references to His personal point of view, but every name, place and event is mentioned is that of a real person place and thing that actually exists and happens. In other words God names, names and describes actual events that transpired without saying “I saw the darkness” and “I did this”. God is directly quoted saying words, but God is not speaking directly. The words are heard as if someone was there to watch God create the world. This is a very complex tricky way of telling you something without telling you something directly. The writing style conveys implied and hidden information that is not directly mentioned. I hope you understand this simple example that I just gave you because it does get more complicated than this as we go forward.
I want to stop here and make another point that is important for you to know about. Just because God uses this writing style in Genesis 1 does not mean that God does not also utilize other techniques of concealing information in this same chapter. For example, I have discovered that the book of Genesis is widely symbolic information especially in the first three chapters. This use of symbolism allows God to hide the true identity of Satan as being the deceiving serpent for instance. Satan is later revealed to be this ancient serpent in Revelation 12, but you would not really know that by just reading Genesis. So clearly the serpent was a symbolic hidden reference name to conceal the identity of Satan. Then there are hidden analogies found in Genesis that are clearly much greater complex spiritual truths that hide this information and makes it very hard to find. This is just a small part of the complexity of the Bible and a demonstration of the intelligence of the design of God’s Word. God can use multiple methods of hiding information in the same book, chapter or verse of the Bible and you have to become smart enough to recognize them all to get the real meaning. Today’s lesson is about technique number 9 and I’m not convinced that I am done writing about them all. So reading the first three chapters of Genesis you might encounter seven of the nine techniques used to conceal truth in the Bible intermixed. For example:
- Widely dispersed Truths: Gen 3:1 The serpent is not revealed until Revelation 12. Adam is first mentioned by name in Genesis 2, but he is also mentioned in the New Testament and many other places in the Bible.
- Symbolism: Genesis 1:16, The Greater Light to Rule the Day, revealed to be Jesus the Sun of Righteous in Malachi 4:2 and other scriptures. The serpent is clearly a symbolic reference in Genesis 3:1.
- Referring to the Same Thing Using Multiple Names or Titles: The woman in Genesis 1, 2 and 3 is called “Adam” or “man” in Gen 1:27, “help meet” in Gen 2:18, “woman” in Gen 2:22, “wife” in Gen 2:24, “Eve” in Gen 3:20, “Mother” in Gen 3:20.
- Calling Multiple Things by the Same Name: This is found in Genesis 2:20 where God names the man “Adam”. This name is also given to Jesus the Last Adam in 1 Cor 15:45.
- Types and Shadows: Adam and his wife are shadows of Jesus and his wife the Church. Just as Eve was the Body of Adam, so the Church is the Body of Christ.
- Telling a Story Without Any Explanations: There is clearly the story of creation in Genesis 1 without any explanation of how it was created or when it was created. Genesis 2, God creates the woman from the man, but never explains why.
- Third Person Writing Style: As I have pointed out you can see in Genesis 1 an unknown or unnamed witness to creation is narrating the events that occurred. This clearly has to be God’s point of view but it is not spoken of or revealed to us directly.
This is the complexity of understanding the Bible. If anybody told you that the Bible was easy to understand they lied to you intentionally or they were heavily deceived into thinking they knew more than they actually knew. In just the first three chapters there are clearly seven or eight different concealing techniques intermixed to make the truth unrecognizable to the casual reader. I did not attempt to list every example or to even explain them in any great detail. So you either saw them or you didn’t. I have learned that Bible study is like digging for gold; you might get lucky on the surface, but to really strike it rich you have to dig deep. You must dig very deep and study for countless hours to come to the knowledge of the truth or you have to read the blogs of someone who has done this already and you will save yourself a lot of valuable time. Let’s continue our study of the third person writing style and discover some other ways God has used this technique to conceal information in the Bible
Some modern day fictional writers have copied what God has done in writing about a seemingly unknown or an anonymous man when they are actually writing about themselves in hidden terms. This technique is very similar to when Jesus would speak to us in parables describing new complex spiritual things in a story about a man who had a field. Let me give you a quick review of a parable and how Jesus used it to describe Himself:
Mat 13:31 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:
Here we have a statement that God is speaking a parable about some powerful spiritual truths using natural recognizable descriptions of some things that were found easily on the earth. Most of the people that Jesus was speaking to understood farming concepts and where food came from and how it worked, however few to none of them understood how to transfer this information into the spiritual realm and determine what it meant. So here in this verse Jesus is speaking using the technique of parables that I have covered before using encoded symbolic descriptors about the Kingdom of Heaven. We therefore understand what to look for in the statement by knowing these two important facts. Remember that a parable is almost always given to us in a statement that says “something” is like “something else” and this alerts us into a mental transition on how we think about the statements that are given next. Here in this parable Jesus says that the kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed a grain of mustard seed in his field. We know from this information that God is speaking of spiritual things using symbolism in a third person anonymous writing style. In this chapter it just so happens that Jesus is telling the story about an unnamed man and this is the reverse logic we found in the first Chapter of Genesis where we saw an unnamed person telling a story of what God says. However, this unnamed man in the parable is clearly God. Therefore, we must make the mental transformation to see the man who sows the seed to be a hidden reference to God and what He will do or has done. It further goes to say that God has a garden which is a place to plant seeds. We can understand that the field is symbolic, the seed is symbolic, “sowing” is symbolic as well as the man is symbolic and we must convert these into their spiritual meanings in order to understand the story correctly. If you have read my series of lessons on “Understanding Seeds” in the Bible you will better understand what is being taught. So I will not go through and attempt to re-explain all of the elements in the parable in this lesson. What I want you to see is my key point that God is speaking of Himself as being a symbolic unnamed man that sows a symbolic seed into His field and that these natural things reflect much greater hidden spiritual truths.
That last example wasn’t too hard to figure out since maybe you already understand the parable concepts that I taught earlier. However, what if God took away the information about this is a parable and that something is like something else and He only told you the story? Could you be smart enough to put it together and recognize what God is talking about? By removing this information it would dramatically make it more complex to figure out what is being taught. If you would allow me I’ll change this one verse and omit those introductory facts so can see how it might change it if God would have chosen to do this:
Mat 13:31 A man took a grain of mustard and sowed in his field:
You see without the key information given that this is a parable which is conveying spiritual things about the Kingdom of Heaven, how would you ever figure out what God is talking about? I think you would not be able to put the two realities together without this information even though the information can still be determined by using some logical assumptions. It just makes it significantly more difficult to come up with the correct interpretation if God would do this and guess what? God has done this numerous times in the Bible. Here is a good example of this found in a statement that Jesus makes in Matthew 19:
Mat 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
Mat 19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
Mat 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Here is Jesus speaking again of marriage and the fact that God created them male and female in the beginning. However, did you notice what Jesus said and how He said it? Be precise and pay very close attention to every word spoken. In verse 4 Jesus says “Have you not read” and then He says “that he which made them”. Who was he that made them? It was the speaker of the question, “he who made them” was Jesus. The creator God is doing the speaking and He calls Himself an anonymous pronoun of “he”. That is a prime example of an anonymous “third person” reference to Himself using the personal pronoun of “he”. Think with me and see what is happening here in this statement. God is not lying or fabricating information, He is just not revealing everything that He could have. Jesus could have said “I created them male and female”, but this would have gotten Him stoned for claiming to be God. God is using this style for several reasons, but you can see that it is very clever to speak this way. It gives the information that you want to provide without revealing things that you do not wish to reveal. Next, Jesus is basically quoting from Genesis 2:24 and this is a prime example of how God is writing something about a physical man who we can all relate to, named Adam and it directly applies to the spiritual man named Jesus (the Last Adam) also. Remember that in Matthew 13:31 Jesus says the kingdom of heaven is like a “man” who sows a grain of mustard seed in a field. I have concluded that the symbolic man being referred to is God. Therefore, if you read this verse in Matthew 19:5 you will see another unnamed “man” being spoken of. You can assume that Jesus is only speaking about Adam or you can open your eyes and see that Jesus is revealing more than you know right now. Because Jesus does not name the man, the man is open to being a greater spiritual truth. Jesus of course called himself the “son of man” frequently. So Jesus was definitely a “man”. Therefore, we can make the jump that Jesus could be talking about himself in this verse leaving His Father in heaven and coming to the earth. We also know from studying the Bible that Jesus will soon be formally married to His bride and you can read about that in Revelation 19:7. Therefore we can see very clearly how the church becomes the body of Christ since it is by the law of marriage given to us in Genesis 2:24 that make this possible. God clearly tells us that the two shall be joined to become one flesh (body). Finally, in verse 6 of Matthew 19, Jesus makes this statement “what God has joined together, let no man put asunder”. This statement is not a quote from Genesis 2:24 and we must conclude that Jesus is associating this statement with Genesis 2:24 for a purpose. God is using some more cleverly designed words to hide spiritual information in this verse. Here, God is speaking and He says what God has joined together meaning God joined someone together by the law of covenant marriage. Again if you only think that He is speaking of Adam you are limiting your perspective to a natural pattern that does not take into account the spiritual information being concealed in it. Then Jesus says “Let no man put asunder”. When Adam was created there were no other men on the planet to put them asunder, so you can obviously see that Jesus is not talking about Adam and Eve in this statement. Who is Jesus speaking of here? Wow, that is a very tough question to answer much less to see. You see Jesus has come to the earth and taken on the form of His creation in the body of a man, for what purpose? I personally believe that Jesus is the man that came to put asunder Satan from God. I know you do not have enough information or knowledge to affirm what I have just told you. We have to understand the law of marriage that Jesus is speaking of in Genesis 2:24 and see that when Jesus is joined to His bride, according to the law of marriage He must leave his Father and his mother and become one with His bride. So covenant marriage is a dividing force that creates a new spiritual family. The Son of God is in the process of creating a new spiritual family for God in order to eliminate the old family members of God which include Satan and his angels. These are new concepts for many people, but if you study your Bible you will see that they true.
There are numerous examples in the Bible of this technique of writing indirectly about yourself that God uses and I will give you another classic example found in Isaiah 53. This chapter should be very familiar to you because it is often referred to in many circles to be all about Jesus. However, not one time is the name of Jesus directly mentioned and most of the references to Him are in a third person style of writing where a certain man is being described externally and anonymously. I am not going to go through every verse in this chapter, if you desire to you may stop and read the entire chapter to verify that the name of Jesus is never mentioned.
Isa 53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
Isa 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
Isa 53:9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
Isa 53:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Chapter 53 of Isaiah is a very complex chapter to study. The viewpoint of the writer seems to change from an unknown and unnamed group of people who are observing to the viewpoint of another unnamed individual at the end of the chapter. This would appear to create a shifting landscape to how we should interpret these verses. These are just a few sample verses found in this chapter of Isaiah. You can clearly see a nameless man is being spoken of. This is the common theme of the entire chapter regardless of the changing perspective. In the beginning of the chapter, a group of people are mentioned as the observers. There are numerous pronoun references of “our” and “we”. Nowhere in this chapter is there the name of this primary individual being spoken of or the observers who are watching so clearly you can see a technique of concealing information by omitting some key details. We could assume that the observing people are the natural nation of Israel, but you might be able to see that this group could also be the spiritual people of God, the church. Throughout this chapter, God is using prophetic words about an anonymous man who will come to the earth in the future. God is using a technique of a third person descriptive story to talk about Himself in a hidden way. God inserts several clues that any Christian today would clearly recognize is Jesus, but to the scribes and the Pharisees they missed it and did not understand that they killed their Messiah. Jesus was the Lamb of God sacrificed for the sins of mankind. Jesus was hung on a cross among criminals on either side of Him. There are just too many descriptive words in this writing of Isaiah that makes it obvious to me, but I can see the one that I know personally and it is easier for me to recognize than for someone who does not know Him. As you continue down the reading in this chapter you see a change of perspective taking place. Now we have another viewpoint being given to us. This viewpoint seems to be a singular view point of a person being referred to as “I” and “My”. Changing perspective in the middle of a chapter is a tricky way to conceal information. It can be easily overlooked and even ignored when you casually read the words. We are never told who the observers are; we just have to recognize that the observer changed. These are complex puzzles to try to solve, but God has placed these things in the Bible for a purpose. If you look closely in the Old Testament you will find this writing technique repeated in a very effective way to conceal the truth. God speaks about somebody and prophesies events in their life, but never says who it is and never says who is observing it. Usually when this is done it is always a reference to God Himself in a hidden plain text technique. Also the hidden perspective can also be from God’s point of view and this is what you should look for first. As you read your Bible look for it and see it and you will better understand what you are reading.
These are some of techniques that God has taught me from the Bible and these are not all of them that I can talk about. We will talk about more of them sometime in the future. Keep studying your Bible and digging for the truth and we will all find it together.
If you would like to continue reading this series of lessons on understanding God’s spiritual hiding methods then please continue with “Part 10“.
(Ver 1.2) This is Part 4 in a series of advanced Bible studies about the subject of Bible Faith. Today’s lesson will be a basic foundational definition to how to get Faith. There are many people in the world who claim to have faith and yet when pressed for a definition of what faith is to them, they cannot tell you. Then if you asked them how did you get this faith, again they cannot tell you. Therefore, we are going to explore the basic Bible subject of faith to help people understand what faith is and where faith comes from. Technically speaking you do not have to know how transmissions work, to drive a car and faith is the same way to some extent. You can drive a car by just automatically learning which gear to be in and press the gas and you are off and running. Salvation can be this way also. You do not have to know that it takes faith to use your faith to be saved, yet your faith is still the determining factor to whether you are saved or not. So we could liken your faith to be your spiritual transmission and God and His power and Grace to be the spiritual engine to the car. Without both of these two key components working flawlessly together in harmony, your spiritual car is not going to move. Hopefully you will understand this analogy better as we continue through this lesson. If you have not read this series of lessons from the beginning, I would recommend that you go back and read starting at “Part 1”.
In order to understand what faith is, let’s first find out how faith comes. If you did not know that faith comes then you did not read my first lessons very closely. In a previous lesson I described a verse found in Romans 12:3 that said that all Bible faith comes from God. This verse told us that God has dealt to every man (among you) faith. I explained that verse in that lesson, so I will not repeat the explanation here. Just read it and recognize that God has faith to give, so we as men and women must receive it. Also, in a previous lesson I taught that faith is measurable and quantifiable ranging anywhere from zero or none upwards to full of faith, the maximum that you can have. Remember that your faith can vary in that range of measurable numbers based upon something. Jesus would look at His disciples and rebuke them for having “no faith” and then for a few people that Jesus ran into, He would praise them for having “great faith”. Obviously there is a great deal of difference between those two ranges found on the faith value chart. We can conclude based upon the information that we learned in lesson 3 that faith comes in stages and can grow or increase up the chart to the highest levels. But, how do you get faith and how do you increase your faith that you already have. If you were a car, and your gas tank was empty you would simply go and fill it, does this simple concept also apply to faith? Can I go to the Faith station and fill my Faith tank? That is where we are at in the lesson today so let’s go to the Bible and see what God has to say to us.
Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
God gives us a major revelation concerning faith in this verse of Romans. God ties the amount of faith that you possess to the amount of Words of God that you hear. Of course, it is much more complicated than that simple statement. If you could get faith by just hearing God’s Word, then you would just need to go buy the Bible on CD and play it all the time and you should have faith to move mountains left and right. Obviously it takes more than just hearing to get faith. But, hearing is where you faith lesson begins today to teach you about how to get more faith. Let me teach you the progressive steps to getting faith and then we will look at this in the scriptures to find if we can prove what I just said. Faith depends upon you doing the following steps and there are 4 possible reasons why faith does not come and only 1 instance where your faith actually grows. Read these 5 examples very carefully and see if you can see what God is teaching you:
Faith Comes by Hearing, but they:
- Don’t Listen or Refuse to Hear!
- Listen but don’t understand what is Said.
- Hear, Understand but don’t believe it.
- Hear, Understand, Believe and then don’t do it.
- Hear, Understand, Believe and then do it and finally they have faith that grows.
Wow, I do not know if you understood what I just said but it was good. These same concepts are how you learn things in school. You go to class, you either choose to hear your teacher or reject her words by closing your mind to them. Then you can hear her words, but not understand what was being taught. Right there is your opportunity to ask questions or remain ignorant. Next you can hear your teacher teach you about history and then not believe that it happened. Next, you hear your teacher teach you about algebra, understand it, believe it but just not do the work and you will fail that class. Finally, when you achieve to all of the first four requirements, hearing, understanding, believing and doing is when your faith will grow and increase and you can move to the next higher faith grade level. That was how faith works in a nutshell. It is the basis of how faith comes and how you put it to work for you. Let’s examine if we can find faith demonstrated to us in a Bible example that we are given and see if this is how it really works:
Mar 5:25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
Mar 5:26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,
Mar 5:27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
Mar 5:28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
Mar 5:29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
Here is story of a woman who was diseased for 12 years. But, did you notice what the Bible says happened to this woman? I tried to underline some of the important parts for your careful consideration. It says in verse 27 that she had “heard” of Jesus. How does faith come? According to Romans 10:17 faith comes by hearing. So right there we know that this is the first requirement for having faith. She obviously heard something that gave her faith and it must have been the Word of God according to Romans 10:17. What did she hear? While we are not told what she heard directly, we can make an assumption based upon other scriptures that it had to be something from the Old Testament. Remember what Jesus did after being baptized by John? Jesus went into the synagogue one day and open the scroll of the prophet Isaiah and read from it “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me and He has anointed me” and then he continues to say “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:18-21). If you think that Jesus did this only one time, you would probably be making a wrong assumption. I personally believe that Jesus read this verse of Isaiah everywhere He went to build the people’s faith. So I believe that this woman with the issue of blood had heard what Jesus had said. Now right there she must have understood what was spoken and you clearly see that she believed it by what these verses in Mark 5 say that she does after hearing. Here is a woman that should not be out in public, but she has heard of Jesus and decides to get healed. She does not ask Jesus or anyone else if it is permissible to do anything; she simply presses through the crowds that were also touching Jesus, sneaks up on the back of Jesus and touches His garment surreptitiously. The Bible says that instantly she felt in her body the disease was gone. Immediately, Jesus felt power had flowed from Him and he turned to ask “Who touched me”. Wow, this is one of the best faith lessons in the Bible that I know of and it clearly demonstrates the principles that I have outlined. A woman hears about Jesus, understands what she heard, chooses to believe it and then acts upon her faith and goes and gets healed and Jesus did not know it was happening until after it happened.
Mar 5:31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
The disciples look at Jesus like He is crazy and say to Him, Master everyone is touching you. Here is a definitive clue to the difference between a physical touch and a spiritual touch. The crowd was touching Jesus physically, but this woman with faith touched Him spiritually and there is a major difference between those two realities. That is why I get some critics who write me and tell me how wrong I am and I get some people who have spiritual eyes to tell me “Wow that was good”. If I could make everyone see things the way God sees them, I would certainly do that, but I can’t and God won’t so we have what we have in the world today. Faith is a spiritual force and not a physical feeling.
Mar 5:33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.
The woman was caught, but now that she is healed it is legal for her to be in public again, so she goes to Jesus and falls down before Him. She is obviously grateful and thankful and she tells him the truth.
Mar 5:34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
Jesus confirms to everyone present and to us His readers that it was the woman’s faith that made her whole. You see if it was only up to God’s power, everyone would be falling down before Him thanking Him for their healing, but no one else present got healed. Jesus clearly tells us that it was her faith that was the determining factor for her healing. It was her faith that made her whole. The Greek word for “whole” is the word “sozo” and it means to “save” or to “deliver”. This is the word that is translated many times as “saved” or “salvation”. Faith as you can see was the cause for her salvation. People, who do not want to see this, claim that everything that happens to them is what God has caused to happen. If is funny that God does not say this in the Bible anywhere. Jesus could have told the woman with the issue of blood “Be of good cheer, my power has saved you”, but God does not say this. Are you able to see the truth? I pray that you do. So what does this story in Mark reveal to us that the woman did:
- She heard the truth.
- She understood the truth.
- She believed the truth.
- She acted on the truth.
- She was saved because of her faith.
That was faith in a nutshell again and it confirms what God taught you earlier. So did you hear it? Did you understand it? Do you believe it? What will you do with it? Faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the Word of God. So if you want to increase your faith that is what you need to do. It technically means that you have to be an open and receptive type of vessel in order to hear. If you are not being open to the Word of God you will not hear it to begin with. So decide in your heart to be a vessel that is willing to change and then go and hear the word of God until you understand it. Next, if you believe what you have heard is the truth, then you are ready to take hold of the hem of His garment and receive the power of God for your answer. Your faith is the transmission that causes your spiritual car to accelerate and to go places. God’s Grace is the Motor that supplies the power to your spiritual car to change your location. You can keep your car in the garage and never use it to go anywhere in the world or you can do what Jesus taught “If you had faith as a grain of mustard seed, you would say…”. I hope that you enjoyed this basic Bible faith lesson and that you learned something that can be useful with your walk with God. Until next time, I will let you go and review this lesson and see if you truly understood it and then you can write me and tell me about how it worked for you. God Bless.
If you would like to continue reading in this series of lessons on faith, you can go to “Part 5“.
(Ver 1.3) This will be an extremely complex Bible study today of a highly spiritual nature about the spiritual abilities of your enemy Satan. We will explore many difficult and different scriptures found in the Bible that help us to see the truth. In studying your enemy you should learn both his strengths and his weaknesses so that you can be better prepared when he comes to tempt, test or attack you. Satan is definitely this enemy that I am talking about if you are a Christian. God tells us that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood (people) but the principalities, powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world and the spiritual wicked in high places (Eph 6:12). The Bible clearly tells us that we are in a spiritual warfare with a spiritual enemy that we cannot see. Since we do not perceive Satan with our physical senses we must read the Bible and see what God tells us about this unseen spirit and how he operates. Today I am going to focus in on one aspect that many Christians have wondered about. I was asked this question recently by one of my readers so I thought it would be a good topic to share with all of my readers. Here was their question:
Can Satan Read Your Mind?
Let’s start by addressing the question “What is your mind”? Most people associate your mind with your physical brain, an internal organ in the head, but this is not technically true. While the physical brain has some vital functions within the natural realm, what happens to your mind when your body dies? Does it cease to exist? Absolutely not, the mind is just a part of your soul. Your soul is comprised of your intellect, will and emotions. You intellect is comprised of your ability to think and reason along with recall of memories that you have learned or experienced. Reading the story that Jesus teaches us of Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16:20-31, you can see the actual account of two men who lived on the earth and then died and their bodies are buried. After they have died physically they are still able to speak verbally, think and reason mentally in this story without their bodies, so we know they had conscious awareness and the same mental capabilities that they possessed when they were here on the earth in their bodies. We are told that the rich man was now in hell and he asks Abraham to send someone back to the earth so that his brothers would not come to this place of torment where he was. In this conversation Abraham tells the rich man to “remember”. This clearly tells us that you will take your past memories of this world into the next eternal realm. The rich man was able to recall that he even had natural brothers and he was further able to mentally reason and come to the conclusion that he made a mistake and that he should have done something differently while he was living on the earth. This is a very powerful lesson about the afterlife experience, the human spirit and the human mind. The rich man’s ability to think and remember was not tied to whether or not he had any brain cells. Get it?
The human mind is a very complex and powerful feature of God’s creation. We use it to create many things in our world. How do we do this? We take mental concepts and process them and make determinations and decisions based upon these ideas or thoughts. It is this reasoning ability that we have that makes us completely different than the animals on our planet. There are really only three basic states of thought, we can make up our mind, we can change our mind to the opposite perspective or we can attempt to be double minded and accept both realities simultaneously. Jesus actually warns us about doing this when He said “I would that you were either hot or cold, since you are lukewarm I will spew you out of my mouth (Rev 3:16). God is speaking of a man who is not committed either way. God actually teaches in James that this is called a “double minded” man:
Jas 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
God is warning us about being a man who is indecisive, uncommitted, trying to appease everyone and God says this man is unstable in all of his ways. This is what concerns me about our current president in the U.S. His attitude of an all-inclusive behavior as being permissible and normal is very troubling to me. The term translated as “double minded” in James 1:8, is the Greek word that can mean a man who has two spirits controlling him. So we see a definite connection from your mind to your spirit and that is very important to understand. We know that when Lazarus and the rich man died their souls, minds, memory, reasoning facilities and even emotions did not die with them. These were still intact with their spirits. Therefore your ability to think is tied to your spirit and not your body. A thought is a process that occurs and is associated with the human mind, but what is the source of a thought? Where does a thought take place and how does it work?
Gen 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Here is the first occurrence of the thought process of man being stated or described in the Bible directly by name. We of course realize that the thought process of Adam and Eve were involved in their decision making back in Genesis 3, but God never mentions it directly. Here in Genesis 6, God looks down on the men on the earth and sees that they only think evil things in their hearts. We can again see the connection of thoughts to the spirit of a man and not his physical brain. So a thought must come to rest in your spirit. I’m not sure if it originates there, but it is definitely connected as a resting place. Here in this verse in Genesis 6, God implies that the hearts of men could be one of three states, good, evil or both as I previously stated. We can understand this based upon the words “only” and “continually” used with evil. The opposite of these two states would be only good and never evil. We could further stipulate someone who is in the middle as being “occasionally evil or intermittently good”. I personally believe based upon this information that there are three sources of thoughts in the human mind and that these are as follows:
- A Thought can originate from a man’s spirit (Self)
- A Thought can originate from God’s Spirit (Good)
- A Thought can originate from another spirit, either angel (good) or demon (Evil)
A thought is the birth of a realm of influence expressed in the external actions of a person. Having an evil thought does not make you an evil man, unless you act upon it and live it out. I believe that a person can be influenced to do good or evil according to what they entertain and allow to remain in their minds. There is a verse of scripture that occurs in the N.T. that says “Those who are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Rom 8:14). This verse is a scripture that demonstrates the spiritual influence principle of how a spirit can encourage people to do the right things. To be led is the action of a guide who shows you the way to go. However, to be led means you have the opportunity to go the other way and not follow their directions. It further implies that there are other spirits that can also lead you to do the wrong things in life. This means that all spirits good or bad can give you thoughts and that they therefore know what they said to you. This does not mean they read your mind, it only means they provided the thought. They spoke something to your mind and your spirit and what you do with it is totally up to you. You can be led by it or you can be a person who ignores it. It really boils down to your ability to discern the origin of the voice (thought) being spoken internally. The good news is that you can know the difference between God and a demon and this is because God says this to you:
Joh 10:4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
Joh 10:5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
Joh 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
We can clearly see Jesus speaking to us, we are called His sheep and He says we will be able to recognize His voice because we belong to Him. We know that this is a faith proposition being presented to us, but it is also an internal spiritual knowing that will be present. It is very difficult to explain this to people, if you have never experienced it. Some have called it an intuition, but you could call it a hunch or awareness or an instinct. You do not know how you know, you just know. This has happened to me repeatedly, I have a thought and just based upon the content of the thought I know it came from God. It is very hard to explain in natural terms because it is a spiritual experience.
2Co 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
This is a fairly popular verse of scripture that you should already be aware of. But, since we are speaking about the realm of the mind and the origination of thoughts let’s examine what God is saying. We can see that God is speaking to us to do something. God tells us to “Cast Down” imaginations. Then God says to “Make Captive” every thought. Two aggressive actions that we are required to take based upon what? If you read the context of this verse you can see that God is again describing a spiritual warfare that is taking place. This means you must interpret this verse within the context of spiritual warfare and this is how you fight against your spiritual enemy Satan. Where do these thoughts and imaginations come from that you are to “make captive” and “cast down”? They must come from Satan, otherwise if they were from God we would not need to do anything but follow His leading. We can assume by indirect reference that the source of these things in our mind that are not supposed to be there are from Satan and it is our responsibility to police them out. It is also obvious to me that if Satan puts these thoughts in there then he knows what you are thinking at that instance. But, he is waiting to see what you do with the thought to see if it worked or not.
Mat 6:31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
Here is a vital spiritual principle to understand. Jesus said that you can take a thought or reject the thought by reverse implied reference. This is also a demonstrated act of your freewill. God never says that He will control your thought in the Bible. A thought is like if someone offered you some money, you could take it or you could walk away from it by your own choice. More than likely you will take it because it is desirable. However, if I handed you a poisonous snake and you took it from me, then you are just stupid. This is the nature of the spiritual battle fourd within your mind. Jesus is teaching us not to take every thought that we have and to speak them, act on them, accept them, etc. To take a thought means you accept it into your heart and then you begin to speak out what you were thinking. This is how Satan knows his trick has succeeded. As soon as you think something that is contrary to the Word of God you should immediately think what does the Bible say about that? When Satan tempted Jesus, Jesus would automatically say “It is written” and tell Satan what was written that was wrong with what Satan had just said to Him. This is what you need to do also, however, this assumes that you have studied and read the Bible in order to know what to say in response. Satan is not going to wait for you to get to your Bible and look up a scripture, he is going to find you alone in the wilderness without anyone there to help and then bring thoughts into your mind. It is at these times you better have something to say from your heart. Here in the context of this verse in Matthew 6, Jesus is speaking of how people can let worry consume them into saying and doing things that they should not. Worry is another negative mental process that is thinking on the wrong things and allowing them to control you. Jesus is giving us some important information to know about the mental and spiritual realm of reality. I hope you can see it.
I personally do not believe that Satan can hear your thoughts or read your mind. However, Satan can certainly give you these thoughts as we have seen and try to influence you through your mind. I do not believe that Satan is omnipotent, omnipresent or omniscient based upon my study of the Bible. Satan was a created spiritual being who was created to be the supreme ruler of the angelic order or class of beings with him only being second to God. God created Satan to be the “anointed cherub” and you can read about this in Ezekiel 28. To have the title “anointed cherub” implies some supernatural abilities were given to him by God. Acts 10:38 says “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and power who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil”. Jesus was also anointed by God according to this verse in Acts and by the title of “Christ” which means “anointed one”. You can clearly see that an anointing represents a supernatural power over the natural. Jesus it says did good with Him anointing and healed people because of He possessed it therefore, we can logically conlcude that God’s anointing also permitted Satan to perform certain miraculous things either good or evil. But, just because Satan has anointing power from God does not give him the ability to read your mind.
So far in my Bible study searches I have not seen any direct verse that says a spirit like Satan can know what you are thinking. However, God is the exception; He does know our thoughts (1 Cor 3:20, Ps 94:11, Ps 139:23). There are many verses that inform us God knows what we are thinking all of the time and that God revealed these to Jesus sometimes when He walked the face of the earth (Mat 9:4, Mat 12:25, Luke 5:22, Luke 6:8, Luke 11:17). I do not believe that Jesus knew everyone’s thoughts all of the time based upon scripture. If you recall the woman with the issue of blood snuck up on Jesus and touched Him and got healed and Jesus knew it happened because He felt power leave Him, but He did not know who it was that touched Him (Mark 5:30). Get it? Let’s look at some examples of Jesus running into people who were possessed by evil spirits and see what these stories say to us. The first one I want to read about is found in Mark the first chapter. Jesus is in the synagogue on the Sabbath teaching when He encounters a man with an unclean spirit who says:
Mar 1:24 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.
As you can read this unclean spirit recognizes Jesus for who He really was and speaks directly to Him. It is very interesting to me that evil spirits knew who Jesus was, but the natural Jews did not. Did you notice what this spirit asks Jesus? This spirit asks Jesus “Did you come to destroy us”. Any spirit who could read minds would already know this fact and would not have to ask this basic of a question. Do you understand what I just said? It is very obvious to me that evil spirits cannot read the minds of men if they have to ask them questions to why they are here. You can clearly see this example repeated in Luke 4:
Luk 4:34 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God.
What we observe is a second witness to the fact that evil spirits are not all knowing. Jesus was a man who walked the face of the planet as any human man would. God the omnipotent supreme power of the universe lowered Himself and becomes an intimate part of His own creation. Evil Spirits would constantly say we know who you are; you are the Holy One of God. Then they would ask Him are you come to destroy us? They did not know why Jesus had come in the flesh and for what purpose He had manifested as a human being. This act of God obviously took them by surprise and they were afraid and very confused to know what to do with Him.
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.
Here in 1 Corinthians, God further confirms what I just said. This verse clearly says that if Satan would have known why Jesus was here, he would not have had Him crucified. Satan does not understand acts of love; God who is Love, so loved the World that He gave Himself for us. These are several concepts that Satan does not understand. We know that God’s ways are not our ways according to Isaiah 55:8, but we can also clearly see and understand that God’s ways are not Satan’s ways either or Satan would have understood the plan of God and countered it with more effectiveness.
So while the Bible does not have a direct verse that says Satan cannot read your mind, you have to find out what the Bible does say on the subject and put the pieces of the puzzle together to understand what he can do. We can clearly see that Jesus walked the face of the earth for 33 years and that at no time could Satan read His mind and find out why He was here. If you believe that Jesus was a man like yourself, then you have to conclude that Satan cannot read your mind either. So the subject is a very complex one that is probably difficult for many to grasp. I tell you that Satan cannot read your mind directly, but in the same lesson I tell you that he can give you thoughts to think on and that he knows what he said to you. These thoughts are his seeds that can take root in your spirit and grow if you let them. You spirit is desinged to be God’s garden and God has put you in charge of weeding it out by casting down vain imaginations and evil thoughts. These are the ways that Satan can take control of your external life and he does this by planting internal seeds into your spiritual component. If you want to learn about how things work in the spiritual realm this is one of the most important subjects for you to know. It also tells us that Satan can cause people’s minds to be blinded so that we do not hear or accept the truth of God (2 Cor 4:4). The spiritual battle is primarily a war of the thoughts in your mind. Satan wants to control your thoughts and by controlling your thoughts he is able to control your actions through his negative influence. However when we meditate on God’s Word we are able to replace Satan’s thoughts with God’s. I hope that you learned something new today that will help you in your walk with God, until next time may God continue to enlighten the eyes of your spirit that you may know Him.
(Ver 1.3) This is Part 3 in an advanced series of lessons on understanding the basic concepts of faith found in the Bible. To have basic and advanced in the same sentence is almost an oxymoronic expression, but I am attempting to simplify a very complex subject so that anyone who wants to can understand it. In the first lesson I gave you an overview of the origin of faith and how that God had faith when He created the world so therefore I taught you that faith was not a brand new concept found only in the New Testament. I further showed you definitive scriptures from Hebrews 11 that described Old Testament faith examples even though God never emphasized or taught this to be a required quality to possess. However, you can clearly see that many people are included in the Bible simply because of their faith. For example, we are told that Rahab the harlot had faith and then we are told in Matthew that she becomes a key figure in the life and genealogy of Jesus (Mat 1:5) because of her faith (Heb 11:31). I taught you that faith is a rudimentary subject of Bible theology which is foundational to you being a real Christian. I also showed you that faith was an essential element for your salvation. Many people want to emphasize God’s sovereignty and ignore man’s faith. I had a commenter like that yesterday. He blasted me pretty well with his religious rhetoric and I’m just going to smile and ignore it. When you discover the balance in the Bible of putting things together correctly you learn to ignore unbalanced ignorant people who know about God but, who do not know God personally.
We have not yet technically defined what faith is, or determined where faith comes from fully, or how you get faith to grow or described how faith works, but we will eventually get there, but probably not today. Today I want to show you some more very important foundational Bible concepts about faith that God reveals to us from a series of scriptures that describes to us, that the amount of faith that we possess is quantifiable or measureable. In other words not everyone has the same amount of faith and that is going to upset some people’s theology greatly. You see I have heard it taught in some churches that God gives everyone the same amount of faith and that all faith comes from God. However, both of those statements are only partially true or I should say just a part of the complete truth. When people teach things like this, they claim that it is not up to us to do anything to have faith and they alleviate us from having any responsibility or accountability for our actions. They in effect seem to place all of the responsibility upon God and that relieves them from having to do anything. This is what I call the “Blameless Christian” theology; a theory of which some confused men on the earth teach. They believe that whatever happens to them in the world, it was just not their fault and therefore they could have done nothing to change it from happening, whether it was good, bad or indifferent. Wow, someday these men and women are going to be very disappointed when God begins to ask them some very basic direct questions about what they were thinking. If you have not read this series of lesson from the beginning I would suggest that you go back and start reading with “Part 1”.
What do I mean when I say that faith is measureable or quantifiable? Here in the U.S. we have a set of standards that may be different than you are used to in your country. However, the concepts are identical regardless of the standard being utilized. We measure the size of boards when building a house and precise calculations are made to keep the house level, plumb and square. Then here in the U.S., almost everything in the grocery store is sold by weight, volume or some other identifiable and quantifiable quality that makes them more fairly priced. If you go to the market and buy some grapes, they are normally weighed and then the price is calculated from that. This is the only fair way of buying and selling grapes since grapes can vary in size and the number of grapes on each vine differs. This is what I am trying to teach you today, that faith even though you cannot see it, it is also a measureable spiritual substance according to God and He is able to tell how much that you possess, even if you can’t. Like buying grapes, God is also able to measure your faith to determine how much you enjoy. In the natural realm, this would normally involve a measuring device like a scale along with a computation or calculation for the total amount found, but since we are discussing a spiritual reality this is going to be a little bit more complex than that. I think I want to start this lesson with a Bible verse that is widely taught that confuses people. Here in this verse it would at first seem to imply that faith is a substance that God has given to everyone in equal amounts, but upon closer examination, I believe it says something much different:
Rom 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
Here is God teaching us where Bible faith ultimately comes from. If God can give faith to a man, then all Bible faith must ultimately come from God. This is a further confirmation that faith existed with God before God created man. I mean it only makes since that if He can give something away, then He must first possess it before He can hand it to you. I certainly believe this statement that Bible faith comes from God and the Bible. That is the first key element to note in this verse. However, just because God has given you something, does not mean that you have possessed it or that is all there is to give. In other words I could give you a drink of water in a cup, but you only took a sip and threw the rest away. Did you possess everything that I gave you? Was it up to me to make you drink the water? Do you think that I had any more water or was that all of the water that I had? Do you understand the complexity of spiritual things based upon a simple example of a glass of natural water? There is absolutely no way that I can make you have all of the water that I have and drink it. I could have another pitcher of water to refill your cup after you drank that one. I could have a well of water that is able to refill that pitcher after you drink that much. It could be a never ending supply of water. So to say that God gave faith to every man and that they all received the same amount is pretty crazy using my cup of water example.
Bible faith is clearly a spiritual substance given to us by a spiritual God. Then it says that God has given every man “the measure of faith” and this is where the controversy begins to get deeper. This verse cannot be talking about every human on the earth or it would contradict what the Bible says in other places and God’s Word does not contradict itself ever when interpreted correctly. You see the Bible clearly tells us in other places that every man does not have faith and if you look in 2 Thessalonians 3:2 you will see this is true. Therefore, we have a potential scripture conflict that needs resolution. The way to resolve this conflict is to note the context of the given verses. If you read the entire chapter in 2 Thessalonians you will see that God is speaking about unsaved wicked and evil men not having faith and in Romans 12:3 the context is clearly written about men who are Christians because God says “to every man among you”. Romans 12:3 is written to church members who have to possess faith to be a Christian. So we can conclude that even if God has given faith to every man (saved or unsaved), that everyone does not possess it because they have not received the free full gift from God. This is like if you have a party and invited 12 people and you put out 12 pieces of cake for them and say come and get it. Whose responsibility is it now to take the cake and enjoy it? The host of the party is not responsible to make you take your cake and eat it, so if you choose not to come and get it, you lose out and the host of the party has done their job. This is how salvation works, God is not responsible to make you take your salvation cake and eat it. It is totally up to you to partake of Christ by faith and taste and see that He is good. You see you may not know that you like cake, until you try it by faith. I guess I got off the main subject of did God give to every man “faith” and the same amount. Here is where the controversy continues. I have heard several preachers say that this verse in Romans 12:3, proves that we all have the same amount of faith, but in actuality that is not what God is saying and if you teach it that way you contradict several other scriptures that clearly teach a radically different truth. Let’s start by analyzing the word translated as “dealt”. If you were playing a card game you would normally deal out the cards equally to every participant and this is where people probably get the initial idea or concept of everyone having the same amount or an equal distribution of faith cards, but here is the actual definition for this word from Strong’s:
From G3313; to part, that is, (literally) to apportion, bestow, share, or (figuratively) to disunite, differ: – deal, be difference between, distribute, divide, give part.
Nowhere in this definition does it ever say or even imply that the portions divided are equal. In fact I get the opposite inference from reading this definition that the portions are greatly varying from each other. Do you see this when you read it? But then I have heard that it is the words “the measure” given in this verse that implies everyone is given the identical portion of faith. However, let’s look at the definition of the word “measure” also from the Strong’s:
An apparently primary word; a measure (“metre”), literally or figuratively; by implication a limited portion (degree): – measure.
Here in this definition it does not say “the” measure it says “a” measure and that changes it dramatically. When you read all of the definition it says that out of all of the faith that is possible we have been given a very limited portion of it and if you try to say that means we are all equal you would be assuming incorrectly. The translators of the KJV Bible obviously thought wrong and put the word “the” in their translation instead of the word “a” and came up with this incorrect wording. If you like you can check other translations like the NASB and Young’s Literal Translation and see that they translated it correctly to say “as to each God did deal a measure of faith”. What I will do now is try to show you this position of everyone possessing differing amounts of faith using the Bible to help us establish this truth. Let me give you some Bible examples of this in order to make my point more clear.
Mar 4:40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
Here is a verse of scripture where Jesus and the disciples are crossing over a large body of water which appears to be the Sea of Galilee and a storm arises that appears to be their demise. However, Jesus is asleep in the back of the boat and the disciple have to wake him up and after Jesus calms the sea and winds, He looks at them and rebukes them for having no faith. The state of “No Faith” would have to represent a complete absence of the spiritual substance of faith from them. If you had a scale that weighed grapes, this would be zero or the state of having no grapes. If you had a bucket this would be the state of it being empty or void of any substance. You do understand this don’t you? If Jesus is saying “where is your faith”, then Jesus is clearly expecting them to have faith and they do not. Why is Jesus looking for faith? You should ask yourself that question and try to come up with the correct answer. In reading this story it would appear to me that Jesus is not a happy faith leader and He clearly tells them they better get with the God faith program. I also believe that He is talking to you and I right now also.
Mat 17:17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
Here we can read another rebuke from the God of creation to His followers. I have only noticed one thing in the Gospels that Jesus ever rebuked His followers for, maybe you can find something I did not and if so please let me know. But, it appears to me that Jesus is blaming the disciple’s lack of faith for their inability to cast out the devil from this man’s son. This is a further confirmation that faith represents the power to remove an evil spiritual force or enemy. So clearly faith is a number one priority to Jesus and these are two examples where Jesus declares that He expected His followers to have some faith and He could not find any when He looked at them. So this is two examples of where people had no faith. Now let us go up the spiritual faith scale to where Jesus said someone had just a little bit of faith.
Mat 6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Here is the first occurrence of the word “faith” in the New Testament. Jesus is speaking and it is clear to me that Jesus has some inside information that we do not normally possess. Jesus is comparing some natural things that God accomplishes by clothing the grass of the field and He compares this to clothing people who He says are much more valuable than grass. Then Jesus says something very profound. Jesus said these people that he was speaking to had “little” faith. The word “little” here means “puny” or an “insignificant” amount of faith. If I had a 5 liter bucket and I poured a couple of drops of milk into it that is what Jesus is talking about here in this statement. Jesus is clearly saying that faith is a measureable substance and that you can have just a very tiny portion of it. Do you understand this? There are five times found in the Bible that Jesus refers to people having “little faith” and these can be found in Matthew 6:30, 8:26, 14:31, 16:8 and Luke 12:28. Let’s move on to another very different example of contrasting faith that Jesus gives us from that of no faith or little faith:
Mat 8:10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
Here is the second time faith is mentioned in the New Testament and this time it is dramatically different than the first time. Jesus is speaking about a Roman centurion here in this verse. A Roman centurion was a military man that Jesus said had “great” faith. The term “great” means a very large amount in quantity. You can clearly see that this is the complete opposite of the term “little” faith. In my bucket analogy it would be like pouring in milk to reach almost the top. These verses fascinate me tremendously. They clearly tell me that Jesus was looking for faith by His reaction to when He found it and didn’t find it. It also clearly tells me that the amount of faith that people possessed was not up to God or Jesus. Otherwise Jesus would have not been surprised to find a Roman centurion with great faith and the children of Israel with little faith to no faith. If it was God who was dealing out the faith and He wanted Israel to have great faith, then they would have clearly had it. Do you see my logic here? This tells me that “faith” while it comes from God it does not depend upon God solely and completely for how much we have. In other words we have a major part and role to play in the situation and we will definitely talk more about this in other lessons. Let me give you another example of great faith:
Mat 15:28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
There are only a very few number of people in the Bible that Jesus ever commended for having “great” faith and this woman in this chapter of Matthew is certainly one of them. Later in these lessons on faith we will discuss why some had great faith and why some had little faith but that is not my subject today. What I want to demonstrate to you is the fact that Jesus said “faith” was measurable and that the amount that a person had was not dependent upon God’s actions alone. It is very interesting to note in this story that this woman is another example of a Gentile being ministered to by the King of the Jews who clearly said that He was only sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Yet Jesus ministered to her and the Roman centurion and Jesus said both of them had “great” faith. It is very clear to me that great “faith” gets God’s attention no matter who possesses it. I firmly believe that we as Christians should be doing whatever it takes to achieve to this level of great faith so that we can be praised by God. Did that sound arrogant? Do you want God to say to you “well done thou good and faithful servant”? If you do then I believe it is going to take you having great faith.
Mat 9:2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.
Here is a scripture that I have touched on some before, but I will give you another perspective on this verse given what we have learned. We have clearly seen that Jesus rebuked his disciples for having no faith. Jesus also said of others that they had little faith. Then we saw that Jesus clearly said some had great faith. Because, Jesus does not appear to measure or qualify the amount of faith that is being observed, I make the logical conclusion from that information that Jesus puts their faith somewhere in the middle of the scale. In other words their faith was not just a little bit and it was not a huge great amount, I believe that it was just right faith for the situation they were in. I’ll call this the Goldilocks Faith, just for the sake of argument. In the Goldilocks story she is always looking for the just right fit for her size. It is an interesting concept to consider, if you can have varying degrees of faith from zero to a whole bunch, then you should be able to evaluate your faith and measure what you can and cannot do with it. Many times people want to have million dollar faith when they don’t have the faith for 50 cents. This is where faith gets a bad rap in churches and people begin to teach this faith stuff doesn’t work. You should read the life story of a man named Smith Wigglesworth and learn that he did not start out raising people from the dead and that this only came after years of developing his faith to this level. Smith Wigglesworth also started an orphanage that when he began he had nothing with little faith to even get it going. But, by the time of the end of his life came he ran a home for hundreds of orphan children that cost big bucks to sustain. Smith Wigglesworth learned the conepts of faith from God and learned how to grow his faith. He wrote a book about this called “Ever Increasing Faith” teaching us that faith grows. Let’s think briefly about the men who carried the lame man up on the roof, if they had no faith or little faith, they would not have gone through such extraordinary ways to get to Jesus. However, if they had possessed great faith, they would not have had to go through such extraordinary efforts to get to Jesus. It is a complex paradox of how faith works. The Roman centurion told Jesus “You do not have to come to my house to heal my servant, just speak the word only and he will be healed”. You see if the Roman centurion had middle of the road faith, he would have had Jesus come and lay hands on him. If the Roman centurion had no faith or little faith he would have not even come to Jesus and his servant would have probably died. Wow, I just gave you a quick introduction to how faith works and what faith does depending upon the amount of faith that you possess. That was an introduction to stuff to come.
It is also imperative to make another observation from these few verses that we have read in Matthew. Jesus has not died on the cross, been raised from the dead nor ascended back into heaven and yet Jesus is speaking of “faith” as being a critical element to who receives a miracle from Him and who does not. This fact further proves the existence of faith as being an essential and present factor in the Old Testament even though it has not technically been revealed in the Word of God up until this point in time of the physical ministry of Jesus. Let’s move on to another quantifiable measure of faith found in the Bible.
Act 6:5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:
Here we have a measurement of faith that should be the ultimate goal of every Christian. Here in this verse of Acts God describes a man named Stephen. In this verse God says that Stephen was “full” of faith. Using my bucket analogy again, that would mean a bucket that overflowed with milk; in other words a bucket that you could not put any more faith into. This was the condition of this man and this concept is totally difficult for me to even comprehend. God is clearly contrasting the amounts of faith in at least five different levels. We had no faith, little faith, just right faith, great faith and full of faith and we could logically assume that there are varying ranges of faith in between these levels given to us like a gas gauge. In fact using my bucket analogy we could have a totally empty bucket all the way to the overflowing bucket level.
We have learned a lot about faith today. Faith is a measureable and quantifiable spiritual substance that the total amount of faith contained in every human can vary dramatically from none to overflowing amounts. We have seen repeatedly that faith was a substance that God expected to be present in every person that was ministered to by Jesus and we can conclude that God expects this in us Christians the same way. Here are some other facts about faith that we have discovered today:
- Bible faith ultimately comes from God.
- However Jesus and the Bible said some had No Faith.
- Jesus taught us that some people had only Little Faith.
- Jesus taught us that some people had “Just Right” Faith to be made whole.
- Jesus also taught us that a few people had Great Faith that exceeded His expectations.
- Later in Acts we saw Stephen being described as being Full of Faith.
- All of these are differing levels of the same spiritual substance from Zero to Maximum.
- We again saw that Jesus was looking for faith in everyone that He encountered.
- People were praised by God for having faith and rebuked by Him for not having any or just having a little bit.
- Finally, we can logically conclude from all of this infrmation given to us today that since faith is measureable that the current level of our faith can be increased no matter where we currently are at on the faith scale.
Do you understand the importance of studying this subject of Bible Faith? Are you beginning to see the significance that God put on this subject of faith in the Bible? I hope you have learned something that will help you in your walk with God and that this new knowledge will be put to use to help further the Kingdom of God. God Bless you until next time.
If you would like to continue reading this series of lessons on Bible faith you can go to “Part 4“.
(Ver 1.1) Today is a lesson to me because I am challenged at times with turning the other cheek when people write me hateful self-righteous comments on my website, my flesh wants to strike back, but my spirit feels compassion and love for them. This is a very constant internal struggle that we are all faced with over the course of our lives. This is a battle of our wills, between what our flesh wants and what our spirit wants to do and as long as we live on the earth this is a never ending cycle. Satan is bent upon getting real Christians to come out of the spiritual dimension and to get them back into the physical fight with our brothers and sisters but, we must learn that there is a higher path and ground to stand on. So when a commenter left me a message yesterday telling me I’m not a Christian, my flesh wanted to write them back and tell them they were a self-righteous idiot to stand in the seat of judgment against a fellow Christian. They didn’t know me, so they had no idea what I was or was not. They obviously just read some words on a web-site and I guess I didn’t believe like they did so they have concluded I don’t know God. Wow, I find that attitude very humorous. People can act so foolishly and not even know it. The Bible says in Isaiah 5:20 “Woe to you who call evil good and good evil”. In the very next verse in Isaiah God says “Woe to you that are wise in your own eyes”. In other words God calls someone who judges incorrectly and raises their own self higher than others, a person who is in jeopardy of being judged by God.
So rather than doing what my flesh wants to do today, I will teach on love towards your brother. In doing this I will feed my spirit on the right things to do and build up myself to become stronger in this area. You see I technically do not know if my commenter was my brother or not, but I will give them the benefit of a doubt since they were reading a Christian’s blog about Advanced Spiritual Bible study.
Rom 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
To be kind means that you have the opportunity to not be kind at times. It would seem that this occurs more often than you might think. People can be easily misunderstood; their words can be taken incorrectly very easily. Reading someone’s writing is not like hearing a person’s voice where you can pick up on voice changes, inflections, sarcasm, humor and emphasized or deemphasized expressions or whatever. I have found that writing online is probably harder than just talking to someone in person because of these challenges. So while I do not intend to offend anyone, I know sometimes I do. The term translated as “kind affection” is a Greek word that is interesting to note in this verse. The word means an “emotional cherishing or fondness of a family member”. Did you know I was in your family that is if you are a Christian? Obviously if you are not a Christian you are not in my family which is the family of the Most High God. I am in the family of Jesus Christ and I know this for a fact whether you do or not. Did you know that God has a spiritual family? Christians need to learn this first and then learn how to treat their fellow family members with kindness.
Here in this verse we have another word that is translated as love, but is a different type of love. The Greek word “philadelphia” is the word that is translated as “brotherly love”. Brotherly love is a “fraternal love” of your family again. If you did not know that there are different types of love in the Bible you should do a study on that subject. Most intelligent people understand that you love your wife differently than you love your sister. Unless your sister happens to be your wife, like Abraham’s wife was. In John 3:16 it says “God so loved the world that He gave…”. In John 3:16 the Greek word for love is “agape”. This word in John 3:16 is the God kind of love where God loved us while we were even sinners and died for us when we did not deserve it, earn it, or ever could. The Bible tells us that God is “Agape” in 1 John 4:8. It does not say that God has Agape, it says He is Agape. Then if you are a Christian this Agape is now a part of your spirit. Agape is an unconditional God kind of love that every Christian possesses in their spirits. However, getting “Agape” out to the external is a different subject entirely. Philadelphia is similar but yet different. It is kind of like the saying you can choose your friends but you cannot choose your relatives. Well sometimes your natural relatives can be the most challenging to love, so it is in the spiritual family of God also. In the real world you can walk away from someone being hateful, but if this is your brother doing this at the family dinner, then you have an opportunity to overcome the same internal challenge that I have been going through today. Do you retaliate or do you try to smile and say something kind. Wow, that is a bigger challenge than you can imagine.
Next, in this verse it says “in honor”. This is an interesting concept. This word in the Greek means “something valuable” or “a great price paid”. This word in 1 Peter 2:7 is used to describe Jesus Christ as being the “precious” stone that the builders rejected. This is the exact same Greek word used in Romans 12:10 as “honor”. Anything that is “precious” in the eyes of God should be precious to you also. I believe that God is saying to treat others as being precious as you are. Wouldn’t it be a nicer church if people would just do what God said? I hope and pray that someday they will become a doer of the word of God and not just a hearer only. The last phrase in this verse Romans 12:10 says to “prefer one another”. This is another amazing truth that is very profound. This Greek word translated as “preferring” means to “lead the way for others”. Wow, is that a strong statement. So obviously when someone hits you verbally and you want to hit them back, God instructs us to become an example to them so that they can be directed into the right path. I use to have a sign in my office that said “He who leads when no one follows, only takes a walk”. So today I am attempting to take a few people on the internet down a path of brotherly love and I am hoping someone will learn to follow.
1Co 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
I’m not Paul and I’m certainly not Jesus, but I’m trying to follow their examples. The Christian way is a complex life style that can be simplified if you approach your existence using God’s words to guide you into the right things to do. Because people do not know the Bible they do not follow the Bible. God says in Hosea 4:6, “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge”. Instead of getting the right knowledge from God, a lot of the time people are deceived into a distracted priority for a lesser way of learning and doing. I am attempting to come up to a higher spiritual dimension today and to set an example of what to do when someone calls you names unjustly. This will probably not be the last time that someone does this to me, so this will probably not be the last time that I write about love on this website. I trust that those of you, who can see the difference, you have some understanding in what kind of spiritual battle I have been going through today. Now that I read the Bible about love and looked up the definitions, reminding myself of the truth, I have a better and stronger resolve to do the words of God towards others. So if you have been a faithful reader of this website, I apologize for writing a Bible lesson directly and mostly at myself. I hope that you will display some grace towards the things that we probably all face at one time or the other and to my brother who left me this hateful comment, I will tell you that I love you anyway and I will pray that you will do the same in the future. God Bless!
(Ver 1.3) I’ve been snowed in for the past few days, so forgive my too many posts in a short time. Today is a lesson on Understanding the Hidden Secrets of God in the Old Testament. I have written on this subject before, but God won’t let me get away from it. He keeps bringing it back up again and again for a reason. I guess there are still so many people in the world who need to learn this, that He wants to keep bringing it back up until they get it completely. What we find in every in-depth Bible study is that there are many subjects in the Old Testament that are clearly hidden and only revealed by God to those in the New Covenant. This is the number one reason why the natural Jewish people did not see or understand their God given Holy Book of the Law or the books written by their prophets. The cause for this inability to understand the truth comes from the the basic design of God’s Word. God has written to the Jews a highly complex book of hidden spiritual information using some natural words, rules, instructions and the historical stories of some natural people and places. I can see these realities looking at them from a New Testament perspective, but they cannot observe them from their Old Testament point of view. I call this technique of God’s writing “Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight” and today I am going to discuss a number of these hidden subjects concealed within the words of the Old Testament.
Mat 13:35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
It is very clear from my Bible study that God has an immense number of hidden subjects in the Old Testament. Of course if you did not know this, your attempt at understanding the O.T. would be severely hampered. Not knowing how the Old Testament was designed, written and constructed with these hidden and concealed pieces of spiritual information means that you are attempting to interpret and understand the Bible using only your mental capacity and that is clearly not talented enough to achieve the necessary level of intelligence, maturity and wisdom to overcome God’s ability to conceal these things from you. It would be like you attempting to crack a 128 bit encryption with your calculator and if you understand code systems you know this is virtually impossible to do anyway using a large scale computer. In other words God is so much smarter than you, that without His help to understand what has been written is why we see so many confused people in the world today searching for the truth. So here is a list of some of the hidden subjects in the Old Testament books:
- Jesus, the Personal Appearance of God on the Earth in the flesh.
- Why Jesus Came to the Earth.
- The Death of Jesus.
- Spiritual things like Fruit, Gifts
- God’s Spiritual Family
- The Kingdom of God
- The Creation of the Church and the New Covenant
- The fact that there were Hidden Secrets was clearly a Secret
These are just a few of the hidden subjects of the Old Testament that God has revealed to us in the New Testament. I have written several blogs on many of these subjects and if you have read them and understood them, then you know that God is pretty smart. I plan on doing more of these topics that I have not touched on before in the future so hang in there and keep reading my blogs. You will be glad that you did as we continue.
THE HIDDEN JESUS
Let’s go through the list of subjects and briefly touch on them for an introduction. Jesus of course is described on almost every page of the Old Testament, but using very complex hidden methods of concealment. These can range from multiple names, titles and descriptions, symbolism, analogies which are hidden allegorical natural stories and even indirect prophetic statements where He is not directly named. For example, Jesus can be called an “angel”, (Gen 48:16), “Shiloh” (Gen 49:10) or “Rose of Sharon” (Song 2:1) or “Branch of Righteousness” (Jer 23:5) or “Sun of Righteousness” (Mal 4:2) to name a few hidden names of Jesus in the O.T. If you want to see more names of Jesus you can go to my list “Names, Titles, Symbols of Jesus”. There are probably more hidden references to Jesus in the Old Testament than any other hidden subject. This is mainly because He is the most important subject for you to know. I have another Bible lesson on “The Hidden Jesus in Genesis” and this may help you to see more of the techniques that God has used to conceal Himself in His Word. If you have not read my series on “God’s Methods of Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight” then you should definitely do that very soon.
THE HIDDEN REASON FOR JESUS
Why did Jesus come to the earth? There are so many hidden reasons for why Jesus came to the earth that there is no way I can get into them all in this brief synopsis. To provide salvation for us is one of the key reasons for God’s personal appearance on the earth, but definitely not the only reason that Jesus came. I think I wrote a lesson called “The Top 10 Reasons Jesus Came to the Earth” and you should probably check that out if you have not read it already. When you begin to realize that God is multi-dimensional and able to accomplish multiple things in one planned work then you start to realize the extreme intelligence of God. Too many people think one-dimensionally and only accomplish one task at one time using a single threaded approach to life. This is like computers of old, which were sequentially threaded devices that could only do one instruction at a time. However, in today’s modern computer world with multi-processor capabilities it is much easier to visualize the mind of God who clearly is speaking to millions of people on the earth simultaneously. That is pretty awesome stuff if you asked me. I will challenge you to go through the Old Testament and find the concealed reasons why Jesus was prophesied to come to the earth. It is a fascinating Bible study to do.
We know from reading 1 Corinthians 2:8 that Satan did not know that the death of Jesus on the cross was his greatest mistake. Had Jesus not been slain and shed His blood, the world’s situation would be exactly the same as before Jesus came into the world and that was not a good situation to be in. We can clearly see that Jesus coming into the world to die was a hidden secret from God. We can further explore this information in many other verses of the Bible. I like the words of Ruth where she revealed to us that it was only “death that was a separating force” that could divide her from her mother-in-law Naomi. God uses His death on the cross to separate Himself from the evil one named Satan. This is not a widely taught subject, because I believe it is a new subject revealed in the last days by God.
THE HIDDEN SATAN
In reading the Old Testament there is seldom any direct reference of the spiritual being named Satan. When he is mentioned it is widely using some symbolic title like the “serpent” in Genesis 3:1. Other times God speaks of an individual like the “Prince of Persia” (Dan 10:13) and this is Satan. Still other times there is the “King of Tyrus” in Ezekiel 28:12 and this is widely believed to be a hidden reference to Satan. If you would like to read more “Names, Titles, Symbols of Satan” then you should go and do that. Why does God hide our enemy in the text of the Old Testament writings? It is a fascinating concept to consider. Why does God hide any information in the Bible? From my view point, there is no reason to describe Satan in great detail since in the Old Testament the human race could not do anything about him. Satan is called the “god of this world” in the N.T. (2 Cor 4:4). Therefore we realize that as the god of this world Satan had ultimate control or influence over many of the things that transpired here. I know that goes against the theology of a lot of confused individuals who believe that God is in control of everything that happens, but that is just too bad because the Bible teaches us some quite different realities. I believe that Satan was hidden from plain view for the safety and protection of the people in the O.T. If people would had known about him in greater detail, probably many more people would have made him their god. In addition to this other than being in the protection of obedience to God’s word there was nothing that any human on earth could do about Satan. It was not until Jesus died that Christians were again given authority over Satan as you can read in Luke 10:19.
THE HIDDEN SUBJECT OF FAITH
Faith is a subject that was definitely hidden in the Old Testament very well. In the Old Testament God honored the people’s faith and allowed many people to perish because they had no faith. You can clearly see this in the children of Israel wandering in the wilderness. They sent 12 spies into the Promise Land to check it out and they come back and only 2 had a good faith filled report. The majority came back with the evil report of doubt and unbelief. Everyone that did not believe the good report died in the wilderness over the course of time, but these two men named Joshua and Caleb led the younger generation into the Promise Land by faith. You can read about what happened in this Old Testament story in the book of Hebrews chapters 3 and 4, where God said the children of Israel failed to mix their faith with God’s promise so they did not enter into His rest. Faith is therefore a dominate New Testament revealed truth that was not made known to those in the Old Testament. Galatians 3:23 clearly teaches us that faith was a revealed New Covenant reality. This literally means that faith was previously hidden to those under the law. If you would like to read my latest series on “Understanding Bible Faith” then please do that. In this series I talk about the Genesis or beginning of faith and I teach you that faith existed eternally. Therefore the subject of faith was a factor in the Old Testament the same as it is a predominate factor for the New Testament. Being concealed in the Old Testament does not mean it cannot be found for those that are truly seeking to know and find it. I challenge you to do this and you will be enlightened beyond word’s descriptions.
FINDING THE HIDDEN SECRETS OF GOD
There are just so many hidden subjects in the Bible that I cannot fully speak to all of them in this introduction. What I wanted to do was to get you interested in searching your Bible for hidden information. Learn to open your eyes to spiritual things and then read your Old Testament using new ways to look at this old natural information. It will amaze you if you believe it and allow God to teach you these things. Remember when the early church was first started, the only Words of God that they had were the writings of Moses and the Old Testament prophets? So Peter and the other apostles were limited to teaching the church only from these O.T. books. Keep this in mind when you read from them and see if you can see what they used to teach Jesus, salvation and all the other hidden subjects.
Act 17:2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
Paul preaches using only the Old Testament and He starts churches in many cities where he later writes them letters from prison. We know that churches in Ephesus, Galatia, Rome and Corinth were started this way. Until Paul was thrown into prison the only Bible the church had were the Old Testament writings. They then had to be able to see that Jesus was there along with many of the New Testament concepts that have been since written about and expanded in the New Testament.
Act 18:28 For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.
You should be able to do the same thing that Apollos did here in Acts 18. You should be smart enough to learn every verse that you can in the Old Testament so that you can show Jews their Messiah is Jesus. If you have a legal mind and can speak like a lawyer you will be able to convince many of the Jews that Messiah has come. But, do not go and speak like an ignorant fool to someone who knows more than you do. You are going to have to study and become more informed than they are.
Act 8:30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?
I’ll wrap this Bible lesson up with a short story of how God will cause some amazing supernatural things to occur when a man is hungry to know the truth. In Acts 8 is a story where we hear a question from Phillip that is still relevant today. A man from Africa was reading the book of Isaiah and Phillip ran to him and asked him a very basic question. If it was easy to understand what you were reading then it would be unnecessary and even stupid to ask someone this question. However, it is very obvious to me that understanding what you read in the O.T. is the ultimate goal, but that this does not automatically happen just because you read it. In doing this advanced Bible Study blog, I have met many men and women who know how to read these verses, but I have met few who can see what they mean. Having the eyes of your understanding enlightened to see the truth, this is what God desires to do today.
Act 8:31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
This Ethiopian man was an extremely intelligent individual and possessed great wisdom based upon his answer to Phillip’s question. I have had far less intelligent men and women write me ignorant comments. This foreigner Gentile man came all the way from his country to Jerusalem to read God’s words written by the prophet Isaiah. I believe God notices people who are hungry and thirsty for the truth and this is why Phillip was sent to him. I believe that God will help any man or woman who truly desires to know Him in this way. The man displayed a key quality for learning and it was called being open minded to hear about what you do not understand. If only more of my reader’s had this quality they would benefit the same as this man did.
Act 8:32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
Act 8:33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
Act 8:34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
Do you see the heart of this man? He had so many admirable qualities that caused God to do supernatural things to get him the answers to his questions. First off the man was humble and this opened the door for God to do mighty things. Next, the man was hungry for the truth no matter what it was. Then this man was open to hear the truth and this allowed him to hear with his spirit. Finally, after hearing the truth spoken to him from a complete stranger, this man believed it and was saved. Wow, what a powerful story that God has given to us of how salvation works. Here we have a story of how a foreign man saw a hidden Jesus in Isaiah and that allowed God to send another man to him to help him understand the truth. This is an extremely valuable lesson for what to do and what God will do in response. Begin to understand that the Bible has many complex hidden mysteries and then seek to know them. Allow God to answer your questions however He wants. It may be Him sending you someone with the answer to knock on your door. It may be a complete stranger that you do not know. It could be a blog on the internet. God can use anyone, anywhere but you are going to have to be ready to respond.
So we have looked at a lot of different scriptures today. We talked about God’s hidden subjects and the fact that they still exist in the Bible today. If you do not believe that, then you should go read Revelation and tell me what it all means. I’ve studied Revelation for many years and I’m a long way from knowing everything that is written there. In fact if you search the internet you cannot find two people who completely believe everything the same 100 per cent. I believe that God is revealing this information before He returns for us. But, we are going to have to be like the Ethiopian and be open to hear and learn the truth. Ask questions and allow the answers to come from God. Learn the hidden information in the Bible and see them for the spiritual truth that they are. God Bless you until next time.
(Ver 1.2) This is a basic rebuttal to a man who left me a very ignorant comment on one of my posts. He was adamantly opposed to the concept that Jesus could possibly come back and catch His church up before the tribulation occurred. He basically took some verses out of context and gave them some natural interpretations to justify his ignorant position and beliefs. I have learned not to reply to my critics and their hateful words because they are not interested in getting help or learning the truth. I may read their comments to see if I can learn something, but I then delete them and move on. So if you want to leave me a hateful bunch of reasons of why I’m wrong, please do not waste either of our times. So today’s lesson is not for my commenter but, only for those who are willing to hear the truth and to change. That is what makes me different than my commenter, I am perfectly willing to change if anyone can give me spiritual Bible verses that say I am wrong, and then I will change very fast. What this man was guilty of is an attempt to put his limitations and definitions on what God can do. It is very clear to me that God will never violate His word. You can always count on the fact that God will do whatever He says. However, it is also very clear to me that there are many people in the world who do not understand God’s word so they have come up with erroneous conclusions that put limitations on what God can do in their mind. It is interesting to note that God is not limited in His ability to what you have in your mind and what you think that He can do. Your interpretation of God’s word does not limit His ability to do what He said He would do. Your wrong interpretations of His word will only affect you personally and what He will do for you and it will have no effect when He comes to rapture me out of here in a very short time from now. I am going to start by giving you his main scripture that this man said was proof for why Jesus could not come back before the tribulation ended and then hopefully show you how narrow minded and blind his argument was.
Act 3:21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
According to my very ignorant commenter, he claimed that this verse says that Jesus has returned to heaven and must remain there until the time when all things that have been written about have been completed, fulfilled, accomplished or performed. In other words according to him Jesus cannot ever come back to the earth to rapture the church before the tribulation because every prophecy has not been fulfilled in his mind. I wonder who died and made this reader God. Clearly he acts like he knows more than God when he can tell God what he can do and what he can’t do. Clearly he does not know how to read the Bible and see that Jesus has already been back to the earth several times since ascending into the heavens and being seated at the right hand of Majesty. He is attempting to put God into his little box and God is not interested in his mindless interpretations. According to my reader he saw where Scofield said that Israel must be restored to the seed of David before Jesus returns. Therefore he has concluded that a pre-tribulation rapture of the church is impossible without understanding that the Seed of David has already been restored His Kingdom. I went and reviewed Scofield’s notes on the subject and I do not have any idea how this man came to his conclusions based upon this information. It is very clear to me that he is thinking of spiritual things in the terms of natural interpretations, definitions and realities and not seeing that they have already been fulfilled in Christ. Let’s go back and see what God said to David:
2Sa 7:16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.
The basis of the Davidic Covenant is established when the prophet Nathan comes to speak to David in 2 Samuel 7. You can go and read the entire chapter if you like. I just want to focus in on one verse for now and this occurs in verse 16. God says to King David that He will make David’s house and kingdom an eternal everlasting one. Since David died physically and has not been resurrected, God was obviously not speaking to David who was incapable of fulfilling this prophecy. In fact there were no sons of David who were ever capable of fulfilling this prophecy until God became his son in Jesus. If you understand the genealogies of Jesus given to us in Matthew and Luke you know that these are two different ancestries of two different people. If you do not know this you better go and study it again in detail. Both lineages go through David, but after David the one in Matthew is through David’s son Solomon and the other one in Luke is through David’s son Nathan. So it is very clear that they are not the same person who comes to the end of this list. Both do not end up at Jesus, only one does. So how do you resolve this problem? You have to realize that the genealogy in Matthew is that of Joseph and the genealogy in Luke is that of Mary the mother of Jesus and I do not have time to prove this to you in this lesson. Use your brain and read it and hopefully you will see it. What we understand from the Bible is that Joseph was not the father of Jesus, so in order for Jesus to be born a physical son of David his physical mother must have been a daughter of David. This is the only way the Davidic covenant would ever be fulfilled eternally. Jesus Christ is the only son of David that is alive today to take his father’s throne and since Jesus is eternally alive His kingdom is also eternal.
What I am going to do now is to change subjects for a bit to show you that Jesus is not limited to the words of an ignorant commenter to what He can do. According to my commenter, it is not possible for Jesus to return to the earth because we read in Acts 3:21 that heaven has received him until all things have been restored in the earth. It is very obvious to me that my commenter is expecting an earthly Kingdom to be reestablished like David’s kingdom and that only this would fulfill the prophecy in his mind. However, Jesus is not limited to your interpretation of the scripture, so He can return to the earth as often as he likes and you can’t do anything about it. Let’s look at a couple of examples in the Bible where it clearly tells us that Jesus came back to the earth after being seated in heaven:
Act 9:17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
Uh oh? What did this verse say? Did Jesus appear to Saul on the road to Damascus? Didn’t Jesus know this was not permitted according to my deceived commenter? I guess Jesus didn’t read Scofield commentary and decided to show up and talk with Saul anyway. This verse also says that Jesus was the one that sent Ananias personally to Saul. How did Jesus accomplish this while being in heaven? Apparently Jesus appeared to Ananias and told him to go to see Saul. You can read this in the surrounding verses of chapter 9 how that Jesus appears to Ananias in a vision. What is a vision? A vision is the appearing of Jesus in a spiritual form on the earth where a man is permitted to see him spiritually. Maybe you do not understand spiritual visions because you have never had one. So that is probably the most difficult obstacle for you to overcome. You need to learn about what visions are and how visions occur using the Bible. I wrote a Bible lesson about this subject so you should go and read that if you want to know if they are “Real or Fantasy”. Here we have a verse that says very clearly that Jesus appeared to two different people on the earth after going back to heaven and you will have to ignore them completely to hold on to your deceived ideas of what Jesus can and can’t do in the earth before the tribulation occurs. Here is a much more detailed account of the appearing of Jesus to Saul on the road to Damascus and you should pay close attention to this story to see if God is saying this is the way it happened or not:
Act 26:12 Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests,
We can definitely see that Paul is describing his journey and the reasons behind the journey. Saul was given authority of the chief priests to persecute the church of Jesus Christ. That is what he intended to do when something happened to interrupt his plans:
Act 26:13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.
A very bright light shines from heaven into the natural realm on the road to Damascus and Saul and his traveling companions see it. This light is compared to the light of the sun. Of course Jesus is called the Sun of Righteousness in Malachi so this is not uncommon to describe the appearing of Jesus as being a very bright light from heaven. In fact if you look through your Bible you will see that Jesus is described to be either light or various synonymous terms for the sun around ten times just in the New Testament. If you do not know where these verses are you can check out my post on the “The Names, Titles, Symbols of Jesus”.
Act 26:14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
You see in my Bible, the words of Jesus are in Red Ink so that they are easily recognizable. If Saul is on the earth on the road to Damascus, how is it possible that Jesus can appear and speak to him, since Jesus is obviously not permitted to come back to the earth until the restoration of all things be accomplished? Wow, I wonder how stupid you have to be to come up with some of these false teachings. People really need to open their spiritual eyes and see what the Bible actually says before they open their mouths and prove how ignorant that they are. It is very clear to me that my commenter has a scriptural dilemma to resolve; a conflict of monumental proportions. Either the prophecies that he says have not been fulfilled and God is a liar or the prophecies have been fulfilled in the spiritual realm.
Act 26:15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
This verse must baffle the minds of many of the mindless deceived people in the world. Saul was persecuting the church and Jesus says he was persecuting Him personally. How is that even possible? If you think only naturally it is not possible, but if you begin to think spiritually it is very possible. You see the problem is when people do not see things spiritually they are limited to their natural view points and these are clearly not what God intended for us to use. The Bible clearly says that the people in the church are the “body of Christ” and members in particular (Rom 12:5, 1 Cor 12:27, Eph 4:12, Eph 5:23). Just as the human body is made up of millions and billions of individual cells, God is saying my spiritual body is made up of millions and billions of individual people. I’m about to blow some of your minds with my next statement of revelation so get ready for a new bomb shell. You can clearly see according to the Bible that Christ has NEVER technically left the earth fully yet! As long as the church is here Christ is here since we are His body and He is our head. So obviously my ignorant commenter is just a bit confused and does not know what he is talking about in this instance. If Jesus never left the earth then it is perfectly legal for Him to return anytime He likes for any reason He likes and this would include the rapture of the church, His body. When the church is raptured and only when the church departs the earth has Christ fully left the earth. However, it is more complicated than that since even after the rapture occurs more people on the earth can become Christians also and choose to believe.
Act 26:16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
So according to the words of Jesus himself, He has appeared to Saul to make him a witness to the truth. Wouldn’t it be nice if Jesus would do this with everybody on the earth? However, there is no Bible verse that says He will do this so do not pray for Jesus to come and appear to you, for more than likely your prayer will be answered by Satan and not God. You can clearly see in this verse that Jesus is saying that He has appeared to Saul for a specific purpose and then in the final statement of this verse Jesus claims that He will come back to teach him more things in the future. The statement that Jesus made goes from present tense to future tense and it is very important for you to see this. Jesus is able to appear to anyone that He wishes at any time. It is His choice to do this and not yours. I have heard more than one modern minister say that Jesus appeared to them in a vision and that He taught them something very important to tell us. So if Jesus wants to come back to the earth, He is not going to check with you and see if it is OK for Him to come. Get it? He is the head of the church and not you!
Act 23:11 And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.
Here is just another Bible example of how Jesus came to Paul and appeared to him on the earth without asking for anyone’s permission. Please understand the precedence that is being established and is presented to you. If the Bible records these specific instances where Jesus appeared on the earth after His physical ascension into heaven, then there is absolutely nothing stopping Him from coming to rapture His church body out before the tribulation has started. This is really not rocket science but you do have to have the eyes that see spiritual things. You do understand that Jesus does not have to set foot on the earth to catch His church up to where He is, don’t you? So technically speaking the rapture of the church is not Jesus setting foot on the earth at all. We are going up to meet him and he doesn’t have to come down to get us. Therefore, your argument for no rapture is purely fictional rhetoric.
So back to the Davidic covenant; let’s return to this and see what else the Bible says. We know that Jesus Christ is called the son of David in Matthew 1:1, 9:27, 12:23, 15:22, 20:30-31, 21:9, 21:15, 22:42-45, Luke 1:32, Rom 1:3, 2 Tim 2:8, and Rev 22:16 to name a few of the verses that reveal this information to us. Then you can read in Revelation 1:8 that Jesus says “I am alive forevermore”. So clearly Jesus has been resurrected never to die again. Based upon these scriptures Jesus certainly qualifies to be the eternal ruler of his father David’s throne which was prophesied in the Old Testament.
Luk 1:31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
Luk 1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
Luk 1:33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
What we must do after reading this angelic prophecy given to Mary about her coming son Jesus is determine if God is declaring a natural kingdom or a spiritual kingdom. There are obviously many Christians who do not understand that there is a difference and this is their first mistake. What these Christians do is to think naturally first, without considering or finding out if there is any other way that this prophecy could be fulfilled in the spiritual realm. For example, in many of my Bible lessons I have taught you that the Bible declares that there are three different cities named Jerusalem. So when you read a prophecy of Jerusalem you must determine which city is being spoken of. I guess this concept blows the mind of many people and they are just not making the connection. I believe that they are having trouble making the leap from natural into spiritual things. There is only one city in the natural named Jerusalem in the Bible and this is all they can wrap their minds around, but the Bible teaches us that there are two other cities in the spiritual realm called by the exact same name. This makes correct Bible interpretation infinitely more complex. By assuming that a scripture is speaking of the natural city you are more than likely missing the truth. You see we can find many verses in the Bible that reveal there is a major difference between these two realms. For example, read Matthew 5:34 and 23:22 to see God’s throne being described as a place in heaven. This is clearly a spiritual location, a spiritual throne and a spiritual kingdom based upon the fact that God is a spirit (John 4:24). If you can see the existence of parallel realities in the Bible you will be far above the capabilities of many people who read the Bible using their natural one dimensional mind. I guess I need to do a Bible teaching on the reality of the spiritual nation of Israel. I have avoided this subject because of the potential controversy that it can stir up. You see I have read other people’s blogs after they have written about spiritual Israel and they are attacked vehemently by narrow minded spiritually blind people who cannot see the truth and what the Bible says. Let me ask those who fight this Bible subject so enthusiastically if there is like the Bible says a spiritual city called Jerusalem, what is it the capital of? We can clearly understand that natural Jerusalem was and is the capital city of the natural nation of Israel here on the earth. Can you not think logically enough to conclude that a spiritual nation of Israel must exist if God names his new heavenly city Jerusalem in Revelation 21? I mean come on and use your brain.
I guess I have gone long enough in today’s lesson. I have not fully covered the subject about the Davidic Covenant and there are many other scriptures that we could add to this discussion. I want you to think with me if God tells David in 2 Samuel that his kingdom will be an eternal one, what do you think that implies? To me it is obvious that it is not a natural kingdom here on this earth. There are many Bible verses that say that Jesus will come back and establishes a 1000 year reign of peace on the earth. This is God’s day of rest prophesied from Genesis 1. I think that there are some confused people who are expecting Jesus to set up His eternal kingdom in this 1000 year time frame and that is why they say that the rapture cannot take place until this happens. However, this is just more misguided interpretations of the Bible while they clearly are not looking for the real answers. Did you know that the 1000 year natural reign of Christ is not forever? I mean think! It clearly only lasts a 1000 years and then what? The Bible tells us that Satan will be released from the pit to deceive again. So everyone who is born during the 1000 years of the righteous reign of Christ will be given the opportunity to make a choice and to be deceived like we have all had these same choices to make. There is an eternal Kingdom of God and the Bible says it is in me right now. Jesus clearly taught us where His kingdom was located when He said “the Kingdom of God is in you” (Luke 17:21). So men are looking for external things while God has established His kingdom on the inside of us in a spiritual realm you cannot see. Either change your perspective to see the truth or choose to remain in your deception. Thanks for reading my Bible lesson on the Davidic Covenant and why the rapture can take place at any time. God Bless!
(Ver 1.2) This is a very tricky complex subject. In light of the events in America this weekend in Arizona, I thought it would be a good topic to discuss briefly. I do not like evil and this is not my favorite subject in the Bible to study. Clearly the murder of defenseless people is an evil action which should be viewed as an abomination to God and not the plan of God. While it is possible for God to cause something positive to come from any evil negative, there is absolutely no way that God planned it, authorized it or was a party to it. If you think that He was you are probably very ignorant! People read stories in the Old Testament like how Joseph spent years in slavery and prison and think that it says God caused this injustice to happen to him so that Joseph could fulfill a greater plan of God, but this is just a religious philosophy to help explain away the existence of the devil who influences evil men in the world to do stupid things. You see in the Bible it clearly teaches that Satan was a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44). So if a man ever killed anybody, where would they have learned it from? Was it God or Satan? Let’s look at the first murder in the Bible and see what God says about it.
Gen 4:3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.
Gen 4:4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
I like verses like this in Genesis. It says “in the process of time” which represents a scientific principle of creation. In other words, before creation there was no time, but now we live within the designed process of time constraints. Cain was the firstborn son of Adam and is said to be a farmer who grows things and his younger brother Abel as we are told is a shepherd of sheep. Kind of sounds familiar doesn’t it? Jesus was both a shepherd and the Lamb of God and his brother Satan killed him also. Uh oh, maybe I shouldn’t have told you that already. Here in these verses we are told that both men are attempting to do service to God and try to do the right thing, but one does it much better than the other. Did you notice the difference? It wasn’t the fact that one brought sheep and the other brought their crops from the field like I have heard some preachers try to teach. What they brought was not the key difference being revealed to us. God says that Abel brought the “firstlings” and this is not what Cain did at all. So what does this word mean? It basically means the “firstborn” or those who have the birthright of man or beast. So God had respect for Abel’s offering because He gave the best and Cain only gave some of his crop and not necessarily the first fruits like Abel did. Oh well that is not my subject today so I’ll move on. Hopefully you understand what I just said because I will not explain it any further today.
Gen 4:5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
So here is where Cain’s offering mistake hits the fan. Since God did not respect Cain’s offering it made him very angry. Emotions are one of the greatest blessings and the greatest curses that we have been given depending how we use them and where they directed. Let’s think logically again and determine whose fault is it for God accepting Abel’s offering and not Cain’s? In today’s society no one wants to accept responsibility or accountability for doing the wrong things. You see in the news recently a young Mexican man was killed by a U.S. Government border agent because he started throwing rocks at the agent, so the agent had to defend himself and stop him. Well, the news media interviewed the young man’s mother and she was very upset calling the shooting a crime against her son of major proportions. Isn’t it funny how the mother ignored all of the crimes that the young man was guilty of only to say that an officer defending himself was the real problem. You see the young man crossed into the U.S. illegally and was not supposed to be there to get shot. Then if he hadn’t thrown any rocks at the officer he would have just been sent back to Mexico and not shot. Does the young Mexican man have any responsibility for what happened to him? I believe he holds all responsibility, whether you want to see the truth or not. So it was in Cain’s day also. Cain could have done the right things like Abel and God would have respected his offering also.
So up until this point nobody has been killed, but yet the seeds are planted in the mind of Cain. Here is where the story repeats in today’s murders also. We have a man who has done wrong and has become emotionally unbalanced because of his past wrong thoughts, choices and actions. Cain let’s jealousy overrule the love for his borther and doing right. Since Cain has justified his actions as not being the problem it is now much easier for him to escalate his actions to a much greater sin level. Are you learning anything about how people become murderers?
Gen 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
It is very clear to me that God tells Cain what I just taught you. God says to Cain change and do the right thing and I will accept your offering. However, Cain refuses to conclude that he has done anything wrong. So a smaller insignificant sin is about to become the entrance door to a much greater path to sin. This is exactly how murderers become murderers. They hardly ever start out at the murderer level; it is usually always some smaller petty crimes that are committed first and then they grow into a harder more callous state of the hardness of their heart towards others. It is a progressive build-up within an evil process over time to become a murderer. These are the seeds of Satan being planted in the hearts of men that cause them to do progressively evil things. It always starts with little things and then grows to the greater. That is why God tells parents in the Bible to “train up a child in the way that they should go and when they are older they will not depart from it” (Prov 22:6). That is the root to how children without any correct training are becoming murderers in our world.
Gen 4:8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
So instead of Cain making corrections he became more hard-hearted towards God and took it out on his brother since God was unable to take the wrath that he wanted to display to him. Here is another factor to why people murder; people will take out their anger towards God on whoever they see first. Because God has mistreated them and not been fair in their minds, they have become mentally bent to relieve their frustrations on somebody and sometimes anybody. God tells us that Cain began to talk to his brother and because his brother was the only one there at the time and of course God treated him differently then he became Cain’s solution. Instead of talking to God, Cain thought that by getting rid of his brother that would solve his problem and now God would have to accept his offerings. Isn’t it amazing how twisted the human mind can become when all it took was for Cain to take responsibility to do the right thing? Believe it or not this is why the young man also killed those people in Arizona. This man took out his misguided frustrations and anger upon the person who he thought would take away his responsibility for his own past bad choices and self-justified actions. It’s craziness I know and borderline insanity, yet he clearly knew it was wrong based upon his notes that he left asking for forgiveness. He was not insane, he was just deceived and took out his foolishness upon those who could not defend themselves. It is extremely sad when this happens in the world, but yet I believe God says these things will happen more as the time of the end grows nearer. It is important as Christians not to let murderers think that have won anything.
Heb 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
Here is God’s commentary to the story of Cain and Abel. You can clearly see that God honored Abel because of his faith. You can assume that it was the lack of faith that caused God not to honor Cain’s offerings. You see the Bible says that God is not a respecter of persons, but it does not ever say that God does not respect someone’s faith. If you have been reading my lessons on Bible faith you understand this by now, I hope. Here is the other major thing to see from this verse of scripture in Hebrews; God tells us that Abel was deemed righteous and you can assume Cain was not. This is the difference between going to heaven and going to hell. I will not be surprised when I meet Abel in heaven. Abel’s righteous actions still speak the Bible says and they are profoundly greater than those of his brother, the murderer. I would much rather be in Abel’s shoes than Cain’s shoes today so it is with the killer of those in Arizona also. I’ll wrap today’s blog up with a statement from Jesus that you should take note of being a Christian.
Mat 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Here we have a major revelation being presented to us. Jesus is declaring the life in this world is only temporary so we should not be so afraid of anyone who could kill us physically. Jesus is clearly saying that there is an eternity after this life that we better be concerned with. Fear God who is able to save or throw you into hell forever. This life is only a time of preparation; it is not a permanent lasting situation. Jesus is clearly saying that just because someone kills your body, the real you (the spirit being) is not dead. You are just not here in this world alive physically anymore. Jesus is warning you that we should be eternity aware and not so much concerned with the natural realm where crazy evil men will try to take your life. I guess that is enough for one lesson today and I pray that you at the least learned a little bit that helped you get through the events that happen daily on our news. God Bless.
(Ver 1.3) This is Part 2 in a series of lessons on understanding the basic concepts of faith found in the Bible. In the first lesson I gave you the overview of the origin of faith and how that God used faith to create the world; so therefore I taught you that faith was not a new concept found only in the New Testament. I showed you conclusive scriptures from Hebrews 11 that described Old Testament faith examples even though God never emphasized or taught this to be a requirement. In reading Hebrews 11 you can clearly see that there were many people included in the Bible because of their faith. I told you that Faith is a rudimentary subject of Bible theology which is foundational to being a real Christian. I also showed you that faith was an essential element to become saved. I then taught you that “Salvation” is a word than means to make whole the spirit, the soul and the body. We have not yet fully defined what faith is, where it comes from or how it works, but we will eventually get there just probably not today. Today I want to talk about faith being the critical factor for anything that you receive from God. I want to reemphasize the importance of you having faith so that you can begin to understand why you need it. This of course means that you must understand that just because God has given you something like salvation for free, that you must do something to receive it. There are many Christians who do not understand that concept who have obviously never had anything in the world given to them. However, in the Bible you can read story after story of how God gave man something by His grace and how that man was required to receive it by his faith. What we see is a spiritual partnership being established between God and man. God is trying to give you something by His grace and teach you how to receive it by your faith. If you have not read from the beginning of this series I would highly recommend that you go and start reading with “Part 1”. Otherwise turn to your Bible and read with me:
Mat 9:2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.
Here in this story of the lame man is revealed a lot of profound spiritual truths. Jesus is teaching a large group of people in a house that will not permit the lame man to get to Jesus. So the lame man’s friends take him onto the roof top and they cut a large hole in the roof so that they can lower him down to Jesus. The Bible says something very amazing here and if you are not careful you miss it. The Bible tells us that Jesus saw their faith; the faith of the friends to help and the faith of the lame man to get up on top of the roof to get to Jesus. This revelation clearly tells us that faith is visible and observable externally in our actions. You need to remember that as we go through this lesson on Bible faith. The next thing you need to take note of is that faith is the only thing that Jesus observed, so it must have been a very important part of determining if this man would get healed or not. Do you see anything else mentioned in this verse? Why can’t people just read scriptures and see what they say? There are certainly other things to learn in this verse, but I will skip them to move on with our subject of faith today and give you another example of Jesus and the faith of people to receive:
Mat 9:22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.
Here in this chapter of Matthew is the woman with the issue of blood who has been sick for many years. But the Bible says that she pressed through the crowd in order to touch Jesus and she got healed. Nowhere does it say that Jesus knew this was going to happen or that He caused it to happen. So even though it was God’s power that healed the woman Jesus reveals to us the determining factor that caused it to occur. Jesus makes another statement that is essential to our subject today. Jesus turns to the woman and tells her that it was “her faith” that made her whole. “Made whole” is the Greek word “sozo” and this is the same word translated as “saved”. So Jesus clearly tells us again that faith was a determining factor for her salvation. What we can observe from this story is her faith was set in motion by her actions and the two of these caused her to become healed. You can clearly see that in the context of this story that the disciples say the crowd was touching Jesus on every side. But, the Bible does not say that any of them got healed. So it was not because she touched Jesus like the others did that got her healed. It was because she touched Jesus in faith that caused the healing to come from Jesus. Of course it was the power of God that was on Jesus that healed her, but it was received by her faith and that is how Bible faith works. It is a joint partnership between God’s grace and man’s faith. Let’s look at another example of this in the Bible:
Mat 15:28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
Here is another example of a verse that Jesus directly mentions a woman’s faith to be the key factor of her receiving her daughter’s salvation and deliverance. Jesus does not mention anything else, so I conclude that this is the only reason that she got her answer from Jesus. Why was Jesus so obsessed with only faith? Why didn’t Jesus ever say anything else? Jesus never looked at anyone and told them “It was my power that healed you” as most confused Christian in the world think. You need to understand that faith is being emphasized more than anything else and that this is by God’s design and purpose to teach you that faith is the important part to learn about. There are many Christian who believe that God has the power to heal, but do not understand how to get God’s healing power to work for them. They want to pray and leave it all up to God and that is not what we find in the Bible that actually happens in the majority of the cases being presented to us as examples:
Mar 10:52 And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.
This is now the fourth example found in the Bible of a blind man who Jesus said “his faith” made him whole, saved him, healed him and delivered him from blindness. Jesus never took the credit for it being His power alone. In fact Jesus never mentions His power as being a factor to whether people got healed ever. Again we see the same Greek word being translated as “made whole” which is later used for our salvation. Therefore we understand again that it is our faith that is the determining factor for if we receive from God what God has given to us by His grace. I’ll give you one more example found in the Bible, even though this is not the last example that I could give you of faith being mentioned:
Luk 17:19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
Here in this chapter of Luke Jesus is on the way to Jerusalem and is passing through a village where he is met by ten lepers. These men ask for Jesus to heal them and Jesus tells them to go and show themselves to the priest. As they were going one of them notices that he has been made whole and comes back to Jesus to worship and thank Him. Jesus again mentions that it was “his faith” that made him whole. Every time Jesus only mentions one thing and every time it is the same thing. Jesus never commends anyone for anything else other than when they had faith. What you should do is go through and reread all of the Gospels and see if you can find anything else that Jesus ever emphasized to be a determining factor for anyone being saved, healed or delivered? I know there are times in the Bible that Jesus does not mention anything as being a factor, but every time that I saw Jesus mention anything, it was always the faith of the people that was the determining factor to if they got healed or not. This is the way the Bible was written and it gives man the choice to believe it or to reject it. But, if you can see it and understand it, I believe that it will dramatically change your perspective on what God thinks is important. If Jesus who was God in the flesh says that faith is a critical spiritual reality to possess, then I believe that we need to study the subject to find out what it is that we are missing. I’ll end this lesson with one more scripture found in the New Testament that is very revealing.
Luk 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
Here is a key verse that describes to us about when Jesus comes back to the earth, what exactly He will be looking for in His people. You can again see how faith is being emphasized as being a critical factor to possess. It also seems to put the responsibility in our court to whether we have it or not. Why would God be looking for something that He knew we already had? It really does not make any sense, if it is not our responsibility to get this faith before He returns for us then Jesus would not need to look to see if we have it. If it is not up to us to get it, then Jesus does not need to check for something called faith to exist when he returns. I hope that you understand this logic.
Let me end this lesson by giving you some more scriptures where Jesus emphasized faith to be the determining factor for man to receive from God:
Mat 9:2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.
Mat 9:22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.
Mat 9:29 Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.
Mat 15:28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
Luk 7:50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.
Luk 18:42 And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.
These are some of the major scriptures found in the Gospels that reveal faith to be the determining factor for receiving from God. It is very clearly the only thing that God was looking for and it is the only thing that pleased Him to allow the people to receive. Reread these verses very carefully and you will begin to understand the importance of faith today to receive from God. The Bible instructs us to let every word be established in the mouth of two or three witnessess (2 Cor 13:1). I have just given you two different writers and six different verses and that satisfies the requirement exclusively. If you choose not to beleive them then that is your problem and not mine.
Here are the key points from today’s very important faith lesson so that you can go back and review:
- Faith is visible and observable in the actions of people.
- Faith is the determining factor for salvation, healing and deliverance.
- Jesus never mentions any other factor for a person being made whole, other than their faith.
- Jesus is expecting to find faith when He returns for us very soon.
- Do you have the faith that Jesus is looking for?
Faith appears to be a critically important subject in the New Testament and it is certainly taught to be the determining factor of whether or not you are a Christian and whether or not you are ever to be made whole. Jesus rebuked his disciple constantly for having no faith or little faith. Then Jesus would look at people who got healed and tell them that it was their faith that caused it to come into reality. Jesus obviously thought faith was important and you need to understand this importance in order to figure out what Bible faith is. We will discuss more about Bible faith in the next lesson, so please continue to grow in the knowledge of God. God Bless.
If you would like to continue reading about Bible Faith, you may continue to “Part 3“.
(Ver 1.3) This is Part 1 in a series of lessons on understanding the basic concepts of faith found in the Bible. Faith is of course a rudimentary subject of Bible theology which is foundational to being a real Christian. According to the Bible, without faith it is not possible to even be a Christian. However, you do not technically have to know how you became a Christian to be a Christian. In other words you do not have to understand that it took your faith to become a Christian to have the faith to be a Christian. I know that was a complex statement that I just made. But think about it logically for a second, it is very much like a new born little baby does not have to know or understand how they got to be here to be a real baby in our world. But, any Christian who doesn’t know how they became a Christian is practically incapable of knowing how to get others to become a Christian with them. That is why so many people join a church and they think they are Christians, but are not. It is like a natural child cannot have another child. It requires a maturing physical process of the human body to be able to have children, so it is within the spiritual realm also. You need to learn to grow up spiritually in order to know how to have spiritual children. One of the basics of the spiritual birth process is found in the concept of “faith”. Having faith in Jesus Christ allows God to come into your heart to abide. Today’s lesson title is called the “Genesis of Faith”. Genesis is a word that means “beginnings”. So we will attempt to learn where faith came from and when it started to be important from a spiritual Bible perspective. The Bible says a lot about this subject, but most of the direct references of the subject are only found in the New Testament. Why is that? I believe that is a very good question to understand and I will attempt to start to explain it today using several Bible verses. Is faith something new to the New Testament? I’m going to start by explaining why faith is important to know and then we will get to where faith came from and when it came into existence and finally we will touch on a small portion of what Bible faith is.
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Here we have a popular verse that is widely taught and greatly misunderstood. The primary subject of the verse is “salvation” and that is what you should see first. The next thing you should understand is that salvation is the gift that is given to us from God. God is directly teaching us two key factors about the gift of salvation. Salvation is a term that means to be completely delivered, physically, mentally and spiritually. The word “saved” actually means to be made whole. This definition informs us that unsaved people in the world are clearly missing key factors that cause them to be incomplete beings. A human being is a spirit that lives in a body and that has as soul. So God’s salvation must address all three of these human dimensions in order for us to be made whole. Therefore, God’s salvation is an all-inclusive work. In other words God did not save a small part of you and leave the rest of you out in the cold. Of course it is much more complex than that and I cannot get into that level of detail in this blog. Just keep in mind that salvation is a gift from God. Meaning we did not buy it, earn it or even deserved it, yet He gave it to us freely. But, like any gift salvation can be rejected, lost, thrown away or discarded if not cared for, esteemed and held as valuable. There is nothing that I could give you that you could not completely disdain and treat with contempt. So it is with God’s gift of salvation, we can understand that we must value this gift and take care of it in order for it to remain in our life. The first of the two predetermining factors to salvation mentioned in the verse is “grace”. Grace is of course what God has given, extended and done for us even though we did not deserve it or could do anything to earn it. The grace of God is often associated with two other deity qualities called mercy and compassion. God exhibited His mercy and compassion by extending us His grace. To allow a guilty man to go free instead of being put to death is an act of either stupidity or great mercy depending upon what that free man does with his new freedoms. This is the state of the human race today. They have been granted God’s clemency and God is watching to see what man will do with it. The next key factor in the verse is of course my main subject today and it is called “faith”. So we understand that in order for anyone to be saved, it at the least takes these two given factors to be working together in harmony. Of course this subject is vastly more complex than that and I cannot get into all of the other related things all at once, so you will have to exercise your patience and bear with me as I try to teach a very complex set of truths. Just take away from this verse the fact that “faith” is a requirement in order to be saved and we will learn more later the why, how and where it came from as we go through the series.
If you search your KJV Bible for the word “faith” you will discover that the word is only found two times in the Old Testament and well over 200 times in the New Testament. One time in the O.T. is in Deuteronomy and the other is in the prophet Habakkuk which is later quoted for us in Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11 and Hebrews 10:38 saying “the just shall live by faith”. So we can clearly see a direct imbalance to the distribution of the subject of faith, with it being totally under emphasized or hidden in the Old Covenant while seemingly being revealed to us in the New Covenant. Again I’ll ask you, why is this? Is faith something new to us? This of course is by God’s design and I will hopefully explain why as we go. In order to understand why faith is not mentioned directly in the O.T., we need to read some more Bible verses and learn what God says about the subject of faith in the N.T.:
Gal 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
If you just read the first part of this verse you might begin to think that “faith” is something new in the New Testament. The first part of the first seems to imply that faith originated at some point in time and before this there was no faith. However, that is not what this verse is actually saying if you read the entire statement correctly. Too many people only read a part of a verse and walk away from the Bible with thinking or assuming they know what it said; when in fact they did not see the real meaning that God had given to them.
What we should be able to see clearly in this verse if we look closely in Galatians 3:23 is the fact that faith is not new and preexisted before the New Covenant in a hidden state. Hidden simply means covered or concealed. God tells us in the end of the verse that faith was later uncovered and revealed after Jesus died and was resurrected. Why do you hide anything? That is a very good question to consider. To hide something is often an act of someone trying to protect it or keep it from being stolen, lost or damaged. My mother use to hide her silverware thinking no one would break into her house and find it and of course no one did, including her because she forgot where she hid it and never knew what happened to it. Why was it necessary for God to hide faith from the Old Testament readers? Who is God trying to keep from this hidden information? To answer this question you must understand that too much information can be a very dangerous weapon in the wrong hands and since we are talking about spiritual realities that are much greater than natural things. Who is this spiritual enemy that would benefit from this information? Let’s think naturally for a second. I believe that it is very much like knowing how to build a nuclear bomb today in our world. To those peaceful nations who know how to make one, it is a deterrent to keep others from attacking them, but to a terrorist it is the ultimate weapon of destruction. This is why Iran wants this weapon of mass destruction right now! So what I am trying to do is to show you that faith involves revealed spiritual power and ability and that this is equivalent to knowing how to build a nuclear bomb in our natural world. You still may not understand these statements, but I’m not finished, so hang in there.
Heb 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
Here is another widely misunderstood Bible verse about faith and words. Here is a verse of scripture that basically reveals how the world was created. God says that everything that we can see came from two spiritual power factors that God possessed. Did you see what they were? The two factors were God’s faith and God’s words. Too many people read this verse and think that it is talking about our faith and that we have to believe in order to understand, but that is just a lack of understanding of the wording of the statement to causes many to think wrong. The main problem with the Greek language is the lack of punctuation such as a comma. The presence of a comma can change the meaning of a verse dramatically and this verse is an example of this. Take the words “we understand that” and put them at the first of the sentence and reread the statement:
Heb 11:3 We understand that through faith the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
We can basically get the same statement meaning by simply adding the appropriate comma after “By Faith, we understand,” in the original version. Hopefully you can begin to understand that God has faith and God used His faith to create the world that we live in. If God has faith, let me ask you this question “God has existed for how long?” I guess I’m getting ahead of myself somewhat by teaching you that faith was a spiritual force that has always existed with God. But I want us to learn in this lesson that faith was definitely not something that was new and only came to exist in the New Testament. We will verify this further as we continue.
For example, this chapter 11 of Hebrews is commonly referred to as the “faith” hall of fame. This is because the chapter is dominated by the subject of “faith” and it reveals to us the names of individuals throughout the Old Testament who exhibited faith even though they did not understand that this is what they were doing. According to Hebrews 11, the first mention of anyone with faith in the Bible was the firstborn son of Adan and Eve named Abel who was slain by his younger brother Cain. In verse 4 of Hebrews 11 it says “by faith” Abel offered unto God a far better sacrifice than his brother Cain. So it was the existence of Abel’s “faith” that caused his sacrifice to be accepted by God and not so much of what was sacrificed or given. According to the Bible “without faith, it is impossible to please God” (Heb 11:6). According to this statement whatever we do or say in this world it is imperative for us to do it in faith in order to be considered pleasing to God. That could have been the most important thing that I said in this entire lesson and it reveals to us the great significance that God places upon the spiritual factor of “faith”. There are very few things in the Bible that God says are impossible and this is a prime example of one of the most important lessons about spiritual impossibilities.
You can continue reading in Hebrews 11 and see time after time God mentioning and commending the faith of these Old Testament saints. If you did not understand it, Faith is one of the central themes of the entire chapter. The word faith occurs over 23 times in this chapter proveing God is making a point on the subject. Verse 5, “by faith Enoch…” Verse 7, “by faith Noah…” Verse 8, “by faith Abraham…” Verse 11, “through faith Sarah…” I could go on, but you get the point, I hope and pray? You see the faith of a man or a womean was the key factor for everything positive that happened in the Old Testament and why their names even appear in the Bible at all. We can clearly learn by reading just Hebrews 11 that faith existed in the Old Testament even though it was never revealed directly to anyone. God just wrote about them in ways that taught these Bible concepts without telling us what those concepts were called. That was very tricky if you ask me!
Earlier I spoke of faith as being a powerful spiritual force that helped to create our world. This of course is probably a new concept to you that you do not yet understand. So I will attempt to give you another Bible verse that exhibits this reality to us in the words of God written to the church. In this way, we will hopefully see that we have this power within us right now and that we should learn how to use it.
1Co 13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
Here in this chapter of 1 Corinthians God is saying some things about the spiritual reality of faith from a God perspective. I am not going to go through the entire verse and try to teach everything that it says in order to shorten this lesson. I want to focus in on the words in the middle of the verse about faith. God says that we can possess this force of “faith” that is able to move mountains. But, then He says without us having any love we are still nothing. That is an amazing statement of potential power without us even realizing its full impact. You see what does it take to move a real physical mountain? Since I live close to the mountains I know that this task takes some dynamite and some really big equipment. I’m talking about big trucks, bull dozers, scoops and on and on we could go. All of these things are natural examples of physical power. These natural examples are what God is saying faith represents in the spiritual realm. Do you understand this? You can either use your faith to move a physical mountain or a spiritual symbolic mountain and both are valid in this verse since God does not qualify the noun with an adjective limitation. This is called a double reference, where a scripture crosses the natural boundary to apply even to a spiritual domain equally and simultaneously.
We can understand natural mountains, but what is a spiritual mountain? A spiritual mountain can be any spiritual obstacle or obstruction that is in your spiritual way to any spiritual success. In the eleventh chapter of Mark we see Jesus himself speaking to His disciples in the 22nd verse He tells them to “Have faith in God”. Another very legitimate translation of this verse is “Have the faith of God”. Young’s literal translation reads this way and Young was a Greek expert more than I am. If you look at the context you will see that Jesus had just cursed a fig tree and the disciples were pointing this out to Him and God says to them you are capable of doing this also. Jesus who was God tells His followers if they would have the God kind of faith they would be able to speak to the mountain in verse 23 and say to it be removed and not doubt it in their heart but believe what they say would come to pass, Jesus said they would have whatever they said. Jesus was describing how He created the world to them and telling them they could do what He did and remove the obstacles that were hindering them. This is why Paul could write the same in 1 Corinthians 13:2 to us the church. Both of these represent two witnesses to the fact that faith embodies God’s powerful spiritual force. We need to read Mark 11:23 over and over and decide if we are a “whosoever” that God was speaking to.
So faith is a spiritual force, but that is not the only way that it is described to us in the Bible. You see faith is a multifaceted spiritual reality that can be used for offensive or defensive actions. We can read in Ephesians 6 where God is describing the spiritual armor of the church which consists of a number of spiritual entities and one of these is called the “shield of faith” and this is clearly a defensive weapon of force.
Eph 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
The verse starts by saying “above all” meaning there are other parts but this one is one of the greatest that is an essential necessary part to possess. What God is doing in this chapter is describing the spiritual warfare components that are essential to know and understand. First off you need to know you are in a spiritual war and if you do not know this you are already defeated. The Bible says for us to “submit to God and to resist the devil” (James 4:7). What does it mean to resist? That is not a passive verb, if anything it is an aggressive verb of action. To resist is when you are in a war with an opposing occupying force and you choose not to submit to them. You do know that Satan is the occupying force that we are now in resistance to, yes? God gave man the earth and put Adam in charge, but Satan came and took it from him and has been occupying the earth illegally for the past approximate 6000 years. His time of occupation is growing significantly shorter now and it is time to demonstrate his defeat and he is not happy about this at all.
God says to take the shield of faith so that we might quench all of the fiery darts of the enemy. What is a fiery dart of the enemy Satan? Satan is a spiritual being so a fiery dart is a spiritual weapon thrown at the unseen part of you and this is your mind. You are to use faith to counter these offensive weapons of Satan. What we have not done is to talk about everything that faith is, how you get it so that you can know and understand how to use it as a defensive or offensive weapon. Perhaps in a future lesson on this subject we will see how to go about increasing our faith. For example, did you know you cannot find anywhere in the Bible that God says for us to pray for Him to give us faith? That is probably the second most important thing that I said today but you might have blown it off as a non- important or trivial statement. This could be because you just do not understand very much about faith yet. Let me review some of the things that I have taught you today so that you can go back into your Bible and review them:
- Faith is one of the requirements for Salvation.
- Faith was a hidden spiritual concept until revealed by God.
- Faith is the spiritual power to move physical or spiritual obstacles or obstructions.
- Faith is a spiritual defense against the spiritual power of your enemy Satan.
- Faith pre-existed the New Testament but was only formally revealed to us after Jesus died on the cross.
- Faith was active in the Old Testament but never directly identified to be faith.
- God used faith to create the world so God had faith before time existed.
- Therefore faith existed with God eternally.
I just taught you several very key basic elements that are essential to understanding the spiritual subject of faith found in the Bible. This was just a basic introduction to the subject of faith so I hope you can continue to read and study this subject as I am able to continue it with God’s help. God Bless!
If you would like to continue reading in this series, you can continue to “Part 2“.